Equity as a Mindset

Many of us are at least generally familiar with the idea of “mindsets,” and their relevance to teaching and learning. Carol Dweck, one of the most notable researchers working in the area of mindsets, makes the distinction between “growth” and “fixed” mindsets. Learners with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence and abilities are essentially fixed, finite commodities, Dweck argues, and when they fail to accomplish a particular task, they assume they’ve reached the limits of their capacity for that thing. So a student who has told themself “I’m not a math person” is operating within a fixed mindset, and it makes learning extremely difficult—because they’re convinced that further learning is, at least for them, impossible. Far better, Dweck argues, is for learners to work within a growth mindset, where they understand, by adopting effective strategies, they can augment their skills and abilities in a particular area. To put it simply, a learner with a growth mindset, would react to a failing grade on a math exam not by saying “I can’t do this,” but rather “I can’t do this yet.” And it’s that “yet” which is the most important part of the equation. 

Continue reading “Equity as a Mindset”

Fostering Everyday Belonging

This year, we’ve been focusing on belonging as the center of our student success efforts. How do we ensure that every member of our Grand View community knows they belong here? How do we radically welcome students into our community of learners, and how do create the conditions in which they are not only acknowledged, but valued for who they authentically are? Belonging is a powerful—and essential—feature of any of the answers to these questions. But what does belonging look like? How is it operationalized on a regular, day-to-day basis in the places where students spend a significant portion of their time: their classrooms? Continue reading “Fostering Everyday Belonging”

Spring 2020 Offerings from CETL

This semester, CETL is excited to bring you a full slate of programming across a wide range of topics and times. As any of you who have tried to schedule committee meetings has already learned, when schedules grow more complicated, it’s difficult impossible to find a regular day and time which work for everyone.

GIF image of frustrated man throwing a computer
Me trying to sechedule a 3-person meeting

Therefore, our expanded roster of one-hour Conversations on Teaching sessions will be offered in multiple time slots, and those will be on as many different days as possible as we try to accommodate as many schedules as we can. We will also be piloting an effort to record some of these sessions and house them online for folks who can’t attend any of the scheduled live sessions but are still interested in the topic. Continue reading “Spring 2020 Offerings from CETL”

And Here We Go!

Happy New Year, and welcome back for the Spring Semester–which seems to have started waaaay too early, but here we are. CETL has a full slate of programming and professional development opportunities planned for this semester, ranging from a series of quick, half-hour Lunch-and-Learn sessions to a series of Conversations on Teaching workshops that will address a wide range of topics and questions.

A full calendar will be included in this blog’s first “regular” post of the semester, which will go live on Monday the 13th. We’ll also continue to offer our periodic email reminders and weekly Outlook calendar invites as well.

The first two areas we’ll be addressing are IDEA results and, by request, a reprise (and extension of) our assignment design/transparency in teaching and learning session from last semester.

Since we moved to the Campus Labs platform, the data from IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction has come to us more quickly, but in a different form than what we were used to with the paper reports. There’s rich data there, however, and a lot that we can use to help guide our reflections about our teaching and students’ learning in our courses.

To assist you with that process, we’ve scheduled three workshops this month to help you deepen your understanding of IDEA results.

Sessions on Tuesday, January 14, 3-4 p.m. and Tuesday, January 21, 11-12, in the CETL (RASM 208) are structured as follows:

  • First 30 minutes:  Faculty members can explore a set of generic results (or look at your own) to understand what the students are saying that may be useful for your development as an instructor.  We’ll talk about the formative, summative, quantitative and qualitative aspects of the feedback.
  • Last 30 minutes:  For department chairs, this portion of the workshop will help you understand your departmental aggregate reports and how that may inform your work with individual faculty members or with program review.

A Saturday workshop is scheduled for January 18, from 9:30-11, in the CETL (Rasmussen 208).  This workshop is primarily intended for our adjunct faculty, but anyone is welcome to attend. The session is divided into two portions, and you’re invited to attend either one, or both, as your schedule permits:

  • 9:30-10:15:  Understanding individual IDEA results.  Faculty members can explore a set of generic results (or look at your own) to understand what the students are saying that may be useful for your development as an instructor.  We’ll talk about the formative, summative, quantitative and qualitative aspects of the feedback.
  • 10:15-11:  Designing Effective Assignments.  This part of the workshop will examine the TILT (Transparency in Learning and Teaching) framework for assignment design and other protocols that will benefit your students.  You’ll leave with resources to effectively design assignments that engage students’ understanding to promote deeper learning.

We’ll also be offering this Conversations on Teaching session on assignment design, transparency, and the TILT framework at two other times next week:

Wednesday, Jan. 15, from 10-11 AM and Thursday, Jan. 16, from 3-4 PM (both sessions in the CETL).

If you’re interested in designing assignments that align more closely with your course and teaching goals, as well as promote deeper student learning, this session is for you. We had some requests from folks who couldn’t attend this workshop last semester to bring this topic back, so we decided to use this session to kick off this Spring’s Conversations on Teaching series. As you can see, we’ll be offering Conversations on Teaching sessions twice, and they’ll be at a range of days and times during the week as we attempt to meet the widely diverse scheduling needs of the GV community. We hope that you’re able to find time in your busy schedules to attend sessions that interest you, and we’re doing our best to schedule a wide array of days and times to facilitate that.

Of course, if you can’t attend any of these sessions, the CETL staff is more than happy to work with you on any topic; in particular, we know there is a lot of interest in working through IDEA results. If you’re interested in how you might make the best use of your data for reflecting on your teaching practice, thinking about changes to your courses, and/or how you might talk about it in your portfolio narrative, CETL can help! Simply schedule a time with us that works for you. You can schedule an appointment with Kevin simply by clicking one of these links:

30-minute appointment

60-minute appointment

You’ll receive an email confirmation when you schedule a time, and it integrates with Outlook for your convenience.

I hope everyone’s semester is off to a great start, and look forward to seeing many of you in our sessions this Spring!

Finally, if you’re looking for a visual representation of how the beginning of the semester feels for some of us, you could do a lot worse than this:


Post-Conference Re-Entry

Each year, I attend the Professional and Organizational Developer (POD) Network Annual Conference, which is the main gathering of teaching-center folks, as well as faculty and administrators connected to the work of educational development in its many forms. I’ve been attending this conference since I became CETL Director, and it’s changed a great deal even in those six years.. This year, there were 1200 participants, about double what there were in 2014. The number and size of the various sessions and workshops has increased at a similar rate, and so too have the accompanying materials and resources. One of the things I appreciate about the POD conference is every session’s resources are made available online, from slide decks to additional readings to handouts. Continue reading “Post-Conference Re-Entry”

Transparent Design, Interesting Links, and a Few Announcements

The Fall semester is nearing crunch time, in particular for those teaching late-semester courses that are just hitting their stride, so this week’s CETL blog will be a brief digest, with some announcements and links appended. Continue reading “Transparent Design, Interesting Links, and a Few Announcements”