In my last video in this series, Dr. Susan Siena from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs talks with me about moving from a few higher-stakes exams to more frequent, lower-stakes ones. Susan has evidence that students see better connections between exams and the course content, due to the more immediate assessments, and the number of D’s and F’s have gone down. The more frequent tests also allow students to learn about how to take an exam and improve their test-taking skills, an important factor in 100- and 200-level classes.
In this episode of WWYK, I talk with Dr. Sapna Mehta from the Department of Biology, and she shares how she has transformed an upper-level class in two ways—by taking a hybrid approach and by replacing all her exams with weekly scaffolded exercises that lead to a final project. That final project is also one of their own choosing. This episode is a bit longer than most, but we covered a range of topics that overlap—alternative assessments, hybridizing a class to focus class time on application activities, and engaging students by giving them self-determination over their final assignment format and topics. I had fun in this conversation, hearing how Sapna layered these strategies to truly transform her class. And she’s not going back.
In this week’s WWYK episode, I talk with Michael Morrone, one of our first class of Teaching Professors, from the Kelley School of Business, and the Director of FACET. Michael shares how he uses Google Docs to structure class activities and enhance student engagement both within activities and across the semester. His approach is also interesting in that it makes students’ learning visible to them, letting them go back and see what happened in each class.
A few related links for topics we mention during our conversation:
- Using Google Docs in Zoom breakout rooms
- Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs)
- Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) framework
Welcome, new Associate Instructors! We know that the Associate Instructors preparing to teach at Indiana University Bloomington have a wide arrange of experiences. Some of you have taught multiple college courses before. Some of you have only the experience of being a student. Some of you have taught K-12 before starting graduate school. Whatever level of experience with which you come to IUB, we’ve planned our upcoming Associate Instructor Orientation (AIO) series with you in mind. Our AIO will provide a series of webinars that cover a wide array of teaching-related topics from learning theories to classroom strategies. It will also provide opportunities for you to meet new Associate Instructors across campus.
This year’s AIO will be held as a series of webinars that will span two weeks: August 16th – 27th. These events have participant caps, so we encourage you to register soon using the event links below. You will need an IU username to register, but if you don’t have one, you can request a guest account. If you’re not able to register, you can watch a recorded versions of the webinars, which will be archived on our CITL Kaltura channel.
This year, our Associate Instructor Orientation will include:
- Creating your Classroom Culture: Identity, Empathy, and Boundaries for Associate Instructors. Monday, August 16th, 1 – 2:30 PM.
- Teaching for Learning: Approaches and Strategies for the Classroom. Monday, August 16th, 3 – 4:30 PM.
- Where do I Begin? How to Facilitate Analysis-Based Discussion. Tuesday, August 17th, 10 – 11:30 AM.
- The New Normal – Using Tech in Meaningful Ways to Support Teaching. Wednesday, August 18th, 10 – 11:15 AM.
- Engaging Students through Active Learning. Wednesday, August 18th, 3:30 – 4:45 PM.
- Practical Guidelines for STEM Lab AIs. Tuesday, August 24th, 1 – 2:15 PM.
These webinars are designed to help new Associate Instructors gain practices and confidence to approach their immediate teaching needs. We anticipate many Associate Instructors wanting to continue their pedagogical development. To prepare for this, we have programming designed for career-long development. Instructors can delve further into these topics and more advanced techniques in our CITL events and graduate student learning communities that are offered year-round. Graduate students can also join the Graduate Teaching Apprenticeship Program, which is a self-paced program designed to guide them through pedagogical professional development.
Are you mentoring a new graduate student who might benefit from this information? Or do you have a friend who is about to start teaching at IUB for the first time? CITL encourages you to share this information with your friends and colleagues. Consider attending a CITL workshop or contact our office for an individual consultation.
In this week’s “What Will You Keep for Fall 2021?” I talk with Vicky Meretsky from the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs about her use of online office hours, particularly in the evening. Vicky talks a bit about this option being particularly good for working students, and she shares a few approaches she uses to make students feel more welcome.
In this week’s “What Will You Keep the Fall” video, I am talking again with Dr. Meghan Porter from the Chemistry Department, this time about how she uses tokens to provide students with flexibility and autonomy in their assignments. Students are able to request an extension simply by using one of their assigned tokens—reducing their stress and eliminating the instructor’s need to weigh each request as it comes in.