Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Instructional Practices

Instructional Practices

At Cal Poly, learn by doing deeply informs our mission and manifests itself throughout the curriculum. Accounting students provide voluntary tax assistance to low-income families; marine science students develop interactive exhibits on acidity levels in the ocean at the Cal Poly pier in Avila Beach; agriculture and horticulture students raise and sell produce at local Farmers Markets. The CTLT understands that to foster a spirit of learn by doing, Cal Poly faculty and staff must be supported in the development and use of innovative teaching pedagogies that include active, problem-based, and collaborative learning strategies. 

The CTLT’s Instructional Practices resources provide faculty and staff with suggestions and guidelines on how to enhance teaching and learning inside the class and beyond. Check back frequently, as these resources continue to expand. Many of these practices are also supported through the CTLT's workshops, learning communities and consultations. 

Support Students' Well-being In Times of (Dis)Stress

Resources to help students navigate their challenges

Today’s generation of college students are reporting increased anxiety, stress, sadness, and exhaustion. These experiences can undermine students’ ability to learn, and thus result in assignments, quizzes, projects, exams, and grades that do not reflect their actual abilities.

The set of resources on this page is here to help promote effective outreach by campus educators in order to better support their students.

Well-being Support Resources

Prompting Higher Quality Course Evaluations

Resources to enhance students' feedback skills

At their best, official course evaluations provide instructors with valuable insights from students about their experiences in the course, which can guide revisions for improvement. However, when students provide low-quality (or decline to give any) feedback, this opportunity is lost.

Instructors may see more useful feedback more often (regardless of whether it's more positive or more negative) when students have guidance on the characteristics of quality feedback. This guidance can enhance the value of feedback on open-ended questions that are often included in addition to items with numerical ratings. Incidentally, it can also build students' professional skills for providing more effective feedback.

Below are resources designed to (1) encourage more widespread participation in end-of-term course evaluations and (2) encourage feedback that is more valuable for guiding improvements, independent of whether it is more positive or more negative. The two items are designed to be used together.

For students: Meaningful Feedback handout

You can share this document with students and, if desired, review it briefly in class to raise its visibility and highlight its value.

For instructors: Meaningful Feedback talking points

Ideas for instructors to frame an upcoming student feedback opportunity (i.e., end-of-term evaluations, etc.).

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