Keep Your Students Engaged (Teaching Tip)

Photo of Students using educational technology in the English language classroom by Iowa State University licensed under CC BY 4.0

A reoccurring theme in CELT focuses on best practices for engaging students in the classroom. As we move forward this semester, these suggestions may help keep your students engaged with the course and its content.

  • Ask for feedback: Solicit feedback in real-time from students to gauge understanding of new course material.
  • Host student (office) hours: Provide students with great access by offering office hours virtually and in person.
  • Plan thoughtful group work: Use the table on the CELT website to see if group work is the most appropriate method of use and follow the tips for facilitating successful group work.
  • Develop participation as a skill: Review the Gillis (2019) framework for ways to reframe participation as a skill that can be practiced, strengthened, and valued by students.

If you are looking for more ways to increase student engagement, check out the CELT website or attend a CELT event.

One event to consider is the webinar taking place on Sept. 8 from 3:10-4 p.m. discussing creating an inclusive learning environment. Creating an equitable and inclusive classroom can foster engagement and encourage student involvement. More information, including how to register, can be found on the CELT Event page.

With a joy for teaching, 

Sara Marcketti

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Keep Your Students engaged (September 1, 2022 – Constant Contact) page.

Prefer a Print Version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for September 1, 2022 (PDF).

New Canvas Integrations: MS Teams Classes, Pressbooks, and more

There are now several new Learning Technology Integrations (LTIs) installed and available to Iowa State University instructors to consider: Logos of Microsoft teams, Pressbooks, Oxford University Press, Visible Body, and Stukent Mimic Social arranged in a group.

  1. Microsoft Teams classes
  2. Pressbooks
  3. Visible Body
  4. Oxford University Press
  5. Stukent Mimic Social 

Microsoft Teams classes can be used to help you and students navigate easily between Canvas and Teams. Users can access their class Teams associated with their Canvas course directly from within Canvas. Once set up in Canvas, student rosters will automatically populate in Microsoft Teams.

The Pressbooks software enables instructors to design and format books. More information can be found on the Parks Library website. The Canvas integration allows instructors to easily add their Pressbook content to Canvas and any results from learner activity will be passed back to the Canvas Gradebook.

Oxford University Press is a publisher application, allowing for better content integration with their textbooks.

Currently, Visible Body and Stukent Mimic Social are course-specific LTIs that add interactive simulations to the learning process.

If you need or would like help with any of these LTIs or other learning technologies, email Doing this will create a ServiceNow ticket and one of our team members will be able to help you. Keep an eye on our website and our Instructional Tools page for more information and guides for each of these LTIs in the coming weeks.

Welcome Back to Campus from CELT (Teaching Tip)

the Campanile on Iowa State University's Central Campus

The CELT staff welcomes you back to campus for what will be an exciting 2022-2023 academic year. 

In support of Iowa State’s 2022-2031 Strategic Plan, CELT will become home to the newly announced Iowa State Online. As we move forward with the development of Iowa State Online, CELT will continue to maintain its mission of partnering with educators to advance student-centered learning at Iowa State University. 

Be sure to register for fall programming, everything from one-hour webinars to semester-long professional development (see below). 

Also, check out our resources for the start of the semester. 

With a joy for teaching, 

Sara Marcketti

Full Teaching Tip

View the published CELT Teaching Tip: Resources for Success (August 18, 2022 – Constant Contact) page.

Prefer a Print Version?

To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for August 18, 2022 (PDF).

Learn About Your Classroom (Fall 2022)

If you’re teaching in a general University classroom this fall, as you prepare your course, check to see what technology will be available to you in the room. 

Information Technology Services (ITS) has compiled resources for the audiovisual equipment available in the general classrooms across the University. If you want to check your classroom(s), ITS recommends the following:

  1. Check to see if your classroom is a Level 1 or Level 2 classroom
  2. Watch the corresponding video resource
  3. (Optional) Visit your classroom before the start of the semester to practice with the technology. 

If you have any questions, instructors should reach out to ITS directly at (515) 294-6894 or

If you’re looking for other resources to help you prepare for your course, CELT has you covered: 

Gradescope Workshop Series: August 2022

Gradescope, an assessment, feedback, and analytics tool that integrates with Canvas, is being piloted at Iowa State during Fall 2022. Iowa State instructors can learn more about this tool through a series of vendor-led workshops being offered in August. All workshops are being hosted by Gradescope.

If you wish to use Gradescope, opt-in, and participate in the pilot, please review the Canvas course and fill out the Qualtrics form that you are using Gradescope in your course.

