Professor Alford Young, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in Sociology and the Department for Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS), discusses strategies for helping students develop the complex thinking skills central to learning in the social sciences. Using a variety of course materials and teaching strategies, Professor Young helps students develop their ability to ask good questions, examine their own assumptions, analyze course materials and social structures, and construct well-supported arguments.
Thad Polk, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology, offers practical advice for promoting student engagement in a large gateway courses. He also discusses research findings on student learning that have led him to adopt these innovative teaching strategies.
As winter term gets underway, many U-M instructors are teaching in new GSI-faculty teams. How can you build productive collaborations from the start?
The CRLT Occasional Paper on "Teaching Effectively with GSI-Faculty Teams" highlights many benefits--for professor, GSIs, and students--of effective relationships among professors and grad students who teach together. As the literature on GSI-faculty relationships makes clear, though, such teamwork can sometimes pose significant challenges. U-M faculty have reported, among other issues, grappling with how to coordinate the work of all members of a teaching team, handle student complaints, and respond to various challenges to instructor authority.
It's probably obvious but bears repeating: Establishing clear team guidelines and routine communication patterns early in the term can help prevent such problems--as well as provide structures for addressing them productively if they do arise later in the semester. Read more »
To welcome new instructors to the University and help prepare them for their first teaching assignments at U-M, CRLT will be offering orientations for new faculty and new GSIs in the last week of August. These programs are all designed to help new instructors meet colleagues from across the campus, learn about the resources available for teaching, and hit the ground running when the teaching term begins. Our work with U-M instructors has convinced us that when teaching is going well, other aspects of faculty or GSI work life are more likely to fall into place. So we take great care to design orientations that make the best possible use of participants' time and cover the topics most salient to getting a good start in the classroom, lab, or studio.
All of us at CRLT are excited to welcome new instructors to campus and to help you get the tools you need to succeed. We look forward to meeting you! Read more »
Online collaboration tools (OCTs), such as Google Apps, are revolutionizing workplace productivity and teamwork. They also provide tremendous opportunities to enhance teaching, learning, and course management. These hands-on seminars will allow faculty to develop plans for how they might integrate OCTs into their classes. To register for the seminar, participants will be asked to complete a survey on initial ideas they have for using these apps. In the seminar, faculty will have the opportunity to develop specific plans for their courses. Working collaboratively in small groups with colleagues, CRLT consultants, and IT specialists they will consider how OCTs can be used to accomplish specific course goals, such as improving team-work during group projects, increasing interaction in large lectures, promoting student dialogue and reflection, or facilitating collaborative authorship, editing, and peer review. No previous experience with OCTs is required, and the sessions are open to faculty at all levels of technical sophistication, for beginners to "power users."
Lunch will be provided.
To register for the April 4th afternoon session, complete the survey form below. If you need more information on OCTs, please see this website.
Promoting Excellence & Innovation in Teaching & Learning at U-M
CRLT is dedicated to the support and advancement of evidence-based learning and teaching practices and the professional development of all members of the campus teaching community. CRLT partners with faculty, graduate students, postdocs, and administrators to develop and sustain a University culture that values and rewards teaching, respects and supports individual differences among learners, and creates learning environments in which diverse students and instructors can excel.