These guides offer information for new faculty as well as tips for effective teaching and technology integration.

Filter by category:

Teaching Effectiveness Guides

  • Active Learning Activities NEW
    Engaging students in individual or small group activities is a great way to get students actively involved in the class. Many students feel more comfortable in small groups (four or less) rather than in large ones. Below you will find several activities that can be used in any classroom to engage students. Many of the activities in this guide can also serve as formative assessments, a way to monitor student learning / understanding.

  • Anti-Racism and Social Justice LibGuide
    This guide was created by University Libraries as a response to events surrounding the murders of unarmed Black people by police and the protests calling for an end to institutional racism in the justice system and beyond. While not exhaustive in its resources, the guide is meant to be a starting point to learn more about social justice and activism and to find information and community. The guide will evolve to include broader social justice resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

  • Course Transformation Support and Resources
    Resources and support available in support of course transformation at NIU.

  • Diversity Issues and the Instructor: Identifying Your Own Attitudes
    It's important to be aware of possible reactions among the students to your race, gender, age, ethnicity, physical attributes, and abilities. Preparing for such reactions will involve not only knowing as much as you can about your students, but also turning the mirror to yourself, and finding out more about your own diversity issues.

  • Examples of Classroom Assessment Techniques NEW
    There are hundreds of variations of classroom assessment techniques. These are some of the more commonly known techniques.

  • Flexible Teaching
    Flexible Teaching is an approach to course design and delivery that helps students learn and succeed in any mode: face-to-face, online, or hybrid. It starts with the principles of course design to create a flexible, resilient course that can withstand any change in modality or delivery.

  • Fostering Engagement and Students' Sense of Belonging
    Resources and efforts to promote engagement and students' sense of belonging at NIU.

  • Increase Student Engagement in Online Courses
    This guide is a compilation of recommendations shared by NIU faculty and staff for promoting increased engagement in online courses.

  • Instructional Guide for University Faculty and Teaching Assistants
    This guide is a brief compilation of teaching-related information from several sources, including instructional guidebooks from other institutions, journals, and contributions from master teachers and academic support units at Northern Illinois University. It is meant to be a quick reference and not a comprehensive source on teaching-related information.

  • Online Teaching Principles
    Derived from research-based best practices, these principles are intended to supplement the QM Higher Education course design rubric and the NIU Online Course Essentials to guide effective facilitation of online and hybrid courses at Northern Illinois University.

  • Options for Delivering Exams via Virtual Instruction
    As you consider your options for delivering exams while teaching virtually, remember to exhibit equity, kindness, generosity and patience with your students. There are several options for you to rethink or deliver your exams via virtual instruction. You may want to consider one or multiple of these recommendations.

  • Preparing to Teach for the First Time
    Have you been invited to teach a course for the very first time and wondering where to begin? This guide provides tips and resources for getting started.

  • Strategies for Starting the Semester Well
    Whether you have been teaching for several years or are beginning to teach your very first semester, being prepared for the start of the semester will help make the transition successful for you and your students. These strategies you can use the first day and into the first weeks of the semester that will help you create an engaging, motivating, and organized classroom environment.

  • Student Success Resources
    You are encouraged to incorporate these academic support resources into your teaching and to refer students to utilize the services available for their academic success.

  • Syllabus Checklist
    Design a course syllabus to best meet your teaching style, course content, activities, and departmental requirements. Consider creating a learner-centered syllabus that targets student learning and success!

  • Teaching at NIU for the First Time
    Teaching for the first time at a new university can be enjoyable and daunting at the same time. Whether you are an experienced teacher or new to the profession, being prepared to teach at a new institution will help you transition and succeed in your new environment. This guide contains information on course policies, teaching policies, and teaching-related resources to help you start your teaching career at NIU successfully!

  • Teaching a Course on Short Notice
    This guide addresses two situations: being asked to teach a course that begins very soon, and being asked to take over a course that someone else was teaching, sometime after the semester has begun.

  • Tense Times in the Classroom Activities and Handouts
    Handouts, activities and strategies for managing tense topics and difficult moments in the classroom and to foster dialogue, discussion and empathy.

Technology Integration Guides

  • Accessible Syllabus
    This guide to creating an accessible syllabus includes quick and easy tips for developing an accessible syllabus using Microsoft Word.

  • Learning Technologes Catalog
    The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) helps faculty explore and evaluate innovative ways to use learning technologies for teaching at NIU. Learning technologies include recommended and institutionally supported software and web tools to promote collaboration, enhance communication, share multimedia, teach online and more. In addition to supporting established learning technologies like Blackboard, CITL also works with faculty and administrators to pilot new tools.

  • Create and Share Video Content in Your Courses using Kaltura (Guide for Faculty)
    This guide describes several common ways to use Kaltura to create, store, and publish video content in your Blackboard courses.

  • Create and Share Video Content in Your Courses using Kaltura (Guide for Students)
    This guide describes several common ways for students to use Kaltura to create, store, and publish video content in their Blackboard courses.

  • Getting Started with Flipgrid
    Flipgrid is a free video discussion platform from Microsoft that helps educators see and hear from every student in class and foster a fun and supportive social learning environment. In Flipgrid, educators post discussion prompts and students respond with short videos, whether they are learning in class or at home.

  • Managing Zoom Class Sessions in Blackboard NEW
    Learn about Zoom integration enabled in Blackboard for managing your Zoom synchronous class sessions.

  • Online Course Essentials UPDATED
    These research-based standards are used to design online and hybrid courses and assess online course quality at Northern Illinois University.

  • Online Test Proctoring Tools
    Considerations and choices for using online test proctoring tools at NIU.

  • Proctoring a Live Online Exam with Zoom
    This guide describes one approach to administering online exams using Zoom to allow instructors and TAs to proctor exams while students complete them online.

  • Teaching with Blackboard
    Support website on using Blackboard and various tools integrated into Blackboard.

  • Using Microsoft Teams at NIU
    Microsoft Teams is a unified communications tool that allows for persistent 1:1 or group chat, video/audio calls and conferencing, and has integration with the full suite of O365 applications we've come to rely upon at NIU. If you're familiar with Slack or Discord, Teams has many similarities.

  • Using Microsoft Teams for Education (PDF)
    Learn the basics of using Microsoft Teams for Education.

  • Using VoiceThread to Record Narration Over Slides
    This guide summarizes a solution for instructors who need a tool to allow them to record narration over a PowerPoint presentation. This approach is ideal if you were planning to present slides in your face-to-face course.

  • Using a Smartphone or Laptop with VoiceThread for Virtual Lab Recordings
    This guide summarizes a possible solution for instructors who teach lab courses in which students would in normal circumstances interact with lab equipment, conduct experiments, take measurements, analyze data, and generate a lab report.

  • Using Zoom at NIU
    Learn more about use of Zoom and to get started using Zoom at NIU.

  • 24 Tips for Creating High Quality Screen Recordings
    Follow these practical tips for to create high quality screencast recordings.

New Faculty Guides

  • New Employee Welcome
    This site will provide you with the information and resources you need to help you be successful and productive in your new position.

  • Support Units for NIU Faculty
    Many support units are available at NIU to assist new faculty in their teaching, research, scholarship and artistry. This guide provides a quick overview and contact information to the support units that new faculty often connect with for support.

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-797-2477

Back to top