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CITL Teaching and Learning News: January 22, 2021

Feb 4, 2021, 16:45 PM


Spring 2021 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning begins Wednesday, February 17th 

Come join a dynamic learning community by participating in this specially designed series for all faculty (across all disciplines and rank). The theme is “Creating Success When Teaching & Learning Remotely.”  For returning attendees, there are several new workshops, such as a two-part series on test & exam construction, creating rubrics, and fair grading; a session on the teaching philosophy statement, and special guest speaker Shelly Schmidt on the connection of emotion and learning for student success.  Included will be workshops for maximizing student feeback from informal (IEF) & formal (ICES Online) to make timely changes. Great conversation and handouts provided.  Zoom link provided upon registration

Download pdf flyer of the series here.

Are You Taking the English Proficiency Interview (EPI) this Fall?

CITL and the ESL-ITA Program are offering three workshops to help graduate students prepare for the English Proficiency Interview (EPI).The virtual workshops will take place on February 9, 16, and 23, from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. Attendance is free, but registration is required at

New Friday Forum Series Offers Lunchtime Learning

What’s fast, fun, and informative? The new CITL Friday Forum series offers faculty and staff a space to learn something useful and connect with others while relaxing over lunch. Covering a variety of teaching and technology topics, these one-hour sessions hit the highlights and give participants a chance to try something new, or simply listen in and observe. Join us on January 29 as the series kicks off with a fun look at Online Collaborative Tools for Teaching (12-1pm). Check out the CITL calendar for the new Friday Forum series and other CITL events.

CITL Innovation Spaces Open for Spring 2021

Join us for virtual office hours every Tuesday from 10-11 am and Wednesday from 1-2 pm on Zoom. Jamie and Megan will be there to answer your questions about the CITL Innovation Spaces, emerging technologies, student engagement, Zoom, PowerPoint, and other educational technologies on campus! Ask us anything! If we don’t have the answer, we’ll point you to someone who does.

Prefer to join us in person? Visit the Innovation Studio during open hours throughout the Spring. The Studio will be open twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 am to 2 pm. Experience 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Laser Cutting and more. Activities are free!  Please wear a mask and note that only 5 visitors are allowed in the space at a time. If you haven't visited our spaces before, you should attend our 30-minute virtual tour on January 26th

Registration Now Open for the 2021 Annual Faculty Retreat: March 11th & 12th

Registration is now open for all faculty. We are pleased to present this year’s theme of “Creating Wicked Students… Now and Beyond.”  We all desire our students to be ready and able to create positive change for the world and society. Unfortunately, the future is unknown, as are the challenges ahead and possible solutions. How do we prepare our students to have the wicked competencies to face uncertainty now and beyond?  Note: Due to our current situation, this year’s retreat will be virtual but will include all of the best aspects of our previous years.  Visit the retreat website to learn more.

UIUC Anyware

AnyWare is a new program offered to UIUC instructors and students providing over 100 software applications for your personal devices, no matter where you are - in the classroom, on campus, or remote. Students will find AnyWare useful if they need to run software for class that they normally wouldn’t be able to access on their personal devices or struggle with downloading large files due to internet bandwidth. Instructors should consider implementing AnyWare into their courses if they want to make the most of a blended classroom and provide remote students with the tools they need to succeed wherever they’re learning.To learn more, go to


CITL Events & Workshops

Monday, January 25
How to Update Your Compass Site for a New Semester
1:00 P.M, via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Presenters: CITL Instructional Support and Training
Tuesday, January 26
Workshop on Zoom Basics
1:00 P.M, via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Presenters: CITL Instructional Support and Training
Tuesday, January 26
CITL Spaces Emerging Technology Tour
11:30 A.M - 12:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Presenters: Megan Baird
Wednesday, January 27
Reimagining the Dreaded Group Project: Coaching Teamwork for Long-Term Success
10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Presenters: Hannah Darcy, CITL Graduate Affiliate
Thursday, January 28
Smart Strategies for Organizing Compass Sites
10:00 A.M. - 11:00 A.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Presenters: CITL Instructional Support and Training
Thursday, January 28
Dealing with Challenging Situations in Face-to-Face and Online Classrooms
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Presenters: David Favre
Friday, January 29
Friday Forum: Online Collaboration Tools for Teaching
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Moderator: Ava Wolf

Teaching Tips

First Assignment Helps Establish Expectations

(From Faculty Focus) There is a lot to cover on the first day of class. You establish procedures and convey expectations. You review the syllabus and, if you’re teaching a lab, safety protocol. You also spend some time teaching some material. While you might not make an assignment for the first day, you still should use some time on the first day to talk about your expectations for students’ work and how you assign grades. Although you explain grading on the first day, expect to review it again when you return the first assignments, papers, and exams. 

5 Faculty Best Practices Before the First Day of Online Class

(from Wiley Educational Services) For faculty who teach online, the days leading up to the first week of class are critical for both you and your students. By using this time to prepare your students for what is to come, you can help alleviate student fears and anxieties, as well as limit the number of emails you receive. For example, sending students a few introductory announcements,  and welcoming them into the classroom (e.g., through a video) can help establish a stronger student-teacher relationship. Click here for five simple actions you can take before the first day of class to help prepare yourself to teach online and to make your students feel more comfortable about the upcoming course.

Sample Syllabus Quiz Questions

(from ASU Teach Online) A syllabus quiz acts as a contract to verify understanding of important elements of the syllabus. The purpose of a syllabus quiz is not only to familiarize students with the syllabus content, but also gives students a chance to reflect on questions that were asked in previous terms. This helps the instructor avoid answering the same questions repeatedly, and a syllabus quiz can ensure that students are responsible for their own learning.

A syllabus quiz helps to clarify any misconceptions about course content or policies, such as late work. Important procedures can be reviewed and technical issues can be covered. The course structure and where to locate due dates can be included, as well as the instructor’s preferred method of communication. Providing immediate feedback after completing the syllabus quiz will minimize confusion. Here are some sample questions to ask

See More Teaching Tips Here