LAS Teaching Excellence Resources
Top Priorities Heading link
Build Build your Blackboard Site and Syllabus as Accessible Resources for ALL your Students.
Adopt Adopt Inclusive Teaching Strategies, a Growth Mindset, and Support Sense of Belonging.
Engage Establish a Communication Plan with Students that Promotes Connection and Academic Success.
Top Priorities Heading link
Levarage Leverage your research experience, resulting in research-informed and research-engaged teaching.
Design Design and Communicate Transparent Course Objectives, Learning Outcomes, and Assessments .
Focus Focus on present and future relevance. Reinforce how the literacies, competencies, and skills taught in your course are key to academic success, career preparedness, and their development as informed and engaged citizens.
Teaching and Learning Resources Heading link
Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence
Toolkits, assessment, grading, best practices, and valuable UIC resources to enhance your teaching.
- Syllabus Template for On-Campus and Hybrid
- Syllabus Template for Asynchronous
- Syllabus Template for Synchronous Online
Teaching Guides span a variety of topics applicable to on-campus, online, and hybrid teaching modalities. These on-demand resources provide an overview of evidence-based teaching practices and curricular strategies. The Teaching Guides are intended to introduce pedagogical topics and support educational technologies, providing guidance on how to implement various techniques in different disciplines, course sizes, and course modalities.
Rubrics: Rubrics are criterion-referenced grading tools that describe qualitative differences in student performance for evaluating and scoring assessments. Criterion-referenced grading refers to students being evaluated based on their performance against a set of criteria. Whereas norm-referenced grading refers to students being assessed through the comparison of student performances.
Assessment and Grading Practices: As an instructor, how do you begin planning and designing assessments? How do you ensure that assessment and grading practices are equitable and effective?
Programs: Professional learning opportunities for those who are new to teaching as well as for those with teaching experience but who wish to advance their teaching knowledge and skills
Vanderbilt Syllabus design
The Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching offers a set of recommendations for syllabus design that complements the UIC-specific recommendations and templates offered by CATE.
See here for this resource.
The Student Experience Project (SEP) is committed to transforming the college student experience and creating equitable learning environments through innovative, evidence-based practices that increase degree attainment.
Revising Syllabi to Improve Student Experience
The College Transition Collaborative works to identify and understand key points in a student’s college journey that can be critical to sustaining or undermining students’ sense that they can be successful in college, and where psychologically attuned approaches can help their students reach their full potential. By creating learning environments that help students feel competent, valued, and connected to others, we can help more students persist through the inevitable challenges of higher education and graduate with their degree.
Growth Mindset Approach to Establishing Expectations
Student-Centered Course Policies
The American Association of Colleges and Universities has established the following Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs), defining the knowledge and skills gained from a liberal education and providing a framework to guide students’ cumulative progress.
Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World, Including:
- Sciences and mathematics
- Social sciences
- The arts
Focused on engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring.
Intellectual and Practical Skills, Including:
- Inquiry and analysis
- Critical and creative thinking
- Written and oral communication
- Quantitative literacy
- Information literacy
- Teamwork and problem solving
Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance.
Personal and Social Responsibility, Including:
- Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
- Intercultural knowledge and competence
- Ethical reasoning and action
- Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
Anchored in active involvement with diverse communities and real-world challenges.
Integrative and Applied Learning, Including:
- Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.
American Association of Colleges and Universities: Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE)
VALUE is an authentic approach to assessment designed to articulate and measure the skills, abilities, and dispositions that students need and that parents, policymakers, and employers demand.
VALUE rubrics are open educational resources (OER) that enable educators to assess students’ original work. AAC&U offers a proven methodology for applying the VALUE rubrics to evaluate student performance reliably and verifiably across sixteen broad, cross-cutting learning outcomes.
Research-informed teaching (RIT) can take different forms:
- research-led -where students are taught research findings in their field of study.
- research-oriented -where students learn research processes and methodologies.
- research-tutored -where students learn through critique and discussion between themselves and faculty.
- research-based learning -where students learn as researchers.
For more information on RIT best practices and considerations, see the following:
Integrating research, teaching, and practice in the context of new institutional policies: a social practice approach.
Does research-informed teaching transform academic practice? Revealing an RIT mindset through impact analysis
What’s SMART? A SMART goal functions as a driver toward a larger achievement and has five components.
The goal must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Overarching goals such as “I want an A in this class” do not fit this framework. Examples would be “I will visit the Math and Science Tutoring Center once every week;” or “I will visit my professor’s Student Drop-In Hours with questions four times this semester;” or “I will visit the Writing Center with a draft of my work each time I have a writing assignment.” Faculty who worked with their students to establish individual or community SMART goals have found a notable improvement in student success in the course.
For more information on the success of setting SMART goals, see the following Inside Higher Education article.
For a SMART template for students, see here.
Faculty and Teaching Assistants can play a pivotal role in promoting the value of the Gen Ed Core, strengthening students’ appreciation of and engagement with the topics examined and work assigned in Gen Ed courses. More specifically, faculty can explicitly connect the dots for students between the objectives of the Gen Ed Category and the content of their specific Gen Ed course.
For helpful resources and tips see our LAS General Education Resources website.
First at LAS
Review and access a selection of scholarly articles, research, and resources documenting the FGS higher education experience.
First-at-LAS Faculty Resources
How to Promote the Academic Success of First-Generation Students(FGS)at LAS
WHAT ARE THEY & WHY DO THEY MATTER?
Unlike the traditional framework for ofﬁce hours, Drop-In Hours are designed to encourage and facilitate student interactions with faculty. The goal is to promote students’ help-seeking behaviors, academic success, and increase sense of belonging on campus and in your classroom. Quality interactions with faculty have positive effects on grades, persistence, and retention.
Here is a GUIDE for how to turn your traditional office hours into Student Drop-In Hours. Share your story and connect with students!
LAS EPC approved detailed guidelines for online teaching and the creation of online courses. Please consult these guidelines if you are planning on creating an online general education course.
Teaching and learning services directly support the university’s teaching mission. Services in this category include managing and provisioning enterprise-level instructional technologies, which allow instructors to manage, share, and develop course materials, and facilitate learning through collaboration technology. These resources can be found here.
See the Campus Learning Environments site for information on active learning classrooms and other resources.
Online Learning Consortium Resources
The U of I System currently has a membership with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), allowing faculty at our three universities to have access to OLC resources related to digital learning, online teaching, etc. OLC is a collaborative community of higher education leaders and innovators dedicated to advancing quality digital teaching and learning experiences designed to reach and engage the modern learner – anyone, anywhere, anytime. All faculty members are invited to explore the OLC resources available to the U of I System.
Develop Your Teaching Practice and Promote Student Success! Heading link
Reflect on your teaching methods and learning goals, develop new strategies and grow as an instructor. Turn every setback into a learning opportunity!
Use the ample resources that are available through the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence and others linked on this page.
Make contingency plans for when the physical environment, technology glitches, or health issues prevent you or your students from engaging in learning.
Build community with other faculty who are looking to learn, improve, and promote student success!
Do not seek perfection. Learning and successfully implementing new teaching strategies is a process that takes time and practice!
Do not worry if some of your strategies do not prove to be as effective as you had initially hoped. You can revise and try new ideas and content as the course progresses and as you look forward to future courses.
Additional Resources for On-Campus and Online Teaching Heading link
LAS and Campus Student Support Services Heading link
Dean of Students: Services and Forms Heading link
Additional Student Support Resources Heading link
Students often need support. UIC has ample mechanisms, services, and centers to support academic success and personal wellbeing. LAS has curated some of the most important categories and sites for you.