Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Managing the Classroom

This section addresses topics such as the art of teaching, arranging classroom seating to foster learning, strategies for the beginning and end of class, and policies like managing electronic devices and preventing plagiarism. Additional external resources can also help instructors consider how to address particular student behaviors.

Two important moments during instruction are the beginning and end of class. The events that occur during these windows can influence the engagement of students in their learning as well as their ability to synthesize major concepts.
The physical setup of chairs, tables, and seating in a classroom can significantly influence learning. Instructional communication theory suggests that the seating arrangement can impact how the instructor communicates with students and how the students interact with one another, impacting engagement, motivation, and focus.
Teaching thrums with a million threads of impression, expectation, feeling, and narrative construction for which teachers cannot plan. Holding these threads together like a loom constantly at work as new material is fed through, the teacher’s unique identity as artist balances, coordinates, and creates the learning environment.
Classroom policies regarding technology, academic honesty, and behavior help students form initial impressions of the tone and expectations for a course. Research into the impressions of classroom policy on students is ongoing, but suggests that students perceive instructors to have significant control over the fairness of classroom policies. Instructors can meet that expectation by crafting policies for behavior that maximize student focus, inclusivity, and fairness.
Active learning classrooms (ALCs) are spaces configured to maximize active, collaborative learning and multimodal teaching. Research suggests that teaching in an ALC can improve student attitudes, conceptual understanding, and passing rates, especially for female and minority students. Yale features several reservable ALCs, including the TEAL and classroom space in the CTL.