Evidence-Based Frameworks and Strategies for Keeping Students Engaged

Keeping students engaged in their learning throughout an entire semester is a challenge that exists across all disciplines and modalities. Though the ways in which you implement strategies for increasing student engagement might vary because of these factors, the good news is that the underlying principles remain the same. Below are some of the key methods and strategies that have emerged as common themes across many studies on the relationships between teaching practices and student engagement.

Foster a Culture of Growth, Trust, and Belonging

Part of a student’s engagement in a course is tied to the affective domain of learning, or a student’s thoughts and feelings about their own learning. Does the student feel like they belong in this learning environment? Are they respected by their peers and the instructor? Do they see their instructor as an ally in the learning journey, or as an adversary?

One aspect of the affective domain is whether an individual has a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. The Center for Learning Experimentation, Application and Research at the University of North Texas has a great list of growth mindset interventions instructors can implement. It is worth noting, however, that research seems to indicate the effectiveness of these interventions is contingent on the instructor’s mindset as well. Studies have shown that instructors with a greater growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset) have smaller racial achievement gaps and inspire more student motivation in their courses.

The affective domain also includes students’ feelings of belonging and trust. While the degree to which you can affect these feelings has limitations, evidence-based practices usually boil down to how you interact with students and facilitate interactions between students. A few examples include using a welcoming tone in your syllabus, modelling inclusive language, and taking the time to get to know your students’ names. Even in asynchronous classes it is important to build trust with your students. For example, you might want to consider using a week-one survey to provide your students with an opportunity to tell you about themselves.

Break Up Lectures & Add Opportunities for Active Learning

When there is a lot of content that needs to be disseminated across the duration of the semester, lectures are a common method for communicating that information quickly and efficiently. But the longer and denser the lecture is, the more instructors risk losing their students along the way due to cognitive load.

One solution is to build pause points into your lectures. Students benefit from structured pauses during lectures as it allows them space to question, process, and reflect on the information that they’ve absorbed. For pre-recorded lectures, the same idea can be achieved by breaking up a long lecture video into multiple short, topical videos (research suggests 6-12 minutes is an ideal length for maintaining student engagement). Fortunately, Kaltura (My Media) makes it very easy to trim and save video clips from right within Canvas.

When adding pauses for students to digest information, it is also beneficial to create opportunities for active learning activities. These activities can be very brief, such as using an anonymous polling tool to check for student understanding during a lecture. For more in-depth active learning, consider making time for small group discussions, written reflections, and other exercises that require students to employ higher order thinking skills. For courses with an asynchronous component, PlayPosit allows instructors to add a variety of engagement activities to pre-recorded lecture videos, while Hypothesis may be useful for incorporating annotation and reflection activities into assigned readings.

Provide Transparency and Support

When a student needs to spend a lot of mental energy figuring out the logistics of how to complete an activity, they have less mental energy left to engage with the course materials themselves. Therefore, transparency and scaffolding are both key elements to designing engaging assignments.

The Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TiLT) framework is designed to help instructors write clear and descriptive instructions for learning materials and assignments. For this framework, lay out the task, purpose, and criteria for each learning activity. If a student knows what they are supposed to do, why they are supposed to do it (how it ties to the course learning outcomes), and how they are going to be assessed, they can go into the activity more confident in their ability to engage with it.

It is common for a student to stop engaging with a course if they feel like they don’t have the means or resources to complete the tasks they’ve been assigned. Proper instructional scaffolding can help counter this issue by bridging some of the cognitive gaps and reducing the number of students that fall through the cracks. For example, if the final assignment in your course is an 8-page research paper, consider breaking up the process into several smaller assignments, such as having students submit their topic, bibliography, and outline at various points throughout the semester. Other ways to provide scaffolding this assignment might include modelling (providing examples of papers that meet the outcomes of the assignment), incorporating instructor or peer feedback for the outline or an early draft of the paper, and providing a robust rubric to guide students on how to meet the assignment outcomes.

Additional Resources

Engaging students is a broad topic that we are only just able to scratch the surface of in this post. Below are some resources for further reading if you’d like to dive in deeper.

Questions?

As always, we welcome you to share your ideas for engaging students by dropping a comment below or emailing us at CATL@uwgb.edu. If you’d like to discuss any of these methods or ideas one-on-one, a CATL member would be happy to meet with you for a consultation as well.

The First Day of Class: Promoting Belonging from Day One

Sense of belonging is a key predictor of college students’ persistence and well-being (Gopalan & Brady, 2020). Instructors can promote that belonging through the creation of community in the classroom. This previous piece from the Cowbell (our CATL blog) outlines multiple strategies for fostering community, belonging, and trust in classes of all modalities and sizes.

