CrossCurrents Library

CrossCurrents is an electronic publication that offers articles on a wide range of topics related to teaching and learning in higher education. Through engaging content that encourages exploration and reflection on best practices, innovative pedagogies, and emerging trends in higher education, we try to help college teachers successfully navigate the challenges they face in today’s complex classroom.

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Making Online Courses Fun: Engaging Students with Enjoyable Learning Experiences

Making online courses enjoyable can have great benefits. A fun learning experience not only enhances student engagement but also fosters a genuine passion for seeking and gaining knowledge. By infusing fun into online courses, instructors can inspire a more joyful and interactive approach to learning. The Fundamentals of Making Online Courses Fun Several educational concepts can be applied to make

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Providing a Path for Lifelong Success: Helping Students Learn How to Learn

As college faculty, we have become quite adept at learning. Most students, however, are still acquiring those skills. They struggle with how to learn efficiently and effectively, often lacking even awareness that strategies exist that might assist them. We can help students become better able to direct and manage their learning by showing them how to use “learning strategies.”

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ChatGPT in College Education: Promises, Limitations, and Ethical Considerations

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) language model developed by OpenAI. In practice, when a user inputs a prompt, ChatGPT searches an extensive dataset gathered prior to 2021 to identify patterns in the data. Its capacity to search relevant content and generate human-like responses from the data makes it a significant advancement in natural language processing and a valuable tool

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You’ve Got This! Helping Students Expect to Succeed

As Henry Ford once observed, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” His perceptive remark neatly summarizes an important principle that applies to teaching. The best way to lead students to expect success is to structure the course so that they can succeed, and then demonstrate throughout the course that they will succeed if they work hard and persist even when the going gets tough.

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Skip the Slides – 5 Alternatives that Can Create More Engaging Presentations

Whether created with PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or another program, slide decks appear to be the current default format for any type of oral presentation. The disadvantage of automatically adopting this standard approach, however, is that many people have grown tired of slide presentations, especially poorly executed ones. Slide Replacements can provide greater flexibility when creating your own form.

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Grading Group Work: Tips and Strategies

One of the most difficult challenges faculty face in a collaborative classroom is how to grade students. The fundamental issue is that individual and group accountability seem to be at odds with each other. Tradition holds that a student’s individual course grade should reflect an accurate evaluation of that student’s work and should not be influenced by the performance of

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Using Rubrics to Provide Students with Quality Feedback

Imagine attempting to learn archery while blindfolded. You take aim and shoot, but without visual feedback, you wouldn’t know how close your shot came to hitting the bullseye. Indeed, you would likely have only a vague idea of whether you hit the target at all. Feedback is critical in developing new knowledge and skills. Students today have multiple ways to

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Making Group Work Work: Strategies for Forming Effective Groups

Group work has many benefits to students and student learning, but it also has its challenges. Most common problems can be avoided if you put in the effort and take the time to plan carefully. One of the early steps to take into consideration as you prepare is how to form groups. There are many decisions to make, and the

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Wait for It! Improving Student Responses by Increasing Wait Time

Research demonstrates that in a typical college classroom, most teachers pose a question and then wait less than one second for students to respond. As you might imagine, there are significant challenges with this practice. Allowing students such a short processing time almost guarantees you will not receive carefully thought out responses. It also promotes a classroom dynamic in which

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Using Interleaves, Bookends, and Overlays to Create a More Effective Presentation

Teachers and students alike know that lectures can be boring. The following quip, widely attributed to Albert Camus, elegantly captures this sentiment; “Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep.” Yet we – and students – have also experienced situations in which we sat mesmerized as we listened to an exceptionally captivating lecturer. While few of

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6 Icebreakers to Help Students Feel Comfortable in Your Class

According to surveys, two of the main concerns of most students on the first day of class are whether they will like the instructor and how well they will get along with their classmates (Provitera-McGlynn, 2001). The first days of the semester establish the tone for the next weeks. According to Cavanaugh (2016), “On the first few days of class

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Promoting Learning for the Most Students: Intro to the Principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

The best teachers want the highest possible number of students in their classes to learn from their instruction. Read on to learn how the principles Universal Design for Learning can assist in developing an inclusive class, and removing learning hurdles that students may encounter.