Spring 2017 Programming: Something for Everyone

CELT is offering over 68 hours of professional development programming this spring semester including: 3 workshops, 3 award-winning faculty presentations, a panel on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 4 faculty/staff learning communities, 4 Inclusive Classroom Faculty Development Workshops, and 3 discussions on teaching inclusively. In addition, CELT is featuring 3 multi-session workshops:

All of our programming is designed to support and enhance teaching effectiveness and student learning. Download the Spring 2017 CELT’s Event Schedule PDF (323 KB) or for most the up-to-date event schedule visit CELT’s Events and Registration website. You may register for CELT programs through the Learn@ISU website.

Announcing the Online Learning Community (ISU-OLC) (formerly Blackboard User’s Group)

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) would like to take this opportunity to announce the transformation from our Blackboard User’s Group (ISU BUG) to our new Online Learning Community (ISU-OLC).  This community will share campus best practices to improve online teaching and learning; see how others are using the University Learning Management System (LMS) to create innovative learning experiences, inform the campus about existing and new web-based instructional technologies and participate in new technology testing and evaluation. The group will also seek to leverage staff and instructor LMS expertise and experience as well as share training resources from support units across the University.

In addition, this group will be asked to inform future activities surrounding ISU’s migration to a new LMS software product. To learn about this process and timeline visit ISU’s Learning Management System website.

Audience: faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants.

This group will meet on the following Fridays (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall): January 13, February 10, March 24, and April 14.

Registration is required at least one-day prior for this learning community via the Learn@ISU website.

CELT’s Winter Break Partial Shutdown

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) (3024 Morrill Hall) and CELT’s Online Learning Innovation Hub (281 Parks Library), will observe a partial shutdown for winter break.  Listed below are office hours and days/hours for winter break:

Monday, Dec. 19 through Thursday, Dec. 22 – Office hours will be 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26 – University CLOSED
Tuesday, Dec. 27 through Friday, Dec. 30 – CLOSED
Monday, Jan. 2 – University CLOSED
Tuesday, Jan. 3 through Friday, Jan 6 – Office hours will be 7:30 am – 4:00 pm
Resume normal 8:00 am – 5:00 pm office coverage on Monday, Jan 9

Visit Partial shutdown authorized for winter break (Inside Iowa State) website

Don’t Give Me a Paper Syllabus with Hyperlinks ‘Cuz I Can’t Click on Them!

Now that we are mostly through Fall Semester’s Dead Week, it is time to really start thinking about Spring Semester. And, that brings me to the syllabus for your spring course.

The syllabus is the ‘first impression’ students have of our course. Because we only have one chance to make a first impression, I believe it is important to think carefully about what message a syllabus conveys. It certainly needs to include some of the standard content: your contact information, the course description, learning objectives, course schedule, and recommended ISU syllabus statements. These components may all be found via the How to Create Effective Syllabus website. But, beyond these items, what message do you want to convey to your students? Do you want to inspire curiosity about your field? Encourage class discussion and dialog about the content? Expect them to engage in meaningful teamwork? Apply new knowledge to problem-based learning? Whatever your plans for the semester, use the syllabus to set the stage for the students.

In addition, CELT has created a Mindful and Learner Centered Syllabus Checklist (PDF) that provides a useful framework for creating a new syllabus, or reworking an existing one.

If you haven’t done so in the past, consider creating a brief (3-5 minutes) video that highlights key elements in your syllabus. For example describe your expectations particularly if the course is in a blended or flipped format. Everyone will be more satisfied with the course if expectations are clear up front. Post the video in your course Blackboard space so students can access it even before the first class meeting. Making course content, including the syllabus, available in multiple modes (print, audio, video) will make the course more accessible to a broader group of students.

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

*The title of this Teaching Tip comes from a student who expressed frustration when the received a printed course syllabus with hyperlinks, but the professor did not make an electronic copy of the syllabus available. The class never could access the hyperlinks!

CELT staff helps with bagging community food packages

For over 10 years CELT staff members and family members have volunteered at the Bethesda Lutheran Church Food Pantry. CELT staff help with bagging canned goods, boxed foods, and recipes for those in need prior to Thanksgiving week. When community members come to pick-up their food package they are also given a frozen turkey by the Bethesda Food Pantry staff.

CELT staff members and family participate in food package bagging project for those in need at Bethesda Lutheran Church.

