Congratulations to the Canvas Implementation Team

Please join me in sending a hearty congratulations to the Canvas Implementation Team who received the 2017 CYtation Team Award this morning from the Professional and Scientific Council. Team members included:

  • Laura Bestler (CELT)
  • Marlys Carlson (CELT)
  • Lesya Hassall (CELT)
  • Darrin Jones (CELT)
  • Allan Schmidt (CELT)
  • Amy Ward (CELT)
  • Tristan Baruth (ITS)
  • Naomi Roth (ITS)
  • Brent Black (ITS)
  • Randy Dalhoff (ITS)
  • Zhen Li (ITS)
Canvas Implementation Team
Back row: Brent Black, Provost Wickert, Tristan Baruth, and Darrin Jones; Front row: Zhen Li, Allan Schmidt, Amy Ward, Marlys Carlson, and Laura Bestler

To learn more about these awards visit the Professional and Scientific Council’s 2017 CYTation Awards website.

Talk: Systemic Reform of Higher Education — The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program and the VIP Consortium

Iowa State University is hosting a Talk with Ed Coyle from Georgia Tech on Tuesday, March 20 (9:00 a.m., 1213 Hoover Hall)

Ed Coyle leads a large initiative on “vertical” course-based undergraduate research, with ~20 students made up of 5 freshmen, 5 sophomores, 5 juniors, and 5 seniors – all working on a multi-year faculty research project. Additional information about this project may be found on The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program website (abstract below).

There is also a chance to meet with Ed Coyle to discuss this more informally 2:30 – 3:50 p.m. (1102 Molecular Biology).


       The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program is an education program that operates in a research and development context. Undergraduate students that join VIP teams

earn academic credit for their participation in efforts that assist faculty and graduate students with research and development issues in their areas of expertise. The teams are: multidisciplinary – drawing students from project-relevant disciplines across campus; vertically integrated – maintaining a mix of sophomores through PhD students each semester; and long-term – each undergraduate student may participate in a project for up to seven semesters and each graduate student may participate for the duration of their graduate career. The continuity, disciplinary depth, and multidisciplinary breadth of these teams enable the completion of projects of significant benefit to faculty members’ research programs.

     In this talk, we will describe the origin and operation of the VIP program, review the list of 61 VIP teams at Georgia Tech, and describe our vision for the future. This includes the VIP Consortium, which consists of 26 universities that collaborate to spread VIP to all disciplines, to thoroughly evaluate the program,  and to disseminate it around the US and the world.

Learn more about the presenter via Ed Coyle’s Georgia Tech Faculty Profile website.

Questions? Contact Craig Ogilvie

CELT’s spring break hours (March 12-16)

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching’s (CELT) locations 3024 Morrill Hall and  281 Parks Library, will observe the following office hours and days/hours for spring break from Monday, March 12 through Friday, March 16 – Office hours will be 7:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Need help figuring out grading in Canvas?

Come to Open Labs in the Library’s Rotunda area (near 281 Parks Library). Walk-in are welcome on Tue, Wed and Fri from 8:00 am to 10:00 am and from 1:00 om to 4:00 pm. Our knowledgeable graduate students will walk you through calculating and submitting midterm grades in Canvas.

Additionally, individual appointments with CELT instructional specialists can be made via online scheduling on the MyCanvas Teacher at ISU website.

Now that midterms are almost done, how to prepare students for their next exam?

Many instructors grow weary of hearing the question “what’s going to be on the test?” And further, some struggle with helping students effectively study for the exams. In a 2016 Teaching Professor Blog, writer Maryellen Weimer provided teaching activities that can make exam sessions more productive for students and less of a chore for instructors. With some adaptations, a couple of these activities included:

What’s going the be on the test? Students take three to four minutes to look over their syllabus, notes, and coursework assignments, and write down five things that they are confident will be on the exam. The students then form groups of three to five students and compare their lists. Taking turns, the student groups can write the topics on the board – thus providing classroom generated ideas for what will be on the exam. The instructor can offer clarifying remarks for exam topics generated.

