Effective Teaching

Teaching Methods

This section contains information about active learning, lecturing, leading class discussions, cooperative and group learning, using writing assignments, designing research assignments, using case studies, and team teaching.

Teaching Situations

This section addresses different contexts for teaching: the first day of class, large classes, motivating your students, teaching labs & studio classes, teaching first year students, teaching controversial topics, and working with TAs. It also contains a link to an award-winning interactive resource, "Solve A Teaching Problem."

Discipline-Specific Ideas

This section provides links to teaching advice -- resources and methodology -- aimed at specific disciplines. Check these out to get ideas from others in your field.

Pedagogical Theory:

The concrete suggestions in the other sections is backed up research and pedagogical theory.

These sources discuss the basic building blocks that underlie the practice recommendations.

Three Minute Teaching Tips:

SMU professors share some ways they engage students in critical thinking.

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In this podcast, Sheri Kunovich highlights how she uses visual sociology projects in her upper level courses by requiring students to go beyond quick observations of social life. 

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David Son shares an in-class activity called "Think, Pair, Share," that helps promote students’ active engagement and provides more opportunities for students to think and engage in the classroom. 


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Robert Krout shares an assignment from his Survey of Music Psychology course where he challenges students to transfer and apply terms and concepts being learned in class. 



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Lynn Stokes shares a "Warm Up" assignment from her Introduction to Statistics Course. In this assignment, students discuss statistical concepts without using numbers. This process helps Lynn assess their understanding of the applications discussed in class.

Using Technology to Enhance Teaching & Learning:

Technology provides numerous tools that teachers can use in and out of the classroom to enhance student learning.

Faculty members should consult SMU's office of Academic Technology Services, which provides many kinds of support, including hands-on training in using classroom technology. (Click here for classroom-specific information about the setup in many campus buildings). SMU's STAR (Student Technology Assistant in Residence) Program is also available to help with short-term instructional technology projects.

There are also numerous on-line resources about using technology to enhance teaching in a number of different ways. For example, Teaching with Technology 2, from the Learning Technology Consortium, offers 17 peer-reviewed essays on using different kinds of educational technology, and the book can be downloaded for free. MERLOT is a huge, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary resource for learning and online teaching. Here's a curated list, from About.me to Zotero, of free online tools that you can use in your teaching. Below are links to resources on using specific types of teaching and learning tools.