Free Informative Teaching Resources

Writing a CV for Teaching Opportunities in Higher Ed

"A curriculum vitae or CV refers to a document that describes an academic's educational background and professional experience. A CV is similar to a resume, with the important difference that the CV is typically comprehensive and a resume is selective" (Creating and Maintaining Your CV). The purpose of a CV is to provide a holistic overview of your educational background, professional experience, .... read more

Game-Based Learning to Improve Non-traditional Student Learning Outcomes

For many years, educators have been using games in the classroom to create interactive experiences that motivate and actively engage students in the learning process. Game-based learning is an effective way for students to interact and engage with a course curriculum.With the recent growth of edtech, game-based learning has evolved into highly adaptive learning tools that can simulate real world e.... read more

Colleges and Corporations: Collaborating to Close the Skills Gap

Although the commonalities between higher education and the corporate world may be far and few, there is one issue that is affecting both immensely - the skills gap. The skills gap refers to the expanding gap between the skills and knowledge of recent graduates entering the workforce and the skills and knowledge corporations believe their businesses need. Higher education has always played a .... read more

The Future of Hiring in Higher Ed

The concept of academic freedom is one of the hallmarks of American higher education. A substantial component of academic freedom rests in the understanding that academic leaders (deans, chairs, and directors) decide who will be hired as faculty and which courses they will teach. Deans, chairs and directors understand their accreditors' hiring requirements, their departments' or programs' faculty .... read more

Aspiring Academics: Breaking Into the World of Higher Education

Have you ever had the desire to teach at the collegiate level but weren't sure how to get started? You're not alone! Higher education can seem foreign and even somewhat intimidating to some. Many working professionals have a desire to help educate students by sharing their industry or field knowledge, their skills, and their expertise, but are unsure how to break into the world of higher ed. The f.... read more

Closing the Skills Gap: Are Adjuncts the Answer?

The skills gap is an issue that has been much debated in recent years. The skills gap refers to the discrepancy between the skill set needed to succeed in the professional world and the skill set with which students graduate. In the past, a bachelor's degree has served as a reliable indicator that a young adult is prepared to enter the workforce, however, surveys have indicated that although stude.... read more

Preparing Lessons to Achieve Course Objectives

The class plan and the lesson plan, while distinct, are not mutually exclusive; a well-structured class plan creates the structure for your lesson plans for the semester. The class plan should consist of: (1) a class description, (2) goals for the course, (3) assessable goals for each general goal, (4) learning activities for each class, (5) formative assessments measuring each goal, and (6) summa.... read more

Reducing Interview Anxiety

As the fall semester nears its end, it comes time to start thinking about the application process for the next term. Perhaps you are a new professor looking for a position at a new institution, or maybe you are changing colleges at the end of the semester. Regardless, the interview and application process tend to be one of the most stressful parts of acquiring a position. In a 2013 survey produced.... read more

Preparing for End-of-Term Assessments

Collecting feedback throughout the semester and gauging student engagement is important for facilitating better learning outcomes by the end of the semester. As the semester comes to a close, your students will have the option to take formal, end-of-term evaluations that are generated by the university. These final evaluations will reflect how well you created your learning assessments throughout .... read more

Preparing Students for Final Exams

Final exams can often be stressful for professors and students alike. Most students have multiple exams to prepare for and can become overwhelmed and frustrated with their studies. As a professor, there are a number of ways you can help alleviate stress and prepare your students for success. The following suggestions can help you to prepare your students to achieve student learning objectives, und.... read more

Interviewing with a Religiously Affiliated Institution

The US Department of Education has reported that nearly 1.5 million students enroll at one of the United State's 900 religiously affiliated institutions each year (2011). The majority of religiously affiliated institutions are liberal arts colleges with the exception of a few research institutions. The mission statements of these institutions often focus on teaching and learning objectives emphasi.... read more

Rethinking Procedure for Plagiarism Cases

At the end of October, an undergraduate student from Suffolk University was accused of plagiarism for the use of the word "hence." Scrawled next to the word in question was the sentence: "This is not your word." The student, Tiffany Martinez, would later confide: "I am hurting because my professor assumed that the only way I could produce content as good as this was to 'cut and paste.' I am hurtin.... read more

