Cornell University

Center for Teaching Excellence

Commited to the advancement of teaching and learning.

Teaching Ideas

Problem-Based Learning:

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a student-centered approach in which students learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem.

Collaborative Learning: Group Work:

Collaborative learning is based on the view that knowledge is a social construct.


Icebreakers are fun activities designed to help people get to know one another. They can also be designed to get students acquainted with course content and expectations.

Establishing Ground Rules:

Establishing ground rules, or a code of conduct, for the classroom helps foster community by balancing the learning needs of the individual with the learning needs of the group.

Setting Learning Outcomes:

Learning outcomes are measurable statements that articulate what students should know, be able to do, or value as a result of taking a course or completing a program.

Using Effective Questions:

Questions can do more than measure what students know. Appropriately challenging, engaging, and effective questions stimulate peer discussion and encourage students to explore and refine their understanding of key concepts.


It is the ability to be a realistic judge of one’s own performance.


Peer assessment allows instructors to share the evaluation of assignments with their students.

Using Rubrics:

A rubric is a type of scoring guide that assesses and articulates specific components and expectations for an assignment. Rubrics can be used for a variety of assignments: research papers, group projects, portfolios and presentations.



Action Words for Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Physics Teacher Education Coalition

Cornell University’s PhysTEC Project is a joint effort of the Physics Department and the Cornell Teacher Education Program to recruit and prepare future physics teachers. We are committed to seeing this happen through the active recruitment of students to physics and Physics education, through the improvement of physics education practices at Cornell, and through educational and experiential support for students pursing physics teaching careers.

Cornell University Library

In a time of rapid change, Cornell University Library continues to stand at the center of intellectual life on campus. With world-class collections and services — print, online, and in person — our Library serves as an indispensable partner in study, teaching and research at the university.

Cornell University Research Guides:

Find research guides created by Cornell library staff.

Open access to 1,198,437 e-prints in Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance and Statistics.

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