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!
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.
A 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”).
This Thursday, the College of Communication and Education will offer a Brown Bag session (as part of their Take Time for Teaching pedagogy series) focused on being an engaged and inclusive educator. This informal discussion will include Universal Design for Learning principles and community engagement activities that are applicable across all disciplines. Award-winning faculty presenters Jamie Gunderson (School of Education), Tal Slemrod (School of Education), and Sue Peterson (Communication Arts & Sciences) will share tools and tips designed to promote equity across race, gender, sexuality, language, and class, and to create conditions where all students can thrive within and beyond the walls of the classroom. They will be joined by students who will be demonstrating how these practices work on the ground.
Please join us this Thursday, April 11 from 12-1:30 in BMU 210. Cookies and coffee provided!
Effective writing is a critical skill in the modern workforce but teaching it to our students is challenging. If you’re interested in learning how to design assignments to enhance student motivation and engagement in the writing process, there will be a live CSU webcast on April 19 from 2-3pm on this topic. This webcast, titled “Designing Writing Assignments for Student Engagement and Success”, focuses on the visual design of curriculum materials and student-directed discovery in hopes of motivating students to ask questions beyond simply “how long does this paper have to be?” and “when is it due?” To participate in this webcast, click here at 2 p.m. on 4/19.