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Center for Teaching and Learning

The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) explores, promotes, and supports excellence in teaching, with diverse technologies, at UVM.

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Managing Distracting Technology in the Classroom

August 17, 2018  Do you frequently attend meetings where technology is banned? I don’t. In fact, technology plays an important role in most of the meetings of which I am a part. On laptops, each participant can view the agenda and related documents. On cell phones, we can text a committee member who’s running late without interrupting the whole group. Using shared documents, we can co-create outlines or projects. Using online project management tools, we can develop a detailed plan. And yet, when I teach, I respectfully request that my students leave cell phones silent in their bags and request that laptops are generally closed (there are exceptions to these requests, but this is the general expectation). Continue reading →

Engaging Students on the First Day of Class

August 10, 2018  When I was an undergraduate, the first day of class was frequently predictable: syllabus, expectations, teacher’s introduction, a brief lesson, and early release. I tended to be more focused on who else was in the class (Do I know and like someone with whom to sit? If I don’t know anyone else, who do I want to befriend?) than on the information being imparted. Now, when I teach, I try to remember my own experiences and create a more engaging first class. Continue reading →

Creating Accessible Materials Reduces Stress Later

August 3, 2018  My mother’s words still ring in my ears: “Measure twice, cut once.” I did a lot of sewing growing up and have learned that one hasty snip of the shears can lead to frustration, loss of time, and cost of additional materials. In preparing a course, when considering accessibility, a similar principle exists: Do it right the first time. Trust me, you will save yourself considerable stress if you keep accessibility in mind when creating materials instead of facing the daunting task of making changes under the pressure of time. Continue reading →

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