App Delivers a Daily Teaching Tip from the Teaching Professor

By: Mary Bart

You know that trusted colleague who always has a smart way of solving some of the stickiest teaching problems? The one who’s a rich repository of pedagogically effective techniques, new ideas, strategies that work, and pragmatic things you can do in the college classroom?

Now you can access all that knowledge in a free app: The Teaching Professor Tips app.

The Teaching Professor Tips app delivers a daily teaching tip to your smartphone or tablet. The app lets users:

  • Get one tip every day (365/year)
  • Specify the time of day they want to receive their tip
  • Share favorite tips on social media or email
  • Send their own tips to the editor for possible inclusion

Developed for Apple and Android products, the Teaching Professor Tips app provides a quick and easy way for anyone teaching in higher education to discover practical tips and techniques to help improve their teaching. Many of the tips are curated from Magna’s online seminars, 20 Minute Mentors and newsletters, including The Teaching Professor, Online Classroom and Faculty Focus. Each of these expertly curated tips includes a link to the original resource, giving users the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the topic.

The Teaching Professor Tips app is free and is available on iTunes and Google Play.
Download on iTunes »

Note: To install on an iPad, you will want to change the drop-down choice from “iPad Only” to “iPhone Only.”

Download on Google Play »

Examples of teaching tips

Brief and to the point, each tip provides a nugget of practical wisdom regarding assignment strategies, student engagement, classroom management, grading and feedback, instructional vitality, or other topics of interest to today’s college faculty.

Here is a sampling of tips that we’ve shared recently in the app:
When designing a flipped course or unit, careful and clear enumeration of learning outcomes will give a framework for learning activities and help students know what they need to know and where it fits in the overall scheme of the course.
- Robert Talbert

Give a practice test before the actual exam so students get a feel for the types of questions you ask. If you use essay questions, share an example of an A, C, and F answer.
- Sara Coffman

During your next class discussion, pause and let students gather their thoughts. Ask them to think about what’s been said so far, or ask them to write down what struck them as a key idea, a new insight, a question still unanswered, or maybe where they think the discussion should go next.
- Maryellen Weimer

When teaching online, begin each module with a 24-hour "free for all" for students to ask and answer offbeat questions related to the week's topic. It helps get the conversation started and helps students get to know each other.
- Amy Pate

In a class discussion when no amount of rephrasing a question or waiting for a student response elicits any, ask "Help me understand what makes that a difficult question to answer?"
– Linda Shadiow, Northern Arizona University

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