This Fall in CETL

My internal clock, Fall semester, and Iowa in August will never be in sync with each other.

Now that the first week of classes is behind us and the dust has at least somewhat settled, I’m pleased to publish the Fall schedule of CETL events. There are two priorities that are guiding CETL’s programming and development opportunities this semester:

  1. Creating Opportunities for Community and Social Connections: The overwhelming consensus from every one of y’all with whom I’ve met, spoken, and/or consulted is that we are tired, stretched, (very?) close to burnout, and in dire need of renewed connections and sustenance from one another. I know last year was the most detached, atomized experiences I’ve had in higher ed (even more than the year I spent in a carrel in the basement of Thomas Cooper Library at the University of South Carolina studying for my comprehensive exams!), and I am certainly not the only one with that experience. To that end, the main emphasis for CETL’s development work this year will be on opportunities to be in community with one another. Workshops are scheduled from 3:30-5:00 PM in the CETL, and the first forty minutes or so of that time are reserved for “happy hour.” We will have beer, wine, sodas, and light refreshments available, and encourage you to come when you can to hang out with colleagues; the “formal” (such as it is) program will begin around 4:10 or so. These sessions will be interactive; that is, oopportunities not only to learn, but to share and collaborate as well. We invite you to come nourish both mind and spirit!

  2. Responding to the needs and suggestions many of you articulated in your feedback from last May’s Summer Institute. The topics for our sessions reflect the suggestions many of you made about areas of need for our campus and teaching practices; they’re also intended to complement the larger campus work that’s happening, particularly our ongoing student success and justice and equity efforts. There are two distinct “tracks” of programming this semester: the first is a continuation of our ongoing work on student success and equity and justice-oriented pedagogies, and the second is centered on some of the outcome iterations in the GV Core Curriculum.

All sessions are open to every member of the faculty and staff community–full or part-time–and are designed to offer something of use to everyone, no matter where or how you intersect with our students. Some of them will be more classroom-oriented, but anyone interested in teaching, learning, and student success at GV will find something that resonates with them.

Without further ado, then, here is this Fall’s schedule of CETL programming:

September Conversations:

Thursday, 9/9
Conversations on Teaching: “Laziness Does Not Exist”: A Conversation About Barriers to Student Success.
Facilitated by Jade Horning, Student Success Program Manager and Director of the ALT Center.
Using Dr. Devon Price’s article, “Laziness Does Not Exist,” as a starting point, we’ll explore the sometimes overlooked factors that derail student success. We’ll discuss Braxton’s social integration model of college student retention, and we’ll share realistic actions for addressing the financial, procedural, and bias-based factors that can get in a student’s way. 3:30-5:00 in the CETL

Wednesday, 9/15
Conversations on Teaching: What Does it Really Mean to Be “Student-Ready?”
We’ve heard the phrase “being a student-ready college” a lot, but what does it mean in practice? How might we put this paradigm into action here at GV, in our own specific teaching and learning spaces? This session will introduce the research of Tia Brown McNair and her colleagues on student-ready colleges and serve as a kick-off event for a reading group on student-readiness, which you’ll have the opportunity to join if you wish. 3:30-5:00 in the CETL

Thursday, 9/23
Conversations on the Core: Oral Communication
This session will feature several GV faculty with experience in effective embedding the OC iteration into their courses, and examples of what those assessments and practices look like. If you teach a class with the OC iteration, or are interested in developing a course with it or adding it into a current course, this session is for you! 3:30-5:00 in the CETL

Tuesday, 9/28
Conversations on Teaching: Handling Difficult Discussions
In our current political moment, class discussions can become difficult terrain to navigate. Topics such as race, class, privilege, and power have always been fraught, but even areas like, say, scientific evidence are now contested ground as well. In this session, we’ll discuss how to prepare our class climate for difficult discussions and steps we can take if a discussion veers into a place where we didn’t expect it to go. Whether it’s dealing with one student who says something that angers the rest, or strategizing ways to engage students who resist discussing particular topics in a constructive way, this session will offer some resources and strategies for cultivating the type of conversations that best facilitate learning and belonging for our students. 3:30-5:00 in the CETL

October Conversations:

Wednesday, October 13
Conversations on the Core: Written Communication
Facilitated by the English Department.
What does it mean to teach (as opposed to simply assign) writing? How do we assess student writing constructively, effectively, and equitably? There have been lots of important and generative conversations about these questions and more in the field of writing/composition studies, and our colleagues in the English Department will share those insights–and suggestions for practice–in this session. If you’re looking for ways to better teach and assess student writing, or want to figure out how to evaluate student work without turning into a copyeditor, this session is for you! 3:30-5:00 in the CETL

Monday, October 25
Conversations on Teaching: Dis/Ability and Student Learning
Co-facilitated by Megen Johnson, Director of Disability Services.
We know that the number of students who request accommodations for their academic success is increasing every year. What if these requests could offer us strategies for designing our teaching and learning spaces to improve learning for all of our students? This session will introduce some of the principles associated with Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and we’ll also hear from our campus experts of the ways dis/ability is shaping the ways in which Grand View students learn. We’ll offer strategies and resources to help you not only account for the different ways in which our students learn, but enable you to meet their needs more effectively. 3:00-4:30 in the CETL (note the earlier start time for this session)

November Conversations:

Wednesday, November 10
Conversations on Teaching: Equitable Assessment
Assessing student learning accurately and well is one of the most difficult parts of our job as instructors. How do we ensure that we’re actually measuring learning, as opposed to how well a student “plays the game,” or how much cultural capital they possess? This session will examine ways in which we can design and implement assessments–low and high-stakes, formative and summative–with equity in mind, so that we’ll be able to tell the story of our students’ learning based upon accurate data. Participants will have the opportunity to workshop their own assessments, examine the ways in which they fit into their larger course learning goals, and consider additional practices that could improve assessment of student learning. 3:30-5:00 in the CETL.

Tuesday, 11/16
Conversations on the Core: Quantitative Communication
This session will feature several GV faculty with experience in effective embedding the QC iteration into their courses, and examples of what those assessments and practices look like. If you teach a class with the QC iteration, or are interested in developing a course with it or adding it into a current course, this session is for you! 3:30-5:00 in the CETL

Outlook calendar invites will be sent for all of these sessions, and the Zoom links will be included in those invitations. You don’t have to accept in advance; the invites are simply for those who wish to add these sessions to their Outlook calendars. Whether or not you respond to those invites, please know you are welcome to any and all of these programs. We look forward to seeing you!

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: