Pew FTLC: Late June 2023
Pew FTLC: Late June 2023
Grand Valley State University
Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center
June 30, 2023

Director's Note

Balance and Flow. These two themes run through the articles and news that have come across my desk of late. Whether focused on how we spend our precious time or on thoughtful design of courses, the message is to pay attention to how things fit together. While the titles of the following pieces may not grab your attention at first, please do trust me; these resources detail approaches to teaching and learning that really do work. And that are incredibly important in addressing the needs of our students. Whether you take a quick glance or a deep dive, you won't regret it.

1.  Six evidence-based teaching practices  Every Learner Everywhere does some excellent research and regularly produces helpful reports; this website summarizes six teaching practices that I can't argue with: transparency, active learning, formative practice, data analytics, metacognition, and sense of belonging. What could use more attention in your courses? Follow the links for additional resources on each topic.
2.  Structure matters: Twenty-one teaching strategies to promote student engagement and cultivate classroom equity —a classic article worthy of laminating or posting on the fridge for easy access, it provides practical ideas, addressing the how and the why, and is broadly applicable across disciplines and modalities, despite the focus on biology undergraduate classroom.
3.  Advancing inclusion and anti-racism in the college classroom: A rubric and resource guide for instructors — a beautifully organized document that touches on key aspects of student-centered instructions, to be used as a planning tool or a reflection guide; in addition to addressing what we know works to foster student learning for all students, this rubric goes a step further and addresses course design elements related to social justice and indigenous perspectives.
4.  College Transitions Collaborative Resources — If you are looking to refresh your syllabi or classroom practices, this site has an extensive library of specific examples and expert guidance. I can't say enough about the importance of this collection.

Lastly, while I don't have a specific resource to offer, I was struck by a phrase I heard recently: kinetic pedagogy. The idea is to build movement into courses, through a variety of modes of learning (text, video, images, audio) and a range of activities (discussion, reflection, collaboration, individual work, etc.). The reasons are many, but I was captivated by notion of ensuring variance in the cadence of activities and being intentional about building in multiple paths to learning. It is worthwhile to consider ways we can apply these concepts to (a) content choices, (b) instructor facilitation, (c) student participation, and (d) assessment planning. As a nod to one of our recently retired colleagues, I will share Professor of Movement Science John Kilbourne's email signoff: Moving All Ways, Always Moving.

May your summer bring just the right balance, flow, and movement.

Christine Rener

Pew FTLC Summer Book Club: The Campus Novel
Fridays in July from 3–4pm on Zoom

The campus novel is a subgenre of fiction spotlighting the human comedy of academic life. Wherever you are—the beach, overseas, in your office toiling away—join us Fridays in July from 3pm–4pm on Zoom to talk about a book. Whether you enjoy reading for pleasure, want to gain perspective on your own academic lives, or are looking to build community, this Book Club is for you. All faculty and staff are welcome to register.
Each book will have ONE Friday hour-long meeting to discuss. Register for one book or as many books as you'd like. The FTLC will send you the print or audio version.
The schedule of books to be discussed are listed below. Register for the books you are interested in in Sprout.

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
Discussion on July 14, 2023 from 3–4pm

At Wetish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skirmshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended—the college president, Henry's roommate and teammate, the baseball team captain, the college president's daughter, and of course, Henry, himself.

Moo by Jane Smiley
Discussion on July 21, 2023 from 3—4pm

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, amid cow pastures and waving fields of grain, likes Moo University, a distinguished institution devoted to the art of science and agriculture. Here, among an atmosphere rife with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upmanship, Chairman X of the Horticulture Department harbors a secret fantasy to kill the sean; Mrs. Walker, the provost's right hand and campus information queen, knows where all the bodies are buried; Timothy Nonahan, associate professor of English, advocates eavesdropping for his creative writing assignments; and Bob Carlson, a sophomore, feeds and maintains his only friend: a hog named Earl Butz.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Discussion on July 28, 2023 from 3—4pm

On Beauty is the story of an interracial family living in the university town of Wellington, Massachusetts, whose misadventures in the culture wars—on both sides of the Atlantic—serve to skewer everything from family life to political correctness to the combustive collision between the personal and the political.

Join the Summer 2023 Blackboard Ultra Working Group!
Centering Teaching Best Practices During the Bb Ultra Transition

Blackboard Ultra is HERE and this group can support you during this transition!
Students are more engaged, learn more, persist in their studies, and graduate in stronger numbers when we use evidence-based teaching practices. A focus on pedagogy/andragogy first, in combination with the content expertise and research methods must drive our response to technology and platform upgrades.
This Summer 2023 Blackboard Ultra Working Group will be facilitated by an expert graduate of the ACUE course on effective teaching strategies, who is also an early adopter of Bb Ultra. The group will together in making the move to Bb Ultra align with those best and most effective teaching practices.
This group will meet virtually on the following Wednesdays from 12–2pm.
  • July 12
  • July 19
  • July 26
  • August 2
NOTE: If you are interested in participating in a group like this but are unavailable during the meeting days/times listed above, please register anyway. There is a place on the registration form to indicate that you are unavailable to meet during the scheduled times. We may be able to offer a second group meeting if there is enough faculty interest.
REGISTER for the Summer 2023 Bb Ultra Working Group

Call for Proposals!
Fall Conference on August 23, 2023

Faculty are invited to propose a concurrent session as part of the 29th Annual Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning featuring keynote speaker, Dr. James M. Lang.
Proposals that involve multiple facilitators, staff and/or students are welcomed. Priority will be given to Pew FTLC funded/supported projects. Session proposals should include:
  1. Name and email contact information for all presenters
  2. Session Title as brief or as descriptive as you deem appropriate
  3. Abstract —80 words or less, suitable for the conference program
  4. Session Description —500 words or less, addressing the purpose of the session, participant outcomes, session format and approach to engaging participants
  5. Preference, if any, for in-person or virtual session
  6. Any special technology or facilities needed
Submit session proposals to by Friday, July 14, 2023. We are happy to answer questions you may have about the conference itself or the proposal submission process.

Join a Fall 2023 Faculty Learning Community!

Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) bring faculty together for a 1-2 semester-long conversation on a topic of mutual interest and encourage an application of the knowledge gained. Past participants report this experience to be supportive, fun, and restorative! New Fall FLCs are being added daily but check out the list below of those who are already accepting members.
Apply online via our Grants System today!
Have a different topic you are passionate and/or want to explore? Consider LEADING an FLC this Fall! Submit an online letter of intent (proposal) for an FLC and we'll do the rest! Need inspiration? Check out some of the Past FLCs that have run.
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