Mental Health, Student Needs, Rubrics, and More!

Hi all!

There are several upcoming events here at Normandale that address some of the issues our students struggle with:

  • Tuesday, February 12 (tomorrow!) from 12-1 pm in the Fireside Conference Room in the Kopp Student Center: A presentation on Eating Disorders and College Students. The presenter is Dr. Dirk Miller, Founder, Executive Chair, and Licensed Psychologist, The Emily Program.
  • Thursday, February 21 from 10 AM to 6 PM in the Nath Advising Center: Susan Gekas Memorial Mental Health Screening Day. Most of us will deal with depression, anxiety, or some other mental health issue in our lifetimes. Take an anonymous mental health check-up without charge and see how easy the process for a mental health check-up can be. Refreshments provided. Sponsored by the Normandale Advising and Counseling Department.

Also, if you are interested in learning more about rubrics this Friday’s Coffee Fix is All About Rubrics! Drop in to L1735 between 10am and 12pm and again between 1pm  and 2pm to learn more about this useful D2L tool.

The Credit for Prior Learning Assessment Network is offering a free, online workshop on Credit for Prior Learning, the CPL Academy, which will begin Feb. 19.

  • The four-module D2L-based Academy will have moderation available from two expert CPL faculty through April 19; after that, it will remain open as a resource site. More information about this opportunity can be found in this flyer.
  • Requests to participate in the CPL Academy should be submitted by Thursday, Feb. 14 to get started when the Academy opens.  If space remains, interested participants can continue to be added after the Academy opens Feb. 19.  If interested, fill out CPL-Academy_Application_Survey_Spring_2019 and send to

Finally, a bit of light reading: The book Hitting Pause – 65 Lecture Breaks to Refresh and Reinforce Learning by Gail Taylor Rice offers some practical suggestions for professors who regularly incorporate lectures into their classes. You can read some of the introductory material to this book here, courtesy of Stanford’s Tomorrow’s Professor blog.

Drive safely, everyone!


Easing Back Into Things

Happy Monday, everyone! We hope that you stayed safe and warm during your unexpected “vacation.”

Here are some reminders of upcoming faculty development opportunities to help us ease back into a full work week:

  • Betsy Longley is hosting Curriculum Mapping sessions this week. Do you need help either revising your Curriculum Maps, or just making sense out of the ones you already have? Stop by the Center for Teaching and Learning (L1735) during any of the following drop-in hours:
    Tuesday, Feb 5th: 10am – noon
    Wednesday Feb 6th: 2-3pm
    Friday, Feb 8th: 12-2pm
  • Minnesota State is hosting a series of webinars on a variety of D2L-related topics. All sessions are open to campus admins, campus trainers, and faculty. Each session will start at 11:00 AM on a Tuesday, will be 30-50 minutes, and will be recorded. Please plan to join the webinar a few minutes early so we can start on time.  The webinars are as follows:
  • The Minnesota Online Quality Initiative is also offering a series of webinars on topics ranging from creating learning objectives to building an effective online presence. More information can be found here.
  • Registration for this year’s STAR Symposium closes on Wednesday. More information can be found here.

If the cold makes you want to huddle up under a blanket and read, here are a few suggestions:

  • A new article from the Chronicle of Higher Education thinking about how much reading we assign in our courses, and whether it’s too much.
  • Sara Goldrick-Rab is coming to campus in March! Her book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and The Betrayal of the American Dream, speaks to what so many of our students experience. You can read more about Sara and her work here.
  • Carol Ormand of Carleton College has several interesting blog posts about stereotype threat, how it can affect student performance, and how faculty can address it. Check out her posts here and here.

Last but not least, the planning team for Recharge Normandale Day is looking for proposals for breakout sessions! We are looking for sessions that will enrich faculty and staff personally and professionally, contribute to the advancement of the college, or address student needs. Proposals are due February 6th; you can submit your proposal here.

Have a great week, everyone!

Warm Up with Some Faculty Development!

Happy Monday, everyone! Hope you all are staying warm 🙂

Here are a few faculty development opportunities to help keep you warm during the next few weeks:

  • The next “Friday Coffee Fix” will be Feb. 15th – 11am-3pm (drop in anytime!): All about Rubrics! The D2L rubric tool has been updated and is easier than ever to use, and for students to view. Streamline your grading AND provide more robust feedback for students. Come learn how! Videos and handouts will also be provided. Can’t make it or don’t want to wait? Contact Kathleen for more info.
  • There are quite a few Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) workshops this spring, with both online and face to face sessions on ways to improve your online and blended teaching. Check out this flyer for more information!
  • Two 1-hour Quality Matters workshops will be held this week at St. Cloud State University.  Dr. Kate Mooney, Accounting Professor, Herberger Business School will outline the requirements for earning the Online Teaching Certificate, a seven course program from Quality Matters. These workshops will be held Wednesday, January 30 from 3-3:50 pm in Centennial Hall 106 OR Thursday, January 31 from 12:30 – 1:30 pm in Centennial Hall 106.  If you cannot join us in Centennial Hall, please plan to attend online at
  • Fun with Curriculum Maps! Curriculum Maps help make the connection between how the courses in your department contribute to your overall Program Learning Outcomes (along with their connections to the broader Core Learning Outcomes of the college). Do you need help either revising your Curriculum Maps, or just making sense out of the ones you already have? Stop by the Center for Teaching and Learning (L1735) next week during any of the following drop-in hours:
    Tuesday Feb 5th: 10am – noon
    Wednesday Feb 6th: 2-4pm
    Thursday Feb 7th: 12-2pm
  • Last but not least, if you were thinking of submitting a proposal for this year’s D2L conference (held at Normandale!), the deadline is this Friday.

Stay warm, everyone!

Local Conferences, the Latest on Lecturing, and a New Faculty Focus Interview

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We hope you enjoyed the long weekend 🙂

We’d like to start today by featuring January’s “Faculty Focus” interview with Willie Johnson, Faculty in Communications. In this interview, Willie tells us how he got into communications, what he likes to read, and some favorite strategies in the classroom. Enjoy!

As always, if you have someone you think should be featured in one of these interviews, please email Jen Miller ( with your recommendation.

If you are looking for more local opportunities to improve your teaching, especially online, here are some suggestions:

  • The D2L Connection: Minnesota Edition conference is being held right here at Normandale on Friday, April 5. If you want to present at the conference, proposals are due on February 1. The registration fee is $85; more information and the registration form can be found here.
  • The Minnesota State Star Symposium is a virtual conference that takes place on Friday, February 8. This conference covers “topics related to faculty support, course design and delivery, assessment practices, technology integration, and student engagement strategies.” The cost for this conference is $50. Kathleen Coate ( has a template for a faculty development fund request that you can get by emailing her.

Also, if you are looking for ways to spice up your teaching, particularly if you are looking to shift away from lecturing so much, the first section of the recent “Teaching” newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education has some strategies for structuring classes that blends lecturing with other teaching strategies. David Gooblar also has an article in The Chronicle that asks, “Is it Ever OK to Lecture?” if you are interested in thinking more about this topic.

Have a great short week!

Happy First Day of Class!

Hi all!

We hope the first day of the spring semester is off to a great start! As the semester progresses, if there are training needs that you and your department have, please let us know–we’d love to help!

In today’s post, we mostly just want to let you know that the materials from the breakout sessions on Friday’s Development Day are posted on the CTL D2L page. The fifth module down is “Material from Development Days,” and the slideshows and handouts that were included as part of presentations can be found there. We currently have materials from these sessions:

  • Mary O’Brien’s sessions on Hybrid Course Design and Online Assessments and Engagement
  • Betsy Longley’s session on “Small Changes in Teaching: Fostering a Sense of Belonging in the Classroom
  • Betsy Longley’s session on “Assessing Student Learning: Making Connections”
  • John Parker Der Boghossian’s session on “Responding to Flash Points about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

We will post additional materials if they become available.

There were many conversations on Friday about promoting safety on campus and ways of preventing violence. Two things in particular arose that I wanted to highlight:

  • Jason Cardinal came to the division meetings and presented information on the role of the Care Team. Of particular interest to many faculty was the list of changes in behavior that might be of concern. A version of that list can be found on the Care Team page.
  • Also, several faculty recommended Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George Thompson as a useful book for learning more about de-escalation techniques.

We will let you know about more safety-related training opportunities as they are planned.

As you are thinking about other training needs for this spring, here are some possible development opportunities:

  • The 2019 Star Symposium is scheduled for Friday, February 8th. This virtual, one-day conferences will provide participants with information on “pedagogical approaches including delivery via face-to-face, blended, flipped and online classrooms.” More information, including how to register, can be found here.
  • The Minnesota State Spring 2019 Equity Book Group will be reading The College Fear Factor: How Students and Professors Misunderstand One Another. Information about how to participate in this book group can be found here (log in with STAR ID and password).
  • If you specifically looking for online learning training opportunities, Winona State University is offering an 8-week online class called “WeTeach: Online/Blended Design & Delivery.” Information about course meetings, requirements, and cost can be found here.
  • And, of course, Normandale’s own D2L/online learning trainer, Kathleen Coate, will be offering the following drop-in/appointment hours this semester:
    • Monday, 9am-4pm
    • Tuesday, 9am-10am; 2pm-4pm
    • Wednesday, 10am-2pm (AND 4pm-6pm by appointment only)
    • Thursday, 9am-10am; 2pm-4pm (AND 4pm-6pm by appointment only)
    • Most Fridays, “Friday Coffee Fix” – specific topics featured.  10am-2pm

Have a great week, everyone!