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August 31 Teaching & Learning Newsletter

Aug 31, 2017, 13:49 PM


View the CITL Teaching & Learning Newsletter August 31 Issue


Welcome to the Fall 2017 Semester

Whether you are returning to campus or new to Illinois, we hope you are embarking on a great semester! CITL is here to help you achieve your teaching and learning goals. You can always fill out our consult request form to set up a meeting with us.

How to Use this Newsletter

This newsletter comes out approximately every two weeks. It begins with announcements of upcoming events of interest to teachers of all ranks. Below that you will find a listing of the next few CITL workshops coming up on our calendar, any technical training CITL is offering, and sometimes workshops offered by other units on campus. CITL workshops count towards our teaching certificates, while technical trainings usually do not. If you are in doubt about whether a workshop counts for certificate credit, you can ask Lucas Anderson (  Each newsletter ends with timely teaching tips to help you have a great semester.  Now, on to announcements!

CITL Open House September 12-14

CITL will hold an Open House September 12-14 to showcase our new Armory Innovation spaces in the north and east corridors on the first floor. Come by and enjoy the fun events scheduled each day. Have a cup of coffee in the Faculty Lounge area at 156 Armory. Check out the unusual iFLEX classroom at 182 Armory. Try the video wall in the Innovation Studio and the Virtual Reality Lab at 172 Armory. Explore immersive teaching technologies in the Tech Hub at 151A Armory. Mini tours, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, augmented art display, and fun giveaways. Be there, or be square! Click here for more CITL Open House information.

Fall 2017 Junior Faculty Seminar Series on Teaching & Learning Begins September 20th

Come join a dynamic learning community by participating in this specially designed seminar series for junior faculty (though all faculty are invited to come). We’ll share strategies and best practices for improving student learning.  There will be both returning and new workshops. Some of the topics will be: Informal (IEF) and Formal (ICES) Student Feedback to Enhance Teaching & Learning, Best Practices for Face-to-Face & Online Courses, Applying Research on Visual Learning to PPT and more. Great conversation and handouts provided. Limited seating and registration required

See the flyer for the entire series here.

English Proficiency Interview (EPI) Workshops for International Graduate Students

Registration is now open for four workshops for Graduate Students who plan to take the EPI. The workshops are free, but seating is limited and registration is required. Workshop dates and times: September 14, 18, 27, and October 2, 5:30pm to 6:30pm. More information about the EPI workshops can be found hereQuestions? Email us at

General Workshops

CITL offers workshops beyond those in the series mentioned above.  At the bottom of each of our newsletters, you will be able to see a list of the upcoming workshops.  You can always see our full calendar here.

This Learning Life Photography Contest

Will the winner of the 2017 U of I This Learning Life Photography Competition be one of your students?  The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning invites all students on campus to submit images to the contest, which runs through November 17th.  There will be grand prize winners, runners up and category prizes. Categories include “Studying Around Campus,” “Learning With Technology,” “Information Discovery” and “Learning Through Art.”  We want to see what learning looks like through your students’ eyes! Encourage your students to sharpen their visual communication skills, get prizes and recognition, and get that great personal image that will stand out from the crowd.  Click here for more information.

CITL Events & Workshops

Want to see what workshops and events are coming later in the system? Look at our full calendar for more information.


Want to see what workshops and events are coming later in the semester? Look at our full calendar for more information.

Thursday, Sep. 14
EPI Workshop Session 1: EPI Overview, Defining Terms, Practice Strategies
5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: John Kotnarowski (Linguistics)
Monday, Sep. 18
Responding to Student Writing: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Rubrics
3:00 P.M. - 4:30 P.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: Donovan Bisbee (CITL Graduate Affiliate)
Monday, Sep. 18
EPI Workshop Session 2: Learn how to use clarification and negotiation strategies to improve your listening and communication skills in English
5:30 P.M. - 6:30 P.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: John Kotnarowski (Linguistics)
Tuesday, Sep. 19
Using Informal Early Feedback (IEF)
10:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: Lucas Anderson (CITL)
Wednesday, Sep. 20
Jr. Faculty Seminar Seminar Series #1: I wish I had known that earlier: Using Informal Early Feedback (IEF) and Formal Feedback (ICES) to improve teaching and learning
11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)
Wednesday, Sep. 20
Running Effective Discussions
2:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: Lucas Anderson (CITL)

CITL Technical Training

Thursday, Sep. 1
Illinois Compass2g: The Essentials
2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., room 428, Armory
Speaker: Adam Edwards (CITL)

Training Opportunities Across Campus

Want to see what training opportunities exist across campus? Look at the Illinois Staff Training Calendar for more information.

Tuesday, Sep. 5
InDesign CC: Getting Started
1:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., room 27, Illini Hall
Sponsor: Fast3/Webstore Training Services

Teaching Tips

First Impressions: Activities for the First Day of Class
The old expression that you never have a second chance to make a first impression is certainly true in the classroom. Early in my career, I tried several first-day-of-class strategies, ranging from briefly introducing the course and dismissing students early to spending the entire time reviewing policies and procedures, but I began to feel that I was missing an important opportunity. Students are never more attentive than they are on the first day of class, when they’re eager to determine what kind of professor they’re dealing with, and although it is tempting to delay the real work of teaching and learning until the class list has stabilized, it can be difficult to change even the subtle norms that are established during this initial class. Several years ago, I tried a new approach, and I’ve been using it with great success ever since. Here are some strategies to help students begin using the skills they need.

First Day of Class Activities that Create a Climate for Learning
There’s no discounting the importance of the first day of class. What happens that day sets the tone for the rest of the course. Outlined on this site are a few novel activities for using that first day of class to emphasize the importance of learning and the responsibility students share for shaping the classroom environment.

Subscribe to the CITL Teaching & Learning Newsletter to receive updates. 

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