Asynchronous discussions have long been a feature in online classes as a way to provide opportunities for students to interact with each other and build a community. Many instructors included asynchronous discussions in their remote instruction classes this past year to achieve this same goal. Even if you are teaching in-person this semester, asynchronous discussions can be a useful component to your class as they give opportunities for students to interact outside of scheduled class time and allow for students who are participating remotely to still engage with the class community.
Telling Berkeley’s story about teaching and learning, across campus and in the public sphere.
Teaching is at the heart of what we do—feeding our collective hunger for knowledge and knowledge sharing. Have an idea that you would like to share? See our guidelines and submission policy (for UC Berkeley community members).
September 20, 2021
August 6, 2021
Students, like many faculty and staff, are returning to campus after more than a year of remote teaching and learning. What are some of the challenges students are likely to face as they prepare for an in-person Fall semester? How can instructors support student learning in a way that is inclusive and responds to students’ new and ongoing needs? We share a summary of recent findings on students’ experiences with remote learning and offer instructional strategies designed to enhance student learning as we prepare for a different kind of “normal.”
March 15, 2021
Mid-semester check-ins are an opportunity to learn more about students’ learning and their experiences in the classroom. In October’s Spotlight on Teaching and Learning, CTL highlighted the benefits of implementing a mid-semester check-in and shared strategies for navigating student feedback productively. We’re taking a second look at mid-semester check-ins to share new strategies for implementing student feedback activities in remote classrooms.
February 12, 2021
At the end of the Fall semester, we shared a “Spotlight on Teaching and Learning” featuring strategies for reflective teaching. In this post, we also solicited reflections and insights from our UC Berkeley teaching community. Many wonderful ideas and considerations were submitted. In perusing the responses, we identified three themes that surfaced across multiple reflections.
December 15, 2020
Reflecting on our teaching experiences, from the effectiveness of assignments to the opportunities for student interaction, is key to refining our courses and overall teaching practice. Reflective teaching can also help us gain closure on what may have felt like an especially long and challenging semester.
October 15, 2020
There are a number of benefits to implementing a mid-semester check-in. In addition to the targeted feedback provided to instructors, some studies suggest that soliciting student input can influence how students view their roles as members of the learning community and can bolster positive perceptions of their learning and the learning environment (Hurney, et al, 2014; Hunt, 2003; McGowan & Osguthorpe, 2011).
August 17, 2020
As we prepare for fall, many of us are considering how best to welcome students to our remote classrooms, our disciplines, and our campus. A number of studies have demonstrated that activities like values affirmations and social belonging interventions can be small but powerful tools to support student learning and self-acceptance. These techniques, or variations upon them, have been applied by faculty here on the Berkeley campus and elsewhere.
July 28, 2020
Are you considering ways to promote student interaction and engagement in your fall courses? There are numerous evidence-based teaching strategies that support student learning and facilitate connections to course content and among peers. One strategy, the “Jigsaw," is a collaborative learning technique that was recently discussed by Berkeley faculty colleagues attending one of this month's Remote Teaching Circles.
January 14, 2020
October 25, 2019
March 22, 2019
“Are you an inclusive instructor?” Someone recently asked me that question and I hesitated before I replied “I think so” and in the back of my mind I was thinking “but how do I know if I’m being successful at being inclusive or not?”
December 20, 2018
This Fall we experienced what was labeled as “the new abnormal.” Whether we were in the midst of the fires, worrying about loved ones in harm’s way, or downwind breathing dangerous smoke, northern California was rocked and ironically it wasn’t “The Big One” that did it. The fire made me rethink how I’m defining an emergency or disaster for my family and how well we’re prepared. I already had earthquake supplies but I’ve now added an air purifier for the house and a box of N95 masks to our “stash.”
As the flurry of finals begins to slow, it’s useful to take a few minutes to reflect and prepare before closing the book on another successful semester. It can be tempting to quickly file away this semester’s course materials and not think about them until a few weeks before you teach the class again. At the same time, you can save yourself time and headache later by spending a few minutes now to think about what worked and what didn’t work so well in your courses this semester.
August 12, 2018
This fall, along with the usual excitement and apprehension that accompanies the start of a new academic year at Berkeley, nine faculty members and more than 700 students will help launch the first large general-assignment active learning classroom (ALC) on campus. Wheeler 212, which can accommodate 120 students, is a scaled-up version of the smaller ALCs that have been supporting teaching and learning on campus for the past several years.
April 30, 2018
It’s May and the first line of that old Frank Sinatra song “My Way” keeps running through my head: “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain…"
March 19, 2018
March 18, 2018
January 10, 2018
I’m not speaking of lying or delivering fake news, I’m talking about an actual story. Consider this: A story communicates something, by definition, and can entertain, amuse, delight, divert, provoke, offend, disturb, disappoint, but in all, a story can instruct. There’s a lot of background to storytelling—the what and how to use in lecture, but let’s first discuss the why.
I have it right now this very instant --- your Attention. You’ve given it for a few minutes but if this content doesn’t continue to earn it, your Attention will move on. It can’t help it. The Brain is a data-seeking missile constantly gathering key information about surroundings in order to assess what is vital to your survival. If it determines the information on this page isn’t relevant, your Attention will automatically shift to something seemingly more important (perhaps that text message on your phone).