It’s never too soon to think about the creation of community in your courses. Why not the first day of class? Well-known educator and author James Lang (2021) shared his thoughts on How to Teach a Good First Day of Class in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Read this engaging piece and learn more about the key themes he emphasizes for day one – curiosity, community, learning, and expectations – as well as concrete suggestions for achieving them. Looking for even more ideas? The teaching and learning center at Carnegie Mellon offers some great day one advice on everything from what to wear, when to arrive, and how to introduce yourself, through what information to collect from students, how to get them excited about the course content, and ways to establish a “culture of feedback.” Finally, getting your students interacting with one another (and talking!) on day one is important to setting the tone for the semester. If you are looking for some interesting icebreaker ideas to try, look no further than this piece from Ohio State.

Syllabus Snippets

Required Statements

Student Accessibility Services

For more information see the Student Accessibility Services website.

The University of Wisconsin–Green Bay supports the right of all enrolled students to a full and equal educational opportunity. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities is a shared faculty and student responsibility. If you need any academic accommodation due to a disability, you must self-identify and register with the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Office. To register, you will need to complete an online application (GB ACCESS) on the Student Accessibility Services website. GB ACCESS empowers you to request accommodations that would best support your learning in each class. Your request will be sent electronically to the SAS Office for review, approval and dissemination to faculty. Accommodations are not automatically available for each class, each term and do not go into effect until the request through GB ACCESS process is complete. Please contact the SAS office if you have any questions about the accommodation process or our role in supporting your learning. Once your request has been sent, the faculty, the SAS office and you can work together to ensure you have equal access. Location of SAS: Student Services Room 1700; phone: (920) 456-2841; email: sas@uwgb.edu and website.

The University of Wisconsin–Green Bay requires that students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations to ensure their equal access to course content. Qualified students with disabilities who will require accommodations in this class are encouraged to make their requests through the Student Accessibility Services Office and communicate with that office as soon as possible. Note: Prior to receiving accommodations, verification of eligibility from the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is required. Disability information is confidential. Students can find the application for services on our website or in the SAS Office, Student Services Building, room 1700.

In addition to any required full statement about Student Accessibility Services, Dr. Lisa Aspinwall of the Disability and Advocacy Research Network (DARN) suggests including a statement like the following in your syllabus.

“We are committed not only to the letter but also the spirit of the ADA. If you qualify for accommodations in any aspect of the course, we encourage you to use them, starting with the first class. Please see the professor as soon as possible so that we can work together to make arrangements.”

Academic Integrity

You are required to include a statement on academic integrity with a link to UW System’s Academic Integrity Policy (UWS Chapter 14).

The appropriation of others' work as your own is plagiarism and a major citation error. Examples of plagiarism include forgetting to add a "Works Cited" entry for a source you include in your paper; summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting the ideas of others without any citations; and borrowing or purchasing papers from others. Incidents of plagiarism will be handled individually in accordance with UW-Green Bay's Plagiarism Policy.
 
To avoid any problems, please make sure that you appropriately cite all information you use in course assignments, and that you complete all individual course work independently. If you’re unsure of how to cite your information or what requires citation, I and others are here to help! For more information, please refer to The Learning Centercitation basics from our Libraries, and the UW System’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Potential Online Learning Statements

Active Engagement

Instructors teaching in modalities that rely on online participation may wish to include a statement outlining expectations for student engagement.

Sample statement provided by Nichole LaGrow.

Although this is an online, asynchronous class, there are regular and frequent interactions in our class. A class week begins on a Wednesday at midnight and ends on a Tuesday at 11:59 pm. If a student is unable to engage with activity for an entire week, he/she should contact the instructor to discuss the absence. Extended absences should be processed through the Dean of Students.

Policy on Children in Virtual Sessions

This may be particularly important to those updating their syllabus during pandemic semesters.

Caregivers deserve access to education. At all times, I strive to be inclusive to parents and other caregivers, and now, in our virtual learning space, with many children learning from home or schools facing sudden closures, we can expect children to be present in class from time to time. I ask that all students work with me to create a welcoming environment that is respectful of all forms of diversity, including diversity in caregiving status.

  1. Children may be visible onscreen during class sessions, either in a lap or playing in the background. This includes breastfeeding or chestfeeding [NOTE: this is a term many transmen and non-binary birth parents use] babies. Alternatively, you may turn your camera off if more privacy is required.
  2. Caregivers who anticipate having a child(ren) with them during class sessions are encouraged to wear a headset to help minimize background noise. You may mute your microphone and communicate through the “chat” feature at any point necessary.
  3. Stepping away momentarily for childcare reasons is completely understandable and expected. Simply mute and/or turn off your camera as necessary, and rejoin us when you are able.
  4. While I maintain the same high expectations for all student in my classes regardless of parenting status, I am happy to problem solve with you in a way that makes you feel supported as you strive for school-caregiving balance.

(Based on the policies by Dr. Melissa Cheyney and Dr. Elizabeth Horn care of the UW System caregiving task force)

Netiquette

Consider providing Netiquette guidelines for students to maintain a more welcoming, comfortable, and effective environment for online communication.

