5 Signs of a Bad PowerPoint Lecture

1. You “Repackage” What Students Read Last Night Are your slides just the “CliffsNotes” version of the readings? Do they read like an outline of a textbook chapter? Do they act as a record of what you presented? If so, you’re doing it wrong. Students won’t do the readings when they know you’re going to […]

5 Ways College Teachers Can Improve their Instruction (PODCAST INTERVIEW)

Jennifer Gonzalez, Editor-in-Chief of Cult of Pedagogy, interviewed me recently about my Amazon bestselling book, Teaching College. You can listen to the podcast. You can read the transcript. Or you can read the article summary. Whichever is most convenient. Click HERE.

Do Your Students KNOW or THINK They Know?

Usually the latter. That’s why I stop asking questions like, “Class, does that make sense?” It’s useless. Rarely do they respond with statements like, “Not really. Can you go over the theory of moral sentiments again?” A few students might say they “kinda” get it (which means they don’t). In a whole class setting, you’ll […]

What do you do when your student plagiarizes a minor assignment?

My heart skipped a beat. Could it be? The paper sounded …familiar. Just like the words a former student wrote. I remember, because they were so eloquently written, so descriptive, so specific.* What do you do? I knew what I should do. The university policy on academic integrity is clear: Talk to the student first. If […]

“Why Aren’t My Students Reading?”

I don’t know any professor who hasn’t complained about students not reading. Intrigued, I started to go through my syllabus readings for my child development course. Here’s what it looked like: Week 1: Read Jean Piaget handout Week 2: Read Erik Erikson handout Week 3: Read Lev Vygotsky handout Week 4: Read The Talking Cure […]

Your Goal the First Day of Class Should be This

I started my college class last week with a story: Researchers at the University of Maryland asked 200 of their professors, “What are your biggest concerns the first day of class?” One of the top responses was: “Will students like me?” Then the researchers asked the same question to students—“What are you most concerned about […]

The Dirty Secret in Higher Ed? We Never Learned to Teach

“Really? No wonder my classes were so boring!” That sums up the reactions I get when people hear this. While faculty salaries make up one-third of college budgets,  almost none of the money actually go into pedagogical training, professional development, or improving instruction. How much have you had? If you’re lucky, program heads or department […]

Want Students to Care? Then Sell Yourself

Sorry, but college students couldn’t care less about your course. It’s just one of many hoops they jump through to graduate and get a good job. While they care about doing well, more often than not your students feel powerless. They’re a captive audience. That’s why you must sell what you’re teaching. No, selling your […]

The #1 Reason Your Students Don’t Participate

You know that feeling when someone embarrasses you? Or when you get shut down? Student do. They know when professors respond sarcastically. Or trivialize their responses. It makes students feel dumb, embarrassed. They learn to stop participating, real fast. It’s not your fault they’re skeptical on the first day of class. Your job is to change that. […]