Timely Teaching Tips: Weeks 3 and 4 – Supporting student prep for course assignments and exams  

By Emma Larkins, OSU Center for Teaching and Learning

Timely Teaching Tips: beaver and light bulb

Help students tackle their term-long projects starting now  

When faced with many competing responsibilities and due dates, it can be easy for students to focus on the most pressing deadlines, losing sight of the end-of-the-term. There are several strategies and resources you can use to help students break down their work early in the term and have a more manageable finals experience. The following tips highlight several resources and strategies targeting various assignment formats that you can implement in your courses to set students up for success.  

  • Do your students need to use scholarly articles for research assignments? Consider adding the Finding Articles and Other Online Resources module to your Canvas course. This self-guided module walks students through common types of articles, identifying search strategies, and using library resources to find quality sources. See Library How-To for instructions to add this module to your Canvas course. 
  • Does your class have end-of-term projects, papers or assignments that students should be starting to consider? Taking time in class to talk about components of the work and how that work can be broken down into smaller steps can support students in planning effectively and making their work more manageable. See Academic Success Center resources and services. 
  • Are your students preparing for the first exam? Remind them of the difference between memorizing and practicing active recall. Practicing recall helps students to become comfortable using content knowledge under test-like conditions, and to develop metacognitive skills and memory cues useful in exams. The Academic Success Center’s Active Studying worksheet helps students get started. 

About the author: Emma Larkins (she/her) is a doctoral candidate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Oregon State University. Her professional background is in qualitative research, higher education assessment and evaluation, and advancing equity.

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of Timely Teaching Tips posts to provide just-in-time pedagogical techniques, strategies and guidance to support OSU instructional faculty. For daily Timely Teaching Tips throughout the academic year subscribe to OSU Today.

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