Instructor’s ToolKit

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Technology is effective when there are strong teaching practices in place.  This page is based on Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (1987):

1. Encourages contact between students and faculty

“Frequent student-faculty contact in and out of classes is the most important factor in
student motivation and involvement. Faculty concern helps students get through rough
times and keep on working” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).
Remind101 – Text students an encouraging word, reminders for assignments/tests, verses/quotes.  Schedule these in advance and the app will work for you!
Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 12.39.18 PM
Connect with Twitter.  Visit this link for educational uses.
Lead discussions in and out of class. Create discussion forums on Moodle and respond along with the students. Hold a virtual meeting via Hangout.

2. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students.

“Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

Google Docs is a great way for students to work together.  Students may collaborate in real-time, or asynchronously.

Project Based Learning is an effective way to get students to work together to solve real-world issues. Visit some of these sites for more information:


PBL-OnlineScreen Shot 2013-11-14 at 2.03.09 PM

Have students work together to create a Glogster or Prezi, and then present the information to the class.

3. Encourages active learning.

“Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing prepackaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).

Give Nearpod a try!  While you are presenting information in class, students follow along on their device. Then, interact with the students with interactive polls, questions, direct them to web pages, and pull them back in. I think Nearpod is amazing!


Get students up and moving in the classroom. Have pair share time where students discuss a topic with a neighbor for 2 minutes, then give a brief summary of what they learned.  Or, try having students get up, turn music on and when it stops, discuss a topic with the person next to them. It may seem a bit juvenile, but students may enjoy a change!

4. Gives prompt feedback.

“Knowing what you know and don’t know focuses learning. Students need appropriate
feedback on performance to benefit from courses. When getting started, students need
help in assessing existing knowledge and competence. In classes, students need frequent
opportunities to perform and receive suggestions for improvement. At various points
during college, and at the end, students need chances to reflect on what they have learned,
what they still need to know, and how to assess themselves” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).
This infographic that I created about formative assessment has become very popular:
formative assessment
As listed in this infographic, there are many ways to find out what students are understanding. Use this information to help drive instruction. Give students a 3×5 card and ask a question for an exit ticket. Try one of these tools:
Google Form
Not only is formative essential, but the way instructor’s give final assessment is also vital. It does not always have to be in the form of a test. Try giving a final project, product, wiki, picture, or blog. Inform students how they will be assessed. Create a rubric, and let them see the rubric in advance. Here are some great rubric creators:

5. Emphasizes time on task.

“Time plus energy equals learning. There is no substitute for time on task. Learning to use
one’s time well is critical for students and professionals alike. Students need help in
learning effective time management. Allocating realistic amounts of time means effective
learning for students and effective teaching for faculty” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).
Want to improve time in class? Try flipping your instruction. If you need more class time for hands-on work, collaboration, group work, or discussions, you may want to give it a try. Read my article HERE why I am flipping my classroom.

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

7 Things you should know – article

Or, take a free course from and receive your Flipped Classroom Certification. (Hey – you even get an awesome free t-shirt!)

6. Communicates high expectations.

“Expect more and you will get more. High expectations are important for everyone-for the
poorly prepared, for those unwilling to exert themselves, and for the bright and well
motivated. Expecting students to perform well becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when
teachers and institutions hold high expectations of themselves and make extra efforts” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987).
Expect the most from your students. If you set the expectation high, most will rise up to it.  Communicate what you expect from assignments and then stick to it.

7. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning.

“There are many roads to learning. People bring different talents and styles of learning to
college. Brilliant students in the seminar room may be all thumbs in the lab or art studio.
Students rich in hands-on experience may not do so well with theory. Students need the
opportunity to show their talents and learn in ways that work for them. Then they can be
pushed to learning in new ways that do not come so easily” (Chickering & Gamson, 1987)
It is the age of personalization. Yes, I realize it has been here in education for a while…but I believe we will see it even more than in the past. Read this article that shares the difference between personalized instruction, personalized learning, and differentiation in instruction.

(Under construction) … more to come


One thought on “Instructor’s ToolKit

  1. Pingback: iPad Mini Winner! | WJU EdTech

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