Success day sessions on accessibility and online teaching and a reading group on Somalia.

3 Important Tips for Creating “Barrier-Free” Online Classroom:
A Hands-on Workshop for Success Day (Tuesday, Feburary 28th)

This will be a hands-on workshop for learning some tools for creating barrier-free online classes. We will practice ways to make documents accessible, caption videos, and create audio descriptions for visual elements (such as photos or drawings.) Bring some materials if you would like to experiment, or just observe and gather ideas on how you can help all students succeed in your online classes. A 2552, 10-10:50; A 2556, 1-1:50

Engaging Online Teaching/Learning Quickly and Confidently

for Success Day (Tuesday, Feburary 28th)

In this session, we will cover two related topics: Teaching Online Courses and Taking Online Courses (based on personal experiences). For the first topic, we will discuss how to implement a few critical aspects of online teaching and learning to start your online teaching quickly and confidently. For the second topic, we will talk about some simple strategies that will help students to be successful online leaners. 11-11:50, C 2024

Somali Reading Group – March 20th & April 17th

Infusing Africa into the Curriculum Project (A Title XI grant from the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Global Studies):
Normandale is collaborating with the University of Minnesota on this project as a pilot college to work at making concerns of the African continent more central to our teaching.
As a part of this project, Sadie Pendaz-Foster (Sociology) is initiating a reading circle/group that would ideally be ongoing, and will look at different African countries year-by-year to help faculty educate themselves on issues that may of importance on the continent and to our students.  We will start with Somalia this Spring, and read two books:
1). The World’s Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia (2013) (to read & discuss by Monday March 20th in L1774 from 3:00-4:00) by James Fergusson
Despite its potentially sensationalized title, this book, written by a Western journalist, provides an even look at recent conflicts and opportunities in contemporary Somalia.
2). Elusive Jannah: The Somali Diaspora and a Borderless Muslim Identity (2015)  (to read & discuss by Monday April 17th in L1774 from 3:00-4:00) by Cawo M. Abdi
Cawo M. Abdi is a sociology professor at the U of M, and as the author she said she may come to the meeting discussing this book, if possible.
The Infusing Africa into the Curriculum Project has supplied some copies of the book, and Sadie has some in her office.  As well, Rachel Wightman at the library is ordering some for reserve.
Please direct all question to Sadie:

Neruomyths, Hillbilly Ellegy Bookclub, Antigonish 2.0, OER, and Memorization

Four neuromyths that are still prevalent in schools – debunked

From The Guardian. See if you can spot how the article actually engages in one of the neuromyths it highlights.

Antigonish 2.0

Antigonish 2.0 is a project about community capacity-building through a lens of citizenship and media literacy. Aimed at creating a regional hub of expertise and leadership, it is a collective, distributed initiative that re-visions the renowned adult education tradition of the Antigonish Movement for the 21st century. Learn more.

Open Education Textbooks

A quick reminder that OpenStax have a variety of OER textbooks for common courses. Some are revised and in their second edition, but, as aways, they’re free to use.

The MNState Online Faculty Book Club

“This new professional development activity is open to all faculty and staff. Through synchronous online meetings and asynchronous online activities, we’ll read Hillbilly Elegy and learn together how poverty impacts students and what we can do to lower barriers. The first meeting of the book group is Friday, February 24. You’ll need to get your own copy of the book, so don’t delay!” Learn more here.

Helping Student Memorize: Tips from Cognitive Science

Tomorrow’s Professor post. Hat tip to Erin Daly.



Fulbright opportunity and software carpentry.

Would you like to teach abroad?

Fulbright is looking for community college faculty to teach abroad. Come to a session by a former Fulbright teacher to Germany and Russia to learn ore. Monday, March 20th, Partnership Center: P 0840, 3-4 p.m. Flier here.

Software Carpentry Workshop

“In response to student interest in reducing textbook costs, the Minnesota Legislature set aside money to increase faculty awareness of Open Educational Resources.  As part of that effort, Winona State is hosting a Software Carpentry” workshop on March 6-7 on the Winona campus.  The Software Carpentry workshops are built around relevant, modern, open-source tutorials that could serve as meaningful drop-in units for many courses where a touch of computer automation could reduce the drudgery of data processing.”

Details here.


Hybrid teaching, CTL sessions, and round the horn trainings.

What is good teaching for Hyrbrid Classes?

Do you teach a class with reduced seat time, say 3 credits face-to-face and 1 credit online? Do you struggle to understand how to split the time to maximize student learning?

Come join a conversation with other instructors on how to be a better Hybrid Instructor.
A 2552, 3-4 p.m., Monday, January 30th.

Center for Teaching and Learning Sessions

Our final sessions will be March 20th and April 17th. One of those sessions will be on creating digitally accessible materials with Kathleen Coate. Stay tuned for more details.

Other fun training opportunities. 

The Minnesota Quality Initiative STAR Symposium is February 10th, 2017. See here.

Interleaving: An Evidence-Based Study Strategy

The Institute for Global Studies Professional Development at the University of Minnesota offers a variety of seminars this semester. See here .

All of the Minnesota Quality Initiative trainings are available here.