Reflections on Pedagogy
A selection of researched articles written by the EPIC team, many of which were published in our monthly newsletter. Visit our newsletter archive to view a complete list of articles and to sign up for future updates
A recap of a presentation by Dr. Beyza Lorenz on how interactive, collaborative assignments, and activities in synchronous online courses can increase student engagement and support the learning process. Part of the EPIC-Lang Tips, Tricks and Treats Talk Series.
Keywords: second language pedagogy, active learning
Strategies for increasing student engagement in remote learning environments.
Keywords: active learning
Tips for embracing Zoom awkwardness and being deliberate about building community in online learning.
Keywords: Zoom; community building; digital learning tools
Reflections on the 1-year mark of online teaching in the pandemic.
Keywords: Remote teaching; transition back to in-person teaching; pandemic
Tips for using Zoom chat, polling, and other forms of nonverbal student engagement.
Keywords: Zoom; chat feature; polling; nonverbal engagement
What we learned about accessibility during the pandemic and how to carry that back into the in-person classroom + an interview with Carolanne Link.
Keywords: Accessibility; DCP; Carolanne Link; pandemic; remote teaching; in-person teaching transition
Background information on how Universal Design, an architectural and design concept which aimed to increase accessibility, was applied to pedagogy to benefit students by centering multimodality and accessibility.
An interview with Prof. Elizabeth Randell Upton, who foregrounds UDL in her musicology class on The Beatles.
Keywords: remote learning, testing, accommodations, cheating, ADHD
A conversation with Liz Carter, a visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies at Western Washington University, about her publication, “What Does the Post-secondary Mandarin Foreign Language Inclusive Classroom Look Like? The State of the Art and Some Practical Suggestions.”
Keywords: second language pedagogy, non-Roman script, jigsaw activities
Quick tips to exercise self-care when seeking to reflect over student evaluations.
Keywords: Student feedback, COVID classroom
A few tips for instructors to prioritize their mental health especially during a time when COVID was surging and the university was adapting to a new LMS.
Keywords: social media
Reflections on how to build a holistic learning environment during the pandemic.
Several strategies that can help instructors create an online environment where students of all backgrounds and abilities can feel that they belong.
Keywords: diversity, active learning
Strategies for breaking down the idea that students have to check their emotions at the classroom door; how to help students process pandemic-related stress and support students by incorporating choice into course design.
Keywords: student mental health; emotions in the classroom; pandemic; student choice
Supporting students’ mental health during pandemic and beyond; round-up of on-campus resources.
Keywords: student mental health; emotions in the classroom; CAPS; pandemic
The benefits of mid-quarter evaluations. Includes a sample mid-quarter feedback form. Three ways to solicit feedback: Google Docs/Forms, BruinLearn, Annotation software like Hypothesis.
Suggestions and strategies for soliciting effective course evaluations.
Keywords: active learning, UDL
Categories of student feedback and how to effectively act on them during the course.
Tips on how to make the most of student feedback.
The relationship between environmental sustainability, diversity/multicultural understanding, and foreign language pedagogy.
Keywords: diversity, active learning, second-language pedagogy
Benefits and challenges of new video platforms like Zoom, Youtube, and TikTok with regards to ASL.
Ideas and challenges for Spanish-language teaching for heritage language learners. Focus on California. Includes helpful resources.
Interview based on the professor’s experience of teaching German courses in an asynchronous online setting
Keywords: remote teaching
How musical techniques such as singing and close listening can help learn foreign languages, especially harder languages like Chinese and Arabic
Some ways in which language teachers can continue to grow as professionals. Helpful resources from CAT.
How using plain language, instead of jargon, can advance learning and make it more accessible
How teachers can support autistic students at UCLA. Helpful tips and resources.
Interview about the Disabilities and Computing Program at UCLA
Presents 3 physical accessibility problems that we might confront in UCLA classrooms (seating, fluorescent lighting, and single-wall display) and possible solutions to each.
