90+ Strategies to Promote Student Well-being

Decorative: "Student Well-being"


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."
  • "Smil[e]."
  • "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."
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