What makes a good answer? Instructors provide at least two examples of previous exam or essay questions. These answers can be constructed from previous semester and should be at different quality levels. Students grade the answers individually and then evaluate them as a group, focusing on what differentiates them. The goal of this activity is identifying concrete features of good answers. Students could then work on creating their own answers to the question posed and circulate their response to classmates for constructive feedback.

How should I study for the test? Students may rely on old standbys for studying including highlighting and re-reading class notes. Instructors can help students improve their performance based on cognitive psychology research. This research suggests studying for shorter periods across several days, quizzing and testing themselves, and trying different strategies such as reviewing alone and then with a friend. Instructors can encourage students to examine their calendars and develop a study plan over the course of several days (or weeks) to ensure studying occurs. In addition to these tips, we encourage you to share the many resources available to students through the Academic Success Center website. This includes individualized and group-facilitated experiences through course-specific and general academic assistance such as academic coaching, Supplemental Instruction (SI), and tutoring services as well as Psych 131, an academic skills course.

See you after spring break,

Sara Marcketti, Interim Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Now that midterms are almost done, how to prepare students for their next exam? (March 1, 2018 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for March 1, 2018 (PDF)

ISU is seeking applications and nominations for the position of Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)

The Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT). The director provides overall leadership, vision, and direction for CELT and plays a key role in educational change on campus. CELT is a division of the Senior Vice President and Provost office. Its mission is to support, promote, and enhance teaching effectiveness and student learning; encourage scholarship of teaching and learning; communicate the importance of teaching and learning to internal and external audiences; and serve as a catalyst for learning-centered education, including digital and online teaching and learning.

The director supervises three faculty associate directors and ten staff, and oversees all CELT programming development; has responsibility for management of the CELT annual budget ($1.4 million) including oversight of the Miller Faculty Fellowship funds. In collaboration with the Chief Information Officer, the director manages adoption and support for campus-wide e-learning and assessment technologies and serves on task forces, committees, and councils related to teaching, assessment, and learning. The director collaborates directly with the Associate Deans of all colleges, Dean of the Library, Chief Information Officer, Faculty Senate, Distance Education Council, Outcomes Assessment, Associate Provosts, and the CELT Advisory Board. The director also creates and maintains connections with relevant national organizations such as the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), Professional and Organizational Network in Higher Education (POD), CIRTL, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, as well as other regional associations. The director actively participates in dissemination of scholarship of teaching and learning regarding Center activities and programs.

Having a passion for helping students learn, for developing faculty, graduate students and post-docs as future educators, is an essential component of this position.

Required Education and Experience: Tenured Full Professor at ISU with a proven track record in educational leadership.

Position Posting

Visit Iowa State Jobs’s Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching web listing.

Using Open Educational Resources to Foster Innovation in Teaching

As the cost of course materials in higher education has climbed to $1,250 a year for undergraduates ( view the Trends in College Pricing 2017 [PDF]) , educators across the United States are beginning to adopt Open Educational Resources (OER) to save students money and encourage student success. OER are openly licensed educational materials that are freely available online. However, using these resources doesn’t just save students money; it also gives educators the flexibility to edit their course materials and adopt new approaches to teaching. Here are a few ways you can get involved with Open Education:

Engaging in Open Educational Practices: As leaders in the Education Technology movement often emphasize, if you change your materials but none of your methods, you aren’t truly taking advantage of the resources available to you. Similarly, using Open Educational Resources in your courses might improve the cost of your class, but integrating OER effectively requires transforming your educational practices as well.

Robin DeRosa of Plymouth State University has integrated Open Educational Practices (OEP) into her teaching by getting her students involved in the process of creating Open Educational Resources. Her class created their online textbook, The Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature , by combining primary source texts with commentaries written and peer reviewed by students. Other educators have implemented OEP by having students create ancillary materials for their courses and editing Wikipedia articles. These are called non-disposable assignments, assignments that classes use and improve upon even after the first students to create them complete the course. You can read more examples of OEP in action from this Open Pedagogy Assignments Compilation GoogleDoc.

