You will never believe who…

Stopped by the Faculty Grading Oasis during finals week and finished all their grading—You! Come see us during finals week for open space, coffee, snacks, tech support from TLP, and assistance (FERPA compliant) from our student staff.

It is that time of year. Grading is piling up, and each piece of click-bait you see looks more enticing as you try and avoid the regular task of finishing your grading. With that in mind, our “reasons to visit” the Grading Oasis is inspired by the click-bait you should avoid:

  1. Genius uses this one weird trickto finish all their grading. Seriously, going somewhere new and having some help makes a difference.
  2. You won’t believe what this instructor looks like nowhappy once they have come by the Grading Oasis for coffee and snacks. We buy, and you thrive.
  3. Healthy professors do this one thing to stay youngthey get help with their grading. Our students help with blinded grading, alphabetizing, anything FERPA allows them to assist with. TLP help is two doors away!
  4. Warren Buffet is warning teachers not toprocrastinate on finishing grading. Avoid the artificial extension of your classwork into the summer by doing it soon.
  5. Shocking photos of polar bear attacks-okay I don’t have a tie in for this one, I just like polar bear videos.

Grading Oasis (4)

 

The call for the 23rd annual CELT conference is live! Submit an abstract today to change the world tomorrow—or maybe in October.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast. Our newest episode is out now! President Gayle Hutchinson joins Mary, Tracy, and I to discuss the bright future of CSU, Chico. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

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New Colleagues and Old Problems

This time of year can be challenging for all of us—but especially for new faculty. The balance of scholarship, teaching, service, and life outside campus can be difficult to maintain even if you have been at it for a long time, but take a minute to recall the time when it was all new. In Faculty Development we have a formal mentoring program run by Susan Wiesinger that provides assigned mentors for new tenure-track faculty and a specialized workshop series for lecturer faculty. However, we acknowledge that the most important mentoring work is almost always informal and local. I want to highlight a few realities of these relationships that I hope you will keep in mind as this semester closes and we look toward Fall 2017.

  • Lecturer faculty need mentoring too. Lecturers have a dramatic impact on student success as they are often the people called on to teach first-year students and serve in other critical roles. Prioritizing student success means equipping lecturers with research, resources, and drawing on their expertise. It also means engaging them in conversation on effective teaching, research opportunities, and helping them navigate the university. This is a job for all us, regardless of classification. Talk to new lecturer colleagues about professional development like the CELT conference and how to access resources for travel.
  • Minority faculty face unique challenges, but you do not have to share the same life experience to be helpful. A recent Chronicle article highlighted key strategies for mentoring new minority scholars. I encourage you to read the whole article, but I want to highlight the first piece of advice “Practice cultural humility” and in doing so “demonstrate empathy for the professor’s experience as a faculty member of color in the institution.” In institutions like ours with strong organization culture we are often too quick to bring newcomers up to speed with “how things are done here” without being attentive to other strategies or experiences. Mentoring is mainly learning and listening.
  • Make a plan and get out there. Writing “be a good mentor” on a post-it note may be a reminder for you, but it is not a plan. Talk with your colleagues and your department/college leadership about what is being done and what is possible, but get started. Make a point to drop by a new colleagues office to ask how things are going, make a trip to a different floor or building to talk to a new lecturer that you have not met, but take the first step in outreaching to your new colleagues.

I am advising this now in hopes of helping our colleagues at the end of the term, but also to compel you to think about how next year could be even better with new faces, new ideas, and new mentoring relationships.

The call for the 23rd annual CELT conference is live! Submit an abstract today to change the world tomorrow—or maybe in October.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I are joined by student guest Martin Morales to discuss housing and food insecurity at CSU, Chico. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Why Aren’t They Reading?

