Teaching Resources

Active Learning is an instructional method backed by research that leads to deeper levels of learning by using multiple strategies to engage students. With active learning, students are equipped with effective communication skills, teamwork capabilities, tactics for problem-solving, and a deeper, meaningful sense of education.

If you want to start incorporating active learning, start with one component of your class session and make it more interactive. Here are some useful resources:

Innovative Classrooms

Thanks to the TCC Foundation's First Class Project, 50 classrooms across campus are being renovated. The new technology and furnishings help to create an active and engaging learning environment that better meets the needs of today's students.

Classroom Technology

If you teach in a renovated classroom, check out the quick reference training videos and documents listed below to maximize your use of this technology.

Training Documents

  • Beginning User Manual: Learn the basics of how to use the new Interactive Epson Projector and touchscreen Extron controllers, as well as safety precautions for using this equipment. Created internally, all users should review this manual.
  • Epson Quick Reference: This short quick reference guide was created by Epson and highlights the on-screen menu options and tools for quick use instructions. 
  • Epson User Guide: Developed by Epson, this 50-page guide will introduce the interactive whiteboard in more detail. Learn more advanced features of the new Interactive Epson Projector and touchscreen Extron controllers.

Training Videos

  • BrightLink Pro Demo: Highlights of interactive display features
  • Digital Whiteboarding 101: How to use the digital whiteboard basics
  • Easy Interactive Tools: Making your whiteboard interactive and what you can do with it
  • Digital Whiteboarding Plus: Learn about whiteboard tools, changing pen color, sizes, and highlights, using two pens or fingers
  • Files and Images: Opening a file & inserting an image to use on a whiteboard
  • Sharing Notes: How to share your whiteboard notes and illustrations
  • Using Templates: Use built-in templates to use different boards, such as grids or graphing (great for math)
  • Use Your Own Device: Connect your own device to display on the whiteboard (preferred method: use the app).
  • Whiteboard Sharing: Some of our units allow sharing to up to 15 devices. This is great for students in the back or with limited vision. You can also allow the devices to interact and "draw" on the board from their device. 
  • Interactive Pens: How to use the interactive pens with the whiteboard


Classroom Seating

The furniture in your renovated classroom is designed for flexibility of use. Desks can be reconfigured from the traditional classroom row-and-aisle seating to a multitude of more engaging arrangements. The engaged seating guide below provides examples of common arrangements:

Engaged Seating Guide

  • Engaged Seating Options: Maximize student engagement with varied classroom seating arrangements. This quick reference guide can be found in all renovated classrooms at the instructor station.

These interactive seating options can be used in any classroom with mobile desk stations. Be creative in your teaching space to provide the best opportunities for active learning.

Webinars: Live and On-Demand

As members of a variety of organizations we have access to many live webinars, as well as on-demand webinars covering an array of topics in teaching and learning, administration, safety and security, and so much more! Discover how to access webinars from each organization and don’t forget to verify your participation in the web form.


Webinars are free with our institutional membership. Create your own free account with AAC&U selecting TCC as the institution and you can then register for any webinar for free. Create an account here. Once logged in, select the desired webinar from the “store home.”


Webinars are free with our institutional membership; individuals use a shared college login. Webinars are listed online and can be registered using links below each webinar: https://www.nisod.org/webinars/upcoming-webinars/ Username: tcc.fl.edu | Password: nisod921

Online Learning Consortium – Live and On Demand

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) offers a variety of webinars for free to member colleges. Webinars are updated throughout the year and the list of upcoming webinars can be viewed here. Many webinars are live and must be viewed at the specified time and date. To view recorded webinars, select the “On Demand Webinars” tab in the “find a webinar” section. After finding a desired webinar, select “register” (for live) or “watch now” (for On Demand) and enter your information to participate. TCC is a member and you will receive an email with webinar access information.


Additional Resources


Teaching Effectiveness Philosophies

Seven Principles for Good Practice

  1. Encourage student-faculty/staff interaction
  2. Promote cooperation among students
  3. Support active learning 
  4. Give prompt feedback 
  5. Emphasize time on task 
  6. Communicate high expectations
  7. Respect diverse talents and ways of learning (implies multiple ways of engaging students in course material and assessments)


Gamson and Chickering, 1987, Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

Chickering and Ehrman, 1996, Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever

The Teacher/Learner Continuum

The following model was developed in 2002 through the Teaching/Learning Strategies Team of the TCC Eagle Eye Project. The model describes the relationship between learner and teacher as the learner progresses through a series of developmental strategies.


