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November 11 Teaching & Learning Newsletter

Nov 11, 2016, 09:09 AM


View the CITL Teaching & Learning Newsletter November 11 Issue


Create Your Own Online Course Workshop

Interested in offering an online course but not sure where to start? Want to learn how to build lecture videos or how to assess your online students? Need some help with the basic tools of Moodle or Compass? Attend CITL's Create Your Own Online Course Workshop. The format of this workshop is flexible to your needs and availability. The entire workshop runs Monday through Wednesday, November 14-16, from 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. each day. You’re welcome to sign-up for all three mornings of the workshop (9 hours in total) in order to have an intensive experience, covering all of the bases, or just R.S.V.P. for the portions that are right for you. Check out the agenda for the event and register if interested. Note: Participation in these workshops count towards CITL certification credit.

The College Teaching Effectiveness Network (CTEN) workshop and meeting!

Come and join CTEN on Reading Day – exact time and place TBD -- as we provide strategies for helping your students (and you) handle the stress of Finals. We'll cover different approaches for managing wellness, stress, grading, and all the other factors of this time of year. In addition, there will be a hands-on yoga portion to help with any Reading Day stress. This workshop counts towards CITL certificate credit.

Before that, join CTEN on November 29 at 4pm for a discussion about pedagogy and an opportunity to help plan future workshops. Contact Donovan Bisbee ( for more information if you are interested.

Attention Engineering TAs: ENG 598 TL: Teaching and Leadership - Registration Open

ENG 598 TL: Teaching and Leadership is being offered for Spring 2017. This course helps to develop professional skills through practical training in classroom management; review pedagogy and theory of learning.It helps students create communities of practice through discussions and classroom observations; become familiar with campus resources for teaching improvement; discover cutting-edge teaching methods, including active learning and project-based learning, through exposure to educational research topics. Completion of this course can be applied towards the Graduate Teaching Certificate and the Foundations of Teaching Certificate, offered by CITL. CRN 65705, 1 credit hour, textbook provided free of charge. Please see the course flyer for more information.

EOL 585:College Teaching Course, Spring 2017, Registration now Open (Enrollment Cap Increased)

This course builds on the scholarship and best practices in higher education related to effective teaching and learning. This will be a highly interactive course as we explore the literature and discuss ways in which we can develop and sharpen our instructional abilities for the benefit of our current students and for our future careers. There will be opportunities for you to question, wonder, and practice various approaches to teaching and to create a teaching portfolio documenting your efforts. The course fulfills one of the requirements for the graduate minor in college teaching and for one of CITL’s teaching certificates. This course is offered by CITL and the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership. Follow this link for more information about this course.

CITL Events & Workshops


None the next two weeks. More to come to wrap up the semester.

Training Opportunities Across Campus

Wednesday, November16
Photoshop CC: Getting Started
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M., room 27 Illini Hall
Speaker: Fast3/Webstore Training Services

Photoshop CC: Image prep lab
3:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M., room 27 Illini Hall
Speaker: Fast3/Webstore Training Services

Teaching Tips

Courses That Are Hard, but Not Too Hard: Finding the Sweet Spot

Courses need to be challenging, but when they become too hard, students stop trying and little learning results. So how do we find that sweet spot between hard and not too hard? More importantly, how do we create that sweet spot in our own courses through the decisions we make about content, assignments, and exams? One solution is to give students opportunities to work on content in class and then listen closely to their conversations. Are they working hard, experiencing some frustration, but finally figuring it out? How much effort are they expending? Additional strategies, including exam wrappers, are discussed.

Exam Wrapper

Here’s a strategy that helps students look at more than the grade when an exam is returned. An exam wrapper(I like the name) is a handout attached to the exam that students complete as part of the exam debrief process. The wrapper directs students “to review and analyze their performance (and the instructor’s feedback) with an eye toward adapting their future learning.” (Ambrose et al, 2010, p. 251). Here is a more detailed description of the exam wrapper strategy

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