Journal on Empowering Teaching Excellence


The objective of this essay, which is based on a keynote presentation delivered at the 2016 Empowering Teaching Excellence Conference at Utah State University, is to address this central question: how faculty can make a positive, substantive impact on students through 1-on-1 instruction? The consensus answer derived from experiences and anecdotes offered by this author, her colleagues, and students is to be deliberate in 1-on-1 interactions with students. This simple message is expanded through discussion of 10 key concepts that can help faculty amplify their teaching impact: 1) be available, 2) help students feel comfortable, 3) be a model, 4) set individual goals, 5) maintain expectations, 6) trust, but verify, 7) provide individual feedback, 8) make every interaction count, 9) be aware, and 10) build relationships. By approaching 1-on-1 instruction with deliberate care, faculty can help set students on a trajectory for professional success while also being sensitive to student needs. Ultimately, these interactions can blossom into professional relationships that are rewarding for both the students and faculty.