"Netiquette" is the socially and professionally acceptable way to communicate on the Internet. Please abide by these guidelines of "netiquette" when using online communication tools with your classmates and instructor: 

  • Identify yourself. Begin messages with a greeting and close with your name.
  • Avoid sarcasm. It can be misinterpreted causing hurt feelings.
  • Keep the dialog collegial and professional. Some discussion topics may be controversial. 
  • Do not flame—these are outbursts of extreme emotion or opinion. Think twice before you submit a response. You cannot take it back! 
  • Do not use offensive language or profanity. 
  • Use clear subject lines for your posts. 
  • Do not use all caps. It is the online equivalent of YELLING! 
  • Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms—like UNESCO—unless the entire class knows them. 
  • Use emoticons (emotion icons) to clarify your emotions. 
  • Be forgiving. Anyone can make a mistake. 

Communication in online courses is different than face-to-face conversation. To create a welcoming and open classroom environment, let's all practice "netiquette." There are ten simple guidelines you can follow to help us all have a better experience.  

Other Statements to Consider

Student Advocacy or Student Complaints

While students are encouraged to go to their instructor and then chair, etc., the Dean of Students (DoS) maintains a form for student complaints that can be used for all manner of complaints. Here’s the information page and here’s the policy. Instructors are encouraged to include the following or a similar statement on their syllabi.

If you have a concern or complaint about this course, please first try to address it with the instructor. If you continue to have concerns, you should contact the chair of the ______ program, who is _________ (email; phone; office). [List the academic dean if the instructor is a chair.] You may always contact the Dean of Students for guidance: (920) 465-2152 or dos@uwgb.edu.

Bereavement Policy

For more information see the Deans of Students’ full bereavement policy and procedures.

Upon approval from the Dean of Students, students who experience the death of a loved one are allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Dean of Students, of excused absence. Students may also take a Bereavement Leave of Absence for the semester in which the death occurs. Permission to do so will occur upon consultation with the Dean of Students.

Mental Health and Wellness

We are all human, and we may all be impacted by stress, relationship challenges, and work-life balance issues. We are also all susceptible to common mental health concerns, such as depression, anxiety, and addictive behaviors. These can lead to difficulties with motivation and concentration and impact academic work. All too often we find it hard to ask for help when we need it, but I hope you will reach out and use the free and confidential counseling services available to you through the university. Your health and wellness are important.

Civility and Inclusivity Policies

Many instructors choose to share an inclusivity policy to promote an inclusive classroom environment.

I wish to confirm my conviction that a college campus must be a safe place for the discussion of ideas. As such, I expect each member of the class to treat one another with tolerance for ideas discussed from a variety of perspectives. I respect the dignity of every person and will not allow discrimination against anyone based on religion, age, disability, ethnic origin, race, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation. Let’s approach one another with good intentions and openness

Our class is a kind of community, and we are also part of a larger university community that expects civility and inclusivity from its members to help us creative a good learning and living environment for everyone. The classroom should be a place where we can freely exchange ideas. We should, though, be able to disagree with and challenge one another’s ideas in a respectful way that does not involve attacks, insults, or discriminatory language or behaviors. If you have not already, please review UWGB’s Inclusivity & Civility Statement.

"It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students' learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that we can make arrangements for you."

University of Iowa College of Education

https://education.uiowa.edu/coe-policies/syllabus-checklist

The UWGB Land Acknowledgment

In a continuing effort to create a more inclusive community, UW-Green Bay has adopted a formal land acknowledgment to honor our native peoples. UWGB’s land acknowledgment statement was developed by our First Nations faculty. Instructors are encouraged to incorporate the land acknowledgment in their syllabi and/or course welcome module.

We at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay acknowledge the First Nations people who are the original inhabitants of the region. The Ho-Chunk Nation and the Menominee Nation are the original First People of Wisconsin and both Nations have ancient historical and spiritual connections to the land that our institution now resides upon.

Today, Wisconsin is home to 12 First Nations communities including the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Potawatomi Nation, Ojibwe Nation communities, Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohican Nation, and the Brothertown Indian Nation.

We acknowledge the First Nations People of Wisconsin.

Classroom Environment

Similar to the inclusivity policy, many instructors include language about the sort of environment that enables learning and respectful debate. Some write this in advance of the course, while others include the students in its construction.

Classroom Environment: The classroom should be an arena for voicing opinions and arguments in the spirit of debate, but should also display civility and tolerance. Students will bring different experiences and beliefs to bear on the materials we read, and our discussions must allow for a range of viewpoints to be expressed.  One of the central tenets of feminism is that the “the personal is political.” In other words, knowledge and social change cannot be divorced from lived experience. The ideas and issues that we discuss will often have direct bearing on students’ past experiences or personal philosophies, and it is reasonable to occasionally share these connections.  At the same time, such comments should remain connected to the course readings, and allow for the participation of everyone in the class.

