Week 15 Teaching Tips

Hello Faculty,

According to the Academic Calendar, it is week 15.  According to the flakes in the sky…  “Spring” semester is almost finished, and that is followed by summer, right?

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.

To help students plan for a final project or exam, you could have your students do a quick writing assignment in class (1-5 minutes).  You could also have them reflect on the class which can give you feedback for future semesters.  You could ask them questions such as

  • what is your plan for studying for the exam or completing the project?
  • what barriers you have to studying for finals or completing final papers/assignments and/or which strategies you plan to use to overcome these barriers, study, and/or complete papers/assignments?
  • what was the most interesting topic in this class, and why did you find it interesting?
  • what part of the class do you think will be most helpful to you in the future, and how do you think they will be helpful?

Want feedback to improve for next semester?  Since SIRIIs were not administered this semester due to the budget, we encourage you to use some other form of end-of-course evaluation.  You could use a paper survey or the D2L Survey tool.  Setting up D2L Surveys is similar to creating D2L Quizzes.  To encourage participation, you could give a few (extra-credit) points based on how many students complete it (e.g., 2 points for 100% of students, 1 point for 50%).   Some survey ideas include

  • Review your previous SIRII results then select a few questions to use in a survey or make up a survey of your own.
  • Ask questions about things specific to your class such as projects, assignments, or class activities
  • 1&1 assessment: have students write one thing you should keep doing since it helped their learning and one thing you should improve to help student learning
  • Start-Continue-Stop Assessment: have students write one thing to Start doing, one thing to Continue doing, and one thing to Stop doing.

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.

(2) Formulate good learning goals, which is better than focusing on learning the content, and these should incorporate a full range of Dee Fink’s taxonomy (i.e., learning how to learn, caring, human dimension, integration, application, and foundational knowledge).  As you look toward summer/fall term, think about how the learning outcomes/goals you have in your syllabus help motivate students by helping them see how your class will be helpful to them.  Here are two resources that list verbs based on Bloom’s and Fink’s taxonomies to help you shift your learning outcomes/goals above the knowledge and comprehension: Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives & Effective Use of Learning Objectives Research shows that students retain and transfer knowledge better when they learn at higher levels, and these are also the skills employers seek.  The following resource shows ways to improve learning outcomes/goals: Outcomes Characteristics
Looking for additional faculty-development opportunities?

Previous listings

  • Talk to your Coordinator about using faculty-development funds and how these are distributed to all faculty in your Program/Division/Department.  You can also submit for end-of-year pool funds.
  • 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
  • July 14-16.  Nashville.  D2L FUSION conference.  Early bird rate ends April 30.   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/
  • 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-
This entry was posted in Teaching & Learning Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s