Mid-Semester Mindfulness for Professors: Tips for Avoiding Burnout

As many colleges approach the middle of their semesters, it is quite likely that you have come to face some level of burnout- the physical and mental exhaustion that comes from a snowballing of stress, overworking yourself, overexertion, and so on.In this state, you may find yourself eagerly glancing, bleary-eyed, at your academic calendars, wondering: "Now, just how many days are actually lef.... read more

Considerations for Your International Students

A report from the Institute of International Education indicated an impressive increase in the amount of international students studying in the U.S. From 2014 to 2015 there was a 10 percent increase and an overall increase of 975,000 international students. According to the Migration Policy Institute, "Although the U.S. share of the worldwide international student population has decreased in recen.... read more

Combining IQ with EQ: Professors as Models of Emotional Intelligence

Of all soft skills, emotional intelligence is perhaps the newest in the realm of study and has been largely disregarded in academia. Emotional intelligence is comprised of self-awareness, management of emotion, and self-motivation that requires the active ability to intrinsically monitor oneself in times of difficulty (Myers & Tucker, 2005). The overall perhaps due to the assumption that being.... read more

All Jokes Aside, Use Humor to Engage Your Students

In the context of the classroom, humor has been frequently disparaged, reduced to a "distraction" that detracts from the lessons at hand. However, as Bob Hope once said about the power of comedy: "I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful." Particularly for difficult courses, students need positivism and inspired hope that o.... read more

Shifting to a Hard Focus on Soft Skills

"There's not one specific thing or skill people have to have to work for us. But I can tell you why we fire people: soft skills. We hire for hard skills. We fire for soft skills. The ability to interact and communicate with others or behave ethically and take responsibility for things tends to be where people tend to break down." Rick Stephens, Senior Vice President of HR, The Boeing Corporation.T.... read more

Using Social Media Inside and Out of the Classroom

The proliferation of social media channels in just a few short decades has led to a new generation of tech-savvy students with an unprecedented functional level of computer skills coming into college. As a way to improve teaching methods, professors have begun trying to find ways to incorporate these social media outlets into their lesson plans; these new outlets serve as a streamlined tool toward.... read more

How to Effectively Teach Adult Students

With the recent influx of adult students, the "traditional" student body makeup has shifted; no longer are students the typical twenty-somethings, fresh out of high school, plucking away at a college degree. The "nontraditional student," or the adult student, has much more challenging needs and considerations, starting with their variety. "They may be 25-or 75. They may work full-time or part-time.... read more

Defining Your Pedagogy

The idea of selecting proper pedagogy as a professor has been stressed in academic institutions in recent years; studies have correlated higher student performance with classroom environments in which the professors are able to choose effective pedagogies based on their natural teaching styles, student ability, and teaching preferences.  What, then, is pedagogy? Typically, the term is unde.... read more

Maximizing Engagement in the Classroom

Momentum is often considered from the scientific perspective: An object in motion stays in motion. However, academic momentum is not as consistent. Instead, professors often find that student engagement has the tendency to wane near the end of the semester. This can be frustrating for both professors and students, which oftentimes leads to emotional burnout for both parties. Maintaining a consiste.... read more

Understanding the Importance of a Professor

The extensive role professors play in the lives of college students today diverges far from the realm of the pure academia and post-secondary education. More than ever, professors offer students a moral playground on which to build personal philosophies of life, while simultaneously honing professional skills for future success outside the classroom.  Professors facilitate important questi.... read more

Incorporating Career Center Resources Into Your Syllabus

Many higher education institutions offer students professional development tools through their career center. A career center may provide resources such as resume review, networking opportunities, mock interviews, career fairs, or internship or full-time employment listings. Many students are unaware or do not take advantage of the resources career centers provide. Professors can help remedy this .... read more

Finding Your Teaching Style

If you are new to teaching you may wonder what your teaching style will be. Each professor develops their own method of communicating and engaging with their students. Teaching styles are comprised of a number of characteristics such as educational philosophy, management strategy, school mission statement, the course being taught, and students' learning style. Being aware of your teaching style ca.... read more

