CELT Teaching Briefs

CELT Teaching Briefs

Call for Proposals (2022)

Fostering Student Sense of Belonging in the Classroom: Creative Practices from Iowa State University Instructors

In keeping with CELT’s mission of “partnering with educators to advance student-centered learning at Iowa State University (ISU),” this collection of teaching briefs highlights our commitment to student learning and is a testimony to the creativity and resilience of ISU’s instructors.

The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at ISU is accepting submissions for the 2022 CELT Teaching Briefs under a common theme of fostering belonging, connection, and inclusivity in online, in-person, and multi-mode classrooms.

As educators, we recognize that teaching strategies that promote a sense of belonging are critical to student well-being, learning, and academic success. This theme builds upon the success of the inaugural 2021 edition of CELT Teaching Briefs and 2021-22 Inclusive Classroom Training.

This year, CELT is soliciting briefs on instructional strategies to create a sense of belonging, support student motivation, engagement, and success. We encourage submissions on effective teaching at all times, but the ongoing pandemic made it abundantly clear that to navigate a rigorous curriculum students must feel supported, motivated, and included in their online, in-person, and multi-modality classrooms.

Teaching briefs might include the following ideas:  

  • Specific instructional strategies that you successfully implemented to create a sense of belonging in the (online, in-person or multi-modality) classroom
  • The “ah-ha” moments you discovered in connecting with your students and fostering their academic success
  • Instructional technologies you used to maintain student engagement and motivation, regardless of the mode of course delivery
  • Assignments, discussions, and assessments you revised to give your students clarity about who, what, when, where, and why they are expected to learn in your (online, in-person or multi-modality) classrooms
  • Classroom interactions you designed to communicate about learning progress and promote a sense of belonging and connection with your students
  • Implementations of peer review, team-based, and flipped approaches emphasizing low-stakes assessment and informal learning
  • “Learning how to learn” strategies that you share in your classrooms to encourage effective time management and study habits
Editorial Team
  • Ann M. Gansemer-Topf, Associate Professor, School of Education
  • Lesya Hassall, Instructional Technologist III, CELT
  • Krista Klocke, Ph.D. Student, CELT Graduate Assistant

Submission Details

Format for Submissions

A brief should be organized with headings to guide the reader, and should contain (1) an introduction, (2) a description of your teaching idea, (3) discussion of how the idea was implemented in your classroom, (4) evidence of how the idea worked in your classroom (e.g., how your students responded to your strategy, student performance data, etc), (5) a short description of the theoretical background behind your idea or an explanation of what inspired it, and (6) implications (e.g. what this idea meant for your teaching and how it could be transferred to other teaching and learning contexts).

Other requirements are as follows:

  1. A brief is limited to 1,000 words (excluding references, screenshots, and images).
  2. Must be organized with headings to guide the reader through the sections.
  3. Sections should include:
    1. An introduction (providing the teaching and learning context, such as course description, level, academic discipline, class size, student characteristics, and learning objectives, and one to two teaching and learning objectives you wanted to address).
    2. A description of your teaching idea (a strategy, technology, solution, and/or collaboration that proved to be effective in addressing the teaching and learning objectives you described in your teaching context).
    3. Discussion of how the idea was implemented in your classroom (including a clear connection to your instructional and/or course learning objectives).
    4. Evidence of how the idea worked in your classroom (key takeaways and evidence that helps readers understand the impact on student success as demonstrated by the learning outcomes, course evaluations, student-centered conversations, self-perceptions, etc).
    5. Theoretical underpinnings or explanation of what inspired this idea.
    6. Implications (types of contexts where your strategy/innovation may be most appropriate, such as delivery, course level, course-type, and disciplines. If the strategy would be applicable to most settings and students, indicate this fact as well).
    7. Images, links to curated and/or self-developed resources, screenshots (optional).

Submission & Evaluation

Teaching briefs will undergo editorial review. Selected briefs will be made accessible online as a collection of informative and practical advice on effective teaching practices by ISU’s instructors to support students through fostering belonging, connection, and inclusivity in their classrooms. For past examples of CELT Teaching Briefs, please explore the CELT website.

Tenure and non-tenure track faculty, teaching graduate assistants, and postdocs are eligible to submit their teaching briefs.

  • Submission deadline is June 1, 2022. You will be informed about the decision to publish your teaching brief by July 1.
  • To submit your teaching brief, fill out this submission form through Qualtrics.

Selection Process

Submissions will be accepted and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Overall quality of the submission.
  2. Topic is within the scope of the call.
  3. Provides an insightful idea that has the potential to improve teaching and learning at ISU

Previous CELT Teaching Briefs

Student Engagement

Notorious for decreased student engagement, instructors can transform online courses into places of active learning with appropriate tools and technologies.

Community Building 

Building a learning community and creating a sense of belonging can be challenging in online courses. Several authors present an array of strategies for connecting learners to their instructors, peers, and course content.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice is essential for skill development and mastery, and online courses can be well equipped for creating time and space for meaningful practice.