And We’re Off!

Happy First Day of Classes, everyone! We at the Center for Teaching and Learning hope that your semester is off to a great start. If there is anything that we can do to support you in your faculty development this semester, please contact one of the three CTL campus leaders:

  • Jen Miller (, Faculty Development Coordinator
  • Kathleen Coate (, D2L and Online Learning Trainer
  • Betsy Longley (, Assessment Coordinator

Here are some of the programs, drop-in-hours, and other ways of helping that we are offering this spring:

  • First, if you are looking for D2L or online learning help, here is Kathleen’s schedule for this spring, including Friday Coffee Fixes, which are select Fridays from 8:30-10:30 AM.
  • If you are looking for money to fund faculty development efforts within your department as a whole, you can apply for CTL funding! Maybe you want to bring a speaker to campus, or perhaps your whole department wants to attend a local workshop. Simply fill out this application, making sure you explain why your proposed event would help with faculty development. If you’re looking for ideas, email Jen and she can help!
  • Last but not least, if you are looking for assessment help, specifically a solid foundation in the fundamentals of assessment, you should consider attending the Assessment Boot Camp on Friday, April 10th from 9 AM to 3 PM. More information can be found on this flier.

Some other items that may be of interest as well:

And last but not least, CTL is working to once again select a Common Book for the 2020/2021 Academic Year, and we’d like your help! The Common Book program is designed to engaged faculty, staff, and students across campus in interdisciplinary conversations centered on a common text. Past Common Books include A Good Time for the Truth (edited by Sun Ying Shin), The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Skloot), and The Round House (Louise Erdrich).

Tom Maltman, Faculty in English and long-time participant in the Common Book program, has a compelling list of benefits the Common Book program can provide to our campus and community:

  1. Can help create lifelong learners
  2. Fosters cross-curricular discussions and learning
  3. Connects the campus to real issues in the larger world
  4. Invigorate stale teaching practices by providing instructors with fresh curriculum and a pedagogical pooling of ideas
  5. Creates the possibility for campus-wide discussions and bridges between Normandale and Twin Cities community
  6. Builds knowledge, empathy, and imagination–all attributes we hope for in future citizens

When selecting a Common Book, we hope to find texts that are inexpensive, appealing to a variety of academic disciplines, and at a reading level that is accessible even to students below college level. It’s a bonus if the author would be available to come read or present their work on campus.

If you have suggestions for possible Common Book candidates, or if you would like to be involved in helping shape this program, please email Jen Miller ( with your suggestions and ideas.

Have a great week, everyone!

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