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.


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


Workshops for Faculty to Get Started Using Zoom


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.



2 Ways to Stay Well

To learn efficiently, students must be healthy. And to teach effectively, faculty must be healthy. If you’re sick with a cold or flu and need to stay home and rest, you can get medicine to manage your symptoms at a reduced priced. Thanks to the campus WellCat Health Center, faculty can get over-the-counter drugs (generic in some cases) for a fraction of the retail price. For example, you can purchase Nyquil for $2.17, Robitussin for $1.85, Advil for $1.85, or Multi-vitamins for $1.85. A complete list of over 100 medicines and supplements on the pharmacy medication list are available at the pharmacy window during normal business hours.

If you’re not sick but need a “mental wellness” day off, consider taking the one Personal Holiday that all faculty are entitled to each year (see CBA 33.3).

Help Out with Future FDEV Programming!

The Office of Faculty Development offers a broad range of professional development opportunities to faculty based on input from the FDEV Advisory Board. We are inviting input from you on how we can best serve your needs as a faculty member. Please take this brief survey by this Sunday, 3/1 to inform FDEV of new training programs you may be interested in as well as the format and timing that works best for you.

Additionally, this survey invites you to express your interest in leading an FDEV program. FDEV Leads are compensated with either a course release, taxable income, or professional development funds. Payment depends on the duration of the training and the preparation required.

The FDEV advisory board will review the survey results and may invite interested faculty to a meeting to discuss possible new FDEV programs.

Thank-you for your input!


Attend the CSU Symposium on Teaching and Learning

The CSU symposium below is worth attending if you’re interested in gaining new student success strategies related to inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. There are many great presentations on the schedule including a couple from Chico State faculty. The $50 Registration includes continental breakfast and lunch on both Friday and Saturday. If you’re only interested in the virtual sessions, registration is free.

Check it out!


Registration for the 22nd Annual CSU Symposium on Teaching and Learning, at California State University Fullerton, on March 13-14, 2020, is open!

This year’s theme is “IDEAS: Inclusion, Diversity, Accessibility, and Student Success.” Hosted by CSU Fullerton’s Faculty Development Center in collaboration with the CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning, this year’s symposium provides an opportunity to explore IDEAS imperative to education in a state as diverse as California. All those committed to student success in higher education are welcome to attend.

The keynote speaker for the symposium on March 13 is Deborah Santiago, COO of Excelencia in Education, who will address ways for minority-enrolling institutions to become institutions that truly serve minoritized students.

There will be two pre-symposium workshops from 9:00 am – Noon on Friday, March 13. There is no additional fee to attend a workshop, but space is limited:

  • An Introduction to Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Supporting Disciplinary Learning through Deeper Reading and Metacognitive Conversation

New this year is a series of five virtual sessions, from 8:15 am-11:45 am on Friday, March 13. These sessions feature presentations on immersive and virtual reality, teaching and learning for social justice, and a sneak peek at an online teaching essentials course.

  • Attend these FREE sessions from the office, from home, or while at the symposium.
  • Those not attending the symposium in Fullerton should register, and select “virtual only.”

The symposium features presentations by California State University and California Community College faculty related to empowering first-generation students; supporting students in first-year writing, math, and quantitative reasoning; equity, inclusion, accessibility and strength-based pedagogies; assessment for improvement; technology, innovation, and online and blended learning; and the incorporation of mindfulness and wellness.

For the schedule, list of presenters, travel information, and more, visit the symposium website, or contact The Faculty Development Center at Fullerton.


Free Group Exercise on Campus

If you’re looking for a 30-minute lunchtime group exercise class but don’t want to buy a gym membership, the Department of Kinesiology has you covered. They are offering FREE group exercise classes for faculty, staff, and students every Friday in Yolo Hall, Room 213 (see times below). Physical activity in a social setting can elevate mood, improve memory, and increase work productivity. The classes, led by certified group exercise instructor Suzanne White, started as part of the Paradise U Community Project as a way for Camp Fire survivors to use physical activity to manage anxiety and improve health on their healing journey. The program has now expanded to include all campus employees and students. No obligations and no need to sign-up…just bring a water bottle and stop by as your schedule allows to one or more of the following positive exercise classes:

  • 11-11:30 Learn to STEP  (cardio fitness)
  • 11:30 -12 Intermediate STEP (complex and vigorous cardio)
  • 12-12:30 Cross Training  (muscular fitness)
  • 12:30-1:30 Advanced STEP  (complex and vigorous cardio)

If you have questions, contact Kinesiology Professor Cathrine Himberg.

Teaching the Class of 2023

It’s 2020 and our incoming freshman class likely grew up very differently than us. Often referred to as Gen Z or iGen, students born around 2001 are the most ethnically diverse generation in American history. Below are some of the realities of our 3,400 incoming students this academic year.

  • The primary use of a phone has always been to take pictures.
  • Most of them will rent, not buy, their course textbooks.
  • Airline passengers have always had to take off their shoes to pass through security.
  • They have grown up with “search algorithms” that know what they want before they do.
  • They are on track to graduate college in 2023, the same year as Sasha Obama.
  • They were born the same year that the Apple iPod was released.

Our students may be expecting a college experience that is different than ours (bring on the advising chatbots, 3D campus tours, and virtual reality in the classroom).

Embrace the Silence

When you teach a concept and then ask your class “What questions do you have?,” wait at least 3-5 seconds (that’s 2 deep breaths) before you jump in to fill the silence. Let those crickets chirp for a few seconds longer than what may feel comfortable to you so that students have an opportunity to (a) critically think about what questions they have, and (b) muster up the courage to ask their question coherently in front of their peers.

“Wait time” is an underutilized pedagogical technique pioneered by Mary Rowe and discussed further in this article. Rowe found that most teachers (from Kindergarten through college) wait less than one second before answering the question themselves. Rowe also discovered that student responses tended to be more substantive after longer wait times. As an added bonus, wait time can also allow you more time to strategize your responses and formulate higher level questions. In short, slowing down your class can actually speed up learning!