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Teaching Resources

Building My Voice

Building My Voice (BMV) is a resource developed by American University's Project on Civil Discourse to support students in identifying their goals, values, and challenges as speakers, listeners, and learners.


BMV provides a shared framework for reflecting on civil discourse- including speaking, listening, reading, and learning. Students, faculty, student groups, and classes can use this when planning or having tough conversations, making decisions about guest speakers and events, considering classroom contributions, resolving student disputes, and dealing with challenging events such as bias incidents. Students can refer to their goals and values statements when making decisions about how they use their voices, and evaluating their progress as productive, engaged members of the academic community and the world.

It encourages students to move from thinking about what they can say to why they speak, listen, and study.

Let Freedom (and Respect) Ring: Fostering Civil Discourse and Free Speech in the Classroom and Beyond

Lara Schwartz and Andrea Malkin Brenner created a guide to academic discourse that focuses on the tools that college students use both inside and outside of the classroom. It addresses the fundamentals of engaging with new ideas as a reader, listener, speaker and writer.

Tools for Teaching in a Polarized Environment

Tools for Designing Collaborative Assignments and Assessments

Checklist for Successful Writing

Guide to Self-Editing and Critiquing

Guide for Grading

Guide to Helpful Syllabus Language

Understanding Students’ Perspectives on the Learning Experience

As instructors, we know far more about course subject matter than our students.  But when it comes to the 2019 college student experience, we are the least knowledgeable person in the room.  Our students bring diverse experiences with them that affect their engagement in class. In addition to disability, trauma, and distance from home (particularly in the case of international students), this discussion will explore intergenerational differences and the way that normative Boomer/Gen X behavior feels and reads to a Gen Z student.

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