Still time to register for the 17th Annual ISCORE

Conference Registration

Friday, March 3, 2017
8 AM-5 PM
Memorial Union

Conference sessions >>
Conference morning address and keynote >>

The Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) is the university’s local initiative designed to provide an ongoing platform of sharing and applying new knowledge through presentations and workshops. The conference support the university’s Mission to “create, share, and apply knowledge… and make Iowa and the world a better place.”

This comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity is free and open to the Iowa State University community (students, faculty and staff).

Pre-Conference Professional Development Registration

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
11:45 AM- 5 PM
Memorial Union

Pre-conference program and sessions >>
Pre-conference keynote at 3:10 p.m. >>

The Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) offers a professional development opportunity for all faculty, professional and merit staff. These sessions provide a structured environment to enhance your understanding and sensitivity to cultural differences. Many of the sessions will focus on providing tools to improve employee interactions and create inclusive workspaces.

Please note: that the pre-conference is open to faculty and staff only. If you are a student and would like to register for ISCORE, please visit the ISCORE full conference registration page.

Call for Proposals: 2017 Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference

The Texas Tech University Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center is pleased to announce the 4th Annual Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference on Thursday and Friday, June 8-9, 2017. All conference sessions will be held at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas. Times will be assigned and announced at a later date.

The theme for this year’s conference is Engaging Students in the Learning Process. Submissions are invited for poster presentations or 50-minute workshops that address a broad interdisciplinary audience. All proposals should include an abstract, session description, and an explanation of how the proposed session will relate to a broader audience. Additional details on the proposal requirements are included below. For the 50-minute workshops, interactive sessions with active audience participation are strongly encouraged, and presentations could be led by a faculty member or team of faculty members and graduate part-time instructors. Cross-disciplinary presentation teams are encouraged. For poster presentations, consider how to best present your research, program or work-in-progress related to teaching and learning. Poster presentations may be given by graduate students, faculty, and staff.

Questions you might consider when planning your session might include the following:

  • How do we foster deep learning in our students?
  • What are ways in which you encourage your students to engage in the learning process, both inside and outside
    the classroom?
  • How might high impact teaching and learning practices support efforts to engage students in the learning process?
  • What different forms might student engagement take in the classroom?
  • With the abundance of information available, how do we help students think critically about what they read and hear?
  • How can we best meet the needs of today’s college students while fostering engagement and self-directed learning?
  • What can instructors do to keep themselves energized and engaged in the teaching process?

Other topics related to issues of teaching and learning, geared towards a broad disciplinary audience, are also welcome and encouraged.

Interested in learning more about the process? Visit the Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference Call for Proposals website

Proposals may be submitted online and will be due by Wednesday, March 1st. For more information about the call for proposals or for general questions related to this conference, please visit our conference website or contact Micah Logan at 806-834-0093.

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Creating an Inclusive Classroom

Diversity. Inclusion. These two terms have come to the forefront in many conversations over the past twelve months, including many conversations related to higher education. As a faculty member and teacher I’ve contemplated what these terms might mean relative to my work.

  • Diversity defined: Individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations) (American Association of Colleges & Universities).
  • Inclusion defined: The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity–in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect–in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions (American Association of Colleges & Universities).

The reality is that classrooms in higher education across the US are more diverse today than ever before. With this diversity of students comes the need to ensure that the learning environments we create are inclusive and designed to support all students. It means I need to understand my personal assumptions, particularly those related to bias, language, and word choice. I need to be aware, and adjust, to the ‘temperature’ in the classroom. The discipline I teach isn’t controversial, but I’ve heard from a number of our colleagues across campus who have faced difficult or uncomfortable situations in their courses recently. Many have dealt with the situation with grace and professionalism. Some have been at a loss of what to do next. It can be difficult to know what to do, or not do, since there isn’t always a clear direction to go.

To support faculty, CELT has gathered best practices from multiple resources and in some cases distilled them to actionable items on the Creating an Inclusive Classroom website. CELT also facilitates the Inclusive Classroom Faculty Development Workshop and Coffee and Crucial Conversations each month. To find out about the next program visit CELT’s Event and Registration website or download CELT’s Spring 2017 Inclusive Classroom Programming Schedule (PDF).

Another opportunity to learn more about diversity and inclusion is the upcoming Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) conference. ISCORE is a comprehensive forum on issues of race and ethnicity at Iowa State University and beyond. The ISCORE will be held on March 3, with a half-day professional development conference on March 1.