Class environment: In order to provide a stimulating and effective learning environment, everyone is expected to follow shared codes of conduct. As noted above, we will construct our own policies on the first few days of class. In order to foster fruitful discussions we should all strive to create an environment of mutual respect—for it to be mutual, we all have to have a stake.

All interactions in class should be civil, respectful, and supportive of an inclusive learning environment for all students. If you have any concerns about classroom participation or classroom dynamics, I encourage you to speak with me, with Dr. X, the X Department chair, or your advisor. You may also share your concerns with the University at http://www.uwgb.edu/phoenix-cares/.

Civility and Online Etiquette: Civility and decorum are expected at all times. You are welcome to your own opinion and encouraged to express it, but you must do so in a mature and sincere manner. You must also make sure your opinions are informed and well-supported – this is not your personal soapbox. You may find it helpful to review these guidelines for online etiquette.

“The topics that we're covering in this class are often difficult, not just intellectually but emotionally. While I expect there to be rigorous discussion and even disagreement in the course of our class discussions, I ask that you engage in discussion with care and empathy for other members in the classroom. Aim to disagree without becoming disagreeable. In this class, we will not shy away from the uncomfortable. Critically examining and assessing our most basic assumptions and values is not just one of the tasks of philosophy but is an activity vital to living an authentic life. I urge you to have the courage to be uncomfortable in this class. In exchange for your courage, I will work to ensure a classroom environment that supports your taking these intellectual and emotional risks.”

Attributed to Whitman College by the following sites: https://www.calstatela.edu/diversity/DEI-syllabus-statement 

Name and Pronouns

Many instructors choose to list their pronouns along with their name to promote an inclusive classroom environment.

Names and Pronouns: During the first week of class, I will ask you to write your preferred first name on the class sign-in roster. I will also invite you to make a nametag to use in class that includes your gender pronouns. I see sharing gender pronouns as a gesture of respect and a reminder that we should not make assumptions about gender based upon physical appearance, names, etc. If you misgender someone (i.e., call someone who identifies as a woman “he,” or vice versa), the best practice is to apologize (concisely) and move on, without making a big scene.

Names, Pronouns, and Gender: If you have changed your name (officially or unofficially) from what appears in SIS, go by a nickname, or wish to specify a set of appropriate pronouns, please feel free to ask me in person or by email. Everyone in this class has the right to be addressed and understood by their right name and their gender identity, and no one has the right to challenge anyone else’s self-identification. Everyone deserves trust and respect.

Language Inclusivity Policy

When an assignment or discussion does not require formal language, some instructors encourage their students to write and speak in the way that is most natural to them to promote an inclusive classroom environment.

Sample statement provided by Cory Mathieu with slight modification.

I welcome and encourage you to use all of your language resources in this class. This means that all of your ways of speaking and writing are valued in our classroom as long as you continue to show respect for our learning community. I am more concerned about what is communicated than how. That being said, some assignments will require more standardized, formal language so that you have opportunities to practice writing in ways desired in most professions.

Class Attendance Policy

UWGB instructors adopt a wide variety of classroom attendance policies.

Attendance is required, not simply because you need to be present to learn, but also because we need you as part of our learning community. If you miss class, you are responsible for getting notes from a classmate and for checking email and D2L/Canvas for updates. If you miss consecutive days of class, please send me an email to inform me of your situation. Please arrive to class on time, as latecomers are a distraction to everybody in the room. Because I give all students three absences without penalty, I do not keep track of the reasons for every absence. If you have a special excused absence, such as university business, military service, or a serious family emergency, however, please do let me know.

Your participation is welcomed and encouraged as this is a gathering place where we can improve our listening and speaking on a range of social problems and issues. Participation will be evaluated in terms of evidence:

  1. of your preparedness for class (timeliness of assignments, demonstrating you have read the materials, etc.)
  2. that you are present in class in both body and mind (alert, paying attention, listening respectfully, etc.)
  3. of your active participation (asking questions, offering your perspective, providing constructive feedback to your colleagues, etc.)
  4. of your leadership and participation in small group discussions in class.

Religious/Cultural Observances

Instructors may wish to consult the Interfaith Calendar to see if important course dates conflict with religious observances. 

I strongly encourage you to honor your religious and cultural holidays. If you have a religious or cultural observance that coincides with this class (meetings and/or due dates), let me know by email at least two weeks in advance so that we can make a plan to ensure that you do not fall behind in class.

Teaching Philosophy

Many instructors share their teaching philosophy explicitly with students.

Sample 1

My general philosophy is I want to encourage you to think critically and observe the holistic connections between ideas. I am less interested in your recitation of terms and concepts and more in your understanding of how what we discuss in class ties together. I encourage you to challenge and debate what you learn in class, and never be afraid to ask questions.

