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CITL Teaching and Learning News: June 26, 2020

Jun 26, 2020, 17:03 PM
Instructor Stories
Devin Williams

Virtual Hands-On Inventory Count

Near the end of each semester, Professor Devin Williams has students in his Financial Statement Auditing course complete a hands-on inventory count day. He typically brings about 500 individual items to the classroom and asks students to calculate their needed sample, make selections and then roam the classroom valuing and counting the inventory to uncover mis-valuations, mistakes and obsolescence.

He was able to recreate this activity online allowing students to complete the stated learning objectives remotely. He created an excel document with each tab containing hundreds of pictures of items. The students virtually wandered through the document to find, count, and value the inventory. In the end, students said it was one of their favorite days of the semester. This solution is a great reminder that with creative thinking, it's possible to adapt many hands-on experiences for the online environment.

Do you have your own story to tell?
CITL is collecting stories from instructors and students interested in sharing their experience of remote instruction. Whether you have an interesting innovation, simple course adaptation, or even an instructional misstep, we hope to share these stories so we can all learn from the collective experience of our campus community. Please take a few minutes to complete this short form to share your Teachable Moments.

CITL is looking for new Graduate Affiliates

The Instructional Development team at CITL is looking for several new Graduate Affiliates. Grad Affiliates are experienced TAs at Illinois who have a keen interest in the theory and practice of good teaching in higher education. These are hourly positions, intended for those who have primary funding from another source, yet the capability to work a few hours extra per week.

See this page for more information about the Graduate Affiliate position, and for how to apply.

TechHub Virtual Office Hours

Join us for virtual office hours every Tuesday from 10am to 11am on Zoom. Jamie and Megan will be there to answer your questions about emerging technologies, other educational tech on campus, how you can access our spaces, and anything else of interest! If we don’t have the answer, we’ll point you to someone who does. Some of our specialties include PowerPoint, Zoom, 3D printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, and laser cutting.

While each week will be an open discussion, be on the lookout for special guests and topics!

Need Help in Transitioning to Blended or Online Instruction?

While our physical offices are closed until further notice, CITL is here to help! You can contact a CITL Online Learning Specialist to consult with you on strategies for transitioning your course.You can view recordings of our popular workshops targeting the essentials of moving your course online. You may also want to visit the CITL website for the latest advice on transitioning your course to a fully online or blended format.

Online Teaching Academy

  • The university’s Online Teaching Academy is an opportunity for faculty and teaching assistants to review good practices and discuss different pedagogical approaches as well as to receive hands-on training on technical tools for online teaching and learning.
  • During the Academy, faculty will design their online and hybrid fall courses in a community of fellow instructors with the support of campus experts from CITL, Tech Services and college-level educational technology units. Teaching assistants will learn to support the instructional activities of the online classroom.
  • Sample topics for the Academy include: designing effective video lectures, providing feedback online, creating meaningful student engagement online, designing meaningful online assessments and utilizing online group work.
  • The July Academy will begin on July 13 and run through July 31. There will be an optional live session once a week on Wednesday from 10am to 11am, which will be recorded. All other sessions will be asynchronous, allowing participants to review at their own pace over the course of the week.
  • The August Academy will take place from August 3 through August 21. There will be no live sessions for the August Academy, making it completely asynchronous.
  • The July and August offerings will be open enrollment with no compensation for participation.

To sign up for the July or August Academies, please follow this link: The deadline to sign up, for either the July or August sessions, is Friday July 3, 2020.

CITL Events & Workshops

Tuesday, June 30
What Can We Assess Online? (Summer Series Part 3)
2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., Online, register to receive Zoom link
Speaker: Leanna Duncan, CITL Graduate Affiliate
Thursday, July 2
How Do You Assess Your Students Online? (Summer Series Part 4)
2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., Online, register to receive Zoom link
Speaker: Kazem Alidoost, CITL Graduate Affiliate
See this flyer for the entire summer workshop series
CITL Technical Training
Monday, June 29
CITL Spaces Safety Protocol
11:00 A.M. - 12:00, Zoom
Speakers: Jamie Nelson & Megan Baird
We are excited at the opportunity to work with our visitors in our spaces again. In anticipation we have developed a set of protocols to make sure that everyone can use the spaces and technologies safely. This event will include a presentation on the new protocols along with a discussion on keeping spaces safe and best practices.
Tuesday, June 30
TechHub Virtual Office Hours
10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M., Zoom
Speakers: Jamie Nelson & Megan Baird
Topics: We'll field any educational technology questions,
but we specialize in PowerPoint, Zoom, 3D Printing, virtual
reality, augmented reality, and laser cutting.
Teaching Tips

Moving Classes Online is Hard. Online Discussion Can Help

(From Inside Higher Ed) Teaching online requires an intentional, thoughtful approach to instructional design, especially at a time when students are being asked to transition at an unprecedented pace in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. Amid the turmoil, it’s troubling -- if not surprising -- that challenges with the move to online learning will have the greatest impact on the students who are most at risk: researchsuggeststhat struggling students often have the most trouble succeeding in online programs. A growing body of evidenceindicates that the biggest barrier to achieving equivalent success rates in online learning has been tackling the challenge of cultivating the sort of collaboration, engagement and discussion that are often the hallmark of great teaching and learning environments. Thoughtful instructional design and intentional use of technology can help make the most of online discussion to help improve student outcomes. Here are a few tips to navigate to for online programs.

Using Social Media to Retain Contact with Students in the Shift to Online Education

(From Faculty Focus) COVID-19 has upended normal social connections that develop between students and professors. We are missing the connections that develop through casual interactions in office hours, pre-class discussions, post-class questions, and any other in-person interaction. These social connections are important for student retention, academic development, diversity, and inclusion. As we thoughtfully shift our courses online, we must also strategically consider how to best replicate or innovate to develop social connections. The purposeful use of social media presents a great opportunity for educators to connect with their students and recreate some of the social connections that are lost due to online education, while also providing new ways of developing connections. We present 10 tips for using social media to maintain and develop social connections.

Click here to see past Teaching Tips