Stereotypes Can Threaten Student Success

“Millennials are lazy”

“Black men do poorly in college”

“Blondes are ditzy”

“White men can’t jump”

What other stereotypes have you heard (or said) in class? Perpetuating stereotypes can lead to a widely studied phenomenon called “Stereotype Threat.” This occurs when a person feels at risk of being perceived as confirming a negative stereotype about a “group” they belong to. In a classroom, the anxiety of substantiating a negative stereotype has been shown to lower test performance, reduce memory capacity, decrease focus, and cause students to resist learning activities.

To minimize Stereotype Threat, you can…

  • Be aware of your own biases for or against groups of people
  • Avoid language that perpetuates negative stereotypes
  • Most Importantly, teach with a belief that ALL students can learn and be successful in your class regardless of stereotypes about them

Free Speech at Chico State

Last Saturday, President Trump announced that he intends to sign an executive order to cut federal research money to universities that fail to protect free speech (article here). This presents an opportunity to reflect on freedom of speech at Chico State with a few questions for you to consider and post a response to on the FDEV Blog…

  • Does Chico State do enough to protect freedom of speech?
  • Does Chico State do enough to protect vulnerable groups from speech that is offensive but not illegal?
  • Do campaigns promoted by Chico State such as “I don’t say” or “Cultures are not Costumes” infringe on freedom of speech or expression?
    1. Are these campaigns effective in helping marginalized groups?
  • In your classroom, how do you empower students to exercise freedom of speech, particularly when they have a dissenting opinion?

Speech that is not protected by the first amendment includes defamation, harassment, true threats, and inciting imminent violence. In his book “Free Speech on Campus”, Erwin Chemerinsky argues that campuses should not treat the expression of ides as a threat to the learning environment. He acknowledges the tension between “the desire to protect the learning experience of all students and the desire to safeguard freedom of expression.” How do you balance these two aspects in your classroom?

 

Ensure Your Voice is Heard

The WASC reaccreditation campus visit is next week and faculty have an opportunity to meet with the team on Tuesday, March 5 from 4:30-5:15pm in Colusa 100. This is an opportunity for you to share your input about the campus from the faculty perspective. If you’re unable to attend or would prefer to communicate privately with the WASC team, you can email your thoughts directly to csuchico@wscuc.org through March 7. This confidential email goes straight to the WASC review team and no one at Chico State will be able to read or have access to it. To read more about Chico State’s reaccreditation process, visit the WASC website.

Supplemental Instruction to Enhance Learning

INVITATION: The Faculty Development Office will host a viewing party for a webinar offered by the Chancellor’s Office on Supplemental Instruction (SI) on March 1 from 12-2 in Butte 309 (details attached). If you’re interested in attending all or part of this gathering, please RSVP here so we know how much coffee/snacks to bring.

What is SI?

SI has been shown to increase student engagement and help them perform better on assessments? It is a proven program that provides academic assistance to students via peer-assisted study sessions. Modeled after the International Program at the University of Missouri-KC, the SI Program at Chico State currently supports dozens of courses sections across multiple colleges on campus (mostly high enrollment, high DFW, bottleneck courses).

How does SI work?

SI study sessions are held three to four times per week by an SI leader, who is a student (recommended by you) who has already mastered the course material. SI leaders are trained and funded by the Student Learning Center (or your department’s budget) to facilitate group sessions where students can meet to compare notes, improve their understanding of course material, review and discuss difficult concepts, develop study strategies, and prepare for exams.

How can I get involved?

Requests for participating in the SI program should be made one semester in advance to allow time for hiring and training of the SI Leader. To start the SI request process, complete this SI Faculty Interest Form.

