Enroll Now: Accessibility – Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) will be hosting three discussions for participants of the online course Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners.  This course, and our discussions, will help University community members to develop the knowledge and skills needed to design learning experiences that promote inclusive learning environments.

During this six-week course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize and address challenges faced by students with disabilities related to access, success, and completion.
  • Articulate faculty and staff roles in reducing barriers for students with disabilities.
  • Apply the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in designing accessible learning experiences.
  • Analyze the benefits of Backward Design when developing learning experiences.
  • Use Section 508 standards and WCAG 2.0 guidelines to create accessible courses.
  • Determine which tools and techniques are appropriate based on course content.

Prepare to engage in thoughtful discussions, participate in peer review assignments, take short self-check quizzes, watch videos, and explore relevant readings. You will also earn badges that recognize your mastery of these competencies.

Why participate in this MOOC and the CELT discussions? Watch this short Access MOOC video (audio described version of Access MOOC video)

Online Course (MOOC) Registration

To register for the Feb. 22 – Apr. 5 online course visit the Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners website.

CELT Discussions Registration

Register to attend the in-person discussions on the following Thursdays: Mar. 10, 24 and Apr. 7 (2:00 – 3:00 p.m., 192 Library) by visiting the Learn@ISU website.

Enhance Your Teaching Through Teaching & Learning Circles and Communities

This spring, CELT has 2 teaching and learning circles and 5 teaching and learning communities for faculty, instructors, and staff to hear new teaching strategies, meet new colleagues, and build a community of practice. Teaching & Learning Circles are groups of 6-15 people who meet once weekly (or bi-weekly) for 4-6 times to discuss topics of common interest and/or books. Teaching and Learning Communities are multidisciplinary monthly or bi-weekly meetings to engage in a topic related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. Registration is required via Learn@ISU website.

Teaching and Learning Circles

Team-Based Learning*

(meets 5 consecutive Wednesdays) Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24 (1:10 – 2:30 p.m., 192 Parks Library)
“The research-based flipped classroom and team-based learning (TBL),” an increasingly-popular form of flipped-classroom where small-group learning that can be implemented effectively in small or large classes. TBL provides students with a more intimate, small class feel even in large theater-style classrooms with fixed seats. TBL teachers report high levels of student attendance, preparation, participation and critical thinking.TBL students report enjoying class and being more motivated and actively engaged. Collaboration in teams provides students with valuable experience that is reflective of problem solving in real-life workplace environments. Just like on the job, participants are expected to be responsible and prepared as individuals and then bring their best efforts into group activities. Facilitator: Holly Bender, CELT Associate Director. Registration is required via Learn@ISU website

Communication in the Classroom

(meets for 5 consecutive Mondays) Feb. 22, 29, Mar. 7, 21, and 28 (12:10 – 1:30 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall)
Learning occurs when students understand class content and perceive they are understood by classmates and instructor. Understanding is achieved as a result of interpersonal communication that occurs in the classroom, between students and instructors. The purpose of this learning circle is to examine and practice interpersonal communication competencies that will contribute to understanding in the classroom.  Discipline-specific communication researcher Denise Vrchota, Assistant Professor, English, will share common foundations and unique communication strategies that enhance the interpersonal communication in your classes. Topics covered include field-specific communication, listening competencies for academic and professional success, giving and receiving effective feedback, methods of conflict management, and recognizing essential nonverbal communication. Participants will engage in individual consulting with the leader to apply interpersonal competencies to the classes consistent with their disciplinary traditions.

Teaching and Learning Communities

  • Blackboard – BbLearn users discussing various topics related to the use of Blackboard in teaching and learning
  • Flipped Class – helps instructors to get started with the development of their courses to in the flipped classroom approach.
  • Game-Based Learning – interactive discussions and seminars examine how game based learning may guide our students’ learning processes and enhance your curriculum.
  • Service-Learning – a dynamic, interdisciplinary group as we walk-through the process of integrating service-learning into the curriculum.
  • Team-Based Learning* – Graduates of the TBL Teaching and Learning Circles are invited to participate in the TBL Faculty/Graduate Student/Postdoctoral Fellow Learning Community. We work as teams to optimize application exercises, readiness assurance tests, peer evaluation, and other aspects of course design, and also invite speakers to facilitate discussions of TBL theory, research and classroom application.


Live Webinar: Formative Assessment as a Means of Gauging Student Understanding

CIRTL logo

Once you have clear learning objectives for students, you can better measure what they know coming into your class, and observe where they are currently. The use of formative assessment as a diagnostic tool helps everyone, by giving students multiple opportunities to practice and self-assess their skills and knowledge in a developmental way before they are actually tested in a high-stakes setting.

Wednesday, January 20
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in 2030 Morrill Hall
or visit the CIRTLCast Series website to join on your own

*Facilitated by:*
Barbara Masi, Director of Education, Innovation & Assessment Initiatives; Arts, Sciences & Engineering, University of Rochester

*CIRTL Cast Series: January: Assessing What Students Are Learning*
This series will provide new and experienced instructors with a stronger foundation in designing classes around meaningful learning outcomes and authentic strategies for assessing what really matters. Each session will include opportunities for practice with assessment techniques being introduced, via discipline-specific case studies for discussion in smaller breakout rooms. This series is organized by Cornell University through the CIRTL Network.

This event is coordinated by the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). Iowa State University is a member of The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) Network. CIRTL is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. Visit the CIRTL website to learn more.

Starting the Semester

The first CELT Teaching Tip of each semester I seem to focus on revisiting your syllabus and strategies for getting your course off to a great start. So, why break tradition this spring!

Your syllabus is such an integral part of your course that it always merits a critical review. A well-designed syllabus describes your expectations of students, establishes course policies so students know what they can expect, and outlines what you will cover in the course. More information on syllabus best practices is available on the CELT website. Also be sure to include the ISU recommended syllabus statements. If you are teaching the same course you’ve taught before its helpful to revisit the syllabus to see if you can realistically complete all of the material, assessments, and evaluations you have planned. What changes might you make to ensure there is deep learning and that students are able to achieve the course learning outcomes?

In the spirit of getting the semester off to a great start consider how you can:

  • create a welcoming atmosphere for students;
  • set a positive tone for learning;
  • engage the students actively;
  • provide support for students, and show them where they can find support; and
  • encourage students to keep up and do well

Visit our detailed list of ideas for a great start to the semester on the CELT website.

Best wishes for a successful Spring 2016 semester-