The most common refrain I hear on campus is: I wish CELT and Faculty Development would invade my life even more! Okay, so maybe no one has ever said this in the 130 year history of the University, but still, if you want even more teaching tips, download the Magna Publications “Teaching Professor Tips App.” You can set it to deliver a tip at a particular time and you can even contribute, best of all it is free! If Magna sounds familiar, they are the same people who offer our 20 minute mentor program that you can still take advantage of this year.
The App may be a good choice for you and it may not. This is actually part of a larger conversation about managing the information streams in your life. Earlier this year a colleague and I calculated the average faculty member receives 3.5 campus wide emails per day. This is on top of college, department, research group, conference, student, peer, and personal email. If you find yourself deleting every email from a discussion group you are a part of, take 20 seconds and unsubscribe or set up a filter to put all the email from your disciplinary list serve into a folder. If your Facebook or twitter feed is full of stuff you hate, take a minute and unfollow/hide those posts. Our lives are full of information, investing a few minutes in making the streams you use the most the most useful for you will be time well spent.
Thanksgiving break has always been my time to catch up and get ready for the close of the semester. For most of us, that can only mean one thing–grading. I have used turn-it-in for years to avoid dragging hundreds of pages of paper with me everywhere and as a tool to encourage academic honesty. A few years ago I found myself typing the same comments over-and-over again “this sentence does not make any sense, try reading it out loud to yourself” or “this is great analysis, but it does not fit well with the rest of the paper” and so on. My fingers were getting tired and so was my brain.
This was about the time turn-it-in started supporting audio feedback. I decided to take a chance and give it a try. Then I explored the different options within the platform: pre-loaded comments to drag and drop onto digital papers, embedded rubrics for easy grading, and a wide variety of other options. It turns out there are built in options to grade a wide variety of assignments from calculus equations to creative writing with feedback from peers. There is also local support through TLP to help get you started. I found the initial investment in time to set-up the remarks for each assignment substantial, but worth it. Eventually, I ended up saving tons to time and the students loved the audio feedback as it contained more information than written feedback.
This is not a great solution for everyone, but the take away from this experience for me was not “turn-it-in is amazing!” Instead, I realized investing in the long-term and learning a few new tools can save you time and enhance the student experience. It can be worth it, even when you are at your busiest.
Looking for inspiration? Don’t forget about our 20 minute mentor subscription.
STEP 1: Activate your 20 Minute Mentor Commons subscription
- Go to www.magnapubs.com/sitelicense/registration.html?v=magna61715
- Enter information in each of the required fields. In the Authorization Code box, enter our group Authorization Code CSUCHICO587and click Submit
Please note: entering the Authorization Code is done only once.
STEP 2: Access the 20 Minute Mentor Commons library
- Go to www.magnapubs.com/profile
- Enter your email address & password & click Submit. If you do not know or remember your account password, use “Forget your password?” to reset it.
- On the left side of the screen, under My Account, My Online Access, select Subscriptions. The online content you have access to will be listed to the right. Click the appropriate link to view the content.
Access to 20 Minute Mentor Commons is also available to registered members at www.mentorcommons.com.
Come visit us in MLIB 458 we are open 8-5 five days a week while school is in session and have space for you to spread out and do work.
In Faculty Development we are making mentoring a priority. We formally and informally connect new faculty with experienced peers in their colleges. This program is critical to new faculty members as it allows them to ask tough questions and it values the experience of our wonderful full and part-time faculty members. In the new and exciting “U-Courses” the leadership of instructors is put into motion by advanced peers who help students move through complicated course content. We also value the mentoring relationships faculty build with students in undergraduate research efforts which have been recognized by AAC&U as a high-impact practice.
Increasingly, we know mentoring is important for our students and our faculty, but questions persist:
What is mentoring?
How do I know if I am engaging in good mentoring?
I enjoy pointing out other people’s failings in public settings to embarrass them, does that count as mentoring?
While mentoring is as old as human experience, we are still figuring out how to value it in the academy. At Purdue it is increasingly valued in tenure and promotion. On our campus, it is the focus of an exciting and diverse exploration in the upcoming mentoring conference. See the message below for a chance to learn about something we almost all do, but we could all benefit from knowing more about.
When: Friday, October 16, 2015
Where: Colusa Hall 100A&B
[Register for one or multiple sessions, see conference schedule for details]
*No registration fees*
Reasons why you should attend:
- Mentoring helps people establish caring relationships
- Provides resources to help people learn and succeed
- Build mentoring skills that you could use in workplace, community, and education settings
- Opportunity to connect with clubs and organizations that are interested in mentoring, leadership, and civic engagement
- Learn how programs at Chico State implement mentoring into their organization
Interested? Register now.
For more information, contact Gina Tigri at the First-Year Experience Office at 530.898.3705 or visit our Experiential Mentoring Website at http://www.csuchico.edu/fye/mentoringconference.