Week 8 Summer Teaching Tips

When/how do I post summer grades? An email was sent to all faculty (from Sara Clark) on Tuesday, July 14th with the following information: All final grades for full term Summer 2015 courses must be posted in e-services on or before Wednesday, July 29th, 2015 by 11:59 pm. You may begin posting final grades for full term summer courses on Friday, July 17th, 2015. For classes that are not full term, your grading windows are as follows: three full days after the end of the term. Drafts will open seven days before the last day of the term. Posting can begin three days before the end of the term. If you are teaching a short term course that ends (has ended) before the end of summer semester, you may post grades once the course has ended. Once a short term course has finished, please enter grades as soon as you are able to do so. A copy of the instructions for both Grade Entry, and submitting grade changes have been attached for your convenience. The documents are also available on the share drive at S:\Faculty\Grade Entry. Need to change or correct a grade? Please see attached “How to submit grade changes”

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.

What is happening during Opening Days (August 19, 20 & 21)?  CTL will be offering an All Faculty Session on Thursday, August 20th, from 8am until 10am and Faculty Breakout Sessions will take place from 10:15-11:45 immediately following. Time has also been set aside for an all college session, an MSCF potluck, Coordinators meeting, PDD meetings, and Common Course Outline project work. Administration will also be scheduling sessions to engage in critical dialogues with faculty.

The complete schedule for these days will be sent out via various communications, including in a letter from Avelino that will accompany faculty appointment letters (anticipated to be sent out next week), as well as InsideMCTC announcements. Speak with your Dean if you have specific questions about your participation in Faculty Development Days.

What is universal design, and how can I use it to increase learning? “While courses, technology, and student services are typically designed for the narrow range of characteristics of the average student, the practice of universal design in education (UDE) considers people with a wide range of characteristics in the design of all educational products and environments. UDE goes beyond accessible design for people with disabilities to make all aspects of the educational experience more inclusive for students, parents, staff, instructors, administrators, and visitors with a great variety of characteristics. These characteristics include those related to gender, race and ethnicity, age, stature, disability, and learning style.​” Click here to learn more!  Here’s a 13-minute video overview of universal design and strategies to use to help you classes be more inclusive.

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

  • Use video captions. If you show a video in class, turn the captions on. If you provide links to videos, choose ones with text or captions. This will not only help students with reduced hearing but also students who are English-language learners, visual learners, etc.
  • Post class materials online before class to provide all text in a digital format​. This can help all students prepare for class, can help students who need to miss class, and can help students who need to convert materials (for example, into braille). If a student can read your class materials and gain as much learning as attending class, then modify your materials and class time so that students gain learning in class that they could not gain on their own.
  • Provide various ways for all students to participate. If you like to pose questions to the class and hear responses from a few students, first have students do a pair up to answer the question so that all students get the chance to respond in their pairs. If students are assessed for participation, provide multiple ways for students to participate such as writing their answers in class and turning them in, bringing resources to the class/group in the next class session, posting on online Discussion between classes, or submitting a response online or in the next class. As we heard from the disability student panel next week, writing or speaking in class can create anxiety for students, and these methods can allow students to participate in other ways.
  • Experiment with moving the tables and chairs in your classroom to see what works best for you and your students. For example, if you have an interpreter in your class, moving tables so students sit in a circle provides more places that the interpreter and student can communicate.
  • Include various types of assessments in your classes so that students have many ways to demonstrate skills. Including many low-stakes assessments can reduce anxiety for all students (and can help to decrease cheating). These might be ungraded tasks in class or between classes or smaller assignments or quizzes building up to larger assignments or exams. Scaffolding skills can help all learners.
  • Include various teaching methods and order of activities in your classes. Some students love lectures and some hate them. Breaking up your lectures with activities or breaking up your activities with explanations and clarifications can help all students. Different students not only benefit from different learning strategies but also different sequences of activities. For example, some students learn best by first hearing an explanation then seeing a visual, and other students might learn best in the opposite order.

What should I read over the break? CTL invites you to read any of the following books to discuss during Fall Opening Days (Aug19-21, 2015):

Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves A Second Chance at Education by Mike Rose

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji

Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses by L. Dee Fink

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown

Pedagogy of the Oppressed* by Paul Freire

*facilitated discussions of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will be scheduled on an ongoing basis during Fall 2015 semester.

CTL made copies of these books available for checkout through the Resource Library in T2000. You are invited to stop by to see if there are any copies available before purchasing yourself, or check your local library.

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 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

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