TEACHING VALUES: 

You can count on me to do these things:

  • Give your exam review one class prior to the exam.
  • I do not have any trick questions on the exam, what we talk about is what you will see.
  • We may go off topic as we explore different questions and ideas that you are interested in instead of what is exactly on the syllabus.
  • I will be as forgiving as I can with attendance, late assignments, and accommodating to you, but I will hold to the rules of the syllabus to ensure understanding and transparency.
  • I will be a resource for you to grow from and a soft landing pad should you make a mistake.
  • We will use collaborative-based learning as much as possible in this class to help you to be engaged in your learning.

Digital Devices in the Classroom

Many instructors include policies about the use of electronic or digital devices within the classroom. There is a wide variety as to how instructors tackle this issue.

Electronic Devices in the Classroom: There is now overwhelming evidence, based on systematic research, that “multi-tasking” with digital devices interferes badly with learning. Even having a smart phone on the table or desk takes a toll on concentration. Please silence and stow (out of sight) all mobile phones during class. No texting or messaging in class. If you are experiencing a personal emergency that requires you to take calls or receive text messages, consider taking advantage of the three emergency absences that I allow. Otherwise, please let me know about your situation and try to minimize disruptions. You may use a laptop computer, e-reader, or tablet in class for referring to assigned course materials, for in-class assignments, and for taking notes (although, based upon research into note-taking, I do not recommend that you try to type notes in class). Please avoid the temptation to check email, browse the web, etc., during class. If you have trouble staying focused on class, I recommend that you turn off wifi access unless you need it for a specific assignment or discussion.

Personal electronics – You may use your laptop or mobile devices to read the e-book version of the text or complete in-class assignments and exercises. However, using them for any activities that are not class-related activities is against course policy. Please also turn your cell phone to silent or turn it off altogether.

Course Materials and Recordings

Materials for this course, including documents, videos, assignments, quizzes, and lectures, were created or assembled specifically to enhance the learning of students in our class. I want you to use the materials for your own studying, but please realize they may be copyrighted or my protected intellectual property. You must get my written consent first if you want to share lectures, videos, readings, etc. with people outside of our class or on any publicly accessible platform (e.g., CourseHero, Quizlet, other websites, listservs, etc.).
To create the most comfortable learning environment possible for your classmates and for me, I do not allow students to record audio or video of my lectures or our class sessions. An exception to this policy can be made if you provide documentation of official accommodations to record through Student Accessibility Services. Please talk to me if you have questions or concerns about this policy.

Late Work/Deadline Policy

Most instructors include transparent language describing late work and/or policies about deadlines on their syllabus.

LATE ASSIGNMENTS: Late assignments will be accepted as circumstances in life do happen, but please be aware that scores will drop by 10% for each class session late.

Deadlines: Deadlines are important. They help us plan. They motivate us. They keep us on the same page so that we can work together. Submitting your work on time is an important part of completing assignments for college classes, not to mention other aspects of your life. I understand, however, that you may experience an emergency or other circumstance that could prevent you from submitting your work on time. If this happens, please communicate with me as soon as reasonably possible to negotiate an extension. (The only way to get an extension is to ask for it.) Then, when you have completed the assignment, please let me know via email. Keep in mind that if you submit late work, you may miss out on an opportunity to collaborate with or receive feedback from your peers, and your feedback from me may be delayed or reduced, depending on the situation.

Exams (Making Up): Because I understand that illnesses and unexpected emergencies do arise, I will allow you to make up one exam during the semester, under the condition that you exercise due diligence by contacting me with an email or phone message before the end of the class session when the exam takes place. At that time, you must let me know when you can take the exam within the next two business days. It is your responsibility to follow up immediately to schedule a make-up exam. (Note: make-up exams may differ from in-class exams.)

Sample statement provided by Nichole LaGrow.

Each student has one opportunity to request an extension of up to four days to submit the assignment after its due date. In order to use an extension, students should request the additional time at least 24 hours before it is due. To document a personal or familial need that would require you to miss several days of class, please contact the Dean of Students by calling (920) 465-2152. If you are unable to call, a parent or guardian can call on your behalf.

Veterans Services

See also the UW-Green Bay active duty absence policy in full.

Students that are activated for the military may request a complete withdrawal. Individual (not unit) orders are needed if you withdraw during a semester. These orders need to be given to the following offices: Registrar, Student Billing Resources, Financial Aid, and Residence Life (if applicable).

  • Tuition and Fees: Activated students should be given the opportunity to earn their grade or a full refund of tuition should be made.
  • Room and Board: Activated students should be given a refund for the unused portions of room and board contracts.
  • Financial Aid: For students receiving financial aid at the time of their withdrawal, please be aware that the financial aid office is required by federal regulation to calculate the amount of aid (if any) that must be returned. This applies to any student that withdraws and there is not an exception for military deployment. Depending on the amount of aid received and the date of withdrawal in that semester, you may have to repay a percentage of aid to the appropriate aid programs.