We hope you find these resources and the ISCORE conference beneficial to your work at ISU and beyond.

Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

CELT Teaching Tip: Desirable Difficulties Help Student Learning (February 2, 2017)

Students hold a number of misconceptions about learning. Many believe, for example, that the best way to remember something is to read it over and over again, or that the best way to learn multiple different topics is to study each of them one at a time. When students feel that a certain technique is effective for learning, it is usually because that technique increases immediate familiarity with the material, providing an intuitive sense that it has been learned well. In reality, however, techniques that encourage fast acquisition and familiarity often lead to fast forgetting.

Join CELT for a lively two-part workshop series around the book Make it Stick (registration is now closed for the spring series – CELT will be offering this series again in the near future – if you are interested email CELT). Workshop facilitators Shana and Cindy will review a number of evidence-based techniques that significantly improve students’ learning in their courses. Interestingly, these techniques are often regarded by students as ineffective because they reduce the intuitive feeling of learning and often encourage trial and error and an increased sense of effort invested. The techniques involving these “desirable difficulties” often lead to much greater long-term learning and flexibility of knowledge than the more intuitive (yet less effective) techniques preferred by students.

Part 1 of the series will discuss some of the research behind these learning techniques, why they work, and how they can be implemented in the classroom. Participants will then be invited to try these techniques in their courses and during Part 2 of the series, share their experiences. If you are unable to join this workshop series the book is available for check out at Parks Library or download the eBook via Park Library’s, Make it stick: The science for learning website.

We hope you will be able to join us and learn effective ways to make it stick!

Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Register now for ISCORE events

The 17th annual Iowa State Conference on Race and Ethnicity (ISCORE) will be held Friday, March 3 (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Memorial Union). All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend and/or volunteer; registration is free but required. A half-day professional development preconference for university employees, designed to enhance understanding and sensitivity to cultural differences, will be held Wednesday, March 1 (11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Memorial Union). Registration is free and also required.

Good Course Design Makes All The Difference

Start with the end in mind. It seems like pretty straightforward advice for a lot of things in life. And, although it isn’t always considered Faculty member speaking with three strudentswhen creating a new course, or modifying an existing one, it can create a very useful framework for course design.

Often this approach to course design is called “backward design”. The process starts with identifying the course learning goals. Next, you determine the best ways to assess and evaluate if students are achieving these goals. Then after the goals and evaluation strategies are established the course content is considered. Designing and teaching courses this way puts learning first and content coverage second. It can help students achieve higher levels of cognitive development (i.e. higher order learning as described in the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy) than classes that have content coverage as a primary focus.

The CELT website has a set of resources available to help with your course design:

Additionally, CELT is offering a 5-part workshop series- Best Practices in Online Course Design starting January 31st (registration is now closed for the spring series – CELT will be offering this series again in the near future – if you are interested email CELT). The workshop series is based on the research-based Quality Matters (QM) framework. You may learn more about this framework through CELT’s Quality Matters Tracks for Faculty Development website.

(On a personal note, last fall semester I worked with a graduate student in my program to develop a non-credit online course using the Quality Matters framework. It was a big undertaking, but the QM framework provided a fantastic guide and ensured we implemented a number of best practices for online learning. We’ve had great response from many of the participants as well.)

Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

An update on the learning management system review

Information Technology and the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) are continuing their review of Iowa State’s learning management system (LMS). Faculty, staff and students can assist now by reviewing a proposed list of required elements for vendor proposals and offering feedback by Jan. 31.

CELT director Ann Marie VanDerZanden and IT director Mike Lohrbach are co-leading the effort to determine the university’s future teaching and technological needs. Iowa State currently uses Blackboard Learn, hosted locally on university servers. That license ends in December 2017, providing an opportunity to evaluate the newer, cloud-based version of Blackboard Learn — and explore alternative products.

Processing campus input, developing RFP

VanDerZanden and Lohrbach conducted six listening sessions with faculty, instructional support staff, graduate and undergraduate student leaders, and central staff whose work interfaces with the LMS. Additionally, more than 330 employees, including 270 faculty, offered input through an online survey.

