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The Office of Faculty Development

December 2020 Tuesday Tips

1 December 2020:

As a film scholar in love with Orson Welles, I remember the first time I listened to the controversial 1938 War of the Worlds(opens in new window): I was fascinated by both the concept (a Halloween prank that turned into mass hysteria) and the content (the narrative of aliens attacking Earth). And of course, by Orson Welles’ incredible voice (seriously, just listen to it if you haven’t yet).  

Since then, radio technology has evolved significantly, and now we all have our favorite podcasts saved on our phones. But a core element has not changed: good storytelling. And I’ve always loved to think about teaching as a form of storytelling(opens in new window). Podcasts have been used very successfully for both teaching and learning, at various educational levels. As one podcaster reminds us(opens in new window), “students listen for longer than they'll watch or read,” podcasts are easily accessible, and promote better learning for students with mental and visual disabilities. EdTech offers some recommendations(opens in new window) about Higher Ed podcasts, this article (PDF) even discusses the benefits of podcasts for faculty development, and this podcast(opens in new window) offers great pedagogical resources for instructors.  

If you want to learn more about podcasting for teaching and learning, the Office of Faculty Development(opens in new window) will hold a Friday Forum(opens in new window) on December 4th via Zoom(opens in new window), from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  

A panel of faculty will share their experience with podcasts, discuss tips and best practices, and offer ideas on how you could use podcasts in your own classes.  

Lastly, I want to remind everyone about the call for applications for FDEV Spring 2021 programs, see below: 

Closing the Equity Gaps Faculty Learning Community (Google Doc) 

Digital Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community (Google Doc) 

Faculty Writing Community (Google Doc) 

Quality Learning and Teaching Workshops (Google Doc) 

All calls for applications will close on Monday, December 7th, at 5:00 p.m. You can also find a list of all open calls in the FDEV Programs page(opens in new window)

We look forward to receiving your applications and being able to offer you continued support! 

If you’d like to comment on this Tuesday Tip, visit the FDEV Blog(opens in new window).

8 December 2020:

I sometimes still think about my comprehensive exams for both my M.A. and Ph.D., and as ridiculous as it sounds, I remember that experience to be very fulfilling. What makes me remember it fondly is certainly NOT the stress that was associated with it, but the chance I had to reflect upon my learning: simply put, I had not realized until that moment how much I had learned and how much I had grown intellectually.

Ideally, “dead week” should have the same effect on our students, and we should offer them time and opportunities to reflect on their learning. A 2017 Orion article(opens in new window) reports how this is not always the case, however, and how “dead week at Chico State is one of the most stressful times” especially if new content and assignments are added to the class this late in the semester. 

This academic article(opens in new window) offers evidence of the benefits of reflection as a form of experiential learning while providing useful background information and a literature review on the topic.

This resource from Purdue University(opens in new window) is a reminder of the purpose and importance of reflection in writing classes and offers practical ideas about reflection activities. More resources and ideas can also be found in Three Ideas for Implementing Learner Reflection(opens in new window).

As we wind down towards the end of one of the most challenging semesters we all have experienced, I encourage everyone to dedicate this time for pause and reflection, and in so doing, help students realize how much they have grown and learned.

If you’d like to comment on this or any other Tuesday Tip, visit the FDEV Blog(opens in new window).

15 December 2020:

Early this morning as I was looking through my Facebook memories, a message popped up from 2016. It was a card from a graduating student, who wrote “I am grateful for the ways you invested in me. I felt known by you, which was a great gift to this nervous transfer student.” I have no desire to focus this Tuesday Tip on myself, but this card was a powerful reminder of how many students see faculty: as someone that is willing to invest in them. This idea really moved me because I feel that sometimes we do not realize how important we are for the development of our students’ self-esteem and growth beyond their academic life. 

This message is actually not meant as a tip today, but as a thank you to all faculty who have spent endless hours recording lectures, redesigning their courses, finding creative ways to engage students, experimenting with new technology, dedicating additional time to hold extra office hours, going above and beyond to modify instruction to ensure that learning would not be fully disrupted. Now, let me be clear: learning was disrupted, and I don’t believe we should act like it wasn’t. What has not changed, though, is the fact that our students still look at us hoping that we will invest in them.  And my gratitude goes out to all of you who have invested in your students, despite the pedagogical difficulties, the increased workload, the personal struggles, and, last but not least, the technological hiccups.

The Office of Faculty Development(opens in new window) is committed to offering programs, learning communities, workshops, and resources to make faculty’s life a bit easier. I am very aware of the fact that faculty’s life has not been easy this semester, and I do hope that all of you will take some time for yourselves because you certainly deserve it and, even more certainly, you need it. For next semester FDEV has some interesting surprises in store for you, so stay tuned for our news as we transition into the Spring semester… 

Lastly, I want to share my appreciation and gratitude for everything that the Technology and Learning Program has done to support faculty in collaboration with FDEV. This has been a wonderful partnership that continues to grow, and we are excited to think creatively about additional ways in which we can help you. 

Have a wonderful break and get some much-deserved rest!   

If you’d like to comment on this or any other Tuesday Tip, visit the FDEV Blog(opens in new window).