Week 13 Teaching Tips

Hello Faculty,

Welcome to Week 13!  This message includes a list of CTL programming this week, a re-cap of our Student Success Day programming, tips for increasing active learning, continuation of exploration of what is good teaching, and faculty-development opportunities.

CTL programming this week

  • Monday, November 17, noon-1 pm: free webinar in the DRL on Leveraging D2L Discuss Board to Engage Your Students (http://www.eventbrite.com/o/minnesota-online-quality-initiative-7290950883)
  • Monday, November 17, 2-3:30, T2000, Faculty Development Committee Meeting
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2-3 pm: free webinar in S2420 on Rockin’ Online with Great Course Design. This webinar should be useful to anyone teaching with an online presence, and we can stay and discuss the webinar after it.  “In this webinar, we will address many of the unsuccessful development practices that result in poor quality courses and produce confused, disengaged, and isolated students. We’ll discuss a variety of online teaching best practices such as instructor presence, building community, multiple learning opportunities, amplified assistance, and customized feedback. Find out how small gestures have high impact and walk away with an understanding of how these best practices enhance the learning experience that will rock your next online course!”   (http://www.eventbrite.com/o/minnesota-online-quality-initiative-7290950883)
  • Thursday, November 20, 1-2 pm in T2000Informational Session about New Faculty Teaching Circle.  See 11/10 email from the CTL for more information.
  • Friday, November 21, 11-noon in T2000, Informational Session about Course Makeover Teaching Circle.  See 11/10 email from the CTL for more information.

CTL Student Success Day Re-cap

  • The CTL Open House had 14 faculty members come in for coffee, treats, conversation, and prizes.  Leann Scalia won a $5 Starbucks gift card, Katrice Ziefle won a $25 Startline gift card, and Liz Pauly won a coffee with a CTL consultant (all prizes were donated by Faculty Development Committee members)
  • Student panelists openly shared their experiences with race at MCTC, and the panel was followed with discussion with the 13 faculty, 3 administrators, and 11 students present.  Many topics were discussed, and some things we can do as educators include (1) getting to know our students and their cultures, (2) lecturing less and engaging them more, (3) improving group work.  Thank you to Ruthanne Crapo, Lisa Bergin, and Ed Dillon for facilitating the discussions.
  • Thank you to Melissa O’Connor and Michael Kuhne for facilitating discussions and recruiting students to discuss books read in your classes.  The discussion of “What the Best College Students Do” had two faculty and 28 students in attendance.  The discussion of “Back to School” and “How Children Learn” had three faculty, one staff, and 22 students in attendance.  These books are available for purchase in the bookstore, and the CTL has copies of the latter two.

How can I use employ active learning and hands-on teaching?

What is good teaching?

Last year, we used the Teaching Tips to go through Chickering and Gamson’s 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education and Ken Bain’s book “What the Best College Teachers Do” (based on Dee Fink’s summary).  At the May all-faculty session, we reviewed these summaries and introduced a table of “Common characteristics of culturally responsive and competent educators.”  In each of the remaining Teaching Tips emails this semester, we will focus on one of the six parts of the table and look the overlap between these three documents.  We will then look at ways in which we can improve our courses this semester and as we look forward to future semesters based on these summaries.

Common characteristics of culturally responsive & competent educators 7 Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education What the Best College Teachers Do
Employing Active Learning and Hands-On Teaching:

“The most effective classroom practices are hands-on, cooperative, and culturally aligned.  There is less emphasis on lecture.  As Ladson-Billings says, educators should ‘dig knowledge out of students’ rather than ‘fill then up with it’.

See above for ideas to help with this.

  • ​Encourages active learning
  • ​Use good learning activities: (1) authentic tasks, (2) collaboration, (3) find sources of information, (4) reflective activities.
  • Use first day of course in special way.
  • Intense desire to continuously learn about their subject and teaching & learning rather than lukewarm level of learning about their subject and no interest in learning about teaching/learning..


  • Thursdays, 12:45-1:15 pm in Library Breathing Room, Atma Jyotih Sangha with Jennifer Mason
  • Dec. 5, 2014 from 9:00 – 4:00 face-to-face Applying the Quality Matters Rubric (APPQMR) session at Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Moorhead, MN (http://minnesota.qualitymatters.org/)
  • 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
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