Top Tips for Faculty

Our tips for faculty include many suggestions about how to use IRIS resources and online tools. Read on or click the link to download an annotated copy of your own!

Take advantage of all the IRIS Center has to offer: Modules, Case Studies, Information Briefs, Activities, Interviews, Evidence-Based Practice Summaries, Video Vignettes, Sample Syllabi, and more!

Modules

  • Use Modules in face-to-face, hybrid, or online classes.
  • Teach students how to navigate the STAR Legacy Cycle by showing the video “Navigating an IRIS STAR Legacy Module” and by doing a Module together as an in-class activity.
  • Assign the whole Module or parts of a Module as homework.
  • Show students the Module Outline to use for notes and use it yourself to preview the Module.
  • Let students know they should expect to spend 1-4 hours on each Module; they can break it up or do it all at once.
  • Assign the Module’s Assessment questions for credit and follow up with wrap-around resources in the next class session.
  • Remind students the IRIS materials are free and available 24/7.

Information Briefs, Activities, Interviews

  • Use these additional resources to support college instruction by supplementing textbooks/readings, opening class with attention getters, enhancing class discussions, and supporting class topics.
  • Have students present Information Briefs on the class topic.
  • Use Activities to enhance other IRIS resources, such as Modules and Case Studies.
  • Use interviews to allow students to hear more in depth conversations about hot topics from experts in the field.

Evidence-Based Practice Summaries

  • Explore the IRIS-vetted Evidence-Based Practice Summaries.
  • Teach your students to become consumers of research and to understand what makes data reliable and valid.
  • Teach your students where to find and how to identify evidence-based practices for use in their teaching.
  • Accustom your students to using IRIS-vetted Evidence-Based Practice Summaries instead of broad Internet searches.
  • Use the Summaries as handouts to provide more detail about practices described in textbooks.

Case Studies

  • Model cooperative learning in your class by grouping students to work on Case Studies, which include scenarios with increasing levels of difficulty.
  • Model differentiated instruction by assigning the Case Studies’ scenarios to different students based on levels of experience and grade level.
  • Use one Case Study with the whole class and build on it by using scenarios with increasing levels of difficulty.
  • Use Case Studies to problem solve real-life challenges in field experience.

Video Vignettes

  • Explore videos on a variety of topics.
  • Hear stories of individuals with disabilities and their family members.
  • Use videos as a coaching tool to improve field experience.

Coursework Planning

  • Use posted Coursework Planning Forms to integrate IRIS in your classes.
  • See how other faculty have used IRIS resources in a variety of courses in Sample Syllabi.
  • Get tips from seasoned faculty on grading, assignments, sequence, procedures, and more.

More IRIS Resources

  • Watch videos on “Navigating the IRIS Website” and “Navigating the IRIS Resource Locator (IRL).”
  • Look under Using IRIS for Top Tips for Faculty, Coursework Planning Forms, and Manuals & Answer Keys to some of the IRIS resources.
  • Find updates to Modules and other resources on both the homepage and in drop-down menus.
  • See the Research & Evaluation tab for evidence that IRIS resources really do work.
  • Teach students to use the IRIS Glossary to define and understand terms and acronyms as an alternative to less-reliable sources.
  • Find even more tools in the Web Resource Directory where each link opens a new tab in your browser.
  • Explore the IRIS list of films that portray a variety of characters with disabilities.
  • Use the resource locator to find available IRIS materials in Spanish.
  • Follow IRIS on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Tech Tips

  • Expand the content to full screen for better viewing by clicking the page expander in the upper-right corner of your browser window.
  • Show videos in full screen for easier viewing by clicking the full-screen button in the bottom-right of the video clip.
  • Add closed-captioning to videos by clicking the CC in the bottom-right of the video clip.
  • Find resources quickly under IRIS Resource Topics on the homepage.
  • Remind students to update software before using IRIS resources by using links to the required software in Help & Support.
  • Click on the Help & Support link at the top-right of the page if you need additional assistance.
  • Print or save your favorite resources by selecting the printer or disc icon at the top of the page.
  • Use your mouse or trackpad to scroll through a page when the scroll-bar is not showing.
  • Receive training through online navigation videos, Webinars, and Web Tours or face-to-face at an IRIS Seminar or Work Session.

The IRIS Center Peabody College Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 37203 iris@vanderbilt.edu. The IRIS Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Grant #H325E120002. The contents of this Website do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officers, Sarah Allen and Tracie Dickson.

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