Week 7 Teaching Tips

Welcome to Week 7 – another short week of teaching.  Less than 2 weeks until spring break, and less than 4 months until spring??

Remind students that there are no classes on Thursday and Friday.  Thursday is Student Success Day and Friday is an all-college professional development day.  Both are contractual faculty-development days.  More information and the schedule can be found at: http://blog.minneapolis.edu/employee/2014/01/28/student-faculty-and-staff-development-days-feb-27-and-28/

Want to attend graduation?  Never been?  It is a lot of fun – and MCTC will pay to rent your regalia. The 2014 Commencement ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. We ask that all faculty participants planning to attend the 2014 ceremony, RSVP to Student.Life@minneapolis.edu by March 28, in order for us to rent regalia specific to your degree/institution.

Want to read the Chronicle of Higher Education?  MCTC faculty now have access to the full contents. This publication is a great resource that often includes compelling articles about teaching and learning. For more information, including links to some recent articles that may be of interest, please see the CTL blog post here:https://mctcctl.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/extra-extra-site-wide-license-to-chronicle-online-comes-to-mctc/

How are your students progressing?  If you have not done so lately, check students’ attendance and report last date of attendance (LDA) if needed.  If students are struggling, invite them to your office, direct them to the Learning Center, or direct them to see one of MCTC’s Counselors (remind students that counselors are different than advisors).  In D2L, you can use the User Progress tool to help you keep a good pulse on students.  Atomic learning has a good (and free) tutorial on this tool: http://www.atomiclearning.com/highed/d2l_101 (under E. Other Changes…). Faculty have a small list of potential indicators, and you can customize the view to look at the entire class and see hat students are not keeping on top of.  Also, look for DRL trainings on this tool.  Please also see the 2/19 email from Kristine (Kristy) Snyder for other ideas on how to reach out to struggling student.

Want feedback in your classes? 

Request that a CTL Consultant come into your class to lead students through an activity to give you a list of 5 things to keep doing and 5 suggestions for improvement by going to this 5&5 Request Form.

What do the best college teachers do?

Ken Bain studied over 100 college teachers over 15 years to answer that question and wrote this up in the book “What the Best College Teachers Do” (available in the CTL library).  Last semester, we examined each of Chickering and Gamson’s 7 Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.  This semester, we will examine themes in Bain’s book from an anlysis by Dee Fink.  For interactions with students: (3) dynamic communication skills (a) sense of drama, rhythm, (b) good use of language, (c) use language of “promises” > “demands,” express belief in students’ ability to learn, (d) celebrate achievements, (e) use warm language.  How can you improve this in your classes?

Looking for additional faculty-development opportunities?

  • If you are thinking of attending the Minnesota Desire2Learn Ignite Regional User Conference 2014, on Friday, April 4, 2014, you might want to consider attending one or two FREE Quality Matters workshops that will be held the day before, on April 3.  For more information, you can go to the website at http://minnesota.qualitymatters.org/2014/02/20/registration-now-open-for-qm-workshops-and-d2l-regional-conference/.
  • Minnesota eLearning Summit is July 30-31at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul.  Proposals are now being accepted.  For more information: http://www.mnelearningsummit.org
  • The University of Minnesota Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning Engaging Pedagogies next topic is Troubleshooting Community Partnerships on Thursday, 2/27, 3:30-5:00 pm in 227 Burton Hall.
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