Rubrics: A Tool to Assess Students' Work

As an adjunct professor you may be confused about how to assess your students' work. You want a process that ensures fairness, objectivity, and clarity and results in students' learning from the assignment and your assessment. One tool that you may want to use to achieve these goals is a rubric.What are rubrics? Rubrics are tools used for grading that are frequently used to grade presentations, pa.... read more

Engaging Today's Students

Today's students are incredibly diverse in terms of race, socioeconomic status, and age. About 40% of all college students are above the age of 25, according the U.S. Department of Education. Over a third of students attend classes part-time, and almost 20% work a full-time job. The numbers of enrollees at community colleges and for-profit colleges has risen to almost 40% of students. Business adm.... read more

Non-cognitive Skills: What They Are & How to Teach Them

Non-cognitive skills refer to a set of skills that fall outside of traditional definitions of intelligence but still allow individuals to contribute meaningfully to society and to achieve success (e.g. critical thinking skills, social skills, persistence, creativity). Non-cognitive skills are critical because studies show that non-cognitive skills in students are significant predictors of positive.... read more

Mentoring Students

With the advent of online classes and the proliferation of the Internet the responsibilities of professors, like most other professions, has shifted. Read on for the answers to your frequently asked questions about how expectations regarding a professor's role are evolving.What is a mentor?A mentor is defined as a professor who cares about a student as a person, who makes them excited about learni.... read more

Aptitudes, Talents and Skills: Same Difference?

Professors are often instructed to help students develop their aptitudes, talents, and skills, but the distinctions between these capabilities are critical; not all are able to be taught or learned. Read on for an explanation of the distinction between aptitudes, talents, and skills. Aptitude is the innate or acquired capacity for something. Aptitudes can range from developed knowledge, learned o.... read more

Adjunct Teaching: Sharing your Skills, Knowledge, and Expertise or the New, New Sharing Economy

It seems that every successful new start up I read about lately has something to do with the new "sharing economy":    Uber, Airbnb and Simplist (formerly Snapgoods) are just a few examples. These companies, also called peer-to-peer companies, provide digital platforms that borrow or rent "underused assets;" things like cars, homes and gadgets.  The sharing economy has made.... read more

The Birth of the Sharing Economy

From Listia, this infographic provides more information about the New Sharing Economy. .... read more

Ten Questions to Ask when interviewing for an Adjunct Teaching position

How many students will I have in my class? Will all the students likely be academically prepared for the course? What are the academic-help resources that the institution provides? Will I be evaluated by my students? by faculty or administration and will I have access to these evaluations? Will I be provided office space, professional development opportuni.... read more

Tenure-Track or Not? Academic Hierarchies at Universities

Tenure is the right of a professor not to be subjected to summary dismissal without just cause; this right is typically awarded contractually after a probationary period. Some positions in academic institutions are considered "tenure-track," which means that the holder of the position is guaranteed eventual consideration for tenure. Non-tenure-track positions will generally not be considered f.... read more

Adjunct Teaching: The Ideal Encore Career

Recently, many retired people have turned to adjunct professorships as an encore career. For individuals looking to help their community, experience professional growth, and deepen their understanding of certain issues, adjunct teaching may be a good fit. Adjunct teaching is an ideal encore career because it provides great teaching opportunities, encourages professional development, and gives .... read more

Turning Education on its Head: The Positives and Pitfalls of the Flipped Classroom

A recent trend in college classrooms is what administrators call "the flipped classroom," which refers to class structures that provide prerecorded lecture materials for students to watch on their own time and in-class exercises to check students' understanding of the material. As flipped classrooms have become more and more popular in colleges, it's important to keep in mind that .... read more

How to Find your Perfect Adjunct Job

If you are an experienced adjunct professor or you are an expert who has knowledge and skills you would like to share with students, how do you get connected with the colleges and universities who need you to teach?   In my experience, most of us check job boards, classified ads or school websites or try to find a personal or professional contact at an institution.  Sometimes thes.... read more

Freelance Academics: Tax Treatment of Adjunct Professors

Are adjunct professors independent contractors (1099 workers) or W2 employees?   Adjuncts are typically contracted to teach on a course-by-course basis but are considered W2 employees for tax purposes.        The difference between 1099 and W2 status is that 1099 workers are employed as independent contractors or freelancers, while W2 workers are employ.... read more

Honesty Is the Best Policy: Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

Recent reports indicate that academic dishonesty is on the rise at American colleges and universities. While cheating has been around since the dawn of our education system, modern-day technology can facilitate plagiarism, cheating, and general academic dishonesty, and some say that current student culture promotes such behaviors. So what is academic dishonesty? Academic dishonesty include .... read more

Adjunct Professors: The Best Option?

