Best Practices

An activity that can be used to get groups talking and to get the creative juices flowing is to provide a list (content-focused or not) and

  1. ask participants: What would you add to, subtract from, or edit in this list? This could be used to jump-start a blog or class discussion. There are no right or wrong answers, though most of the time the reasons behind an action are volunteered.
  2. or if the list is a ranking of items, discussion of how the items ended up in their places can be interesting.

Creating your own lists for the group or having the group create the list can focus members on one or more topics. If your purpose is community-building, you can find lists that will evoke humor and some debate in books (Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten and The Book of Lists are natural choices.) or on many websites.

A Sample of Resources for General Use

Humor with a point.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?
Author Unknown
Adapted from http://commonplacebook.com/jokes/funny-lists/why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road/

Top Ten Lists

Many topics have ranked lists. In cases where the data determines the ranking, discussions of reasons for the rankings or of changes over time can be enlightening. In cases where the ranking is determined by expert opinion or polls, discussions of reasons for the determinations and whether or not the group agrees can be interesting.

TIME Magazine's 25 Top Ten Lists

The People's Priorities: Gallup's Top 10
http://www.gallup.com/poll/180374/gallup-top-world-findings-2014.aspx

A Sample of Resources for Specific Disciplines

College of Arts and Humanities
These Headlines are not just for Journalists; all writers can learn from them: http://commonplacebook.com/jokes/funny-lists/actual_news_hea/

The Writing Teacher's Book of Lists with Ready-to-Use Activities and Worksheets, 2nd Edition by Gary Robert Muschla

Your course content might not include mechanics, but you might wish to review and reinforce good practices using some of the lists in this book. (Example: One Minute Paper: Give the group a list of words and ask them to identify one or more synonyms or antonyms for each. Nice warm up activity.)

Top 10 Significant Presidential Elections in American History ' About.com http://americanhistory.about.com/od/elections/tp/topelections.htm

College of Business
Seventeen Things I Believe
Bob Sutton, Stanford Professor and Author
In left side bar of http://bobsutton.typepad.com

College of Health and Public Affairs
Men's top 10 health threats: Mostly preventable ' Mayo Clinic
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mens-health/MC00013
The Top Ten Reasons for Soaring Health-Care Costs by Charles Wheelan, Ph.D.
http://playtime.rlbunn.com/Politics_and_Policy/Content_Text/SicknessCare/Top_!0_Reasons.html

College of Sciences
United States Geological Survey Earthquake Top 10 Lists
http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/

Resources for Faculty Teaching in Times of Crisis or Difficulty

Below are several resources for university community members to refer to for support and counseling in times of difficulty and crisis.

UCF faculty members Ana Leon, Roberta Ergle, Vicki Lavendole, Steven Berman, Dana-Marie Dennis, and Chia Yuan have created a document addressing the handling of difficult moments in the classroom: "Proactive Strategies for Minimizing Difficult Moments in the Classroom: Reflecting on Lessons Learned."

Download a reading list from the University Press of Florida addressing the current American political climate.

Download a coping skills handout provided by UCF Counseling and Psychological Services.

External Web Sites

http://www.4faculty.org/includes/108r2.jsp

  • Dr. Lisa Rodriguez provides a comprehensive list of classroom management procedures and tips
  • Offers 15 common problem behaviors and possible solutions for them
  • Gives tips on setting a productive classroom atmosphere and how to connect to students
  • Gives list of ways to help students become College students

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/taylor_letter.htm

  • Excellent letter to students regarding Academic Integrity

http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/facultyhandbook/classroom_mgt.htm

  • Faculty provided a consensus on a few common problem and offered their suggestions

http://www.pathguy.com/classcon.htm

  • Discusses building a reputation of effort, flexibility, firmness, and fairness
  • Emphasizes having a knowledge of content and how it can keep students engaged
  • Provides insight on how to keep students interested and how to respond when your authority is challenged

http://www.4faculty.org/includes/108r3.jsp

  • Provides suggestions on how to handle specific crisis scenarios
 

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Chiara Mazzucchelli
College of Arts and Humanities Chiara     Mazzucchelli As an Italian instructor, by the book, much of my classroom work focuses on helping students build proficiency in the four language skill areas–listening, speaking, reading, and writing. However, my goal as a teacher goes beyond the facilitation of linguistic growth. I want to open students' eyes to other ...

Alisha Janowsky
College of Sciences Alisha    Janowsky Students enter my classroom with intuitions about "why people do what they do." No matter the course modality or class enrollment, my goal is to challenge these ideas and get students thinking "like scientists." To that end, I encourage students to share and then reassess their theories in light of course ...

Alireza Rahrooh
College of Engineering and Computer Science Alireza       Rahrooh Teaching is a craft. Like any manual craft, it deals with tasks that must be done and redone every day. Each day of teaching brings failures, accomplishments, crises and delightful surprises. But it is always difficult. No class, no lecture, no assignment is ever perfect. Only with great effort can they be made ac...