Throughout our higher education years, we’ve all met a teacher who really loved their vocation. You know the ones: they shared the best examples and anecdotes, and explained everything with such fluency that (even without liking their subject) you could understand them perfectly.
These professors represented an important point in our academic panorama — because they always went the extra mile.
To go that extra mile requires heart, yes. But it also requires skills, determination, organization and resources. Resources to get your students engaged, improve information retention, measure success, plan and act, and support your class — whether it’s a small online session or a gigantic university lecture.
Nowadays, educational resources are within the reach of a click, but many of them are paid or require some sort of membership.
So, if you’re a teacher or professor, or if you know teachers who resonate with the above characteristics, I’ve curated a list of powerful — and totally free — teaching resources every educator should have access to.
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- Venngage’s Infographic Maker and free online teaching resources
- Additional free online teaching resources
Venngage’s Infographic Maker and free online teaching resources
You may already know this or maybe you came to this article without knowing about us, but Venngage is a simple, online design tool for non-designers. We’re the best infographic maker you’ll find online, but we also offer other types of design communications for all your needs.
We have an intuitive drag-and-drop editor that allows you to customize all of our professionally-designed templates. And when using our smart editor, you can either add your own images and icons — or use our extensive catalog of icons and stock photos.
We have many resources for teachers, too. So, keep scrolling for a list of free teaching resources to improve your educational practices:
Free presentation bundle
How you present your information or subject to your class is as important as the knowledge you’re sharing. I know creating an eye-catching presentation can be stressful and time-consuming, but that’s where Venngage comes to the rescue.
Even if you’re not a designer, our presentation maker tool will make you look like the cool professor you are. Customize these professional and engaging presentations in minutes:
- ADDIE Model Presentation Template: for when you’re talking about a case study or even a project you developed in class, this ADDIE Model presentation will help you highlight the important points and annotations you need to explain to your class.
- Modern Digital Marketing Presentation Template: incorporating images to your presentations is a great way to help your students engage with complex information. You can also change the colors of your design, add more slides and logos if you need to.
- PowerPoint Roadmap Template: roadmaps are great for showcasing your class’s progress, an evaluation process or even project results. Save time customizing this presentation design and sharing it online for free.
- Product Pitch Deck: pitch decks are also amazing presentation formats to explain your vision. Add data visualization graphics to improve retention and add your information in brief and concise paragraphs.
- Marketing Statistics Report LinkedIn Presentation: last but not least, if you need to showcase some valuable data with visually appealing graphics and icons, this marketing report presentation might be a good option for you.
Not the templates you’re looking for? No problem. Choose from our catalog of presentation templates and select the right design for your educational needs.
Free checklist bundle
No need to use your notes app on your phone to make a to-do list anymore!
Create your own checklist with our free online checklist maker — we have hundreds of professional, engaging checklists that can help you form new habits, keep yourself on track while completing tasks, organize your processes and workflow, and more!
- School Supplies Shopping List Template: this template is about a school supply list, but you can edit it however you want! Our templates are fully customizable, allowing you to edit from the colors and icons to the text and the distribution.
- Company Employee Offboarding Checklist: although the contents of this template are geared towards a company employee, you could easily customize it for teachers. Use it to keep track of what needs to get done at the start of classes or the beginning of semesters. Organize initial communications, indicate required books and guides, assignments, projects and even extra class schedules.
- Leadership Skills Inventory and Self-Assessment Checklist Template: a good evaluation rubric can help you identify your student’s performance at the end of the school year. Customize this checklist template to achieve your learning goals and plan for the upcoming semester.
- Classroom Health and Safety Checklist Template: this versatile checklist could help you or your colleagues. You can use this to keep track of a safety plan or even as a quiz template. Customize the information, colors and icons, and you’re ready to share online with a click or download in multiple formats on a paid plan.
- Social Distancing Checklist Template: another simple but powerful template that will make you look good and like you have everything under control. We created this template in the middle of the pandemic, so it could be useful when teaching on campus. But it could also be customized to your own educational needs.
Want more checklist examples? Browse our catalog of hundreds of checklist templates to keep everyone on track. Keep in mind, most of our templates are free to use but some require a membership upgrade (to a Premium or Business plan) to be able to edit and download them.
Free lesson plan bundle
A lesson plan helps you keep your classes organized. I’ve selected a small (but diverse) selection of templates that will allow you to identify learning objectives, plan your learning activities and assessments, sequence lessons and topics, and never lose track of your learning goals.
- E-Learning Science Project Assignment Brief Template: this minimalist template will help you compose a project assignment plan in minutes. Since it’s fully customizable, you can also add or change any text to improve your lesson planning and point out important assessments.
- E-learning Daily Schedule Template: as an educator, it’s important to plan your week and days to be productive and still have time for personal activities. Set up a daily e-learning class schedule and more by modifying this e-learning schedule template.
- E-Learning Lesson Plan Template: ensure you don’t miss any important topics, especially if they’re not on the usual planning worksheets. If you’re that professor that loves to supplement lessons with anecdotes from your professional experiences, these lesson plan options will help you organize your thoughts and plan each lesson topic.
- High School Math Lesson Plan: if you need to go into more detail, this multipage lesson plan example does the trick. Even though this template is focused on a high school class, you can adapt it to your own content and needs. When you’re done editing your custom lesson plan, share it with a link or download it in the formats you need (as mentioned, to download you’ll need to upgrade to a membership plan).
- University Lesson Plan Example: this lesson plan example includes tips and suggestions for how you should use this template in your planning. Our smart editor allows you to easily customize your design by adding icons, images and graphs, changing the colors and text, and adding more slides to your design as needed.
