The Office of Faculty Development

October 2016 Tuesday Tips

4 October 2016:

The theme of the CELT Conference this year is “Teaching and Learning in Today’s California.” The changing demographics of California and the evolving priorities of the State should compel us all to take a moment and consider how the University has changed and will change in the coming years. The 22nd annual CELT Conference is just such an opportunity. President Gayle Hutchinson will be sharing her thoughts in the Awards Luncheon and Keynote on Thursday. The Conference runs 10/6-10/7, is on campus, and is free.

Register for the conference here.

Top 10 reasons to register for the CELT conference

  1. Looking at teaching posters while eating a breakfast burrito, is literally my perfect morning. Join us on Friday 7:30-9:00am in Colusa for the catered poster session.
  2. Heard the buzz about e-Portfolios, but not sure what to make of them? Check out nationally recognized e-Portfolio leader Kathleen Yancey on Friday at 3pm for a presentation or join her for a workshop 12-2pm, please register for the separate workshop.
  3. Avoid a meeting you do not want to attend with the excuse “I can’t make it, I need to attend a conference.”
  4. Check out the great work of our colleagues from San Jose State who are coming to share their work on a prestigious First in the World Grant on Friday at 1pm.
  5. We are making outreach to our local community colleges a priority, help us make the conference a regional centerpiece by promoting it to your friends at other institutions.
  6. Get better at teaching.
  7. Learn from the successes and mistakes of others in course redesign. Join colleagues from Business focused on course redesign at 9am on Friday. A separate session on Friday at 10am explores the relationship between our own Academy-e Learning and the CSU funded program to support quality online instruction.
  8. Join us for student focused sessions like the Students in Crisis workshop/presentation on Thursday at 9:30am or the Writing for First-Year Students session at 11am on Friday.
  9. Support your colleagues. Most of you know someone who is presenting or invested in one or more presentations.
  10. See and be seen. The CELT conference is the networking opportunity of a lifetime, or at least the best one you will have on Thursday/Friday.

18 October 2016:

Two years ago was an exciting time in my life. My wife was pregnant with our first child, I had turned in my dossier for tenure and promotion a month earlier and everything seemed to be happening at once. Much of the semester was a fog for me, but I do distinctly remember going to my public speaking course at this time in the semester, looking at the faces, and asking myself “who are these people?” The format of the class did not lend itself well to developing relationships with the students so I had never made it a priority, but in Fall 2014 I was especially distant. It was impossible to get to know 500 students, most of which watched online and I would never meet, so I made the mistake of not getting to know any of them. The problem with that thinking was, I ended up missing out and in turn, so did they. Getting to know your students is a frequent refrain of mine, but a recent Inside Higher Ed article highlighted a few things for me that really resonated. I highly recommend reading the linked article as it offers practical advice for establishing classroom rapport rather than just encouragement to do so. As a tease, I do want to highlight one of their suggestions and the connection to a growing trend on our campus.

Drawing on the work of bell hooks in Teaching to Transgress, the authors suggest we model the same vulnerability we expect from our students. One increasingly popular tool for letting your students get to know you is “Digital Storytelling (PDF).” Celeste Jones and Seema Sehrawat have been promoting this tool and featured it at the recent CELT Conference as well as Academy-e Learning over the summer. The technology tools are simple and free, and the payoff is tremendous. There are a variety of tools, but one popular one is Adobe Spark. Digital Storytelling gives you a controlled environment to introduce yourself and a topic to your students with the aid of visuals. If you have questions or ideas about Digital Storytelling please contact Faculty Development. We are happy to provide help and put you in contact with people and resources.

25 October 2016:

Halloween is less than a week away. It is a tradition with a complicated history at Chico as Tracy, Mary, and our guest Holly explored in our most recent podcast. The responsibility of faculty around events like Halloween is not always clear. I usually took some time, especially when dealing with first-year students to share some of the same messages the Diversity and Inclusion office has emphasized. I felt it was a public service to talk to students about the implications of their actions and the impact they had on the reputation of the institution and their peers. Less than a year ago a prominent administrator at Yale resigned following backlash over her position on Halloween costumes, especially as they relate to race proving just how difficult these issues can be to address.

Nevertheless, I would encourage you to share your insights with your students. There is an ethical part of this conversation when it comes to treating each other with respect, but there is a practical one too. With the ubiquitous nature of photos and videos, it is a reasonable to think that embarrassing costumes and behavior might very well be archived for future employers, parents, or partners. Our students represent the institution, but they also represent themselves. Be safe and respectful out there, and encourage your students to do the same.