CITL Teaching and Learning News: July 14, 2022

Jul 14, 2022, 15:28 PM
CITL Teaching and Learning News: July 14, 2022
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Instructor Voices

Data Science Duo graphic  

Opening Up Data Science to the World through OER

When Teaching Associate Professor Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider (CS) and Senior Instructor Karle Flanagan (Statistics) learned that data science education was taking a front seat at the University of Illinois, they joined forces to create STAT 107, a groundbreaking, cross-disciplinary, introductory course teaching data science through Python and statistics. 

In this short video, the CITL faculty fellows discuss how the pandemic threatened to derail the on-campus course and inspired them to create something even more innovative — Data Science Discovery, a website containing STAT 107 course materials, practice problems, videos, tutorials, and more. The website has already racked up 200,000-plus views. 

“This is an example of open educational resources being created here at Illinois,” Professor Fagen-Ulmschneider says, pointing out there are no log-ins, passwords or fees. “Anyone in the universe can Google search or find our content … (and) see Illinois’ education displayed and learn from that.”


CITL Announcements


CITL is Having a Block Party and You're Invited

Stop by the Armory to meet our staff and learn about our services and resources.  CITL is here to help you innovate in the classroom to create transformative learning experiences. Join us on August 30th and 31st for tours, demonstrations, and refreshments.

Volunteers Needed for the August 2022 Graduate Academy for College Teaching

We’re looking for experienced instructors to teach at the August 2022 Graduate Academy for College Teaching, the campuswide training program for new TAs. A mix of online and face-to-face sessions takes place August 16-17, with Microteaching on August 18-19.

Volunteers are needed to:

  • Facilitate Microteaching sessions. Help new TAs start strong by offering feedback on short mock lessons and running a short discussion. Training is provided.  You would need to be on campus on August 18 or available via Zoom on August 19.
  • Run a small group session. We are in special need of Engineering TAs. We provide a lesson plan and training, and you could work with a partner. You would need to be on campus on August 16.
  • Run a concurrent session. Pitch a teaching topic you think new TAs would be interested in. You would need to be on campus or available via Zoom on August 16 or 17.

Please contact Lucas Anderson at for more information or respond to our call for presenters to volunteer.


Workshops and Events


Workshops Will Resume in August

See the CITL Event Calendar for all upcoming workshops. Looking for other training options? You might want to check out the Canvas Workshop Calendarand additional training opportunities provided through Training Services (formally FAST3).


Teaching Tips


Would They Play? Would They Learn?
(from Faculty Focus) 

Like many of my colleagues, I’ve had my doubts about the educational value of “gaming” in college classrooms. In my mind, there’s an uneasy relationship between entertainment and education. Could gaming really be about learning, or is it just another example of pandering to student interests? And the games don’t have to be highly technical, expensive, or time-consuming to create. I’m pretty well convinced that game-like elements (rather than full blown games) can be powerful motivators and learning tools. Game-like elements could prompt engagement and learning in the classroom. I saw firsthand just how simple the gamification of our existing ideas can be. Teachers can use already existing activities and gamify them! Simply add a challenging problem-solving aspect to the activity, add surprises, and make it more playful, and you’ve gone from active to game-like!

Can Gamification Drive Increased Student Engagement?
(from Educause Review) 

Can Gamification Drive Increased Student Engagement? New methodologies in learning can create new distractions for students, especially with remote learning. Gamification may hold the secret to increasing student engagement and keeping classrooms whole. Gamification is not a new concept in learning. It has been used for centuries in some form or another. The advent of wireless technologies has given gamification new life—creating unique ways to leverage it for even greater learning. This is especially true in hybrid learning environments, where gamification could increase student engagement and create a greater sense of community as the classroom expands beyond physical walls.

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