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

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 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.

 

Together We Will

In her inaugural address President Hutchinson provided us with perspective on our history and our future that moved and inspired. Towards the end of her remarks she gave us this promise:

Together, we will work as one University; breaking down silos, removing institutional barriers, and encouraging innovations so that we serve our students better and promote their success through applied instruction and engaged learning, community service and civic engagement, and global and multicultural education. And, we will improve upon and make sustainable the means by which we provide support for students’ personal well-being.”

I left the address with those words stuck on repeat in my head. I was thinking about the ways we rise to meet those challenges and how we try, fall short, and get up to try again. Mainly I thought about the phrasing. This is not a directive or a question, it is a promise, which led me to think about who we are making this promise to and how we will make sure we keep it.

Faculty Development relies on an empowerment model rather than on expertise. If you were looking to us for answers, the best tool we have to offer is a mirror. Today I want to point you to the currently active options for enrichment offered through our office and encourage you to think about them as opportunities to learn and teach. More than anything, think of them as ways to keep our promise not that we can, or that we will try, but rather that we will.

Faculty Development Spring 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

Faculty Development is searching for the next director!

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 newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the past, present, and future of alcohol at CSU, Chico with CADEC staff member Morgan Rosen. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Forget I ever said that…

Image result for orange coast college

A flurry of national stories has highlighted the topic of recording classroom discussions. Earlier this year at Orange Coast College a student was suspended for recording his professor’s views about President Trump and then publishing them. At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference a workshop encouraged students to do that exact thing. Have you had a student record you? Without your knowledge? How would you know?

These are all complicated questions, so I did some reading and research.

  • FindLaw has an excellent article on the legal dynamics at work in these situations. California is a “two-party consent” state when it comes to recording. While this is typically in reference to wiretaps, they argue the same principles apply in the classroom.
  • Student Judicial Affairs provided some guidance: “Unlike other campuses we do not have a campus policy on classroom recording except: 1) Title 5 governing student conduct does state, in part, the “Grounds for Student Discipline include “unauthorized recording, dissemination, or publication of academic presentations (including handwritten notes) for commercial purpose.” 2) ARC has a specific policy on “Audio Recording Lectures” which states that students are eligible for audio-recording accommodations if their disability impairs access to classroom lectures. (see ARC for the process for requests).”

My strong recommendation is that if this if you are concerned about this you should create an explicit policy for the syllabus. Students often have legitimate reasons for wanting to record class, and their peers may have good reasons for not wanting a discussion recorded. Having a policy requiring consultation prior to recording is consistent with the law and gives you an opportunity to consider the interests of all your students.

Finally, a few reminders.

Join us for an open forum on Community Based Scholarship hosted by Faculty Development and Civic Engagement. Selvester’s 100 3/10 1-3pm.

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.
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 newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the past, present, and future of alcohol at CSU, Chico with CADEC staff member Morgan Rosen. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Faculty Development Spring/Summer Offerings

headerIn lieu of a traditional Tuesday Teaching Tip, we want to direct your attention to the late Spring-Summer offerings from Faculty Development. We look forward to seeing your applications!

Faculty Development Spring 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 Bootcamp
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 bootcamp. 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
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.
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 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.

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.

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 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.

Give yourself an A+ for reading this

Image result for teaching assessmentA few years ago I was filling out a mid-semester report for a student regarding eligibility for a Greek organization. She thought she was doing great with a strong “B.” As it happens she was reading the gradebook incorrectly and was squarely in the “D” range. It was a difficult conversation, but she rededicated herself to her work and ended up earning a “B-.” I often tell the story to students to illustrate the importance of accurate self-assessment and the real possibility of improving once you have a good idea about where you are.

A recent article from Faculty Focus takes the strategy a step further in suggesting formalized self-assessment in the first third of the semester. They suggest having students perform a basic assessment (which you can grade credit/no-credit) on attendance, their overall grade, set goals, and several other items. I love this idea as it compels students to be reflective, gives you a better understanding of their self-perception, and gives you a point of reference later in the semester. Of course there are limitations to this in large courses (an issue addressed in the article) or with students who elect not to do the work, but it is an effective strategy within a class and it has the potential to set up good habits for students moving forward. Overall, it is a nice companion to the tip from last week about identifying key markers for success in your courses.

A few 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 last week. 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.
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 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.

What do they need to know?

Welcome to the second week of the semester!

As students settle into the rhythm of their courses they will also be settling into old patterns. You have the opportunity to intervene and many of you do by highlighting the behavior of historically successful students. Maybe your course is supported by Supplemental Instruction through the Student Learning Center and you know if they go regularly, they will probably pass. Maybe your course uses online videos and you know students who watch in advance of the class always do better. Sharing this information with students is almost always appreciated and can lead to student success, but it is our responsibility to make sure we are sharing the right information. When I taught the public speaking course I assumed the students who failed were getting low speech grades. It was actually much more common that if they were failing they were missing the weekly quizzes. This information changed the advice I gave students and how I trained my Teaching Associates.

In light of that, I have homework for you. Go back through grades from one or two semesters to look at some landmark assignments like the first exam or project. Even if you are not fluent in statistics you can probably draw some conclusions about early success and overall performance in the course. You may find similar markers like attendance or one of the things mentioned earlier. You may be quite surprised. I am urging you to be intentional about it rather than relying on assumptions. This will start to give you markers for when students are headed for trouble. In some other Universities, like Georgia State, they have used information like this to radically improve student performance. In my conversations with colleagues around campus they are often surprised to learn the number of students who fail their courses or that there is an achievement gap between Under Represented Minority students and non-Under Represented Minority students. We can only unravel these dynamics when we pay attention to why students do well and why they don’t and then fashion solutions. Most of us share advice at the beginning of the semester about how to do well and when students are headed for trouble, let’s be sure we are giving the right advice.

