CITL Teaching and Learning News: February 27, 2024

Mar 7, 2024, 10:12 AM
CITL Teaching and Learning News February 27, 2024
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Instructor Voices


Strategizing Online Education: Insights from Christine Shenouda

Nowadays, many higher education institutions and degree programs are considering developing online offerings. In Teach Talk Listen Learn Season 2 Episode 3, we have the pleasure of hosting Christine Shenouda, a Teaching Assistant Professor at UIUC's Department of Psychology, who has been building online programs for a long time. Christine will share the strategic journey of crafting online offerings and provide valuable insights into building robust online programs, as well as the rationale behind those choices.

Did you enjoy this episode, or do you have a story to share about your teaching? Drop us a note at

This podcast was produced by the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning at the University of Illinois. Episodes can be found on our website, Teach Talk Listen Learn - A CITL Podcast and major podcast platforms. We hope you’ll find us there and join the conversation!


CITL Announcements

  MCOT image

Register Now for the Spring 2024 MCOT Cohort

CITL's Master Course in Online Teaching (MCOT) is a deep dive into online teaching strategies that go beyond earlier summer teaching institutes. Prior participation in an instructional development series is optional, but professional experience with university-level instruction is strongly encouraged. MCOT provides social learning and networking opportunities with a supportive interdisciplinary learning community.

The MCOT Canvas Course includes four live Zoom sessions scheduled for Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. beginning March 20. Certificates will be presented to those who complete all course requirements. Register here to join the spring 2024 cohort.

Call for Use Cases: Generative AI in Teaching and Learning Survey and Community

The Generative AI Center of Expertise Teaching and Learning working group is seeking use cases of Gen AI in a teaching and learning context. Please fill out our three-question survey by Wednesday, February 28th.

We also want to remind you about our open community of UIUC educators exploring and sharing our experiences using generative AI in teaching and learning. Join the Generative AI in Education Community (on Microsoft Teams).

Thank you very much for your participation!

Fostering Inclusive Classrooms: CITL Art of Teaching Seminar Series

Participate in the Art of Teaching Seminar Series on Thursday, March 7th, at 12 p.m. CST via Zoom, focusing on establishing and nurturing a mutually respectful classroom environment for students and instructors from diverse backgrounds and social identities. Mardia BishopMonét Tchamdjoci, and Shaimaa Khanam (Communication, LAS) will provide tips on pedagogical considerations and practices for setting up an inclusive classroom atmosphere, address challenges that instructors may face in the classroom, including how to address microaggressions, facilitate difficult classroom conversations, and manage the implicit biases students may hold. This session is geared toward graduate teaching assistants but also offers valuable perspectives for instructors of all credentials. Registration is open now

Exploring Alternative Grading Methods: Join Us for an Informal Discussion

Calling all faculty and teaching assistants who are currently using or are interested in using alternative methods for grading (i.e., Labor-based grading and Ungrading) in their courses. Join faculty members Kary Zarate (Education) and Clara Bosak-Schroeder (Classics) for an informal discussion about their assessment practices. This is a space for you to ask questions, discuss current challenges, and support one another. If you are interested in joining this professional learning community, come chat with us on March 22 at 1 p.m. in the CITL room 182 at Armory. Registration is required.

CITL Teaching Certificate Deadline is April 15

If you are pursuing one of CITL's teaching certificates, the deadline for finishing the requirements this year is Monday, 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. Check out the FAQs for information that may answer some questions you currently have. 


Workshops and Events


Spring 2024 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning, #5: Strategies for Helping Students Learn How to Learn Better
Wednesday, February 28, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Speaker: Shelly J. Schmidt, Professor of Food Chemistry, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

2024 Annual Faculty Retreat "The Evolving, Engaged Learner in a Digital World"
Thursday, February 29, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Illini Union
Registration Link
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

Canvas Open Office Hours
Recurring: every Thursday, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Host: CITL Instructional Support Team

Leveling Up with GenAI: Digital Pedagogy & Practice
Friday, March 1, 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Speaker: Justin Hodgson, (Guest Presenter from Indiana University - Bloomington)
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

CITL Faculty Book Club: Digital Literacy Made Simple - Strategies for Building Skills Across the Curriculum 
Tuesday, March 5, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: David Favre (CITL)

Spring 2024 Faculty Workshop Series on Teaching & Learning, #6: Develop Effective Assessments of Student Learning: Tests, Exams, & Rubrics
Wednesday, March 6, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Room 182, Armory Building (east side hallway, first floor)
Registration Link
Host: Cheelan Bo-Linn (CITL)

Creating a Mutually Inclusive and Respectful Classroom Environment - CITL Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar Series
Thursday, March 7, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Zoom (Registration Link)
Host: Jordan Leising (CITL) 

Stay tuned for this semester's events! Bookmark the CITL Event Calendar for all upcoming workshops and the Training Services (formerly FAST3) Calendar for additional training opportunities.


