Throughout classes at Sloan, faculty invite alumni, industry leaders, and outside speakers to talk with students about their career and professional journeys. These discussions can focus on a number of topics but hearing perspectives from others helps students clarify their own sense of purpose.
Identify a Start of Class Routine
Ceasar McDowell starts classes with an established routine before engaging in academic material.
Checking In with Students
Checking in with students throughout the semester can help promote a sense of community and belonging for the student. This can be done via an email to the whole class or individually, depending on your class or group size.
Acknowledging Impactful Events
Students are impacted in a variety of ways when faced with difficult times, including when significant events happen at MIT or in the world. They find it valuable when faculty and staff check in, acknowledge these events, and when possible, allow time for them to discuss their feelings and reactions.
Teach to Learn
Adam Hartz suggests that students teach concepts to others–even to non-students–to consolidate knowledge on a topic.
Alternative Pathway to Passing
Daniel Jackson and Arvind Satyanarayan offered an alternative pathway to passing 6.1040. When the class shifted to group projects at the end of the term, they allowed students who were struggling to instead go back and resubmit previous assignments, which were then regraded. This option cost students one letter grade.
Recognize Signs of Distress
Faculty and instructors naturally want to create an environment where students flourish intellectually and personally. This includes being able to recognize when a student might be in distress and know the steps to take to connect them to support.
In 2.678, Steve Banzaert created a Slack channel to feature what he calls “Unintentional Learning”–ie, when people (including instructors) make mistakes.
Laura Frawley shares her syllabus with S3 before the start of the semester to talk through its tone and policies. For example, how welcoming is the opening to your syllabus? What are your policies for when students have expected absences, like athletic events or interviews?
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