A New Faculty Focus Interview; plus, some things you may have missed…and some things to look forward to!

Happy November everyone!

Since it’s a new month, we are please to feature another faculty member as part of our “Faculty Focus” interviews. This month, we talked to Kurt Burch, faculty in Political Science. You can find our interview with him here. Email me (jennifer.miller@normandale.edu) by Friday with something interesting you learned about Kurt for a chance to win $3 in Lancer Bucks!  If you have someone that you think should be featured in this interview series, please email me as well.

Last week, Dr. Chris Jazwinski and Dr. Amanda Hemmesch gave a presentation entitled, “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success,” in which they discussed the importance of students’ mindset and sense of belonging to their success in college. If you missed this presentation, the resources have been posted on the CTL D2L page in the “CTL Hour Information” module. In addition to their PowerPoint and handout, links to several of the articles they cited have also been posted–thanks to Lacey Mamek for helping compile that list!

Have you been to a conference recently? We’re trying something new with the bulletin board space in F2201. Take your conference nametag and stick it on the bulletin board–and then look to see where others have gone. Find someone who has gone to a conference that interests you, and ask them about it!

This Friday’s Coffee Fix (November 9th) will be on the Rubrics tool in D2L.  Not using the Rubric tool in D2L? It’s not too late! Rubrics can be used simply to remind students of your grading criteria, or as an interactive grading tool linked to your D2L gradebook. Get help designing a new rubric, or uploading a generic one! The Coffee Fix will be held in L1753 from 10-12pm and again from 1-3pm. Drop in anytime!

As the end of the semester approaches, are you thinking about how best to assess student learning through exams? Here are two articles that might help you think through various strategies for exam structure and question writing:

    •  In a Two-Stage Exam, students take an exam individually. After they submit their answers, they split into groups of three to five students to go over the test together and discuss the answers. Curious to hear more about this approach? Check out this article from The Chronicle.
    • When writing an exam, how do you choose among the many different types of exam questions? This article from Faculty Focus reviews the advantages and disadvantages of the most commonly used types of exam questions, including multiple choice, short answer, true-false, essay, and test bank item questions.

Finally, here are a few upcoming things to look forward to:

  • On Monday, November 19th, we will be holding a CTL workshop on how to help alleviate student anxiety about tests, presentations, etc. Watch for a calendar invitation this week!
  • Blended/Hybrid course design training is coming! You asked for it, you got it. We are working on rolling out a series of robust materials and trainings for instructional design and best practices for Blended/Hybrid courses. Watch next week’s Chalk & Pixels for a survey to help us identify your biggest challenges. You can also email Kathleen Coate with suggestions of what we should provide that will help you create or improve your Blended/Hybrid courses.
  • And last but not least, Minnesota State is working to develop Opendora, a repository for open educational resources. Opendora is currently accessible as a stand-alone resource, but Minnesota State is working to integrate it into D2L. Stay tuned for more information!

Have a great week, everyone!

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We Belong…at this afternoon’s CTL workshop on belonging!

In 1984, Pat Benatar released the now-classic song “We Belong,” singing:

“We belong to the light, we belong to the thunder
We belong to the sound of the words we’ve both fallen under
Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better
We belong, we belong, we belong together”

Well, here at Normandale, we, too, are working to create a sense of belonging–among students, faculty and staff; in the classroom and in communal spaces; in the books that we read and the programs that we schedule; and even in the very buildings on campus.

To help us better understand what belonging is and why it is so important to student success, Dr. Chris Jazwinski and Dr. Amanda R. Hemmesch from the Department of Psychology at St. Cloud State University will present “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success” this afternoon (Monday, October 29) from 3-4 pm in A2552.

In this presentation, Drs. Jazwinski and Hemmesch will discuss key concepts related to student competence and achievement, including mindset, belonging, and belonging uncertainty.

They will focus on scholarship on belonging, defined as the perceived quality of fit between oneself and a setting, particularly how it applies to academics.

We hope to see you all there!

On the subject of belonging, The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured an article about how the moments before class starts can be incredibly valuable in creating a positive classroom atmosphere and fostering a sense of connection between students and faculty–something that is vital to students feeling like they belong in college.

