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Tag Archives | innovation in teaching

Ruben Parra with books.

Being an Effective Teacher (Part 2)

As part of my efforts to become a better and more effective teacher, I have immersed myself in the literature about effective teaching. I had two fundamental questions I wanted to find answers for or at least some insights about: 1) What does it mean to be an effective teacher? 2) What are some of […]

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Helping Students Explore Their Vocations

Please, God, Send Us More Priests Some of the most important questions we can ask our students to reflect on during their time here at DePaul centers around the idea of vocation. The word vocation, which stems from the Latin term vocatio, meaning “a calling, a being called”, originates from Christianity and in that context is often understood to be the process of […]

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing Your Course

When you work in education, summer can be a time for reflection and revision. Faculty often use this time to rework their courses and syllabi. Traditionally when one revises a course they: Find texts and supporting materials Divide readings and homework throughout the quarter Determine a method for assessing students’ performance And, boom! Your course is […]

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Planning an Effective Classroom Discussion

The first time I realized facilitating classroom discussion was not as an easy task as it seemed to be was when I was assigned as a weekly facilitator in one of my graduate classes. There were around 25 students in the room from various backgrounds counting on my facilitation. Although I read all the materials […]

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M3D printer connected to laptop

What a 3D Printer Taught Me About Learning

If you aren’t an ardent follower of the maker movement, or involved in it yourself, you might have missed the hype about 3D printing. 3D printing has grown from a niche market for creating prototypes into a multi-billion dollar business that’s attracted the attention of President Obama, who has noted its potential for bringing back […]

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Photograph of a circular metal sculpture.

Strategies for Building an Inclusive Classroom

This fall, the DePaul Teaching Commons is hosting a workshop mini-series on creating inclusive classrooms. Inclusive teaching is a timely topic, particularly in the context of the controversial article on trigger warnings and microaggressions published in The Atlantic in September, the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, and the recent protests at the University of Missouri. […]

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Student falling asleep while studying. Image by Flickr user <a href="">CollegeDegrees360</a>.

Facilitating Situational Interest in Class

As lifelong learners, we are learning continuously. Along the way, there have always been some things that interested us, while other things didn’t. At the same time, there also have been some things that we didn’t find interesting at first, but later they appear intriguing because of the way they are presented. In higher education, students have the autonomy to choose […]

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Image Credit: <a href="">jmawork</a> (<a href=">CC BY 2.0</a>)

Being an Effective Teacher (Part I)

I have played the role of a learner all my life.  I remember vividly many of my learning experiences typically involving a great deal of frustration and even pain but also an unmeasurable amount of ultimate joy and satisfaction. In first grade, for example, learning (or better, memorizing) the 10x multiplication tables was frustrating as […]

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"Calculator" by Anssi Koskinen (CC BY 2.0).

A New Way to Grade

Looking for a grading system that better reflects learning outcomes, motivates students to excel, and cuts down on your grading time? You might try the approach that Linda Nilson promotes in her new book, Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time, published earlier this year by Stylus. Specifications—or specs—grading is an alternative […]

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