Pedagogies and Evidence-Based Teaching Practices
UAA faculty teach a vast array of subjects, from basic adult education through graduate courses. These resources cover a variety of effective strategies that work across disciplines. Although the focus is on approaches any instructor can try, experienced faculty will still benefit from exploring further.
Teaching is a field of continuous improvement and experimentation. To engage in that
process more deliberately, consider joining one of our Faculty Learning Communities
or participating in our professional development opportunities. Learn more about those programs.
- The UAA Teaching Academy is held twice a year, in August (Fall Teaching Academy) and January (Winter Teaching Academy). Recordings and materials from past sessions are available in a Teaching Academy self-enrolling Blackboard course (UA only)
- Pivot 3: Self-Paced Course Design & Development (self-enrolling Blackboard course, UA only): In 2020, due to the COVID-19 situation, UAA offered two #Pivot programs to help faculty transition to remote delivery. AI&e has turned the materials developed for these #Pivot programs into a self-paced online workshop that any faculty member may enroll in and use to help with course design, development, and delivery. Although this course focuses on online teaching, it has an excellent collection of materials on different aspects of teaching, from designing for alignment to managing microaggressions in the classroom
- Course Design Trail Guides: The Trail Guides are asynchronous professional development course design modules that are intended to expand faculty's knowledge and skill with course design and development. Each module walks through key concepts and UAA resources to build an effective course. Although the modules focus on online learning, the design process and resources also apply to courses delivered on campus
- Our Accessibility pages provide an overview of the expectations and tools available to faculty and students to ensure full access to digital content. Accessibility is an important aspect of teaching at UAA, as part of our policy not to discriminate on the basis of disability
- Universal Design for Learning guide and What is Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?, AHEAD (video, 2:52): Universal Design for Learning is a framework which helps faculty design courses for a diverse group of students instead of the “average” student, who doesn't actually exist. If you can provide students with a flexible path to learning, they may not have to self-identify as needing special help
- Lexicon of Academic Innovation, Steven Mintz, Inside Higher Ed: Heard about an approach, but not sure what it means? Start here!
UAA has identified key skillsets that help students achieve academic and post-graduation success. Learn more about these Core Competencies on UAA's Institutional Accreditation page. As we develop guides for integrating the Core Competencies into your teaching, we will post them here:
- Effective Communication (2021-22 focus area)
- Creative and Critical Thinking
- Intercultural Fluency
- Personal, Professional, and Community Responsibility
Online and hybrid courses are more effective when designed with the delivery mode in mind. The UAA-focused guides in Preparing to Teach Online can help you start planning your online or hybrid course, identify UAA tools for each step, and maximize student learning and engagement.
For ways to advance your teaching with technology, try a self-assessment on digital competencies (from the European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators) to identify areas and strategies for improvement.
Inclusive Teaching Practices
Students are why we are all here! These materials look at ways to create educational environments that welcome UAA's students, reflect Alaska's cultural diversity, reduce barriers to online learning, and encourage respect and understanding of diverse groups. Try some of these strategies to help students succeed in your course and beyond.
- Creating and Maintaining an Inclusive Class guide
- Inclusive by Design: Survey Your Syllabus (Survey Your Syllabus - accessible version), James Madison University and the University of the District of Columbia: This self-assessment guides you through the process of identifying bias in your course design and materials
- Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit, Assoc. Of College & University Educators: 10 recommendations with short instructor videos explaining how they implemented each recommendation
- Inclusive Teaching Resources and Strategies, University of Michigan CRLT
- Guide for Inclusive Teaching (Columbia University) and Inclusive Teaching (Brown University) discuss some of the research behind these practices
- Inclusive online teaching resources list from UAA Technology Fellows 2020 cohort
- Peralta Online Equity Rubric, a research-based course (re)design evaluation instrument to help teachers make online course experiences more equitable for all students
- Fostering Community
Fostering a Course Community
- Develop Rapport & Community with Your Students guide, focused on online teaching but most of the strategies apply to all delivery modes
- Equity Unbound resources for community building
- Better Blackboard Discussions guide: This includes advice and examples for tackling sensitive topics in asynchronous discussions, sample netiquette language, and sample prompts to help students contextualize their learning
- Facilitating Dialogue
Facilitating Meaningful Dialogue
Many UAA courses tackle tough issues. We are available to help you design, teach, and debrief learning activities that are likely to provoke difficult dialogues. These resources can help you think through your approach:
- The Difficult Dialogues initiative at UAA offers strategies for classrooms and public events, facilitates workshops around the state, and has created three handbooks to help faculty, faculty developers and university leaders more effectively engage campus communities in conversations about important issues.
- The UAA National Coalition Building Institute Campus Affiliate also offers workshops on social inclusion and discussions on controversial issues
- Responding to Microaggressions guide
- Teaching in Times of Disruption
Teaching in Times of Disruption
Our teaching plans are often disrupted, although perhaps not always to the degree of the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources invite you to check in on your own experience and set student-centered goals for your teaching:
- Perceived Stress Scale Self-Assessment
- Strategies for Creating a Safe and Supportive Classroom, MaryAnn Raybuck, Faculty Focus
- Trauma-Informed Teaching, Jamie Butler, Faculty Focus
- Seven Recommendations for Helping Students Thrive in Times of Trauma, Mays Imad, Inside Higher Ed
- Hope Still Matters, Mays Imad’s reflection on how to teach in 2021 (Inside Higher Ed)
Assessment is the process and method of gathering and evaluating evidence on students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes to monitor and improve learning. Assessments are how faculty and students monitor, improve and appraise the student’s learning experience.
For ideas on how to design assessments for your courses and how your work fits into UAA’s assessment strategy, visit our Assessment page.
Making Learning Visible: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
“Teaching university-level courses is a form of serious intellectual work that can be as challenging and demanding as discovery research. When teaching is undertaken as a form of inquiry into the impact a course has on student understanding, the quality and depth of this work can be revealed through writing that reflects the relation between the process of teaching and its results.” (Bernstein, 2002).
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is scholarly inquiry into student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public and open to critique and evaluation. The intent is to create a community of “scholarly teachers” who add to the body of knowledge about teaching and learning as well as benefiting from the SoTL research of others.
Our Making Learning Visible program is UAA’s version of SoTL which addresses how teachers can not only improve their expertise in the field, but also develop pedagogical expertise. It is designed to help faculty assess the efficacy of classroom strategies, document the effectiveness of their teaching, share effective strategies with peers, and demonstrate exemplary teaching in the promotion and tenure portfolio.
Faculty Development & Instructional Support
Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence, Academic Innovations & eLearning, and Center for Community Engagement and Learning
Library 213 • (907) 786-4496 • firstname.lastname@example.org • Mon – Fri, 8a – 5p