A New Faculty Focus Interview; plus, some things you may have missed…and some things to look forward to!

Happy November everyone!

Since it’s a new month, we are please to feature another faculty member as part of our “Faculty Focus” interviews. This month, we talked to Kurt Burch, faculty in Political Science. You can find our interview with him here. Email me (jennifer.miller@normandale.edu) by Friday with something interesting you learned about Kurt for a chance to win $3 in Lancer Bucks!  If you have someone that you think should be featured in this interview series, please email me as well.

Last week, Dr. Chris Jazwinski and Dr. Amanda Hemmesch gave a presentation entitled, “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success,” in which they discussed the importance of students’ mindset and sense of belonging to their success in college. If you missed this presentation, the resources have been posted on the CTL D2L page in the “CTL Hour Information” module. In addition to their PowerPoint and handout, links to several of the articles they cited have also been posted–thanks to Lacey Mamek for helping compile that list!

Have you been to a conference recently? We’re trying something new with the bulletin board space in F2201. Take your conference nametag and stick it on the bulletin board–and then look to see where others have gone. Find someone who has gone to a conference that interests you, and ask them about it!

This Friday’s Coffee Fix (November 9th) will be on the Rubrics tool in D2L.  Not using the Rubric tool in D2L? It’s not too late! Rubrics can be used simply to remind students of your grading criteria, or as an interactive grading tool linked to your D2L gradebook. Get help designing a new rubric, or uploading a generic one! The Coffee Fix will be held in L1753 from 10-12pm and again from 1-3pm. Drop in anytime!

As the end of the semester approaches, are you thinking about how best to assess student learning through exams? Here are two articles that might help you think through various strategies for exam structure and question writing:

    •  In a Two-Stage Exam, students take an exam individually. After they submit their answers, they split into groups of three to five students to go over the test together and discuss the answers. Curious to hear more about this approach? Check out this article from The Chronicle.
    • When writing an exam, how do you choose among the many different types of exam questions? This article from Faculty Focus reviews the advantages and disadvantages of the most commonly used types of exam questions, including multiple choice, short answer, true-false, essay, and test bank item questions.

Finally, here are a few upcoming things to look forward to:

  • On Monday, November 19th, we will be holding a CTL workshop on how to help alleviate student anxiety about tests, presentations, etc. Watch for a calendar invitation this week!
  • Blended/Hybrid course design training is coming! You asked for it, you got it. We are working on rolling out a series of robust materials and trainings for instructional design and best practices for Blended/Hybrid courses. Watch next week’s Chalk & Pixels for a survey to help us identify your biggest challenges. You can also email Kathleen Coate with suggestions of what we should provide that will help you create or improve your Blended/Hybrid courses.
  • And last but not least, Minnesota State is working to develop Opendora, a repository for open educational resources. Opendora is currently accessible as a stand-alone resource, but Minnesota State is working to integrate it into D2L. Stay tuned for more information!

Have a great week, everyone!

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