Love the Olympics? We have medal-worthy CTL content of our own right here!

Here’s hoping everyone had a wonderful long weekend, with plenty of luge, bobsled, and curling (if that’s your thing)!

As we get back into the swing of things, here are a few reminders:

In case you have missed it, big changes are coming to Office 365!  This week’s Friday Coffee Fix will cover a lot of information about the changes, so make sure you stop by L1735 from 10-12 or again from 1-3.  If you can’t make the Coffee Fix, you can stop by L1735 to chat with Kathleen Coate during her drop-in hours (with the exception this week of Thursday, when she won’t be holding them).

Please also remember that students will not be able to access their current Office 365 accounts from Friday, Feb. 23 at 6 pm until Monday, Feb. 26.  Keep this in mind as you create due dates, etc.  Students CAN start using their new Office 365 already, however, and this will be available all weekend.  To login, students should visit

Book orders for summer semester are due today!  Tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 21), links will be sent out for Fall 2018 orders; these orders are due by Monday, March 12th.

Here is some information to help the book ordering process go more smoothly:

Here is the site for ordering your books.  Log in using your Normandale email address. For those that may have forgotten their passwords, please note the password reset link on the log in page. Please call 952-358-9130 should you have any issues logging in.

Here is a list of important reminders about the book order process.

Here, also, is a video that explains how to complete your order:

If you have any other questions, here are the people to contact:

  • Technical questions: Chris Peterson
  • Book-specific questions: Shanna Ross
  • Rental questions: Tiffany Dresen

Congratulations to Xiaosheng Li, who just received certification through Quality Matters for Calculus 3!  Xiaosheng joins several other Normandale faculty who have completed this process to ensure nationally-recognized certification for their online courses. You can find more information here.

Some other opportunities and articles of interest:

Continue reading


This is NOT a Tide ad! CTL Reminders on Super Bowl Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!  We hope you enjoyed the Super Bowl (and the commercials!) yesterday if that’s your thing 🙂

Information from last week’s CTL Hour “What You Need to Know About Student Absences Related to Pregnancy, Parenting, and Disability” is now available on the Center for Teaching and Learning D2L page.  If you have additional questions about these accommodation requirements, please contact one of the campus CTL leaders, a member of the OSD staff, or one of the members of the campus Title IX team.

Last week’s Chalk & Pixels had a great FAQ about issues related to the domain change, as well as the upcoming Office 365 migration.  Take a look to get some clarity about these technology changes!  You can also stop by L1735 on Friday between 10 and noon, and then again between 1 and 3, for this week’s “Friday Coffee Fix,” which covers both integrating Office 365 with D2L as well as any questions you might have about the Office 365 migration.  There will be hot chocolate and Girl Scout cookies, too 🙂

Also, the Center for Teaching and Learning will be hosting a breakout session on Recharge Normandale Day about cellphone use in the classroom.  If you have great ideas on this topic that you’d like to share–ideas about how to creatively integrate smart technology, as well as ideas about how to limit the distractions of technology–please email Jen Miller ( and let her know what you’re thinking.

Here are some other faculty development opportunities you might be interested in: Continue reading

Things You Need to Know About Student Absences and Domain Changes

Good morning all!

Did you know that faculty members are legally required to make attendance-related accommodations for students who are pregnant or parenting, or who have a disability registered with the Office for Students with Disabilities?

On Monday, January 29th, CTL, together with staff from the Office of Students with Disabilities, is giving the presentation “What You Need to Know About Student Absences Related to Pregnancy, Parenting, and Disability.”

Come to this session to learn about federal legislation that may affect your classes, as well as to hear about ways that you might accommodate pregnant/parenting students or those with disabilities while still maintaining the rigor and integrity of your courses.

This presentation will take place on Monday, January 29th from 3-4 pm in A2552.  We hope to see you there!

Also, are you struggling to keep all the emails about technology changes straight?  Here are some things to help you out!

