Starts this week: Coffee & Crucial Conversations (Sept. 23)

Coffee and Crucial Conversations will provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to dialogue about teaching inclusively at Iowa State University. The intent of these conversations will be to help build a stronger teaching community, create collaborative partnerships, and develop effective teaching practices for meeting the diverse needs of our students. Each month we will choose a topic based on input from our teaching community. Register via Learn@ISU website. This discussion group will be held on the following Fridays:

  • September 23 (7:30 – 9:00 a.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)
  • October 28 (7:30 – 9:00 a.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)
  • November 11 (7:30 – 9:00 a.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)
  • December 2 (7:30 – 9:00 a.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)

Upcoming professional development opportunities about inclusion:

Inclusive Classroom Faculty Development Workshop

Prerequisite: Faculty may choose to attend one of the following fall semester offerings by registering via Learn@ISU website at least one week prior to the event :

  • Monday, October 10, 2:10 – 5:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall
  • Wednesday, November 9, 1:10 – 4:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall
  • Thursday, December 1, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall

Today’s university classrooms are more diverse than in the past. With this diversity of students comes the need to ensure the learning environments associated with courses are inclusive and designed to support all students. This faculty workshop includes pre-workshop online learning modules and an interactive face-to-face workshop focused on creating an inclusive classroom environment. By participating in this workshop faculty will:

  • Learn about teaching inclusively and why it is important at Iowa State University
  • Identify their own attitudes towards inclusion, acknowledge how it impacts teaching, and develop strategies to be more inclusive
  • Enhance self-awareness and instructional skills that may contribute to our inclusive campus environment
  • Become familiar with student support resources at Iowa State University

How to Foster Safe Spaces for Diversity and Inclusion

Thursday, October 20, 12:10 – 1:00 p.m.
2030 Morrill Hall

What do we mean by inclusion? What do we mean by diversity? As teachers, our answers to these questions are vital not only for our own teaching philosophy but also for the culture we are creating in our classrooms, which can perpetuate into workplaces after graduation. Dr. Kristen Constant, Morrill Professor, Wilkinson Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering and Chair, Materials Science & Engineering, will help you create a classroom experience that supports diversity and inclusion. Her humorous, data-driven examples can help students in your classroom gain a language with which to discuss diversity and inclusion, help you create a safe space to train future professionals to recognize what inclusion looks like, and help both you and your students not just make room for diversity, but invite and value diverse ideas and experiences into critical thinking processes in both formal and informal settings. Register via Learn@ISU website.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

You’re Invited: Expanding Diversity Perspectives Faculty Workshop (Sept. 16-17)

handstogetherYou are invited to the “Expanding Diversity Perspectives” faculty workshop, which will address pedagogical strategies that foster appreciation for and commitment to honoring diversity, equity and inclusion within and beyond the classroom and studio. The workshop will be led by Dr. Geneva Gay, professor of education at the University of Washington-Seattle, who is nationally known for her scholarship on multicultural education and culturally responsive teaching.

Three goals have been set for the Expanding Diversity Perspectives faculty workshop:

  • Increase understanding of the importance of addressing and integrating issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in the education and professional preparation of students.
  • Expand knowledge of effective strategies for building community and equity within the classroom/studio.
  • Increase integration of the contributions of diverse groups and pluralistic perspectives in course content, class assignments and studio projects.


The event will begin with a public lecture on “Culturally Responsive Teaching” by Dr. Gay at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, in Kocimski Auditorium.

The workshop will take place from 8:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Christian Petersen Art Museum in Morrill Hall. Building on Friday night’s lecture, Dr. Gay will detail the practice of culturally responsive teaching and guide faculty in generating ideas for the courses they teach.


There are 15 seats left. To participate, RSVP to Mark Chidister, by Friday, Sept. 9


The workshop is made possible by a grant from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, funding from the College of Design Office of the Dean and support from University Museums.

