Category Archives: 4. Classroom Exercises

Productive Classroom Behavior Exercise

There’s no time like the beginning of an academic year to set standards for good classroom etiquette, and to help students understand expected behavior in the workplace. Follow these steps for a quick lesson that will have long-term impact.

  1. Introduce the topic of classroom behavior in the college classroom, eliciting answers from students about what they consider to be good etiquette. Students will likely come up with some answers, but you should have a list of behaviors you personally expect from your learners (i.e. policies on phones and laptops, attendance, late arrival, deadlines, courtesy, respectful participation, preparation, etc.)
  2. Write the responses on a white board or project them so the entire group can view the desired behaviors.
  3. Put students into groups and ask them to discuss reasons these behaviors foster learning.
  4. (optional) Have the groups write an e-mail to you explaining how positive classroom behavior might reflect practices in the workplace. Many students have jobs. They might be able to contribute insights into desirable attitudes and behaviors at work.


Talk the Talk: Preparing a Skills Worksheet

[Instructors: Download the Skill Summary Template to distribute to your students.]

Whether you’re investigating a potential field of work or readying yourself for a job interview, knowing your skills and being able to discuss them is key. Complete the worksheet below to help prepare yourself to talk intelligently about your skills and attributes. Be sure to include both technical skills, or knowledge in a specific field, and soft skills, interpersonal attributes you possess that will be valuable in the workplace.


Skill (Hard/Soft) Experience or Example
Proficiency in Adobe CS  (H) Design monthly newsletter for accounting firm
Excellent written communication (S) Write news releases, other marketing materials for ABC Inc.

Skill Summary Template


Preparing to write the 21st-century résumé

Instructors: The Word table at the end of this post is designed to help students complete the below pre-writing tasks. You can assign its completion as homework or as an in-class activity.


Writing your résumé is one of the most fundamental and important tasks you will do throughout your working life. Before you do, take time to understand this important document and read about best practices and résumé conventions in your business communication textbook. You can also visit your campus career center or look at the helpful resources provided by the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Like all good writing, résumés require careful thinking before composing. This activity will help you gather the information you will need to write both a traditional résumé and a technologically enhanced, 21st-century version.

Part 1. Pre-write

Using the table your instructor distributes, list your skills, talents, abilities, and interests in the first column. Skills can be divided into hard skills (tangible, often technical skills that depend on acquired knowledge, such as learning a programming language, operating a machine, or calculating payroll) and soft skills (abilities that include people skills, communication skills, creativity, a positive attitude, and other intangible character traits).

In the second column, list your employment history, including jobs, volunteer work, community service, any achievements, and awards. Write the name and location of the organization, dates you worked, and your title, as well as accomplishments and tasks.

In the last column, list the jobs you aspire to, either in the short term (summer job, internship, volunteer position) or in the long term, or career fields in which you might be interested.

Part 2. Draft a traditional résumé

Use the information you’ve written on the table to create a traditional résumé, dividing it into customary sections (i.e. education, work experience, skill summary, etc.)

Part 3. Create a technologically enhanced résumé

Return to the table you completed and mark every item that could be showcased or illustrated using audio, video, or other technology. For example, musicians could imbed an audio clip into a résumé, writers could link to their written work, and chefs could refer to recipes or imbed a video of a cooking demonstration.

E-Portfolio Pre-Write Table