Adjunct professors may be better for some students' academic growth than tenured professors, reports a recent study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University. The study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that adjunct professors may cause higher academic growth in some students than do tenure-track professors. The growth in academic performance was most n.... read more

Teaching Online Courses: Tips and Tricks

If you've been assigned to teach an online course, you may have some trepidation about teaching in a nontraditional environment. Follow these tips and tricks to improve your instructional practices, connect with students, and promote maximum learning. How to engage students: there are three primary strategies to engage students in an online course. First, responding quickly to messages from.... read more

Post-Course Evaluations

For many adjuncts, student course evaluations may often determine their employment status or payment. As Chronicle Vitae notes, many adjunct professors report being fired for poor performance on student evaluations, and for many others, student evaluations might impact their pay. Student course evaluations often follow the end of a course and entail students rating the professor and course on .... read more

Tips and Tricks for Classroom Management

For many professors, managing the time in the classroom can pose a daunting challenge. Overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of material to cover, classes become jam-packed of material, exercises, and lectures, often without intentionality or consideration of pacing. Here are four tips to lesson development and classroom management that can help you keep classes engaging and manageable. Attaina.... read more

Dealing with Disruption

While most students that adjunct professors encounter will be nothing but pleasant to teach, sometimes professors may receive a student who consistently disrupts the classroom. These students may ask questions incessantly, speak out of turn, veer the class off-topic, or monopolize discussions. Sometimes, these students may harass or annoy other students, disrupting their learning environment.... read more

How to Administer an Exam

While the bulk of students' success on examinations will come in your preparation before test day, creating a good setting for examinations can help students achieve better scores. As a professor, you should arrive early and have the test materials ready for distribution when the class arrives. If you have time, check the lighting and temperature of the room to ensure a comfortable setting. .... read more

Show-Offs and Shyness: Facilitating Good Classroom Discussions

Often in humanities or social sciences courses, professors use classroom discussions to give students a way to engage with the material in a constructive manner conducive to learning. Classroom discussions can allow students to think critically about theories or facts they are learning and share their thoughts about the subject matter; however, good classroom discussions don't just happen - th.... read more

Adaptive Learning Products: What's New?

In recent years, adaptive learning products have become increasingly important for college instructors. Adaptive Learning Products are educational products that involve computers with software that adapts content and assessments to the knowledge level of the student to create a more individualized learning experience. Education Growth Advisors, a strategic consultant and advisory firm servi.... read more

The A's and Z's of Higher Education

New to higher education? Read this helpful guide to learn some jargon of the higher education world! Academic adviser: a member of the college's faculty who assists and advises students on academic topics. Academic dishonesty: the use of unauthorized assistance with the intent of deceiving a professor or evaluator, including but not limited to plagiarism, fabrication, cheating, an.... read more

Large Lectures - Helpful Tips and Tricks

Learning that they will be teaching a 100+ person lecture is often a frightening moment for many first-time professors. Large lectures have unique benefits and detriments, and effective andragogy is critical to ensuring student learning in lecture-sized courses. Overall, professors should try to ensure active participation of students, which can help them retain and understand the material bet.... read more

New Beginnings: First Day of Class Activities

The first day of class is one of the most critical days in the semester, as it sets the tone and expectations for the course. Some professors will jam the first day of class full of information, leaving students feeling overwhelmed and fearful of the course, while other professors briefly review the syllabus and then dismiss their students half an hour early. However, neither of these approach.... read more

Prep for Success: The 6 Steps to Planning a Course

The most important part of a professor's job isn't done during the school year - it happens in the months and weeks before a course even begins! For many professors, developing a solid course plan is the key to a successful semester. This article will walk readers through the steps necessary to develop a course plan. A course plan consists of six items: (1) a class description, (2) general .... read more

