CITL Teaching and Learning News: December 16, 2020

Dec 21, 2020, 10:04 AM

A Message from CITL Director Michel Bellini

As we are wrapping up the year 2020, I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to all of you for your deep commitment toward outstanding teaching and learning and your overwhelming support and collaborative spirit throughout this truly unprecedented year. 

Maneuvering around the impacts of the current pandemic has not been easy, and at times, it has been scary. Through concerted efforts, hard work, and mutual respect, we turned challenges into successes. I am confident that together we will continue to find and deploy innovative solutions to uphold Illinois to the highest standards of education. 

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season! May 2020 end on a safe and joyful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year.  

Teaching in a Tight Spot - Panel Discussion December 17th

If you’re teaching or planning to teach a highly-compressed Winter Session, Summer Term 1 course or any course of four weeks or less, then this panel discussion is for you. With courses that run four weeks or less, careful advanced planning is a must. We’ll share some of the best practices and discuss ways of addressing the challenging design and delivery considerations that can accompany highly-compressed courses of four weeks or less. We’ll also discuss some of the specific instructor support options and proctoring options available during these highly-compressed schedules. This panel discussion is for those new to the game, as well as “veteran” instructors who wish to share their valuable experience teaching Winter Session or short Summer term courses. Dec. 17 from 1-2:30pm. No registration required, see our calendar for the Zoom link.

Save the Date: 2021 Annual Faculty Retreat

Do you plan to attend our Annual Faculty Retreat? The 2021 retreat will be virtual but will include all of the best aspects of our previous years. This year's theme will be on building student resiliency for daunting, unexpected challenges. Mark your calendar for March 11th and 12th from 9:00-11:30. Registration information will be coming soon.

CITL Events & Workshops
Thursday, December 17
Media Office Hours: Upgrading Your Video and Audio Equipment for Home Studios
9:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Moderators: CITL Instructional Media Resources
Thursday, December 17
Media Office Hours: Present with Materials Overtop of You
10:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Moderators: Robert Dignan and Andrew Stengele
Thursday, December 17
Panel Discussion: Teaching in a Tight Spot
1:00 P.M. - 2:30 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Moderators: David Favre and Marc Thompson
See our calendar for a full list of upcoming events.
What Are You Reading?

Teaching Effectively with Zoom: A Practical Guide to Engage Your Students and Help Them Learn
by Dan Levy

All of us understand the impact Zoom has had on pandemic teaching and learning, but Harvard instructor Dan Levy has compiled most of what we need to know into a short, inexpensive (on Kindle) overview of how to teach online in a hurry. Teaching Effectively with Zoom covers more than the basics of teaching with Zoom, it’s a primer on strategies that apply to all good teaching, including teaching online.

Levy begins by applying student-centered teaching to online practices, including the reminder to plan for active learning, use backwards design, know and understand our students, and build a classroom community. In Part 2 he focuses on strategies for encouraging online engagement using Zoom features that promote speaking, writing, voting, and working in groups. Part 3 starts with basic presentation tips for sharing slides, video, and other content, but moves on to using annotation, flip charts, document cameras, and tablets. Short vignettes explaining how others are doing all these things, plus a companion website full of chapter summaries, related resources, and checklists help round out this compact text that even seasoned Zoom users will find useful. Teaching Effectively with Zoom is a neat compendium of good ideas arriving just in time for the still challenging days ahead.

Teaching Tips

11 Steps to Planning a Course You've Never Taught Before

(from Faculty Focus) You wait with anticipation. You receive the email: Course assignments are posted. You click on your Course Assignment. And—you’re assigned to teach a course that you have never taught before. Maybe you feel excitement, maybe you feel anxiety, or some mixture of the two. Emotion aside, how do you plan a new course? Planning a new course can seem intimidating, even anxiety-provoking, but it doesn’t have to be. You can start planning with confidence and getting your mental energy away from worry and back to the most important thing: teaching and reaching your students. Here are concrete steps you can take to start planning a brand-new course you have never taught before

An Effective Syllabus to Reflect Your Course Design

(from Vanderbilt University and University of Illinois teaching centers) A syllabus serves many functions in a class. In The Course Syllabus: A Learning Centered Approach (2008, 2nd Ed.) Judith Grunert O’Brien, Barbara J. Millis and Margaret W. Cohen identify at least sixteen elements of a learner-centered syllabus. First: a good syllabus relies on thoughtful course design. The strongest syllabi are built on a solid foundation of course design. Here are some steps to create an effective syllabus. In addition, please check out our Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning page on syllabus design.

See More Teaching Tips Here