A. "Teaching Practices that Promote Student Well-being: A Tool for Educators" (pdf) identify strategies that instructors can use to better do the following:
- Foster relationships in the classroom
- Support student learning and motivation to learn
- Support students holistically
The pdf also colour codes the suggestions below, differentiating among the following:
- Practices that may be easier to implement."
- "Practices that may require some preparation by the instructor."
- "Practices that may require thoughtful preparation by the instructor."
B. Strategies to Foster a Sense of Connection and Belonging
1. Foster the Instructor-Student Relationship
- "Hav[e] short, informal conversations with students."
- "Encourag[e] students to attend office hours."
- "Introduc[e] yourself."
- "Encourag[e] students to address you by your first name."
- "Displa[y] your passion for the subject."
- "Shar[e] personal anecdotes."
- "Us[e] humour as appropriate."
- "Lear[n] and us[e] student[s'] names."
2. Foster Peer-to-Peer Relationships
- "Maintain the same work groups throughout the term."
- "Encourag[e] group work and in-class discussions (especially when it is not for marks)."
- "Buil[d] learning communities (i.e. using icebreakers)."
- "Offe[r] bonus marks for students to attend course-related community events."
- "Foste[r] a safe classroom environment."
- "Incorporat[e] a lab, discussion group, or tutorial."
- "Offe[r] field trips or other informal learning environments."
C. Strategies to Support Student Learning and Motivation to Learn
1. Help Students Find Value in the Subject Matter
- "Shar[e] your passion and enthusiasm for the subject."
- "Explai[n] why a topic is important."
- "Connec[t] course concepts to the 'real world.'"
- "Sho[w] students where to learn more about a topic."
- "Us[e] hands-on or applied learning."
- "Allo[w] students choice in their assignments."
- "Connec[t] students to community."
2. Help Students Find Value in the Learning Process
- "Hand-writ[e] class notes on the whiteboard."
- "Encourag[e] students to ask questions."
- "As[k] students questions."
- "Spea[k] in an engaging tone of voice."
- "Choos[e] interesting examples."
- "Incorporat[e] multi-media."
- "[Encourage] [i]n-class discussions."
- "[Ask] [c]licker questions."
- "[Provide] [i]n-class practice."
- "[Organize] [f]ield-trips and attending community events."
3. Structure the Course Effectively
- "Indicat[e] what is expected on an assignment."
- "Ensur[e] that all information is correct before posting."
- "Shar[e] the exam format."
- "Avoid or minimize the weight of group marks."
- "Share the grade distribution."
- "Se[t] all key course dates early."
- "Provid[e] a detailed course syllabus."
- "Shar[e] all course-related information in one place."
- "Indicat[e] what will be covered on the exam."
- "Desig[n] assessment questions that allow students to demonstrate learning/understanding."
- "Allow sufficient time to complete assessments."
- "Provid[e] practice problems (with solutions)."
- "[Use] [s]maller, more frequent assessments, so long as the total volume of work is not increased."
- "Provide timely & constructive feedback."
4. Deliver the Material Effectively
- "Provid[e] lecture outlines."
- "Us[e] simple language."
- "Us[e] clear examples."
- "Explain things from multiple perspectives."
- "Conve[y] the material in a clear, logical manner."
- "Provide learning objectives."
- "Reca[p] at the end of lecture[s]."
- "Mov[e] at a pace that is appropriate to the student[s]."
- "Us[e] active teaching methods."
5. Support Learning Outside the Classroom
- "Invit[e] students to attend office hours."
- "Connect students to resources."
- "B[e] accessible outside of class."
- "Sugges[t] effective study methods for the course."
- "Solici[t] feedback from your students."
- "Shar[e] your class notes online."
- "Incorporate how-to's into the course."
- "Provid[e] thorough notes."
- "Offe[r] review sessions."
D. Strategies to Support Student Holistically
1. Recognize that Students have Lives Outside Academia
- "Engag[e] in conversations not directly related to the course."
- "Remin[d] students that their marks do not determine their worth."
- "Se[t] office hours that accommodate students' schedules."
- "Ensur[e] that the workload is reasonable."
- "Reduc[e] the cost of course materials."
- "Clearly communicat[e] grading and assessment policies."
- "[Don't] requir[e] proof from students experiencing a crisis."
- "Offe[r] deadline extensions."
- "Incorporat[e] flexibility into the grading scheme."
- "Se[t] deadlines to encourage work-life balance."
2.Openly Discuss Well-Being-Related Topics
- "Le[t] students know about campus resources."
- "As[k] students how they are doing."
- "Discus[s] your own mental health and well-being."
- "Chec[k] in with students who appear to be struggling."
- "Addres[s] campus issue that affect multiple students."
- "Shar[e] general information about mental health and well-being with the students."
3. Create a Safe Classroom Environment
- "Trea[t] student input as valuable."
- "Tak[e] breaks as necessary during challenging discussions."
- "Respec[t] student autonomy."
- "As[k] for volunteers (vs. cold-calling)."
- "Acknowled[e] that university can be scary and intimidating to new students."
- "Establis[h] a relationship based on trust with the students."
- "Allo[w] students space to be wrong, and gently redirec[t] students as appropriate."
- "Ensur[e] that discussions allow space for different perspectives and opinions."
- "Us[e] inclusive language."
- "Address[s] safety and support early on in the term."
- "Allo[w] students to participate in multiple ways, if participation marks are deemed necessary."