  • Students are at different stages in their development as learners when they arrive at TCC.
  • The role of the teacher and the strategies employed vary depending on the learner's developmental stage.
  • As learners develop learning and self-regulation strategies, they progress from the external to the internal locus of control.
  • As learners gain experience and receive feedback and reinforcement, they become motivated by intrinsic and extrinsic factors.
  • The teacher adapts teaching strategies and designs assignments and classroom experiences to meet the learners where they are on the continuum.
  • The teacher plays a proactive role in fostering the learner's progression toward independent, self-regulated learning.
  • Not all students will attain the same level of development and independence, but all students can make progress.


When grading subjective student work such as essays and presentations, the use of rubrics can help provide more consistent feedback, save time, and enhance student learning. 

Find Resource on Rubrics.

Using Instructional Technology

TCC offers the following electronic systems related to course preparation: Canvas, EagleNet, and the Faculty and Staff Portal.


Canvas is a learning management system (LMS) offering multiple tools for creating an online learning environment. Faculty post syllabi content and use many of the available tools to interact with students.

Obtaining a Canvas Account and Course Shell:

Once your name is assigned in the EagleNet system a Canvas master shell and course shell(s) will automatically be created with only one master shell per course. For additional assistance, please contact your division.

Faculty and Staff Portal:

The Faculty and Staff Portal, which requires your TCC credentials for a secure login, is a website with various interactive tools. These tools are used to share work and resources related to Committees and Groups, Student Support, Staff Resources, Teaching and Learning, and Research and Reports.

Support Materials


A committee selects textbooks and are available through the TCC Bookstore. With the recent changes in federal laws, all required books and materials must be used as part of the course.

Identification Cards (IDs):

Your TCC ID grants you access to resources such as parking lots and the Library and free admission to Theatre TCC! productions and TCC Eagles sporting events. Once your Division has requested your ID, visit the Police Department in the Center Building to have your photo taken and your ID made.

Information Technology:

TCC offers a wealth of instructional technology resources to support the teaching and learning environment. Instructional technology is typically used in two ways: (1) to support the teaching and learning process; and (2) to administratively manage the class. TCC Online for Faculty offers faculty technology support through training, workshops and individual assistance.

For issues with software, hardware, network access and computer repair, submit a ticket to the Help Desk.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

The key to effective management is setting expectations and maintaining a positive learning environment. The Student Code of Conduct, which sets expectations on campus and in the classroom, helps faculty members set expectations in their syllabus. If a student does not meet these expectations, TCC has judicial procedures designed to maintain a positive learning environment.

Getting to Know Your Students:

Trying to get to know your students allows for a more efficient classroom management experience. The Center for Professional Enrichment offers training and resources for "breaking the ice" with your students. Getting to know your students pays off as you move through the semester and lets students know that you care.

The Benefits of Classroom Management for You and Your Students:

It is helpful to build classroom management skills that you use to set an environment where you and your students can focus on their learning. Having a versatile skill set is also necessary to manage each class differently. Although the ages of our students remain relatively the same, the mindsets of each new group may differ. 

Top Ten Tips for Building Trust in the Classroom

  1. Know what you're going to say before you say it. Make sure to outline what you will say and do or share a schedule or agenda with the group. Having notes is fine, but review these notes in advance when students are not focused on you.
  2. Create a learning environment. If you want students to learn, they will need to be in a space where they can focus and engage without distractions.
  3. Be authentic. If you tend to be quiet and shy, a burst of false enthusiasm will not go well because this decreases trust. Instead, try increasing your volume slightly and making eye contact.
  4. Sequence your class. Your class period needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. Consider the Teach, Test, Progress model to put this in practice. First, present some information. Then, test to see if the students understand (usually through an activity). If they pass the test, then progress the lesson with more material.
  5. Align your words and actions. You erode a student's trust in teachers when you say you will do something and proceed to do something different. If you declare learning as collaborative, be prepared to let the students take the lead.
  6. Admit when you don't know. Students appreciate when teachers acknowledge they don’t have all the answers. If you don’t know something, tell the students you will find out and get back to them. Be sure to keep your word and follow through.
  7. Be relatable. Reveal your enthusiasm, passions, and concerns outside of your teaching role. When you reveal something about yourself, it helps the students to connect with you.
  8. Show that you take students seriously. Listen carefully and give students time to express their thoughts, concerns, anxieties, or problems. Explain with clarification why you wish students to do the things you are asking or if you need time to think and promise to respond at the next class.
  9. Over-inform your students.  Ensure students get timely updates on their grades and know which objectives or assignments contribute to their grades. Over-communicate upcoming dates for big tests, deadlines, or review opportunities so they never feel caught off-guard. 
  10. Be consistent with consequences. No matter your classroom management system, you need to implement it consistently and be equitable. Students will trust you if they believe you are fair. 