It is late Spring, and you are scanning your classroom as students walk in. To your horror you see textbooks still wrapped in plastic, others that appear to have never been cracked, and many students who arrived with no book at all. Later you reference an example from the text in an activity or lecture only to be confronted with an ocean of blank stares. Your experience is one many of us have had, and we wonder why aren’t they reading?
This is a complicated question without an easy answer. Also, to be fair, many of them are reading. Of the students who are not having a positive experience with the textbook there are many explanations:
  • The book could be dry and inaccessible
  • The book could prove to not be useful
  • The book could be too expensive to buy/rent
  • The reserve copy of the book could be unavailable at the times the student has to study
A report compiled by the Student Public Interest Research Group found some interesting results about textbook usage among students. I would urge you to read part of their report, but I would encourage you to do some of your own research using a variation of their tested items. James Tyler and I worked together to pull four key questions we believe will give you a better understanding of how your students are utilizing their textbooks and what alternatives might be viable:
  • Have you ever decided against buying (or renting a textbook because it was too expensive? (yes or no)
  • If yes, were you concerned that not buying (or renting) the textbook would hurt your grades in the course? (yes, significantly concerned; yes somewhat concerned; no;  not applicable)
  • Does the cost of textbooks impact which classes and/or how many classes you decide to take? ( yes, significantly; yes, somewhat; no; not applicable)
  • All other things being equal, do you think you would do better in a course if the textbook was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional? ( yes, significantly better; yes, somewhat better; no; not applicable)
If you would like to distribute these to your class, but need some help and have some additional items you would like to use email us at FDEV@csuchico.edu, and we will do the work for you.
 Related image
For 2017/18 Faculty Development and Statistics professor Edward Roualdes have secured a $50,000 grant to encourage the adoption for lower cost course materials, so if you want to explore some of these options to increase access for your students, your window of opportunity is now. These are complicated issues with a variety of perspectives. Read this recap of a recent debate if you think otherwise. We encourage you to consider working with us next year to lower costs and increase access for students at Chico. Please fill out this form if you are—this is not really an application, just a way for us to stay organized. If you have a high cost textbook and want to work with some folks to explore alternatives, you are in.
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The Technology and Learning Program is Moving

Today’s Tuesday Teaching Tip is brought to you by TLP Manager Laura Sederberg.

The Technology and Learning Program (TLP) is moving up in the world! Our location in the basement of Meriam Library has served us well for 20 years now. But as we have joined efforts with the Faculty Development Center (previously CELT). Their home in MLIB 458/459 has become a destination for faculty, and now we have the opportunity to join them and better serve the faculty of CSU, Chico.

Our Instructional Design/Technology Consultants (ITCs) are moving upstairs on Thursday, April 13. The Walk-in TLP Lab will follow soon. In this move there are some changes.

  1. We will be close to Faculty Development allowing for better collaboration.
  2. We will be seeing more of you! The more visible location means we will be in a position to serve you and your students even more effectively, and we look forward to seeing you.
  3. We are transitioning our technology lending program. If you have a problem and need a piece of technology for a class we can still accommodate you, but please try and work with your home department and/or the Meriam Library lending program while we are transitioning.
  4. We will no longer have access to our training lab, but we will still be offering trainings.

There is no doubt this move will result in some disruption, but we are excited that in the long term this will be the right move for us and the campus.

If you have any concerns or questions about this change, please contact TLP manager, Laura Sederberg x4326 or lsederberg@csuchico.edu.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I take on seven topics in 30 minutes! Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Last call for Summer/Spring programming

I do not want to clutter your email inboxes with additional items this week so this week’s tip is your final reminder that applications are due on 3/31 for the Spring/Summer offerings including our pilot one-week AeL program and several other funded opportunities.

Faculty Development Spring/Summer 2017 Program Offerings

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Feel free to apply for multiple offerings. General questions can be directed to Zach Justus
zjustus@csuchico.edu. All applications due on 3/31/2017.

Academy e-Learning 9.1: Teaching with Help

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: June 1-2, 5-7 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.1, launching with the first of this summer’s one-week institutes –Teaching with Help. During this intensive institute, we will explore highly effective strategies for mentoring and working with TAs/mentors so you can realize their full potential and value in your course(s). Your work during this institute will focus on incorporating assistants, in all their forms, into your courses in meaningful ways.

Full RFP Link
Application

Academy e-Learning 9.2: Best Practices for Working with Student Writing

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: August 3-4, 7-9 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.2, the second of this summer’s one-week institutes. In recognition of the campus’ on-going interest in high impact educational practices, this institute is focused on supporting students’ writing.

Full RFP Link
Application

 Writing Boot Camp

Leadership: Chris Fosen
Compensation: $500 (taxable income)
Workload: May 23-26 8am-4pm
Brief Description: You are invited to take part in a one-week writing boot camp. Applicants are expected to be physically present and participate all day.  Since our goal is substantive writing, it is most suitable for projects that are already well under way.

