This Week for Faculty: Happy New Year!

by | Jan 5, 2023

Tips as you plan for a new semester of teaching and learning

Kick off a new semester with a plan to cultivate the attention of your students and sustain their learning.

  1. Connect with students early and often. Get to know your students, use their names and pronouns, and build community with and amongst them. Determine what your presence will be inside and outside of the classroom. Manage expectations around communication, office hours, and your practices for supporting student learning when they are unable to make it to class or require an excused extended absence (this will ensure that students stay on track and remain engaged). Plan to move around the physical classroom, and check-in with your students before, during or after class. If you notice engagement waning, pause, recalibrate, and consider using a contemplative practice to help refocus students on their learning.

  1. Co-create classroom agreements. Have a conversation about what it means to be present in the classroom, what participation looks like, and the expectations for engagement. Involve students in outlining desirable classroom behaviors (for both in-person or online in CourseWorks or other platform that supports learning) as well as co-crafting an inclusive policy around the use of technology in the classroom. Encourage students to own their role in co-creating the classroom learning environment. Revisit the classroom agreements throughout the semester as issues arise.

  1. Design class sessions to maximize student engagement. Plan for active learning by creating shorter and more engaging lectures. Incorporate opportunities for discussion both inside and outside the classroom, creating more space for students to meaningfully engage with course content and each other (e.g., by using Ed Discussion or CourseWorks Discussions). Pause for students to reflect on their learning and build their metacognitive skills or to complete a poll (e.g., using Poll Everywhere) that can be used to launch discussion, check for student understanding or collect feedback.

  1. Involve students in their learning. Consider opportunities for students to collaborate with their peers whether engaging in collaborative in-class activitiesannotation activities, or peer review. Explore assessments that allow students to demonstrate their learning in creative ways while promoting academic integrity. Students can also benefit from opportunities to self-assess their learning whether through low-stakes quizzes (e.g., by using QuizCon: Multiple Choice Quizzing for Learning) or co-constructing a rubric and applying it to their work.

Spring 2023 offerings for faculty

Check out our Spring offerings including live sessions, on-demand resources, teaching observations, and consultation services. Find the offering that meets your needs! Not sure which offering is right for you? Reach out for assistance by contacting us at

The CTL is here to help! 

Office Hours 
Join us for office hours via Zoom (or phone) Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm to have your teaching with instructional technology questions answered. 

Schedule an in-person or virtual consultation to discuss any teaching, learning, and mentoring needs by emailing or email the CTL Learning Designer assigned to your school or department.