Helping students achieve success (Teaching Tip)

This fall semester brings more complications than any semester before. However, many fundamental aspects of teaching at Iowa State University remain the same. Our students bring their dreams and their aspirations with them to Ames. Whether the students know exactly what to study or are still figuring out their focus, it is our opportunity and responsibility to help them succeed.

Provide a roadmap to success

Share with your students why what they are learning is essential. What does it matter for the major and for their future careers? Provide a roadmap for them to succeed using transparent assignments that give students enough information to know how to meet the learning objectives.

Create connections between students, content, and you

Students bring with them the desire to not only learn the material but also to learn more about themselves and others. Students are still forming their identities shaped by their experiences. Provide multiple ways for students to connect, the content, and with you, the instructor. In all modalities, face-to-face, hybrid, and online, there are many ways to encourage connections. Such as synchronous meeting times, the formation of small pods of students, group projects that require the group to work together (but apart) on weighty problems significant to the discipline, and the use of discussion boards. Discover these strategies and more via the Engage Students Online webpage.

Care for our students, and ourselves

The university-wide Syllabus statement clarifies how we can keep each other safe and be sure to use the COVID-19 health and safety requirements statement. The Dean of Students office has extensive resources/services, including helpful scenarios to consider. If you are concerned about a student’s well-being or behavior, contact the Dean of Students Office at 515-294-1020, send an email to, or use the “refer a student” link at the top of the Office of Student Assistance page.

Good luck and best wishes for the fall semester,

Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Helping students achieve success (August 12, 2020 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for August 12, 2020 (PDF).