Welcome to Week 6! This email will include some timely tips and a technology tip then some information on the teaching tip theme of the election and ideas for assignments. As always, the email will end with faculty-development opportunities both inside and outside of MCTC.
This is a good time in the semester to check in with your students about how they are approaching your class. For example, you could use a short, anonymous survey to ask questions about whether they are completing the required readings, what is keeping them from completing readings or assignments, how much time they are studying, or which study methods they use most. After reading these, you can then have a class discussion, develop/suggest resources, and/or use another survey to drill down on certain student concerns.
Can you decrease textbook costs for your students? Before ordering your spring textbooks, survey your students about your current materials, asking questions about usefulness, reading level, length, cost, etc. Also, contact Dawn Master in the Bookstore and/or talk to your colleagues about options to decrease costs. Some possibilities include using more than one edition, custom textbooks, or committing to one textbook for many semesters (which allows the bookstore to purchase more used books). For some courses, different sections have very different textbook costs, so also check with other instructors about what they are using and why.
Important Upcoming Dates
- September 30 by 9:59 pm: Deadline for participating in the Early Concern process to help your students successfully complete your classes. See the 9/22 email from Kristy Snyder and the 9/27 email from Nicole Merz.
- October 1: Spring textbook orders are due. See 9/24 email from Dawn Master.
- October 7: Plan for Campus Lock-down Drills at 1:45 pm and 6:55 pm. These are listed in the official Academic Calendar each year to help you plan your classes around them; the official calendar can be found on the shared drive (All –> Academic Calendar).
- October 24: Deadline to request a 5 & 5 Classroom Assessment for one of your classes where a CTL Consultant will lead your students through an activity to create a list of 5 things for you to keep doing and 5 things to improve. You can read more about it here on our website. If you are ready to make a 5&5 request, please complete the 5 & 5 request form
Using videos or other multimedia files within D2L? Look at using MediaSpace (formerly known as Kaltura) to host your media content. You will have MnSCU (and FERPA) approved secure space to house all of your media AND the media you host will easily embed into D2L (without the hassle of broken links or other issues that commonly occur when you use D2L or other outside services host your content). Additionally, MediaSpace allows you to do Webcam Recording and ScreenCasting and it is ALL FREE! Contact the DRL for more information.
TEACHING TIP THEME
Want to link your course content to the upcoming election?
On November 4, Minnesota voters will elect a U.S. senator, U.S. House representatives, governor, other state constitutional officers, Minnesota House representatives, and many important local and county positions. Voters are encouraged to visit the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State at mnvotes.org to register to vote, get informed about the candidates and issues, view a sample ballot, find their polling place, as well as request an absentee ballot to vote early. See the following materials about voting and registering to vote (Thanks to Miki Huntington in Political Science for supplying all of this election information): Voter Registration, Election Day Registration 2014, 2014-guide-to-voting
A few suggestions for assignments/activities in conjunction with elections and political participation:
~ Have students visit the Congressional websites (www.senate.gov and www.house.gov) and identify their political representatives. Draft a letter to the Congressional representative on an issue of concern. References:
- Longley, R. (n.d.). “How to Write Letters to Congress.” Retrieved from http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/letterscongress.htm.
- Quaranta, J. (n.d.). “How to Write a Congressional Letter.” eHow.com. Retrieved from http://www.ehow.com/how_5915001_write-congressional-letter.html. WikiHow (n.d.). “How to Write Your Congressional Representative.” Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Write-Your-Congressional-Representative.
~ Encourage students to discover where they fall on the political spectrum by taking an informal quiz:
- I Side With- http://www.isidewith.com/
- Pew Research Center for the People and the Press: Political Typology Quiz – http://www.people-press.org/quiz/political-typology/
- PBS Where Do You Fit: Political Party Quiz – http://www.pbs.org/newshour/spc/vote2012/quiz/
- Advocates for Self Government: The World’s Smallest Political Quiz: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/quiz.php
~ View the following video: https://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_lesser_take_the_other_to_lunch. The premise is to go to lunch with someone who doesn’t agree with you and asking them three questions to find out what’s really in their hearts. Write a one-page summary of lessons learned. What did you learn that was new in the video? What did you learn that was surprising? Who will you take to lunch, and why?
