Planning Ahead for the Spring Semester

Welcome to the Spring 2015 semester!  In light of the “new semester” feeling, this blog entry explores some useful college teaching tips to consider when supporting students to “study smarter, not harder” in your lecture and recitation sessions.  The Faculty Focus article, It’s Not Too Early to Begin Preparing Students for Cumulative Finals, shares strategies to be incorporated throughout the course experience that support students’ preparations for final assessments.  These discussed strategies include making connections to earlier content, assigning students to develop meaningful final exam questions, and forming semester-long study groups.  Tomorrow’s Professor e-newsletter entry, Note-Taking Pairs, highlights the teaching technique of pairing students as note-taking partners and how this looks across different college classroom structures including large lectures and online classes.

Mark your calendars!  The Rutgers TA Project is hosting a panel discussion, Recitation Planning across the Disciplines, led by experienced TAs from the Anthropology, Ecology, and Plant Biology departments who will share their insights on useful ways to engage their undergraduate students during recitations periods.  Join us on Wednesday, February 4th at 12:00pm in the Busch Campus Center (Room 117) for this TA professional development panel discussion.  Register here.

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Helping Students Prepare for the End of the Semester

The end of the semester can be a stressful time for both students and their teachers. Graduate student instructors who are themselves taking classes have to worry about finishing their own assignments even as they cope with anxious students and end-of-semester grading. If you make sure your students are well informed about what is expected of them, you may be able to ease some of their anxieties and minimize later complaints and grade challenges.

Take time in class to clarify… (Read more)