Resources and Guides
Looking for on-demand resources, tips and strategies? The CTL is developing a repository of resources and courses on inclusive teaching practices, teaching with technology, and other teaching and learning topics. Browse the links below to find teaching and learning resources to support your needs and interests.
On this page:
Accessibility in Teaching and Learning
This resource provides instructors with an overview of accessibility in teaching and learning and general “getting started” strategies for making learning resources, tools, experiences, and opportunities accessible to all learners.
Designing an Inclusive Syllabus
This resource is intended to provide a starting point for instructors designing inclusive syllabi. Explore general strategies for inclusive syllabus design, dive deeper into specific syllabus elements, and reflect your current syllabus and re-imagine it with a focus on inclusivity.
Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia
The Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia offers five inclusive teaching principles derived from research and evidence-based practices. In addition, the guide contains practical, accessible, and usable strategies that instructors can use immediately.
Inclusive Teaching and Learning Online
With the rapid shift to online learning, instructors can draw on principles of inclusive teaching to help students feel a sense of belonging, ensure they can access course materials, and support them in achieving learning goals. The current context calls for empathy and resilience on the part of both students and instructors.
Pronouns in Our Community: A Guide From the Office of University Life
The Office of University Life has designed this resource to help students, faculty, and staff familiarize themselves with pronoun use by transgender and nonbinary students, faculty and staff at Columbia. Note: Students are able to register their pronouns on NameCoach in CourseWorks. For more information on Pronouns in Use, explore the Frequently Asked Questions: A Guide to Pronouns in Use for Faculty and Instructors page on the Office of University Life website.
Teaching in Times of Stress and Challenge
Emotions play a vital role in teaching and learning and it is especially important to be responsive to the vast range of emotions that may surface in the classroom during challenging times. This resource offers strategies for teaching during times of stress and highlights campus supports available to help you and your students navigate challenges.
Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom MOOC
In June 2019, the Columbia CTL launched the first ever MOOC (massive open online course) dedicated entirely to the topic of inclusive teaching in higher education. The MOOC, titled Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students in the College Classroom, provides practical, accessible, and usable strategies that instructors can implement in their classrooms to create and maintain a supportive learning environment for all students. The self-paced course is open to all.
Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Action: First Steps
Classrooms serve as microcosms of the larger society, and the resources offered here, while focused on pedagogical practices, support broader commitments to anti-racist actions in higher education. This resource centers on citing the experts in this field, synthesizing their work to encourage further research and, most importantly, amplifying the voices of those who have been doing this work for decades.
Assessing Equitably with All Learners in Mind
The assessment of student learning is an important aspect of any course. The diversity of learners and course contexts necessitates that we question whether our current assessment practices are serving us: do they meet the needs of all of our students? Do they align with our course learning objectives and promote learning for all students? Through a process of reflection on our assessment approaches, we can recognize and remove barriers to student success and work toward more equitable learning experiences for all students.
What is blended learning? What are the benefits to a blended learning approach? What are some strategies for getting started? This resource helps instructors answer these questions by describing the elements of an effective, learner-centered “blend” derived from research and evidence-based practices. In addition, it offers questions that instructors can reflect on before designing their course and additional references and resources. This resource is particularly useful to faculty applying for the Provost’s Hybrid Learning Course Redesign and Delivery grant program and similar requests for proposals.
Case Method is an active learning approach to teaching and learning in which students apply course content and grapple with real or imagined scenarios. Case Method teaching can help students develop more complex skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. This resource provides an overview of the what, why and how of teaching with cases. Instructors new to case method teaching are introduced to different approaches to teaching with cases, where to find cases, and can explore examples of successful Case Method Teaching at Columbia University.
Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs): Low-Stakes Strategies to Assess Active Learning
The CTL resource Getting Started with Active Learning offers a framework for active learning in which instructors have students encounter new information, engage with course content, and reflect on what they learned and their learning process. As with any learning activity implemented in a class session, checking what and how students learned from an active learning method is a critical next step to ensure that students have met the learning objectives you set for them. This resource introduces classroom assessment techniques (CATs) as a way to assess what students have learned from active learning methods.
Considerations for AI Tools in the Classroom
Given the rapid pace of technological innovation and development, higher education, like nearly all industries, is continuously called upon to consider creative approaches to teaching and learning. The following resource offers instructors a brief introduction to AI Tools, specifically ChatGPT, along with several strategies they might consider for navigating or engaging with these tools in their courses.
