Instructor relaying the meaning of particular data to her class.

Instructional Resources

We understand that even the most confident subject matter experts find teaching to be complex and challenging at times.  Whether you're interested in pursuing efficient and innovative approaches to teaching, or just need some quick ideas on how to better engage your students, our articles and links provide practical knowledge and best practices you can use to enhance your teaching and improve your students' learning.


Designing a course

  • Students engaged in a lesson with the teacher.

Designing a Course

A successful course depends on thoughtful planning. Whether you are a new professor, creating a course from scratch, or want to improve an existing course, the articles and links in this section will help you think through how intentional design can and should impact your decision-making.

Teaching a course

  • Instructor teaching a course.

Teaching a Course

From agendas to group work and large lectures, the articles and links in this section provide resources that address effective teaching and learning principles backed by time-saving techniques that support excellent instruction.

Assessing Student Performance

Assessing Student Performance

Assessment not only gives us insight into how much our students understand, but also allows us to measure the achievement of our course objectives. It helps us answer the question, "How do I know my students know, understand, and are able to do what I set out for the course?" and provides valuable feedback on areas we may want to review or revise. This section provides resources for exploring new assessment approaches, templates, and ideas for reflection.

Instructional Activities

Instructional Activities

Looking for ways to transform the learning experience for your students? Engage them in activities that enhance participation! Our Instructional Activity guides provide step-by-step instructions that will help encourage your students to play a more active role in their educational experience. Whether you want to foster collaboration and discussion, promote curiosity and structured thinking, further critical thinking and evaluation, gather feedback, or just break the ice with your students, our comprehensive list of activities makes it easy!

What kind of activity are you looking for?

Select an option below to get started.

  • Icebreakers

    Icebreakers are a great way to warm up the learning space before launching into a conversation. Use them to introduce concepts, stimulate critical thinking, or to help people get to know one another.

    Head, Heart, Hand

    Break the ice by learning a bit about what others know, care about, and can do.

    Find Someone Who... Bingo

    Break the ice by learning about others in the room or furthering your own knowledge.

  • Collaboration Activities

    Invite your students to collaborate with and learn from one another. These activities are designed to promote higher-level thinking, communication, leadership, and self-management.

    Group Norms

    Establishing group norms is a 10- to 15-minute investment in the creation of clear, agreed-upon behavior for how a group will engage with one another, resulting in a more engaged and effective group.

    Round Robin

    Evolve to more fully formed ideas quickly, integrating multiple perspectives.

    Start, Stop, Continue

    Determine how the group is going with three simple questions.

    Mad, Sad, Glad

    Get a sense for how the group is feeling about a topic, activity, the course, or anything really.


    Cooperative learning improves information acquisition and retention, higher level thinking skills, interpersonal and communication skills, and self-confidence. When learners work together to make sense of what they are learning, it is more likely to stick, and they are more likely to use what they learn.

    Resolution of Conflict Model

    An exploration into conflict and conflict management, this strategy engages several critical skills that will increase emotional and social competence and provide the opportunity for increased academic understanding.

  • Discussion Activities

    Designed to help students process information, make connections, and engage with ideas, these activities give instructors a set of ideas to facilitate their courses or team meetings.


    During in-person sessions, encouraging students to both actively participate and listen carefully leads to better comprehension of material.

    Democratic Discussion

    If all students have a say in the topics the class discusses, they are more likely to be invested in participation.


    Learners need time to process questions and content before engaging in discussions. This helps them to access their prior knowledge and start connecting it with what they are currently learning. Active processing also impacts the learner's retention of information for future use and engagement in further discussion. An advantage of this method is that it allows students to process individually and cooperatively.

  • Structured Thinking Activities

    These activities give you frameworks to utilize for gathering, thinking through and organizing lots of information, and identifying areas to focus on or to learn more about.

    Theme Sort

    Work collaboratively to make sense of a lot of information by grouping ideas together and learning from the perspectives of others.

  • Feedback Activities

    Feedback is a critical part of the learning process for everyone. These activities can be used to measure learning as it occurs, allow for peer feedback on projects and activities, and facilitate a gradual transition of responsibility that guides students to be responsible for their own learning.


      Coming soon!

  • Inquiry Activities

    Designed to promote curiosity and engagement, these activities encourage learners to make their own connections and build a deeper understanding of ideas, topics, and content.

    Five Whys

    Dig into a problem to find a potential root cause – the issues causing the issues.

  • Evaluating Activities

    Utilize these activities to promote critical thinking and analysis skills that help learners think through ideas and understand them better.

    Rose, Thorn, Bud

    Evaluate an idea, project, or process and parcel out what you like, what you don’t, and what opportunities for growth may exist.

  • Presentation Activities

    Presentations allow us to effectively share ideas while fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and knowledge retention. Explore these activities to create and assign purposeful presentations and encourage active participation in the learning process.

    Pecha Kucha

    Pecha Kucha is a timed presentation format that focuses on limiting the amount of time spent on each slide and using images, as opposed to text, to support the presentation script.