Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion

This Tuesday Tip is brought to you by Travon Robinson, Acting Chief Diversity Officer.

When you talk with many of our Black students on campus, words that are often associated with their college experience include microaggressions, culture shock, the lack of Black student and faculty representation, being targeted by police, learning from a Eurocentric teaching style, minimal cultural resources, and an unwelcoming community. As educators and administrators, are we doing what is necessary to adapt our processes to support the academic success of our growing diverse populations?

According to “Critical Race Theory, Racial Microaggressions, and Campus Racial Climate: The Experiences of African American College Students,” “campus racial climate is broadly defined as the overall racial environment of the college campus. Understanding and analyzing the collegiate racial climate is an important part of examining college access, persistence, graduation, and transfer to and through graduate and professional school for African American students.”

If you want to learn more about how we can better support our Black students, you are invited to attend our upcoming Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion, “What does it mean to #AdultWhileBlack and what does this look like on a historically white college campus?” Join us February 3, Noon – 12:50 p.m. (Zoom Link) for an engaging dialogue with Sara Kutten, Ed.D., (University of Oregon, Director of Student Services) about racial identity and campus climate. Together, we’ll look at new research findings and identify avenues to better support the success of Black college students. 

Some News from FDEV!

My last Tuesday Tip on December 15th included a teaser about some news brewing in Faculty Development. I am excited to share them with you today as you prepare to come back tomorrow to start the Spring semester. 

New FDEV website design 

First of all, we made a few changes to the main FDEV page and we restructured the way you can access our offerings by identifying four major areas: Programs, Workshops, Tools, and Resources. Under each main title you find the list of the specific resources included in each page. You can access those pages by clicking on the corresponding photographs. We also added some icons that will take you directly to a some interesting new resources (and I will speak more about these below). 

New FDEV Faculty Fellows 

Dr. Jamie Linn Gunderson was selected as the FDEV Faculty Fellow for Spring 2021. Jamie will work with three other faculty fellows, Paul Bailey, Dustin Bakkie, and Dr. Chris Crews, to produce content for the FDEV website. I am excited to be working with this group of faculty and to increase what FDEV can offer. 

New FDEV Resources 

FDEV is excited to launch an FDEV Podcast and FDEV Zine (these pages are currently under construction, but save these links for the future). The FDEV Podcast will be hosted by Dr. Jamie Linn Gunderson and will be released twice a month, on the first and third Thursdays, starting February 4th. The FDEV Zine will be released on the first Monday of each month, starting on February 1st. The Zine was designed with the hope to attract some artistic work from faculty, students and staff. I will reach out to specific departments to see if we can establish some collaborations, or you can reach out to me directly ( These new resources allow us to have an official FDEV Week now, since every day we are excited to be offering faculty some resource or opportunity for development: 

The FDEV Week: 

Monday: FDEV Zine (first Monday of each month) 

Tuesday: Tuesday Tip (every Tuesday) 

Wednesday: GO Virtual Community (every Wednesday 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Zoom

Thursday: FDEV Podcast (every first and third Thursday of the month) 

Friday: Friday Forums (twice a month) 

New FDEV Tools 

FDEV is also excited to launch two new tools that we hope will provide valuable help to faculty. We created a Model Course Design database that allows searching concrete examples of course design. If you click on the blue icons you will be able to access individual course portfolios created by Chico State faculty. Similarly, we created a page to search for Teaching Guides that offer tips in a variety of areas of instruction. Modeling Universal Design for Learning (UDL), we made the teaching guides brief, clear, easily accessible and applicable, and we organized the resources in four areas (explore, listen, watch, and read), offering additional information in various formats (websites, podcasts, videos, and articles). More instructions on how to access these tools are available on the respective pages. 

New Teaching Climate Change & Resilience Series 

In collaboration with the Campus Sustainability Curriculum Subcommittee, FDEV is happy to offer a new Teaching Climate Change & Resilience Series. The campus community will also have access to a number of books on climate change and resilience that are available on the series’ page. I want to take this opportunity to also promote our Teaching Racial & Social Justice Series. The next workshop, “Data displays and interpretation: linking the practices of our fields to social justice issue” (led by Dr. M.E. Matthews), will be held on Tuesday, February 2nd, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The schedule for the other spring workshops will be finalized next week. 

Upcoming Events 

Lastly, I want to promote a couple of events happening this and next week. Tomorrow we will have a chance to come together as a community for the third Tipping Point Summit. The focus this year is on Virtual Realities, and I hope that everyone will join us to learn about our virtual experiences and share your own. Next week (Friday, January 29th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) FDEV will organize a Friday Forum on How to Showcase Evidence of Teaching Excellence. Faculty will discuss their experience in class evaluations (both synchronous and asynchronous) and will share how to showcase evidence of teaching excellence in the RTP dossier. 

We hope that you will find these resources useful and we encourage you to reach out to FDEV for any questions you might have. 

