Skip to main content

‘Student Motivation’

Crowdsourcing ideas for student engagement and for dealing with student challenges

Oct. 1, 2019—by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director One of the most persistent questions that faculty face is how to engage our students productively, both in and out of the classroom. In some settings this is easier than others: when students are taking elective courses in their area of interest, the road is often smoother than...

Read more


Student motivation journal club: Starting the year with a framework to understand motivation

Sep. 12, 2019—by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director Last week, my colleague Heather Fedesco and I convened the first meeting of a new, CFT-sponsored journal club on student motivation. We were excited to see the 15 or so faculty members who were there (and to get emails from others who had to miss it but plan...

Read more


Strategies that Stick: Memorable Moments that Enhance Student Motivation

Oct. 22, 2018—Meet the newest assistant director at the CFT, Dr. Heather Fedesco! Prior to Vanderbilt, Heather served as the Mellon Pedagogy Researcher at Colorado College where she spent two years conducting research on student motivation.   Please join us as Heather shares some of her research exploring the teaching strategies that students find memorable and motivating...

Read more


Teaching in the context of hate speech

Aug. 21, 2018—By Joe Bandy, CFT Assistant Director Many institutions of higher education aspire to encourage the liberal arts ideals of free speech, critical thought, and diverse perspectives so as to empower students to lead meaningful and purposeful lives, and to engage in our society as responsible citizens. This – in addition to growing campus diversification, student...

Read more


What makes group work work?

Sep. 2, 2015—by Cynthia Brame, CFT Assistant Director We’ve all been there: victims of unproductive and frustrating group work. Perhaps an instructor poses a question, tells us to turn to our neighbor and discuss it, and we all sit silently…because the answer’s obvious and there’s nothing to discuss. Or perhaps we have an end-of-semester project to develop,...

Read more


From the Stacks…

Dec. 29, 2014—Why Don’t Students Like School?: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom by Daniel T. Willingham Faculty will learn the importance of story, emotion, memory, context and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences in this book by Daniel Willingham. This books helps...

Read more


Students as Producers: An Introduction

Sep. 3, 2013—by Derek Bruff, CFT Director As I announced last month, this year many of the Center for Teaching’s workshops, conversations, and other resources for the Vanderbilt teaching community will be part of our “Students as Producers” theme. I first heard the term “student as producer” in a keynote by the University of Lincoln’s Mike Neary...

Read more


Strategies for Grading Workshop: Additional Resources

Sep. 13, 2012—CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow, Beth Koontz, offers additional resources on grading and assessing student work. The CFT recently hosted a teaching workshop on Effective and Efficient Grading focusing on the purposes of grading and how to grade in ways that help students learn more deeply and save time for the instructor. This post provides some...

Read more


Episode 30 – Student Learning on Display: Spinach-Powered Solar Cells

May. 4, 2012—In an effort to better understand student learning, particularly deep learning, as it occurs at Vanderbilt, the CFT is producing a special series of podcasts highlighting student projects across a variety of disciplines. In this episode we join CFT Director Derek Bruff as he reports on-location from the floor of the poster session at the...

Read more


Fostering Student Engagement- NSSE Annual Results 2011

Nov. 18, 2011—Last spring, about 2.1 million students at more than 750 colleges and universities were invited to report on their in- and out-of-class learning experiences by completing the NSSE survey. The near-record number of participating institutions signifies continued interest in student engagement as a useful and informative way for institutional leaders, faculty, and others to gain...

Read more