Tips to Encourage Better Note-Taking in Your Class

“Is this going to be on the test?” 

Many of us have heard this question posed as students wonder aloud whether a new point or idea should be included among their notes. But how should it be answered?

3 Tips For Making the Most of Cross Academy Online Teaching Resources

It’s been said that the best tool is the one you actually have with you, but how useful that tool is really comes down to whether or not you know best how to use it. Bearing that in mind, this post is aimed at helping you best utilize the online teaching resources provided by the K. Patricia Cross Academy. Video …

Exploring Schema in Your Class: Techniques to Activate Prior Knowledge

No student enters the classroom as a blank slate. Each has prior knowledge, also known as background knowledge, which informs their approaches to and understanding of new material and new experiences. Prior knowledge is the accumulation of everything a student has learned, through both formal and informal means. We can help students better understand new material by activating their prior …

Encouraging Students to Read for Understanding

Reading is a fundamental skill that many of us take for granted, particularly in academia, yet it is essential to student success in and out of the classroom. However, as Thorndike wrote in 1917, reading can be as complex as solving a complex equation: Understanding a paragraph is like solving a problem in mathematics. It consists of selecting the right …

Encouraging Metacognition: Helping Students Learn How to Learn

College and university students are regularly asked to learn a great deal of content and many skills in their courses, but the learning processes involved are rarely considered or managed on their own. For example, students can find it incredibly difficult to recognize learning gaps or misunderstandings when learning a new concept or process. They don’t always plan out their …

Learning How to Learn

Students will be better prepared to succeed in today’s complex and quickly changing world if they understand how they learn and can manage their own learning. Metacognition is a higher-order thinking process that involves active control over mental processes. Researchers and instructors alike have recognized the need to intentionally weave metacognitive strategies into teaching and learning activities. Metacognitive activities guide …

Formative Assessment: Checking for Understanding

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~Albert Einstein Instructors have many important decisions to make about what to teach, how to teach it, when to review, when to move on, and so forth. We are better able to make important instructional decisions when we have good information about whether and how well students have learned to base these …

Getting Students to Care About Their Learning

“Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” ~Anonymous Most of us chose careers in academia because we care deeply about our disciplines or fields. It can be discouraging, therefore, to face students whose indifference to our courses is palpable. Yet caring is an essential element of their learning. As Fink suggests, “When students care …

Getting Students to Apply What They Have Learned in a New Context

“Knowledge without application is like a book that is never read” ~Christopher Crawford As college teachers, we want students to think deeply about course content and skills, yet sometimes it feels like students never progress beyond surface-level understanding. One of the best ways to help students get to deeper learning is to have them use what they have learned in …

Lesson Plans

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” ~Maya Angelou Many of us teaching in higher education don’t think about lesson planning. But creating a lesson plan can be important to a successful class and for student learning. Creating a lesson plan prompts instructors to identify learning objectives, organize course content, plan learning activities, and prepare learning materials. The process …