Pew FTLC: Early August 2023
Pew FTLC: Early August 2023
Grand Valley State University
Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center
August 9, 2023

Director's Note

As we move swiftly towards the start of the new semester, I offer four important resources and invite you to also consider a suite of August learning opportunities. The excitement is in the air. 

1. PODCAST: How to Encourage Student Help-Seeking BehaviorOffice Hours with EAB

2. ONLINE MODULE: Your Syllabus as a Tool to Promote Student Equity, Belonging, and Growth, this online module consists of a number of recorded videos to demonstrate practical tips for developing syllabi, as well as activities that will help you apply these  concepts to your own syllabus. It should take approximately 90 minutes to watch the videos and complete the activities

3. RESEARCH ARTICLE: From Inclusive to Equitable Pedagogy: How to Design Course Assignments and Learning Activities That Address Structural Inequalities, Teaching Sociology, 2023, beautifully blending the theoretical with practical recommendations for instructors in any discipline 

4. ADVICE COLUMN: The Psychodynamics of the College Classroom, Inside Higher Ed, please move through the opening paragraphs to the most excellent summary of recommendations: 
o Don’t wait for problems to erupt
o Engage in honest discussions with your students about your roles & responsibilities
o Openly discuss your grading policy
o Take steps to make the classroom a place of trust and collegiality
o Be extremely sensitive to a classroom’s power dynamics 
o Be acutely attentive to students’ insecurities, attitudes, and perspectives
o Share classroom authority
o Encourage multiple perspectives
o Remember: ultimately, you are in charge

Below you will find a fresh, robust suite of learning opportunities that will be taking place over the next two weeks. Consider joining one or more of these sessions; we would love to see you. We even have a few spots remaining in our Aug 16-17 Strong Start Teaching Institute. As for Fall Semester opportunities–in the form of Learning Communities, mentoring groups, grants, or workshops–more information is being added to our website by the day, with wider announcements planned in conjunction with the 29th Annual Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning.  

Bonus item: Begin the Semester with Classroom Community Building Activities to Increase Student Engagement, Faculty Focus Newsletter, 2023, even if the six activities described aren’t your cup of tea, I’m hoping that this piece gets your wheels turning in terms of how you can intentionally design the first days of class in order to build trust and community 

Christine Rener

29th Annual Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning
Keynote Address by Dr. James. M Lang
August 23, 2023 from 8:30am – 2pm

You are formally invited to the Pew FTLC's 29th Annual Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning. As has been our tradition for 29 years, our Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning offers a chance to gather with colleagues, welcome one another back for a new academic year, and engage in relevant and often times critical topics in higher education. Featuring a keynote address by Dr. James M. Lang, author of six books including Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning and Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It, this conference promises to explore how faculty can cultivate and sustain the attention of their students. Following the keynote, faculty-led breakout sessions will feature innovative teaching and learning projects. 
Visit our Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning webpage for a complete list of faculty-led breakout sessions, our book raffle listing, and more!

Teaching Distracted Minds: Old Challenges, New Contexts
Keynote Address by Dr. James M. Lang
Faculty frequently express concerns about the distractions and distractibility of our students, but our real focus should be on how we help students achieve attention. These sessions draw upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to argue that distractions are endemic to the human condition and can't be walled out of the physical classroom or online course. Instead, we should focus on creating educational experiences that cultivate and sustain attention. Participants will learn about a variety of potential pathways to developing such experiences for their students.
REGSITER for the Fall Conference!

Are we sure we're doing this pedagogy thing right?
Fall Conference Pre-Conference Virtual Workshop
August 22, 2023 from 1–4pm

Are we sure we're doing this pedagogy thing right?
Rigor, truth, theory and practice, inclusion, politics, ethics, trauma...We use the words, but how do we manifest equity and inclusion in our classrooms? Does anyone know how to do this? Is anyone talking about it? Let's start that conversation together at this event. Join Jess Mitchell and colleagues for a presentation and discussion about what equitable pedagogy and open pedagogies might be. Bring your critiques, questions, and concerns.
Creating the brave space we hope to nurture in our teaching.
The 3-hour workshop will begin with a level-setting presentation about some of the tricky edges we deal with in teaching and learning. Then we'll spend time working through problems together—building a community of practice with each other, applying an inclusive and equitable lens to each decision we make.
The only prerequisite to this work is openness and curiosity. Please come with a question, problem curiosity...Bring your syllabus, an existing assignment, or anything else you would like to think through.
This workshop is limited to 40 faculty members so register in sprout today!
Visit our Fall Conference webpage for more information.
Register for the Pre-Conference Virtual Workshop!

Learning Week Opportunities

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. This hands-on workshop will explore an active learning classroom and experiment with a variety of in-class activities. It will draw from educational research around principles of learning and student engagement. Register for the Teaching in an Active Learning Classroom Workshop today

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 current and future classrooms. Register for The Intersection of AI and Education Unconference today
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