Teaching a Class

Teaching a Class

Strategies for starting a class, student engagement, facilitating group work and discussions, and more.

Black male student reaching for a paper while sitting at a desk.

A good start to your class can help build community, establish the depth and character of your learning environment, provide hands-on engagement, give students an opportunity to connect their experience to course topics, and set an inclusive foundation for learning. 

Students seated in an auditorium style lecture hall.

Frequent check-ins, building in interactions, and bringing in real-world examples can help keep your students engaged in large classes.

White woman on a Zoom call.

You decided to offer synchronous class sessions to your students, but to fully use the possibilities these tools offer, you need to consider the specifics of this media and intentionally redesign the content and learning activities for it.

Two male students of color working together.

Build successful group work characterized by trust, psychological safety, clarity of expectations, and  good communication.

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Note catchers, shared collaborative documents accessed in real time, keep students focused and help you monitor online or in-person group work.

Students sitting around a table.

Students engage and participate when there is a class climate in which they feel safe, supported, and encouraged to express their thoughts, values, experiences, and perspectives.

Students in a group discussing.

Carefully structuring discussions can promote deeper learning by giving space and time for processing new material.

Student typing

Practices and strategies that you can use to help you and your students talk in ways that support positive engagement and minimize harm and unproductive conflict

A group of three people discussing at a table.

Strategies for navigating and managing yourself during hot moments during class discussions, and helping students process conflict.

Photo by William Fortunato; Group of multiethnic coworkers discussing startup project on laptops together

Flexible teaching strategies allow students to choose a learning path that works best for their needs.

Crowd full of clapping people

There are a range of strategies that can help you and your students reinforce learning at the very end of the semester, including reflections, celebrations, framing course evaluations, and more. Read our page on ending the semester on a positive note, and pick up some new ideas.

CHECK OUT ANOTHER "HOW DO I...?" CATEGORY

Students working at a table.

Strategies for communicating inclusive course expectations, designing for a diverse student body, and supporting student belonging.

Chat bubble

Addresses topics related to course preparation, including syllabus creation and setting expectations for students.

Textbooks

Advice on how to create engaging content and how to prompt students to engage with the content you choose for your courses.

Taking a test

Strategies and advice for designing exams and written assignments, as well as ensuring academic integrity.