Upcoming Opportunities to Help Faculty Navigate Research.

This Tuesday Tip brings to you some resources in relation to research and the opportunity to grow as both a teacher and a scholar! 

Faculty Development(opens in new window) is working on a number of resources that can help faculty navigate research at Chico State. Below you find links and information for upcoming opportunities: 

“Join us for a conversation about interdisciplinary research opportunities! We will hear from faculty who are currently collaborating across Departments and Colleges on various research projects, we will discuss examples of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, and we will look at possible funding opportunities for collaborative research projects!” (The description will be added to the website soon) 

I also want to take this opportunity to share the link to the Co-Teaching & Community Engagement page(opens in new window) hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement(opens in new window). Here you find tips and ideas on how to consider possibilities for teaching and research collaborations!  

We hope that these resources and events will be an opportunity to learn more about support for research on campus and a chance to hear about innovative research projects at Chico State! 

Stay tuned! 

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 

Faculty Development, Director 

why are students not reading the syllabus?

Dear faculty,

Today’s Tuesday Tip focuses on one of the thorniest issues in higher education: why are students not reading the syllabus?

The most recent development in this saga is the famous news from December 2021 (Smart, 2021) about a University of Tennessee professor who hid $50 in a locker at the beginning of the Fall semester and shared the information on how to unlock it in his syllabus. To no one’s surprise, the cash was untouched (and unclaimed) at the end of the semester.

While appreciating the good and playful intentions of the instructor, a Slate article (Weaver, 2022) questions the ultimate benefits of these stunts and explores the reason why most students just glance at the syllabus as opposed to dedicating time and attention to such an important document: “the biggest reason students skip such a crucial step is simple: Many syllabi are unreadable. They’re too long and clogged with opaque, administration-mandated fine print. Some are written with an eye toward a student challenging a grade—that is to say punitively, from a defensive crouch.” I also appreciate how the author of the article reminds how “syllabi not only set up expectations for a class, but are usually the first introduction to the professor. In other words, bad ones can create and perpetuate bad relationships.”

Recently, I have felt more and more that syllabi seem to be written as a weaver of liability for instructors as opposed to being written to provide resources for students. Of course this is a generalization, but it is important to open up the question and explore strategies that can help instructors create better syllabi and encourage students to actually read them.

FRIDAY FORUM: MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Faculty Development will offer a Friday Forum on February 25th (11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.) as a chance to discuss this complicated topic and to pause for a moment to think conceptually about what a syllabus should truly accomplish.

The forum, “So, the students aren’t reading the syllabus, ah?” is designed as a conversation where we can brainstorm ideas about what the function of a syllabus should be and what challenges students face in approaching an overwhelming syllabus. We will also explore alternative formats and ideas to creating engaging syllabi, such as infographics, course maps, and video syllabi.

And don’t forget that attending this workshop will count towards the FDEV Challenge!

Share ideas on our blog about strategies that have worked in your syllabi to engage students!

Lecturer Mentoring Program

Dear faculty,

Yesterday I announced in the FDEV Zine the selection of a new mentor, Tiffani Anderson, who will work with FDEV to support lecturers. I want to use this Tuesday Tip to share more details about this new program and to make sure you have all links and information available. First of all, I want to highlight the possibility to schedule an appointment with Tiffani to discuss matters pertaining to lecturers’ questions and support.

Faculty Development has renewed its commitment to targeting resources and support specifically to lectures, because while all lecturers are faculty, their needs, questions, and concerns might differ from those of tenured and tenure-track faculty. The Lecturer Mentoring Program was created in this spirit and I want to offer some tips on how to navigate this page.

Resources

  • On the webpage you find a useful infographic, created by Aaron Draper, that clarifies the type of support different offices can provide.
  • Below the infographic, under Lecturer Council, you find contact information and bios for the lecturer representative in each College. We encourage you to contact your lecturer representative if you have specific questions that pertain to your discipline or Department/College.
  • Orientation offers links to the video recordings and all slides that were shared during the lecturer orientation. These links allow you to re-watch those presentations  and explore the information or access them for the first time if you could not attend the orientation. These are good links for lectures that might not be new but still need to access this information.
  • Resources offers additional links to information that you will need as you join the Chico State faculty community, including accessing the system, important deadlines, etc.

Lecturer Academy

Faculty Development is working with Tiffani Anderson, Aaron Draper, and Erin Horst to plan a full-day lecturer academy on Friday April 29th. The academy will include a series of informational and interactive sessions followed by a reception in the evening. SAVE THE DATE for this important event and we will send more details as we have them available.

We hope that lecturers will take this opportunity to explore the website and to reach out to both Faculty Development and Tiffani Anderson to share your questions!

Showcase evidence of teaching excellence

Dear faculty,

As we get closer to the due date for turning in your dossier (February 18th), I want to take a moment to re-share some resources available in FDEV for retention, tenure, and promotion (RTP), and more general resources that can help with your dossiers (whether you are a T/TT faculty or a lecturer). Earlier this year and last year we offered a number of Friday Forums that provided insights into a variety of topics pertaining to RTP, how to write your dossier, and how to showcase evidence of your work.