Tuesday Tip – BOOK CLUB on Cultural Inclusivity

Chico State has experienced significant changes in student demographics in recent years. If you’re interested in joining a discussion about creating a welcoming and inclusive classroom for all students, click here to join the Spring ’19 Book Club to discuss the concepts in The Culturally Inclusive EducatorYou’ll get the book for free and plenty of coffee and snacks during our four 1-hour gatherings this semester. The book offers evidence-based solutions to prepare teachers for a growing multi-cultural population in their classrooms. Rooted in social construction theory, the author offers guidance on overcoming both personal and institutional challenges to cultural inclusiveness (stereotype threats, microagressions, implicit bias, critical race theory, privilege, social identity, etc.). Apply by 2/18 to reserve your spot!

Teach Students, Not Subjects

It’s 2019 and our incoming students are the first university class born this century. While we serve students from all age groups, most of our incoming freshman grew up very differently than most of us.  For example, they were one year old when 9/11 happened and they’ve always had Wikipedia for “research.”

Here are some realities of our students born after the year 2000…

  • Humans have always lived in space, not just traveled there.
  • They have grown up afraid that a school shooting could happen.
  • Same-sex marriage has always been legal somewhere.
  • Oprah has always been a magazine.
  • They never used a spitbowl in a dentist’s office.
  • A visit to the bank is a rare event.
  • Best-selling books have always been available on an e-reader.

Deep learning requires that we know our students and connect with them when we can. As the saying goes, “we teach students, not subjects.”

Invitation to a Discussion About the Camp Fire

On November 8th, 2018 a devastating wildfire destroyed the town of Paradise and surrounding areas. While we grieve the loss of these communities and begin planning for the recovery process, Chico State has numerous opportunities for teaching, research, and contributing to the RECOVERY efforts. To help you incorporate some of these ideas into your teaching and scholarship, a group of committed faculty developed this website https://www.csuchico.edu/team-teaching/campfire/index.shtml

It compiles INFORMATION ON grant opportunities, social media resources, RESEARCH and teaching ideas.

To further explore these opportunities, all faculty (lecturers, tenured, and tenure-track) are invited to a discussion about the post-Camp Fire era. 

“Teaching the Camp Fire” Roundtable Discussion

Friday, February 8th from 2:00PM – 4:00PM in Colusa 100B

(Light Refreshments Provided)

Tuesday Tip – The Most Important Part of a Syllabus

What is the most important part of a syllabus? Due dates? Point structure? Attendance policy? The concept of “Backwards Design” suggests that Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are among the most important because they guide every single thing that you and your students do for the entire course. An SLO defines what students should know or be able to do by the end of your course and thus determines what will be taught and how. So, consider spending some time this semester creating or updating your SLOs. They should be in sync with your department outcomes and be clearly stated on your syllabus. All your assessments (labs, exams, papers, projects, etc.) should measure the extent to which students meet your SLOs. Below are a few examples of SLOs that are clear, observable, and measurable.

By the end of the semester, students will be able to…

  • Communicate using academic language appropriate for a nursing environment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation.
  • Develop an individual exercise program based on the results of a fitness assessment.

Efficient Grading

“The Laundry of Teaching” – that’s what a colleague of mine once nicknamed the process of grading because as soon as you finish one pile, another one awaits. Grading may not be the most riveting of the professorial tasks, but here are a few strategies to make it more accurate and less time-consuming.

  • Give feedback using a speech-to-text dictation app or create an audio file of your verbal feedback using a mobile device and upload to Box for students.
  • To reduce grading bias on paper exams, fold the corner of the page to hide student’s names.
  • Only write exam questions that assess your course learning outcomes. The rest are likely unnecessary.
  • Grade with a rubric for increased accuracy and consistency. This requires an investment of time up front to create the rubric but it will save you lots of time (and headaches) down the road.

Fall 2018 Grading Oasis

Another Tuesday Tip coming a day early to help…


Starting today, MLIB 459 will have free hot coffee, decaf, hot tea, snacks and fresh fruit for faculty (including T/TT and lecturers) from 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. Drop in at your leisure to grade, read, write, or do whatever you need to get done. We’ve updated the space with some new décor and the amazing view is always refreshing. Our student assistant, Ariana, may be available to assist with some grading as long as student names are not visible.

Best wishes to you for a smooth finish to the semester!

For more information, visit www.csuchico.edu/fdev.