20 Minutes to Student Engagement

Put cookies to work in your classes!

Students can feel intimidated and hesitate to ask questions or seek help. They need to be convinced that you are approachable. With the right conversation from you it can happen in 20 minutes.

Cookies and conversation in the classroom? Really!

Here’s what you do:

  • Pick a date in your classes (large or small) early in the term
  • Set aside 20 minutes at the end of class
  • Bring 2 cookies per student (get good ones)
  • Talk to students about your research interests, why you wanted to be professor, your work experiences, hobbies…pick what's comfortable.

The payoff is big... even for just 20 minutes.

Research shows that very casual, brief conversations with faculty can:

  • Improve faculty evaluations
  • Improve student performance
  • Increase student retention and commitment to STEM study and careers

Take a look at how UT-Austin does it.

UT-Austin puts cookies to work across its engineering departments. If you're interested in establishing a program for your department, school, or college, get more information and download a toolkit.


Tools for increasing student retention through:

Everyday Examples in Engineering
Faculty-Student Interaction
Spatial Visualization Skills

Spread the word...share with your colleagues!