Digging into these dynamics can require help from Institutional Research, your Assessment Coordinator, or a colleague, but it is almost always worth it.

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 fourth episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the election with Juni Banerjee-Stevens and Mike Pence (not really, just checking to see if you were still reading). Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

L.E.A.R.N.

Welcome Back!

This week you will have a flyer entitled L.E.A.R.N. in your mailboxes from the Campus Incident Response Team. The flyer is a quick-start guide for managing contentious classroom discussions. It is designed for you to keep in a notebook, post it outside your office, or clip it to the board in a classroom. As a companion the team has also produced an extended guide which you can find on the new “Our Democracy” page off the University main page. To save you a click, we are also posting it here as today’s teaching tip. Good luck out there!

Contentious classroom discussions can be difficult for everyone involved. As an instructor you are often balancing the roles of teacher, peacemaker, and arbiter. This is the extended version of the L.E.A.R.N. quick-start guide distributed to campus.

Listen to what your students are saying. Listening can be hard, especially if someone is saying something with which you strongly disagree. However, it is a precondition to everything that should come next. Listening allows us to understand, find meaning and agreement, and opens the possibility of reaching a better solution.  In the same way that you want your students to listen to you, be open to being challenged by your students.  If you make a mistake, apologize.  Learn from it.  Unsure how to get started? Watch this short informative video about active listening.

Empathize with their position, especially when it is difficult. In the contemporary political environment this is often the missing piece. In the moment of a contentious classroom discussion it can be difficult to fully grasp why students feel the way they do, but making an effort is important. Try to consider why people feel the way they do rather than just focusing on what was said, but do so without casting judgment.  Assume the best of others.  If a student says something alarming or seemingly out of place, ask about it.  Listen for the subtext; sometimes the most important thing is under what is said.  Or, offer a tentative interpretation about the student’s feelings and intentions.  Question in a manner that requests more information or attempts to clear up confusions.  This part of the process can also be taken off-line with an email expressing empathy or a follow-up office hour visit. Empathy is a powerful teaching tool. This recent podcast is a great primer on why teaching with empathy is so effective.

Assess what to do. Take a minute compose yourself. We have been conditioned to respond immediately and avoid silence, but you need to fight the impulse to act immediately. If things get heated, take a time out.  Spend five minutes writing about what you feel.  Then resume the conversation. This can be awkward, but it is okay to tell your class everyone should take a moment to process what was said and consider how to move forward. This tactic will be helpful for them and it gives you a minute to compose yourself. Your solution does not have to be perfect, but taking a minute will make it better.

Respond directly, redirect the conversation, or end it. There is no one path forward from a difficult classroom conversation. Instead of having a go-to tactic, try being aware of the options at your disposal in a contentious classroom. You can respond directly and engage the topic at hand. This is a great option if you feel well equipped for the conversation and you feel the conversation can be productive for the class. You can redirect the flow of the classroom, frequently toward the usual classroom content. This is a good tactic if you feel a conversation is headed in an unproductive direction and it does not shut you off from following up later with a Blackboard or in person announcement to start the next class. The last resort in a contentious class period is to end class early. This should only be reserved for situations where the rest of class will be unproductive and/or people in the class feel like they might be at risk. This tactic re-centers your control in the classroom. If you end class, you should follow up with any student who may feel isolated, with an explanation to the class, and consult with your department chair.

Negotiate how to move forward. You have so many options as you consider what should happen next. You can seek advice from your chair or from colleagues. You can communicate through Blackboard or in person to start the next class period. You can follow up with individuals or groups from the class. In some situations you may want to contact Student Judicial Affairs to get a better understanding of your options. Writing down what happened for your own purposes is a useful exercise regardless as you can make a note of details you may not remember later. The most important thing you can do is seek advice. You may be shaken up following a contentious classroom incident and getting guidance from someone with a clear head and a different perspective is the best thing you can do for yourself and your students.

Dr. Sara Cooper has provided additional Book in Common Material. Check out this section ofthe 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 improvedwordpress site here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our fourth episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the election with Juni Banerjee-Stevens and Mike Pence (not really, just checking to see if you were still reading). Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Who changed Blackboard?

You awake from your holiday hibernation, heat up some coffee or tea, turn on a cranky computer to sort through a backlog of emails. Feeling accomplished after accepting some Linked-In requests and correctly identifying some spam, you remember that you do indeed teach courses and point your browser to Blackboard Learn…and then…the horror…. CHANGE!

blackboardYes, Blackboard has been updated and not everything is where you remember it. The adjustments are designed with students and instructors in mind. You can find more details on the TLP Blog, but I want to draw your attention to a few key issues that are not immediately obvious:

  1. The new design is mobile friendly. Data analytics reveal a steady increase in mobile access of Blackboard. Nationally, 56% of students access Blackboard with a mobile device and our old interface was not conducive to mobile access.
  2. The new interface separates Organizations from Courses and Faculty from Student tabs to make it easier to organize your work.
  3. The old design had not been updated since 2012 and the list of issues with accessibility as well as inconsistencies with new product designs were growing by the day.

There are other changes as well including, we are sure, some unwelcome ones and we welcome your feedback, but overall the changes really were designed to create a better and more accessible experience for you and your students. Speaking of your students, remember their access to courses starts today!

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 fourth episode of the Fall is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I discuss the election with Juni Banerjee-Stevens and Mike Pence (not really, just checking to see if you were still reading). Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.