~ Find a current event news article and describe using the 5Ws: who, what, when, where, why and how. Formulate a question for your classmates to consider and reply.
- Wednesday, October 8, 5-6:30 in L3100: learn about classes in the U of MN Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning (see insideMCTC for more information)
- Friday, October 10, 8-12:30 in T1400. Free. To register, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/homeless-youth-in-higher-education-transition-access-retention-completion-tickets-13027624977?ref=enivtefor001&invite=Njc2NDA3MS9NYXJ5QW5uLlByYWRvQG1pbm5lYXBvbGlzLmVkdS8w&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=inviteformalv2&utm_term=attend&ref=enivtefor001
- Tuesday, October 14, 9:00-3:00 at InverHills CC, regional summit focusing on alternative and affordable textbook options. (See 9/22 email from Dawn Master for more information.)
- October 21, noon-1:30 in H1002, Human Rights and Culture in Columbia and Sri Lanka (see 9/23 email from Alejandro Maya)
- Tuesday, October 28, noon-1, free (repeated) online webinar on Accessibility and Online Videos (http://www.eventbrite.com/o/minnesota-online-quality-initiative-7290950883)
- Thursday, October 30, 2-3:30 in H1002, Human Rights and Culture in Maldives and Morocco (see 9/23 email from Alejandro Maya)
- Tuesday, November 10, noon-1, free (repeated) online webinar on Course Design Basics (http://www.eventbrite.com/o/minnesota-online-quality-initiative-7290950883). Note, this is the same webinar we will show on 10/30 – see below
- Thursday, November 13, noon-1:30 in H1002, Human Rights of Children and Culture in Pakistan and Brazil (see 9/23 email from Alejandro Maya)
- Thursdays, 12:45-1:15 pm in Dance (in Bollman Hall), Atma Jyotih Sangha with Jennifer Mason
- October 7-21: Online workshops, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric. This workshop is good for anyone who is using online materials in a class. Much of the rubric is focused on general course design for any type of class (face-to-face, blended, or online). This workshop allows you to be an online “student” and see various ways others organize online materials.
- October 16-17 in St. Paul: Education Minnesota Professional Conference
- October 16-18 in Minneapolis: Global Learning in College
- Friday, October 24: Talk About Teaching 3:30-4:30 in T2000 and Topic TBA, Dinner 5-6:30 at TBA, MCTC Play 7 pm
- Friday, October 24, 8-12:30 at North Hennepin Community College: Improve Your Online Course Workshop
- Saturday, October 25 in Plymouth. Insisting on Equity. Registration decreases with number of participants; let us know if you plan to go.
- Monday, October 27, 2-3:30 pm in T2000, Faculty Development Committee meeting – join us to provide input on future faculty-development programming.
- Thursday, October 30, noon-1:00 pm, S2420, Webinar on Course Design Basics. Creating a course that is carefully aligned makes for a better learning experience for the students AND the instructor. This webinar will cover the basics of course alignment. It will include practical advice and tools you can use to help align your course including the use of the Quality Matters Rubric (TM) as a helpful instructional design tool. This webinar is open to faculty and staff from any MnSCU institution. Optional discussion to follow.
- November 11-25: Online workshops, Applying the Quality Matters Rubric. This workshop is good for anyone who is using online materials in a class. Much of the rubric is focused on general course design for any type of class (face-to-face, blended, or online). This workshop allows you to be an online “student” and see various ways others organize online materials.
- March 26-28, San Diego, Diversity Learning and Student Success: Assessing and Advancing Inclusion Excellence.
- Thursday, November 6: Dinner 5-6:30 at TBA, Film Fest 7-9 pm at Riverview Theater (http://resultsfilmfestival.com/ – These 3-minute films about Twin Cities neighborhoods provide scholarships for MCTC students)
- Wednesday, November 12, MCTC Student Success Day – watch for future emails
- Monday, November 24, 2-3:30 pm in T2000, Faculty Development Committee meeting – join us to provide input on future faculty-development programming.
- Monday, December 8, 2-3:30 pm in T2000, Faculty Development Committee meeting – join us to provide input on future faculty-development programming.
- Friday, December 12: Talk About Teaching 3:30-4:30 in T2000 and topic TBA, Dinner 5-6:30 at TBA, MCTC Winter Concert 7:30 pm