Grade Efficiently

Although Blackboard will be down between December 25th – 27th (details here), you can still access PeopleSoft from the Faculty Center in the Portal to enter grades during this time. Here are a few “efficiency tips” to help you submit your grades by the 12/31/19 deadline.

  • Clearly communicate your expectations in advance of final projects and exams. When possible, give students a rubric and share examples of poor, adequate, and excellent work.
  • If you have students submit final papers to Blackboard through Turnitin, you can offer your feedback via voice comments instead of hand-writing notes on their paper.
  • Instead of writing out numerous comments on papers or exams, consider meeting with students in person if they want extensive feedback.
  • Do some (or all) of your grading in MLIB 459 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. – a quiet space with a nice view and free coffee.


Be sure to register for the Tipping Point Student Success Summit on 1/16/20. Enjoy great presentations with colleagues across campus…plus free lunch! Register by 1/6/20.

Resources for You this Week

Here are some resources to support you during these next 10 busy days.

  • There are still plenty of spaces available for the “45 Minutes of Mindfulness” meditation sessions today in BMU 210 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend.
  • The WREC has opened their “De-Stress Fest” to faculty! You are welcome to go to the Wrec this week to recharge (even if you’re not a member). They’ll have farm animals to pet today from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., free acupuncture tomorrow from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m., and several other events all week. They are also leading a free Yoga class in the Anthropology Museum on 12/12 at noon (they’ll bring yoga mats).
  • Meriam Library 459 (The Rose Garden Room) will remain open through 12/20 as a reading/writing/grading space for all faculty from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. There will always be hot coffee, decaf, hot tea, and even snacks for you.

Best wishes to stay in good health!

Forty-five Minutes For You

As you dash toward the finish line this semester, the Office of Faculty Development invites you to pause for a relaxing 45 minutes to recharge yourself. Join Kathy Fernandes and Farshad Azad in “Forty-five Minutes of Mindfulness” in BMU 210 on either Tuesday 12/10 from 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. or Wednesday 12/11 from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. (or come to both). Farshad will lead a brief session of Tai-Chi (i.e. moving meditation) and Kathy will lead a brief session of seated meditation. Feel free to arrive late or leave early as your schedule permits and you do not need to wear any special clothing. All are welcome even if you’ve never done any mindfulness practice before and are just curious about it.

We will provide hot coffee, decaf, hot tea, and snacks for you.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP here by 12/8.

CSU Teaching Symposium This Spring

Every spring, the CSU offers a 2-day symposium focused on effective teaching and learning. This spring, the symposium is scheduled on March 13-14, 2020, at CSU-Fullerton and sessions will focus on inclusion, diversity, equity, accessibility, and student success (see attached flier for more info). The call for proposals is open until November 26. If you are passionate about teaching, consider attending or proposing a presentation.

Engage Students with Online Discussions

Given our students’ agility with online communication, using discussion forums in Blackboard can be an effective way to engage students in the learning process outside the classroom. Here are some tips that emerged from the attached peer-reviewed paper on the topic:

  • To promote equity and allow marginalized voices to be heard, online discussions may allow students to participate who often need more processing time to contribute to a discussion.
  • Keep discussion groups to 14 or less.
  • Faculty should be somewhat “present” in online discussions to clarify concepts and keep students on track.
  • Some students may be more reflective, honest, and willing to discuss sensitive topics in an online discussion.
  • Prompt questions and discussion topics posed by the instructor should relate to your course learning objectives and build in complexity and depth as the semester progresses.
  • Online discussions should be assessed in some way (e.g. quality and quantity of students’ contribution to the discussion, whether or not students initiate discussions or just respond)

For assistance on how to facilitate an effective and engaging online discussion, contact the Technology & Learning Program.

Take a 10-minute Sabbatical This Week

With the anniversary of the Camp Fire heavy on our hearts this week, it’s a good opportunity to take a moment for yourself to pause. Consider giving yourself a “10-minute sabbatical” to reflect and recharge.  Take a walk through the colorful leaves in Bidwell Park, meditate in the Zen Den in BMU 301, or do something that truly enriches you. If you were affected by the Camp Fire and prefer to be with other people this week, there are Group-counseling sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to discuss the emotional impacts and next steps for faculty and staff affected by the Camp Fire.


