Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Dear colleagues,

You made it! Your resilience got you to the finish line after one of the most difficult and unpredictable semesters of all time. To enjoy a healthy, happy, and restful summer, here are four evidence-based wellness suggestions from a recent book on “Lifestyle Medicine.”

  • Eat Well (eat a whole food plant-based diet low in sugar and fat)
  • Move More (exercise moderately everyday)
  • Love More (embrace intimacy for healing)
  • Stress Less (meditate and live mindfully)

These four strategies emerged from decades of research on wellness, which suggest that caring for your mind and body is the key to a happy and productive life. Unfortunately, our busy schedules often turn us into anxious human-doings rather than fulfilled human-beings. Prioritizing wellness, however, can lead to less anxiety, more energy, and a healthier body.

Much the way flight attendants tell us to put on our own oxygen mask first before helping others, we need to cultivate our own wellness so that we are healthy enough to serve our families, our campus, and our communities. Sharing the gift of health is my passion so if you would like to discuss wellness ideas for you or your department, reply back and let’s chat about it.

Best wishes to you all!

Reflection on the Past 2 Months

Congratulations to you for persevering through this extraordinarily challenging semester! If you’d like to reflect on your experiences both in and out of the classroom with your fellow colleagues, join the Virtual FLC this Thursday at 10 a.m. (https://csuchico.zoom.us/j/5308985778). We’ll share lessons learned that will make us stronger as teachers and scholars in the fall and beyond. Take a break from grading and join the discussion at any point!

Given the uncertainty of the challenges ahead, I encourage you to tune in to the Board of Trustees live virtual meeting today to hear about the future plans for the CSU.  This includes Chancellor White’s report on COVID-19 implications for the CSU at 10 a.m. and the CSU fiscal status report at 1 p.m. (full agenda here).

As we look ahead, FDEV will be supporting TLP this summer to offer the GoVirtual Summer Institute. As such, FDEV will not offer development programs this summer. Applications for fall FLCs will emailed to faculty later in the summer.

Final Exam Strategies

If you’re interested in learning creative methods (some might call them “professor hacks”) to administer and assess final exams, tune in to the Virtual FLC this Thursday at 10 a.m. We will ask faculty to share their own innovative techniques for remote final exam and projects. As always, TLP staff will be in the room to help us bring ideas to life. Below are a few strategies to consider to help you and your students thrive during the next couple weeks.

  • Use Kaltura Mashups, Turnitin, or VoiceTyping in Google Docs to offer audio or video feedback
  • Give options for the final exam (e.g. 5-page essay on takeaways from the course, online test, complete a project).
  • When grading papers, do not spend time offering written feedback unless you expect a revision.
    • or ask students if they want your feedback and offer it only to those individuals
    • or offer feedback and recommendations to the class as a whole rather than to every student
  • Be clear with students about due dates and timelines for final projects and exams
  • Offer longer-than-normal durations to take an exam and be less rigid with deadlines (this gives you more flexibility with grading too)

Use a Virtual Whiteboard to Engage Students

Effective teaching often involves using a whiteboard to illustrate concepts, write equations, or draw diagrams. You can still use these techniques when teaching remotely by using the “Zoom Whiteboard”, which works on either a desktop computer or a mobile device. To get started, click on the “Share Screen” button on the Zoom tool bar and then click “Whiteboard.” To learn more about how this tool can enhance teaching and learning, tune in to the next Virtual FLC this Thursday at 10 a.m. where TLP will offer a 15-minute presentation on Zoom Whiteboard. We’ll cover the bullet points below as well as discuss creative solutions you may already be using.

  • Annotate, draw, and create as you teach on your shared screen
  • Allow students access to create content on the screen to increase their engagement
  • Save an electronic Whiteboard screen to a file
  • Use Zoom Whiteboard with your tablet stylus.

This Week’s Faculty Development Sessions

Additional Resources

  • TLP Webinars including Advanced Zoom training that cover Whiteboard use
  • Go Virtual Summer Institute – paid summer institute to convert existing classes into effective online or blended courses. Apply to be a participant, a faculty mentor, or both.

Join the New Zoom Social Hour

Starting tomorrow (4/22), FDEV will host a “Zoom Social Hour” every Wednesday at 3 p.m. for the rest of the semester. This is a space to just be yourself and connect with people while talking about anything on your mind…work-related or not. No guest speakers and no tech tools…just conversations with supportive peers about what you’re going through during this pandemic. All faculty are invited.

