As educators, we strive each day to teach our students to be global citizens and good stewards of the world around them. One of the ways we can model this is to incorporate greener teaching techniques into our courses. Here are some easy steps to improve your teaching green footprint, which are good for the environment and good for your students’ success.
Provide your students with more than printed materials
An overall push to reduce printing is a good first step in reducing your environmental impact. Moreover, reducing printed materials is also good for your students’ learning. Providing your students with a variety of materials through multiple modalities can help offer choice and preference in how they learn content best. You can now find materials in many forms such as e-books, online tutorials, videos, infographics, and written materials. Your students can access museum archives, listen to a symphony on a train, or review your lecture notes from their phones at their convenience beyond the regular class period. Simply by providing your students with electronic materials in a variety of formats reduces your carbon footprint and is often more accessible to a diverse student body.
Assess your students and grade their work online
Consider changing up your assessments and putting more of them online. By using Blackboard assessment tools, students can submit their work electronically and grading can be easier. Some of Blackboard’s most commonly used assessment tools include Assignments, Tests, and Discussions forums. One of the real benefits of online assessments is the ability to provide your students with valuable feedback on how they are doing with no printing necessary. Find out more about Blackboard’s Inline Grading. Other benefits to putting your assessments online, include using SafeAssign for plagiarism detection and managing due dates.
Attending Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center’s Teaching with Technology Institute on June 2, 2016
Beginning this summer, the Division of IT is planning to migrate NIU student email into the Microsoft Exchange system, so that NIU faculty and students will be on the same email system for the first time ever. This adds even more functionality to Microsoft Office 365, which students have had access to for over a year. Students will have the ability to easily share files, work collaboratively, and share media-rich notes. During the morning session of the 2016 Teaching with Technology Institute, participants will discover how to use these tools in new ways to communicate and collaborate with their students.
Greener Teaching Techniques – This article is a compilation of techniques for environmentally-friendly teaching from a variety of sources, including other academic institutions and environmental agencies.
NIU Green Team – All students, faculty, and staff are invited to join and help shape the future of NIU.