Contemplative Pedagogy is an approach to teaching and learning with the goal of encouraging deep learning through focused attention, reflection, and heightened awareness. Learners are encouraged to engage deeply with course material through contemplation and introspection. This resource provides strategies for helping instructors build in opportunities for students to develop deeper understandings of course material.
Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning
Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning is a podcast hosted by CTL executive director, Catherine Ross. In each episode, instructors, students, and leaders in higher education are invited to share their discoveries of “dead ideas” in teaching and learning—ideas that are not true but that are often widely believed and embedded in the pedagogical choices we make.
Designing Assignments for Learning
The rapid shift to remote teaching and learning meant that many instructors reimagined their assessment practices. This resource distills the elements of assignment design that are important to carry forward as we continue to seek better ways of assessing learning and build on our innovative assignment designs.
Designing for Inquiry-Based Learning In Undergraduate Science And Engineering Lab Courses
Looking to move away from having students work through cookbook-style labs to inquiry-based learning opportunities? This resource highlights inquiry-based lab designs from featured Columbia and Barnard faculty, and provides considerations for designing opportunities for student inquiry in undergraduate science and engineering lab courses.
Developing Poll Questions to Engage and Assess Student Thinking in Science and Engineering Courses
Are you looking to develop questions that go beyond recall for your Science and Engineering class sessions? Do you want to assess in real-time how well all your students are answering questions to inform your next instructional decision? In this guide, we share how you can develop and incorporate poll questions into your classroom that engage students in higher-order cognitive processes, such as applying concepts or evaluating hypotheses, to assess your students’ understanding.
Digital Literacy Competency Calculator
Find connections between digital literacy competencies and the teaching and learning practices that produce them.
Early and Mid-Semester Student Feedback
The CTL recommends capturing student feedback at various points within the semester, including mid-term. The goal is a dialogue about students’ learning, not an evaluation of the instructor’s teaching. This resource outlines two approaches for collecting feedback from your students.
Effective Feedback in Clinical Education
Feedback on clinical performance is necessary to guide a trainees’ actions in the clinical setting as they work towards achieving required competencies. This resource presents research-based strategies to help instructors provide effective feedback to trainees in clinical settings.
FAQ for Teaching Assistants
Browse our list of frequently asked questions, scenarios, and resources for graduate student instructors regarding classroom course management, accommodations, academic integrity, personal issues, logistics, teaching inspiration, and more.
Feedback for Learning
This resource offers strategies to make giving feedback easier and more effective. While there are specific technologies (discussed here) that can help facilitate feedback in an online or hybrid/HyFlex learning environment, the strategies presented here are applicable to any kind of course (e.g.: large lecture, seminar) and across any modality (e.g.: synchronous, asynchronous, fully online, hybrid, or in-person).
Five Tips for Engaged Lecturing
Designing a class session is about planning experiences that maximize student learning. The following five tips emphasize the importance of keeping the focus on the students’ experience and what they should be doing during a lecture.
Getting Started with Active Learning
Active learning strategies involve students not just in doing things, but also thinking about what they are doing. Intentionally incorporating active learning strategies can benefit student learning, and when done inclusively, can also narrow achievement gaps for traditionally underrepresented students. This resource introduces you to a holistic active learning framework as well as Columbia-supported instructional technologies that you can use to design both synchronous and asynchronous activities to engage your students in active learning.
Getting Started with Creative Assignments
Creative teaching and learning can be cultivated in any course context to increase student engagement and motivation, and promote thinking skills that are critical to problem solving and innovation. This resource features examples of Columbia faculty who teach creatively and have reimagined their course assessments to allow students to demonstrate their learning in creative ways. Drawing on these examples, this resource provides suggestions for creating a classroom environment that supports student engagement in creative activities and assignments.
Incorporating Rubrics Into Your Feedback and Grading Practices
This resource provides an overview of the benefits of rubrics, includes strategies to help integrate them into teaching practice, and introduces a few Columbia tools to support rubric design and use.
Learning Through Discussion
Discussions can be meaningful and engaging learning experiences: dynamic, eye-opening, and generative. However, like any class activity, they require planning and preparation. Without that, discussion challenges can arise in the form of unequal participation, unclear learning outcomes, or low engagement. This resource presents key considerations in class discussions and offers strategies for how instructors can prepare and engage in effective classroom discussions.
