High Impact Strategies

As faculty, our experience each time we teach sparks new ideas. But as active practitioners, there’s often very little time to implement those ideas. So how can we focus on high-impact teaching strategies that benefit our students while also saving us a bit of time to work on additional changes?

5 Strategies Designed for High Impact

1. Design for Success

  • The experience students have in our classes – and our own teaching practice – is deeply informed by course design and how it aligns with course-level and related program-level outcomes. A well-designed course helps guide students and provides intentional opportunities for early and continuous practice, feedback, engagement, collaboration, and reflection. A thoughtfully designed course can also help students learn about – and apply – their own learning. GSC’s Instructional Design Team can help – explore more

2. Share Your Enthusiasm

  • If you don’t have one, consider developing a toolkit that allows you to draw from relevant research articles, videos, quotes and other resources that are applicable to the field and have inspired you. This will help you share your expertise and passion with students while also saving you time!

3. Be Clear About Expectations & Assessments

  • “I don’t understand…” is a common phrase that begins many questions our students have about assignments and how they will be assessed, and while being responsive to these questions is essential, it can disrupt our teaching time. Your syllabus is a learning contract with students and should be explicit and clear about expectations and how students will be assessed. Keeping track of common questions is one way to identify areas to focus on to be more clear. Developing classes using a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) approach can also help. Check out the Faculty Lounge for three quick videos on UDL strategies that can help students while also saving you time.

4. Be a Coach

  • Monitoring student progress and providing substantive feedback – both formative and summative – is another way to engage with and motivate students. Yet as we know, feedback takes time! Consider how a coaching approach and a feedback toolkit can help you provide students with essential feedback while also – you guessed it – saving you time. Check out the Faculty Lounge for a video on coaching and feedback toolkits strategies!  

5. Embrace Continuous Improvement

  • Actively seeking to improve our own teaching takes many forms. From revisiting those ‘notes to self’ we jotted down over the course of the semester to exploring our Student Course Evaluations, information and feedback is our friend! Explore these observations and then repeat the steps above for maximum positive impact.   

These strategies were informed by the following reference, available via the GSC Library & Information Commons.


Fink, L. D. (2016). Five High-Impact Teaching Practices. Collected Essays On Learning And Teaching, 93-18.

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