You can register for some or all of the workshops on the Gradescope website.

Gradescope for Online & Hybrid Teaching: Online Assignments & Student Uploaded Work

This workshop focuses on using Gradescope with handwritten exams and quizzes and fully online assignments. Specifically, the workshop shows you how to set up assignments, grade consistently with a rubric, provide targeted feedback, and return work electronically.

  • Tuesday, August 2, 1-2 p.m. CST
  • Monday, August 15, 12-1 p.m. CST

Gradescope for In-Person Teaching: Templated & Bubble Sheet Assignments

This workshop focuses on using Gradescope with handwritten exams and quizzes and multiple-choice assignments. Specifically, the workshop shows you how to set up assignments, grade consistently with a rubric, provide targeted feedback, and return work electronically.

  • Wednesday, August 3, 12-1 p.m. CST
  • Tuesday, August 16, 1-2 p.m. CST

Gradescope for Computer Science: Programming and Student-Uploaded Work

This workshop focuses on using Gradescope in Computer Science classes with coding assignments and handwritten student work. Specifically, the workshop shows you how to set up a language-agnostic assignment that can include a custom autograder, check for code similarity, and allows you to provide student feedback.

  • Monday, August 8, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. CST

Gradescope for Existing Users: Advanced Gradescope Features

This workshop targets instructors and TAs who are existing Gradescope users and who have attended an introductory workshop. New features and lesser-known tips will be introduced and time will be left to ask questions.

  • Tuesday, August 9, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. CST

Gradescope in Canvas

This workshop will show you how to take advantage of using Gradescope in Canvas, Iowa State’s Learning Management System (LMS). The focus includes how to sync your roster, course, assignments, and grades.

  • Wednesday, August 10, 12:30-1:00 p.m.

Gradescope for Multiple Choice: Bubble Sheets

This workshop focuses on using Gradescope to transform multiple-choice assessments with Gradescope Bubble Sheets. The workshop focuses on how to indicate the correct responses for each question ahead of time, which allows Gradescope to automatically grade all student submissions as they are uploaded.

  • Wednesday, August 17, 1-1:30 p.m.


Deploy Summary – Canvas Notes (June 22, 2022)

The June 22, 2022 Canvas deploy notes included updates to the interface and features.

The interface update included:

  • Assignments: Assignment Availability Window Display Update: This update allows students to view the exact availability window of an assignment in hours and minutes when the availability window is 24 hours or less.

The feature updated included:

  • Rich Content Editor Icon Maker: RCE Icon Maker Unsaved Changes Warning: This update allows instructors to be notified about unsaved changes before exiting the Rich Content Editor Icon Maker.  

Ukrainian Course Design Institute Successful

Despite an active war and the 8-hour time difference, 30 Ukrainian scholars virtually joined CELT at Iowa State University for the first internationally offered Course Design Institute (CDI). This offering marked the sixth CDI offering from CELT overall.

The bridging of CELT with instructors at the Nizhyn Gogol State University in Nizhyn, Ukraine during the week of May 24-27 was led by Lesya Hassall, Instructional Specialist with CELT.

“For me, personally, this was a small way to support my alma mater. It provided the opportunity to support my friends who teach there, instructors who became colleagues many years later, and my mentor, Svitlana Volodymyrivna Tezikova, Dean of the Department of World Languages and Cultures,” Hassall said.

In addition to Hassall’s work and initial CDI presentation, three Iowa State instructors joined her and led sessions at CDI: Drs. Cristina Bonaccorsi (Department of Chemistry), Sayali Kukday (Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology), and CELT Faculty Fellow Monica Lamm (Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering).

Following the morning sessions, participants had the option to meet with members of the CELT instructional design team for 30-minutes, allowing for one-on-one course design feedback and assistance.

“Where do I start? The speakers, the materials, the kindness, the emotional roller coaster…[it was] a week of hard work and distraction from this horrible, horrible, horrible war,” reported one participant.

Another participant commented on the session leaders and topics covered.

“Thank you for choosing such experienced speakers…[and] for the opportunity of learning from you and with you,” they said.

CDI is typically offered in the Summer and Winter terms for Iowa State University instructors. There is both an online and face-to-face option. The goals of CDI center on providing instructors with added skills, time, and space for designing or revising their courses. You can find more information about CDI on the CELT website.

Many thanks to the Provost’s office, CELT leadership, and staff members who supported and contributed to the first international CDI.

A picture of the American flag and the Ukrainian flag in the corners with a split photo in the middle featuring Morrill Hall and Nizhyn Gogol State University in Nizhyn, Ukraine.