Holiday Gift List, CTL Style: Book Recommendations, DTL Help, and more

This afternoon, I wanted to start off with two book recommendations–holiday gift list ideas, perhaps, or something to curl up with over the semester break:

  • 51vQE0iFYcL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_The first is Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother by Sonia Nozario.  This book is the focus of the Minnesota State Spring 2018 Book Group.  Faculty and staff throughout the system will be provided with opportunities to discuss the book using D2L Brightspace and Adobe Connect; they are also encouraged to connect with other faculty and staff on their campuses to discuss the book in person.  Here at Normandale, we have ordered several copies of the book, and they have been placed on 2-week loan in the library.  If you are interested in participating in a campus version of the book group, please email Jen Miller (jennifer.miller@normandale.edu).

51-ryYUNdEL

  • The second, Teaching College: The Ultimate Guide to Lecturing, Presenting, and Engaging Students, is a recommendation from St. Paul College, which is bringing in the author Norman Eng for their January development day.  It’s a great choice for those new to teaching, as well as seasoned educators looking for new ideas.

Also, as we near the end of the semester, remember that Kathleen Coate has both regular D2L drop-in hours this week, and then extended drop-in hours during finals week:

d2l regular drop in hours 2017

d2l extended finals week hours 2017

And last but not least, the New England Literacy Resource Center at World Education is presentation a webinar on Thursday, December 7 from 1-2:30 PM CST entitled “How to be an Effective Ally to Adult Students.”  This webinar will address some of the “real and perceived threats based on some aspect of their identities – race, immigrant status, gender identity, etc.” that our adult students have to face, and explore the role that educators can play in “creating safety, dispelling myths, and building the capacity of students to engage civically [sic] for their rights.”  Registration information can be found here.

Hang in there, everyone–we’ve almost made it!

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CTL Hour Today: Managing Students in Distress

Join us this afternoon in A2552 from 3-4 PM for a timely session on “Managing Students in Distress: Inside and Outside the Classroom.”  Dr. Amy Wagener and Lavonne Evenson will cover common mental health issues experienced by students; will help faculty define, understand, and respond to students’ crisis situations, including strategies for both inside the classroom and one on one; will look at how to set appropriate boundaries with students; and will cover where to refer/with whom to consult on campus during a crisis situation.

A list of on and off-campus resources for handling a crisis situation in the moment and for referring students to afterward will also be provided.

We hope you can join us!

If you can’t make it, look for handouts on the CTL D2L page or stop by the Professional Development Center on Wednesday, November 22 from 1-3 PM to find out what you missed.

Also, the last Coffee Fix of the semester will be on Friday, December 1, and it will cover issues related to the gradebook.  There will be TWO sessions that day in P1802–one from 10 AM-12 PM, and another from 12-2 PM.  Faculty can drop in any time between 10 and 2, or come at the beginning of each session for an overview of “common tasks” and then get help with individual questions.

Here are a few more upcoming opportunities/events:

Continue reading

(Nearing the) End of the semester resources: mental health, gradebook help, and more!

Next Monday, November 20th, Dr. Amy Wagener (Licensed Psychologist and Director of Mental Health and Wellness at Normandale) and Lavonne Evenson, M.S. (Licensed Professional Counselor in the Normandale Counseling Department) will present “Managing Students in Distress: Inside and Outside the Classroom.”

This presentation will cover common mental health issues experienced by students; will help faculty define, understand, and respond to students’ crisis situations, including strategies for both inside the classroom and one on one; will look at how to set appropriate boundaries with students; and will cover where to refer/with whom to consult on campus during a crisis situation.

A list of on and off-campus resources for handling a crisis situation in the moment and for referring students to afterward will also be provided.

This presentation will be held on Monday, November 20th from 3-4 PM in A2552.  We hope to see you there!

There are also two more Friday Coffee Fixes in L1735 this semester:

  • On Friday, November 17th, Kathleen will be covering templates & design strategies: Did you know that D2L has pre-made content designs that you can use for robust, interactive Content files?? Come learn how to get them into your class.
  • On Friday, December 1st, she will go over the gradebook:  Prepare for finals!  Make sure everything is set up correctly, and learn best practices for releasing and submitting student grades.

Extra gradebook help will also be available on Monday, December 18 and Tuesday, December 19–stay tuned for more information!

Here are a few other tidbits that might be of interest: Continue reading

Help Us Redesign our Syllabus Checklist! (plus other development opportunities)

This afternoon (Monday, October 30th), from 3-4 pm in A2552, the Center for Teaching and Learning needs your help!  We want to revise our syllabus checklist, and we’re looking for your input.

  • How do you present syllabus information to your students?
  • How do you balance being thorough with being inviting?
  • How do you creatively engage your students while still conveying important information?

During this afternoon’s workshop, we will review best practices in accessible syllabus design, while also brainstorming for ways to be more creative and engaging.  Not only will we serve cookies, but maybe you’ll come away with a few ideas for how to improve your own syllabi for Spring 2018, as well!

If you can’t make the session, stop the Professional Development Center (L1735) on Wednesday, November 1 from 1-3 PM to find out what you missed or to share your thoughts on what we could change.

Here are some other upcoming events from both near and far…. Continue reading

Improving Design from Syllabus to Online Course; plus, do you know a great teacher?

Welcome back from Fall Break–hopefully it was relaxing and re-energizing!

This Friday, October 27th, there will be no D2L drop-in hours.  Kathleen Coate will be at the Improving Your Online Course workshop in Rochester.  More information about this workshop can be found here.  If you are interested in attending, please let her know today!

Next Monday, October 30th, the Center for Teaching and Learning needs your help!  We want to revise our syllabus checklist and we’re looking for your input.  How do you present syllabus information to your students?  How do you balance thoroughness with being inviting?  How do you creatively engage your students while still conveying important information?  During this workshop, we will review best practices in accessible syllabus design, while also brainstorming for ways to be more creative and engaging (such as these ideas from the Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning about incorporating visual material into a syllabus).  Come ready to review the syllabus checklist and offer your input–and maybe you’ll come away with a few ideas for how to improve your own syllabi for Spring 2018!

If you are wondering which forms of assessment best support student learning, this article by Grahm Gibbs and Claire Simpson might be of interest.  And if you don’t really have time to read anything else right now, the Tomorrow’s Professor blog at Stanford has helpfully summarized it for us!

And last but not least, do you know a really great teacher?

From the recent Normandale News emails: “Here’s your chance to honor your favorite Normandale faculty member. Up to three nominees will be identified as Normandale’s candidates for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees Excellence in Teaching award. Please write a few sentences or more (50 words minimum) about what made that person such an excellent instructor for you. These are the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system’s criteria; include as many as you can. Feel free to leave any out, though, if you have no knowledge about them or nothing to say. Thanks for supporting your Normandale Faculty!

  • Skilled teaching that fosters student learning and adapts to student needs.
  • Exceptional subject knowledge that is current and engages students.
  • Assessment methods that include both grading and teaching for student success.
  • High standards focused on student learning; with the support students need to reach them.
  • Service to students, the college, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the professional community.

Send an email with your nomination by 4 pm, Monday, Oct. 30, to Vice President for Academic Affairs, Julie Guelich, at julie.guelich@normandale.edu.

For further information, contact co-chairs Bridget Fitzpatrick at 952-358-9062 or Patrick O’Donnell at 952-358-8684.”

Thanks all for today!

Edit: This post formerly contained information about a workshop at the University of Minnesota on increasing student motivation.  Unfortunately, that workshop is only open to faculty at the U of M so that information has been removed.