Tag Archives: student engagement

Student Emails: A Creative Video Guide to Email Etiquette

While many students have mastered the art of email, others tend to take “poetic license” – unclear subject lines, omitted course name or student ID, or even an occasional use of an emoticon!

If you’re an instructor, suggest students hone their email communication skills by watching a short instructional video produced by Teaching and Learning Services. Share the link with students through myCourses and add the link to your course outlines!email-1346077_1280

If you’re a student, get together with some friends, take out some snacks, and sit back to enjoy this brief instructional video.

Interested in knowing more about writing emails to instructors? Check out Re: Your Recent Email to Your Professor and Email Etiquette: Guidelines for Writing to Your Professors.



How do I get students to engage with course readings?

Co-authors: Helle-Mai Lenk, Emiri Oda, Diane Maratta

This post, co-authored by McGill instructor Helle-Mai Lenk, her former student Emiri Oda, and Diane Maratta, a Learning Technology Consultant with McGill’s Teaching and Learning Services, describes the implementation of Perusall, a tool for engaging students with course readings by having them do online, asynchronous annotations in context to which peers can respond. Continue reading How do I get students to engage with course readings?

Informal Talking Teaching Communities: Spread the Word!

In the 2015-2016 academic year, McGill’s Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) launched The Lunch Spot—an informal lunch-time forum where all of the university’s instructors were invited to bring their brown bag lunches and gather for some informal talking about teaching. Working with the principle “if you feed them, they will come,” TLS encouraged partaking in The Lunch Spot with the offer of home-made sweet treats.*

The Lunch Spot continues this year at McGill’s TLS on the following dates: Friday, September 30, 2016 (please register) and Friday, January 27, 2017.

Given that I practically live for talking about teaching and that I have a sweet tooth, I participated in The Lunch Spot at every opportunity during the 2015-2016 academic year. It was time incredibly well spent: I met instructors from a variety of disciplines with whom I shared some of my favourite instructional strategies and from whom I got some motivating ideas. (I actually got one really cool idea from an Engineering professor about how to encourage students to pay attention to test and exam instructions.) Continue reading Informal Talking Teaching Communities: Spread the Word!

Developing engaged citizens through critical thinking

Terry HebertWhat happens when students are asked to write for an audience who knows little about the discipline?” Guest speaker Professor Terry Hébert addressed this question at a November 20, 2015 session entitled Developing Engaged Citizens through Critical Thinking, the most recent event organized by the Assessment in Large Classes Advisory Group.

Continue reading Developing engaged citizens through critical thinking

How do you talk to students? [The Sandbox]

How do you talk to students is an important question to reflect on as we start thinking about next term. Earlier this Fall, the McGill Office of Sustainability posted a very interesting piece on their blog, The Sandbox, addressing this very issue. Many thanks to them for letting us repost it here.

MOOS Students

A question that staff often bring to MOOS is, “How do you talk to students?” In a campus as siloed as McGill’s, it’s understandably difficult to break down the geographic and cultural boundaries between students and staff. Our secret? We regularly emphasize why students are fundamental to the work that we are doing, and we actively seek out ways to partner with students.

Why are students important? Continue reading How do you talk to students? [The Sandbox]

First day of class… anyone, anyone, anyone?

Have you thought of what you are going to do on the first day of class? There are many great resources with both general recommendations on how to approach the first day as well as specific activities that you might want to try. We have gathered a few of these below for some quick reading before the first day. Hopefully this post will give you ideas on creating an open, exciting and engaging learning environment.

Continue reading First day of class… anyone, anyone, anyone?