Celebrate the Earth

Compiled by Rebecca Nelson, Admin Analyst/Specialist (ranelson@csuchico.edu)

Join us in celebrating Earth Day on 4/22 and Earth Month throughout April, along with continuing efforts throughout the year to support environmental sustainability and resiliency. In Faculty Development, we are passionate about this work and have been proud sponsors of the Teaching Climate Change Resilience FLC series. These events are enrichment opportunities for ourselves and our students. We hope you find something here that resonates with you and what you teach.

Earth Day is an internationally recognized holiday to raise awareness, inspire change, and foster a deeper connection with nature. The Associated Students (AS) will be hosting an Earth Day Festival on Monday, April 22nd from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Commons. Visit the AS Sustainability program webpage for more information.

Extend your Earth Day celebrations into the weekend by signing up to volunteer at the 2024 Chico Spring Clean Day on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Hooker Oak Park and attending the Butte Environmental Council’s Endangered Species Faire on Saturday, April 20th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Attend a public talk on Thursday, April 25th from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Recital Hall as we welcome Dr. Sarah Ray (Cal Poly Humboldt) and Dr. Jennifer Atkinson (University of Washington Bothell) for a distinguished visiting professor public lecture to discuss the pre-release of their book, The Existential Toolkit for Climate Justice Educators: How to Teach in a Burning World, an easy-to-use field guide for teaching on climate injustice and building resilience in your students—and yourself—in an age of crisis. Their talk will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Watch The Climate Baby Dilemma, a film written, directed, and produced by award-winning filmmaker Victoria Lean. We were honored to host the international university film premiere of The Climate Baby Dilemma in March and have purchased digital access to the full film for Chico State through the Meriam Library.

Explore the Butte Resilience Collaborative vision for a resilient community through collaboration, communication, and connectedness throughout the year.

Visit the Teaching Climate Change and Resilience (TCCR) webpage for additional information and resources.

Upcoming events and announcements:

Zach Justus     
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Grading for Growth 

Grades are weird. We look at the work of a student, then we measure it against a rubric, often derived from work other students have done, and assign it a point value. Those points are added together at the end of the term and matched with a letter grade in a table which we then submit to the University. Then those letters are translated back into numbers so a student can know their cumulative GPA. This is the system we have arrived at through happenstance and history and it is outlined quite well in the recent book Grading for Growth by David Clark and Robert Talbert (check out this substack or recent podcast if you don’t want to read the whole book).

There are, of course, actual grading policy guidelines for this at Chico State. There are radical alternatives other Universities have tried. There is even the alternative of “ungrading” which seeks to unpack and undo the history of grading. 

This is not an endorsement of any specific practice or critique. Systems of grading are one of the many truths we have historically accepted that deserve a closer look. Take a few minutes and reflect on what you hope to accomplish when you assign a student a letter grade to see if it matches up with the broader convictions you have about education, growth, and learning. You could even go further and have a conversation with your students about what grades mean to them. Speaking of investment of time–applications for our summer programs on AI (May 28-31) and Writing (June 3-13) are open until April 19. Check out the full calls and apply now!

Zach Justus
Director of Faculty Development
Professor of Communication Arts and Sciences
Google Voice/Text: 530-487-4150

Use the Platinum Rule

While sexual harassment accusations in the workplace have been rampant in the news lately, Chico State remains committed to keeping our work lives safe, productive, and welcoming. Obviously, nonconsensual activities are prohibited but EO 1096 takes it a step further and requires that CSU employees do not enter into a consensual relationship with either a student or employee over whom they have authority or influence.

Since much of what we hear is about what not to do, today’s tip shares what to do.

    • Access Safe Place if you need advocacy services for domestic and sexual violence (available to Chico State faculty, staff, and students).
    • Contact Chico State’s Title IX coordinator with questions or concerns about misconduct (Dylan Saake 898-4949)
    • Stay up-to-date on your DTS training to “Eliminate Campus Sexual Misconduct”
    • Treat others how you want to be treated (Golden Rule)
    • Treat others the way they want to be treated (Platinum Rule)

You will never believe who…

Stopped by the Faculty Grading Oasis during finals week and finished all their grading—You! Come see us during finals week for open space, coffee, snacks, tech support from TLP, and assistance (FERPA compliant) from our student staff.

