West Texas A&M University

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Teaching Excellence Center: Teaching Toolkit

Teaching Toolkit 

This page contains links and other resources for a variety of materials and teaching strategies that might be helpful as you look for ways to support your classroom teaching. New links and other materials will be added so check back often.

Internet Resources on Teaching Strategies

Active Learning

Syllabus Template This link will take you to a template to create a syllabus that incorporates all state and university requirements and guidelines.

Professional Development Module on Active Learning (Texas Collaborative)
Includes information defining active learning, research on active learning, roadblocks to active learning in the university classroom and strategies for instructors in higher education.

Active Learning for the College Classroom
Includes background about active learning and 29 strategies to incorporate active learning in the university classroom.

Resources for Interactive Lecturing 
Information on making lectures more interactive. Includes definitions, reasons to make lectures interactive and examples.

Cooperative Learning in Technical Courses (ERIC) 
Contains background information about using cooperative learning in chemical engineering and other technical fields. Also includes several examples to help implement the strategy.

The Idea Center
The Idea Center Is a nonprofit organization helping to support individual and institutional improvement and achievement. The IDEA papers posted here share research and ideas on improving teaching in various ways such as developing critical thinking, enhancing student achievement through cooperative learning, tips for getting students to read material and many more.


Rubistar  Rubistar offers a wide array of ready-to-use rubrics designed for different disciplines and assignments.  In addition, the site facilitates instructors' creation of rubrics unique to their classes and teaching styles. 


Reaching the "Unreachable" Student

Hello, Are you There? This article discusses different ways to engage the student who does not seem to want to participate in your class.

Students Who Challenge Us: Eight Things Skilled Teachers Think, Say and Do Though written by a high school teacher, this Educational Leadership article has eight things that we can all add to our classrooms.


Large Classes/Making Lectures More Interactive

Tips for Using Questions in Large Classes
The title explains it all.  This document includes many tips and strategies for making questioning more effective in large classes.

The "Change-Up" in Lectures
Information on how to make lectures more interactive. Includes many examples of strategies that can be used in any class.

Large Classes: A Teaching Guide 
This guide covers topics such as preparation for teaching large classes, ground rules, making lectures more interactive and many more topics.

Delivering Effective Lectures
Information on planning, presenting and evaluating the effectiveness of your lectures.

Eight Steps to Active Lecturing
Outline of eight steps to make lecturing more active.

Giving Effective Lectures
Information and other links to help make lectures more effective.

Best Practices for Teaching Large Classes   Information and tips on teaching large classes including using simulations and demonstrations.

Interactive Small Group Activity in a large class
This is a video clip of a small group discussion activity in a large biology class.

Virtual Classroom Visits
A set of classroom video clips from the University of Iowa on a variety of topics including: Modeling effective teaching techniques, group quizzes, first day tips for large classes, and mid-term formative evaluations.


Strategies for Instructional Technology

Instructional Strategies for Online Courses
A summary of ways to design an interactive online course from the Illinois Online Network

Research on Best Practices
From San Juan College.  Includes summaries of research on what works best in online teaching.

Virtual Resource Site for Teaching with Technology
A summary of how to select media to accomplish goals in the online environment as well as a teaching strategies promoting interaction in the online environment.

Merlot A collection of peer reviewed teaching strategies, learning materials and ideas for your online classes. Great source for online learning activities and assignments to make your online classes more engaging.

Teaching, Learning, and Technology
A page with teaching ideas, workshop ideas and evaluation ideas for teaching in higher education, including using technology.


Clicker Technology in the Classroom

Clickers at The Ohio State University 
Links to teaching ideas using clickers that includes ideas for adding them to your existing classes, designing questions for clickers and tips on using them in the classroom. These ideas are from The Ohio State University.

Student Response Systems
A page with many links for clicker technology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Links here include a faculty link with best practices, showcases of use from many different curricular areas, helpful links, articles and research and guides and manuals. Additionally, the main page includes a section for helping students use clickers more effectively.

YouTube Clicker Video
A short video about using clickers in the university classroom.

Technology helping things click in the classroom 
Information about how clickers are used at the University of Iowa. Includes information on how clickers have helped increase attendance in large lecture classes.


Books Available for Faculty Check Out 

We are beginning to acquire a library focused on faculty development issues. We have already selected some titles and will be adding more. These books may be checked out by any faculty member. You can come see them in OM 431 and check them out there. Alternatively, you can send an email to the TEC and ask for a book to be sent to your office mailbox on campus. The TEC email address is tec@wtamu.edu.

Here is a  list of the books we currently have available for check out arranged by topic. If you would like to check out one of these items, please email the TEC at tec@wtamu.edu.