CFT Teaching Guides Week: Day 3
Day 3: Keeping Stress from Evolving into Distress: A Guide on Managing Student Stress through Course Design
If there can be one college experience that can be applied to all students, it is called stress. Whether students have to pull an all-nighter to finish an essay or they have to navigate taking coursework from various disciplines, stress can manifest even in the smallest of situations. Sometimes, this sort of stress acts as a motivator for certain students. However, depending on the source and severity of the stressor, students may find themselves in distress.
How can instructors help students cope with their stress and prevent distress in our courses and classrooms? The answer can be found in today’s featured CFT Teaching Guide, “Keeping Stress from Evolving into Distress: A Guide on Managing Student Stress through Course Design”, written by Graduate Teaching Fellow, Brielle Harbin, earlier this year. This teaching guide begins by exploring the definitions and origins of stress and distress and what they can look like in a college setting. It also provides instructors with strategies and resources for creating a classroom that minimizes student stress and distress, such as intentional course and syllabus design, tools for effective communication of learning goals and expectations, and options for making office hours more productive.
If you’re an instructor looking back at this year’s student evaluations and wondering how you can make your courses even more learner-centered or you’re thinking ahead about course planning, this teaching guide will come in handy. When you find yourself in the middle of the semester and encounter a student in distress, this teaching guide will be a valuable resource. If you just want to learn more about stress and distress on campus, this teaching guide is a good place to start.
As always, we appreciate your feedback, so if you would like to share your experiences and/or advice and resources with us, please do so in the comment section below!
Featured Image: “Teach/Learn,” Duane Schoon, Flickr (CC-BY)