Summer Teaching and Learning Institute, 2019

This year’s Summer Teaching and Learning Institute will be a bit different from previous years’ iterations, in both format and content. With the sponsorship of both CETL and grant funds from NETVUE, we’ll be offering a range of opportunities for faculty and staff to consider how we might more effectively promote success across all of our increasingly diversifying student body. To better match both speaker schedules and our own workflow needs, this year’s Summer Institute will be held earlier than what’s usually been our practice. Here is this year’s schedule of events:

[All sessions are 1:15-4:45 PM]

On Monday, May 13, the Faculty-Staff Day will feature a number of activities with the general theme of Understanding Who Our Students Really Are. We have a lot of demographic and academic data about our students, but that only tells us so much. Our task during these sessions will be to consider more deeply the various aspects of our students’ identities, and which parts of those identities we might attend to better.

Our keynote speaker for the faculty-staff session will be Dr. Yvette DeChavez, from Austin, Texas. Dr. DeChavez earned her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a writer, artist, and consultant who advocates for Indigenous Americans and People of Color in higher education. A first-generation college graduate herself, Dr. DeChavez has rich expertise and experience that will help us consider the ways in which we might more skillfully promote the success of our own first-generation students and students of color.

Following our keynote address, there will be a panel of experts on various aspects of the GV student experience, comprised of both our own colleagues and professionals from the Des Moines Public Schools system. In a moderated discussion with our panelists and the audience, we’ll have the opportunity to learn more about what types of experiences and preparation our students bring from their high school careers. We’ll also examine how that preparation and experience shapes the ways in which they encounter their first year at Grand View. Finally, we’ll have the opportunity to think about how we, as a community, can use this information and perspective to create a campus environment that can effectively support all of our students.

On Tuesday, May 14, we’ll begin the more classroom-oriented workshops portion of the Summer Institute, to which we invite anyone-faculty or staff-who teaches (defined broadly; this includes advising, or library and other forms of instruction, for example). For this session, we are excited to bring Dr. Cyndi Kernahan back to campus to help us continue our conversations about creating learning environments which allow our students to draw upon the maximum amount of cognitive bandwidth available to them. To do so involves working on understanding and recognizing how things like implicit bias, microaggressions, and other subtle forms of inequality can be present in our classrooms, despite what are often our best intentions. Many of you remember Dr. Kernahan’s visit to our campus a couple of years ago, where she helped us think through these issues and start some valuable conversations. We’re thrilled she’s agreed to return and work with us again as we continue to work on creating more inclusive learning environments. Dr. Kernahan’s session will help us generate practices that we can apply in both our course design and daily teaching/assessment practices.

Wednesday, May 15 through Friday, May 17 will be given over to a three-day course (re)design institute designed to help faculty teams think through courses from the goals down to their daily activities. We’ve done this kind of work before, of course, but this year’s workshops will have a focus on courses that have a particularly strong impact on student success-especially for our first-year students. To that end, we’ve invited teams from particular courses to participate, and many of you may already be getting involved in one of these course or academic advising teams. But if you aren’t part of one of these teams, but would like to participate, you are more than welcome to do so, and we’d love to have you join us. A more detailed outline of what we’ll be doing each of these three days will be available soon, so watch for further announcements and information.

Finally, we’ll have two optional sessions the second week after the course (re)design portions of the Summer Institute. Whether or not you attend the course design sessions on the 15th-17th, you can still attend either or both of these sessions, which are designed to provide specific, targeted assistance to those working on particular pedagogical or design issues. On Tuesday, May 28 (after teams have had time to work for a week-ish), we’ll host a special session for instructors working on either blended or fully online courses. In this session, we’ll work on translating the principles of inclusive course design and teaching into these specific online (or partially-online) teaching and learning environments. On Wednesday, May 29, CETL will host drop-in consultations for faculty to get one-on-one assistance with any specific questions or ideas. Not sure what digital tool to use? Trying to decide on an assessment plan? Wondering if there are better class activities to help students achieve a learning outcome in your course? Come by CETL and we can help you brainstorm a solution to your questions.

That, in a (fairly large) nutshell, is the 2019 Summer Institute. We’re excited to be facilitating what promises to be a busy, exciting, and productive Teaching and Learning Institute. Keep an eye out for further information and a formal registration announcement in the coming days. We hope to see you there!


Have a question? Need some assistance? Want to check out a book? Come by the CETL in Rasmussen 208 or contact us to set up an appointment.

Finally, please enjoy this moment of pure, innocent joy:

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