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Things that you can do with some reflection and development


  • consider the wide range of abilities, backgrounds, and experiences of your students when designing your activities and assignments
  • use online quizzes and self-tests to provide feedback for students
  • for writing assignments, allow for drafts and revisions; consider using peer review
  • design assignments that don't unnecessarily penalize students for some experimentation and risk taking
  • review activities and assignments for the course and assess whether any would present an insurmountable barrier for persons with cognitive or physical disabilities; provide equivalent alternatives if possible
  • design assignments to minimize non-essential tasks (e.g., learning irrelevant software just to access information) or non-essential physical travel
  • provide choice in assignments if possible (including topic, format, and due dates)
  • consider using online conferencing for course support, discussion of content, and group work to foster peer-to-peer and collaborative learning
  • provide resources or materials equivalent to any materials that cannot be made accessible
  • provide grading schemes and sample assignments to students
  • apply grading standards consistently among students and across assignments
  • allow the use a word processor whenever possible for submissions


  • consider using a variety of strategies during lecture periods including problem-solving, discussion, hands-on exercises, presentations, etc.
  • use techniques that increase interactivity in lectures such as think-pair-share
  • ensure examples and content used in class are relevant to people from diverse backgrounds and experiences
  • present information in multiple, complementary formats such as text, graphics, audio, and video
  • review your written materials including overhead and PowerPoint slides for clarity, consistent formatting, and cognitive cues; ensure they are free from unnecessary jargon
  • if unaccustomed to teaching large numbers of students in large auditoriums, seek advice or take a workshop on teaching larger classes
  • integrate your own research when it relates to the course of study; share successes and challenges


  • provide tutorials and resources that students reinforce learning outside of class
  • develop a list of Frequently Asked Questions and distribute to students
  • design documents that can be repurposed for multiple uses (e.g., in class, online)
  • use a variety of media such as text, graphics, audio, and video
  • where appropriate, offer a choice of file formats for content (e.g., Word, PDF, HTML) on your website and include labels which suggest when each might be useful
  • provide captioning or transcripts with any video used for class
  • develop a clear course outline that provides policies, procedures, and expectations
  • review CD or web-based tutorials for ease of navigation and user feedback; conduct usability testing with some students.


  • when possible, request an appropriate room and/or arrange the room to facilitate the type of teaching you are doing
  • in small classes, use circular seating arrangements during discussion to allow students to see one another's faces

Updated on November 29th, 2012.