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CITL Teaching and Learning News: May 8, 2020

May 13, 2020, 10:11 AM
Instructor Voices
Romana Autrey

When Students Just Don't Get It - Try Inductive Instruction

Often as instructors we think that the students understood a concept, but in actuality, the students really didn’t. Professor Romana Autrey found this to be true in her accountancy courses. She used a very common way of teaching (deductive instruction): introduce the concept, describe it, provide examples, and then ask the students to apply that information. However, the result was her students sometimes had difficulty in both retaining and transferring the content.What if instead of a teacher-centered deductive instruction, she implemented a student-centered inductive instruction? Click here to see the impact on student learning when Professor Autrey changed her approach.


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 to For assistance specific to transitioning to online instruction, visit the continuity of instruction web page.

CITL Events & Workshops
Friday, May 8th
Virtual Workshop Friday - OBS: Open Broadcaster Software

This week learn how to get started using OBS: Open Broadcaster Software. It's a great tool for streaming or producing screencast videos. Each Friday we will be posting a video to our main Facebook page or going live with a short tutorial/workshop. You can also find all past videos on ourYouTube channel.Keep learning and we will be here to keep teaching!

Got a tutorial you'd like to see? Send us a message on Facebook or email us at

Summer 2020 Workshops - Moving Your Course Online

CITL is offering a series of free virtual workshops on several topics related to moving courses online. Some of the topics that will be covered include Online Assessments, DIY Video Production, Student Engagement Online, and Compass or Moodle Basics. The workshops are being offered this week, and will be offered again from May 20-22. A full agenda can be found at the link above. The format of these workshops are flexible; attendees can participate in the entire series or choose the sessions they are most interested in. The workshops are free of charge and held via Zoom. Please register for the workshops as soon as possible.

What Are You Reading?
Teaching for Learning book jacket

InFrom Brain to Mind, author and scholar James Zull advocates the use of evidence drawn from neuroscience to better inform our teaching and learning practices. Building upon ideas discussed inThe Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning (2002),this second book takes readers on a journey from sensory-motor learning, to deeper learning through symbolic systems of language and numbers. We come to understand how memory builds a knowledge bank at both conscious and unconscious levels, and how memory is then intergrated with perception to generate new ideas and solve problems.

Zull begins this journey with the purposeful act of changing perception to action. Humans must explore and make discoveries (perception), a step that leads to new capabilities or thoughts (action). Through this process, we experience the satisfaction and joy of discovery. Chemicals in the brain produce joyful feelings when we activate thefrontal cortex associated with decision making, problem solving, creating images, predicting events, and more.With regard to education, learners should be encouraged to explore and discover—to have opportunities for choices, challenges, and problem solving. Learners should be allowed the freedom and comfort of a low stakes, mistake-rich environment to create a positive and joyful learning experience.

--Submitted by Jim Wentworth, Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning

Teaching Tips

Equitable Exams During Covid-19

(From Inside Higher Ed) Equitable Exams During COVID-19. The equitability of online learningwas called into question in March when institutions ceased classroom instruction. Educational institutions had to face the disparity of technological access needed to transition students to an online environment. Thoughrecent data from the Pew Research Centershow that 73percent of adults have home broadband internet, the disaggregated data by household income paints a different picture. To mitigate some of the inequity,some institutions moved to pass/failrather than letter grades, offering more flexibility to students. Now, institutions must consider equitable final exams. Even under normal circumstances, instructors must consider the purpose of an exam. Is it formative or summative? Are we testing for skill acquisition or memorization of knowledge? What is the purpose of the time limit? What is an acceptable deadline? As final exams draw near, instructors must consider how to create, administer and score final exams that are fair and equitable during this pivotal time.

Creating and Using Rubrics

(From Carnegie Mellon University - The Eberly Center) Creating and Using Rubrics. A rubric is a scoring tool that explicitly describes the instructor’s performance expectations for an assignment or piece of work. A rubric identifies: criteria - the aspects of performance (e.g., argument, evidence, clarity) that will be assessed, descriptor - the characteristics associated with each dimension (e.g., argument is demonstrable and original, evidence is diverse and compelling), and the performance levels - a rating scale that identifies students’ level of mastery within each criterion. In addition, rubrics can be used to provide feedback to students on diverse types of assignments, from papers, projects, and oral presentations to artistic performances and group projects. Rubrics provide many benefits for both the instructor and the students.