More Teaching Tips

Not all teaching issues or concerns fall neatly into specific categories. This section is for all of those teaching issues that do not fit neatly into any category in the faculty resources section. Teaching topics are added on a regular basis. If you have a suggestion for an addition to this section, feel free to email




Returning to the Classroom After an Election

This article from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan addresses the days after an election year and the emotions your students may have.


Guidelines for Discussing Difficult or Controversial Topics

This article from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan addresses strategies for discussing difficult or controversial topics in an effective way.


Learning Assistants for Large Classes

If you are leading a large class, you might benefit from the assistance of Learning Assistants. Learning Assistants are undergraduate students who have taken the course in a previous semester. They come back to help the instructor and assist with peer tutoring, peer learning, and answering questions in class.

Here is a short video discussing Learning Assistants in the classroom.

Promoting Student Success

Early assessment of student performance with a dedication to applying appropriate interventions can have a significant impact on the grades of a poor performing students. Here are some easy strategies you can do to promote student success in your class:

  1. Incorporate an early, low-stakes assessment.
  2. Emphasize the importance of attendance and use low-cost ways to monitor attendance.
  3. Incorporate "extra credit" assignments that are laid out in the syllabus.
  4. Emphasize the importance of attending class regularly.


Use of Video to Supplement Course Instruction

Several departments on campus have made use of short instructional videos to supplement their course instruction. The use of instructional videos allow students to revisit content as needed. Instructional videos may also be used as an outside of class activity so instructors can move through specific material more efficiently. Read more about the use and creation of videos on Vanderbilt's Center for Teaching article titled, Effective educational videos.

Below is a series of videos the Microbiology Department created, in cooperation with the Office of Teaching and Learning, to teach basic lab procedures.

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