Pew FTLC: Mid April 2023
Pew FTLC: Mid April 2023
Grand Valley State University
Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center
April 20, 2023

Director's Note

Finishing strong. Looking forward. In community.

As we wrap up the semester, I ask you to consider the ways in which your last communications with students can convey gratitude, pride, hope, and encouragement. That may be a tall order after such a challenging year, but it is truly important in this moment that we model and lead. How might we make subtle shifts in our internal dialogue, interactions with colleagues, and even email signoffs to exercise a bit more care? I admit that it easier said than done for me to rally and finish strong. Nonethless, I have been inspired recently by the positive impact of even a few extra kind words and am doing my best to pay it forward. 

Even as we look forward to taking a breather and getting outside a bit more, there are some exciting learning opportunities coming up soon. I have received a number of inquiries about programs for continued learning around engaging students and designing new curricula. The items detailed in the blocks below have been curated in response. More events are in the works, as well. If you and/or your colleagues are working on course design projects this summer, I am happy to discuss which program best fits your needs. 

In my last note I mentioned the resources available through the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. This week, I couldn't help but take note of two new upcoming live sessions: 5 Tips for Avoiding the Summer Slump (May 4) and Every Summer Needs a Plan (May 11). 
With deep gratitude for all you do–

Christine Rener

Professional Certification in College Student Wellbeing, Trauma, and Resilience 

We are pleased to announce an opportunity for a cohort of GVSU faculty and staff to engage in an online certification out of Florida State University. Organized through our Pace Initiative for Connecting Mind and Health, the cohort activities take place May 2 through June 28 and includes two in-seat sessions. To apply and to learn more, visit the Sponsored Teaching and Learning Event Grants page. Application deadline: April 28.

Inclusive Excellence Teaching Institute 2023 (Virtual)

This virtual institute will be facilitated by Dr. Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury and Dr. Mirta Paola Leon and will take place over three full days: May 11 (Thursday), May 23 (Tuesday), and June 8 (Thursday). The Institute will meet via Zoom from 9AM-3PM for each of the dates with a break for lunch. The Inclusive Excellence Teaching Institute is specifically designed to provide Affiliate and Tenure-Track faculty at all ranks with a transformative space to learn and strategize about inclusive excellence in teaching and learning. The Institute will encourage an atmosphere of cultural humility through the examination of social identity and bias. Motivational frameworks, barriers to learning for diverse student learners, and proactive strategies will also be introduced. Essential pedagogical approaches that promote an inclusive classroom environment will be modeled and explored.  For more information, please contact Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury at baileych@gvsu.eduRegistration is limited to 12 faculty. Register in Sprout.

Sponsored Teaching & Learning Event Grants

The following opportunities are specifically geared towards primarily asynchronous learning during the summer months. Learn more on our Sponsored Teaching and Learning Event Grant page.
Apply via our online grants system.  

Teaching Toolkit Program
July 17 - August 11, 2023
Offered through one of our partner organizations, the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, this four-week program supports the design, refresh, or launch of a new course. Topics include structuring courses, efficient and effective grading, preparing for and facilitating engaging, inclusive classes, and time management. 20 faculty spots open. Application deadline: May 1st.

Principles of Effective College Teaching 
Self-paced virtual course 
This 10-hour virtual course is presented by acclaimed author James Lang. Topics include crafting meaningful learning objectives, creating assignments, developing assessment plans, providing effective feedback, active learning strategies, student motivation, and more. Apply any time.

ACUE Evidence-Based Teaching Practices 
Virtual six-week courses 
These robust courses offered by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) have earned high marks by many previous GVSU faculty participants. Addressing a range of topics, these upcoming six-week courses are offered on a rotating calendar: 
- Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners 
- Promoting Active Learning

- Designing Learner-Centered and Equitable Courses
- Fostering a Culture of Belonging 
- Creating an Inclusive and Supportive Learning Environments 

Upcoming Faculty Learning Communities 

Looking to connect with others and build community around a teaching or professional learning topic? Consider joining a Spring/Summer Faculty Learning Community. Learn more on our FLC page; registration now open via our online grants system
Maybe Teaching is a Bad Idea: Why Faculty Should Focus on LearningHow do people really learn and what should instructors do - and not do - in order to support the process?

Implementing Positive Habits with Self-CompassionHow might tiny changes and positive daily habits lead to remarkable results in your work and life? 

Learning in Mind: Cognitive Science 101 for InstructorsHow might a primer on the rudiments of neuroscience glean practical insights for more effective teaching? 

Have an idea for a topic that you would like to explore this Spring or Summer? We are still accepting Letters of Intent, so don't hesitate to get in touch ( and we can explore potential readings, formats, etc. 

The Intersection of AI and Education
Wednesday, May 10, 10am–12:30pm
Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Room TBD 

What does generative artificial intelligence mean for our classes? For our approaches to teaching? To the ways that students engage with content? To the ways in which we assess student learning? This participant-driven “unconference” brings together faculty to discuss the implications of ChatGPT and other tools, consider the ever-evolving resources on the topic, and to develop plans for our current and future classrooms. Conversations earlier this semester, notably the Provost’s Office ChatGPT Panel held in February and the University Writing Skills Committee open forum in March, laid the foundation for a “what comes next” event. Come join with local experts and inform your next steps. If you are unfamiliar with the unconference format, know that it engages participants in real-time structural and topical decisions, provides multiple learning opportunities, fosters open dialog, and only involves sticky notes if you so choose.
Resources will be added to the Pew FTLC website in advance, but if you looking for a few things to read right now, visit the Unconference Event page. Direct any questions to the Unconference facilitator and Pew FTLC Director, Christine Rener. To help better plan for space, please register in Sprout.

Teaching in an Active Learning Classroom
Wednesday, May 24, 9am–12pm
Eberhard Center, Room 411 

Mobile furniture. Generous whiteboard space. Dynamic activity possibilities. These hallmark features of an active learning classroom have significant impacts on the ways an instructor plans and utilizes the learning space. Are you currently scheduled to teach in such a classroom? Or would you like to plan ahead? In this hands-on workshop, we will explore an active learning classroom and experiment with a variety of in-class activities. We will draw from educational research around principles of learning and student engagement. Whether you already use collaborative or guided inquiry activities in your courses or are still in exploratory mode, this workshop will also introduce you to helpful course design frameworks and models for making the most of new and redesigned learning spaces. You may not be surprised to learn that the best plans for active learning classroom utilization spill over into areas such as outside-of-class planning, use of technology, and assessment of student learning. We will provide support as you consider the details both small and large in engaging students in new ways in new spaces. 
The specific Active Learning Classroom location will be confirmed after the start of Spring semester classes. This workshop will be repeated the week of August 14th. If you any questions about these opportunities, contact workshop facilitator and Pew FTLC Director, Christine Rener. Please register in Sprout

FALL New Faculty Orientation - August 9, 10 & 11, 2023

29th Annual Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning
Wednesday, August 23, 2023

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