Teaching Toolkit

Under the leadership of Michael Joseph, Vice Dean for Education, the mission of the Office of Education is to provide an exceptional academic experience; we do this by equipping faculty with powerful teaching resources that promote robust, engaging, and relevant teaching instruction.


The Mailman School of Public Health seeks excellence in every aspect of education and offers faculty  practical tools for faculty to build strong educational practices. These resources include:

  • guidance on course development
  • individual and small-group consultation
  • workshops on diverse aspects of teaching
  • research on emerging techniques for innovative instruction

The Enhancing Teaching resource portal connects faculty with support for all facets of instruction. Use the resources below to access materials for leading meaningful seminar discussions, building a robust syllabus, delivering a memorable lecture, grading student work, and more.

Syllabus Toolkit

We view the syllabus as scholarship and hope that this initiative will foster further conversations with colleagues about how we can advance the field of teaching and learning in public health. We encourage collaboration and sharing of best (or promising) practices as faculty develop and revise syllabi. As with other scholarship, please observe appropriate citation and acknowledgement along with professional courtesy in receiving appropriate permissions to use aspects of a colleague’s syllabus.A thoroughly planned course with clear goals and expectations is more likely to yield robust student learning, and a well-constructed syllabus is an essential tool for creating such a course. The purpose of this guide is to assist faculty in the design and development of highly effective syllabi. This Toolkit is intended to make the often challenging process of designing syllabi easier and more straightforward.

Please access the following resources:


Effective instruction within a large-group setting requires skillful communication and, in some cases, manipulation of visual tools. Many instructors are invited to deliver guest lectures in courses, adding an additional challenge to the task of communicating specialized knowledge in a meaningful way to students who have not been immersed in the content. 

The following resources provide some practical tools and tips for delivering effective lectures. Some instructors favor a presentational, didactic style, while others may prefer to engage students – and even encourage their participation – within a large-class setting. 

Group Discussion

Instructors frequently express a desire to include more small-group or team-based work in their courses, but are often reluctant to attempt these instructional techniques without concrete tools that ensure high levels of student learning and accountability.  Over the past several decades, research on cooperative learning has yielded many practical guidelines and tools for maximizing such techniques. 

Access the resources below for materials that can help faculty design and implement small-group work, breakout sessions, and team-based learning.

Student Assignments

Is there life beyond midterms, finals, and the occasional group presentation? How does the proliferation of digital resources affect students’ research skills, and how can faculty encourage depth of knowledge in a world that prizes breadth of information? How do instructors design assignments that will enable students to develop true mastery and critical thought?

The resources below can support faculty in the process of developing innovative and challenging assignments for students, whether weekly homework or culminating exams. 


How do we know our teaching was effective, and what do we do if we find out that it wasn’t? Are our testing practices giving us a true view of what students learned? 

The resources below provide support for designing accurate and fair assessments, practical guidance on grading techniques, and more.