Getting Off on the Right Foot: Syllabus Development

Even before the first day of class, professors have the ability to make a good impression on their students. How? Through the development of a well-designed, effective syllabus. The syllabus should contain a few items, including an outline of the subjects and topics that will be covered, and overall it should give students a feel for the course. This article will walk readers through the neces.... read more

Classroom Policies and Procedures

When developing a course or syllabus, professors often encounter a few questions they need to answer that may influence the classroom environment. These classroom policies and procedures are critical to identify before a course begins so that students can be assured of the expectations of them in the upcoming course. A major course policy that professors need to develop before the semester .... read more

Accessibility Outside of Class

Today, professors are expected not only to give students their time and attention inside the classroom, but they are also expected to spend longer hours outside of class catering to students' needs and giving individual feedback. However, methods of engaging students outside the classroom come with positives and pitfalls, so follow these tips to make sure students get the attention they need w.... read more

Active Learning: Maximizing Learning Outcomes

Professors, whether they be adjunct or tenured, know that student learning is paramount to a productive academic experience. In recent years, active learning techniques have become increasingly popular, as more and more classrooms are using student-driven learning methods to instruct students. According to the book Success Strategies for Adjunct Faculty, active learning can be defined as "a.... read more

Professors as a Model for Professionalism

While the hard skills students learn in college are undoubtedly important, soft skills such as professionalism are an equally important aspect of the collegiate experience. In order to prepare for their futures in the workforce, students must learn how to conduct themselves in a professional manner, however; a recent survey revealed that many professors feel that their students do not exhibit.... read more

Essay-Based Assignments: Do's and Don't's

For many professors within the humanities, essays or research papers will be a necessary component of assessment. Out-of-class writing assignments can provide students the chance to carefully examine a topic and produce writing on it in a fashion similar to that of academic research. The first step to measuring students on these characteristics is developing an effective essay prompt.What is an es.... read more

Negotiating Your Contract: Do's and Don'ts

So you've gotten an offer from an institution to become an adjunct professor: now what? For many professors, the answer is negotiating your contract. Negotiating your contract is critical for ensuring you are compensated fairly, and many professors find great success in negotiating their contracts. Here are some do's and don't's for negotiating your adjunct teaching contract.DO:Pick a number at th.... read more

Teaching Teamwork: A Framework for Success

Professors and students alike often approach group projects with dread and apprehension. Problems of free riders, difficulty scheduling, and lack of clear expectations can hinder the progress students make when working in teams. Follow these four tips to help teach effective teamwork in the classroom, and make sure group projects go off without a hitch.Create Teams IntelligentlyWhen it comes time .... read more

Focus and Repetition in Learning

Aristotle once commented on the importance of repetition in education by noting, "It is frequent repetition that produces a natural tendency." Many professors strive to help their students acquire new skills, and repetition can be a highly effective way to do so - for, as Aristotle mentions, it is how tasks and knowledge can become second - nature for students. Read on to learn the best practices .... read more

Tips for Creating Effective Exams

One of the biggest tasks of an adjunct professor is creating effective examinations to administer in courses. Examinations should follow the rules of reliability, validity, and fairness (for more on these qualities of effective assessments, check out our blog post here). In the jargon of assessment experts, what we frequently refer to as "questions" are called "items" to avoid confusion, as not al.... read more

What Makes a Good Assessment?

Assessments refer to a "wide variety of methods that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document the academic readiness, learning progress, and skill acquisition of students." Simply put, assessments are how instructors and teachers evaluate whether or not students have learned the taught material. Assessments can range from pop quizzes to final exams to midterm papers and project-base.... read more

Alternative Assessments

In recent years, there has been ballooning interest in developing more authentic and effective ways to measure student learning. Advocates of these alternative assessments, sometimes referred to as "authentic" or "genuine" assessment, argue that their approach focuses more on student learning rather than teaching techniques. Some common types of alternative assessments include performance-b.... read more

Writing the Right Rubric: Tips and Tricks

As an adjunct professor you may be confused about how to assess your students' work.  You want a process that ensures fairness, objectivity, and clarity and results in students' learning from the assignment and your assessment.  One tool that you may want to use to achieve these goals is a rubric. What are rubrics? Rubrics are tools used for grading that are frequently used to grade .... read more