Welcome to the seventy-first issue of The LTO Best Practices. Each month, the Learning & Teaching Office will be spotlighting a timely topic in education.
This March we have a guest post from Dr. Diana Brecher, Clinical Psychologist at the Centre for Student Development and Counselling and faculty member in the Department of Psychology
Check out our page of Teaching Tips handouts for more downloadable documents on a variety of teaching topics.
How do we cultivate resilience in our undergraduate students while providing feedback on their research papers or when grading their exams?
Positive psychology (a relatively new discipline) tells us that there are six dimensions to flourishing: positivity, engagement, relationships, meaning, achievement, and vitality. Throughout all six dimensions you will hear about the importance of resilience, an integral aspect of flourishing and essential when discussing well-being. Resilience is best defined as the capacity to bounce back when things go wrong. It involves mindfulness, gratitude, optimism, self-compassion, and grit. Facilitating resilience in our students is a critical ingredient to their learning process.
Consider your own responses to feedback when exploring how best to increase resilience in your students. Insight into how you respond to feedback from your colleagues or supervisors can lead to greater empathy, creativity, and understanding of your students.
Feedback should be linked to achievable learning goals. It should be timely, specific, nonjudgmental, behaviourally based, and should offer students specific direction regarding how to improve. Feedback must be direct and clear (not biased or humiliating).
It is best when feedback highlights areas for improvement and gives specific suggestions for change. Balancing between support/reinforcement and challenges/criticism is a good approach. The ultimate goal is to improve confidence and clarify next steps for your student to improve.
When you use generalization and replay what went wrong; focusing on blame, only identifying the problems and ignoring what students got right, students will become too defensive and too anxious to learn, so the whole process backfires.
Direct your students to Cultivate Your Happiness: A ThriveRU Weekly Workbook. This calendar of weekly exercises is designed to help students manage challenges and cultivate their well-being
Workshops available in support of ThriveRU include:
"The LTO Best Practices" is produced monthly by Michelle Schwartz, Instructional Design and Research Strategist at the Learning & Teaching Office of Ryerson University.
Do you have any thoughts, suggestions, or best practices that you would like to see appear in this newsletter? Please send all submissions to email@example.com. We look forward to including your contributions in our next issue!
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