Webinar: Strategies for Dealing with Emerging classroom dynamics (December 8)

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) Webinar:

Post-Election Q&A Call: Strategies for Dealing with Emerging classroom dynamics

December 8, 2016 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (CST)

We have received numerous requests for a discussion of post-election stress and ways that under-represented faculty can cope with emerging classroom dynamics. So we’ve invited your favorite guest expert on race in the classroom to provide an open Q&A session. Bring your questions and concerns for Professor Chavella Pittman on Thursday, December 8 at 2pm ET.

The Facilitator

Chavella T. Pittman, PhD is Associate Professor of Sociology at Dominican University. She is a faculty development coach who nurtures effective faculty with strategies for efficient course planning, contextualized teaching evaluations, and inclusive college classrooms.

Her research interests include interpersonal oppression (e.g. race, social class, religion,gender, sexual orientation), and higher education. Her publications include “Multicultural Educationand Social Justice Actions” (Intercultural Education, 2009), “Race and Gender Oppression in the Classroom: The Experiences of Women Faculty of Color with White Male Students” (Teaching Sociology, 2010), and “Exploring How African American Faculty Cope with Classroom Racial Stressors” (The Journal of Negro Education, 2010).

How to Register

To learn about more about the December 8 (1:00-2:30) webinar visit NCFDD’s Strategies for Dealing with Emerging Classroom Dynamics website. For directions on how-to use the the free registration read ISU-sponsored membership PDF.

About National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity is an independent professional development, training, and mentoring community of over 90,000 graduate students, post-docs, and faculty members. We are 100% dedicated to supporting academics in making successful transitions throughout their careers. We offer on-campus workshops, professional development training, and intensive mentoring programs.

How Do You Use a Learning Management System in Your Course?

A learning management system (LMS) contains a variety of functions and features to support teaching and learning. Most faculty use the core LMS features to organize and deliver learning content, manage course administration needs like enrollment, grades, communication, and student assignments. Many also use the LMS to assess students, foster student discussion, collaboration, and project-based work. Iowa State’s LMS is Blackboard Learn.

The current configuration of Blackboard Learn as a locally hosted (on ISU servers) LMS product is reaching an end of life state. As well, the current license with the Blackboard vendor ends December 2017. These two realities provide an opportunity to more thoroughly review ISU’s LMS needs and determine the future direction.

Between October 2016 and May 2017 myself and Mike Lohrbach, Director ITS Service Systems and Operations, will be co-leading an initiative to review the LMS and we are seeking broad input from across campus. A LMS Review website has been created to provide background and up to date information about the project. The site also includes a LMS Review Survey where faculty, staff, and students can provide input.
I encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey and share your insights. In early spring semester, I will use the Teaching Tip to communicate when vendors have been selected for a campus visit to demo their products, which will provide another opportunity for input.

Ann Marie VanDerZanden, Director

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

2 Upcoming Live Webinars: Accessibility Support Model (Nov. 7) and Accessibility in Distance Education (Nov. 9)

Live Webinar: Accessibility Support Model – How a Large University Supports Diverse Learners Taking Online Courses (EduCause)

Monday, November 7 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall or on your own

To view on campus register visit Learn@ISU website.
To view on your own register through Educause ELI webinar website

In this session, we will share the University of Central Florida’s Accessibility Support Model for online courses that was designed to provide a scalable and systematic approach to creating accessible online courses. This model consists of several strategies one of which is educating faculty on how to apply Universal Design for Learning principles to the design of their online courses.  We will also share the accommodations work flow that was implemented as part of this process and showcase strategies and resources that we have implemented to empower faculty to create accessible course materials and support diverse learning styles including just in time online resources as well as the Universal Design Online Content Inspection Tool (UDOIT). Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about UCF’s Accessibility Support Model: a scaleable and systematic approach to providing accommodations in online courses.
  • Learn about the accommodations work flow that was implemented as part of the accommodation process.
  • Learn about the strategies and resources that have been implemented to empower faculty to create accessible materials and support diverse learning styles.

Live Webinar: Accessibility in Distance Education: Issues for a New Administration (Magna Publications)

Wednesday, November 9 from 1 – 2:00 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall (on-campus viewing only)

To register visit Learn@ISU website.