Mark Chidister, Senior Associate Dean
Audrey Kennis, Multicultural Liaison Officer
Monica Haddad, Associate Professor of Community & Regional Planning and College of Design Equity Officer
Barbara Caldwell, Associate Professor of Art & Visual Culture

Finding New or Better Ways to Engage Our Students in the Classroom

I’ve spoken to a number of colleagues from across campus over the past few months and asked them what their teaching plans were for this fall semester. One of the common themes in our conversations was their desire to find new or better ways to engage students in the classroom environment. For some that meant requesting a classroom space with moveable furniture that more easily supports active learning strategies. For others, it meant fully converting their course to a team-based learning format. Another group of colleagues were thinking about new ways to effectively engage students in class discussions. All of them had a true desire to enhance their students’ learning experiences. I look forward to checking in with them mid-semester to see how things are going.
If you are looking for ways to increase student engagement, this upcoming CELT program may be of interest. CELT is hosting a four-part series on Evidence-Based Techniques to Enhance Student Learning and Engagement that will provide examples of how to engage students across the entirety of the course. The program series features a fantastic group of ISU faculty from a variety of disciplines who will describe how to implement effective instructional design based on cognitive psychology and the learning retrieval practice. The first session is Thursday, September 8, 2:30-4:00. More information is available on the CELT Events and Registration website.
We hope you can join us!
Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

CELT Teaching & Learning Circles (Workshop Series) Announced for Fall 2016

This fall, CELT is offering 4 different sets of teaching and learning circles (workshop series) for the campus community.  These series provide a structured way for faculty, instructors, and staff to hear new teaching strategies, meet new colleagues, and build a community of practice.  Registration is required via Learn@ISU website.

Workshop: From Graduate Student to Faculty (Sept. 6) and Workshop Series

thumbnailofworkshopflyergraduatestudenttofacultyThe first workshop of a five-workshop series will be held 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6 in the south ballroom of the Memorial Union. It will focus on graduate students of color transitioning to faculty members. Presenters include Brian Burt and Sarah Rodriguez in the School of Education, and Shannon Coleman in food science and human nutrition and Human Sciences Extension and Outreach. Download Workshop: From Graduate Student to Faculty PDF

To learn about this series visit Sustaining the Academic Pipeline for Graduate Students and Faculty of Color: A Workshop Series to Launch the Trajectory from Graduate Student to Administrator website. The five workshops aim to support graduate students and faculty of all ranks, from assistant professors to associate professors, professors, and administrators. Refreshments will be served and registration is not required.

Workshop Series

  • Promotion and tenure: A second workshop to be held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 in the south ballroom of the Memorial Union will be aimed at recruiting and retaining scholars of color. Jonathan Wickert, Iowa State’s senior vice president and provost, will speak along with Gong-Soog Hong, a professor and former chair of human development and family studies.
  • Tools for faculty to continue their trajectory: A third event to be held 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room will be an interactive workshop on achieving promotion to professor through career planning, engaging mentors, utilizing resources, and personal branding. Sanders and Rumbeiha will present at that workshop.
  • Faculty of color as future administrators: Then from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 6 in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room, a fourth workshop will provide resources to individuals transitioning into administrative roles. Jones-Johnson will lead that workshop along with Francis Owusu, professor and chair of community and regional planning in the College of Design.
  • Diversity within academia: The final workshop scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 12 in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room will focus on diversity within academia. Stewart will join Bratsch-Prince, the associate provost for faculty, and Margo Foreman, Iowa State’s director of equal opportunity, in giving an overview of the diversity challenge in academia.

Updates about the workshop series will be posted on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #scholarpipeline.


Finalists named for CELT’s Associate Director for Online Learning

Three finalists have been named in the search for the Associate Director for Online Learning, a position in the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). The finalists will interview on campus over the next couple of weeks.

The candidates are:

  • Devrim Ozdemir, instructional design coordinator, College of Health Sciences, Des Moines University, Iowa
  • Chen Hsin-liang, associate professor, Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University, New York
  • Kenneth Hay, former associate professor, cognitive science, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

Candidate forums

The campus community is encouraged to attend an open forum with each candidate.

  • Devrim Ozdemir, Aug. 29 (3:10 – 4:30 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)
  • Chen Hsin-liang, Sept. 1 (2:10 – 3:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hal)
  • Kenneth Hay, Sept. 6, (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)

If you would like to provide input after attending the open forums please complete a please complete Candidate Evaluation for the Associate Director for Online Learning, CELT website.

