9 Ways to Help Students Develop Psychological Safety in Your Course

By Christine Goedhart The term is almost over and Vania has only spoken a few times in their biology course. While there has been a lot of opportunity for student interaction through group work and class discussions, Vania decided early on that it was just easier to stay silent. Vania identifies as gender non-binary and …

Exploring the Emotional Side of Learning

By Christine Goedhart Can you recall a time when you felt joy, delight, or pride while learning something? What about a time when you felt anxious, bored, frustrated, or hopeless? If you’ve ever experienced these emotions while learning, how did it impact your interest in what you were learning or your ability to perform on …

Overcoming the Curse of Knowledge

By Christine Goedhart Have you ever thought that you clearly explained something to your students, but were met with blank stares and looks of confusion? If so, then you were probably experiencing the Curse of Knowledge. The Curse of Knowledge happens when you know something so well that you no longer remember what it’s like …

Boost Student Engagement, Learning, and Connection Through Storytelling

By Christine Goedhart I was sitting in the back of a large lecture classroom one day when something striking happened. We were about halfway into a 50-minute class session and I could tell that the students were getting a bit distracted—some students had picked up their phones and were scrolling under the table, some with …

5 Reminders To Help You Counter Burnout This Term

By Christine Goedhart Pandemic teaching was only supposed to last a few months, but we’re now almost two years in, and this term seems to be particularly difficult. The years-long accumulation of extra work and stress has led many faculty to experience extreme exhaustion and negative impacts on their physical and mental health, motivation, and …

How to Support 2SLGBTQIA+ Students in the Biology Classroom

By Christine Goedhart Being sexually or gender diverse in a heteronormative society can be difficult, and 2SLGBTQIA+ students face unique challenges both inside and outside of the classroom, such as negative stereotypes, discrimination, lack of visible role models, incompatible structures, and unsafe spaces. It’s no surprise then, that students who identify as LGBTQ+ are more …

How to Get Students to Ask Better Questions

By Christine Goedhart Asking effective questions is a foundational aspect of discovery and learning, serving to both focus wonder and advance one’s knowledge and understanding beyond the current state. In particular, higher-order questions that involve application, extension, and integration of ideas tend to be more productive for learning. Being able to ask effective questions is …

Using Student Questions To Improve Learning

By Christine Goedhart There’s something special that happens when students start asking questions, and it shows up in their body language. They perk up, lean in, look intently, and you can almost see the wheels turning in their heads as they struggle to make sense of what is eluding them. They’re ripe for learning. Humans …

Instructor Talk: Small Talk That Makes a Big Impact

By Christine Goedhart How students show up and participate in class is influenced by their thoughts and feelings about the course. When students don’t value, connect with, or believe that they can succeed in the course, they tend to disengage, but when they care about and feel like they belong in the course, they become …

24 Ways To Get Ready For The Term: A Checklist

By Christine Goedhart There’s a lot to do when getting ready to teach a course. It can be overwhelming to stay on top of everything, make sure nothing is forgotten, and get it all done before you enter class on that first day. To help you stay organized, the following checklist lays out important items …

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