Help Students Learn
1. Learn your students’ first names. Research shows that it is important to students that faculty know their names; learning names is one strategy for increasing “teacher immediacy,” which can improve learning outcomes. You can find strategies for learning names on this Blog or in this Lecture.
2. Provide your students feedback through frequent, short, and easy to grade assessments. Research suggests that doing so can increase performance and attendance. Providing these opportunities early in the term conveys your expectations for the course, and helps identify who may need additional resources. An early assignment or quiz can also be used for confirming academic engagement for Financial Aid reporting purposes.
3. Provide encouragement to students. A short, encouraging email can make a great difference. Canvas allows you to send messages to students based on performance on specific assignments or exams, allowing you to convey congratulations or let students know help is available.
4. Use Mid-Term Grades. All students should receive midterm grades. These are most meaningful if you explain to students what “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” means in the context of your course.
5. Use Early Academic Alerts. When you see a student struggling, Early Academic Alerts can be used to initiate contact from the student’s advisor, and to connect the student with support services.
6. Be clear, specific and transparent.
Research shows that transparency increases students’ learning, especially for students who have been historically under-served by higher education. Be as specific as possible regarding your expectations, assignments, dates, and grading mechanisms to help students understand how they can succeed.
7. Use Canvas. Students benefit from having the information about their courses on single platform. At UNF, Canvas is that platform. The Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT) is eager to help you learn about Canvas.
8. Reach out if a student is not doing well or stops attending.
Students want faculty to care about their learning. If a student is not attending or is not doing well in class, help by identifying and referring struggling students to campus resources like Supplemental Instruction, Student Academic Success Center (SASS), the Writing Center, and the Library.
9. Keep an eye on your textbook costs.
Pricey textbooks can be barriers to students’ learning and success. Indicate to the bookstore textbooks that are truly required, not simply recommended. Use e-copies where available. Identify and use online sources of material where possible and appropriate. Work with the Library to place copies of the required text(s) for your course on reserve.
10. Help students get connected on campus.
Research shows that students’ academic performance and involvement on campus go hand in hand. Guide students in identifying opportunities outside the classroom where they can get involved in internships, research opportunities, study abroad, study groups, and guest speakers. Encourage students to get involved in clubs and organizations, and attend campus events.