Good-bye from FDEV Student Assistant

Sent on behalf of Ariana Singh, FDEV Student Assistant

In my four years as the Student Assistant for the Office of Faculty Development, I have learned many things and met many people. Fresh out of high school, this was my first and only job before starting my career – what a serious jump, right? All the experience and knowledge gained from a tiny office job – and by tiny, I mean with such a small team – all to get me to where I am today. I’m graduating this week, so cheers to that! I start with my career full time in less than a month with a prestigious law enforcement agency. With this week’s Tuesday Tip, I am offering a student perspective on Faculty Development. 

FDEV has taught me a lot over the years, but it has mostly given me the rare opportunity to see things from the perspective of the faculty. I loved getting to know the cohorts of new faculty over the years, planning events for all faculty on-campus, and being able to provide resources. It’s truly been an honor, as I know that not as many students get to know faculty on the level I feel that I have. I mean, had I never worked for FDEV, I’d probably be that student that complains about grades not being posted fast enough, and so on. 

Fortunately, I have been able to work with so many awesome faculty and other members of the campus community. Just last week, I was presenting FDEV Website Metrics data to the President and Provost, as well as many other VPs, and I realize that not many students may have that opportunity in their academic careers. I feel that this job has given me experience that I will hold near and dear, and it also has matured me in ways that I know will benefit me in life. Did I expect this assistant job to impact me this much when applying? Absolutely not! Yet, here I am. I always try to bring my best understanding of the faculty perspective into student conversions amongst my peers, and also I try to bring the student perspective to my work. This balance has helped myself and others think bigger, and more “outside the box.” It also brings me to appreciate the work that we all do together on this campus. I appreciate all the faculty I’ve had as professors, I’ve met through work, or haven’t met personally but have processed paperwork for. You are the fuel that keeps students going, so please keep working on your professional development because I can assure you that it helps! Take advantage of what the Office of Faculty Development has to offer you, your students will love you for it!

Summer Opportunities for Professional Development and Training

Dear faculty,

I know I mentioned in my last Tuesday Tip that you might be tired of opportunities for professional development and that you might prefer a nap at this stage, but….

We do have a great series of summer programs available and I want to make sure you know where to find them and how to apply. Below, you will find information about three different opportunities that we hope you will consider!

2 Ps in 2 Days: Increasing Student Engagement (Hosted by: Office of Civic Engagement)

May 27-28, 2021

Faculty will develop plans to increase students’ engagement through assignments that highlight a sense of place and community partnerships. Learn how you can tweak a single course to better align your assignments with the 2 Ps, or work with a group of interdisciplinary faculty on university-community partnerships. Campus and community presenters will share their experience and expertise. Participants will be provided blocks of time to work with a more experienced colleague to apply the 2 Ps in ways that are meaningful for their discipline and deepen student learning.

Contact Ann Schulte for more information or questions.

Institute on Active & Experiential Learning (Hosted by the Office of Faculty Development)

June 8-10, 14-15

The Office of Faculty Development will be offering an Institute on Active & Experiential Learning in Summer 2021 (June 8-15). The Institute is designed to offer faculty practical tools, resources, and ideas to use in the classroom to facilitate and promote more active methods of learning. The institute will be offered virtually, via Zoom.

The Institute will provide faculty the opportunity to work in cohorts and explore best pedagogical practices that promote:

  1. student research;
  2. innovative use of classroom space;
  3. civic and global engagement;
  4. application of learning to professional fields
  5. collaborations with local institutions and businesses. 

The institute will also offer resources in relation to Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and faculty will have a chance to explore successful examples of SoTL. 

Faculty development is looking for both faculty participants and faculty that can facilitate workshops in the areas listed above.

Full Call for Applications

Application for Participants

Application for Workshop Facilitators 

Contact Chiara Ferrari for questions.

GoFlex Summer Institute (Hosted by: TLP, FDEV, and CST)

Session #1 – June 22, 23, 24, 29, and 30; approx 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Session #2 – July 27, 28, 29, August 3 and 4; approx 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

In fall 2021, there will be over 100 classrooms equipped with new tracking cameras and microphones installed in the ceilings that allow students online in Zoom to communicate with the faculty and students in-person in the classroom. These classrooms are called hyflex classrooms. 

ChicoFlex is the Mode of Instruction (MOI) we created that gives students flexibility in attending their classes in-person and/or online. ChicoFlex classes are noted in the Class Schedule and are taught in hyflex classrooms. More information on hyflex classrooms and ChicoFlex modes of instruction can be found here.

