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CITL Teaching and Learning News: April 1, 2021

Apr 26, 2021, 11:17 AM


Join Us Today at Noon for the 'Art of Teaching' Lunchtime Seminar Series

The Art of TeachingLunchtime Seminar Series continues today at noon when CITL Faculty Fellow, Lawrence Angrave, will present Accessibility, Equity, and UDL: Dos, Don’ts, and Time-Saving Practices. We know that students may present a wide range of hidden and non-hidden physical, emotional, and learning disabilities, but we don’t always know how to meet their needs. Lawrence will highlight principles of universal design and offer effective strategies for making your classroom and course materials accessible and welcoming to all types of learners. If you haven’t already done so pleaseregister to receive a zoom link at:

This series continues through May, and all sessions are recorded. Links to slides, videos, and short articles written about each of the speakers can be found at:

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students

The List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for Fall 2020 and Winter 2020-2021 is now available at  If your course is missing, check your instructor report against the criteria in the draft list. At least five students must have completed the relevant item(s) and you must have released your name and course for inclusion on the list if you qualify. For questions or corrections, please email or call 244-3846.

Friday Forum April 9: Get to Know IFLEX

Virtual overview introduces the features and benefits of the different types of IFLEX interactive classrooms on this campus, with particular emphasis on data collected from faculty and students who completed end-of-semester surveys. Special bonus: get a first peek at the newest IFLEX classrooms in the soon to be completed Campus Instructional Facility. Come see what all the excitement is about! Friday, April 9 (12-1pm). Register to receive Zoom link.

April 16 Webinar to Feature New Instructional Spaces

Registration for the Breaking New Ground webinar is filling up fast! Brought to you by theReimagining the Classroom Symposiumcommittee, Breaking New Ground will feature campus luminaries and others showcasing the new Siebel Center for Design and the new Campus Instructional Facility. Video tours, keynotes, campus trivia, prizes, and breakout conversation spaces will round out this fun and engaging webinar celebrating the great new things happening on this campus. Let’s reimagine a post-pandemic classroom and prepare for good things ahead. Please register today.

eText@Illinois Development Grants

Beginning May 17, 2021, The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL) will award a limited number of $8,000 grants to University of Illinois faculty and instructors toward developing locally produced course materials as required reading for classes on the Urbana campus. Grant recipients will receive support in transforming assigned textbooks, workbooks, or readings for Fall 2021 courses into the award-winning eText@Illinois platform created at, and for, the University of Illinois. While all instructor-authors are eligible, those interested in creating required resources for large undergraduate enrollment classes (greater than 300 seats annually) are particularly encouraged to apply. 

Grants may be awarded, by arrangement with Department chair and business office, as summer salary, service-in-excess appointments, or as stipends. This grant is being offered in recognition of the amount of work involved in developing course content.  Deadline for proposal submissions is April 30, 2021. Please review RFP for more details.

Certificate Deadline is April 15

If you are pursuing one of CITL's teaching certificates, the deadline for finishing the requirements this year is Thursday, April 15. If you don't submit your application by April 15, all of your progress still counts and you have until next April to finish the remainder of the requirements. See the bullet points below for information that may answer some questions you currently have.

  • You will not be able to submit your application in person or through campus mail by April 15. You may instead email your completed applications to Lucas Anderson at You will need to scan your completed application and attach it to the email, and also attach any other required documents, such as reflective essays, examples of original work, or a teaching philosophy statement.
  • If you are missing any signatures of CITL staff on your application, you may submit the otherwise completed application and we can provide signatures upon receipt of your application. This includes signatures for CITL workshops you attended – just be sure to indicate the dates and titles of any workshops on your application.
  • If someone outside of CITL helped you complete a requirement, such as a faculty member observing your class, and you did not get their signature on your application, ask that person to digitally sign your application, or send that person an email asking them to affirm that they helped you, then forward their response on to Lucas.
  • If you still need to get your class observed for a certificate, there is still time to conduct an observation of your in-person or online class.  Contact to request an observation.
  • If you are pursing a certificate that requires a teaching philosophy statement, be sure to get feedback from someone outside of CITL, revise the statement in light of that feedback, and submit the revision as part of your application. You don’t need to get CITL’s feedback on the statement before the April 15 deadline, but you do need to get your outside feedback and revise the statement before that deadline.
  • Other questions about the certificate may be posed directly to Lucas at

CITL Events & Workshops 

Thursday, April 1
The Art of Teaching: CITL Faculty Fellows Lunchtime Seminar Series
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Presenter: Lawrence Angrave (CS)

Thursday, April 1
Come Together: Teaching for Inclusion
2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M. via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Presenter: Luzmarina Garcia, CITL Graduate Affiliate

Tuesday, April 6
Introduction to Virtual Reality, VR Headsets and 360 Videos
11:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Presenter: Megan Baird

Tuesday, April 6
Spring 2021, RII: Inferential Statistics
6:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link, Free; $15 no-show fee
Presenter: CITL Data Analytics

Friday, April 9
Friday Forum: Introduction to IFLEX Classrooms
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Presenter: Ava Wolf

Tuesday, April 13
Open Consultations with Compass Specialists
1:00 P.M. - 1:50 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for Zoom link
Presenter: CITL Instructional Support and Training

Wednesday, April 14
Spring 2021, Python I: Getting Started with Python
6:00 P.M., via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link, Free; $15 no-show fee
Presenter: CITL Data Analytics

Friday, April 16
Breaking New Ground Webinar: First Look at New Instructional Spaces
9:00 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. via Zoom, check calendar listing for registration link
Presenter: Reimagining the Classroom Symposium

Teaching Tips

The Sound of Silence Can Be Deafening and the Questions You Ask Your Students Can Provoke It

(from Stanford University’s Tomorrow’s Professor) A colleague recently told me that the students in his undergraduate class “didn’t want to talk.” I probed, “What kinds of questions have you asked your students?” He replied, “Well, the first question I asked this morning was ‘What is the main point of the article I assigned for the day?’” Nobody said anything. I pointed out that even I might be afraid to answer such a question. Such questions pose a severe challenge to the confidence of undergraduate students, because the instructor knows the answer and they don’t. When it comes to answering questions about “facts,” there are many ways to be wrong, but only one way to be right. When faced with this dilemma, students are understandably silent. I suggested that he come up with nonthreatening questions: questions that didn’t put a student’s self-confidence and reputation at risk.

The Big Bang of Motivation: Questions That Evoke Wonder in Our Students

(from Faculty Focus) Many college and university professors name student motivation and engagement as their top challenge. It’s a common belief that motivation is a character trait that is either present or missing in each student. However, if we look back upon our personal histories as learners, we can all think of times when we participated half-heartedly. Many of us can also recall teachers who kindled in us a deep connection to the topics in their courses despite an absence of such interest when we first entered their classrooms. We became highly motivated to participate in the learning process, perhaps even developing a lifelong interest in the field. How did these teachers ignite this interest in us? While the topic of human motivation still contains many mysteries, researchers have discovered fascinating clues about what sparks a desire to learn. Amidst all of the factors that influence human motivation to learn, wonder might be seen as the “big bang” because it is such an essential starting point in any passionate path of inquiry.

See More Teaching Tips Here

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