Best Practices in Teaching

The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT/ELIXR) project promotes, develops and inspires teamwork between faculty across the globe, as well as faculty development centers and online resource repositories. With its unique collection of pedagogical resources, MERLOT/ELIXR provides a treasury of best teaching practices, inspiring all faculty with creative and innovative case stories illustrating a variety of pedagogical techniques. SF State, through the efforts of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development, is proud to be an affiliated institution with MERLOT/ELIXR.

The Center for Teaching and Faculty Development has worked with the MERLOT/ELIXR project for several years, securing grant funding for faculty who wish to implement best teaching practices and Universal Design for Learning techniques for their classes.

Under the guidance of Associate Director Jeannie Cheng, SF State faculty have developed video case stories that exemplify the creative pedagogy and passion for teaching that exemplify SF State.

Best Practices in Teaching

...And Captions For All

Just-in-Time Teaching

Screen Shot for Karen Grove's Case Story
Karen Grove, Geosciences

Professor Karen Grove of SF State's Geosciences Department is a proponent and practitioner of an inventive pedagogy called "Just-In-Time" Teaching (JiTT).

Karen presents material relating to the day's topic, which students explore "just in time" for the class, thus arriving for the session more prepared, more interested and more engaged. JiTT is a teaching method that stimulates active and collaborative learning both inside and outside the classroom, and allows instructors to gauge student understanding of the specific material before the class actually begins.

Engage Students Through Assignments

Screen Shot for Colin Johnson's Case Story
Colin Johnson, Hospitality and Tourism

Colin Johnson, Associate Professor of the Hospitality and Tourism Department at SF State, explains how he uses various methods of student engagement to capture his classes' attention, and involve and interest them in the cultures of other countries.

Colin's course focuses on food and wine, and he encourages both creativity and curiosity in his students by asking them to choose a country or industry-specific business (like a winery) to research and present--or to create a menu, in order to develop their food/wine pairing skills. Multimedia--as well as multiple senses--play a role in Colin's class as well: he encourages debate and engagement with the use of videos, PowerPoint and guest lectures from professionals in the food and wine industries.

Engage Students Through Play

Screen Shot for Erik Rosegard's Case Story
Erik RosegardRecreation, Parks, and Tourism

Associate Professor Erik Rosegard of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department at SF State focuses on student engagement as a core principle underlying his pedagogy.

His research in brain development, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and Universal Design for Learning have led him to develop a style of engagement that is playful--fun, enjoyable, and socially relevant for the students, yet that connects back to course content and addresses multiple learning styles. Erik utilizes a combination of techniques--including storytelling, interactive PowerPoint exercises and social and physical interaction among the students to maintain a high energy and engagement level in the class.

Engage Students Through Productions

Screen Shot for Jen Vaughn's Case Story
Jen Vaughn, Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts

Lecturer Jen Vaughn of the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts Department keeps her students engaged both inside and outside the classroom.

With group projects, guest lecturers, and informative demonstrations, her class stays focused and energized. Through the creative assignment of producing their own video, she encourages ingenuity and teamwork, while simultaneously providing her students with the hands-on skills they'll need for their professional careers. Jen and her students were the film and production team that worked with CTFD to produce these ELIXR case stories.

Engage Students with Simulation

Screen Shot for Luanne Livermore's Case Story
Luanne Livermore, School of Nursing

Luanne Livermore is a RN, BSN and Lecturer in SF State's School of Nursing as well as the Simulation Lab Instructor, and as such, devises interactive scenarios based on real-world situations with which to engage the students.

The Simulation Lab scenarios enable her students to process information as it happens, simulating both the event and the stress of decision-making. The scenarios encourage student preparation and post-event reflection, as well as bonding and identification among the class as a medical support team. Finally, the visual, tactile and auditory experience of simulation taps into multiple learning modalities, enhancing the engagement--and the learning--of her nursing students.

Multiple Delivery Methods of Course Content-Pause and Respond, Small Group Activity

Screen Shot for Neil Lindeman's Case Story
Neil Lindeman, Technical and Professional Writing

Neil Lindeman, Assistant Professor of Technical and Professional Writing at SF State, employs multiple delivery methods and engagement methods in order to help his students learn more effectively and make the teaching experience even more rewarding.

Neil structures his course around the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), offering a variety of information delivery methods, engagement techniques, and outlets for student expression. From small group work to pause-and-respond exercises, the UDL approach to teaching helps Neil make learning happen.

Why Implement Universal Design for Learning?

Screen Shot for Paul Beckman's Case Story
Paul Beckman, Information Systems

Paul Beckman, Associate Professor in the Information Systems Department of the College of Business at SF State, undertook an experiment using Universal Design for Learning (UDL): would the application of UDL techniques result in an assessable learning difference for his students?

Neil implemented UDL techniques like guided notes, small group discussion, multimedia presentations and online resources for one class; the other he taught using a traditional lecture-delivered course content. The results convinced Paul that he should employ UDL methods for all of his classes.