Engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus and moves them to more critical thinking. Instructors who adopt a student-centered approach to instruction increase opportunities for student engagement, which then helps everyone more successfully achieve the course’s learning objectives.
Teaching the first day of class
A successful first day can set you down the path toward a successful quarter. Rather than just a time to review your syllabus, the first day is an opportunity to get to know your students, set the tone for the course, and establish expectations.
Learn more about teaching the first day of class.
Helping students re-engage
The pandemic has atrophied many students’ engagement muscles. As a result, they may need a bit of “PT” – not physical therapy, but pedagogical therapy to rebuild those muscles.
Learn more about re-engaging students
Promoting engagement through active learning
Active learning is an instructional approach in which students actively participate in the learning process, as opposed to sitting quietly and listening. Common strategies include question-and-answer sessions, discussion, interactive lectures, quick writing assignments, and experiential learning.
Learn more about active learning
Leading dynamic discussions
While “good” discussions can be a powerful tool for encouraging student learning, successful discussions rarely happen spontaneously. Preparing ahead of time will help you delineate a clear focus for the discussion and set well-defined parameters.
Learn more about leading discussions
Responding to disruptions in the classroom
Passionate disagreement can become disrespectful. That’s when discussion sheds more heat than light, impairing the ability to make arguments based on fact or to listen past preconceptions.
Learn more about responding to disruptions
ChatGPT and other AI-based tools
The strategies on this page can help instructors think about how to communicate with students, set expectations, and develop assignments that increase students’ motivation to develop their own skills and ideas.
Learn more about ChatGPT and other AI-based tools.
Office hours give students the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and to explore points of confusion or interest that cannot be fully addressed in class. We provide basic guidelines for planning, scheduling and holding office hours in-person and online.
Learn more about holding office hours.
Particular types of engagement
While the above engagement strategies apply to all learning contexts, some types of engagement require particular strategies. These pages include engagement strategies for teaching problem-solving, leading quiz sections, and teaching in labs.
Learn more about particular types of engagement