It is that time of year. Grading is piling up, and each piece of click-bait you see looks more enticing as you try and avoid the regular task of finishing your grading. With that in mind, our “reasons to visit” the Grading Oasis is inspired by the click-bait you should avoid:

  1. Genius uses this one weird trickto finish all their grading. Seriously, going somewhere new and having some help makes a difference.
  2. You won’t believe what this instructor looks like nowhappy once they have come by the Grading Oasis for coffee and snacks. We buy, and you thrive.
  3. Healthy professors do this one thing to stay youngthey get help with their grading. Our students help with blinded grading, alphabetizing, anything FERPA allows them to assist with. TLP help is two doors away!
  4. Warren Buffet is warning teachers not toprocrastinate on finishing grading. Avoid the artificial extension of your classwork into the summer by doing it soon.
  5. Shocking photos of polar bear attacks-okay I don’t have a tie in for this one, I just like polar bear videos.

Grading Oasis (4)

 

The call for the 23rd annual CELT conference is live! Submit an abstract today to change the world tomorrow—or maybe in October.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast. Our newest episode is out now! President Gayle Hutchinson joins Mary, Tracy, and I to discuss the bright future of CSU, Chico. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

New Colleagues and Old Problems

This time of year can be challenging for all of us—but especially for new faculty. The balance of scholarship, teaching, service, and life outside campus can be difficult to maintain even if you have been at it for a long time, but take a minute to recall the time when it was all new. In Faculty Development we have a formal mentoring program run by Susan Wiesinger that provides assigned mentors for new tenure-track faculty and a specialized workshop series for lecturer faculty. However, we acknowledge that the most important mentoring work is almost always informal and local. I want to highlight a few realities of these relationships that I hope you will keep in mind as this semester closes and we look toward Fall 2017.

  • Lecturer faculty need mentoring too. Lecturers have a dramatic impact on student success as they are often the people called on to teach first-year students and serve in other critical roles. Prioritizing student success means equipping lecturers with research, resources, and drawing on their expertise. It also means engaging them in conversation on effective teaching, research opportunities, and helping them navigate the university. This is a job for all us, regardless of classification. Talk to new lecturer colleagues about professional development like the CELT conference and how to access resources for travel.
  • Minority faculty face unique challenges, but you do not have to share the same life experience to be helpful. A recent Chronicle article highlighted key strategies for mentoring new minority scholars. I encourage you to read the whole article, but I want to highlight the first piece of advice “Practice cultural humility” and in doing so “demonstrate empathy for the professor’s experience as a faculty member of color in the institution.” In institutions like ours with strong organization culture we are often too quick to bring newcomers up to speed with “how things are done here” without being attentive to other strategies or experiences. Mentoring is mainly learning and listening.
  • Make a plan and get out there. Writing “be a good mentor” on a post-it note may be a reminder for you, but it is not a plan. Talk with your colleagues and your department/college leadership about what is being done and what is possible, but get started. Make a point to drop by a new colleagues office to ask how things are going, make a trip to a different floor or building to talk to a new lecturer that you have not met, but take the first step in outreaching to your new colleagues.

I am advising this now in hopes of helping our colleagues at the end of the term, but also to compel you to think about how next year could be even better with new faces, new ideas, and new mentoring relationships.

The call for the 23rd annual CELT conference is live! Submit an abstract today to change the world tomorrow—or maybe in October.

Got feedback on this tip? Got an idea for a tip? Send it along. Check out our new and improved wordpress site here.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I are joined by student guest Martin Morales to discuss housing and food insecurity at CSU, Chico. Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

Why Aren’t They Reading?

It is late Spring, and you are scanning your classroom as students walk in. To your horror you see textbooks still wrapped in plastic, others that appear to have never been cracked, and many students who arrived with no book at all. Later you reference an example from the text in an activity or lecture only to be confronted with an ocean of blank stares. Your experience is one many of us have had, and we wonder why aren’t they reading?
This is a complicated question without an easy answer. Also, to be fair, many of them are reading. Of the students who are not having a positive experience with the textbook there are many explanations:
  • The book could be dry and inaccessible
  • The book could prove to not be useful
  • The book could be too expensive to buy/rent
  • The reserve copy of the book could be unavailable at the times the student has to study
A report compiled by the Student Public Interest Research Group found some interesting results about textbook usage among students. I would urge you to read part of their report, but I would encourage you to do some of your own research using a variation of their tested items. James Tyler and I worked together to pull four key questions we believe will give you a better understanding of how your students are utilizing their textbooks and what alternatives might be viable:
  • Have you ever decided against buying (or renting a textbook because it was too expensive? (yes or no)
  • If yes, were you concerned that not buying (or renting) the textbook would hurt your grades in the course? (yes, significantly concerned; yes somewhat concerned; no;  not applicable)
  • Does the cost of textbooks impact which classes and/or how many classes you decide to take? ( yes, significantly; yes, somewhat; no; not applicable)
  • All other things being equal, do you think you would do better in a course if the textbook was available free online and buying a hard copy was optional? ( yes, significantly better; yes, somewhat better; no; not applicable)
If you would like to distribute these to your class, but need some help and have some additional items you would like to use email us at FDEV@csuchico.edu, and we will do the work for you.
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For 2017/18 Faculty Development and Statistics professor Edward Roualdes have secured a $50,000 grant to encourage the adoption for lower cost course materials, so if you want to explore some of these options to increase access for your students, your window of opportunity is now. These are complicated issues with a variety of perspectives. Read this recap of a recent debate if you think otherwise. We encourage you to consider working with us next year to lower costs and increase access for students at Chico. Please fill out this form if you are—this is not really an application, just a way for us to stay organized. If you have a high cost textbook and want to work with some folks to explore alternatives, you are in.
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The Technology and Learning Program is Moving