Shortlink to evaluation:

Welcome Back

Welcome Back!
As a kick-off to the new semester, I wanted to share a recent article from The Chronicle about Syllabus Day titled, The Absolute Worst Way to Start the Semester.
It got me thinking how to maximize time with my students on the first day of class this fall. It is a quick read and gives a number of easy to implement ideas that can really help set the tone for the rest of the semester. Like the old adage says “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
I also wanted to provide a couple of teaching technology updates.
In collaboration with Information Technology Services we are continuing the transition to Top Hat as the new audience response system (clickers). An ISU Top Hat website is available, which includes transition tips, information on how students can purchase a license, and how instructors can request user support. View ISU Top Hat website.
Blackboard technical help continues to be available through the IT Solution Center and will include evening and weekend service hours. CELT will continue to address questions that are pedagogical in nature, such as course design or instructional practices. View ISU Blackboard Support website.
CELT is offering walk-in support for instructional design (Blackboard, Top Hat and classroom technologies) Monday through Friday during the weeks of August 15 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the CELT Online Learning Innovation Hub located in 281 Parks Library. No registration is needed just stop by when it is convenient. Beginning August 29, walk-in support returns to its regular time, Tuesdays 1-3 p.m.
We have a great line up of professional development programs in place for the semester. The full list of programs is available online and you can register for the programs through Learn@ISU. View CELT Events & Registration website.
Best wishes for a successful semester,
Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

How ISU Faculty are using Top Hat

tophatTop Hat, a cloud-based, interactive teaching and learning platform for instructors and students, is now available for use at ISU. The Top Hat platform replaces clickers — the remote control-style devices used at ISU for the last 10 years. Top Hat was piloted at ISU during the 2015-16 academic year and was wellreceived by instructor and student users. Top Hat offers numerous excellent features, including:
  • Six types of questions for student responses
  • Synchronous and asynchronous modes of participation
  • Options for instant feedback via open-ended discussions
  • New ways for instructors to create interactive content and customize student access
  • For students, Top Hat allows for the use of students’ own smartphones, tablets, and computers. It is accessible via the Top Hat app and web browsers. Students may return their legacy clickers to the ISU Book Store for a $25 credit toward a Top Hat license.
Here is what faculty are saying about using Top Hat:
Getting Started with Top Hat
  • Lauren Westerdale, Student Services Specialist II and BEST Learning Community Coordinator (Biology) explained,”I would suggest anticipating questions your students may have and speaking with a Top Hat support staff member prior to your course start date so you feel comfortable addressing those questions. Also, consider reviewing the online tutorials offered for instructors,” and, “I particularly appreciate the anonymous response feature built into Top Hat questions and discussions, which allows students to more comfortably ask questions and provide honest feedback in a lecture hall setting.”
Faculty Experiences Using Top Hat in the Classroom
  • Jesudoss Kingston, Senior Lecturer (Chemistry) shared,”I like the option of presenting the questions from my iPad, which offers me opportunity to walk around the class and I don’t need to stand near the podium. Students seem to like it so far,” and, “I am not restricted to only traditional multiple choice questions. I have started using “matching items” “click on the target” type questions which is really great for chemistry courses.
  • Beth Caissie, Assistant Professor (Geological and Atmospheric Sciences) stated, “It lets me have an active class with 250 students. I wanted to use active learning in class and Top Hat enables this without requiring another hardware device,” and, “l really like the click on target questions. That option is awesome, especially for geology. I use it a lot, it is great for looking at maps. It also allows me to show the resulting heat map of students’ answers on the projector and talk about any misconceptions they might have . In addition, I like the word cloud display option for Word Answer questions. It helps students see what the consensus is for answers.”
For more information visit the Top Hat support site, including details on how to transition current content from TurningPoint 5 to Top Hat.
You can also learn more about the Top Hat and the transition from TurningPoint 5 in this Inside Iowa State story.

CELT expands walk-in support for instructional design this month

CELT is offering additional walk-in support for instructional design (Blackboard, TopHat and classroom technologies) for the next three weeks at its online learning innovation hub, 281 Parks Library. Monday through Friday during the weeks of Aug. 8, 15 and 22, receive help from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. No registration is needed. Bring your laptop and your work and get answers to your questions. Beginning Aug. 29, walk-in support returns to its regular time, Tuesdays 1-3 p.m.