We wish you a wonderful start of the Spring semester! 

Thank You!

Early this morning as I was looking through my Facebook memories, a message popped up from 2016. It was a card from a graduating student, who wrote “I am grateful for the ways you invested in me. I felt known by you, which was a great gift to this nervous transfer student.” I have no desire to focus this Tuesday Tip on myself, but this card was a powerful reminder of how many students see faculty: as someone that is willing to invest in them. This idea really moved me because I feel that sometimes we do not realize how important we are for the development of our students’ self-esteem and growth beyond their academic life. 

This message is actually not meant as a tip today, but as a thank you to all faculty who have spent endless hours recording lectures, redesigning their courses, finding creative ways to engage students, experimenting with new technology, dedicating additional time to hold extra office hours, going above and beyond to modify instruction to ensure that learning would not be fully disrupted. Now, let me be clear: learning was disrupted, and I don’t believe we should act like it wasn’t. What has not changed, though, is the fact that our students still look at us hoping that we will invest in them.  And my gratitude goes out to all of you who have invested in your students, despite the pedagogical difficulties, the increased workload, the personal struggles, and, last but not least, the technological hiccups.

The Office of Faculty Development is committed to offering programs, learning communities, workshops, and resources to make faculty’s life a bit easier. I am very aware of the fact that faculty’s life has not been easy this semester, and I do hope that all of you will take some time for yourselves because you certainly deserve it and, even more certainly, you need it. For next semester FDEV has some interesting surprises in store for you, so stay tuned for our news as we transition into the Spring semester… 

Lastly, I want to share my appreciation and gratitude for everything that the Technology and Learning Program has done to support faculty in collaboration with FDEV. This has been a wonderful partnership that continues to grow, and we are excited to think creatively about additional ways in which we can help you. 

Have a wonderful break and get some much-deserved rest!   

Reflection on Learning

I sometimes still think about my comprehensive exams for both my M.A. and Ph.D., and as ridiculous as it sounds, I remember that experience to be very fulfilling. What makes me remember it fondly is certainly NOT the stress that was associated with it, but the chance I had to reflect upon my learning: simply put, I had not realized until that moment how much I had learned and how much I had grown intellectually.

Ideally, “dead week” should have the same effect on our students, and we should offer them time and opportunities to reflect on their learning. A 2017 Orion article reports how this is not always the case, however, and how “dead week at Chico State is one of the most stressful times” especially if new content and assignments are added to the class this late in the semester. 

This academic article offers evidence of the benefits of reflection as a form of experiential learning while providing useful background information and a literature review on the topic.

This resource from Purdue University is a reminder of the purpose and importance of reflection in writing classes and offers practical ideas about reflection activities. More resources and ideas can also be found inThree Ideas for Implementing Learner Reflection.

As we wind down towards the end of one of the most challenging semesters we all have experienced, I encourage everyone to dedicate this time for pause and reflection, and in so doing, help students realize how much they have grown and learned.

Podcasting for Teaching & Learning

As a film scholar in love with Orson Welles, I remember the first time I listened to the controversial 1938 War of the Worlds: I was fascinated by both the concept (a Halloween prank that turned into mass hysteria) and the content (the narrative of aliens attacking Earth). And of course, by Orson Welles’ incredible voice (seriously, just listen to it if you haven’t yet).  

Since then, radio technology has evolved significantly, and now we all have our favorite podcasts saved on our phones. But a core element has not changed: good storytelling. And I’ve always loved to think about teaching as a form of storytelling. Podcasts have been used very successfully for both teaching and learning, at various educational levels. As one podcaster reminds us, “students listen for longer than they’ll watch or read,” podcasts are easily accessible, and promote better learning for students with mental and visual disabilities. EdTech offers some recommendations about Higher Ed podcasts, this article even discusses the benefits of podcasts for faculty development, and this podcast offers great pedagogical resources for instructors.  

If you want to learn more about podcasting for teaching and learning, the Office of Faculty Development will hold a Friday Forum on December 4th via Zoom, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  

A panel of faculty will share their experience with podcasts, discuss tips and best practices, and offer ideas on how you could use podcasts in your own classes.  

Lastly, I want to remind everyone about the call for applications for FDEV Spring 2021 programs, see below: 

Closing the Equity Gaps Faculty Learning Community 

Digital Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community 

Faculty Writing Community 

Quality Learning and Teaching Workshops 

All calls for applications will close on Monday, December 7th, at 5:00 p.m. You can also find a list of all open calls in the FDEV Programs page

We look forward to receiving your applications and being able to offer you continued support! 

FDEV Programs for Spring 2021

The Office of Faculty Development is excited to share with you the call for applications for all Spring 2021 programs. The Faculty Development Advisory Board was instrumental in helping me understand and address faculty’s needs, and we hope that these offerings will provide support for your teaching and your professional growth and achievement.

The offerings include both Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), tied to specific meeting dates and times, and other programs designed to allow for more flexibility in participation.