Accessibility is an area of growing concern, especially for colleges and universities looking to attract global learners. This seminar will explain the steps educators and institutions can take to ensure that individuals with disabilities and differing abilities, as well as those from disparate intellectual, cultural, and economic backgrounds, can access educational opportunities on a nondiscriminatory basis.  Here is some of what you’ll learn during this 60-minute live webinar:

  • Understanding the current accessibility situation and barriers to digital inclusion
  • Uncovering necessary sources of knowledge and resources to better design programs and courses to engage learners of all abilities and disabilities
  • Knowing how to conduct an audit and/or review at an educational institution focused on positive outcomes rather than avoiding the punishments associated with noncompliance
  • Establishing institutional and faculty development programs to improve accessibility and learning opportunities
  • Evaluating learners’ bandwidth situations and ensuring that campuses can perform and are adequately staffed for evaluations of campus infrastructure, LMS, learning software, closed captioning systems, and assistive systems and devices to deliver online learning and distance education

Workshop teaches classroom inclusivity

Inclusivity. It’s a bit of a buzzword on college campuses these days. But at Iowa State, university administrators are walking the talk — developing programs that take inclusivity from ideas to action.

Last fall, under the direction of senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) began creating a faculty workshop that focuses on inclusivity in the classroom. The class debuted earlier this semester and will continue monthly through April 2017. The next workshop is Nov. 9 (1:10-4 p.m., 2030 Morrill). Register in advance at Learn@ISU.

During the single, three-hour session, instructors learn how to:

  • Teach inclusively and why it’s important at Iowa State
  • Identify their personal attitudes toward inclusion, acknowledge how those attitudes impact teaching and develop strategies to become more inclusive
  • Enhance their self-awareness and instructional skills to contribute to an inclusive campus environment
  • Become familiar with the university’s student support resources

CELT will offer the workshop annually with separate training for new and continuing faculty members.

“The workshops are helping to build a standard of classroom inclusivity for faculty, helping them understand why it’s important to Iowa State and to student learning,” said Ann Marie VanDerZanden, CELT director and co-facilitator of the workshop.

Workshop prep

Prior to attending the workshop, faculty are required to complete four online modules to prepare for class discussions. Access to the modules is provided following registration for the workshop. The modules are:

  • ISU policies relevant to inclusion
  • Exploring your inclusive teaching persona
  • Developing a mindful syllabus and course design
  • Defining microaggressions and how they impact learning

“These changes can help students become more engaged in the classroom,” said Laura Bestler, CELT program director and co-facilitator of the workshop. “It’s a great opportunity for students to become better than they already are.”

Resources for writing syllabi and designing courses with an eye toward inclusivity are available on the CELT website for all instructors, whether or not they have completed the workshop.

Post-workshop opportunities

VanDerZanden and Bestler encourage workshop participants to attend a monthly discussion group, “Coffee and Crucial Conversations,” to continue the dialogue about teaching inclusivity on campus. The 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. discussions aim to help instructors create a stronger teaching community, create collaborative partnerships and develop effective teaching practices to meet the diverse needs of students. Visit Learn@ISU to view a schedule and register in advance.

VanDerZanden suggests departments continue – or begin – conversations about inclusive classrooms in staff or unit meetings.

“It’s important to have a conversation with your colleagues, if for no other reason than to be aware of your own internal biases and how classes can change to be inclusive for all students,” she said.

A definition

in·clu·siv·i·ty (noun): The active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity — in the curriculum, 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. – Association of American Colleges and Universities

Originally posted October 27, 2016 in Inside Iowa State. Retrieved from Inside Iowa State website

Framing How You Think About Your Teaching

A recent article published by Kern, et al. (2015) provides insightful consideration of the role the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) plays in the academy. The authors state the goal of the paper is “to present a model to assist both faculty and administrators with appropriately positioning SoTL’s role within the academic missions of universities.” As part of their research the authors conceptualized teaching related activities using two dimensions resulting in four quadrants. These quadrants include: “the practice of teaching, sharing about teaching, scholarly teaching, and scholarship of teaching and learning”. The quadrants combine to create the DART Matrix and each quadrant includes an array of activities and outputs that relate to the quadrant title. I found that the concept and the matrix itself helped me re-frame how I think about my teaching. The article reference is below, and I think it is well worth the time to read.

On November 3rd, Sara Marcketti Professor and CELT Associate Director for SoTL, is leading a session on the DART Matrix. In this session, she will guide participants through a reflective exercise to consider the teaching activities they are currently engaged in and how they may further develop their teaching or SoTL practice in the future. Additionally, she will describe how faculty might use the DART matrix to document their teaching. To participate visit Documenting Your Teaching using the DART Matrix website.

We hope to see you there.

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

Kern, B., Mettetal, G., Dixson, M., & Morgan, R. K. (2015). The role of SoTL in the academy: Upon the 25th anniversary of Boyer’s scholarship reconsidered. JoSoTL Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(3), 1. doi:10.14434/josotl.v15i3.13623 Retrieved from http://josotl.indiana.edu/article/view/13623