Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy

This Tuesday Tip was written in collaboration with Legal Studies professors Mahalley Allen and Maitreya Badami.

Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union litigating cases advancing gender equality, before she was a federal appellate court judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and before she became the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, she was a professor, first at Rutgers Law School and then at Columbia Law School.

During her early career as a law professor, Ginsburg’s students asked her to teach a seminar on women and the law. Preparing to teach that class and finding there was little in the law about women’s place in the world set Ginsburg on a path to becoming a legal and feminist icon who changed the law in this country, not only for women, but for everyone.

In Our Revolutionary Spirit, a short film celebrating Rutgers’ 250th anniversary, Ginsburg reflected that her students “sparked my interest and aided in charting the course I then pursued. Less than three years after starting the seminar, I was arguing gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court.” In turn, Ginsburg inspired her students, working tirelessly with them as the first Rutgers Law School faculty advisor for the Women’s Rights Law Reporter, now the country’s oldest law journal focusing on women’s rights. While a professor at Columbia Law School, she invited her students to help prepare legal cases she was litigating on behalf of the ACLU. Since her passing on September 18th, many of her former students have released moving tributes about her influence on their lives.

Professor Ginsburg’s career, and the relationship she had with her students, is a powerful reminder of the importance of both inspiring students through experiential learning and letting students inspire us in return. Some of the very practices she applied in her classes are what we now define as high-impact educational practices. Our profession is one that feeds off this formidable exchange of ideas, experiences, and connections. While her career as a professor might not be what she will mostly be remembered by, we want to pay tribute to her today through the meaningful opportunities she created for her students and the endless impact of her teachings.

Quality Learning and Teaching Program

The Office of Faculty Development is partnering with the Technology & Learning Program to offer a series of workshops designed around the Quality Learning and Teaching instrument. Please read below for details. 

The Quality Learning and Teaching (QLT) program was developed to assist faculty and instructional designers to more effectively create and deliver online, blended, and flipped courses, and has been utilized at CSU, Chico since 2014. I have led the QLT Program since 2016 and I have found that key benefits include: 

  1. Engaging students in their learning experience more directly 
  2. Increasing student feedback throughout the course (not only at the end) for immediate and continuous improvement. 

If you are interested in learning more about the nature of quality online instruction at CSU, Chico and about the benefits of faculty training, you can read this recent article written by Ben Seipel and myself: Preparing and Training Higher Education Faculty to Ensure Quality Online Learning and Teaching

QLT WORKSHOPS 

The five workshops below are designed to meet core standards in the QLT instruments and are associated with deliverables that will allow you to fully redesign a course (or design a new course). While we encourage faculty to take them in this sequence, it is not necessary to attend them in this order.   

Workshop 1: Introduction to QLT, Course and Learner Support (Chiara Ferrari) – Wednesday, October 7, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Workshop 2: Assessment of Learning Outcomes (Ben Seipel) – Wednesday, October 14, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Workshop 3: Organization of Course Materials and Resources (Adrienne McGraw) – Wednesday, October 28, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Workshop 4: Student Engagement (Christine Sharrio) – Thursday, November 12, 3:30 – 5 p.m.

Workshop 5: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (Claudine Franquet) – Wednesday, December 2, 9 – 10:30 a.m.

**For those faculty who cannot commit to attending the whole QLT series, the workshops are open on an individual basis, but we ask that you REGISTER HERE if you plan to attend, so we can plan properly based on the number of attendees.** 

COMPENSATION 

FDEV is offering compensation to 30 faculty who can commit to attending all workshops, completing all deliverables associated with them, and completing a final course review. Compensation will consist of a $500 taxable payment. Please refer to the call for applications for more details and complete this brief application form. These workshops will be offered again in the spring (twice), so if you are interested in applying, spring workshop dates will be shared later in the Fall semester. Please REGISTER HERE for the workshops you plan to attend. 

Partnership with FDEV and the Office of Civic Engagement

This Tuesday tip is brought to you by Dr. Ann Schulte, Director of Civic Engagement.

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is a signature initiative of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. IDHE is an applied research center focused on college and university student political learning and participation in democracy. IDHE researchers study voting, campus conditions for political learning and discussion, closing equity gaps in participation, and increasing student agency and participation. 

Since NSLVE’s launch in 2013, more than 1,000 colleges and universities have signed up to receive their voting rates for the federal elections. Chico State’s participation in this study has helped to build a robust database for research on more than 10 million de-identified student records for each election year. We receive our campus data after each federal election comparing our voter turnout rates from one election to the next. You can read more about the study methodology at Tufts University.

