MERLOT Pedagogy Portal Visit Main MERLOT

Teaching Challenges

All professors know that there are a number of challenges they face in the classroom.  Many of these can be handled by planning ahead in anticipation.  The links on the pages below can help you in dealing with these problems.

  • Cheating/Plagiarism - Cheating is considered any dishonest behavior on the part of the student while plagiarism is using the words of others without giving them credit.  Studies have shown that the level of cheating in the classroom is on the rise, so it is critical for instructors to understand the issues involved. 
  • Classroom Management / Faculty and Student Civility - There are a variety of issues that fall into the category of classroom management; disrespect for others, rudeness, challenging the instructor’s authority are only a few. 
  • Accessibility - In 1998, Congress passed the In 1998, Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act that strengthened Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 508). It requires Federal agencies to develop, procure, maintain or use electronic and information technology so that Federal employees and members of the public with disabilities would have access to and use of information and data comparable to that of employees and members of the public without disabilities. Many faculty need to become more aware of their responsibilities in fulfilling the requirements of this federal law to make their instruction accessible to all.
  • Ethics and Values - With an increasingly diverse student population, instructors face the challenge of dealing with students who have different values and ethics from their own. 
  • First Day of Class - Most exemplary instructors agree that the first day of class is the most important.  Rather than just show up and pass out the syllabus, the great instructors take the time to explain their vision for the course, set expectations for how the class will be conducted, and set the environment for the entire term. 
  • Information Literacy - Information Literacy is the ability to recognize what information is needed to solve a problem and the ability to locate that information, evaluate its accuracy, and use it in the correct way.  With the growing use of the Internet, information literacy includes the ability to recognize valid and accurate information. 
  • Large Classes - More and more institutions are answering the need to control costs with larger classes, particularly in general curriculum classes.  Keeping students actively engaged in a large class and helping them perform better. 
  • Motivating and Engaging Students - Today, more than ever before, students need to be engaged and motivated in the classroom.  When students are engaged, they are able to retain course knowledge as well as participate in class. 
  • Quantitative Skills Development - General quantitative skill development is important for all students.  The need to have a general understanding of basic math, statistics, probability skills are required not just in courses, but in later life. 
  • Writing Skills Development - All classes, regardless of discipline, should have some element of writing involved.  In order to be successful in their adult lives and careers, students need to have a better understanding of writing skills including punctuation, grammar and essay development.