Week 6 Summer Teaching Tips

Textbook buyback. The MCTC Bookstore’s End of Summer Term Textbook Buyback is scheduled for July 22-23, 9am – 3pm in front of the Bookstore. Please help get the word out to students, thanks!

textbook buyback summer 2015

What are some upcoming faculty-development opportunities?

Featured upcoming event: D2L Brightspace: Getting Started. Free webinars for instructors who are new to D2L Brightspace | July 27- August 28 | Are you looking for opportunities to learn more about how to effectively set up your courses using D2L Brightspace? Brightspace is an integrated suite of web-based tools that help instructors manage their courses including content, discussion forums, assignments, grades and overall course design.

The MnSCU Special Interest Group: Learning Spaces & Instructional Technologies will be holding a series of free 1-hour webinars to get faculty who are new to D2L Brightspace up and running. Internet access available from home or campus – whichever works for you. Session size is limited!  Full description, dates and registration here.

Check the Events page of the CTL website for more upcoming faculty development opportunities!

I need to plan! How do I know what is going on next year?

2015-2016 Academic Calendar is the official calendar for Faculty Development Days, holidays, breaks, and other days when classes are not in session. The college also maintains communications of upcoming dates/events through the website Academic Calendar, as well as the InsideMCTC newsletter and MCTC employee blog.

Speaking of planning, what is going on during August 19, 20 & 21? CTL is co-planning these days (aka-Opening Days) with MCTC administrative leadership. We hope to have a published schedule before the end of summer term. Please do not schedule other meetings during these days, and please do not rely on these days for course prep as your participation in these days is critical (and for many faculty, required). Speak with your Dean if you have specific questions about your participation in Faculty Development Days.

What is stereotype threat, and how can I decrease it to increase student performance?

Stereotype threat refers to being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s group (Steele & Aronson, 1995). This term was first used by Steele and Aronson (1995) who showed in several experiments that Black college freshmen and sophomores performed more poorly on standardized tests than White students when their race was emphasized. When race was not emphasized, however, Black students performed better and equivalently with White students. The results showed that performance in academic contexts can be harmed by the awareness that one’s behavior might be viewed through the lens of racial stereotypes.  Click here to learn more. And here’s an  8-minute video overview of stereotype threat.

Some easy things you can do in your class to make your learning environment more inclusive​:

  • Convey the value of diversity.  For example, use examples of role models from in-groups, use diversity as a resource, and create a critical mass by helping students identify similarities between peers.
  • Support students’ sense of belonging.   For example, do not call attention to minority status or gender, remind students of in-group characteristics (e.g., “You’re all college students…”), foster inter-group conversations, and anonymize tests/assignments (or have students write name at end)
  • Help students manage feelings of stress.   For example, remind students that everyone feels tension, tell them about a time you struggled then prevailed, or use address pre-text anxiety.
  • Promote a growth mindset.  Remind students that the more we use our minds, the better they will work; praise efforts, not intelligence or results; and include teaching methods that help students develop thinking habits and study strategies.
  • Convey and expect high standards. Express to students that you have high standards for academic achievement and believe that all students are capable of achieving these high standards.
  • Give wise criticism.  Avoid bad criticism, undeserved praise, and non-feedback.

Do you want to go back to something in a previous Teaching Tips?  All of these are archived on our website through the News link, and the link is always in our email signature line.

How can I get relevant, confidential and timely feedback on my teaching? Request a 5&5 Assessment! For more information, or to place your request, please contact: ctl@minneapolis.edu by no later than Friday, July 10th. Due to reduced Summer CTL credits, availability is limited.

How can I learn more about using D2L Brightspace in my classes?  Contact drl@minneapolis.edu

Where can I get help with teaching or other parts of my teaching role?  Email ctl@minneapolis.edu

If you have ideas for future Teaching Tips or would like to write a guest blog post for the CTL blog, please contact Jennifer.Sippel@minneapolis.edu Thanks!

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