Category: CTL

Examining a Teaching Life

E-learning folks and others –  the article referenced (heavily) in this post was written by Christa Walck in 1997.  MaryEllen Weimer identifies it as “one of a very few pedagogical articles worth re-reading.”    I went out and found the article, and I heartily agree!

Maryellen Weimer is the head of the umbrella organization that runs “The Teaching Professor” newsletter we circulate, author of a number of books that have been at the center of higher-ed conversations on teaching – including “Learner Centered Teaching” fairly recently.   Her praise is no small compliment.

Kudos to Christa for this work, which is not only being recognized as excellent, but also has such staying power!

Examining a Teaching Life

From: Faculty Focus
By: Maryellen Weimer, PhD


April

COFFEE CHAT: Writing Good Letters of Recommendation (Tuesday, April 12)

Most all instructors at Michigan Tech will be asked to write many letters of recommendation for students applying for jobs, internships, further schooling, or scholarships. How do we best convey what we know about the student? What if we don’t know the student very well? And what can we say that will make those reading the letter take notice? In this coffee chat, on Tuesday, April 12, from 3:30-4:30pm, we’ll discuss this topic with members of the Career Services Corporate Advisory Board  what they value in letters of recommendation. Also we will discuss how best to ensure that our letters have the intended impact. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday, April 8Click here to register.

Lunch and Learn: Active Learning Classroom Open House and Luncheon (Thursday, April 14)

Since William G. Jackson’s gift three years ago, the CTL has been exploring options for a larger bring-your-own-device active learning classroom. With help from Information Technology, the advice of a diverse group of instructors, and inspiration from many other institutions, we finally started construction in January. The classroom, located in Rekhi Hall G05, should be ready for “Beta Testing” this summer and for full use by fall.
On April 14 from noon to 1pm, come and check out the capabilities of this 60-seat space and learn how you can apply to teach your flipped, active-learning, or group-focused class in it. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, April 11. Click here to register.

March

GUEST SPEAKER LUNCHEON: The Rise of Network Scholars – Senenge Andzenge, Guest Presenter (Tuesday, March 15)

Traditionally, scholarship has been disseminated through journals which carry an editorial process that takes as long as a year from submission to publication. In many fast-moving fields, scholars are turning to faster – and sometimes more informal – ways of publicizing their work, including blogs, twitter feeds, and online journals. This change is impacting the way we define academic spaces and engage students in conversations about how to stay current in a field. Senenge T. Andzenge, the Instructional Technology Fellow of Digital Education and Innovation in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, will share his expertise in this area and lead a discussion on how learning is changing across the academy. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, March 11th. Click here to register.

WORKSHOP: Making Social Media Productive in Learning – Senenge Andzenge, Guest Presenter (Tuesday, March 15)

While social media has a reputation for communicating trivia, Senenge Andzenge is working to find ways to expand classrooms and learning into the broader world using unique social media tools. In this workshop, repeated in the morning and afternoon for your convenience, Senenge will explore two unique low-cost tools that allow classes to productively participate in online (and ongoing) video discussions from mobile devices. These tools could be used for small group, project-based, or full class discussions, and allow students to see facial expressions, hear vocal inflection, and share experiences as they discuss. Please register by Friday, March 11. Register for one of the available sessions: 10-11am Session and a 2-3pm Session.

GUEST SPEAKER LUNCHEON: Project-Based Approach to Global Literacy (Thursday, March 24)

On Thursday, March 24 from 11:30am-12:30pm, Dr. Richard Vaz, Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), will give a talk on WPI’s Global Projects Program for which undergraduates are required to complete projects, located at project centers across the globe, that emphasize real-world problem solving, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. The projects are organized and overseen by WPI faculty and typically respond to problems identified by local organizations. Vaz will also present findings regarding the long-term impacts of project work completed away from campus. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, March 21. Click here to register.

ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP: Advancing Global Literacy at Michigan Tech (Thursday, March 24)

In this workshop, scheduled for 3-5pm on Thursday, March 24, led by guest presenter Dr. Richard Vaz, participants will explore approaches to achieving goals for global literacy. Participants will start by identifying the global skills and abilities we want students to be able to demonstrate, and then consider different forms of evidence those skills and abilities might generate. Next, they’ll identify examples of assignments and activities that will generate the desired evidence. Finally, they’ll explore how those assignments and activities can fit into the curriculum, and discuss how to support successful and sustainable implementation.  Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, March 21Click here to register.

