Tag: center for teaching and learning


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.


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


The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning schedules events for faculty and instructional staff to provide opportunities to learn new instructional strategies and tools and meet faculty from other departments. 

Lunch and Learn — International Students: How Can We Help Them Succeed in the Classroom? (11/13): International students bring unique skills, perspectives, opportunities, and challenges to our classrooms and programs.  Prior to this blended seminar, you’ll watch video interviews with instructors and administrators who have experience working with international students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Then, you’ll select those facilitators you’d like to engage during a lunchtime discussion. This luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, November 13 from noon-1 p.m. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, November 10.  Click here to register.

Coffee Chat — How Learning Works (11/18): Dr. Susan Ambrose of Northeastern University recently published a book entitled How Learning Works: 7 Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching.    During this coffee chat, we’ll discuss the 7 principles and how best to apply them to create a learner-centered classroom. Prior to the coffee chat, participants are asked to watch a 52-minute webinar, featuring Dr. Ambrose and recorded as part of WEPAN’s Engineering Inclusive Teaching Project, to inform the conversation. This coffee chat event This coffee chat is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Thursday, November 14.  Click here to register.


The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning schedules events for faculty and instructional staff to provide opportunities to learn new instructional strategies and tools and meet faculty from other departments. 

Coffee Chat — Organizing STEM Education Research (10/2): A growing number of instructors on campus have expressed interest in measuring the effects of classroom reforms. The Pavlis Honors College, the Graduate School, the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, the Engineering Fundamentals Department and others have begun working together to formalize programs and centralize resources in order to better support this kind of work. This discussion will include a summary of efforts to-date, a review of a potential campus-wide grant proposal, and opportunities for you to share your input on future directions. All with an interest in STEM Education research are encouraged to attend! This event is scheduled for Thursday, October 2, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, September 29.  Click here to register.

Coffee Chat — Information Literacy Learning Goal (10/7): Join the Information Literacy Goal Committee for a collaborative primer about integrating information literacy instruction effectively and efficiently in your course or degree program. Reminder: The Information Literacy University Student Learning Goal (USLG) will be assessed university wide this year. This timely workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Thursday, October 2.  Click here to register.

Lunch and Learn — Jackson Blended Learning Grant Showcase (10/16): Through a generous gift from William G. Jackson in 2013, the CTL awarded $1000, $5000 and $10,000 grants to teams of instructors for blended learning projects at Michigan Tech. This luncheon will showcase these grant projects, which include travel to blended learning conferences as well as small-to-extensive course development or expansion projects, delivered using blended and online learning techniques. Participants will be invited to explore the kinds of work funded by previous grants prior to the luncheon and then select facilitators for further conversation. The goal is to encourage participants to initiate their own blended learning projects and/or propose a grant during the second solicitation, planned for November 2014. This luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, October 16 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Monday, October 13.  Click here to register.

Workshop and Luncheon — On Thursday, Oct. 23, staff from TechSmith, makers of popular video recording/editing software, will be at Michigan Tech for one day only to showcase their tools and share their expertise. The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning invites faculty and instructional staff to attend two TechSmith events. For instructors new to recording and editing videos or screen capture, a Video Tools Overview is scheduled for 9:30 to 11a.m., so instructors can see what can be done with TechSmith tools, ask questions and learn how to get started. Those already using Camtasia or other TechSmith tools are encouraged to register for an afternoon Advanced User Workshop to get an expert’s help on projects. To register, click on the links above or contact the CTL for assistance at 7-3000.

Goals for the First Day of Class

by Mike Meyer, Director of the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

Michigan Tech instructors need to make the most of every minute.   The good news is that a tremendous number of free teaching resources are available to us, so that –  increasingly – we don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.”  Each week of this fall semester, I’ll showcase one of my favorite online (free!) teaching resources, in hopes that you’ll find some things that increase learning and save you time.  If you have favorite resources, I encourage you to bring them to my attention so I can share them with the instructional community as well.

This week’s resource is Merlot Elixr’s “Goals for the First Day of Class”.

This “case story” is a series of short videos showcasing essential practices for the first day of class and a plethora of ideas to really get the semester started right.   Snippets from a wide variety of disciplines are included, but the general themes (Motivation, Framing, Expectations, Assessment, Climate, and Administration) are generically useful as you plan your first day.

If you’d like to talk more about your first day, or about any aspect of your teaching, feel free to stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, Suite 219!