For faculty to prepare to teach in hyflex classrooms in fall 2021 or spring 2022, we are offering a GoFlex Summer Institute. This call for applications is for faculty participants and mentors. Faculty participants will learn about how to manage the classroom equipment, the features and configurations to engage in-person and online students at the same time. Faculty mentors will lead and facilitate a cohort of up to 15 faculty. GoFlex will support faculty in leveraging tools (e.g. Poll Everywhere for polling students both online and in-person at the same time), sharing templates for student activities and best practices for classroom rules of engagement in this new environment.  

Full call for applications

Application Form

DRAFT Schedule at a glance

Contact Kathy Fernandes or Chiara Ferrari for questions.

Tuesday Tip (Or Lack Thereof)

Dear faculty, 

Rebecca Nelson, the FDEV administrative support coordinator, sent me a nice reminder about the Tuesday Tip today and I panicked: blank, zip, nada. I got nothing! 

The Tuesday Tip snuck up on me, coming out of nowhere: I had not thought of a topic, let alone was ready to write about a topic. The past week has been focused on ChicoFlex, QLT, the Zine, welcoming two new student assistants (we can’t wait for you to meet them!), planning for summer training, and well… the Tuesday Tip surprised me.  

I always feel I can juggle anything, no matter how much work it is, but the Tuesday Tip fiasco was a reminder that, in fact, I can’t. 

And then I realized that this episode was actually worth writing as a tip: I feel your pain, I feel how overwhelmed you are, I know you feel that this semester needs to end because there is not much energy left. The cup is not “runneth over”: it’s running empty.  

I also know that you are tired of being offered professional development opportunities when all you need is a nap! 

So, my tips for you this week are as follows: 

  1. Take a break from grading, seriously. A short break can do wonders for refocusing our mind. I know you have endless grading. But make sure you take some breaks. 
  2. Go outside. Enjoy the sun and the weather (I know, it’s hot, there is pollen, but still, leave the office for a bit). 
  3. Do not feel guilty about saying “No.”  
  4. Do not feel vulnerable about needing help, and reach out for that help. 
  5. Enjoy lovely food and indulge in some treats. 
  6. Take care of your body, in the way your body needs it (for some people this means working out, for others being outdoors, for others maybe just relaxing). Listen to what your body needs. 
  7. Focus on something that does not involve a screen or a computer. 
  8. Have a chat with a friend, and even better, share some laughs too. 
  9. Register(opens in new window) for Angela Davis’ talk (yes, this is nourishment!) 

Faculty Development has a million resources for you, and we are always available to help and provide support. But for today, our only tip is to take good care of yourselves. 

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 
Faculty Development, Director 
Campus zip: 026 
Phone: 530-898-3094 
https://www.csuchico.edu/fdev/ 
Professor 
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology 
Campus zip: 504 
Phone: 530-898-4647 

The ChicoFlex Pilot

Dear faculty,

I want to take this opportunity to share some information about the ChicoFlex pilot that started in early April and invite you to this week’s Friday Forum for a chance to hear from the faculty who are participating in the pilot. Danielle Hidalgo (Sociology), Jaime Raigoza (Computer Science), Kevin Kimbell (Finance and Marketing), Nicholas Nelson (Physics), and Scott Brady (Geography and Planning) have been teaching in classrooms equipped with hyflex technology for the last couple of weeks, and have experimented with different pedagogical practices.

Faculty Development has been working closely with Classroom Technology Services and the Technology & Learning Program to learn the ins and outs of hyflex technology, class management, and general pedagogical needs for hybrid courses that will adopt the ChicoFlex Model. The ChicoFlex Team (Brent Liotta Chiara Ferrari, Kathy Fernandes, Marjorie Shepard, and Mike Magrey) has attended these classes in a variety of capacities: acting as students in person, participating as students online, and providing some tech support.

We are incredibly grateful to the faculty who are participating in the pilot, and I think I speak for our whole team when I say that we are learning so much about the possibilities, as well as the challenges of this mode of instruction. This Friday Forum will give us an opportunity to share what we have learned so far: we encourage everyone to join us for a chance to ask questions about ChicoFlex and hear about Summer training opportunities!

ChicoFlex Pilot Friday Forum

(Friday, April 30th, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., via Zoom)

The ChicoFlex Spring Pilot Team

Interactive Journals & Digital Toolkits

Sent on behalf of Dr. Jamie Gunderson

Get excited, educators! FDEV has a new, creative idea on how to further increase engagement AND experiential learning: interactive journals and digital toolkits! Interactive journals are gaining popularity in the digital learning environments as well as research and are easily accessible for learners and educators alike! See an example of an interactive journal! Digital toolkits serve as a repository for learners (and educators) to organize resources that can support learners beyond the classroom.
Interested? Join us to learn more about creating your own interactive journal and toolkit at our GoVirtual Community meeting tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Student Participation Yay or Nay?