In this article, James P. Lang writes, “The more time I spend with students in that brief space before the start of class, the more I recognize that those warm-up minutes actually represent a fertile opportunity. I can use the time to enhance the learning that will take place in the hour that follows, to build a more positive atmosphere for class discussion, or simply to get to know my students a little better.”

Later, he goes on to say, “Students cited the relationships they formed as the most important and memorable aspect of college. Those relationships began with fellow students, but also included connections with faculty and staff members. The number and intensity of those relationships not only predicted students’ general satisfaction with college, but had the power to motivate them to deeper, more committed learning in their courses.”

Take a look at the three strategies that Lang offers, and try them out in your own classes!

Also–a quick reminder that there will be no drop-in D2L hours this afternoon.

And last but not least, here is Pat Benatar herself to energize the rest of your Monday aftenroon:

You’re invited…on campus and online! Read on for Great T&L opportunities.

CTL Hour – “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success.”

Monday, Oct. 29th, 3-4pm, A2552

Dr. Chris Jazwinski and Dr. Amanda R. Hemmesch from the Department of Psychology at St. Cloud State University will present “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success.”

In this presentation, Drs. Jazwinski and Hemmesch will discuss key concepts related to student competence and achievement, including mindset, belonging, and belonging uncertainty.

They will focus on scholarship on belonging, defined as the perceived quality of fit between oneself and a setting, particularly how it applies to academics. This presentation will be held from 3-4 pm in A2552.

STAR Symposium – Register now and plan a day online!

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This year’s date: February 8, 2019

Every year the Star Symposium has great advice, new ideas, and reminders of things we probably learned but forgot about when it comes to teaching & learning strategies for ALL TYPES of teaching delivery methods (face-to-face, online, hybrid, etc.).

Best part of all? It’s virtual!!!  If enough people are interested we can reserve a room to attend together, OR, you can attend from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Cost? $50
Want to use Faculty Development Funds? Contact Kathleen Coate for help applying.

Click here for the STAR Symposium flyer for more details and to sign up!

Friday Coffee Fix – Student Presentations, Oct. 26th

L1735, 10am-12pm, 1pm-3pm. Drop-in anytime.

Need some new ideas on how students can present their learning? Students can create and link projects into D2L through MediaSpace, Video Assignments, or Office 365 apps such as Sway or PowerPoint. Training materials you can give to students will be provided. Stop by for demos & discussion!

D2L updates – did you hear the news?

We have a few updates as of Oct. 18th – here’s how to find out what they are:

Click here for a quick summary of 3 of the main updates.
Click here for the full release notes on all of the updates.
Click here for a 5-minute video about the Quiz auto-save feature.

MOQI – “We Teach” and other stuff

In addition to sponsoring the STAR Symposium, The Minnesota Online Quality Initiative offers support for online & hybrid courses.

Click here for MOQI’s calendar of upcoming face-to-face AND online workshops.

For your reading…

A great article from The Chronicle of Higher Education on how student perception and confidence is linked to assignment completion. Click here to read the article: Will Students Actually Believe They Can Do This Assignment?

Want more?

We’d love to hear from you! Contact your CTL leaders with questions, suggestions, or just to chat about teaching & learning opportunities we can hep you with.

Jennifer Miller – Faculty Development
Kathleen Coate – D2L Training
Betsy Longley – Assessment

Have a great week!

You Ask–CTL Listens!

Thank you to everyone who shared CTL training requests at their division meetings during the August Development Days! We are sorting through the suggestions and using them to figure out which workshops to offer this fall.

Two of those suggestions were to have a workshop on students with autism, and to have more programs on belonging and inclusiveness.  Well, you asked, and we answered!

  • TODAY (Monday, October 15th) from 3-4 pm, CTL and OSD are holding a workshop on working with students with autism. In this workshop, faculty and staff will learn a bit about what autism is and how it affects students, and then discuss possible strategies for helping these students in the classroom. Please bring challenges or scenarios that you have encountered in the classroom to work through with the group as case studies!
  • In two weeks, on Monday, October 29th, Dr. Chris Jazwinski and Dr. Amanda R. Hemmesch from the Department of Psychology at St. Cloud State University will present “Mindsets, Belonging, Student Resilience, and Success.” In this presentation, Drs. Jazwinski and Hemmesch will discuss key concepts related to student competence and achievement, including mindset, belonging, and belonging uncertainty.  They will focus on scholarship on belonging, defined as the perceived quality of fit between oneself and a setting, particularly how it applies to academics. This presentation will be held from 3-4 pm in A2552.

