April and May

LUNCH AND LEARN:  Student-Created Videos as Assignments (Tuesday, April 11, 2017, Noon-1:00 pm)

Video has become a mainstream way of delivering content on Michigan Tech’s campus as instructors record small lectures, demonstrate homework solutions, and share interesting YouTube clips. Since students increasingly have the ability to record videos, some instructors have begun making assignments that require students to submit videos. In this workshop, participants will explore ways to use student-created video to build class community, ensure academic integrity, and provide richer communication. We’ll consider tools and assignments that allow students to submit video introductions, homework solutions, presentations, field experiences, and questions, as well as other more creative projects.  Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, April 7. Click here to register.

UPPER PENINSULA TEACHING AND LEARNING CONFERENCE:  (Friday, May 5, 2017, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm)

The first annual Upper Peninsula Teaching and Learning Conference (UP-TLC) will be held at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI on Friday, May 5th, with a pre-conference workshop to be held on Thursday, May 4th.  We hope to attract more than 100 university educators from UP universities and colleges for presentations on higher education teaching best practice and networking. Four tracks of sessions will be held concurrently, with a focus on: Active Learning, Assessment, Online Learning, and Other Issues in Higher Ed Teaching.  Session presenters are outstanding teachers who have been recruited by the staff of the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning at Michigan Tech and the Northern Michigan University Center for Teaching and Learning.  The keynote address, “Dynamic Lecturing”, will be presented by Dr. Christine Harrington, Director of the Center for the Enrichment of Learning and Teaching at Middlesex Community College and the author of Student Success in College: Doing What Works. Please click here for more information on the conference and registration.  Registration closes on Friday, April 28, 2017.



COFFEE CHAT: Design Thinking in Your Classroom (Thursday, March 16, 2017, 3:30-4:30 pm)

This Coffee Chat will share the basics of design thinking and discuss how to: empathize with the students in your classes, brainstorm creative solutions to problems around student learning, and create simple, actionable ideas to start practicing design thinking. Come join us for this session to learn more about design thinking.  This event is sponsored by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, the Pavlis Honors College, and The Alley.   Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, March 13.  Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN – The Superlative Syllabus:  Attitude, Alignment, and Avoiding Assumptions (Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Noon-1:00 pm)

A syllabus not only sets the tone for a class, but lays out course objectives, assignments, and policies. In the luncheon session, participants will learn how to set a desired tone, write assessable student learning objectives, and align course work to achieve them. The follow-up workshop will provide opportunities for real-time work and individual coaching on student learning objectives for a future course.  Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, March 17. Click here to register.

Tuesday Hands-On Syllabus Workshop (Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 1:00-2:00 pm)

A syllabus not only sets the tone for a class, but lays out course objectives, assignments, and policies. This hands-on workshop will provide opportunities for real-time work and individual coaching on student learning objectives for a future course.  Click here to register.

You may attend a workshop even if you don’t attend the luncheon.

Note: Please bring a syllabus from one of your courses – either a paper copy or your laptop.




Faculty Grant to Support Global Literacy in Undergraduate Courses

picture of man on a mountain

The University Student Learning Goal 3 (Global Literacy) Committee, with support from the Provost’s office and Center for Teaching and Learning, is pleased to announce a small faculty grant program to encourage innovative and effective ways to introduce or enhance global literacy content into Michigan Tech undergraduate courses.

We expect to give two to four awards of up to $1,600 each for work over the summer 2017 to support course development for courses to be taught in the next two years. A match is not required, but applicants are encouraged to seek a match from departments or other units on campus if additional funds are needed for the project.

Objectives of the Grant

Grants will be used to introduce or enhance global literacy content in Michigan Tech undergraduate courses in innovative, effective, and measurable ways. Further information on University Student Learning Goal 3: Global Literacy is available at this link.

Award money must be used for Michigan Tech course development to support the university student learning goal of global literacy. Funds should not be used for travel or conference expenses. The following expenses are allowable:

  • Faculty summer salary
  • Materials purchased for a course
  • Student assistant
  • Software

Selection of awardees will be based on the outcomes of reviews by a committee assembled by the Goal 3 Committee, Provost’s office, and Center for Teaching and Learning. The committee will consist of individuals not involved in the proposals and who have expertise in global literacy.

Expectations of Awardees

Awardees will present their project and how it supports global literacy in a faculty coffee chat organized by the Goal 3 Committee and Center for Teaching and Learning during the fall semester 2017. Through this presentation, awardees are expected to share teaching models and ideas with other faculty members. The new curricular material should be implemented into coursework at the earliest occasion, and no later than spring semester 2019.


Applicants must be faculty members who will teach courses in their unit with the new curricular material on a regular schedule. A single faculty member may apply for a course taught individually, or an interdisciplinary team that co-teaches a course may apply together for one award.