Today’s Tuesday Teaching Tip is brought to you by TLP Manager Laura Sederberg.

The Technology and Learning Program (TLP) is moving up in the world! Our location in the basement of Meriam Library has served us well for 20 years now. But as we have joined efforts with the Faculty Development Center (previously CELT). Their home in MLIB 458/459 has become a destination for faculty, and now we have the opportunity to join them and better serve the faculty of CSU, Chico.

Our Instructional Design/Technology Consultants (ITCs) are moving upstairs on Thursday, April 13. The Walk-in TLP Lab will follow soon. In this move there are some changes.

  1. We will be close to Faculty Development allowing for better collaboration.
  2. We will be seeing more of you! The more visible location means we will be in a position to serve you and your students even more effectively, and we look forward to seeing you.
  3. We are transitioning our technology lending program. If you have a problem and need a piece of technology for a class we can still accommodate you, but please try and work with your home department and/or the Meriam Library lending program while we are transitioning.
  4. We will no longer have access to our training lab, but we will still be offering trainings.

There is no doubt this move will result in some disruption, but we are excited that in the long term this will be the right move for us and the campus.

If you have any concerns or questions about this change, please contact TLP manager, Laura Sederberg x4326 or lsederberg@csuchico.edu.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to the Caffeinated Cats podcast! Our newest episode is out now! Mary, Tracy, and I take on seven topics in 30 minutes! Link to it on soundclouditunesovercast, or follow the podcast on facebook.

 

Last call for Summer/Spring programming

I do not want to clutter your email inboxes with additional items this week so this week’s tip is your final reminder that applications are due on 3/31 for the Spring/Summer offerings including our pilot one-week AeL program and several other funded opportunities.

Faculty Development Spring/Summer 2017 Program Offerings

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Feel free to apply for multiple offerings. General questions can be directed to Zach Justus
zjustus@csuchico.edu. All applications due on 3/31/2017.

Academy e-Learning 9.1: Teaching with Help

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: June 1-2, 5-7 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.1, launching with the first of this summer’s one-week institutes –Teaching with Help. During this intensive institute, we will explore highly effective strategies for mentoring and working with TAs/mentors so you can realize their full potential and value in your course(s). Your work during this institute will focus on incorporating assistants, in all their forms, into your courses in meaningful ways.

Full RFP Link
Application

Academy e-Learning 9.2: Best Practices for Working with Student Writing

Leadership: Faculty Development and the Technology and Learning Program
Compensation: $750 (taxable income)
Workload: August 3-4, 7-9 9am-4pm intensive plus assessment reporting
Brief Description: You are invited to participate in Academy e-Learning (AeL) Cohort 9.2, the second of this summer’s one-week institutes. In recognition of the campus’ on-going interest in high impact educational practices, this institute is focused on supporting students’ writing.

Full RFP Link
Application

 Writing Boot Camp

Leadership: Chris Fosen
Compensation: $500 (taxable income)
Workload: May 23-26 8am-4pm
Brief Description: You are invited to take part in a one-week writing boot camp. Applicants are expected to be physically present and participate all day.  Since our goal is substantive writing, it is most suitable for projects that are already well under way.

Full RFP Link
Application

Learning Enhancement Grants

Brief Description: The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is offering faculty awards of up to $5,515 to improve quality and productivity in learning and teaching in a course or program. Projects that strongly enhance student learning and have a demonstrable impact receive priority consideration. Proposals should address relevance to the University Strategic Plan. Funds awarded in spring of 2017 must be expended between July 1, 2017 and May 30, 2018. Proposals are due by Friday, March 31, 2017 at 5pm.

Full RFP Link
Application

Just in time Professional Development

Brief Description: The Faculty Development Program is offering faculty awards of up to $1,000 in Professional Development Funds to support faculty who need to attend a conference or support a project. The funds must be expended by 5/30/2017.

Full RFP Link
Application

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