CITL Teaching and Learning News: September 15, 2022

Sep 22, 2022, 16:27 PM
CITL Teaching and Learning News: September 15, 2022
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Instructor Voices

  Headshot of Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider and Karle Flanagan

Deploying a Phone and Web-Based Digital Queue for TA Office Hours

Need a more effective way of assisting students during office hours or in the classroom? A few years ago, Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider (Computer Science) and Karle Flanagan (Statistics) developed the Queue@Illinois, a digital tool to help instructors and students be more productive and use their time more efficiently during the wait. 

In this video, the professors – both CITL Faculty Fellows and the dynamic duo behind the groundbreaking Data Science Discovery open-access resource – explain what the Queue is, how it works, and how the innovative project was funded.

"Time is something valuable that we never have enough of," says Karin Jensen, a research team member. "Start being more efficient with your time, and sign up for a queue at"


CITL Announcements


It’s Here: Reimagining the Classroom Symposium

Join us for the 2022 Reimagining the Classroom Symposium as we celebrate our return to in-person meetings. This two-day event features a Vendor Showcase today from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Siebel Center for Design for those with purchasing power, and inspiring Keynote presentations on Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Campus Instructional Facility given by psychologist and author, Sarah Rose Cavanagh (Simmons University) and design-thinking specialist, Saad Shehab (SCD). Free for registered faculty and staff. Refreshments and lunch included. See the agenda for more information and be sure to register.

September 15: 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. & September 16: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Siebel Center for Design & Campus Instructional Facility (on campus)

Register Now for the Next MCOT Cohort

CITL's Master Course in Online Teaching (MCOT) is a deep-dive into online teaching strategies that goes beyond earlier summer teaching institutes. Prior participation in an instructional development series is not required but professional experience with university-level instruction is strongly encouraged. MCOT provides an opportunity for social learning and networking with a supportive interdisciplinary learning community.

The MCOT Canvas Course includes four live Zoom sessions scheduled for Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. beginning October 26th. Certificates will be presented to those who complete all course requirements. Register here to join the fall cohort.

List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students

The List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for the Spring 2022 semester is now available. If your course is missing, check your instructor report against the criteria in the 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 +1 (217) 244-3846.


Workshops and Events


Using Informal Early Feedback (IEF)
Monday, September 19
1:30 - 3:00 p.m., Zoom, registration required
Presenter: Lucas Anderson, CITL Teaching & Learning Consultant

Faculty Series on Teaching and Learning, Workshop #2: Active Teaching = Active Learning: Ways to Engage Students and Assess Their Learning
Wednesday, September 21
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Armory Room 182, registration required
Presenter: Cheelan Bo-Linn, CITL Teaching & Learning Consultant

Faculty Series on Teaching and Learning, Workshop #3: Identifying and Implementing Effective Questioning Strategies
Wednesday, October 5
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Armory Room 182, registration required
Presenter: Cheelan Bo-Linn, CITL Teaching & Learning Consultant

Art of Teaching: Lunchtime Seminar Series
Thursday, October 6
12:00 - 1:00 p.m., Zoom, registration required
Presenter: Ava Wolf, CITL Teaching & Learning Consultant

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


Informal Early Feedback (IEF): A Valuable Opportunity for Just-In-Time Student Feedback

Student evaluations of teaching are an important part of the feedback that instructors receive. This feedback can be especially helpful when it is collected midway in the semester. Our students can tell us if we explain clearly, are well-organized, grade fairly, and more. They may also be able to tell us if the activities we give them are well-aligned with the ways we evaluate their learning. Responding to students’ comments by discussing them in class, and making changes as appropriate, can lead to increased motivation, better learning, and possibly improved end-of-semester student ratings. Here is a description of the Informal Early Process (IEF) process and sample forms for you to adapt. If you would like assistance about the IEF from creation to implementation to interpretation, contact CITL through this form

Educators' Most Effective Attention-Grabbing Technique - 5 Compelling Teachers Move Beyond Presenting to Storytelling
(from Harvard Business Publishing - Education) 

Storytelling was Lincoln’s most powerful rhetorical tool. “He understood early on that concrete examples and stories provided the best vehicles for teaching,” writes Goodwin in Leadership in Turbulent Times. “He could simultaneously educate, entertain, and move his audiences.” And he, like many inspiring storytellers around the world, was able to do all that without the benefit of PowerPoint—a staple in today’s classroom. The tools of communication have changed since Lincoln regaled crowds with his storytelling techniques, but our minds are not wired to engage with bullet points on a slide. Our minds are wired for story. Many of us think in narrative and enjoy consuming content in story form. While there’s nothing wrong with PowerPoint as a tool for classroom learning, slides should not be designed to replace the educator—the storyteller. Instead, they should complement the story. Understanding the difference between presenting and storytelling is critical to an educator’s ability to engage students and stir their excitement. What follows are five storytelling strategies to help you stand out as an educator in any subject.


See our complete library of teaching tips here.
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