Category Archives: Faculty today

Let students know how course evaluations can improve courses


Each semester at McGill University, students have the opportunity to complete course evaluations for every course they’re enrolled in. Course evaluations are important because they’re an opportunity for instructors to hear from students how their courses are being experienced. Student feedback can provide instructors with ideas about how they can improve their courses for future students. Unfortunately, many students don’t necessarily see the value of taking the time to do course evaluations. In fact, the average response rate received per course is just under 50%.

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Students are strategic (Part 2/3): A student talks to a prof about assignments


Have you ever wondered what students look for when they read a course outline? What do they think about the assignments they’ll be asked to do? This 3-part blog series describes one student’s reaction when reading a course outline for the first time and their subsequent conversation with the prof about concerns regarding the outline. In this second post, we see what Dominique says to the prof.  Continue reading Students are strategic (Part 2/3): A student talks to a prof about assignments

Students are strategic (Part 1/3): A student has concerns about assignments


Have you ever wondered what students look for when they read a course outline? What do they think about the assignments they’ll be asked to do? This 3-part blog series describes one student’s reaction when reading a course outline for the first time and their subsequent conversation with the prof about concerns regarding the outline. In this first post, we learn about why Dominique, the student, has concerns about the assignments and how students need to be strategic with their time.

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Strategy Bites: 10/2


At Teaching and Learning Services, we regularly receive questions from instructors asking for ideas to enhance their teaching and improve students’ engagement in class. So, we’ve recorded 2-3 minute video bites that describe how to implement some strategies we’ve chosen based on relative ease of implementation, suitability for different class sizes, and their representation of a variety of interaction types. We’ll be sharing these strategies in the Teaching for Learning @McGill University blog over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

 Strategy: 10/2

The 10/2 strategy involves lecturing or presenting information for 10 minutes and then allowing students to work for 2 minutes in pairs to summarize the information or address a question you’ve posed. Continue reading Strategy Bites: 10/2

How many office hours should I schedule?


“How many hours a week do I need to schedule? Do I have to be in my office or can they be online?” These are two questions instructors at McGill University ask us at Teaching and Learning Services (TLS). There are no clear answers, though, as McGill does not have a policy that specifically addresses the question of office hours. However, item 21. (v) of McGill’s Charter of Students’ Rights states that course outlines should include “The instructor’s contact information, office location, and office hours as appropriate” (p. 3). Of course, ‘as appropriate’ is open to interpretation.

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Strategy Bites: myCourses/Course outline scavenger hunt


At Teaching and Learning Services, we regularly receive questions from instructors asking for ideas to enhance their teaching and improve students’ engagement in class. So, we’ve recorded 2-3 minute video bites that describe how to implement some strategies we’ve chosen based on relative ease of implementation, suitability for different class sizes, and their representation of a variety of interaction types. We’ll be sharing these strategies in the Teaching for Learning @McGill University blog over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Continue reading Strategy Bites: myCourses/Course outline scavenger hunt

Highs and Lows of Course Evaluations


Student ratings and comments in course evaluations can bolster teachers’ sense of efficacy. But even a single less-than-favourable rating or comment has the potential for disproportionately occupying our thoughts. This phenomenon—of focusing on the one or two negative comments among a sea of positive ones—is common.

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