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Interacting With Students

Setting Expectations

How do I set or define course expectations?

How do I help students meet those expectations?

  • Ensure students read/understand course syllabus
  • Provide study and test-taking skills resources
  • Encourage out-of-class study groups
  • Provide resources for students to develop time management skills (Have students create a calendar of their week and write in all they do. They have them assess whether they are spending enough time on high priorities like their college career and job or on lower priorities.)
  • Use in-class group activities and show students how to work in them
  • Encourage making use of math/science resources, e.g. the Math Clinic and various on-campus clinics and labs 
  • Encourage use of writing resources, e.g. UTA’s Writing Center 
  • Encourage or require students to visit you during office hours
  • Have clear attendance procedures
  • Clarify the importance of pre-work preparation for class. Provide concrete benefits, e.g. reinforcing and expanding understanding of the pre-work

Tools to Help Students

  • Provide resources for active reading, note-taking, writing
  • Use methods of teaching that require students to take an active role, even in large classes, through, for example,, LectureTools (, team-based learning, or peer instruction.
  • Don’t do in class what students can learn outside of class on their own. Try “flipping” aspects of your class.
  • Give students a real reason for attending class. Use open-ended and closed questions appropriately, short quizzes, appropriate storytelling to reinforce concepts.
  • Use various ways to answer questions, as appropriate: 1) Answer question fully. 2) Answer partially and then re-direct to class. 3) Immediately re-direct to class. 4) Re-direct back to questioner for clarification.
  • Observe the quantity of student responses: Are you receiving feedback from your questions and requests? Are students volunteering? Are all participating in group activities?
  • Use tools or methods to get students to attend or to check comprehension. Have students respond to a question during class, compare their answers with a partner, come to a consensus, and then ask a few to respond.
  • Make sure that you would not be bored if you were taking your class.