A Foundation of Trust: Effective Models and Activities for Leaders, Trainers, and Facilitators Engaging the Issues of Trust and Trustworthiness by Sam Sikes

The Skillful Teacher by Stephen D. Brookfield

Assessing Learning

Learning assessment has become even more important with the increased focus on accountability in higher education. Aligning assessment with learning outcomes is critical, and there are various ways to assess learning.

Assessment is formative by evaluating learning as students grasp the knowledge and apply what they have learned. The results of these assessments can be used to help students deepen their learning.
Summative evaluation is designed to understand what the student has learned. Exams, presentations, and research papers are typical examples of summative evaluation. Consider creative assessments as another way to learn more about students' learning.
Learning Assessment and Learning Outcomes:
Course-level learning outcomes can be found on the master syllabi and are typically created by a committee of full-time faculty members. Use the learning outcomes to align and assess student learning. Discuss any concerns or issues with your program chair or dean.
When it comes to learning assessment and learning outcomes, here are some questions you can ask to ensure that they are aligned and effective:
  • What is your learning outcome?
  • What will the students know or do as a result of their learning related to the learning outcome?
  • How will you measure the learning outcome? Is it a quantitative measurement and/or qualitative one?
  • What tool will you use to measure the learning outcome?
  • What are the assessment results?
  • How will you improve the learning outcome, the learning activities, or the learning assessment based on the results of the assessment?
A well-written learning outcome will clearly and concisely identify what your students will know or do as a result of their learning.
  • For example, "Students will list five characteristics of a cell." This information tells us that students will have learned about cells and the characteristics of cells.
  • These characteristics are quantitative because students must list five items. They're qualitative because these items they list must be correct. Once the instructor has received students' responses on this question, the instructor will use the information to know if learning outcome was met and/or needs to be updated. Maybe fewer or more characteristics need to be listed or the instructor can provide a video about the characteristics of cells. The instructor might even want to have the students include this in part of an essay. These are all great ways to enhance the learning experience.
Once the adjustments are made, the results can be used in future attempts to teach, and to enhance and assess learning.
Classroom Assessment Techniques:
The purpose of classroom assessment is to collect information about what students are learning and using this to increase learning in certain areas. Angelo and Cross (1993) offer a comprehensive book with many great examples of these techniques and also developed the Teaching Goals Inventory. This uses the results collected to determine which of the techniques will help them meet their goals.
TCC has a Grading System Policy [6Hx27:08-03] used to express a student's standing in each course. The policy also includes information about using Administrative Withdrawal (AW). AWs are primarily used when students have excessive absences and issues with academic progress. The use of AW must be concretely stated in the instructor syllabus.
The following guideline is helpful when developing assessments and assigning grades on more objective items.
Grade of "A" - Excellent
  • Consistently superior scores on examinations
  • Assignments completed in the prescribed form, on time, with evidence of careful research on the subject matter and planned presentation
  • Consistently shows independent thinking in terms of the subject matter of the course
  • Shows a grasp of relationships among various parts of the subject by noting parallels, similarities, and paradoxes in the subject matter
  • Knows how to apply subject matter to new situations

Grade of "B" - Good

  • Consistently above average scores on examinations
  • Assignments completed in prescribed form, on time, with evidence of some extra references and planned preparation
  • Presents independent ideas frequently on the subject matter of the course
  • Shows by behavior (written, verbal, social) that reasons for learning subject matter are understood and some application made

