Visit the Faculty Grading Space Open House This Friday

The grading/reading/writing space for faculty in MLIB 459 has new featured service to support your work. Aside from enjoying the most spectacular panoramic view on campus, faculty can now enjoy coffee, decaf, hot tea, and snacks in the room between 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

To welcome you to the “Rose Garden Room” with these new amenities, the Office of Faculty Development and the Meriam Library will be hosting an open house this Friday, 9/13 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Drop in at your leisure to enjoy appetizers, juice shots, and prize giveaways.

Join Book Club on “Deep Work”

Fall 2019 Book Club Invitation!

Do you ever feel like too much of your time is spent in a hurried blur of emails, meetings, and quick tasks? Do you want to be able to invest time focusing deeply on certain tasks without distraction? In the book “Deep Work,” author and professor, Cal Newport, shares strategies for cultivating a “deep work ethic” that can enhance focus so we can produce better results in less time.

If you’re interested in discussing these concepts, the Book Club will meet for one hour on four occasions this semester to discuss the implications of this book on our work as Chico State faculty. Click here by Tuesday, 9/10 to reserve your spot in the FA19 Book Club. You’ll get the book for free and plenty of coffee and snacks at each gathering.

Remembering Student Names

Today’s Tuesday Tip is a strategy to learn students’ names, which can facilitate a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment. It’s also a great way to connect with students but it can be challenging, especially in large classes. One strategy is to access your Class Roster to match students’ names with faces. When students get their photo taken for their University ID, they can choose to upload it to the Class Roster. To access your Class Roster with student photos, log on to the Chico State Portal, sign in with your campus username and password, and click on the Faculty Center. Then, click on the Class Roster icon to the left of your course and then click View All. On the Class Roster, you will see your students’ name, major, year in school, and photo (if they chose to upload it). You can then review the photos with names before each class.

Additional strategies for a successful first week of class can be found in this recent article in the Chronicle.

Tell Us What YOU Want Next Year!

In this final Tuesday Tip of the academic year, the Office of Faculty Development (FDEV) is interested in what type of programming would most benefit you in 2019-20. This past year, we offered paid programs on teaching enhancement, article writing, online course design, free speech in the classroom, mentoring new faculty, a book club on artificial intelligence and another on culturally inclusive education, as well as four intensive summer programs on inclusive pedagogy, teaching writing, affordable textbooks, and a writing community.

Assuming FDEV is appropriately funded in 2019-20, we plan to retain most of our existing offerings while also exploring programming on teaching first-generation college students, grant-writing, and department chair development.

FDEV is the one office on campus that supports your growth and development as a teacher and scholar. Click on the FDEV blog and let us know what you want from your Office of Faculty Development next year.

“Grade-bumping” can widen equity gaps

This is often the time of the semester when faculty receive emails from students asking for a “grade bump” (i.e. – a student asks for a favor such as their grade of 89.4% be rounded up to a 90% to get an A). Should you deny the request and stick to the point structure on your syllabus? Doing so can result in guilt-inducing responses from students about losing scholarships, being ineligible for sports, or not getting into med school. This decision is, of course, totally up to you but granting an unearned grade bump, just because a student asked for it, can widen equity gaps. That is, it rewards only the students with the audacity to ask you for the favor. Many students, including First-Gen and under-represented minorities, may lack either the cultural awareness or the boldness to ask for a grade bump and thus they may end up with lower grades in the class simply because they accepted the grade they earned. To be clear, if a student has a concern about a calculation error in their grade, it deserves a closer look. There is a clear distinction, however, between asking for grade clarification and asking for a grade boost.

Faculty Writing Community Summer Opportunity!

Commencement is this weekend and the last official academic workday for faculty is May 28th. If you plan to write this summer, the Office of Faculty Development is offering support to facilitate your success. From June 3rd – 6th, we’re offering a Summer Faculty Writing Community. This is a community of faculty in a quiet and comfortable room for four days, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day to write. That’s it. Nothing else. Just writing articles, books, manuscript revisions, or other scholarly pieces. FDEV will provide coffee, snacks, and lunch everyday to keep you going. English professor, Kim Jaxon, will facilitate a supportive community and assist you as needed. There will be some time devoted to peer review of drafts so you can get feedback along the way.

Many faculty write in the summer anyway. This community is a great way to hold yourself accountable for your writing projects and be surrounded in support during the process. If you’re interested, complete the application by Monday, May 27th.

Tuesday Tip – Visit the Grading Oasis Starting Next Week!

Reminder – applications for the three Fall ’19 Faculty Learning Communities are open through this Sunday, May 5. You may apply to more than one. Details and application links are on the Faculty Development website.
The Grading Oasis will be open to all faculty, including lecturers, from May 6-17 from 8am-5pm in MLIB 459. Drop in at your leisure to grade, read, write, or just relax and enjoy the panoramic view of campus. We will have free hot coffee, decaf, hot tea, snacks and fresh fruit each day to support you. 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!

Grading with Rubrics – Free Resource

Tis the season for grading final exams, group projects, and term papers. If you want to use rubrics to increase grading reliability and save yourself time but don’t want to create them, then consider downloading one of the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) Rubrics offered free through the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). After creating a free account, you can download up to 16 different rubrics on topics such as critical thinking, oral communication, teamwork, ethical reasoning, and more. As a sidenote, AAC&U is a great website for info on high-impact practices, STEM in higher ed, and other pedagogical resources.

Growth Mindset = Higher GPA

recent report revealed what many of us already know: Students with a growth mindset (believing that intelligence can be improved) rather than a fixed mindset (believing that intelligence is a fixed trait) are more engaged in class and have higher GPAs. Faculty have tremendous potential to help students shape their mindset to be more growth oriented, but only if they believe that students are capable of learning.  A 2018 survey of over 6,000 faculty indicated that 24% believe that student intelligence is “set” and cannot be improved…and that is very concerning. Some training programs are famous for telling students on the first day of class to “Look at the person on your left and on your right. One of them won’t make it through this program.” That is an unfortunate, anxiety-producing, and fixed mindset that can discourage students from persisting after a setback. A better way to inspire students in the face of a setback, such as a poor test grade, is to frame conversations with them around strategies for improvement (i.e. “You could study with a group next time”) rather than innate abilities (“you’re just not good at Math”).