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CITL Teaching and Learning News: August 27, 2020

Aug 31, 2020, 09:56 AM

Welcome to the Fall 2020 Semester

The circumstances surrounding this new semester are unlikely to be what you had hoped for a year ago. Still, you can do great things this semester as teachers and scholars. CITL can help you with almost any aspect of your teaching: engaging students, producing media your students will want to consume, modifying your teaching approach to an online environment, and more. You can always fill out our consult request form to set up a meeting with us.

How to Use This Newsletter

This newsletter comes out approximately every two weeks, and we're continually looking for ways to include more voices from across campus. We like to open the newsletter with stories and innovative ideas shared by faculty and students, like Matt Browning's use of video assignments below. We encourage you to submit your own stories here.

Within each newsletter you'll find announcements of important campus news, upcoming workshops and occasional tips from our CITL experts. Each newsletter ends with timely teaching tips to help you have a great semester. Now, on to the newsletter!

Instructor Stories
Leon Liebenberg

Directing Learning: Student Documentaries for 21st Century Communication
Matthew Browning,Recreation, Sport, and Tourism

When instructors and students think of a final assessment, a research paper and/or presentation typically come to mind. Consider implementing student-created videos. Our students are already large consumers of videos… videos of all types. Professor Matthew Browning discovered that the videos his students created and produced as summative assignments were excellent examples of their learning. They mastered research, writing, and interviewing skills. He maximized using the varied resources and services of our campus, including Adobe Creative Cloud*.Click here for Professor’s Browning description of student-created video. *See announcement below for the free offer of Adobe Creative Cloud for students.

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.

Adobe Creative Cloud Now Free for All Students

The Adobe Creative Cloud suite of tools is now available to University of Illinois students free of chargeuntil August 1, 2021. The Creative Cloud includes popular applications like Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Adobe XD and many more. For ideas about using Adobe products for your course, see Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum: A Guide for Students and Teachers. Illinois students can register and start downloading apps today -

Teaching and Learning Resources for Instructors and Students

Working with experts from across campus, including Tech Services, Student Affairs, and faculty and staff from the academic colleges, we've developed acurated list of tools and strategies to help your students excel whether they're learning online or face-to-face.

For instructors, we continue to develop and refine resources for transitioning courses to onlineorblended formats. Articles and videos produced by our experts in pedagogy, media, and educational technologies address critical teaching issues, such as student engagement, assessment strategies, content production, and more.

Earn a CITL Teaching Certificate

CITL offers five teaching certificates designed to help you improve your teaching practice and signal to others your commitment to teaching and learning. Whether you are an experienced instructor with years of experience, a brand new graduate student with no teaching responsibilities, or are somewhere in between, one of our certificates is probably right for you. Visit the teaching certificates page of our website to learn more, and fill out our consult request form to find a CITL staff member to help you get started.

Create Expert Video Interviews with Expert Production Value

We recently highlighted simple steps to improve your webcam cinematography, but if both parties of an interview are near campus, consider utilizing our studios for a polished pre-recorded and/or live interview. That’s right, studioS – plural! Keep physically distant for a pro-looking Zoom interview as seen in this example from VetMed, or this short clip from the New Faculty Orientation. Our teams look for solutions beyond “it can’t be done” to best serve your teaching style, the content and your students. Our studio protocols are stringent to mitigate COVID-19 transmission risks, but we can also coach from afar on achieving similar results with home studio set-ups. Reach out with your instructional ideas and needs and we’ll be happy to consult.

Zoom Tips from CITL Media Pros

With so many classes utilizing Zoom, a persistent question barraged our support teams this summer: “If I record my Zoom meeting, how do I get that recording to my students?” Well, Tech Services has now connected Zoom Cloud recordings made with your Illinois account to your My Media in Illinois Mediaspace. Watch this CITL-produced video for a demo and explanation of the new feature.

Officially in a beta/testing mode, Instructors and Staff can now enable computer generated Live Transcriptions within Zoom meetings. This is great news for accessibility of remote courses! See the recently released knowledge base article here for more information and how to enable the feature (which is considered in beta mode).

$2 solution for overhead camera in a Zoom meeting

Did you know that you can join a Zoom meeting from more than one device? With webcams and document cameras backordered around the world, why not turn your smartphone into a second camera angle for Zoom! This cheap cardboard product, The Tukam, is an excellent way to prop up your phone as a camera for hand-writing style lecturing (which some studies suggest is preferable over powerpoint-based lecturing). Of course, even duct tape can work in a pinch! Consult with our media team for more information.

UIUC AnyWare Remote Access to Software

UIUC AnyWare provides optimized virtual access to over 100 software applications for students whether working on campus, remotely, or in class. It also offers a virtual desktop environment allowing users to access applications securely, on multiple devices and operating systems including Windows, MacOS, and Linux, iOS, and Android. Learn more and get started by visiting

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 may also want to visit the CITL website for the latest advice on transitioning your course to afully online or blendedformat.

CITL Events & Workshops
Thursday, September 10
Using Informal Early Feeback (IEF)
2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., Online
Speaker: Lucas Anderson
Keep an eye on the ITL calendar for upcoming workshops including:
Engaging Students Through Active Learning in F2F and Online Synchronous Sessions
Wish I Had Known That Earlier’: Using Informal (IEF) and Formal Student Feedback (ICES Online)
Going Beyond Traditional Assessments to Measure Student Learning
Teaching Tips

Remotely Hands-On: Teaching lab sciences and the fine arts during COVID-19

(From Inside Higher Ed) This is the COVID-19 era, in which instructors who teach fundamentally hands-on courses across fields are finding ways to make remote learning work. McGreal stated, “it’s an exciting chance for us to do some things for an online format that will make our face-to-face classes better than ever before.” Take ice carving. McGreal plans to save the videos he’s made of fish and swan carvings for his students this semester and share them with his classes going forward. That way, he said, students can watch the videos in advance of class and be more prepared to attempt their own sculptures when they meet. “They’re coming into our worlds now instead of a steel, sterile classroom, and it makes you feel more comfortable.” For STEM: Michelle Stocker, assistant professor of geobiology at Virginia Tech, agreed that “for this semester we can make it work. I wouldn’t necessarily say we like doing this at all, though.” The upper-level course is designed to be challenging and extremely hands-on, with students handling skeletal materials for 2.5 hours at a time. Students can’t interact with the materials as they can in the lab. So Stocker asks them to interact with each other more. Students are encouraged to virtually share bones they found on COVID-19-safe walks in the woods, for example, and the class works to identify the animal and what might have happened to it. Here is additional information for simulations and the arts.

Back to the Basics: Revisiting the ABCs of Teaching Online Courses

(From Faculty Focus) The global pandemic sent higher education institutions into a whirlwind as many faculty members scrambled to make the rapid transition from traditional to online courses. However, COVID-19 revealed the creativity and resilience of our administrators, faculty, and staff. As efforts are implemented to foster a learning environment that engages all students, the challenges of digital access have been magnified, and the steep learning curve for faculty members who are new to the digital space has revealed the need for ongoing training. To equip faculty with best practices for teaching online, understanding the pedagogy of online education is foundational. The following is a summary of the fundamental things online instructors should remember to create an engaging, inclusive, and equitable learning environment for all students.