Teaching more by grading less (or differently)

Do you feel like you spend too much time grading? Do you want grading to better serve you and your students? This month’s Interesting Read provides a brief history of grading in higher education, describes different purposes of grading, and offers some ways to approach grading so that you can teach more by grading less …

The Case for Student-Authored Scientist Spotlights

Scientist Spotlights have previously been shown to increase students’ relatability to and perception of scientists and enhance student science identity. This month’s Interesting Read makes the case for engaging students in the creation of Scientist Spotlights to leverage students’ authentic perspectives and unique cultural assets and increase the likelihood that the Scientist Spotlights produced will …

Why and How to Teach Teamwork

Looking for ways to help students develop teamwork skills in your course? This month’s Interesting Read offers suggestions for designing group work projects to help students learn how to operate effectively in a group. Citation: Halonen, J.S. & Dunn, D.S. (2021). Why and How to Teach Teamwork. Chronicle of Higher Education, November 15. https://www-chronicle-com.eu1.proxy.openathens.net/article/why-and-how-to-teach-teamwork You …

Teaching the Tough Topics: Fostering Ideological Awareness through the Inclusion of Societally Impactful Topics in Introductory Biology

Biology both impacts and is impacted by society, but is commonly taught in a “value free” way that separates science from societal issues. In this month’s Interesting Read, the authors describe how they linked biological concepts to societal issues through the teaching of ideological awareness in an introductory biology course. While students who experienced the …

Attention Matters: How Orchestrating Attention May Relate to Classroom Learning

Do you want your students to “pay attention” in class? This month’s Interesting Read presents an evidence-based framework for understanding attention in the classroom and offers ways that instructors can design teaching strategies to better guide students’ attention, leading to improved learning. Citation: Keller, A.S., Davidesco, I., & Tanner, K.D. (2020). Attention Matters: How Orchestrating …

Access Needs: Centering Students and Disrupting Ableist Norms in STEM

Talking about access needs creates a more inclusive space and ensures that all individuals have access to a given learning environment. This month’s Interesting Read introduces the concept of ‘access talk’ and provides concrete strategies that STEM educators can use to normalize the use of access needs, improving accessibility and disrupting ableism in academic spaces. …

How to Teach a Good First Day of Class

First impressions are powerful, and the thoughts, feelings and expectations that students form about your course during the first day will follow them throughout the term. This month’s Interesting Read is a practical advice guide that offers key principles, implementation strategies, and resources to help you make the first day as effective as possible. Citation: …

How To Make Your Teaching More Inclusive

Are you looking for ways to make your teaching more inclusive? This month’s Interesting Read is a practical advice guide that offers key principles, implementation strategies, and resources for inclusive teaching and course design. You can also find UBC-specific tips and resources for inclusive teaching at the new Inclusive Teaching Resources for UBC Science Instructors …

Instructor Strategies to Lower Student Stress and Anxiety

Students are reporting high levels of stress and anxiety, which can affect their motivation, academic performance and quality of life. This month’s interesting read provides evidence-based strategies instructors can use to lower student stress and anxiety, while also building an inclusive, equitable, and empowering classroom environment. Hsu, J.L., Goldsmith, G.R. (2021). Instructor Strategies to Alleviate …

Supporting Self-advocacy of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities often have an extra barrier of having to self-advocate to access the accommodations they are entitled to, leading to feelings of exclusion and reduced success and retention. This month’s Interesting Read provides practical actions that STEM instructors can take to support the self-advocacy of students with disabilities, encouraging their use of accommodations …

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