CITL Teaching and Learning News: April 24, 2020

Apr 24, 2020, 11:26 AM
Instructor Voices
Lawrence Angrave

Using Background Music to De-Stress and Build Community Among Online Students

For hisIntroduction to System Programmingcourse, which lately has been hosting online,text-baseddiscussions, Teaching Professor of Computer Science, Lawrence Angrave came up with an interesting method to create a relaxing, social environment while students did their work!

I invited students to share their music suggestions to play when working on the course assignment. I shared some example links of music that had no vocals as starting examples. It led to a lively and happy discussion. I believe it helped relieve some of the student stress around COVID-19 and feelings of isolation. Some students shared music using Spotify and YouTube links and connected with each other. It helped bring students together. Next time, I might include music recommendations from the course staff too!

Lawrence Angraveis a CITL Fellow, a Gies RC Evans Innovation Fellow, and winner of numerous teaching awards.


CITL Physical Office Closed

The main CITL physical office will be closed until further notice. CITL staff are still available to help: you may send an email For assistance specific to transitioning to online instruction, visit thecontinuity of instruction web page.

Collaborative Slide Deck Shares Teaching Ideas

The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning hosts a monthly IFLEX TA Gathering for graduate students interested in active learning and teaching in interactive classrooms. This semester, we've tackled 1) small decisions in the classroom that make a big impact, 2) how to get students to prepare for class, and 3) how shifting to remote instruction has affected our teaching. Ideas and resources discussed in our conversations are recorded in a collaborative slide deck, including helpful contributions from attendees, and can be found at Borrow some ideas, or add your own! E-mailcitl-learningspaces@mx.uillinois.eduif you want more resources on these topics or would like to be informed of future programming.

CITL Events & Workshops
Friday, April 24th
Virtual Workshop Friday - Audio Over PowerPoint

Learn how to produce PowerPoint videos with audio. Perfect for online classes or group project submissions. This self-help video will be posted on theCITL Spaces Facebook pageon May 1st at 11am. Viewers are encouraged to reach out or leave comments if they have any questions.
Speaker: Jamie Nelson, CITL
view an archive of all virtual workshop videos on our YouTube Playlist

Friday, May 1st
Virtual Workshop Friday - Easily Create Cut Files

We will review some easy and free ways to create vector or cut files. Inkscape, Macbook tools, Tinkercad and online converters can help you create files for a variety of projects. This self-help video will be posted on theCITL Spaces Facebook pageon April 24th at 11am. Viewers are encouraged to reach out or leave comments if they have any questions.
Speaker: Jamie Nelson, CITL
view an archive of all virtual workshop videos on our YouTube Playlist

Summer 2020 Workshops -Moving Your Course Online

In light of the suspension of face-to-face instruction for Summer 2020, CITL will be offering a series of virtual workshops in the coming weeks. They are open to all faculty, IT staff, eLearning Professionals, and TAs who want to gather information and best practices for moving courses online. The workshops will be offered in the afternoonsfrom May 6-8 and again from May 20-22. They are free of charge and will be held via Zoom.Please check theCITL calendarnext week for the full agenda and registration information.

What Are You Reading?
Teaching for Learning book jacket

Are some teaching methods more effective for learning than others? How do we know which ones to use when? InTeaching for Learning: 101 Intentionally Designed Educational Activities to Put Students on the Path to Success,authors Claire Howell Major, Michael S. Harris, and Todd Zakrajsek break down eight categories of teaching: lecture, discussion, peer to peer, games, reading, writing, graphic organizing, reflection. They explain the benefits and challenges, plus the supporting research on each method. This is followed by a variety of suggested activities designed to maximize the advantages of each approach. The 101 teaching strategies are simple and their adaptability to courses that are online or in person, large or small, and introductory or advanced, offers instructors a rich trove of evidence-based ideas to choose from. The melding of perspectives offered here builds upon the scholarship that each of the authors have produced individually, such as Major’s work ononline teaching, Harris’ recent work onqualitative dissertations, and Zakrajsek’s work on keepingstudent attentionduring lectures. Zakrajsek also spoke at UIUC in 2014 at the annualFaculty Summer Institute.

--Submitted by Leanna Duncan, PhD Candidate, Department of History

Teaching Tips

Considerations About Exams When Teaching Remotely

(From The Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning)Exams remain a popular form of capstone assessment. There are a number of reasons for this, not least of which is their efficiency— for students to review large swaths of the material covered over the entire semester with an eye to synthesis and distillation. By comparison with a research paper or other common forms of end-of-term assessment, final exams ordinarily have the distinct advantage of standing "outside" the term, giving students the impetus to reflect back on the totality of their learning without consuming significant amounts of in- or out-of-class time during the semester itself. With the move to remote teaching the ordinary boundaries between synchronous, in-class work and asynchronous, out of class assessment are already changing, and the extrinsic motivation of grades—on which, admittedly, final exams depend rather more than other, more generative forms of capstone assessment—has decreased significantly.Given these facts, how might you modify your plans for testing students?

Transforming Your Online Teaching From Crisis to Community

(From Inside Higher Ed)In this current time, it is important to remember that “going online” is not the same as teaching or learning. We must eschew the technocratic utopianism that implies that, simply by teaching remotely, professors are doing their jobs. We need to learn -- quickly -- from the extensive research and experience of professors all over who have done the teaching, research and publishing in this area, and who can advise us on what is most effective.The biggest takeaway from the research on effective teaching online is that we cannot teach the same way online that we would in person: we need to innovate and use the tools available to us to build our class periods differently. Of importance is “engaged” learning: understanding the condition of our students’ lives and finding the best ways of teaching within (rather than in spite of) those conditions.Here is a simple way to create an engaged learning experience online.