Instruction In and Out of the Classroom

Learning is a partnership between instructor and learner. How that partnership is structured and how practices are designed to fulfill the learning goals of the novice (student) guided by the expert (instructor) are matters of both science and art. Learning may begin in the classroom but it is just a start. The organization you provide through a well constructed syllabus, clear learning outcomes, framing the course within the discipline, opportunities for taking in different types of information and demonstrating mastery in different forms all create a structured but dynamic learning environment.

The advice of the academics Arthur Chickering and Zelda Gamson offered more than 25 years ago still holds true and serves as a foundation for how to engage and stimulate undergraduates.

They summarized that these elements are critical to effective instruction:
1. Encourage contact between students and faculty.
2. Develop reciprocity and cooperation among students.
3. Encourage active learning.
4. Give prompt feedback.
5. Emphasize time on task.
6. Communicate high expectations.
7. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

See for the full text and application of these principles.