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High Impact Practices (HIPs)


Virtual Field Trips, Exploring Topics, and Games

  • Virtual Tours -- There is a surprising amount of virtual tour resources that can be used to explore the world, culture, etc from your couch. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of resources:
  • Gamification of Learning

Top Ten Tips (Online Friendly)

Teaching TIP #1: 

In Announcements, post a clear outline of what will be covered in class that week, to include student deliverables with due date. 

Teaching TIP #2:

Tell students that your goal is to empower them to learn.

  • Let them know how to contact you. (Answer them within 24 hrs.)
  • Set some “drop-in” office hours online (maybe one in the morning and one in the evening).
  • Talk about the importance of self-advocacy and communication.

Teaching TIP # 3: 


  • Call students by name. Start all feedback, emails, and discussion responses with the student’s name.
  • Add a picture. To your profile, or to the assignment or discussion prompt.
  • Use the audio feedback function. Students LOVE this, when you’re brief. 

Teaching Tip #4: 

Post reflective questions for each week.

  • What has been difficult for you this week, or in this assignment?
  • What was easy?
  • What strategies are you using to succeed?

Teaching TIP #5: 

Start the term with a conversation about privacy and safe spaces. 

  • Suggested prompt for discussion on privacy : “In this class, you are writing to others as well as for yourself. Please know that your work is subject to being read by others such as classmates, my colleagues, or administrators. If you write that you are being harmed, that you have harmed someone, or that you want to harm yourself, I'm legally required to report it. For things too private to risk being read, please keep a separate journal.”
  • Suggested prompt for discussion on safe classroom space: “The more we can create community in this course, the more you will learn and the happier we will all be. To that end, I have a few rules apart from the obvious student conduct rules for PPCC (see Part 4 of the Syllabus) to keep us all safe. Emotional safety--No one will use offensive or insulting terms when speaking to or about anyone in this course. Intellectual safety--Respect perspectives--everyone knows something you don't. You're free to read, write, and speak about your confusions, questions and new learning. Spiritual safety--Respect the beliefs or lack of belief of those in this course. All world religions agree on one rule: treat others as you want to be treated. Everyone is entitled to the integrity of their heart and soul.”  (From Think Like Socrates, Shanna Peeples)

Teaching TIP #6: 

Communicate that learning is a process. 

  • Check-in with students individually, on how it’s going, especially grades. Give them a call, if you can. Submit early alerts. ( 
  • When assigning the first really challenging work of the term, talk with students beforehand about "growth mindset" vs. "fixed mindset beliefs" (Verschelden, 62). Students begin to see that the goal is not perfection on a single assignment, but gradual learning overall.
  • When grading student work, adopt a "working/not yet working" philosophy as opposed to good/wrong.
  • Whenever possible, give students the opportunity to revise their work.

Teaching TIP #7: 

Use D2L discussion boards to learn from diverse others and engage in substantive conversations. Examples: 

Teaching TIP #8: 

Develop community through Collaborative Projects.

Example: In Google docs, student groups write a letter of advocacy for a group/type of student at the college and send to club advisor, student government, president, dean, department chair, etc.

Teaching TIP #9: 

Encourage students to talk about their career goals. For example, “Here’s why I want to be a nurse (fill in the blank).” Post career type videos in content.

  • Example: Watch the video of Justice Sonia Sotomayor when she spoke at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2016. . Possible questions: What lessons can we learn from Justice Sotomayor regarding education? How important is education? Why? How does this connect with your career path?

Teaching TIP #10:

 Talk with students about registering for next semester. Post a discussion for advice and questions.

More info: or