These presentation templates, checklist designs and lesson plan bundles aren’t the only free resources Venngage has to offer. Yes, we do have Premium and Business templates that require a membership to edit, but we also have a variety of free templates in many different categories that anyone can use, at any time.
You could even complement your teaching resources with an awesome informational infographic, a creative poster, a motivating certificate, an engaging brochure and much more! Explore our templates catalog to find the right design for your classroom.
But that’s not all! Sit tight because I’ve put together a list of even more resources to improve your teaching tools and practices.
Additional free online teaching resources
ACUE Online Teaching Toolkit
The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) provides a totally free online teaching toolkit to support professors teaching online — it initially started in the middle of the pandemic, as a teaching resource to support instructors that needed to do a quick transition to an online teaching environment.
It’s now a valuable source of information, recommendations and free online resources that can benefit faculty and students. ACUE partnered with higher education leaders and experts in eLearning to present best practices in key areas and ensure quality online instruction for student success.
This toolkit comes in the form of a webinar series, divided into six key focus areas that prioritize teaching remotely:
- Welcoming students to the online environment
- Managing your online presence
- Organizing your online course
- Planning and facilitating quality discussions
- Recording effective micro-lectures
- Engaging students in readings and micro-lectures
Top Hat Free Teaching Resources
Top Hat is a student engagement platform that teachers use inside and outside of the classroom. It offers a ton of dynamic courses to empower educators and students by delivering personalized, meaningful and equitable learning.
They offer a large portfolio of free ebooks and webinars. I explored their offerings and curated the most valuable resources here:
- 25+ Effective Ways to Assess and Grade. A compilation of practical testing strategies and grading techniques to create flexible and innovative assessments for your students. This ebook also includes customizable instructional templates and rubrics for constructive feedback.
- Redefine Your Teaching with Dynamic Courseware. A free guide to creating interactive and dynamic courseware for your students. In this guide, faculty members discuss how interactive, digital textbooks can have a positive impact on students’ test scores.
- The Hybrid Classroom: A Toolkit for Educators in a World in Flux. If you feel like integrating digital tools into your learning practices is hard, this free guide is perfect for you. This teaching resource provides you with essential activities and guidelines to help your students thrive in any environment.
- How to Choose the Best Assessment Tool for Your College Class. Assignments, midterms and exams aren’t the only way to grade your students and assess comprehension. Discover the pros and cons of the most popular assessment tools on the market today and choose the best ones to achieve your learning goals.
- 45+ Team-Building Activities for College Courses. Creating connections in your classroom will ensure your students stay engaged. This free ebook provides you with team-building activities to lay a solid foundation for learning and improve discussion and participation.
The Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) supports remote teaching and learning needs and it’s great for professors seeking supplemental free teaching resources.
The MERLOT system is totally free. Any higher education teachers or instructors worldwide can join the platform.
The system has a collection of more than a hundred thousand learning resources. It includes support materials and content-creation resources for remote classrooms. All members can add their own educational materials with the site’s content builder tool.
Teaching Newsletter by The Chronicle of Higher Education
In the digital era, newsletters are one of the most popular resources.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has the largest newsroom dedicated to covering colleges and universities in the United States. They serve their readers with indispensable real-time news, insights, essential tools, career opportunities and “knowledge to succeed in a rapidly changing world.”
If you’re looking for insights to improve teaching and learning online and across your campus, this is the right newsletter for you. Every Thursday you’ll receive a new edition full of surveys, interviews, reports and short articles compiled and written by The Chronicle’s education writers.
Some examples of the latest topics shared in this weekly newsletter include:
- How Students Can Help Create More Accessible Courses
- Flipping A Class Helps But Not For The Reason You’d Think
- Could Creating More Active-Learning Spaces Improve Equity?
- How Should Professors Evaluate Class Participation?
OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources.
Open educational resources refer to learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under an open license. They can be accessed at no-cost, re-used, re-purposed, adapted and redistributed by others.
With OER Commons you can explore, create and collaborate with teachers around the world. They have an extensive library of over tens of thousands of open resources that are completely free. You can search through collections curated by digital librarians and also be part of groups.
Groups provide a flexible environment to organize, create, share and discuss resources with other professors in the network. It’s a collaborative community where you can support other members, tag and add resources to shared folders and create your own collections — all within a public or private group.
Loom for Education
Loom is a video recording tool that teachers and students can use to record project presentations, showcase test answers and share quick solutions. It works by recording the speaker, the camera and the screen at the same time — you can also just record your screen and speaker or just your screen.
It’s very easy to use and it allows you to pause and continue the recording process. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Loom launched Loom for Education so teachers at schools, colleges and universities could access the tool completely free, and students could watch as they solved problems in real-time.
Loom for Education offers qualified educators unlimited recordings and access to premium features forever. You just need to apply online, get verified and enjoy all the features with no restrictions.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association working to advance higher education through the use of information technology. With over a hundred thousand members worldwide, it gives teachers access to key free teaching resources for growing their careers.
Members can stay up to date with higher education issues, technologies and trends through EDUCAUSE’s library of research, toolkits and publications. EDUCAUSE also offers:
- Training and professional development
- Networking events with special pricing
- Professional learning resources
- Job postings
Go the extra mile with these free online teaching resources
I hope this list of free educational resources helps you go the extra mile for your students — and go down in history as that professor or teacher who had a profound impact on their educational careers.
Use them and share them as you see fit! And thank YOU for inspiring and educating the next generation