Please refer to the calls for application below:

Closing the Equity Gaps Faculty Learning Community

Digital Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community

Faculty Writing Community

Quality Learning and Teaching Workshops

All calls for applications will close on Monday, December 7th, at 5:00 p.m. You can find a list of all open calls in our FDEV Programs page.

We also want to announce that the deadline for applications for the Go Virtual Intersession has been extended to December 2nd.

We encourage you to attend it, if you did not have a chance to attend the Go Virtual institute in the summer.

We look forward to receiving your applications and being able to offer you continued support!

Poll Everywhere & Student Engagement

Hello? Anyone out there? 

Wondering if anyone is behind those black screens? Looking for new ways to check-in and engage students or colleagues online?  Poll Everywhere might be able to assist you! Poll Everywhere is Chico State’s new online polling software available to all instructors, staff, and students for free. Come and learn the various engagement activities available to you and how they can easily be incorporated into your PPT presentations, Google Slides, and into Blackboard.   

Faculty, staff and students must use their Chico State campus email address with the account.  

BROWN BAG SESSION: Poll Everywhere 

WHO: Claudine Franquet, ITC in TLP 

WHEN: Friday, October 16th 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Zoom 

Meeting ID: 919 3973 8505 

Password: Chico 

This Tuesday Tip is brought to you by Claudine Franquet, instructional technology consultant in the Technology & Learning Program. 

Election Day

Today is a complex day, made even harder by the lack of human interaction that we are all experiencing due to Covid-19.

Ann Schulte, our director of Civic Engagement, reminds us that the presidential election is an important event, especially for those who are voting for the first time, like many of our students. Our democracy, however, depends on far more civic participation than once every four years. Being an ally and working to make a difference in our local communities happens every day. We can help our students use their voice and learn to advocate through many different avenues.

The Chronicle of Higher Education offers some advice about preparing students for the aftermath of the election in our mostly virtual world. Inside Higher Ed offers lessons from the 2016 election and reminds us that “we need a framework to engage and support our students.”

In this spirit, we want to share some available resources:

  • Sue Peterson, Chico State Debate Coach, shared her ideas about how to use Living Room Conversations in a Friday Forum
  • The WellCat Counseling Center has created a guidebook to help faculty facilitate conversations
  • The WellCat Counseling Center has also have set aside time to talk with students who are having election-related anxiety and resources to support students experiencing racial trauma

Today’s tip is really about trying to take extra care of your students and yourselves in the coming days, as we navigate a historical election.

Collecting Student Feedback

What week is this anyways? Covid-19 has brought upon all of us a strange feeling of “time dilation” that makes us lose track of how far we are in the semester. 

So, if you lost track, let me update you: this is week 10! Crazy, ah? 

Faculty have somehow adjusted to the online environment by now, and everyone is doing as best as they can possibly can to ensure that our students’ learning experience is still rich and meaningful.  

But how are our students doing in our classes? I’m not talking about grades, really, but about something more profound: what is our students’ experience? How are they approaching and owning their own learning? 

Collecting student feedback in the middle of a semester is a great way to get a sense of how students are interacting with the material, what is working for them, or what they are struggling with, and it gives faculty a chance to tweak their course “in real time,” therefore affecting the very students that share that feedback. 

I want to share some quick slides that offer resources on collecting student feedback and a google doc that includes sample surveys or assignment ideas. 

I am grateful every day for the care that faculty are putting into our students’ learning and well-being, and I hope that these resources can help us understand our students’ experience even better. 

“Living Room Conversations”

This Tuesday Tip is brought to you by Sue Peterson, Chico State Speech and Debate Coach.

The November 3rd election has created challenges for class discussion, but also opportunities to have meaningful conversations. Given the complex and controversial nature of the election and American politics, though, these conversations are not always easy to manage and moderate.

Sue will talk with faculty about how these conversations might be helpful for students before and after the November 3rd election through the Living Room Conversations model. 

Join us for a Friday Forum, this Friday, October 23rd, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., via Zoom. This session will be recorded and posted on the FDEV media channel.

Living Room Conversations is an organization that offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for 60-90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. The format transfers well into a small group activity in the classroom.

The organization provides for a guided conversation that is designed to foster understanding by gathering information and humanizing the issues.  Participants first agree to a set of foundational agreements used for discussing any controversial issue in a productive way.  Scripts are available on the 2020 election, race and racism, Coronavirus, environmental concerns, guns, healthcare and so much more.  These scripts offer the chance for everyone to feel safe, heard, and understood.  

Sue Peterson, has used the Living Room Conversation framework in her General Education classes and the students found them to be valuable as a way of engaging topics and issues that they are often fearful of having with others. The scripted questions and time guides help to create a space to share more easily. Students reported that they felt they could communicate “with sincere inquiry and thoughtful reflection” and that they “felt seen and heard by the members of their group.”  

For a list of other events to support election dialogue, go to Wildcats Engage.