Leveraging Annotation Activities and Tools to Promote Collaborative Learning
Collaborative annotation activities support learning by encouraging students to learn with and from their peers. Research has shown that a collaborative learning environment can help strengthen student confidence, as well as foster their critical thinking skills and active engagement in learning. The following resource offers an overview of some of the benefits of collaborative annotation, as well as specific tools and sample activities to help facilitate this collaboration.
Metacognitive thinking skills are important for instructors and students alike. This resource provides instructors with an overview of the what and why of metacognition and general “getting started” strategies for teaching for and with metacognition.
Navigating Heated, Offensive, and Tense (HOT) Moments in the Classroom
Regardless of course topic or content, challenging conversations, moments of rupture or disruption, and heated encounters may occur in the classroom. Though they are complicated and can be difficult to respond to, there are steps instructors can take to anticipate and navigate HOT—heated, offensive, or tense—moments before, during, and after they occur. This resource provides strategies that can be implemented in any course context.
Peer Review: Intentional Design for Any Course Context
This resource offers a number of considerations for instructors developing peer review activities in their classes. While there are specific platforms that can help facilitate peer review in online or hybrid classes, considerations remain the same across different class formats (e.g.: in-person, hybrid (HyFlex), online).
Getting Started with Project-Based Learning
Project-based learning (PBL) actively involves students in their learning and prepares them for the world beyond the classroom. This resource offers an introductory overview of PBL, including the key features and questions for reflection as instructors develop their project-based teaching practices.
Promoting Academic Integrity
While it is each student’s responsibility to understand and abide by university standards towards individual work and academic integrity, instructors can help students understand their responsibilities through frank classroom conversations that go beyond policy language to shared values. By creating a learning environment that stimulates engagement and designing assessments that are authentic, instructors can minimize the incidence of academic dishonesty.
Resources for Assessing Student Learning
How well are students learning what you want them to learn in your course? How do you provide effective feedback to further their learning and growth? This page outlines relevant CTL resources and programming (text-based resources, podcast, videos, workshops, self-paced online courses, etc.) for designing and implementing assessment in your course.
Teaching Large Courses Effectively and Efficiently
How do you maximize student learning, uphold academic integrity, and manage grading loads in a large course? The four strategies in this resource address these questions and highlight the importance of purposeful course design in which instructors can effectively support student learning. Instructors can also capitalize on the affordances of instructional technologies and partner with TAs to efficiently manage the course. The strategies below can be adapted to any course modality.
Teaching with DIY Video
Learn best practices for producing videos that can help you create more active and engaging classroom experiences.
Assessment and Grading in CourseWorks (Canvas)
An advanced take on the Introduction to CourseWorks (Canvas) online course, this self-paced training provides instructors with an in-depth understanding of the assessment and grading features in CourseWorks (Canvas). Participants learn about setting up assignments within CourseWorks using various tools, and navigate the different grading features available within CourseWorks to grade assignments, quizzes, and discussions. The course itself models the ways in which Canvas can be used for different course activities.
Blended / Hybrid Learning Essentials
This self-paced course provides an overview of blended learning and guides instructors through the design process for a lesson or unit of study. The course features videos of Columbia University faculty and former recipients of the Provost’s Hybrid Learning Course Redesign and Delivery grants, who share their blended teaching and learning experiences. Instructors are encouraged to use the course packet which includes worksheets and checklists to draft and document their blended learning design and implementation plans.
Introduction to CourseWorks (Canvas)
This self-paced online course helps faculty, graduate students, staff, and other members of the Columbia teaching community learn about the various features offered by CourseWorks (Canvas). The course guides instructors through the steps of setting up their course site and highlights various features that enrich the learning experience for students. A flexible alternative to CTL’s in-person workshop sessions, the course provides tips and examples that highlight the use of CourseWorks tools as applicable to various teaching and learning contexts.
Office of the Provost Faculty Orientation
The Center for Teaching and Learning and Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement are pleased to invite Columbia faculty to enroll in the online Office of the Provost Faculty Orientation to welcome and acclimate you to the new academic year.
The CTL researches and experiments.
The Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning provides an array of resources and tools for instructional activities.