Center for Teaching and Learning

Spring 2023


Welcome to CTL Reflections

This publication was created to provide a forum for sharing teaching and learning best practices, scholarship of teaching experiences, and to keep faculty and the campus community informed of new initiatives and professional development opportunities offered by the Center. The CTL Reflections newsletter, which debuted in 2015, also serves as a vehicle to foster collaborations and explore opportunities for service, research, and innovation. The main goal of CTL Reflections is to promote community building and to strengthen Hostos’ sense of identity and belonging.

Read, comment on, and share the best practices, tips, experiences, and much more that our colleagues are doing to promote excellence in education and the success of our students.


Handwritten Outlines and Visual Frames in an Online Environment

When I began teaching Latin American and Latinx Studies at Hostos in Spring 2020, I considered myself a seasoned teacher. After having taught at both public and private universities for several years, I thought I knew how to share my enthusiasm and passion for my area of expertise. However, during my first months at Hostos and then during the COVID [...]

Using Constructivist Theory for Teaching and Learning

“Learning is active mental work, not passive reception of teaching” By Anita Woolfolk What is Constructivism? It is a theory that learners generate new knowledge from existing knowledge (Caputi, L. 2020). As people navigate the world around them, they “construct” knowledge from their own experiences and add new information into their pre-existing knowledge. So, students have an opportunity to use [...]

Encouraging Active Learning on Zoom

Having taught asynchronously during the entire 2020-2021 academic year, I was excited to begin teaching synchronous sections of ENG10: Accelerated Writing Skills in Fall 2021. Because these sections were linked with asynchronous sections of ENG110: Expository Writing, I wondered how my students would respond to taking these courses together in two different online formats. Additionally, given the now-ubiquitous phenomenon of [...]

Four Strategies for Cultivating Inclusion in Online Classrooms

Whether we teach online or in-person there is a need to bridge the gap between student’s lived experiences, their cultural backgrounds and academics. With recent the transition to primarily online teaching and learning, because of Covid-19, this need has become more important. Undoubtedly, the online transition has been a learning experience for both students and instructors alike. Pushing us, among [...]

Teaching Tips for Asynchronous Online Learning

“Making the classroom a democratic setting where everyone feels a responsibility to contribute is a central goal of transformative pedagogy” (39). Bell Hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom (1994) As someone who had never taught online before March 2020, I spent a great deal of time considering how to transfer successful elements of my in-person courses [...]

Teaching in Difficult Times

I think there is one thing we can all agree on and that is that this has been an incredibly complex year for teaching. We have all had to adjust our pedagogies to make the semester as positive and educational as possible. It has been a time where being present for the students is extremely important. As soon as we [...]


Game designers spend a lot of time thinking about points and rewards. We know that they are powerful motivators, but we also know they have their share of issues. Extrinsic motivators keep players doing what we want them to do but don’t necessarily result in better player experiences or are hallmarks of good game design. Massively popular so-called social games [...]

Supporting Students in a Virtual World

Hostos Community College’s support to a very diverse population of students in regards of background, age, and experience definitely resides at the core of the institution mission. This diversity is present also in academic preparedness of our students. Students often come poorly prepared for the science courses, for example. Throughout the time that I have been teaching science courses, I [...]

Teaching Tips for Online-Learning

The past year has witnessed the expansion of online learning across all levels of education in all corners of the world due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. Teachers all over the education spectrum have been working diligently in transitioning their face to face lessons to an online format. However, designing online courses takes significant time and effort. No matter how long [...]

Are You Already Teaching Information Literacy?

Are you teaching information literacy? Quite likely. Do you ask students to work independently and look up information on a topic? Do you ask them to discuss contrasting viewpoints? Do you assign readings from trusted sources of information and discuss why these sources are trustworthy? And there are so many other examples… Some Hostos faculty may be aware that information [...]

Time Management

The ability to use time effectively is a problem most of us face. Our students have a lot on their plate; many of them are parents and often have to maintain a job while attending college. As part of our orientation into the program, we advise students not to have a job because the Radiography program is so demanding. However, [...]

Virtual Lounge

Like most faculty and teachers across the world, we spent much of the summer attending online faculty development courses which gave us a hurried introduction to the world of online teaching and learning. Just as we finished that, the fall semester was upon us again and it was time to put our new skills to the test. The COVID19 pandemic [...]


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