WORKSHOP: Reducing Unintended Bias in the Classroom (Thursday, March 31)

It’s natural and necessary for people to use their “quick brain” to make judgments and generalizations below the level of conscious thought. In college classrooms, however, particularly those with few women and/or with other under-represented populations, these unconscious generalizations can impact student attitudes, behaviors and sense of belonging in subtle and unintended ways. The Engineering Inclusive Teaching Faculty Development series from WEPAN (the Women in Engineering Programs and Advocates Network) has provided an excellent preparation video and a wealth of scenarios on this topic. After viewing the preparation video, participants will gather for a coffee chat on Thursday, March 31, from 3:30-4:30pm, to explore the wealth of scenarios provided and also discuss specific strategies to help recognize some of these unconscious generalizations in order to reduce their negative impact on students. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, March 28Click here to register.

TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOPS (February and March) Click below for additional information and registration or email ctl@mtu.edu to schedule a consultation.

  • Panopto Recorder – Thursday, March 17 from 2-3pm
  • Nb (Annotation and Discussion Tool) – Tuesday, March 22, from 3-4pm
  • Mastery in Modules (Canvas Quizzes/Modules to Support Mastery)- Wednesday, March 23, from 3-4pm

February and March

MORNING COFFEE CHAT: Teamwork and Diversity (Friday, February 19)

Many of us assign group projects in our classes, but far fewer of us feel comfortable helping students navigate the complex interpersonal dynamics of those groups.  How do we keep them on task? What do we do when conflicts arise? How do we help them respect & value diversity? At this event, Marie Paretti, Associate Professor of Engineering Education and co-director of the Engineering Communications Center at Virginia Tech, will lead an informal discussion on these issues. She will draw on her own research — on communication and collaboration, design education, and identity (race, gender, class, etc.) in engineering — and that of others to share practical strategies for helping students develop and thrive in team environments. This event is being partially sponsored/funded by the Visiting Women & Minority Lecturer/Scholar Series (VWMLS), which is funded by a grant to Institutional Equity & Inclusion from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Wednesday, February 17th. Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN: Inclusive Classrooms (Tuesday, February 23)

Conscious or unconscious bias, whether based on culture, gender, sexual identity or other factors, can result in diminished learning.  In this session, co-sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), we’ll explore ways to avoid and address unintentional bias in a classroom.  Prior to the event, participants will be asked to watch several videos by experienced facilitators and select the most relevant topic for further lunchtime discussion. Topics include the imposter syndrome, underrepresented populations, language use, groupings, example choice, and campus resources for instructors.  Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, February 19th. Click here to register.

LUNCHEON: The Rise of Network Scholars – Senenge Andzenge, Guest Presenter (Tuesday, March 15)

Traditionally, scholarship has been disseminated through journals which carry an editorial process that takes as long as a year from submission to publication. In many fast-moving fields, scholars are turning to faster – and sometimes more informal – ways of publicizing their work, including blogs, twitter feeds, and online journals. This change is impacting the way we define academic spaces and engage students in conversations about how to stay current in a field. Senenge T. Andzenge, the Instructional Technology Fellow of Digital Education and Innovation in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, will share his expertise in this area and lead a discussion on how learning is changing across the academy. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, March 11th. Click here to register.

WORKSHOP: Making Social Media Productive in Learning – Senenge Andzenge, Guest Presenter (Tuesday, March 15)

While social media has a reputation for communicating trivia, Senenge Andzenge is working to find ways to expand classrooms and learning into the broader world using unique social media tools. In this workshop, repeated in the morning and afternoon for your convenience, Senenge will explore two unique low-cost tools that allow classes to productively participate in online (and ongoing) video discussions from mobile devices. These tools could be used for small group, project-based, or full class discussions, and allow students to see facial expressions, hear vocal inflection, and share experiences as they discuss. Refreshments will be available to those who register by Friday, March 11. Register for one of the available sessions: 10-11am Session and a 2-3pm Session.

TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOPS (February and March) Click below for additional information and registration.


January and February

Lunch and Learn Teaching Technology Tips: (Tuesday, Feb. 26)In this session, we’ll introduce you to a number of technologies currently available free or at very low cost. We’ll discuss how these tools could help you communicate with students, organize course materials, or motivate learning. Follow-up workshops will be scheduled throughout spring semester for each tool demonstrated if you find one you like! Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, January 22.  Join us for this event on Tuesday, January 26 from  noon to 1:00pm. Click here to register.

