Welcome Back!

Hi all! I hope everyone had a wonderful break, and that you are coming back to campus refreshed, relaxed, and energized for the upcoming semester!

As you are thinking about the start of classes next week, the Center for Teaching and Learning would like to highlight a few resources that might be useful.

For starters, I’d like to draw your attention to some of the amazing breakout sessions that we have scheduled for our Development Day this Friday, January 11:

  • The “Hot Topics in Teaching” session, during which members of the Teaching Circles will share what they have learned about active learning and culturally responsive pedagogy during the fall semester. Come take advantage of what your colleagues have learned!
  • Betsy Longley’s “Assessing Student Learning: Making Connections” session will help faculty think about how they can help students connect what they learn with the bigger picture, so they will be more likely to remember the material one, five, or even 20 years from now.
  • Mary O’Brien will be coming from Winona State University to share her expertise in hybrid course design. She will be offering two sessions–one on the basics of hybrid design, and the second on online assessment and engagement. Much of the material that Mary will share will be useful to any instructor who uses online components in their classes–not just those who teach hybrid classes.

Also, this week, The Chronicle of Higher Education had a great article on “How to Teach a Good First Day of Class.” Those of you looking to work on your syllabi might also enjoy their guide on “How to Create a Syllabus.” And don’t forget–the Center for Teaching and Learning has lots of course design material as well, including the syllabus checklist, planning worksheets for instructional modules, and a resource page for students that you can include in your syllabus. All of this can be found on the CTL D2L page under “Materials–>Content–>Course Design.” There are lots of resources there, so do some digging and see what you can find!

We know that many of you are wondering whether this Development Day will address the violent events of last month. Certainly, administrators will be speaking to these events. Those of you who are more specifically looking for training might find John Parker Der-Boghossian’s session on responding to flash-points useful, as well as Betsy Longley’s session on small changes that can help foster a sense of belonging in the classroom.

Please also know that larger conversations about safety on campus are already underway, and we would encourage you to watch for ways that you can be a part of those conversations. If you have other, specific requests for training, please let us know, and we will work to incorporate these requests into our spring semester faculty development schedule.

Last but not least, on a slightly different note: if you have an idea for “how to address obstacles to student success by using existing technologies, resources, or practices in innovative ways,” you might want to consider applying for an Innovation Funding grant through Minnesota State. More information about these grants, as well as information about how to apply, can be found here. The deadline is this Friday, January 11–sorry for the late notice!

See you all on Friday!


Coming Together as a Community

The events last Wednesday have left many here at Normandale feeling vulnerable, exposed, and concerned about the safety of faculty, staff, and students. Campus leaders have already taken steps to address some of these concerns, and more will certainly be done in the coming weeks and months.

Here at the Center for Teaching and Learning, our thoughts are also with those who were involved in the assault. We, too, are thinking about how we can address concerns about safety and enable faculty to effectively respond to controversial or even potentially dangerous moments in the classroom. We know that several of you have reached out, requesting de-escalation and other types of training—we have heard these requests, and we are working together with administration to use these ideas to shape faculty development programming during the Spring 2019 semester.

Specifically, we are looking for ways to incorporate some of this training into the January 11th Development Day. We plan to use time during division meetings to facilitate conversations about what concerns and questions faculty have, and what training they are looking for. We are also offering several breakout sessions on related topics—including one on small ways to foster a sense of belonging in the classroom, as well as one on responding to hot-button issues about diversity, equity, and inclusion—that we would highly encourage faculty to attend. We hope to address even more related issues over the course of the spring semester. Please let us know if you have ideas for what programming specifically you would like offered.

Thank you for everything that you all do to make Normandale the wonderful, supportive community that it is. Stay strong this week and enjoy the holidays. We look forward to seeing everyone back on campus in January!

The Final Stretch – get help & carry on!

We won’t take too much of your time, just two quick updates on getting D2L help, or a jump-start on next semester.

D2L Drop-in & Appointments in L1735

This week – Dec. 10-14:

Mon, 12/10: 9-10; 1-2
Tues, 12/11: 9-12; 2-4 (AND 4-6 by appointment only)
Wed, 12/12:  9-10; 1-2 (AND 4-6 by appointment only)
Thurs, 12/13:  9-2; 3-4
Fri, 12/14: 10am-2pm:   “Friday Coffee Fix” – Gradebook help (videos & handouts will be emailed in the morning as well)

Finals week – Dec. 17-21:

Mon, 12/17:  9-10; 2:30-4; 4-6 by appointment only
Tues, 12/18:  9-1; 2:30-4; 4-6 by appointment only
Wed, 12/19:  9-4
Thurs, 12/20:  9-4
Fri, 12/21:  9-3

Just prior to grades deadline*:

Mon, 12/24:  9-12 (*Grades due at 12pm)

Prior to 1st week of Spring Semester*

Tues, 1/8: 9-1
Wed, 1/9: 9-1
Thurs, 1/10: 9-2

*Alternative times for this week may be available upon request – don’t hesitate to ask!

Contact us!

Drop-in, or for a specific appointment time, call or email Kathleen at 952-358-8617, or kathleen.coate@normandale.edu

For more regular availability, you may also contact the ITS Helpdesk directly, at 952-358-8181, or send an email to:  its-helpdesk@normandale.edu.


finish strong

Faculty Focus, and Last-minute help is here!

Faculty Focus with Shannon Bros

Hear our latest interview with Environmental Biology instructor Shannon Bros. Find out how Shannon is shaping national legislation when she’s not busy teaching at Normandale!

Online class prep for spring…no not yet!

I know, it’s daunting. You’re in the thick of it now but spring will be here before you know it. Want to start a “wish list” for D2L tasks you’d like to incorporate?
Browse these tips for “Engaging students in an Online Environment” and make a pledge to incorporate one or two into your online environment.
Let us help!! Send an email to Kathleen Coate just stating which tip(s) you’d like to try, and get a reply back with instructions or one-on-one help.

End-of-semester D2L help

Here’s some great options for getting individual help with your final tasks of the semester:

  • ITS Helpdesk: Click here for hours
  • Friday Coffee Fix – Dec. 14th, 10am-12pm; 1-2pm in L1735
  • Drop-in or Appointment hours in L1735: Click here for hours*
    • Additional hours will be held 8am-12pm on Monday, Dec. 24th for help with grade input
    • *NOTE: No drop-in hours Tuesday, Dec. 4th

Have a great week!



Looking ahead to next semester

Hi all! We hope you survived the Thanksgiving holiday and that you are rested and ready to finish out the semester strong.

While it might seem too early to think about next semester already, we do want to highlight three topics that will be featured in various ways during our CTL programming next semester: hybrid course design, inclusive classrooms, and active learning strategies. These are topics that continue to come up as areas in which faculty want more training–we’ve got you covered!

A few more notes before I sign off for today:

  • If you missed last Monday’s CTL hour on Test/Performance Anxiety with Normandale counselor Kristen Cooper, the materials from that session have been posted on the CTL D2L page. Thanks, Kristen, for sharing your expertise with us!
  • Congratulations to Xiaosheng Li for passing another “Quality Matters” certification for his online Math 2150 course! You can find more information about Quality Matters and what it is here.
  • Thank you to everyone who has posted a conference nametag on our bulletin board in F2201! It’s great to see the topics that faculty are exploring and the places they are visiting. Keep ’em coming 🙂
  • And finally, this week’s Friday Coffee Fix is “Bring Your Own Questions” from 9 am-12 pm and again from 1-3 pm in L1735.

Have a great week everyone!