  • IT has created a website about the upcoming Office 365 migration, with both FAQs and a checklist for both faculty and students.  A lot of the information in the FAQ is for students, which can be a bit confusing–make sure you are looking for information directed at faculty and staff.
  • Also, the Friday Coffee Fixes on Friday February 9 AND February 23 will help faculty work through any questions or challenges that they might be experiencing with the Office 365 migration, as well as offer strategies about how to integrate this technology into D2L.
  • And as always, if you have any questions, please contact Jen Miller, Kathleen Coate, or another member of the CTL team!

Here are a few other things you might be interested in, as well:

  • Here are some strategies from Stanford’s Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning blog on how to develop rapport with students and build a positive classroom climate.
  • The Minnesota D2L conference is being held right here at Normandale on April 13th!  If you are interested in presenting at the conference, proposals are due Feb. 1.  More information about both presenting and general registration can be found here.
  • The 2018 “E”ffordability summit, which addresses the rising cost of educational materials, will take place at UW-Stout on March 26-27.  This year’s conference will provide the “opportunity for attendees to share their best practices, experiences and issues relating to the use of open educational resources as well as other educational content affordability topics.”
  • An interesting article from The Chronicle of Higher Education about how to involve students more actively in course design.
  • Finally, registration for the Minnesota State book group is now open!  This year’s topic is immigration and learning about our immigrant students and communities. Participants will read Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother, which “is a true story from award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounting the odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.”  Faculty are invited to participate in several ways:
    • First, there will be three 90-minute virtual Adobe Connect meetings to discuss how the experiences and perspectives in this book relate to our students and communities.  These meetings will take place on:
      1. Thursday, Feb 22, 12:00-1:30 pm
      2. Thursday, March 22, 12:00-1:30 pm
      3. Thursday, April 26, 12:00-1:30 pm
    • There is also a D2L Brightspace course “to explore issues related to immigration, helping immigrant students succeed, and understanding our communities and the news.  The “course” will use short, asynchronous, interactive activities to help us explore how we can better serve our students, connect across the system, and share resources.”  Here is the syllabus for the course, as well as instructions on how to register for it.

Good luck with the snow, everyone–drive safely!

And we’re off!

Welcome back everyone!  Here’s hoping your spring semester gets off to a great start this week!  We had some wonderful presentations and workshops for faculty development this past Friday during our development day–and if you have ideas for more workshops, presenters, or other faculty development opportunities this semester, please let one of the CTL (Center for Teaching and Learning) team know!

Just as a reminder, your CTL campus leaders are:

Humanities Division: Nina Rosenfeld
Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Education Division: Amanda Hakemian
Health Sciences Division: Kristin Windschitl
Social Science, Business Division: Robert Frame and Bridget Reigstad

Campus CTL Leader: Jen Miller
Campus D2L Leader: Kathleen Coate

If your New Year’s resolution is to find ways to improve and expand your teaching (and even if it’s not!), here are some opportunities, both local and a bit farther away, that you might find interesting:

  • Minnesota State has several programs devoted to exploring open educational resources (OER).  For those looking to learn more about OER in general, this report from the Babson Survey Research Group provides a good overview of the current state of this trend within higher education.
  • Registration is open for the STAR Symposium, a one-day virtual conference on February 9 from 9 AM-4:30 PM.  This symposium has a full day of concurrent sessions on best practices and quality initiatives for improving teaching of all kinds, both in the classroom and online.  The registration fee is only $50 (and there are no travel costs!), so this is an easy way to spice up your teaching.
  • If you’re looking for something a bit farther away, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is hosting a 5-day seminar at Yellowstone Park from May 21-26, 2018, during which participants will not only learn about the history and current political conflicts surrounding the park, but also explore how to design courses that help students think about conflicts over public resources.  More information can be found here.

Also, if you feel like you have a pedagogical innovation that you would like to share–and maybe earn money for–Minnesota State is sponsoring two funding tracks for innovative practices or processes that contribute to student success, increased diversity and equality on our campuses, and the financial sustainability of our colleges and universities.  The first track offers up to $25,000 in a “Shark Tank” style competition; the second offers up to $10,000 for smaller projects that pilot new ideas or sustain existing innovations.  More information can be found in the “Innovation Funding” section of Minnesota State’s “Educational Innovations” webpage.