Full RFP Link
Application

Learning Enhancement Grants

Brief Description: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering faculty awards of up to $5,515 to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching in a course or program. Projects that strongly enhance student learning and have a demonstrable impact receive priority consideration. Proposals should address relevance to the University Strategic Plan. Funds awarded in spring of 2017 must be expended between July 1, 2017 and May 30, 2018. Proposals are due by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm.

Full RFP Link
Application

Just in time Professional Development

Brief Description: The Faculty Development Program is offering faculty awards of up to $1,000 in Professional Development Funds to support faculty who need to attend a conference or support a project. The funds must be expended by 5/30/2017.

Full RFP Link
Application

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, special guest Rebecca Berner, and I discuss Gender and Sexuality with GSEC staff member Seve Christian. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Digital Distractions

Welcome Back!
Campus is more beautiful than ever (if a little rainy), but many of the students may seem less present. The proximity of the end of the Spring semester often results in distraction for all of us. With that in mind I wanted to share this recent contribution from James Lang on digital device distraction in the classroom. He moves beyond the polarizing “ban everything” vs. “embrace everything” debate to draw on research about the nature of distraction itself. Now is a good time to reconsider a policy that is not working in your class or improve upon one that is. Take a minute to read this important contribution on distraction as a first-step.

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Faculty Development Spring/Summer 2017 Program Offerings

Feel free to apply for multiple offerings. General questions can be directed to Zach Justus
zjustus@csuchico.edu. All applications due on 3/31/2017.

Academy e-Learning 9.1: Teaching with Help

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: June 1-2, 5-7 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.1, launching with the first of this summer’s one-week institutes –Teaching with Help. During this intensive institute, we will explore highly effective strategies for mentoring and working with TAs/mentors so you can realize their full potential and value in your course(s). Your work during this institute will focus on incorporating assistants, in all their forms, into your courses in meaningful ways.

Full RFP Link
Application

Academy e-Learning 9.2: Best Practices for Working with Student Writing

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: August 3-4, 7-9 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.2, the second of this summer’s one-week institutes. In recognition of the campus’ on-going interest in high impact educational practices, this institute is focused on supporting students’ writing.

Full RFP Link
Application

Writing Boot Camp

Leadership: Chris Fosen
Compensation: $500 (taxable income)
Workload: May 23-26 8am-4pm
Brief Description: You are invited to take part in a one-week writing boot camp. Applicants are expected to be physically present and participate all day.  Since our goal is substantive writing, it is most suitable for projects that are already well under way.

Full RFP Link
Application

Learning Enhancement Grants

Brief Description: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering faculty awards of up to $5,515 to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching in a course or program. Projects that strongly enhance student learning and have a demonstrable impact receive priority consideration. Proposals should address relevance to the University Strategic Plan. Funds awarded in spring of 2017 must be expended between July 1, 2017 and May 30, 2018. Proposals are due by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm.

Full RFP Link
Application

Just in time Professional Development

Brief Description: The Faculty Development Program is offering faculty awards of up to $1,000 in Professional Development Funds to support faculty who need to attend a conference or support a project. The funds must be expended by 5/30/2017.

Full RFP Link
Application

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, special guest Rebecca Berner, and I discuss Gender and Sexuality with GSEC staff member Seve Christian. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Immigration Comes Home

The Executive Order on Immigration has already inspired protest, sparked confusion, praise, and been struck down in the courts. Now there is the real possibility of a second Executive Order along similar lines, which makes it hard to fully understand the implications these policies might have for students and professors.

immigrationorder

Universities have played a central role in this debate. The arguments about impacts on students and scholars were some of most persuasive ones used in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Students and colleagues come from all over the world will experience changes in immigration policy in ways that are often invisible to citizens. Last week Faculty Development, in partnership with Faculty Affairs and the Global Faculty Initiative, brought a local immigration attorney to campus for presentation and questions about general topics. Today (Tuesday) we welcome Chris Fowler, general counsel for Chico, to campus to discuss implications for campus. Chris is in a better position to answer questions about faculty searches, hiring, and concerns about students. Please join us in Selvester’s at 3:30 for more.

Some reminders for you:
The Academy e-Learning application is live!
Faculty Development is searching for the next director!
We held a popular workshop on Dossier Prep for Lecturers earlier this semester. Find the video archive and handouts here.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss what it means to be an alum with Aaron Skaggs of the Alumni Association. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Get it Done!

