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.

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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.

What is next?

Faculty across the nation are struggling with how to address, or not address, election results and new administration priorities in their classrooms. Some students are excited about where the nation is headed and are concerned about retribution for speaking up. Other students are deeply concerned about themselves or loved ones and what new policies may mean for their lives. Instructional faculty can be in a difficult position as students will come to your class after the inauguration with varied expectations, compounded by the fact that you have your own opinions about where the nation is headed. One place we can set up norms and guidelines is in the syllabus which is why I am bringing this to you now, before your Spring syllabi are finalized.free-speech

In the campus “Free Speech Training” many of us attended I learned an important lesson that may help in syllabus creation—we can have a civility policy. Regulating speech is extremely difficult and for good reason, but there is a good argument to be made that maintaining an atmosphere of civility is critical to the educational environment of the classroom. San Jose City College encourages such wording and the campus has drafted some possible language that might be a good starting point for your own policy. Look for some material specific to Chico in the coming weeks.

When I was involved with the Chico Great Debate we hosted conversations on hot button issues every semester. One debate featured Tea Party Activists and Occupy Wall Street protesters engaging over use of public land. We also hosted contentious debates on affirmative action, private security forces, the death penalty, and everything in between. There were always moments of tension, but setting the expectation of civility prior to the debates made a difference for us, and it can for the classroom as well.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You can always listen

I have really struggled with what to write this week. Coming up with the thing to say after the election is something a lot of us are struggling with. Then I realized I was asking the wrong question. As faculty we often default to the perspective that we have wisdom the world needs. What I, and I think all of us should be asking is, what do other people have to say?

Listen to your students who have been harassed on and off campus with an open mind. Listen to your students in class as they complain that everyone is talking about the election, when they want to learn about what they came here to study. Listen to your students who were thrilled at the election results, but are afraid about voicing their enthusiasm on campus. These may be office hour conversations, they may occupy class time, they may be email exchanges or comments as you walk across campus. The form of the conversation is not particularly important and do not worry about how you will respond or not having the right answer, just start with listening. You will find yourself listening to things you disagree with and do not understand. You will find yourself surprised at the things your students and colleagues think and experience. You may find your own views on expression changing, but it has to start with listening, even if it takes us outside our comfort zones. Sometimes listening is what helps us make a change, sometimes listening is all that is required. My background is in communication and one fascinating truth from that field of study is that we hear all the time, but listening is an active choice requiring work. If you want to take this a step further toward discussion you should read about what Villanova is doing after the election.

No one ever looks back on a decision and says to themselves “I wish I would have understood people less before proceeding.” So ask students how they are doing, let them know your office hours are open to them, and listen.

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. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.