On Thursday (4/23), our topic for the Virtual FLC will be Faculty Wellness. Some of you may be feeling lethargic because there are no gyms to exercise in, or feeling depressed because of isolation, or just feeling achy because of your home office ergonomic setup. On Thursday at 10am, we will discuss strategies to nourish our overall well-being to stay healthy and motivated through this. All faculty are invited.

As a sidenote, if you’re struggling with anxiety, addictions, depression, relationships, or any other distress, you have free access to the LifeMatters program. You can call a counselor 24/7 at 1-800-367-7474. If they can’t help you, they can refer you for up to three free counseling sessions with a therapist if you choose. If you’re asked for a passcode, it is “csuchico”.

Virtual Assessment Strategies

In the next Virtual FLC (this Thursday, 4/16 at 10 a.m.), we will talk about how to authentically assess learning now that we’re all teaching virtually. Our guest, Ben Seipel from the School of Education, will share ideas about how we can do that online while remaining flexible and sensitive to students’ needs. Examples could include:

  • Give exams that are open-book/open-note/open-internet that include high-level thinking questions that are not searchable online. Just be sure students know your expectations about academic integrity.
  • Consider assessments that require students to solve a problem in the community, evaluate a situation and recommend a solution, analyze a case study, create something new like a concept map or e-portfolio, give a virtual presentation, or record a podcast with peers on a topic you assign.

Equity Minded Virtual Teaching

In a recent webinar on Equity-Minded Virtual Teaching (recording here), CSU faculty offered several pedagogical strategies for the transition to online instruction such as…

  • When possible, offer alternative assessment options and consider asking students to weigh in on how they would prefer to demonstrate their learning (write a paper, produce a video, create a PPT, take online quizzes, etc.).
  • Demonstrate an “authentic investment” in each students’ success.
  • Send positive and validating signals to students that “they belong at Chico State” and that “they can succeed.”

In this Thursday’s Virtual Faculty Learning Community (VFLC) from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m., we will spend the first 15 minutes discussing  equity and accessibility in online teaching. Jeremy Olguin (Director of the Office of Accessible Technology & Services) will join the conversation along with TLP staff. The remaining 45 minutes will be open to share ideas, ask questions, raise concerns, and connect with colleagues on any relevant topic. All faculty are welcome to join by clicking on this Zoom link at 10 a.m. on Thursday https://csuchico.zoom.us/j/5308985778 (you can also call in at 1-669-900-6833 and enter ID number 5308985778). Here is a summary of last week’s VFLC.

Additional Resources for you from TLP are on the Keep Teaching page including live webinars this week and next on leveraging tools in Blackboard, Zoom, and Proctorio.

Virtual Faculty Learning Community for you

Dear Chico State Faculty,

I want to acknowledge your extraordinary work during this pedagogical transition. To support your ongoing efforts, the Office of Faculty Development will host an optional “Virtual Faculty Learning Community (VFLC)” via Zoom on Thursday mornings from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for the rest of the semester. This is a time for faculty to connect with one another, ask questions, share ideas, and raise concerns. We will spend the first 15 minutes discussing the most up-to-date resources and tools available to you. The remaining 45 minutes will be spent engaged in conversations about topics that you want to discuss with each other. Examples could include administering online final exams, maintaining a sense of community for students online, or staying healthy during this process. Bring your questions and ideas!

Sessions will be NOT be recorded but we will sum up any resources mentioned on the FDEV website. This VFLC is totally voluntary and there is no compensation. You are free to arrive late, leave early, or just be present for any portion of the session that your schedule allows.

-Josh

Tools and Resources for You

Our jobs and our lives have changed significantly in the past two weeks.

Below are a list of resources to support your transition to alternative teaching formats. If you would like to share your thoughts about teaching resources you need, questions you have, or ideas you’d like to share with others, let us know here.

Resources for Chico State Faculty

 

  • Free Webinar on Equity-Minded Virtual Teaching on 3/26 at 10 a.m. hosted by CORA
  • Free Webinar on Equity and Inclusion in Online Learning on 3/27 at 10 a.m. hosted by AAC&U
  • Free Chico State Virtual Sustainability Conference 3/26 – 3/27 (may be a good event for your students to join)

Try Zoom for Online Learning

Check out today’s 90-second Tuesday Video Tip on using Zoom for online learning and see supporting resources below.

Chico State Instructional Continuity Plan and Tools to Help Faculty

https://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/keepteaching.shtml

Workshops for Faculty to Get Started Using Zoom

https://www.csuchico.edu/tlp/events/index.shtml

If you can’t make it to a Zoom workshop, here is how to set up Zoom yourself.

Activate your Zoom Account (one-time task)

Add a Zoom Room to Blackboard Learn to meet with your students in a live, virtual classroom or one-on-one for student hours.