Habits of Mind:

Designing Courses for Student Success

Edited by Julia M. Gossard & Chris Babits

Although content knowledge remains at the heart of college teaching and learning, instructors have started to recognize that we must also provide twenty-first-century college students with transferable skills to prepare them for their futures (Vazquez, 2020; Hazard, 2012; Ritchhart, 2015; Venezia & Jaeger, 2013). In order to “grow their capacity as efficacious thinkers to navigate and thrive in the face of unprecedent change,” students should learn important skills and strategies throughout their educational careers (Costa, Kallick, and Zmuda, 2022). Utah State University instructors are particularly adept at providing these competencies and skills in introductory, mid, advanced, and even career-preparation courses. Habits of Mind: Designing Courses for Student Success brings together transformative Utah State University instructors to highlight their experiences in developing “Habits of Mind” assignments and frameworks in their courses, ensuring student success along the way.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements & Land Acknowledgement | Dedication | Contributors


Julia M. Gossard and Chris Babits


Chapter 1: Using Habits of Mind to Reduce DFWI Rates in a Gateway History Course

Chris Babits

Chapter 2: Preparing Students with Habits of Mind for the First Day of Class

Jennifer Grewe

Chapter 3: Improving the general education experience through equitable and inclusive pedagogical practices

Cree Taylor

Chapter 4: With Sustainability in Mind: Twelve Habits of Mind for a Successful Learning Experience in the Second-Language Classroom and Beyond

Doris McGonagill

Chapter 5: Structure for Success: Incorporating Habits of Mind into Online Courses

Missy Kofoed


Chapter 6: #DigitalPowerups: Creating safe and brave spaces in online discussions to support student choice and voice

Leonard Henderson, Travis Thurston, Mehmet Soyer, Gonca Soyer, and Josie Tollefson

Chapter 7: Learning Beyond Content: Using Weekly Reflection to Promote Student Confidence and Lifelong Learning

Nichelle Frank

Chapter 8: Making Asynchronous Online Discussions Meaningful: An Introduction to The Pioneer Method with Robust Scaffolding  

Matthew D. LaPlante

Chapter 9: “I’m just not good at history”: Fostering a Growth Mindset with Habits of Mind

Julia M. Gossard

Chapter 10: Mindful Teaching, Leadership, and Reflection Practices

Jessie Koltz

Chapter 11: Hindsight is 20/20: The role of reflection in learning

Jenifer Evers


Chapter 12: Weaving purposeful worlds of discovery: Merging CliftonStrengths® with Habits of Mind for low income, first-generation students

Kimberly Hiatt, Kelsey Bushman, Heather Lyman, and Sarah Gosney

Chapter 13: Habits of Mind Courses for College Success: Empowering Students to Plan and Read

Melanie Chambers and Sharon Lyman

Chapter 14: How Instructors Can Help Students Embrace a Growth Mindset: The Importance of Applying Theory to Practice

Antje R. H. Graul and Ayse Sapci

Chapter 15: Leap and the Net Will Appear: Risk-taking and Creative Flexibility in the Face of the Unknown

Raymond Veon

Chapter 16: If at First You Don’t Succeed: Promoting a Growth Mindset by Quelling Student Fear of Failure

Jason Twede

Chapter 17: TikTok is not peer reviewed: Modifying assignments to nurture Habits of Mind

Rachel Robison-Greene


Chapter 18: “An Amazing Change in Mindset”: Student Psychosocial Development and Social Science Research Methods

Sarah Tulane and Travis Thurston

Chapter 19: “I see research questions everywhere”: Developing Metacognitive Skills in an English-Major Research Methods Course

Joyce Kinkead, John Draeger, and Jill K. Singer

Chapter 20: Service-learning and community-engaged projects for international and domestic students

Ekaterina Arshavskaya

Chapter 21: Searching as learning: A scaffolded approach to the research paper assignment

Karin deJonge-Kannan

Chapter 22: Developing Classroom Management Skills: Leveraging Habits of Mind in Pre-Service Teacher Education

Rachel K. Turner


Julia M. Gossard and Chris Babits

Book Details

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Recommended APA Citation

Gossard, J. & Babits, C. (Eds.) (2023). Habits of mind: Designing courses for student success. Utah State University.

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Habits of Mind Podcast

Coming Summer 2024

About Empower Teaching Open-Access Series

The Empower Teaching Open-Access Book Series features a variety of peer-reviewed books focused broadly on the multi-disciplinary work of teaching in higher education. Books in the series align with the mission of the Center for Empowering Teaching Excellence (ETE) to bolster the culture of teaching excellence for students, staff, faculty and administrators. The books in this series share insightful and innovative perspectives on teaching and learning, and through a partnership with USU Libraries the books are offered in an online and open-access format to amplify the voices of authors and contributors in the series.

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