Celebrate the Earth

Compiled by Rebecca Nelson, Admin Analyst/Specialist (ranelson@csuchico.edu)

Join us in celebrating Earth Day on 4/22 and Earth Month throughout April, along with continuing efforts throughout the year to support environmental sustainability and resiliency. In Faculty Development, we are passionate about this work and have been proud sponsors of the Teaching Climate Change Resilience FLC series. These events are enrichment opportunities for ourselves and our students. We hope you find something here that resonates with you and what you teach.

Earth Day is an internationally recognized holiday to raise awareness, inspire change, and foster a deeper connection with nature. The Associated Students (AS) will be hosting an Earth Day Festival on Monday, April 22nd from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Commons. Visit the AS Sustainability program webpage for more information.

Extend your Earth Day celebrations into the weekend by signing up to volunteer at the 2024 Chico Spring Clean Day on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Hooker Oak Park and attending the Butte Environmental Council’s Endangered Species Faire on Saturday, April 20th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Attend a public talk on Thursday, April 25th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Recital Hall as we welcome Dr. Sarah Ray (Cal Poly Humboldt) and Dr. Jennifer Atkinson (University of Washington Bothell) for a distinguished visiting professor public lecture to discuss the pre-release of their book, The Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice Educators: How to Teach in a Burning World, an easy-to-use field guide for teaching on climate injustice and building resilience in your students—and yourself—in an age of crisis. Their talk will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Watch The Climate Baby Dilemma, a film written, directed, and produced by award-winning filmmaker Victoria Lean. We were honored to host the international university film premiere of The Climate Baby Dilemma in March and have purchased digital access to the full film for Chico State through the Meriam Library.

Explore the Butte Resilience Collaborative vision for a resilient community through collaboration, communication, and connectedness throughout the year.

Visit the Teaching Climate Change and Resilience (TCCR) webpage for additional information and resources.

Upcoming events and announcements:

Zach Justus     
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Artificial Intelligence Grab-Bag

Several AI stories/resources are coming in at the same time, so I’ve packaged them together to save some time and inbox space.

First, Ethan Mollick, a professor at Wharton and a leading voice on AI in higher education was a recent guest on the Ezra Klein show. I can’t make you read or listen to anything about AI (or anything else for that matter), but if I could this would be the thing. During a 2nd half conversation about writing (which they later expanded to many other areas of student work) Mollick remarks “any writer knows about the tyranny of the blank page, about staring at a blank page and not knowing what to do next, and the struggle of filling that up. And when you have a button that produces really good words for you, on demand, you’re just going to do that.” The situation is not hopeless, but it does require some attention. Invest some time in this episode and you will be closer to solutions than where you are now.

Second, we are hosting an informal AI conversation on 4/19 via Zoom. This is a great opportunity to talk about what is going on in the classroom, in your own work, and discuss ethics and possibilities. Nik Janos and I started these conversations last year and we have found they work best when we come with a supportive attitude and intentionally to avoid disparaging our colleagues, students, or administrators by keeping the conversation focused on the technology and our perspectives. This is not a policy-making or agenda-driven space. All employees are welcome to attend and participate.

Third, applications for our summer programs are due on 4/19. We have an AI retrofit intensive and the popular writing intensive. Apply for one or both. We would love to see you and work with you this summer.

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Grading for Growth 

Grades are weird. We look at the work of a student, then we measure it against a rubric, often derived from work other students have done, and assign it a point value. Those points are added together at the end of the term and matched with a letter grade in a table which we then submit to the University. Then those letters are translated back into numbers so a student can know their cumulative GPA. This is the system we have arrived at through happenstance and history and it is outlined quite well in the recent book Grading for Growth by David Clark and Robert Talbert (check out this substack or recent podcast if you don’t want to read the whole book).

There are, of course, actual grading policy guidelines for this at Chico State. There are radical alternatives other Universities have tried. There is even the alternative of “ungrading” which seeks to unpack and undo the history of grading. 

This is not an endorsement of any specific practice or critique. Systems of grading are one of the many truths we have historically accepted that deserve a closer look. Take a few minutes and reflect on what you hope to accomplish when you assign a student a letter grade to see if it matches up with the broader convictions you have about education, growth, and learning. You could even go further and have a conversation with your students about what grades mean to them. Speaking of investment of time–applications for our summer programs on AI (May 28-31) and Writing (June 3-13) are open until April 19. Check out the full calls and apply now!