Proposal Required Elements

Responses to project summary and budget should total about 1,000 words.

Project summary should answer the following questions:

  • How will you introduce or enhance global literacy content for a specific course you teach at Michigan Tech?
  • What impact will your work have for Michigan Tech’s university curricula to enhance global literacy, including the estimated number of students impacted?
  • What is the timeline for your proposed project, including teaching the course?
  • How do you expect to measure the effectiveness of your project in terms of student attitudes and/or student learning in global literacy?

Budget should include:

  • Line item expenses
  • Brief budget justification as a clear narrative

For a match, include a brief letter from the chair, dean, or director supporting the match.


The Intent to Apply form must be submitted by March 20, 2017. The form is available at this link. Once the Intent to Apply form is submitted, applicants will be invited to a Canvas course to submit the grant application. Questions about the submission process can be directed to the Goal 3 Committee co-chairs, Ramon Fonkoué (rafonkou@mtu.edu) and Kari Henquinet (kbhenqui@mtu.edu).


  • Grant applications open: February 7, 2017
  • Intent to Apply form due: March 20, 2017
  • Applications due: March 31, 2017
  • Awards announced: early April 2017
  • Summer 2017: Project work carried out and funds spent
  • Fall 2017: Presentation of results to Michigan Tech faculty


COFFEE CHAT: Canvas Course Share (Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 3:30-4:30 pm)

This Coffee Chat gives instructors a chance to share effective uses of Canvas and learn from others as well. Instructors will be grouped by area of interest (home page design, module structures, innovative assignments, effective discussions, etc.) to show and discuss something they’ve done in their Canvas course that’s working well. CTL staff will also be on hand to answer questions, suggest alternatives, and point out new features. Bring a laptop or borrow one of ours to make this a highly interactive session!   Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday, February 17.  Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN – Textbooks: Changing Costs, Content, and Student Use (Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Noon-1:00 pm)

As textbooks change to include homework systems, alternate media, and open source items, changing cost structures and other factors influence the way students purchase and use them.  This luncheon event brings together the work of on-campus student, faculty, and staff groups who have been exploring ways to help ensure that textbooks are accessible as an important learning resource to all students. Participants will be asked to view online presentations from each group prior to attending, and come ready to engage in brainstorming and a panel discussion surrounding this issue.  Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, February 24. Click here to register.


COFFEE CHAT: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Thursday, January 19, 2017, 3:30-4:30 pm)

Join us for a coffee chat to discuss initiatives which advance the scholarship of teaching and learning on Michigan Tech’s campus. We’ll consider new opportunities available through the RISE Institute to support faculty in education research and STEM initiatives. We’ll also discuss how best to foster collaborative interdisciplinary “reflective practices” to advance research efforts and academic writing approaches regarding pedagogical innovations.  Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, January 16. Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN: Teaching Accessibly: Attending to the Needs of All Students (Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Noon-1:00 pm)

When we think about accessibility, we often focus on students with specific disabilities. The growing discussion about accessibility, however, focuses on making information available to as many students as possible. Teaching involves using many types of media (written documents, videos, presentations, websites, etc.), all of which have unique accessibility concerns.  In this workshop, we’ll explore time-efficient ways to design course materials that meet the needs of students with a widening range of abilities. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, January 20. Click here to register.


LUNCH AND LEARN: Student Perceptions of Tech Teaching (Tuesday, November 8, 2016, Noon-1:00 pm)

The Jackson CTL has an undergraduate student intern this semester.  Amy Joy Patterson has spent this semester collecting student perceptions about what helps them learn and what doesn’t.  Amy Joy will share her data and reactions.  Participants will have a chance to consider whether student preferences might warrant changing teaching practice, or how instructors can better implement needed strategies that aren’t well liked. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, November 4. Click here to register.


COFFEE CHAT: Making a Difference: The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions – Dr. Linda Vanasupa (Guest Speaker) (Tuesday, October 11, 2016, 10:30-11:30 am)

Dr. Linda Vanasupa, a Tech alum with experience as a Materials Science Professor and Chair, is now the Founding Co-Director for the Center for Sustainability at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. She received the 2016 Women in Engineering Proactive Network (WEPAN) Leader in Engineering Education award this summer.   In this session, co-hosted by the Jackson CTL and WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), Dr. Vanasupa will focus on how instructors practice under noble conditions and ultimately profoundly condition the learning that takes place in their classrooms. She will provide an honest reflection on a career once guided by the “making a difference” ideology.  Participants are invited to hear stories of the unintended consequences of success: the ups and downs, emergence and transformation.  Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, October 10. Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN: Students on the Autism Spectrum (Tuesday, October 18, 2016, Noon-1:00 pm)

In this collaborative CTL and Student Disabilities Services event, participants will first explore traits typical of students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and why such students might be more common at Michigan Tech.  We’ll then explore instructional strategies that best serve the needs of these learners.  Staff from Michigan Rehabilitation Services will join the luncheon to offer a broader perspective related to both education and employment. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, October 14. Click here to register.

