CITL Teaching and Learning News: February 20, 2020

Feb 21, 2020, 12:02 PM
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CITL Teaching Certificate Deadline is April 15

If you are working towards one of CITL's teaching certificates, be aware the deadline to submit your application is April 15 if you want the certificate awarded this year. If you haven't finished some of your requirements, you still have time. Here is some information meant to anticipate and answer common questions:

  • We accept completed applications at any time, but we award certificates just once a year. So if you don't make the April 15 deadline this year, you could still submit after that date and have your certificate awarded next year.
  • No progress you make towards a certificate ever expires, so if you don't finish the certificate this semester you get to keep any progress you've made.
  • If you submit your application just a couple of days late, you may still be awarded your certificate this year, though we cannot guarantee it.
  • If you have completed every requirement of the Graduate Teacher Certificate except collecting your second set of ICES, you may submit your application by April 15 and have it awarded this year. We assume you will follow up and collect your ICES.

Proctor Pool

The Testing Center oversees the Proctor Pool, a free service supported by the Office of the Provost, to assist faculty with exams throughout the academic year. See the Proctor Pool webpage for more information. In addition, the Center can proctor computer or paper quizzes in its facility for distance education, conflict, or special accommodation needs. Fees are $25/student for a two-hour seat time. Space is limited and must be reserved 5 working days in advance to avoid an expedited fee. Contact Melissa Minarik ( for details or see this page for information on indivual tests.

Instructor Voices
Professor Shelly Schmidt

Exam Wrappers - Maximizing Students' Learning from an Exam

So often when students receive their graded exams, they just focus on the grade and pay little attention to the written feedback. How can we get students to think more deeply about their strengths, their preparation for the exam, and ways to improve? Shelly Schmidt, Professor in Food Science & Human Nutrition, decided to implement a strategy called an exam wrapper. This strategy helps students to think more deeply about their study habits and preparation. Watch this video where Professor Schmidt describes this strategy and the great outcomes students reported.

CITL Events & Workshops

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

Wednesday, February 26
Jr. Faculty Spring 2020 Series, workshop #3: "Art of the Lecture Series" - Engaging Students through Active Learning
11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M., Room 428, Armory Building
Speaker: Cheelan Bo-Linn, CITL
Wednesday, February 26
EPI Workshop, Session 4: Practice completing sample EPIs; set goals for oral English improvement; learn about resources you can use to improve your English skills
5:30 P.M. - 6:45 P.M., Room 428, Armory Building
Speaker: Anita Greenfield, John Kotnarowski, Jennifer Zhang
Friday, February 28
The Power of Presentations: Enhancing your Slides for Teaching and Engagement
10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M., Room 172, Armory Building (Innovation Studio)
Speaker: Jamie Nelson, CITL
Tuesday, March 3
Cultivating Online Learning Communities
11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M., Room 428, Armory Building
Speaker: David Favre, CITL
Wednesday, March 4
Jr. Faculty Spring 2020 Series, workshop #4: Cheating - An Inappropriate Student Response to an Ineffective Learning Environment
11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M., Room 428, Armory Building
Speaker: Cheelan Bo-Linn, CITL
Thursday, March 5
Oh No! Dealing with Difficult Situations in the Classroom
1:00 P.M. - 2:30 P.M., Room 428, Armory Building
Speaker: Kazem Alidoost, CITL Graduate Affiliate
Training Opportunities Across Campus
Want to see what training opportunities exist across campus? Though they don't usually count for CITL certificate credit, they can help you develop important technical and professional skills. Look at the Illinois Staff Training Calendar for more information. Also check out the Savvy Researcher Series, and Graduate College Events.
Tuesday, February 25
Designing Infographics on the Web
1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M., Room 314, Main Library
The Savvy Researcher Series
Counts towards the Tech-Enhanced Certificate
Wednesday, February 26
Navigating Professional Communication
3:30 P.M. - 5:00 P.M., room 1092 Lincoln Hall
Graduate College Career Development Events
Teaching Tips

Advice for how to make grading more equitable (opinion)

(From Inside Higher Ed) Ask any faculty member about how they grade their students, and they will probably explain the precise weights they give quizzes, tests, papers, labs and other factors -- as well as how they average student results over the term to determine a final grade. Even though the scholarship, technology and pedagogy of postsecondary courses have significantly evolved in the last century, the ways students are graded has remained unchanged. This should come as no surprise, considering that most college and university faculty members receive no training in how to grade, either in graduate school or professional development on the job, and so most typically grade as they were graded. Plus, because faculty members rarely receive support to examine and learn about grading, each professor’s grading policies are filtered through their own individual beliefs about how students learn, how to motivate them and how best to describe student achievement. As a result, grades often vary within a department and even within a course taught by different instructors. Here are improved grading practices.

Grading and Performance Rubrics

(From the Eberly Center at Carnegie Mellon University) A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly represents the performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric divides the assigned work into component parts and provides clear descriptions of the characteristics of the work associated with each component, at varying levels of mastery. Rubrics can be used for a wide array of assignments: papers, projects, oral presentations, artistic performances, group projects, etc. Rubrics can be used as scoring or grading guides, to provide formative feedback to support and guide ongoing learning efforts, or both.