Keywords: Accessibility; classroom set-up/design; spatial organization
Abstract: Research-based instructional practices make a difference for students, but simply telling faculty to adopt them does not foster lasting changes in teaching practice. More promising is faculty development that’s embedded in the day-to-day work of teaching. In the Peer-Assisted Reflections On Student Learning program at the University of California, Los Angeles, pairs of faculty members observe each other’s classes, reflect on how student learning is unfolding, and collaboratively devise teaching innovations that respond to the actual needs of students. This model can be effective when it provides adequate time for reflection; is framed around student learning, not teaching; is explicitly nonevaluative; and provides coordinating guidance for faculty pairs.
Abstract: This research investigates how peer observation programs can be designed to enhance faculty use of student-centered logic. Data include participants’ self-reports (interviews) and 50 hours of recorded faculty-faculty dialogue. Findings suggest specific design features that may increase fluency in student-centered logic. The study may be useful to academic developers interested in helping faculty move beyond content-centered, lecture-based approaches to teaching.
Abstract: Constructive Alignment (CA) is a pedagogical tool for designing student-centered instruction aligned to learning outcomes. Despite strong evidence that CA and student-centered instruction are superior to lecture-based pedagogy, the latter remains prevalent across higher education. This descriptive-explanatory case study (n=20) investigates how programs of reciprocal, non-evaluative peer observation can help faculty understand and use CA at the lesson level. Analysis of exit interviews and faculty-faculty dialogue reveals that participants are able to apply principles of CA at the lesson level; most report this is new learning. Two program features that support this learning are described.
Strategies for balancing inclusivity and safety with the productive discomfort that means learning is happening.
Keywords: discomfort; inclusivity; hot moments; zone of proximal development
Review of “Interrupting Bias” workshop plus tips on turning “hot moments” into teachable moments.
Keywords: hot moments; teachable moments; interrupting bias; cultivating inclusivity
Strategies for teaching creative writing to multilingual learners and the power of incorporating creative assignments into any language class.
Keywords: Multilingual learners; creative writing
Asks what the purpose of participation grades is and gives instructors questions to ask themselves about how to revitalize it or maybe even do away with it altogether.
Keywords: Participation grades; grading; evaluation; assessment
Three tips for teaching with technology at UCLA: online testing, student choice in assessment format, and making sure students have the equipment they need.
Keywords: Technology in the classroom; accessibility; CCLE; student choice
Interview with TIG project leads on their “Inclusive Gatherings” workshop series. Defines inclusivity and offers an overview of the project’s key topics.
Keywords: Inclusivity; Teaching Innovation Grants; politics in the classroom
Overview of the TILT method and how to apply it to two assignments in a course.
Keywords: TILT; transparency; inclusivity; accessibility
Overview of UDL and fives principles that can be applied to courses: goals, classroom configuration, varied classroom presentation formats, assignment format choice, opportunities for feedback and reflection.
Keywords: UDL; inclusivity; accessibility; transparency
Tips for how to develop transparent, student-centered learning outcomes aligned with course goals.
Keywords: Student-centered; inclusivity; accessibility; learning outcomes; course goals
Interview with English Department TAC Chris Mott, who talks about teaching writing in the context of the literature classroom.
Keywords: Writing about Literature; Metacognition
Interview with Dr. Whitney Arnold and introduction to the resources available to instructors and students at the Undergraduate Research Center.
Keywords: URC; research; writing
Summary of an interview with Professor Helen Deutsch (English), in which she talks about conflicts between disability studies, health humanities, and eighteenth-century literature.
Keywords: Disability Studies; Health Humanities; Literature
Interview with Professor Kathy Komar (Comparative Literature) about teaching big lecture courses like seminars, literary studies pedagogy, and what she has learned from graduate student TAs about teaching.
Keywords: Literature Classroom; Lecture Courses; graduate student TAs