it’s still finals…

Dear faculty, 

In light of the recent events that have shaken our campus, I almost forgot that this week is finals week. 

Students are scrambling with finishing their projects and completing exams, faculty are scrambling with grading and finalizing their courses, staff are scrambling trying to close the semester and everything that needs to be completed to submit and finalize grades. 

Finals are never easy. And this year they just got a lot harder. At the risk of sounding trite, I hope you remember to take care of each other, always, and especially during this week.  

Please reach out to Faculty Development if you need any support and take advantage of our beautiful Rose Garden Room (MLIB 459) for some respite.

Chiara Ferrari, Ph.D.
Faculty Development Director

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.

Staying Well in April

April is one of the most lively, engaging, and hectic times of year for faculty. Projects need to be graded, final exams begin in 3 weeks, and commencement is right around the corner. Our devotion to (and love for) our work can unsettle the work/life balance. Stress, which we all experience and a 2014 study suggests can be particularly prevalent among lecturers, can be detrimental unless managed effectively. A 2016  study found that as the stress of teachers increased, the academic achievement of students decreased. Thus, an argument could be made that faculty wellness is both a health issue and a pedagogical issue. If wellness can improve your quality of life and positively impact student learning, it is worth investing in.

If you do all you can to manage stress (sleep 8-9 hours per night, eat healthy, meditate, limit caffeine and alcohol, stay physically active, etc.) but still need additional help, consider using MyLifeMatters Services (see attached for more info). It is a free counseling service to Chico State employees and their dependents that can help with depression, anxiety, addictions, and many other aspects of wellness. You can call them 24/7 at 1-800-367-7474 and even arrange for up to three free counseling sessions if you choose. If you’re asked for a passcode, it is “csuchico”.

FDEV wishes you a happy, healthy, productive, and enjoyable remainder of the semester.