Fall 2021 Course Support

The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning is ready to support Yale instructors as we transition back to in-person teaching and learning for the Fall 2021 semester.

On August 6, 2021, Dean Tamar Gendler, Dean Marvin Chun and Dean Lynn Cooley wrote to Yale College and Faculty of Arts and Science instructors to outline teaching practices that Yale faculty and students found effective throughout the pandemic. Compiled by the Poorvu Center, this list is based on faculty surveys, course evaluation data, and conversations with instructors and students, and may inform your teaching approaches as we transition back to in-person teaching. The links below provide additional information on each approach:

  1. Well-being: Check in with students, allow for breaks, and integrate informal conversations. Remember to give equal priority to your own well-being.
  2. Small groups: Consider how group activities may enhance discussion and student interactions, and how groups could balance opportunities for participation.
  3. Asynchronous approaches: Provide selected course content outside of class time to increase time for in-class engagement and allow students to review at their own pace.
  4. Modified assessments: Offer formative, incremental assessments to facilitate learning over time rather than high-stakes timed exams, including popular modifications like classroom polling, Canvas Quizzes, and Gradescope for fair and efficient grading.
  5. Accessible course materials: Build flexibility into the course design to support student accessibility without altering learning objectives or class rigor. Technological tools (such as ALLY) can alert instructors to accessibility obstacles and facilitate improvements to course materials.
  6. Virtual office hours: Provide alternative formats for one-on-one conversations, allowing students to attend office hours on Zoom or in person.
  7. Class recordings: Filming or recording lectures creates valuable opportunities for student review and can increase accessibility of course content via captions or transcripts. The Poorvu Center can recommend ways to ensure in-person attendance provides additional and vital benefits.

In addition to the ideas presented above, we encourage you to explore the pages of this website for additional ideas and resources. We further invite you to work with us directly via the opportunities described below: 

Programs and Events

The Poorvu Center offers a variety of workshops and discussions tailored to support the transition to in-person instruction. Visit our Poorvu Center events calendar to read about and register for upcoming events. Events may be filtered by audience (e.g. faculty, postdoctoral associates, graduate & professional students, etc.) at the top of the calendar page. 

Consultations

In addition to ongoing workshops and faculty teaching initiatives programs, the Poorvu Center will continue to support faculty through one-on-one or small group consultations. Instructors may request a consultation on the Poorvu Center website.