If you are interested in doing an independent study during the time you are gone, we encourage you to work out the details with your instructor and fill out the independent study form before you leave. Please contact Elaina Koltz in the Financial Aid Office if you plan to take a class while activated. We want to make this process as easy as possible.

  • Email Account: Please contact the IT Service Desk at gbit@uwgb.edu to extend the activation of your UWGB email account.
  • Parking Decal Refund: If withdrawn within the first 4 weeks, you may be eligible for a parking refund. Contact Student Billing Resources for more information.
  • Library Books: Return any library books, media services equipment, etc.
  • Dining Points: Remaining balance of dining points and pass points are refundable less a $25 dollar administration fee.

The federal government provides options for service members who are being deployed for active duty and who have student loans. As a deployed service member, you may be eligible to delay or temporarily suspend making loan payments to reduce the burden on you and your family. In general, service members will fall into one of three categories:

  • Those currently enrolled in school, have taken out student loans, and are being called to active duty.
  • Those within the grace period of their student loans, have yet to make a first payment, and are being called to active duty.
  • Those currently making payments on student loans and are being called to active duty.

The key for you is to contact the lender or the agency that services your student loans to see if you are eligible for the delayed or suspended repayment benefit. For many students that servicer will be Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation (GLHEC). GLHEC has an online resource that any service member can refer to regarding options available to them. You can find that resource at www.mygreatlakes.org/deployment . Although the information is available to anyone at this site, you still must contact your lender or loan holder (if it is not GLHEC) so it can be finalized.

When you return to UW-Green Bay, you need to apply for readmission. This is to update your account. The admissions office will also need an official transcript for any classes you may have taken at another institution while activated.

The financial aid application is an annual process and you can file your aid application in advance of your readmission to the University. You can file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online by going to FAFSA's website and completing the form for the aid year for which you plan to return.

FERPA and/or HIPPA statement 

The Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the education records of students from kindergarten to graduate school. Read more on UWGB's FERPA overview page.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law designed to protect medical records and the sharing of patient medical data. “Covered Entities” who must comply with these regulations are Health Plans, most Healthcare Providers, and Healthcare Clearinghouses. Read more about HIPPA on the US Department of Health and Human Services official website.

Student Resources to Consider

UW-Green Bay offers a wide variety of support services for our students. Such services provide students the opportunity to spend more of their mental and physical energy on intellectual and personal growth. You may wish to include each resource on your syllabus, or, you may prefer to refer them to websites such as Phoenix Cares, which provide information to many (but not all) of these services. For the resources you choose to include, please also list any equivalent resources located at the Manitowoc, Marinette, and Sheboygan campuses, when applicable.

All-Location Resources

Resources centralized in Green Bay that service students at all four locations.

Campus Cupboard & Clothes Closet | Rose Hall 140 | sofoodpantry@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2813

The Campus Cupboard is a student organization run by students, with the mission of providing an on-campus food pantry, clothing closet, and cleaning/personal hygiene products to ensure adequate basic needs are met of all students, faculty, and staff.

Career Services | Student Services 1600, Green Bay campus | careers@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2163

Career Services provides assistance with choosing majors/minors, exploring career options/fields, gaining experience/internships, and preparing for success after graduation, including seeking postgraduate employment and applying to graduate or professional schools.

Cofrin Library | (920) 465-2540 | refdesk@uwgb.edu

The library offers a number of services for students including research assistance, printing, computers, quiet study areas, and material check out, including technology and media equipment.

Dean of Students | Student Services 2000, Green Bay campus | dos@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2152

The Dean of Students Office strives to answer questions, address concerns and meet students’ needs so that students can be successful inside and outside of the classroom. Visit their FAQ page for more info.

Division of University Inclusivity and Student Affairs | studentaffairs@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2162

The Division of University Inclusivity and Student Affairs includes the Dean of Students, Student Accessibility Services, University Recreation, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, the Pride Center, Residence Life, the Wellness Center, Trio & Precollege, and the University Union.

Education Center for First Nations Studies | Wood Hall 410, Green Bay campus

Visit with and learn from First Nations Elders in an informal setting. Drop by Wood Hall 410 for more information.

Financial Aid | Student Services 1100, Green Bay campus | financialaid@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2299

Financial Aid provides year-round assistance to students and their families who are seeking financial resources to help cover educational expenses.

Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) | University Union 150, Green Bay campus | mesa@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2720

The Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) office provides advising, services, and activities that promote the academic success, personal growth, and development of multiethnic students. MESA also conducts educational programs that enhance learning through the promotion of respect and appreciation of racial and ethnic diversity.