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

The Legacy of the Research in Equity, Antiracism, Diversity, and Inclusion (READI) Hub

FDEV Faculty Fellow Dr. Jamie Gunderson sat down with Dr. Alisa Wade and former director Dr. Chiara Ferrari to discuss the history and impact of READI at Chico State in our most recent episode of the Rise, Teach, Learn podcast. Listening to it compelled me to reflect on the impact this hub has had and will continue to have on Chico State. READI was the vision of my dear friend and predecessor Chiara Ferrari who worked with a group of diverse faculty fellows to make the values of the institution a reality within Faculty Development. The funding for the hub ends this Spring, but I want to highlight a few enduring products of the READI hub that will impact our campus for years. 

First, Faculty Development offers 60+ unique Teaching Guides covering a wide range of topics from Black Lives Matter in the Classroom to Gamification. The fellows utilized a universal design for learning framework with an equity emphasis to produce what is now a library of resources. This collection is permanent and we will continue to maintain it moving forward. 

Second, later this semester we will launch a Canvas-based Teaching Certificate program designed to help faculty elevate their teaching practices and provide RTP-friendly verification of completion. 

Third, the READI hub supported an incredible range of faculty programs. This semester we were thrilled to pilot the BIPoC faculty writing group, co-produce programming related to the Book In Common,  and continue supporting the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching workshops. 

I hope you will join me in an enthusiastic thank-you to Chiara, the FDEV staff, and the many READI partners who made this work happen. In doing so we can be thankful for what we have while working to expand the lessons we have learned through partnership and creativity.

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Workshop and Workload

Ever wish you could get some preliminary help grading? Tired of drafting your own slide decks and visuals? Do you daydream about endless question sets to diversify your Canvas quizzes? Trying to prioritize your research, but having trouble putting resources and timelines together? We have a workshop for you! Join us today, March 12th from 12-1:30 p.m. in Selvesters and on Zoom for an AI workshop about tools to help with your workflow. Visit the FDEV website for full details. This is an investment of time, but it will be worth it. You will get this time back in weeks, if not days, with improvements to workflow and the ability to offload certain tasks to AI tools.

If you are concerned about workload, but currently not interested in AI tools, I have another recommendation. Check out this interesting essay from Inside Higher Ed from a few weeks ago about “selfish” teaching and scholarship. I was struck by this one excerpt that resonates with my teaching: “we should resist the temptation to teach every chapter of the textbook and instead zoom in on those content areas that best allow us to communicate the processes we want students to understand.”

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

SoTL Grants and Workshops!

This is a reminder that FDEV is offering support for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). The application is not tedious, but it is due tonight at 11:59 p.m. One question we have received a lot has to do with the approved travel request. Ideally, you have something approved or in process already, but if you do not please apply anyway. We will evaluate all applications we receive. Full details are in the tip from last week and the application is here.

On Friday we are offering a workshop to faculty and staff on an introduction to AI. We brought in Dr. Brett Christie for this work, he has been a national leader in this space and we are fortunate to have him. The workshop is on Friday, March 8th from 12-1:30 p.m. in MLIB 045 and on Zoom. On Tuesday, March 12th we are offering another AI workshop about tools to help with your workflow. Full details are here.

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grants

Faculty Development is here for you with programming, workshops, stunning insights (okay, not so much on that one, but once in a while), and today with direct professional development funding. We are thrilled to offer faculty the opportunity to apply for a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) grant. Most of the time this takes the form of conference travel or a material purchase related to teaching and learning. Developing a track for my research involving teaching and learning has been essential to my own development as a professor and has made me a better teacher.

We are offering funding of up to $1,000 per person and we will support as many folks as we can. The money will be transferred to your home department and must be spent or encumbered by June 30th, which is the end of the fiscal year. Please work with your chair and administrative support team. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover expenses that have already been processed. To apply, fill out the Google application form by March 5th at 11:59 p.m. You need to be logged into Google for this particular form to process. We know this is a tight turnaround, but we want to give folks as much time as we can to spend the funding.