An LMS review steering committee was established, with representation from the Faculty Senate, faculty, college instructional support staff and procurement services. It also includes CELT and IT staff. Members are:

  • David Cantor, College of Business
  • Denise Crawford, College of Human Sciences
  • Lisa Gestrine, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Steve Holland, College of Engineering
  • Eric Johnson, procurement services
  • Zayira Jordan, accessibility coordinator, IT
  • Jacob Larson, IT
  • Zhen Li, IT
  • Steve Lonergan, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Emily Morgan, College of Design
  • Annette O’Connor, Faculty Senate and College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Gary Ockey, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Allan Schmidt, CELT
  • Amy Ward, CELT
  • Mike Wilson, IT

Based on the listening sessions and survey, the committee developed a list of required and preferred elements for a request for proposals (RFP) to ensure that vendors address specific needs. These elements include the broad categories of course management, migration, mobile capabilities, learning analytics, accessibility, technology and integration.

The required and preferred elements list, part of a draft RFP, is posted in CyBox. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to provide comments about the list through Jan. 31 (a link to a comments site is provided).

Next steps

The RFP will be issued in February, with a proposal deadline of March 10. The current plan is to choose two to four vendors who would provide campus demonstrations after spring break. The steering committee will collect and evaluate input on the demonstrations before making a decision in April.

For more information on the LMS review, contact Lohrbach ( or VanDerZanden (

Upcoming CELT-led Canvas Workshops (Jan. 11 – Jan. 25)

Lesya Hassal facilitating a Canvas workshop to instructors in a classroom with laptops and monitorsThe CELT staff is offering five 90-minute Canvas workshops multiple times this January to highlight the pedagogy and mechanics behind Canvas functions. Read the workshop descriptions on CELT’s Event and Registration website, determine which day/time you would like to attend, and register via the Learn@ISU website:

  • The Pedagogy of Canvas Quizzes: Jan. 11 (10-11:30 a.m.) OR Jan. 16 (2-3:30 p.m.) OR Jan. 25 (10-11:30 a.m.)
  • Assignments and Grading in Canvas: Jan. 17 (10-11:30 a.m.) OR Jan. 23 (10-11:30 a.m.)
  • Groups and Collaborative Work in Canvas: Jan. 18 (2-3:30 p.m.) OR Jan. 24 (2-3:30 p.m.)
  • Course Design in Canvas: Jan. 19 (10-11:30 a.m.) OR Jan. 22 (2-3:30 p.m.)

Additional information about Canvas, open labs and self-paced training is available online through the My Canvas Teacher at ISU website.

Reminder: Proposals for Diversity Course Development Initiative Program are due on Jan. 16

Proposals for Diversity Course Development Initiative are due Jan. 16. New and modified courses must be offered in the fall 2017, spring 2018 or fall 2018 semesters. The request for proposals and proposal template is available on the CELT website. Funding decisions will be announced in February 2017. To learn more about this initiative read the Initiative intended to enhance diversity curriculum (November 3 article) on the Inside Iowa State website.


Apply Now for the Women of Color in the Academy (Stanford University)

Women of Color in the Academy logoStanford University’s Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity is organizing a 2.5 day professional development and networking conference for advanced graduate students, postdocs and early career faculty pursuing careers as faculty: “Women of Color in the Academy — Staying Fit: Mind, Body and Soul,” planned for Thursday, March 9 through Saturday, March 11, 2017, on the Stanford University campus.

Space is limited and applications to the conference are now open to prospective participants from across academic disciplines. The conference offers participants the opportunity to come together to share experiences, be inspired, and acquire knowledge and skills about key areas that directly influence the successful trajectory of women faculty today.

We invite applications from participants across the United States (seeking a mix of Stanford and non-Stanford participants). Airfare, hotel and transportation to/from airports in the Bay Area will be provided to those attending from outside the San Francisco Bay Area. There is no requirement for participants to come from certain disciplines or institutions, other than their interest in academic careers. Participants will learn about research-based findings and gain practical skills to advance their individual capacities to address the challenges and opportunities in their chosen academic career paths as women of color. They will expand their professional networks, and learn from peers and more senior colleagues at Stanford and elsewhere the art and science of a range of topics including negotiating job offers, academic authenticity, and approaching tenure. Participants will have an opportunity to develop action plans for success in the next steps of their academic careers.

Advanced doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, assistant professors, assistant research professors, and other pre-tenure level faculty are invited to apply. More information is available, and online applications will be accepted via the Stanford University – Women of Color in the Academy website through 11:59 pm Pacific Time, January 15, 2017.


Contact Stanford University’s Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity