Before Teaching

Being intentional.
Guides on approaching, preparing for, and designing teaching and learning

  • Threshold concepts are "core ideas that are conceptually challenging for students, who struggle to grasp it—but once grasped, it radically transforms the their perception of the subject. Although this material is difficult to learn, understanding threshold concepts is essential to the mastery of any field of study." 


  • The more we know about how our students think about knowledge (what it is and who has it), the better equipped we are to help them learn, to recognize where and why they struggle, and to identify ways of helping them move through struggle toward greater understanding.  This is the fundamental idea of the research on students' cognitive development.


  • Effective assessment of student learning is one of the most important components of postsecondary education. Assessment is one of the biggest motivating factors for student learning. The following TI guide builds upon an extensive literature review to present 19 research-informed principles for guiding assessment of student learning in diverse postsecondary contexts.


  • The Graduate Student Teaching Development Guide is designed to empower TAs to engage in their role in ways that enhance their teaching and learning capacities, and promote student learning. Each chapter provides practical information and strategies to use in real-time, and reflection prompts when considering how to best translate these elements into the classroom. 


  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that guides the design of courses and learning environments to appeal to the largest number of learners. This guide outlines the principles of UDL and provides examples of how it could be implemented in university courses.