EDvice Exchange is the Center for the Advancement of Teaching‘s blog. It serves instructors in the Temple community and other institutions of higher education. This resource provides effective, research-based teaching practices for your consideration.

For many of us, it is easy to remember a time in our education when we felt welcome or included, and a time when we felt unwelcome or excluded. For instructors, personal reflection on these moments can help guide which strategies they might use to create a positive course environment for all students. While this may be a start, teaching inclusively is not as simple as incorporating one or two isolated strategies into a course.

One of the great joys of working in a teaching and learning center is that I get to read books and articles by some of the leading thinkers in college teaching. One of my favorite writers is James Lang, author of several well-regarded books on college teaching including On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching, Cheating Lessons and Small Teaching, Lang gives practical advice based on both research and his own classroom experience and does it in a lively and engaging way.

It's summertime, when children all over the country will be squeezing lemons, adding sugar and water and sitting outside on the curb selling homemade lemonade. Think for a moment about lemonade. Isn’t it remarkable how something so sour can turn into a refreshing, sweet drink, one that conjures up visions of relaxing in the sun or picnicking with family? Before you go on that picnic, take a minute to think about how you can make lemonade out of any sour moments that happened in your classes this academic year.

Image of bite-sized cereal

Have you ever wondered, “Why are my students disconnected, disengaged and unmotivated?” Did you ever painstakingly discuss material in class, only to find that the next class session no one remembered the key points? As a result, they don’t do well in class.

Teaching and learning

Believe it or not, there’s a lot of humorous research--I mean, research on humor--40 year’s worth, give or take.  Everything from theories of humor to the benefits of it in an educational setting has been explored.  Too bad I didn’t know about this when I was choosing my dissertation topic.  “Sorry I missed your final, professor, but I was out until 4:00 a.m. at the comedy club doing my dissertation research.”  Ahh, to dream.

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