Meet Teaching Toolbox!

“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”

–Maslow, 1966

You may have noticed that our blog has a new title: Teaching Toolbox. We decided to rebrand our blog to showcase all the services and development opportunities we provide at the Koehler Center. Our mission is to facilitate ongoing, reflective discourse about teaching and learning, and the future postings you’ll find on this blog will be dedicated to helping TCU faculty create meaningful learning opportunities for students.

All Koehler Center staff members (and blog contributors) are here to promote student engagement and support teaching excellence, which is why Teaching Toolbox will explore active learning strategies, developing teaching trends, and professional development opportunities. We’ll still discuss educational technologies, of course, but technology is simply one tool in a large collection of pedagogical methods and resources. We aim to support your goals in the classroom, and we hope this blog will provide you with a wide variety of tools you can use to meet those goals.

So, stay tuned for lots of exciting strategies and practices. And if you have any favorite classroom activities, student assignments, or just general fun teaching ideas, leave them in the comment section!

Koehler Center Event: Using Clickers to Enhance Student Learning

Dr. Tim Stelzer from the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois presented at our Koehler Event about pedagogical motivation  and the impact of using i>clicker in the classroom. Stelzer provided some best practices and success stories.

Below are some photos from our event!

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SPUNKI: A Reading Rubric That Engages Students with Course Content

This link was passed to me, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Per the linked site below:

“SPUNKI is an acronym that asks students to answer six questions, “What part or parts of the reading did you find Surprising?, Puzzling?, Useful?,  New?, Knew it already?,  Interesting?”  Applying the prompts to any reading assignment invites students to respond personally to the material and make it their own.  Also, we have found that students using SPUNKI are more enthusiastic about assignments involving reading and other media, e.g. diagrams and images.”

Read more on the OnCourse website:


We had a demo yesterday of ExamSoft, by Katy Bailey (@ExamSoft_Katy) and Amy Smith. ExamSoft is “the Bar exam people” – yes that Bar.

Their product basically locks down a student Mac/PC laptop, desktop, or lab computer, that has the ExamSoft software installed, and makes it secure, unable to access other files or programs on the computer and basically takes over during an exam.

The system breaks down into the following compoents:  Exam Design, Exam Delivery, Scoring & Analysis, and Admin Services.

Images from their website explaining features:

For a school without a testing center, this could be quite beneficial.  Have you used this product before? What do you think of it?