University Union 153, Green Bay campus    pridecenter@uwgb.edu  | (920) 465-2167

The mission of the Pride Centers is to offer a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, as well as identify and respond to their concerns and needs and provide high-quality support services that contribute to their academic and personal growth.

Phoenix Cares

Phoenix Cares is the place to go to share a concern about another student or if you need assistance yourself. This site has resources on academic support, bias/hate incident reporting, childcare, finances, mental health, food/clothing/housing needs, sexual assault, social support services, and more.

Phoenix Emergency Grant Program | emergencygrant@uwgb.edu

Facing a financial emergency? Apply for a one-time grant of up to $1,000 to pay for unanticipated financial expenses.

Student Accessibility Services | Student Services 1700, Green Bay campus | sas@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2841

Student Accessibility Services (formally known as Disability Services) collaborates with students, instructors and staff to ensure equal educational and programmatic access for eligible students with documented disabilities through academic accommodations and support services.

Student Engagement Center | University Union 150, Green Bay campus | sec@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2720

The Student Engagement Center supports student development, success, and satisfaction by helping students get connected, explore their interests, and create their own unique college experience through events and activities, student organizations, leadership development, and community service.

The Learning Center (TLC) | Cofrin Library 206, Green Bay campus | sttutor1@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2958

Free academic support, mentoring, and study groups. Visit the TLC on the Plaza Level of the Cofrin Library (CL 206).

Veteran’s Services | Student Services 1100, Green Bay campus | financialaid@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2075

Veteran's Services provides information on benefits and services for U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard veterans.

Wellness Center | Student Services 1400, Green Bay campus | wellnesscenter@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2380

Free 1-on-1 counseling and nursing visits. Provider visits at low or no cost.

Manitowoc Resources

Counseling Center | Founders Hall F152, Manitowoc campus | wellnesscenter@uwgb.edu | (800) 458-8183 or (920) 924-0614 | 

Free 1-on-1 counseling. On-campus hours are Wednesdays from 8:30 am.–2:30 p.m. in room F152 at Founders Hall. Off-campus hours are days and evenings, Monday through Friday at Agnesian Work & Wellness, 56 Camelot Drive, Fond du Lac.

Manitowoc Campus Library | man-libdesk@uwgb.edu | (920) 683-4715 

The library offers a number of services for students including textbook pick up, research assistance, printing, computers, quiet study areas, accommodations testing, and material check out.

Student Services | Founders Hall F120, Manitowoc campus | 920-683-4707

Student Services is your resource for information about the Manitowoc Campus, including information about registering for classes, financial aid, and campus events. The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Marinette Resources

Counseling Center | Main Building M141, Marinette campus | wellnesscenter@uwgb.edu | (920) 465-2380

Free 1-on-1 counseling every other Wednesday on campus with virtual appointments available other weekdays. Part-time and full-time students can take advantage of up to 10 free counseling sessions.

Marinette Campus Library | Library Technology Building, Marinette campus | mnt-libdesk@uwgb.edu | (715) 735-4306

The library offers a number of services for students including textbook pick up, research assistance, printing, computers, quiet study areas, accommodations testing, and material check out.

Our Closet | Main Building M200, Marinette campus | olsonp@uwgb.edu | (715) 735-4301

The mission of Our Closet is to provide an on-campus food pantry, clothing closet, cleaning/personal hygiene products, and office/study supplies to ensure adequate basic needs are met of all students, faculty, and staff.

Marinette Campus Pride Center | Main Building M145, Marinette campus | mnt-pridecenter@uwgb.edu | (715) 504-3388

The mission of the Pride Centers is to offer a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ people and their allies, as well as identify and respond to their concerns and needs and provide high-quality support services that contribute to their academic and personal growth.

Student Services | Main Building M126, Marinette campus | marinette@uwgb.edu | (715) 735-4301

Student Services is your resource for information about the Marinette campus, including information about registering for classes, financial aid, campus IDs, veterans services, campus involvement (clubs and orgs) and campus events.

The Learning Center (TLC) | Main Building M113, Marinette campus

Campus tutoring and resource center for math and writing assistance.

Work Study Contact | Main Building M144, Marinette campus | oclaire.kait@gmail.com | (715) 735-4331

Meet with Kaitlyn O’Claire to learn about Marinette’s community work study partners, including the local Boys & Girls Club and area public schools.

Sheboygan Resources

Career Closet | Main Building 2225 (located in the Student Involvement Center), Sheboygan campus

Free career clothing for use by all current students.

Counseling Center | Main Building 2222, Sheboygan campus | wellnesscenter@uwgb.edu | (800) 458-8183 or (920) 924-0614

Free 1-on-1 counseling. On-campus hours are Wednesdays & Thursdays from 9:00 am.–2:00 p.m. in Room 2222. Off-campus hours are days and evenings, Monday through Friday at Agnesian Work & Wellness, 56 Camelot Drive, Fond du Lac.

