Week 13 Teaching Tips

It is week 13 of the “spring” semester and week ??? of winter…

We have two more faculty-development days this semester.
  Friday, May 16th will be scheduled (see below and previous emails), and Monday, May 19th is a grading day.  Please consider sharing some of the great work you are doing by proposing a concurrent session for 1:15-2:30 on Friday, May 16th.  Proposals are due by May 1st.  If you would like to propose a session, please fill out this form.

Want to save your students money on textbooks?  We had a great conversation last week during our Talking About Teaching session where we shared ideas on how to save our students hundreds of dollars.  If you would like more information, contact us in the CTL or Gary Westerland in the bookstore for more ideas.  And, as a gentle reminder, if you did not order your textbooks or re-request your software, do so as soon as possible.

The withdrawal date for full-term classes is April 21.  If you are behind on your grading, try to post as many grades as possible prior to that date so students have as much information as possible to make decisions about continuing or withdrawing.  Also, check attendance and report LDAs.  Since withdrawals can affect students’ financial aid and entrance into certain programs, suggest that students talk with an advisor prior to withdrawing from classes.

What grade am I earning in your class?  That is a question that is likely coming up in your classes.  The default in D2L Grades does not allow students to see their total points in your class.  We recommend that you release this to students so they can receive feedback about how they are doing.  To do this, (1) go to the Enter Grades View in D2L Grades, (2) click the arrow at the top of the final grades column, (3) click the box at the top of the list of students to select all students, (4) click release/unrelease at the top of the list of students which will check all boxes in the second to last column.  When you got back to the Enter Grades View, you should now see a eye icon next to each student’s total.  If you release grades at the start of the semester then have a student add your class, their grades will not be automatically released, and you will need to repeat the steps above.

What do the best college teachers do?

For the rest of the semester, we will explore the course design decisions in Ken Bain’s book “What the Best College Teachers Do.”  (Previous Teaching Tips emails explored interactions with students and instructor attitudes/perspectives.

(1) Incorporate big questions and stories into structure and content of course.  We would be happy to help you think of and design a class around the big questions in your discipline. 
Looking for additional faculty-development opportunities?

  • D2L FUSION conference early bird rate ends April 30.  The D2L FUSION conference is July 14-16 in Nashville.  All MnSCU attendees can register at the group rate.  If you also attended the D2L Ignite conference, use discount code Ignite50 to receive a $50 reduction on registration.  (Not available to presenters or steering committee who already receive a deep discount).  https://fusion.desire2learn.com/fusion/

Previous listings

  • April 17, 3:30-5:30 – Final colloquium of the year in UM’s Postsecondary Teaching and Learning Engaging Pedagogies series. MnSCU faculty cordially invited, as always. The session “will explore asset-based (compared to needs-based) community assessment and development, [and] social change-based (compared to social service-based) community engagement.”  Maroon and Gold Room, McNamara Alumni Center, University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesThe event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
  • April 25.  Quality Matters “Improve Your Online Course” 4-hour workshop.  East Grand Forks. https://secure.mnsu.edu/eventsconferences/?department=QualityMatters
  • May 28, Sept. 23, and Oct. 15Food, Justice and Health Equity: A Healthy Food, Healthy Farms Webinar Series.  Free webinars from the American Public Health Association, National Public Health Week, and Healthy Food Healthy Action. MORE
  • June 16-17 – Austin, MN.  A cross-discipline conference focused on increasing civic learning in STEM courses.  If you would like to go, contact the CTL as we are trying to put together a team for this inexpensive conference.  For more information: http://www.riverland.edu/sencer/
  • July 8-9.  Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference and Workshop.  Denver.  http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2014/blended/welcome
  • September 28-29 – St. Cloud State University.  Realizing the Civic Mission of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.  This summit co-sponsored by Minnesota Campus Compact, AASCU’s American Democracy Project, and The Democracy Commitment will be open to individuals or teams from any interested campus in Minnesota. A planning committee has begun developing the agenda, and an invitation with more information will be sent soon to presidents, provosts, and civic engagement contacts most likely to consider participating. hear from national and local leaders, including George Mehaffy, Vice President for Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. With any questions or to express interest in participating and/or presenting a session, please contact Julie Plaut.
  • October 16–18 – Downtown Minneapolis.  Global Learning in College: Cross-Cutting Capacities for 21st-Century College Students.  A Network for Academic Renewal Conference.  Proposals Due Tuesday, April 22.  For more information: http://www.aacu.org/meetings/global/14/index.cfm
  • October 16-18Annual Conference of the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning.  Denver.  May 1 = proposal deadline.  http://www.isetl.org/conference/
  • October 29-31Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning.  Walt Disney World, Florida.  May 5 = proposal deadline.  http://sloanconsortium.org/conference/2014/aln/welcome


May 16th Schedule

All-faculty Session 8:30-10:45
Employee Appreciation 11-12
Lunch 12-1
Concurrent Sessions 1:15-2:30
PDD Meetings 2:45-
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