COFFEE CHAT: The Other Half of Evaluating Teaching (Thursday, October 27, 2016, 3:30-4:30 pm)

Senate policy indicates that “no more than 50%” of the evaluation of teaching used for tenure/promotion and raises should come from end-of-term student ratings of instruction. In this Coffee Chat session, we’ll discuss how “the other half” is currently accomplished in various departments, and suggest some alternatives for future departmental consideration.  (The Provost, Deans, and Chairs have already seen these, and agree that it’s best for each department to decide whether and how to have this discussion.)  The Provost’s goal is to consider ways to move the focus from “judgment” to continuous improvement. Please join us as we kick off these conversations!   Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, October 24. Click here to register.






COFFEE CHAT: Testing Center Scheduling Process (Thursday, September, 15)

The Michigan Tech Testing Center has grown by leaps and bounds over the past three years, prompting changes in staffing, software, and process. The changes have tried to better serve instructors, offer more flexibility to students, and allow a broader array of sponsored exams. In this Coffee Chat on Thursday, September 15, from 3:30-4:30pm, we’ll discuss the new registration process implemented this fall and get feedback about how the Testing Center can continue to improve. Refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, September 12. Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN: Academic Integrity Student Survey Results (Tuesday, September 20)

In spring 2016, the Academic Integrity Committee surveyed Michigan Tech students from all levels and majors. In the more than 1500 responses received, students rated a variety of behaviors in terms of seriousness, and indicated how often they were observed.   In this luncheon event on Tuesday, September 20 from noon to 1pm, we’ll review aggregated responses and comments.  We’ll then highlight some surprising lessons for instructors regarding current student expectations in a learning environment. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Friday, September 16. Click here to register.

LUNCH AND LEARN: How Students Learn –  Dr. Stephen DiCarlo (Professor in the School of Medicine, Wayne State University) (Thursday, September 29)

 A Pretty Model is, in Itself, More Engaging and Inspiring than Copious Content Extracted from our Minds:  Teachers often overrate the importance of their content and underrate their influence.  However, students forget much of the content that they memorize.  Thus, attempts to teach students all that they will need to know is futile.  Rather, it is important that students develop an interest and love for lifelong learning.  Inspiring and motivating students is critical because unless students are inspired and motivated our efforts are pointless.  Once students are inspired and motivated, there are countless resources available to learn more about a subject.  During this luncheon session, September 29, noon to 1:00pm, we will discuss the background and use of three strategies that are documented to inspire, engage and motivate our students. This event is co-sponsored by the Jackson CTL and the Department of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology.   Click here to register.

PEDAGOGY WORKSHOP: How Students Learn – Dr. Stephen DiCarlo (Professor in the School of Medicine, Wayne State University) (Thursday, September 29)

Shock and Awe Pedagogy: “Building” Bonds and Brains: The success of shock and awe pedagogy may be attributable, in part, to a powerful emotional connection.  Basic emotions including shock, anger, fear and sadness are shared by all humans.  When we experience emotion in our lives we tend to remember the experience.  In fact, the more emotional impact an experience has, the more intensely we remember its details and the more likely it will be stored in long-term memory.  In this workshop, September 29, 2:00 to 3:15pm, participants will be assigned to small groups based on similar expertise and develop and share one memorable pedagogical experience based on a model, humor or shocking performance. This event is co-sponsored by the Jackson CTL and the Department of Kinesiology & Integrative Physiology.   Click here to register.

KINESIOLOGY AND INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY DEPARTMENT SEMINAR: How Students Learn – Dr. Stephen DiCarlo (Professor in the School of Medicine, Wayne State University) (Friday, September 30)

Too Much Content, Not Enough Thinking, and Too Little Fun: Henry Ford, stated “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is why so few people engage in it.”  This is also true in the classroom where the content driven curriculum leaves little time for thinking.  In this setting, information is transferred from the notes of one person to the notes of another person without going through the minds of either person.  That is, we spend too little time thinking about the information.  This is important because active processing of information, not just passive reception of that information, leads to learning. Specifically, we understand the information we think about because understanding is the residue of thinking.  Therefore, in this seminar, September 29, 3:00 to 4:00pm, we will discuss strategies to create a joy, an excitement, and a love for learning.  By making learning fun, our students will be impatient to run home, study, and contemplate–to really learn. No registration is required for the Friday KIP Department Seminar to be held in 101 ATDC.