Sharing you own course materials openly: Another way you can get involved in Open Education is by openly licensing and sharing the materials you already use in your courses. Sharing your lesson plans, syllabi, and lecture slides can be a great introduction to how Open Education works, and it can help other instructors in your field find resources that might be useful in their courses as well. Consider sharing your course materials in an OER repository or collaborating with other instructors to write a new open textbook in your discipline on the Rebus Active Open Textbook Projects forum . There are plenty of options available if you are interested in sharing or creating OER.

Applying for an ISU Miller Open Education Mini-Grant : If you have a resource you’re currently creating or want to explore options for integrating OER into your class, you might want to consider applying for an ISU Miller Open Education Mini-grant. SVPP, CELT and the University Library have partnered to create this Mini-Grant program to provide funding for instructors at Iowa State who are interested in integrating OER into their teaching. Grants can cover adopting an existing OER, updating open materials, or even creating new OER for your class. Applications are currently open for the 2018/2019 school year and proposals are due April 15 th , 2018. To learn more about this mini-grant process, visit the ISU Miller Open Education Mini-Grants website.

Whether you are interested in improving course affordability, sharing your work with other educators, or adopting new pedagogical practices, Open Education provides opportunities you might be interested in pursuing. To learn more about these topics and more, register to attend the Workshop, Miller Open Education Mini-Grants Q&A (Mar. 5, 12:10-1 p.m.) via the Learn@ISU website , visit the University Library’s Guide to Open Educational Resources website or contact Abbey Elder, Open Access & Scholarly Communication Librarian, at

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Using Open Educational Resources to Foster Innovation in Teaching (February 15, 2018 – Constant Contact) website.

Prefer a Print version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for February 15, 2018 (PDF)

Register for The 19th Annual Midwest Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Conference (Apr. 6)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - SoTL ConferenceApril 6, 2018 (8:00 am – 5:00 pm)

Education Arts Building, Campus of Indiana University South Bend

This Year’s Theme is Deep Learning and Creativity

This year’s keynote speaker is Ken Bain.  He is the author of What the Best College Teachers Do.  (Harvard University Press, 2004), which won the 2004 Virginia and Warren Stone Prize for an outstanding book on education and society, and has been one of the top selling books on higher education.  It has been translated into twelve languages and was the subject of an award-winning television documentary series in 2007.  The sequel, What the Best College Students Do, also from Harvard University Press, won the Virginia and Warren Stone Prize in 2012, and has become an international best seller.   He founded teaching centers at four major universities (Vanderbilt, Northwestern, NYU, and Montclair State), served as a professor of history for more than thirty years (winning several teaching awards), and held various administrative posts, including vice-provost and provost.

In addition to the keynote, there will be concurrent sessions and poster presentations, and a session of five-minute Quick Hits for Teaching.  Lunch will offer an opportunity for networking.

Registration Information

Early Bird Registration Fees (on/before March 16, 2018) are $90 for full time faculty and $50 for part time faculty (includes lunch).  Registration Fees (after March 16, 2018) are $105 for full time faculty and $65 for part time faculty.

Visit the The 19th Annual Midwest Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Conference website.

Accepting Proposals for the 2018 Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference (May 17-18)

Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference (May 17-18, Fort Worth, TX)

May 17-18, 2018
Fort Worth, Texas

“Instructional Methods, Innovation, and Engagement”

The conference website is now available and now accepting conference proposals and registration.

Topics Include:

  • Cultural Awareness and Inclusiveness
  • Instructional Methods
  • Measuring Student Learning
  • New Faculty Support (Full-time and Adjunct)
  • Leading from the Middle – Department Chair Development and Support

Learn more and register for the conference by visiting the 2018 Big 12 Teaching and Learning Conference website.

The Embassy Suites in downtown Fort Worth will serve as the official accommodations for attendees. Events on Thursday will take place at the conference hotel. Events on Friday will be held at the Brown-Lupton University Union on the campus of Texas Christian University.