Teaching Tips


Digital Literacy

Have you ever had a conversation with a colleague about digital literacy and realized that you weren’t quite talking about the same thing? The idea of digital literacy in higher education is broad and ever-evolving. Just consider the recent impact AI has had on how we interact with technologies for writing, multimedia production, organizing data, and assessing students. Given these contexts, you can expect to find multiple definitions of what it means to be digitally literate.

Definitions that account for a broad base of skills and evolving technologies appear to be most useful. The American Library Association Digital Literacy Taskforce (2011) describes digital literacy as “the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.” Adapting to changes in technology is emphasized in other definitions as mental habits or lifelong learning processes, which point out a need for continuous monitoring and learning of new digital technologies (Hays & Kammer, 2021).

Definitions can bring us closer to understanding what it means to be digitally literate, but taxonomies give us a common language to better parse how technologies can be purposefully applied to learning communities and to understand the level of integration used by instructors and students. The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) provides a helpful evidence-based framework for understanding how technology can be utilized to enhance student learning. The degree of responsibility for using technology shifts from instructor to students over the five levels of technology integration. Each level has significance for technology use across five different types of learning environments: active learning, collaborative learning, constructive learning, authentic learning, and goal-directed learning.

TIM level of technology integration

Figure adapted from Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT), Technology Integration Matrix (2019)

However, it is not necessary to always move students toward higher levels of technology integration, but we should understand how technology can help our students better meet learning objectives in these types of learning activities.

So, how can we increase digital literacy for our students and ourselves? Kammer and Hays (2024) recommend starting small. When you adopt a +1 approach to digital literacy or any aspect of your pedagogy, you will begin to see a significant impact on your students’ learning experiences. Here are some tips that you can work into your teaching practice little by little:

  1. Stay Updated: Keep yourself updated on the latest digital tools, trends, and best practices in digital literacy education. Attend workshops, watch videos, or ask colleagues about what works well for them. 
  2. Evaluate Digital Tools: Determine if digital tools help your students achieve their learning objectives. This includes learning management systems (LMS) like Canvas or Moodle, interactive presentations, online collaboration platforms like Google Workspace or Microsoft Teams, and educational apps relevant to your field.
  3. Teach Your Students: Host training sessions specifically focused on digital literacy or integrate it with just-in-time learning for your students. Cover topics such as navigating online resources, effective internet searching, evaluating online sources for credibility, digital communication etiquette, and data privacy and security.
  4. Provide Resources: Curate a list of resources such as tutorials, articles, videos, and online courses related to digital literacy. Share these resources with your students and encourage them to explore and learn independently.
  5. Assign Digital Projects: Design assignments that require your students to use digital tools and platforms. This could involve creating multimedia presentations, conducting online research, collaborating on documents or projects using cloud-based platforms, or participating in online discussions and forums.
  6. Model Digital Skills: Demonstrate good digital practices in your own teaching and communication. Use technology effectively during lectures, provide timely feedback via digital channels, and communicate clear expectations regarding digital assignments and participation.
  7. Encourage Student Peer Support: Foster a collaborative learning environment where students can learn from each other's digital skills and experiences. Encourage peer-to-peer support and group projects that require digital collaboration.
  8. Feedback and Reflection: Gather feedback from students about their experiences with digital tools and assignments. Use this feedback to refine your approach and make adjustments as needed. Additionally, encourage students to reflect on their own digital skills and areas for improvement.
  9. Continuous Adaption: Digital literacy is an evolving skill set, so make it a priority to continuously improve your own digital skills and adapt your teaching methods accordingly. Stay open to feedback and be willing to explore new technologies and teaching strategies.

Would you like to learn more about digital literacy? Please register for our upcoming workshop on Zoom –Embedding Digital Literacy in Your Course, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, from 11:30 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. (CDT).

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