Faculty

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.

 

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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.

 

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We're Here For YouU-M counseling offices in collaboration with President Schlissel recently launched a new campaign with the motto “We’re here for you,” designed to increase community dialogue on mental and emotional health and normalize access to services. As a U-M instructor, you are likely aware that many of your students experience mental health challenges. What can you do within the bounds of your role to promote mental health and support students experiencing challenges?

CRLT’s latest Occasional Paper “Supporting Students Facing Mental Health Challenges” provides a starting point for faculty and GSIs interested in exploring this topic. As the paper emphasizes, you can take many steps in your role as an instructor to normalize a focus on students’ mental health and set up an academic experience that promotes growth and resilience.

In the Occasional Paper, you will find: Read more »

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Molecule structureAs 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 »

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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 »

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