Finally, a brief reminder that we are offering a beginners guide to AI workshop on March 8th from 12-1:30 p.m. in MLIB 045 and on Zoom.

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Small Changes: Big Results

We are a month into Spring and the time for adjustments or changes may seem to have passed. It is not too late to make a small change that could make a big difference for your students. I often return to the Small Change Series from James Lang during these moments because it is such a pragmatic guide to making adjustments during the semester (you only need a free Chronicle account to access these). In this tip I want to recommend an excerpt from his short essay on the last five minutes of class (library link) where instead of cramming in another example or theory you could try out a connection exercise. 

Closing connections. If we want students to obtain mastery and expertise in our subjects, they need to be capable of making their own connections between what they are learning and the world around them — current events, campus debates, personal experiences. The last five minutes of class represent an ideal opportunity for students to use the course material from that day and brainstorm some new connections.

Finish the last class of the week five minutes early, and tell students that they can leave when they have identified five ways in which the day’s material appears in contexts outside of the classroom. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can come up with examples when this activity stands between them and the dining hall.

I liked this suggestion because it promotes student activity and a solution to something we sometimes struggle with–helping students see themselves in the work we are doing. 

Finally, just a reminder that we are still soliciting feedback on our summer programming through tonight at 11:59pm. Please help us better understand your needs by filling out this brief survey.

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

All past Tuesday Tips are curated on the FDEV website.

Understanding Fair Use

This tip is brought to you by librarian Patrick Newell.

In our work and studies, most of us realize that most of the content we use is digital (or gets digitized) content. For many of us who teach, as we build our classes online, we realize how much we rely on outside material for our courses. Outside of work, we share photos, videos, remixed music, and memes (both those we created as well as those found online) via text, email, web pages, and social media. A lot of our work, scholarship, teaching, and personal lives that take place online involve using materials created by other people (or companies) and sharing these materials with others.   

When preparing for classes, faculty constantly make decisions about materials regarding what documents we post online, what videos (and how much) we can show in an online class, and what materials we distribute in a classroom, and each of these decisions involve copyright law.  While copyright law provides copyright holders exclusive rights, it also provides a number of exceptions to these rights, including the legal right of fair use. Fair use is an essential limitation and exception to copyright, allowing the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances.   

To help educate the campus community about fair use, Meriam Library joins libraries worldwide celebrating Fair Use Week (February 26-March 1, 2024) and have created some fun opportunities to learn more about copyright and how it applies to the materials we use online (and offline) daily.   While fair use (and fair dealing outside of the U.S.) is employed daily by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material, Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week is a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented, celebrate successful stories, and explain the doctrine. 

Please consider attending one of these events to Celebrate Fair Use Week with us. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2024 – 4pm to 530pm; Online Meeting – 90 minutes
Fair Use Boot Camp: How to Document Your Fair Use Argument
Please register at https://forms.gle/Jg891GrYQJREtxBo7

This workshop is focused on faculty and students who use copyrighted materials.  The first 60 minutes of this workshop will provide an overview of copyright law, the public domain, authors/creators- and copyright holders-rights (and exceptions to those rights), and how to document a Fair Use argument; the final 30 minutes of the workshop will include discussing the concerns attendees bring to the class and documenting their Fair Use arguments.  This online workshop will not be recorded to allow those attending to openly discuss their copyright issues.   

Thursday, February 29, 2024 – 11am to 1pm; Online Meeting – 120 minutes
Fair Use Study Hall [Non-Drowsy Formula]
Please register at  https://forms.gle/uAiXL9vp4QyL18y58

In this two-hour workshop, we will cover the same material from the Fair Use Boot Camp (above), but at a slower pace and with additional time for group work to resolve questions that arise from members of the class.  This workshop will not be recorded to allow students to openly discuss their copyright issues.   

Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – 12pm to 1pm; Meriam Library’s Innovation Lab
“Seems Fair To Me” – A Copyright Game Show
Cheer on (or shout advice from the audience to) the campus community’s mystery contestants as they answer questions about Fair Use from recent legal cases. This workshop will not be recorded to protect the dignity of all involved.

Please consider joining us for one of these educational opportunities.  We’ve attempted to make them engaging and interesting.  You be the judge! 

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

All past Tuesday Tips are curated on the FDEV website.