Spring 2020 Paid Professional Development – Applications Open Until November 12th

The Office of Faculty Development and its Advisory Board have prepared an exciting suite of Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) for you for the Spring semester. All FLCs for Spring 2020 are open to all faculty of any rank in any discipline including lecturers and you may apply to more than one FLC. See below for details and application links. Applications must be completed by November 12, 2019. Each FLC involves seven 2-hour group sessions and faculty will be paid $500 for participating and completing deliverables. Find more information on the FDEV Website!


“Successful Grant-Writing”

Brief Description: In collaboration with Chico State Enterprises (CSE), faculty will be guided through the grant-writing process, including project concept development, positioning yourself, narrative writing, and submission of a proposal. Participants will gain knowledge and strategies to successfully compete for grant funded research, scholarship and creative activity, allowing you to make valuable contributions to your field and advance your career.

Full Details Here

Application Form Here


“10,000 First-Generation Wildcats: Embracing a culture of support for the 62% of Chico State students whose parents did not complete a 4-year degree”

Brief Description: Faculty will gain a variety of tools to teach and support our 10,000 First Generation College Students. A variety of inclusive pedagogical principles will be discussed as faculty learn about the assets, challenges, and backgrounds of this growing population at Chico State.

Full Details Here

Application Form Here

Returning by Popular Demand

“Improving Your Teaching Practice: Tips, Strategies, and Resources”

Brief Description: This FLC is for faculty who want to enhance their teaching practices and create collaborative relationships around pedagogy across disciplines. Topics will be determined based on needs and interests of participants and may include areas such as designing an inclusive syllabus, enhancing lectures, facilitating discussions, teaching large classes, aligning assessments with learning objectives, and educational technologies.

Full Details Here

Application Form Here

Pronouns Now Available On Your Roster

Learning students’ preferred pronoun (or perhaps more accurately their “correct” pronoun), such as she/he or him/her, can be just as important as learning their name. It is part of their identity and you can now see it on your class roster. This prevents you from having to request pronouns publicly while taking attendance, which can be embarrassing, stressful, or confusing to some students. Knowing pronouns even before a semester begins can help you learn a little more about your students thereby creating a safer and more inclusive atmosphere.

Here’s how it works: Students list their pronoun in their Student Center. This allows faculty to see it on their class rosters (see screenshot below). Only students can select their pronouns, and they can change it any time they want in their Student Center.

If you have questions about this new feature, contact the Office of Diversity & Inclusion or the Office of the Registrar.

Online Teaching Videos

The Internet is full of great (and sometimes not-so-great) teaching ideas, lesson plans, and videos. This series of teaching videos on YouTube is useful, brief, and interesting. Each video clip is approximately 5-minutes long and topics include “How to Aggregate Quiz Scores”, “The Reciprocal Learning Strategy”, and “The In-class Flip.” Watch one clip a day and see if you can find a creative way to enhance learning in your class and have fun along the way.

Paid Fall Workshops – Chico Affordable Learning Solutions

Chico State students pay several hundred dollars for textbooks and supplies every semester, in each of their courses, on top of tuition and fees. There is a growing interest among faculty to adopt lower cost (or even free) learning solutions to help remove financial barriers for students who sometimes forego purchasing course materials in order to meet their basic needs. The Chico Affordable Learning Solutions (CAL$) website has several suggestions to decrease costs of course materials while retaining quality and rigor. Reducing course costs can help narrow equity gaps while improving graduations rates for all students.

If you’re interested in locating (or even creating your own) high-quality low-cost course materials, Apply Here to the CAL$ Fall Workshop series by October 15. Faculty who attend three different one-hour workshops (see attached details) and implement a cost-savings strategy for students in their Spring 2020 course(s) will earn both a CAL$ Training Certificate and $400 (paid in Spring 2020). Applications from faculty who teach high-enrollment, high cost, and/or GE courses are especially encouraged.  Workshop titles and payment details can be found on the CAL$ FA19 Memorandum of Understanding. If you have questions, please contact Beth Shook or Edward Roualdes .