Food Bank |Main Building 2225 (located outside the Student Involvement Center), Sheboygan campus

Free food and other items for use by all current students. Items rotate. Contact Student Services for more information, 920-459-6633.

Sheboygan Campus Library | Acuity Technology Center, Sheboygan campus | shb-libdesk@uwgb.edu | 920-459-6625

The library offers a number of services for students including University ID services, textbook pick up, research assistance, printing, computers, quiet study areas and material check out. Located in the Acuity Technology Center main floor.

Student Involvement Center | Main Building 2225, Sheboygan campus

Student Government and Org Offices surround the newly renovated study and gathering space. Open to all students.

Student Services | Main Building 2224, Sheboygan campus | (920) 459-6633

Student Services is your resource for information about the Sheboygan campus, including information about registering for classes, financial aid, and campus events.

Student Success Center | Main Building Room 3112, Sheboygan campus | (920) 459-6683

Active Learning

What Is Active Learning?

Research has long supported the effectiveness of active learning strategies. What is active learning? It is an umbrella term used to describe classroom techniques in which students must participate in a tangible way in their own learning, as opposed to passively attending to a lecture or other presented material. Sometimes it involves groups of students working together (e.g., think, pair, share); in other cases they work individually to engage with the material (e.g., minute papers).

Overwhelming Evidence Supports Active Learning in the Classroom

You may be very familiar with the idea of active learning, but perhaps you are less well-acquainted with the research that supports its use. As recently noted by Davidson and Katopodis (2022) in Inside Higher Ed, according to “an often-referenced meta-study of more than 225 separate studies, active learning is more effective for every kind of student, in every discipline, than the traditional lecture model or the question-and-answer guided discussion method” (para. 1). Want to review some of the evidence yourself? Freeman et al. (2014) published the meta-analysis just referenced. More recently, Dewsbury and colleagues (2022) reported that active and inclusive learning techniques improved grades and reduced equity gaps in introductory biology courses, supporting previous findings by Theobold, Hill, Tran, and Freeman (2020) with STEM majors. Finally, Deslauriers et al. (2019) offered this interesting study that tackled resistance to active learning. They discovered that students in their research objectively learned more with active strategies but perceived that they learned less. Thus, instructors may wish to explain why they use these teaching approaches and what evidence tells us about the benefits for students.

Practical Implementation of Active Learning across Classes and Disciplines

As with any teaching approach, gradual implementation at a pace comfortable to the instructor and students is often wise. There are dozens and dozens of active learning strategies you can try, so there are opportunities to use these across disciplines and whether your classes are large or small, introductory level or advanced. Using active learning also does not mean abandoning lecture – in fact, it can be interspersed between shorter stretches of lecture that fit better with our typical attention span (e.g., about 10 minutes). What follows are links to practical resources to get you started.

Overlapping Evidence-Based Practices Using Growth Mindset, Trauma-Informed, and Inclusive Teaching

Download or print this resource

In Spring 2022 we had talks from three nationally recognized speakers on the following topics: inclusive teaching, promoting growth mindset, and trauma-informed education. Here are the descriptions of and links to each talk.

  • Growth Mindset: As Dr. Angie Bauer argued, we promote learning and resilience and reduce equity gaps when instructors and students embrace the idea that abilities can be changed and developed (Yeager & Dweck, 2020).
  • Inclusive Teaching: Dr. Addy’s IDI keynote shared more about inclusive teaching as “being responsive to the diversity our class and designing learning environments that include all of our students” (Addy, 2021).
  • Trauma-Informed Education: Dr. Mays Imad asserted that learning is promoted through class environments characterized by security or predictability, transparent communication, peer support, shared decisions, promoting student strengths, recognizing diversity and identity, and a sense of purpose (Imad, 2020).

Applying all three approaches to your work may seem daunting, but there are common, evidence-based teaching strategies that achieve all at once. We list them below, along with how they “fit” each category and linked resources.

Pre-Semester or Early in the Semester

Use positive, student-centered syllabus language.

Gather info to learn about students & build rapport.

Align learning outcomes with what you teach & assess.

  • Growth mindset: Provides outcomes clearly; students can self-assess growth 
  • Inclusive: Sets transparent goals for all and links assessment to them 
  • Trauma-informed: Promotes security with transparent communication 
  • Tools & ideas:

Discuss growth mindset and its impacts with students.

During the Semester

Publish rubrics in advance and use them for grading.

Use active and problem-based learning.

Collect and respond to exam wrapper or mid-term feedback.

  • Growth mindset: Models growth mindset as you show openness to change. 
  • Inclusive: Respects all student voices and promotes reflection 
  • Trauma-informed: Promotes reflection on strengths and shared decisions 
  • Tools & ideas:

Use multiple methods of assessment.

Late in Semester or Post-Semester

Consider authentic assessments vs. “final exams."

 

Collect and reflect upon student feedback.