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Welcome! Please excuse our site while we are under construction. Stay tuned for our all-inclusive Teaching Commons launching in late July! 


Pedagogical Resources for Instruction

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The effective use of all instructional methods begins with understanding best practices in instruction and then identifying technology tools that best support these practices and student success. We have identified a number of useful resources, guides, and web-based learning activities for your consideration. As always, CETL and AET staff are here to help faculty. If you have any questions or require assistance, you can email us at  



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Course Resources for Faculty

With fall 2021 approaching, there is time to make intentional choices on how course content is delivered. CETL and OIT have been hard at work creating a number of key resources to help new or experienced faculty revise and re-think course content.


Using Zoom for Instruction

  • Protect yourself and your students from Zoom-bombing. OIT has put together a full page of information and help topics for Zoom here.
  • Need help with Zoom? Download CETL's Getting Started with Zoom for Education here.
  • Sign up for a Zoom consult to get started or learn more about the different functions for remote instruction, designed specifically for faculty by signing up here.

Managing Group Work in Online Instruction

  • Read our Tips for Effective Group Work Online here.
  • Doing group work with online requires some planning. We've provided a Checklist for Online Group Work here.

Student Engagement Strategies

  • Increasing student engagement during emergency remote instruction presents us with much the same challenge as with onsite courses. Some students always share their thoughts and others remain quiet. Providing opportunities for engagement online takes thoughtful planning and preparation and CETL has provided useful strategies to consider here.

Rethinking Assessment

  • We cannot deny that for many students and faculty alike, the transition to remote/online instruction is very tough and the potential for a disruption to student learning may be high.  The unusual circumstances present us with an opportunity to rethink how we assess student learning throughout the semester.  Consider whether the following alternatives suggested here may be appropriate to your course and situation.

  • Educational research questions the assumptions that it is more prevalent or easier to cheat in online exams, read more about Online Education and Authentic Assessment here.

Reducing Cognitive Load

  • We have known for some time that high levels of stress can wreak havoc on our overall health. COVID-19 and the ensuing changes in one’s personal life have certainly heightened levels of stress and anxiety for many in our community. For first-generation and/or underrepresented minority college students, moving into emergency remote instruction (ERI) is an unfamiliar academic environment that may activate or amplify these physical and psychological reactions. The increased demands placed on students during remote learning have increased the cognitive load placed on students and pose additional risks to deep and lasting learning. Read more about strategies to reduce cognitive load for students here.

Additional Resources

  • Looking for alternatives to Zoom? Check out this blog.
  • Exploratory study that identifies the role(s) of the online instructor and categorizes critical competencies for online teaching
  • 10 Tips for Effective Online Discussions | Educause Review - Tips to help educators ensure that online discussions are engaging and beneficial for students. Explore the list here.
  • You can also find a sample rubric for online posts here (download it to make your own modifications here).
  • Touro College provides a number of excellent resources for online learning in higher education here

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Exploring Design Elements for Online STEM Courses

  • A research study conducted by the Center of Distributed Learning, USF that focuses on effective design elements for STEM courses. Read it here.

The Tyranny of Content

  • The Tyranny of Content: “Content Coverage” as a Barrier to Evidence-Based Teaching Approaches and Ways to Overcome It. Read the article here.

Digital Labs and Simulations for Science and Math

  • An online resource that generates interactive simulations. Access it here.
  • From physics to biology, and beyond, this website provides information regarding digital labs and simulations. Read it here.
  • UCLA has created a curated list of resources for migrating labs to an online format. Read it here.

Case Studies and Lessons in Public Health

  • A collection of Case Studies and Data Sets from the CDC is available here.

UC Merced Faculty Who Have Volunteered to Help Other Faculty

  • Marcos Garcia-Ojeda
  • Carrie Menke
  • Kristina Callaghan
  • Christine Isborn
  • Michelle Leslie
  • Ryan Baxter
  • Michael Colvin
  • Sylvain Masclin
  • Mike Dawson
  • Kamal Dulai

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Ethics Cases in Engineering 

  • A research study regarding ethics in place for engineering students with an emphasis in hypothetical cases in engineering ethics in the context of instructional exercises. Read it here.

Assessing an Online Engineering Ethics Module from Experiential Learning Perspective

  • A research study on the ethics behind and experiential learning approach. Read it here.

Engineering Instructional Development: Programs, Best Practices, and Recommendations

  • A research study on the content and structures of instructional development programs around the world. Read it here.

UC Merced Faculty Who Have Volunteered to Help Other Faculty

  • Abel Chuang
  • Sara Kurtz. (can help with zoom)
  • Alberto Cerpa

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Active Learning Ideas | Adaptable for Online

51 Student Exercises from Sociology Through Active Learning

Sociology Activity Examples | Adaptable for Online

UC Merced Faculty Who Have Volunteered to Help Other Faculty

  • Tanya Golash-Boza
  • Jeff Yoshimi