Back to School is Around the Corner!

back-to-school-1622789Are you ready?

As you start thinking about going back to school, here are some training opportunities to note:

  • D2L Crash Course: Tuesday, Aug. 21st, 9am-12pm, Room A2556.  Learn the basics of D2L – stuff you need to know before classes start!  Coffee and refreshments provided. Please RSVP to
  • Fall Development Days: Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23, 8 AM – 4:15 PM. Stay tuned for more details about breakout sessions!
  • It’s not too late to take the “Videos for All” Survey! Earn $3 in Lancer Bucks, AND/OR a chance for $25 Lancer Bucks!  The drawing will take place on August 22nd during Development Days. Click here for the survey:  (Login using your Office 365 credentials:  [YourStarID], and your Star ID password.)

Also,  as you are starting to put together your syllabi, remember that you can use the updated syllabus checklist to help you out. This checklist is available on the CTL D2L page under “Content”–>”Course Design”–>”Syllabus Resources.” Also there is a page of campus resources that you can include as part of your syllabus; we will be posting the “Fall 2018” version of this resource page as soon as we can.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your campus CTL leaders if you have any questions, or if you have ideas about fall workshops or programs:

  • Jen Miller (faculty development),
  • Kathleen Coate (D2L training and online learning),
  • Betsy Longley (assessment),

Finals Week Updates and a Summer Preview

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s finals week already!  Wasn’t it just a few days ago that we got a blizzard?  And isn’t there still snow by the parking garage?

Anyways, as you finish up your semesters, here are a few things to look forward to over the summer and heading into next fall:

  • Meg Hatton is once again organizing a summer faculty reading group. Watch for an email from her about times and the exciting book that the group will be reading!
  • Teaching Circles is undergoing some exciting changes for 2018-19!! Participants will now receive a $500 stipend upon completion of the program!!  Two Teaching Circles groups will be offered this coming fall on the topics of “Culturally Responsive Pedagogy” and “Teaching Through Active Learning.”  Submit your application form (available here) to Ruth Robinson (F2205) as soon as possible.  Applications received by May 15th will receive the highest priority.
  • In 2018-2019, Robert Frame will once again collect information from faculty interested in “adding to their toolbox” by observing other NCC instructors in the Informal Peer Observation option.  Watch for an invitation – early in fall 2018! – to indicate your interest.

Also, if you need D2L help over finals week, here is Kathleen’s schedule:

Finals Week Schedule:

Mon 5/7 9am-12pm; 5-6 by appt only
Tues 5/8 9am-4pm; 4-6 by appt only
Wed 5/9 2pm-4pm; 4-6 by appt only
Thurs 5/10 10am-2pm
Fri 5/11 9am-2pm
Mon 5/14 9am-4pm; 4-6pm by appt
Tues 5/15 9am-3pm

Kathleen is also offering a number of summer workshops on topics including using advanced features to engage students and the D2L Cloud migration.  More information about these workshops can be found here.

One workshop that is particularly exciting is the “Videos for All” session, held on both May 22nd and June 26th.  Normandale has received money to improve our video captioning process–faculty are invited to these workshops to learn more about using video in their courses and creating their own videos.  The first 10 faculty to RSVP to Kathleen Coate will receive a free microphone/headset and the option to download Camtasia onto their work computer!  More information can be found here.

As part of this “Videos for All” project, faculty are also invited to take a survey!

The first 20 respondents will receive $3 in “Lancer Bucks,” good at any of the campus food venues. ALL survey participants prior to August 22nd will be entered into a drawing for $25 in Lancer Bucks.

The drawing will take place on August 22nd during Development Days.

The “Videos for All” survey can be found here.

To enter the survey, login with your Office 365 credentials:

Login with: [YourStarID]

Password: [YourStarIDPassword]

Last, but not least, Minnesota State has developed a resource promoting best practices in online teaching.  Take a look over the summer and see if you can use these guidelines to help improve your own online courses or content!

Thanks, everyone, for all you did this year to make CTL programming a success!  If you have suggestions for workshops or speakers next year, please let us know.  And in the meantime, have a fantastic summer!

Last CTL Hour of the Semester: Addressing Grief in the Classroom

As the semester winds down, we know that you have a lot going on–grading, writing finals, grading, catching up on committee work, and oh, maybe some more grading!  In spite of all this busy-ness, we hope you can join us for the last CTL hour of this semester:

Addressing Grief in the Classroom

When something tragic happens–whether on campus, in society, or in the personal lives of you or your students–it can often affect what happens in class, sometimes in unexpected ways.  Join us as we listen to a panel of experts share their perspectives on how to handle disclosing tragic events, class discussions, personal disclosures, and other aspects of addressing grief and its possible impacts on the classroom.

Our panelists will be Dr. Amy Wagener, Dr. Theresa Glaser, and Angie Effertz.  We will meet from 3-4 pm in A2552, and there WILL be cookies!

Also, D2L Drop-in help has extended hours for Finals Week! Come on down to L1735 (lower level from the Library entrance) for answers to your questions.