As a result of this study, we know, for example, that in 2018 approximately 70% of our students were registered to vote, but just over half of them actually voted giving us a 39% voter rate (which is the average across other universities). We also know that approximately 70% of those students voted by mail. The 2018 data also tells us which majors had higher turnout (e.g. Education and History) and lower turnout (e.g. Engineering and Business Management). 

Reference: Institute for Democracy & Higher Education: National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement. (2019). 2014 and 2018 report for CSU Chico. Medford, MA.

The Office of Faculty Development and the Office of Civic Engagement are partnering to offer a Friday Forum focusing on educating students on the importance to participate in both national and local politics through voting. The Forum – Vote Like Your Community Depends On It! – will be held in Zoom, on Friday September 18th, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. 

In this session, participating faculty will develop ideas to educate their students about how their vote has impact at every level of government. In November’s election, students should be prepared to think about how each item on their ballot may impact policy in their major or profession or around issues that are important to them.   

A panel of faculty members will share how they educate students to think about how they can vote to shape policy at several levels. Participants will engage in discussions about examples in their own discipline and will develop ideas for sharing this content with their students in their fall class. 

Important dates:

If you are eligible, make sure you are registered to vote or update your new address so your ballot will find you. Learn how everyone in California will vote by mail. Then, sign up to track your ballot.

Introducing the New FDEV Director, Chiara Ferrari

This Tuesday Tip is built around some personal background, so I hope you will indulge me.

Growing up and receiving most of my education in Italy meant that I was not exposed to a theoretical (or even a practical) framework that revolved around race and diversity. As a country that has “no significant history of immigration” (or so we used to believe), we relied primarily on the canonical works of European (read: white) authors.

It is thanks to many instructors, students, colleagues, and mentors that I realized the importance of expanding that canon. Most recently, I have embarked on the reading of bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress. Starting in a new role on campus (while dealing with a global pandemic) does not allow for much time to read, and yet… the first few pages were a powerful reminder of the need to dedicate some time to our own growth, as educators.

“To educate is the practice of freedom,” hooks writes.  In such a simple sentence I found the essence of my love for teaching, as I was reminded of the empowering role that education has in the lives of our students. And in our own lives, for that matter.

hooks continues, stating that “we learned early that our devotion to learning, to a life of the mind, was a counter-hegemonic act, a fundamental way to resist every strategy of white racist colonization… my teachers were enacting a revolutionary pedagogy of resistance that was profoundly anticolonial.” I love to think that every time we enter a classroom we enact a revolutionary act of resistance.

FDEV and the Meriam Library are excited to share the news that Teaching to Transgress (hooks, 1994) is now available, as an eBook, to the entire campus community, through an unlimited license. We hope that you will take this opportunity to assign this reading in your classes, encouraging your students to engage in the courageous “practice of freedom.”

Welcome to Fall 2020

Welcome back, dear faculty!

I would like to use this first Tuesday Tip to introduce myself and some of the resources in Faculty Development.

My name is Chiara Ferrari, and, as of July 13th 2020, I am the new Director of Faculty Development. I am a Professor of media criticism in the Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology, and I am eager to support your needs throughout this academic year!

Towards this end, I encourage you to explore our webpage and to participate in our programs and forums.

In particular, I want to direct your attention to two opportunities in support of online learning and teaching:

  1. Digital Pedagogy FLC: there is currently an open call (Google Doc) for a faculty learning community led by Dr. Kim Jaxon. The deadline to submit applications is September 3rd.
  2. Go Virtual Community: all faculty are invited to participate in the Go Virtual Community asynchronously in Google Currents and synchronously in weekly Zoom meetings. Meetings are scheduled every Wednesday from 11 am to 12 pm, starting tomorrow, August 26th. Join us to share your questions, needs, and ideas about online learning. Dr. Jaxon shares some instructions on how to join Currents (the video has no audio).

Additional resources and programs will be shared with all faculty as soon as they become available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for any questions! You can contact me at cfferrari@csuchico.edu.

While I realize that this year is a particularly challenging one for instructors, I cannot tell you how amazed I am at the efforts that faculty have put into course design, innovative pedagogical practices, and in general, towards supporting students in this difficult transition to our virtual environment. I am proud and I look forward to serving you this year!

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”.