I want to share the recordings from those forums, and I hope that you can find valuable information:

  1. How to Showcase Evidence of Teaching Excellence (Class Evaluations) – additional material available here
  2. How to Showcase Evidence of Teaching Excellence (in the RTP Dossier) – additional material available here
  3. How to Prepare for a Class Peer Evaluation – slides available here
  4. How to Approach Service Strategically (and write about it in your dossier)- slides and additional material available here
  5. Resources on RTP

I hope these resources will be useful and I want to encourage all faculty to reach out to Faculty Development for questions about RTP, dossier writing, class evaluations, etc. We might not have all the answers, but we should be able to point you in the right direction. I am also happy to share my dossier with anybody who would like to see an example, just reach out to me!

Comment on our blog if you want to share different ideas on how to showcase evidence of teaching excellence in your dossier.

Using Videos in the Classroom

Dear faculty,

As a media studies scholar, I know the benefits of utilizing videos in the classroom, teaching about the meaning that can be found in media texts, and designing video assignments to allow for different forms of expression.

Many of us have also learned (perhaps the hard way) how difficult it is, sometimes, to create engaging video lectures that go beyond simply recording our voice and showing a set of PPT slides on the screen.

The Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University has created a fairly extensive teaching guide on creating effective educational videos and I encourage you to explore this resource.

Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program are partnering in Spring 2022 to offer a series of four workshops focusing on Using Videos in the Classroom. The workshops will be offered via Zoom and will cover different aspects of educational videos:

Explore the Use of Videos in the Classroom (February 23rd, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.)
Creating Videos for Your Curriculum (March 30th, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.)
Manage your Kaltura Videos (April 13th, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.)
Create Student Video Assignments (April 27th, 3:00-5:00 p.m.)

The workshops are open to everyone, but we ask that you register here for the ones you wish to attend, so we can better plan each workshop based on attendance.

For any questions, please reach out to me (cfferrari@csuchico.edu) or fdev@csuchico.edu , and we look forward to working together towards creating engaging videos and engaging student assignments!

Take a Break (seriously)

Dear faculty, 

For this week’s Tuesday Tip I could not help sharing this meme. You’ve done it, it is week 16 and everyone is busy with wrapping up the semester, finishing finals, and well…. grading! 

For many of you this was the first semester back on campus after the pandemic. Others spent the semester getting used to the ChicoFlex mode of instruction, exploring the benefits of added flexibility for students. Others continued teaching online, revising your courses to better serve students in the virtual environment. Independently of HOW you have been teaching this semester, I know all faculty have shared challenges in relation to engaging students and offering a renewed sense of community. 

I want to take a moment to reiterate how Faculty Development is here to help you navigate these challenges, and we look forward to continually providing support in the semesters to come. 

Please continue sharing your needs so we can best respond to them, and make sure to find ways to relax during the next few weeks. 

The Office of Faculty development wishes you a wonderful time during the break! 

The BCCER Beckons

This Tuesday Tip is brought to you by Gary Day and Eli Goodsell

As you prepare for the upcoming spring semester, don’t forget that the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER) is here for you! Now the largest ecological reserve in the CSU system, and second overall amongst all California universities, the BCCER can be your destination for all field trips, research activities, case studies, and more!

The BCCER serves as a learning laboratory for every college on campus, providing space, resources, and knowledgeable staff for all excursions. Whether it be scientific research, experiential learning, creative inspiration, retreats, or recreation, the BCCER is campus’ backyard!

What the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve can provide for you:

  • Year-round access
  • 14 miles from campus
  • 7,835 acres of diverse habitat
  • 4.5 miles of Big Chico Creek
  • Campus’ high-speed internet (Eduroam) on site
  • Parking to accommodate any size class/event
  • Transportation on grounds provided
  • Meeting space
  • Knowledgeable staff

Reach out to the BCCER staff to find out how the BCCER can best serve you!
(530) 342-1371
bccer@csuchico.edu

Learn more about the BCCER at www.csuchico.edu/bccer. Be sure to follow us on social media to stay up to date on all the things we’re up to:
Facebook – @bigchicocreekecologicalreserve
Instagram – @csuc_reserves

Share your experience in a comment if you have visited the BCCER with your students!    

Student-Faculty Research Collaborative

This week’s tip is brought to you on behalf of the Student-Faculty Research Collaborative Team.

Participating in student-faculty research experiences at Chico State fosters student interests, expands their academic and professional skills, and provides them with authentic learning experiences in and outside the classroom. The Student-Faculty Research Collaborative encourages you to explore, discover, and be inspired through research and creative activities. Through this collaborative, Chico State students participate in research or independent creative projects with the support and mentorship of Chico State faculty members.

