Welcome Back!

Hi all! I hope everyone had a wonderful break, and that you are coming back to campus refreshed, relaxed, and energized for the upcoming semester!

As you are thinking about the start of classes next week, the Center for Teaching and Learning would like to highlight a few resources that might be useful.

For starters, I’d like to draw your attention to some of the amazing breakout sessions that we have scheduled for our Development Day this Friday, January 11:

  • The “Hot Topics in Teaching” session, during which members of the Teaching Circles will share what they have learned about active learning and culturally responsive pedagogy during the fall semester. Come take advantage of what your colleagues have learned!
  • Betsy Longley’s “Assessing Student Learning: Making Connections” session will help faculty think about how they can help students connect what they learn with the bigger picture, so they will be more likely to remember the material one, five, or even 20 years from now.
  • Mary O’Brien will be coming from Winona State University to share her expertise in hybrid course design. She will be offering two sessions–one on the basics of hybrid design, and the second on online assessment and engagement. Much of the material that Mary will share will be useful to any instructor who uses online components in their classes–not just those who teach hybrid classes.

Also, this week, The Chronicle of Higher Education had a great article on “How to Teach a Good First Day of Class.” Those of you looking to work on your syllabi might also enjoy their guide on “How to Create a Syllabus.” And don’t forget–the Center for Teaching and Learning has lots of course design material as well, including the syllabus checklist, planning worksheets for instructional modules, and a resource page for students that you can include in your syllabus. All of this can be found on the CTL D2L page under “Materials–>Content–>Course Design.” There are lots of resources there, so do some digging and see what you can find!

We know that many of you are wondering whether this Development Day will address the violent events of last month. Certainly, administrators will be speaking to these events. Those of you who are more specifically looking for training might find John Parker Der-Boghossian’s session on responding to flash-points useful, as well as Betsy Longley’s session on small changes that can help foster a sense of belonging in the classroom.

Please also know that larger conversations about safety on campus are already underway, and we would encourage you to watch for ways that you can be a part of those conversations. If you have other, specific requests for training, please let us know, and we will work to incorporate these requests into our spring semester faculty development schedule.

Last but not least, on a slightly different note: if you have an idea for “how to address obstacles to student success by using existing technologies, resources, or practices in innovative ways,” you might want to consider applying for an Innovation Funding grant through Minnesota State. More information about these grants, as well as information about how to apply, can be found here. The deadline is this Friday, January 11–sorry for the late notice!

See you all on Friday!


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