Many of you also wanted more training on online or hybrid courses–we can help you there, too! Want to take an in-depth look at your online or hybrid course? The Minnesota Online Quality Initiative (MOQI) offers several methods for training and improving your courses within the online environment. Click here for the MOQI website; you can also find more information in this flyer.

Here is some other information you might find useful:

  • D2L updates are coming this Thursday, Oct. 18th, just in time for MEA break. Review these updates for Quizzes, Assignments, and HTML Quicklinks – see the attached summary, or full description document for more info.
  • As a reminder, submissions for the 2018-2019 Discipline Teaching Grants program are due by the end of the day, Monday, October 15th. Complete funding details are available at here.
  • The 2019 STAR Symposium will be held February 8, 2019. The award-winning STAR Symposium celebrates excellence in post-secondary teaching and learning by providing an avenue for individuals to share best practices, ideas, and resources with colleagues. This virtual one-day conference includes presentations that focus on pedagogical approaches including delivery via face-to-face, blended, flipped and online classrooms. The Call for Proposals is open until November 16, 2018–click here to submit your proposal. 
  • Want to know more about Open Educational Resources (OER)? Faculty at OpenOregon have created a helpful FAQ!
  • This post from the Tomorrow’s Professor blog highlights ways in which Dr.Carolyn Gentle-Genitty from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) uses the Canva online system to make online learning more personal. While this system is different from our D2L system, many of tools are the same–her strategies also point to the power of assessment in tailoring online education to individual students. Take a look at the post, and if there are tools that Dr. Gentle-Genitty uses in Canva that sound interesting to you, email Kathleen Coate and see whether D2L has something similar!

Have a great Fall Break, everyone!

When you need a boost of steam…check out these great upcoming sessions.

Keep on swimming…

It’s almost the middle of the semester – you’ve made it this far. We’re here to offer some knowledge boosts to get you through the 2nd half of the semester! Check out the great opportunities below.

CTL Hour – Oct. 15th

Working with Students on the Autism Spectrum

On Monday, October 15 from 3-4 pm in A2552, we will be hearing from Lauren Schumann from the Office for Students with Disabilities about “Working with Students on the Autism Spectrum.” We will learn a bit about what autism is and how it affects students, and then discuss possible strategies for helping these students in the classroom. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring examples they have encountered in the classroom to work through as case studies with the group.

Friday Coffee Fix – upcoming sessions

What: Specific Topics in D2L/online learning complete with coffee and snacks
When: Specific Fridays – see schedule below
—OR– Off-site: Go to the D2L page for “Center for Teaching & Learning” – check the “Materials>Content>D2L Resources>Friday Coffee Fix” module for handouts & screencast videos of each topic (if available).

Remaining Fall 2018 schedule:

10am-12pm; 1-3pm (L1735 – Drop-in anytime)

Oct. 12: BYOQ
Bring Your Own Questions! Want help with your D2L gradebook? Quizzes? Discussion boards? Assignment folders? Turnitin? Stop on by.

Oct. 26th:
Student Presentations
Need some new ideas on how students can present their learning? Students can create and link projects into D2L through MediaSpace, Video Assignments, or Office 365 apps such as Sway or PowerPoint. Training materials you can give to students will be provided. Stop by for demos and discussion!

Nov. 9th: Rubrics
Not using the Rubric tool in D2L? It’s not too late! Rubrics can be used simply to remind students of your grading criteria, or as an interactive grading tool linked to your D2L gradebook.

Nov. 30th: BYOQ (repeat of Oct. 12th)

Dec. 14th: Quizzes & Gradebook
Make sure your D2L Quizzes and Gradebook settings are up to snuff and ready for any final quizzes or exams you have planned.

Click here for the Oct/Nov/Dec Friday Coffee Fix flyer

youre doing a great job meme