Dear faculty, 

Yesterday I ran into an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, about the problematic nature of grading class participation. In Should We Stop Grading Class Participation?, James M. Lang discusses how grading participation is often very subjective – and therefore inevitably biased – and shares that: “when we drill down to the particulars, this grading practice raises some hard questions that usually are left unanswered: Are all comments equal? What counts as a comment worthy of a good grade? How am I tracking the quality of the comments, as opposed to the sheer quantity?” 

What Lang suggests is not to eliminate opportunities for students to engage (with both the material, with each other, and the instructor), but to reconsider what that engagement looks like and what different forms can take. This topic was the focus of one of the Go Virtual Community meetings we had in the Fall, and I created a brief presentation about Evaluating Participation. These slides offer information about benefits, challenges, and methods for assessing participation, but also resources that invite to reconsider the role of participation as a graded portion of the course, including links to rubrics that can help evaluate participation and engagement in more holistic, equitable, and meaningful ways. 

I hope you will find these resources both useful and challenging! 

UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES 
TODAY! Teaching Racial and Social Justice Series (3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.) 
Friday Forum: How to Approach Service Strategically (April 16, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.)
CAL$ Summer Program Application (Due April 19th)
QLT WorkshopsREGISTER HERE.

 Submit ideas for activities in zoom discussions and breakout rooms HERE

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 
Faculty Development, Director 
Campus zip: 026 
Phone: 530-898-3094
https://www.csuchico.edu/fdev/
Professor 
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology 
Campus zip: 504 
Phone: 530-898-4647 

Zoom Discussion, Breakout Rooms, and Engagement

Dear faculty, 

I know that by now I probably sound like a broken record, but FDEV is really interested in focusing on student engagement this semester. 

I have heard many concerned faculty sharing their experience about how “this semester is just different” and how students are really struggling and dropping out or simply not showing up. 

This is a concern that we have tried to address with the student engagement challenge and today I want to share one of our Teaching Guides about Zoom breakout rooms

The teaching guide includes some practical tips for application in the classroom, but also a number of tutorials and resources you can explore. 

We want to take our effort a step further though, and for this reason, I am asking all faculty to consider contributing to the creation of a database of Zoom discussions, assignments, and activities that you used in your classes and had a positive impact on the students. It is my hope that this list of resources can offer faculty some practical ideas of how to manage zoom discussions and breakout rooms. I know we have some amazing talent among our faculty, so I encourage you to fill out this brief google form and share your successful experience with online student engagement. 

Thank you for your contributions! 

And… a reminder to join us tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. for our weekly Go Virtual Community meeting (Zoom link). We will discuss ideas and experiences with flipped classes! 

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 
Faculty Development, Director
Campus zip: 026
Phone: 530-898-3094
https://www.csuchico.edu/fdev/
Professor
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology 
Campus zip: 504
Phone: 530-898-4647

Teaching & Storytelling

Dear faculty, 

In high school, I had the pleasure to learn from a teacher of ancient Greek and Latin who was as strict and terrifying as he was intellectually stimulating, challenging, and incredibly dedicated to those disciplines. What I remember most about him was his endless love for the Classics and his ability to get students engaged through his storytelling skills (and Greek and Latin literature certainly offered many opportunities for fascinating stories). 

As I became an instructor, I’ve always looked at storytelling as one of the most engaging pedagogical practices to use in the classroom, and a technique that can help students relate to the material more strongly and directly. Storytelling: Bringing the power of stories to your teaching provides some information about the benefits of using storytelling in instruction, while also offering some tips on storytelling techniques. Our University has unlimited access to Learning Through Storytelling in Higher Education: Using Reflection and Experience to Improve Learning, and lastly, “Reflections on operationalizing an anti-racism pedagogy: teaching as regional storytelling” (2019) offers insights into using storytelling as a fundamental tool in anti-racist pedagogy. 

In relation to this topic, I am excited to promote our next FDEV Zine (to be released on Monday, April 5th), which will focus on teaching as a form of storytelling. I hope you will explore the resources above and you will enjoy our next Zine! 

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D. 
Faculty Development, Director 
Campus zip: 026 
Phone: 530-898-3094 
https://www.csuchico.edu/fdev/ 
Professor 
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology
Campus zip: 504 
Phone: 530-898-4647

FDEV Teaching Guides

Dear faculty,

I truly hope you had a chance to breathe and re-energize during Spring Break and dedicate some time to yourselves!

I want to use this Tuesday Tip to give you an update about and encourage you to explore our Teaching Guides page, because it has grown significantly since I originally introduced it in January.