Key to promoting disciplinary socialization, undergraduate research experience (URE) has long been identified as a High-Impact Practice (HIP).14, 15 Well-structured URE programs are associated with increased retention, stronger STEM identity, and increased likelihood that students will pursue graduate degrees. in a study of multiple factors impacting STEM retention, determine that “faculty mentoring on its own is not necessarily associated with STEM persistence, but rather that its relationship with persistence is contingent on whether or not the student participated in research.” (Chang, M.J., Sharkness, J., Hurtado, S. and Newman, C.B. (2014). What Matters in College for Retaining Aspiring Scientists and Engineers from Underrepresented Racial Groups. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 51(5): 555–580.). Opportunity to engage in Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience (CUREs) may be especially important for URMs, low-income, and/or first generation students who are less likely to seek traditional UREs.

Interested in engaging in topics about authentic research?
Join the Student-Faculty Research Collaborative for the First Annual Fall Research Week
Tuesday, November 30th, to Friday, December 3rd, 2021
All Workshops will be held over Zoom.
Workshop Schedule:  Fall Research Week

Share your experience supporting student research by adding a comment.

What the career center can do for you!

This week’s Tuesday Tip is brought to you by Betina Wildhaber, Career Advisor in the Career Center.

Dear faculty,

Consider inviting the Career Center to your classes, especially if you have a conference presentation and you are looking for a way to cover your course! We know things may come up during the semester. If you find yourself in a pinch, or would just like to ensure that your students know about the Career Center, please consider having your Career Advisor come to talk about any of the following topics: What the Career Center can do for you, Creating an effective resume and/or cover letter, Successful interviewing techniques, Professional etiquette and behavior in the workplace, Making the most of the Career Fair, Internships 101, Focus2 – Career & Major Exploration platform, or a Custom Presentation Topic. You can request a presentation or simply identify your Career Advisor liaison and reach out to them directly.

What can we do for your students? Well, a little bit of everything from exploring major to career, reviewing resumes and cover letters, practice interviewing, networking through LinkedIn, graduate school search and application support, and so much more. Encourage your students to attend the multiple Career Fairs where each attract 100+ employers with career and internship positions. Do you know an alumnus needing career support? We offer our career services for FREE for LIFE! Furthermore we provide various career resources such as our Career Planning Handbook, Focus2, Handshake (50,000+ jobs were posted on Handshake in the 2019-2020 academic year), and Diversity Career Resources, just to name a few.

Betina D. Wildhaber, M.A. 
Career Advisor (Connect with me on LinkedIn)
California State University, Chico
College of Humanities & Fine Arts College of Natural Science
Website  |  Instagram  |  LinkedIn

Share your best career advice as a comment.

Global Engagement Opportunities for Faculty & Students

This week’s Tuesday Tip is brought to you by International Education and Global Engagement (IEGE).

As study abroad opens up the world for students, teaching and conducting research abroad can be a life-changing experience for faculty, tapping into resources and developing pedagogy that incorporates global learning and engagement, a strategic priority of the University.

Chico State joins higher education institutions around the world in honoring and celebrating International Education Week from November 15-19, 2021. IEGE is hosting a series of activities next week for faculty, staff, and students to engage in global learning and cultural events, we ask that you encourage your students to attend, and explore international research and teaching opportunities for yourself.

Research and teaching with global partners, physically or virtually, provides space for faculty to develop intercultural competency and inclusive communication that enrich the CSU, Chico experience. Through these opportunities, faculty can also empathize with the experience of international students, staff and faculty at Chico State, as the instructor is immersed in different languages and cultures and learns to navigate a new educational system and environment. IEGE can help support faculty to internationalize their courses by adding a cultural and academic exchange experience within a class through Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL).

Additional learning opportunities for global engagement and resources available to Chico State faculty include,  

  1. Upcoming Fulbright Scholar Program Q&A – learn more about this grant and how to put together a successful Fulbright program application for 2023-2024.  Fulbright program staff will discuss award opportunities, the application & selection process, and answer all questions.
  2. Apply to become a Resident Director on a CSU International Program in France, Italy or Spain for a year, deadline to apply is December 31, 2021. Contact Chico State ACIP Rep, Dr. Fay Mitchell-Brown, with questions: fmitchellbrown@csuchico.edu.
  3. Learn more about the COIL experiences of faculty, students and teaching partners through this panel presentation. For more information on COIL Faculty Learning Community, please contact COIL Co-coordinator, Dr. Sara Trechter, strechter@csuchico.edu.
  4. Invite a Study Abroad and Exchange advisor in your class(es) to present on program options, specifically tailored to your department or student interests, by completing this classroom presentation request form.
  5. Join the International Faculty and Staff Association.
  6. Encourage your students to visit the campus English as a Second Language (ESL) Support Services, which offers free online tutoring services for non-native speakers of English who want to improve their English proficiency. 
  7. Consider hosting a visiting international scholar in your academic department.
  8. Take students abroad through Faculty-Led Study Abroad. Deadlines vary by term.

Need more information than above?

Contact Dr. Jennifer Gruber, jlgruber@csuchico.edu, Interim AVP for International Education and Global Engagement.

Share your experience about studying and/or teaching abroad by adding a comment.