And last but not least, here is the schedule of D2L drop-in hours and Friday Coffee Fixes with our D2L leader, Kathleen Coate:

Drop-in hours (appointments not necessary, but recommended):

  • Mon, 9am-11am; 1:30-3pm
  • Tues, 9am-4pm
  • Wed, 9am-11am
  • Thurs, 9am-4pm
  • Fri, 9am-3pm (See Friday Coffee Fix schedule below)

By appointment only:

  • Tues, 4-6pm
  • Wed, 2:30-6pm
  • Fri, 3pm-4pm

Schedule for Friday Coffee Fixes, held from 10am-12pm in L1735
(Most sessions will repeat from 1-3pm)

  • Jan. 19th: Quizzes/Discussion groups
  • Feb. 2nd: Online/Hybrid delivery strategies – best practices
  • Feb. 9th: Office 365 – integration with D2L
  • Feb. 16th: BYOQ (Bring your own questions)
  • Feb. 23rd: Office 365- integration with D2L
  • Mar. 2nd: BYOQ
  • Mar. 16th: Managing groups in D2L – best practices
  • Mar. 23rd: BYOQ
  • Mar. 30th: Cloud migration and mobile ways to use D2L
  • Apr. 13th: D2L Connection: Minnesota Edition–all-day conference at Normandale
  • Apr. 27th: Gradebook

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  We at the Center for Teaching and Learning hope your 2018 is off to a wonderful start!

As you start to think about the start of the semester, here are some faculty development opportunities that you don’t want to miss.

For starters, Kathleen Coate is offering some D2L/Office 365/online learning training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday:

Wednesday, Jan. 3rd
Location: P1804  (coffee and refreshments provided!)

9-11am Open lab/Drop-in questions
11am-12:30pm  Content Design
1-3pm MediaSpace/Video Assignments/Adobe Connect
3-4:30pm Office 365

Thursday, Jan. 4th
Location: P1804   (coffee and refreshments provided!)

9-11am  Open lab/Drop-in questions
11am-12:30pm Gradebook
1-3pm   Intelligent Agents/Awards
3-5pm   Open lab/Drop-in questions

You can find more details about these training options here.

Then, on Friday, January 5th, all faculty and staff are back on campus for our before-the-semester development day!  We are very excited to hear from our keynote speaker, Dr. Abdul Omari, who will be presenting on both leadership and recognizing bias.  Many of you have requested more training on culturally responsive pedagogy, and Dr. Omari is here to help!

Also, the Center for Teaching and Learning is sponsoring two additional sessions on Friday:

  • What To Do When You Aren’t Sure What To Do (10:45-11:45 in A2552)

    Both faculty and staff members have experienced situations involving a student where you aren’t quite sure what to do next. For example, what do you do for a student who describes being depressed but is already seeing a therapist? How should you respond when a student describes a violent threat made by another student? Often in situations like these, there is not one right way to proceed, which can make faculty and staff feel very unsure of themselves. In this session, members of the Behavioral Intervention Team and staff from Student Affairs will walk participants through several complicated scenarios based on real-life situations involving students, helping participants identify key decision points and possible courses of action so that they can feel more confident in how to respond in real-world scenarios.

  • Normandale Students from Around the World (12:00-12:45 in P0808)

    Normandale has students attending from all over the world–but how much do we know about the countries they are coming from? During this lunch panel sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning, meet some of these students and hear more about their experiences in their countries of origin, as well as the unique perspectives they bring to our classes here at Normandale.

Last but not least, Kathleen Coate will once again be offering D2L training on Friday in her session “What’s New to D2L Brightspace?”, held from 10:45-11:45 in P1804.  This session will walk you through the newest features of D2L since Nov. 28th, including shuffling quiz questions for each user, using the html accessibility checker, and posting to all discussion groups at once.

You can find the full schedule of events for January 5th here.

See you all on Friday!