The creation of this page was inspired by Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching, which offers a series of Guides grouped into 5 different areas: Principles & Frameworks, Pedagogies & Strategies, Reflecting & Assessing, Challenges & Opportunities, and Populations & Contexts. I invite you to explore their website as they offer a variety of important resources.

Our Teaching Guides are grouped into 5 different areas: Assessment, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Instructional Planning (in progress), Pedagogy, and Technology & Accessibility. One useful tool in the page is a search bar that allows you to narrow down your search and focus on topics that are more directly related to your needs, as opposed to having to browse through all teaching guides.

Thanks to our FDEV faculty fellows (Jamie Gunderson, Chris Crews, Dustin Bakkie, and Paul Bailey) we now have 20 teaching guides available, and we expect to have at least 50 by the end of the Spring semester. The teaching guides are built around principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), so each of them offers information about research on the topic, ideas for practical application in the classroom, and a series of resources that you can explore (websites), listen to (podcasts), watch (videos), or read (more articles on the topic).

And if ULD is your bread and butter, I want to encourage you to attend tomorrow’s Go Virtual Community meeting (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., via Zoom) because Jamie Gunderson will share her expertise and passion about UDL.

The FDEV faculty fellows and I really hope that you will find these teaching guides useful and we invite you to reach out to FDEV if you want to contribute to our repository.

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D.
Faculty Development, Director
Campus zip: 026
Phone: 530-898-3094
www.csuchico.edu/fdev
Professor
Department of Media Arts, Design, and Technology
Campus zip: 504
Phone: 530-898-4647

Student Engagement Challenge 4

Dear Faculty,

Wow. Can you believe it is the final week of the Student Engagement Challenge – and Spring Break is next week!? Kudos to you for all the care and compassion you show in serving your students. I hope you can find some time to serve yourself and get some rest over this break. 

The third and final pillar for building a strong foundation for student engagement is all about encouraging students to pursue their goals. One of my favorite encouragement quotes comes from John Maxwell. He says, “You should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous is changed by it.” Inspired by this quote, I have an engagement challenge assignment AND A BONUS template you can use for an essential practice you should be trying in your classes around now. 

Challenge 4: Pillar 3 – Applying Content to Student Goals – Time: 5-10 min to assign

As an activity, this challenge works well for asynchronous and synchronous classes – this one is a great discussion board or live discussion topic. 

  • Prompt: Challenge students to take something they have learned in your class and discuss how it applies to their future career goals. 

This prompt gets students to think about what they have learned and find relevance to their future goals. It can also help them identify transferable skills and see value in the content they might not have before. Having the opportunity to discuss with peers gives them the chance to encourage each other and see your course content through different lenses. 

Now as a BONUS, I have YOUR HARDEST CHALLENGE YET!  

BONUS Challenge: Feedback – Course Feedback Survey – send THIS SURVEY to your students. (Be sure to edit it to the specifics of your class before you send it)

Asynchronous Version – You will need to edit the first couple of questions about meetings, but otherwise, the survey will work just fine for you.

Introduce it by saying something like this: “I am sharing a course feedback survey with you, and I would appreciate it so much if you were to take a few minutes and fill it out earnestly. I work hard to make this course as great as possible. Your input helps more than almost anything else. The survey is anonymous, and I will read every entry. I ask that you are honest but also constructive. Statements like “You’re the WORST TEACHER EVER!!” tell me nothing. WHY am I the worst teacher ever? THAT helps me improve. Be sure to highlight positive and negative aspects of the course.”  – I like adding a dramatic statement like that. It cuts the tension and gets a few laughs. If it’s not your thing, go ahead and cut it. 

Knowing what is working and isn’t working in your class is CRITICAL to running a successful and engaging course. An ANONYMOUS course feedback survey can:

  • Allow students to voice opinions
  • Let them feel they influence the course – especially if they see you implement their feedback.
  • Highlight the useful parts of your course, alongside the ones that aren’t working.
  • Take a bit of work off your shoulders in discovering how to improve your course. Students are smart! They want to enjoy the class and succeed, and they will have great ideas on how to make that happen.
  • Facilitate a better understanding of students. Students will often share personal information that they may not otherwise. 

I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH for being a part of this challenge. You worked hard to increase engagement in your classes, and you should feel exceptionally proud of that. 

Stay tuned to the FDEV Podcast on March 25th, where Dr. Jamie Gunderson and the FDEV faculty fellows will recap and reflect on the challenge. If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for the Friday Forum discussion of this engagement challenge on March 26th (10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.).

A Final Cheers,

Dustin Bakkie
FDEV Fellow
Kinesiology Lecturer