Finals Week D2L Drop-in Schedule:

  • Mon 5/7 9am-12pm; 5-6 by appt only
  • Tues 5/8 9am-4pm; 4-6 by appt only
  • Wed 5/9 2pm-4pm; 4-6 by appt only
  • Thurs 5/10 10am-4pm
  • Fri 5/11 9am-4pm
  • Mon 5/14 9am-4pm; 4-6pm by appt only
  • Tues 5/15 9am-3pm

Note: If you know when you’re coming, please give a Kathleen Coate a heads up – priority will be given to appointments made during drop-in hours.

As you move forward into the summer, there are several additional professional development opportunities to look forward to:

  • Ruth Robinson will once again be organizing Teaching Circles for 2018-2019, but there will be some exciting changes to the program.  Stay tuned for more information later this week!
  • Also, Meg Hatton will be hosting the Summer Faculty Reading Group again this summer.  Watch for an email from her about times and the exciting book that the group will be reading!

And if you want to use the summer to catch up on your reading, here are two book recommendations:

  • The Pedagogy of REAL Talk by Paul Hernandez, which provides strategies for building rapport with students, which then lead to more engaged, successful students.  (Email Jen Miller if you would like to borrow a copy of this book)
  • Adjunct Faculty Voices, edited by Roy Fuller, Marie Kendall Brown, Kimberly Smith, and Adrianna Kezar.  As more and more faculty are employed as adjuncts, rather than in tenure-track positions, this essay collection offers valuable perspectives on the challenges of such work, as well as practices that adjunct faculty have employed to successfully overcome such challenges.

Hang in there, everyone!  We are almost done 🙂

Upcoming CTL Hours and conferences here at Normandale

As we move into the final weeks of the semester, here are some upcoming events and faculty development opportunities to help keep you going strong to the end:

On Monday, April 16th, we have not one but TWO faculty development opportunities!

  • A Discussion of Richard Leider’s Book The Power of Purpose—3-4 pm in A2552
    During this session, faculty will go more in-depth with Richard Leider’s work on purpose.  They will have the opportunity to complete his “Calling Cards” exercise, which helps participants discover their gifts, as well as discuss key themes and ideas from The Power of Purpose.
    Presenters: Dara Hagen, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Jen Miller, Faculty in English
  • Escape Rooms—2:30-5:30 pm in the Kopp Student Center
    Phi Theta Kappa will be hosting three different escape rooms, where participants have about 30 minutes to work together to unlock the solution of the room.  This event is open to both faculty and students; faculty can participate by forming a team of 4 faculty members, by inviting students from their classes to participate, or by being available to help groups in need of an extra participant.  This presents a unique opportunity on campus to practice team building and leadership, all while having fun!
    Presented by Phi Theta Kappa; email to sign up or for more info

Monday, April 30th is the final CTL hour of the semester.  We will be having a panel discussion about various strategies for addressing grief in the classroom, whether it is caused by personal loss, the death of a fellow classmate or faculty member, or the themes or content of the course itself.  This session will be held from 3-4 PM in A2552.  We hope to see you there!

Additionally, this Friday, April 13th, is the D2L Connection: Minnesota Edition conference right here at Normandale!  There will be no Friday Coffee Fix because of this, but you can still register for the conference here.

A few more opportunities and articles that might be of interest:

  • For those interested in assessing students’ prior learning, Minnesota State is hosting the Credit for Prior Learning Academy on Friday, April 20th from 8 AM to 2:30 PM at Normandale.  Participants will explore multiple approaches for assessing prior learning; more details, including registration information, can be found here.
  • Patrick Sullivan’s piece entitled “Shaping the Public Narrative about Teaching and Learning” is an empowering reminder about the power of our voices as educators to influence the public’s view of higher education.  This article originally appeared in the Summer/Fall 2017 issue of Liberal  Education, a publication of the Association of American Colleges and Universities–this whole issue, in fact, is filled with valuable perspectives on how to create more inclusive classrooms.
  • The Tomorrow’s Professor blog has an article about how to ask questions in class in a way that generates student response, rather than silence.

Have a great week, everyone!

Spring is coming! Freshen up your teaching with these upcoming development opportunities!

spring-06Despite Monday’s weather, spring is definitely on its way–and with it, many opportunities to breathe fresh air into your classroom.

This week’s Friday Coffee Fix (10-12 and 1-3 in L1735) focuses on the D2L Cloud migration – this will be of interest to those teaching in the 1st summer session. We will discuss the downtime involved (small window) as well as what new features will be there after the migration.

Also, there are three very easy ways to improve your online teaching:

  • D2L Connection: Minnesota Edition (April 13, 2018 at Normandale)
  • Minnesota eLearning Summit (August 1-2, 2018 at the U of M)
  • Quality Matters Workshops (ongoing)

If you are interested, contact Kathleen Coate, Normandale’s D2L Trainer, who has made signing up for these conferences about as easy as it could possibly be.

A few other resources to note:

  • If you missed the session from Recharge Normandale Day about using smartphones in the classroom, those resources have been posted online on the CTL D2L page.
  • Here is an article from the Tomorrow’s Professor blog about strategies for facilitating better online discussion.
  • Century College is offering On Course workshops in May.  On Course provides educators with strategies for empowering their students to be more active, responsible learners.  More information, including pricing, can be found here.

One last note: Kathleen Coate will not be holding D2L drop-in hours this Thursday, March 29.

Have a great week, everyone!