Many of us will do anything to avoid grading. If you have a to-do list you need to get through and avoiding grading is that push you need to clean the gutters, finish your shopping, or clean the grout in your bathroom please disregard this email. If you are someone who actually wants to get your grading done read on!

The Faculty Grading Oasis is open and we want to help you finish your grading. Here is what we have to offer.

grading-oasis

  1. Fresh coffee, creamer, tea, and snacks.
  2. Space away from your office where no one will knock on your door, and you can get grading done.
  3. Help from our student staff Monday-Thursday 8-5. They can alphabetize exams, grade exams with direction (as long as the student name is hidden), and help with clerical tasks.
  4. Accountability from each other and from admin extraordinaire Michelle Wysocki, who comes in to MLIB 459 to peer at you with her judging eyes if you are off task.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our third episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I explore athletics at Chico and beyond in the aptly titled “locker room talk.” Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Use this one weird trick to finish all your grading in one day!

Today’s tip is a three-parter, and while I lack the magic solution you may have craved when you opened this email, there is a lesson to be learned; keep reading to find out!

Part One: Audience analysis, perspective taking, teaching empathy—these are all variations on similar teaching practices that cut across all disciplines. In a recent Teaching in Higher Ed podcast about this topic I was struck by one particular example. One of the guests who teaches Android application development dramatically improved his class by incorporating perspective taking and directing his students to start from the consumer perspective and design the application around their needs rather than starting with the technology. It was a powerful example because it illustrated to me the extreme utility of perspective taking, regardless of discipline. In this forum I have often urged you to think about things from the perspective of your students; this is a little different as we are trying to get our students to engage in that same practice. This practice is powerful because it is practical and personally transformative. In a world increasingly customized to our own perspectives and tastes it is easy to assume other people will adjust to us, when in reality we have to start by understanding them.

Part Two: Friday is the deadline for our Spring Programming including Faculty Learning Communities for: Write your article in 12 weeks, We are a Hispanic Serving Institution, Now What?, Improve Your Teaching Practice, Quality Online Learning and Teaching, and the Leadership Initiative. Make Spring a great semester, and get involved with a rewarding community.

Part Three: The Faculty Grading Oasis is as close to “one weird trick” as you are going to get and we will be in full effect during finals week. See the flyer below for details.

grading-oasis-fall-2016-6

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

Got feedback on this tip? Got an idea for a tip? Send it along. Check out our new and improved wordpress site here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our third episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I explore athletics at Chico and beyond in the aptly titled “locker room talk.” Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

How did they know that?

Last year an accomplished professor came by the office for some grading help with a midterm which our students are sometimes able to provide (so long as we stay FERPA compliant). He noticed many students were getting the same answer wrong in the same particular way over and over. Perplexed, he wondered aloud what could be happening until one of the student staff members in the office remarked that the exam and/or study guide was probably on Quizlet. We both responded “What is Quizlet?”Image result for quizlet

Quizlet is one of a suite of websites leveraging crowdsourced content for study help for students. Study Blue is also popular and there are probably dozens of others I am not aware of. In most cases these sites offer study guides students have uploaded that can be turned into flash cards or practice exams. On the whole, the sort of thing we all hope students do. Of course there are also less than exemplary practices. In the case referenced earlier, someone had uploaded nearly an entire exam. Even further on the spectrum, there are many pay-for-essay sites online offering products of dubious origin. We have come a long way from file folders of essays and exams passed from friend-to-friend over years and are likely to go even further in the coming years.

We have tools at our disposal to help with academic honesty including digital products like turnitin and personnel with expertise in Student Judicial Affairs. These can be extremely useful, but I also want to direct you to the most valuable resource at your disposal: your students. Asking current and former students what tools they or their peers used in your classes can give you a baseline. You may like what you hear and decide to help curate the collections on Quizlet yourself or direct future students to especially valuable guides. You may find your students are utilizing out-of-date, incorrect, or unethical resources. Then it may be up to you to change your exams or teaching practices to accommodate. If you do talk to your students and find something interesting, especially a web service or a network, don’t keep it a secret, pass it along and let us know.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section of the CELT page for regular synopsis updates, discussion questions, and other resources.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our second episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I explore Chico traditions. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.