Double Header Coffee Chat (Thursday, Feb. 11) – Two events are scheduled:

#1 From 2-3pm — Body Language in the Classroom: Allie Irwin, a 1989 Michigan Tech alumna in Mechanical Engineering and a certified Science of People consultant, will lead an interactive presentation to help us learn what a student’s body language tells us and how an instructor’s body language affects classroom interactions, student evaluation scores, and learning. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, February 8th. Click here to register.

#2 From 3:30-4:30pm — Impact of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): The MI-STAR grant, led through Michigan Tech, is on the cutting edge of a nation-wide revolution in how Middle School science is taught. Come learn about the structure of the standards, how middle school teaching will change, and how Michigan Tech will have to adapt for students and classrooms with a very different mindset about STEM education. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, February 8th. Click here to register.


January

Coffee Chat Student Accommodation Process (1/19): More than five percent of Michigan Tech students are now registered for some kind of testing accommodation. This is consistent with national trends, and we will likely see this number continue to grow. In this Coffee Chat, we’ll address common questions surrounding the accommodations process. Discussion will include the process by which students are granted accommodations, established university and recommended classroom policies surrounding accommodations, and ways to minimize extra work associated with this growing student need.   Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday, January 15. Join us for this event on Tuesday, January 19 from  3:30pm to 4:30pmClick here to register.

Lunch and Learn Teaching Technology Tips (1/26): In this session, we’ll introduce you to a number of technologies currently available free or at very low cost. We’ll discuss how these tools could help you communicate with students, organize course materials, or motivate learning. Follow-up workshops will be scheduled throughout spring semester for each tool demonstrated if you find one you like! Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, January 22.  Join us for this event on Tuesday, January 26 from  12:00pm to 1:00pm. Click here to register.

 


December

Grade Submission Workshop: In this workshop, instructors will learn how to submit final grades from Banner and via Canvas. This workshop is recommended for instructors new to grade submission, or those simply wanting a refresher. This workshop is offered on the following dates:

– Thursday, December 10 from  10-11amClick here to register.
– Tuesday, December 14 from 2-3pm. Click here to register.

Also, please note that the CTL has assembled these Grade Submission Resources for your use.

January Event Announcements Coming Soon: No luncheons or coffee chats are scheduled for December, but announcements for our January 19 coffee chat and January 26 lunch and learn event will be posted soon.


November

Lunch and Learn Civility (11/11): From questioning grades to texting during class, instructors often perceive a variety of student behaviors as unprofessional or downright rude. But a recent article by Robin Lightner of Blue Ash College asks whether these behaviors can be reframed in the context of an environment where “instant service” and “ubiquitous technology” are the norm. In this workshop, we’ll explore strategies to proactively address inappropriate classroom behaviors and help students better understand expectations.  Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, November 6. Join us for this event on Wednesday, November 11 from  Noon to 1:00pmClick here to register.

Coffee Chat — Goal 2: Knowledge of the Physical and Natural World (11/12):Are you teaching a course on the new General Education Mathematics or Science Lists? If so, this session is for you! The Goal 2 Committee will review the university goal rubric for Knowledge of the Physical and Natural World and discuss ideas from some pilot assessments. Participants will practice scoring sample assignments with the rubric, consider final exam data from large classes, and brainstorm ideas for designing assignments. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, November 9. Join us for this event on Thursday, November 12 from  3:30 to 4:30pmClick here to register.

Coffee Chat — Student Mental Health(11/17): An increasing percentage of college students struggle with mental health disorders — including anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, PTSD, and other conditions — posing unique challenges. Instructors are often among the first to recognize a need for intervention but are often unsure how best to help.  In this session, Amber Bennett, Assistant Director of Michigan Tech Counseling Services, will work through common student scenarios with participants. We’ll discuss resources, warning signs, best practices, and things to avoid in our instructional role. Join us for this event on Wednesday, November 17 from 3:30 to 4:30. Click here to register.


James Wood

 James is a bioinformatics student. He was originally a biomedical engineering student until he switched majors over the summer. He has worked at the Jackson CTL for 1 year and also works as the business manager IMAG0096of the Lode student newspaper. Outside of Michigan Tech, James doesn’t do much professionally. In his spare time James enjoys catching up with the fam, playing board games & video games with friends, biking and other outdoor activities, playing guitar, and binging on Netflix.