Grade of "C" - Average

  • Satisfactory scores on examinations
  • Most assignments are completed in the correct form and on time
  • Presents evidence of a satisfactory grasp of the assigned subject matter of the course
  • Shows by behavior (written, verbal, social) that subject matter has some application to academic, social, or vocational goals

Grade of "D" - Poor

  • Below average examination scores but high enough to show attainment of at least the minimum course objectives
  • The majority of assignments are completed, in imperfect form, and not always on time
  • Shows some grasp of individual units of subject matter but little evidence of interrelationships
  • Shows some improvement in behavior (written, verbal, social) by direct application of some learned material, but with little insight

Grade of "F" - Failure

  • The level of achievement does not measure up to the competency required in the course.


Mezeske, R. J. and Mezeske, B.A. (2007). Beyond Tests and Quizzes: Creative Assessments in the College Classroom. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Stiehl, R. and Lewchuk, L. (2008). The Assessment Primer: Creating a Flow of Learning Evidence. Corvallis, Oregon: The Learning Organization.

Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide. (2nd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Wehlburg, C.M. (2008). Promoting Integrated and Transformative Assessment: A Deeper Focus on Student Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Banta, T.W., Jones, E.A. and Black, K.E. (2009). Designing Effective Assessment: Principles and Profiles of Good Practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Angelo, T.A. and Cross, K.P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Stevens, D. D. and Levi, A. J. (2005). Introduction to Rubrics: An Assessment Tool to Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Teaching Strategies

Instructors use a variety of teaching strategies to promote successful learning. The key is to use teaching strategies that best meet the priorities of your discipline while engaging students in active learning.


Planning Time: Some to Extensive

Technology: Lectures can be recorded and played online. It's best to break videos up into 4-to-10-minute presentations with activities and review in between. Lectures are often supported by PowerPoint or online presentation tools like Prezi. 

The purpose of presentation software is to serve as an outline and present visuals to support the lecture. Efficiency and simplicity is key when using presentation software, so do not crowd too many words onto a slide. Try using relevant imagery and write in concise bullet points, not sentences.

Pros: Lectures can be used to cover a lot of information. The instructor has more control over the content.

Cons: Even though a lot of information can be covered, the challenge is ensuring that students are learning the material and engaged.

Best practices: Tell stories, give examples, use humor, and organize concepts. Tell them what you are going to cover, then discuss the material, and finish with a summary of what you have covered.


Planning Time: Some

Technology: Canvas makes conversing with classmates easy with its collaboration tools. Professors also use Facebook groups and Twitter to promote discussion.

Pros: Great discussion enhances critical thinking, helping students to dig deeper with their learning.

Cons: Leading a discussion and developing thought provoking questions is a challenge.

Best Practices: Pick topics that are controversial. Have students develop questions.

Problem-Based Learning:

Planning Time: Some to Extensive

Technology: Use of technology will depend on the project, but there are many options for supporting problem-based learning.

Pros: Provides students with a more real-world experience.

Cons: Takes a significant amount of time and may not ensure the development of basic skills such as knowledge and comprehension.

Best practices:  Case studies and simulations, especially in medical fields.


Silberman, M. (2006). Teaching Actively: Eight Steps and 32 Strategies to Spark Learning in Any Classroom. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Heppner, F. (2007). Teaching the Large College Class: A Guidebook for Instructors with Multitudes. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Howell, D., Howell, D. and Childress, M. (2006). Using PowerPoint in the Classroom (2nd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Race, P. (2001). The Lecturer's Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Learning, Teaching and Assessment. (2nd Ed.). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Brookfield, S. D., & Preskill, S. (1999). Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms (2nd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Lee, V. S. (Ed.). (2004). Teaching & Learning Through Inquiry: A Guidebook for Institutions and Instructors. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Amador, J.A., Miles, L., & Peters, C.B. (2006). The Practice of Problem-Based Learning: A Guide to Implementing PBL in the College Classroom. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing.

Duch, B. J., Groh, S. E., & Allen, D. E. (Eds.). (2001). The Power of Problem-Based Learning: A Practical "How To" for Teaching Undergraduate Courses in Any Discipline. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Contact Us

Kelly Thayer
Director of Teaching, Learning, and Engagement
Teaching and Learning Academy
(850) 201-8038