Best Teaching Practices

Best Practices

The words "best practices" written on a chalkboard

 

“Best practices” connect relevant educational research to in-course application to help instructors do the following:

  • Inject rigour into the curriculum and its presentation
  • Develop students’ thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Motivate, engage, and prompt students to learn

While the entire “Resources” section of the site addresses “best practices” for university-level teaching, this section covers other important but more “miscellaneous” issues not found under the specific topics listed in the left column.

Teaching Higher Order Thinking

Decorative: "HOTS" = "H - Higher," "O - Order," "T - Thinking," "S - Skills"

 

"How to Increase Higher Order Thinking" (online article) offers 30+ strategies for instructors to use in cultivating higher-order thinking among their students. Though ostensibly aimed at a younger audience, the strategies can be effectively used in post-secondary classes with only minor changes:

Each of the following strategies is elaborated more fully in the article:

Students Writing Questions

Decorative: Four smileys, each with a symbol over its head -- first smiley has a question mark over its head; the second, three cogs; the third, a light bulb; the fourth, an exclamation mark.

 

1. "Getting Answer-Oriented Students to Focus on the Questions" (online article) offers several strategies to cultivate higher-order thinking in students -- moving them from "memorizing answers" to "thinking about the questions" -- by "having students write exam questions."

Caveat: Do this only if you are "willing to devote some time to developing test writing skills."