Pedagogical and Curricular Tools

The following list of recommendations includes activities and techniques commonly used in teaching. These strategies draw from widely available guidelines and suggestions, including knowledge shared informally by faculty and students at Concordia University. Sources are not provided as most of these strategies are freely available online, such as through institutional curriculum and teaching resource webpages. Special thanks to the Simone de Beauvoir Institute’s annual pedagogy retreat, where many of these strategies have also been discussed, and to Sarah Ghabrial and Genevieve Renard Painter for sharing their participation and survey models, and to Myloe Martel-Perry, who adapted strategies they have found effective as a student.

Best Practices for Pedagogy and Curriculum

  • Avoid costly textbooks. To encourage financial sustainability in your courses, use the library course reserves or online course readings accessed through the library.
  • Prioritize developing and converting all course readings and files to formats compatible with screen readers.
  • Invite librarians and writing centre specialists to help workshop reading and writing techniques in your introductory classes.
  • Rework your syllabus design on a regular basis by drawing on guides and workshops/training.
  • Incorporate moderation and facilitation techniques and skill-building into teaching.
  • Collaborate with students to build inclusive classrooms and syllabi.
  • Prioritize transparency and flexibility in course design.
  • Survey students to generate feedback on their learning and progress, and then adapt your courses following an evaluation of this feedback.
  • Use the syllabus to set the tone of your course and build your classroom culture and community.

Facilitating and Creating Spaces for Inclusion in Your Courses

Faculty face a common challenge when it comes to the classroom. Many of us face difficulties managing class discussions, responding to heated moments, and maintaining our energy and enthusiasm, given our heavy workloads. Some students dominate the discussion, while others are reluctant to participate and share for fear of being judged. Students from marginalized and historically excluded communities may be hesitant to share over fears of being tokenized, dismissed, or harassed. The classroom is not separate from the wider social, political, and economic world around us, and as such, we all bring our experiences from outside into our learning spaces. Rather than assume the classroom should be a safe space, we can better address the diverse experiences of those in our classes by thinking of the classroom as its own cultural space and community. Building a sense of collective investment in how students and faculty co-create the space of the classroom can both help students feel invested in the class and provide practical tools and approaches based on the needs, experiences, and interests of students within the class.

In the following section, we will showcase ways of fostering co-creation, collectivity, accountability, and adaptability in your courses.


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Better Practices in the Classroom by Natalie Kouri-Towe and Myloe Martel-Perry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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