April 2021
Online Course
Design Institute
This one-week hands-on Online Course Development Institute (OCDI) will take place from May 17th through 21st. Participants will be guided through a systematic step-wise approach to designing an online course and facilitating synchronous and asynchronous interactions.  Participants will be equipped to make design decisions that support student engagement, meaningful learning and assessments, and equity and inclusivity. This institute will benefit instructors seeking to design or redesign an online course, particularly those teaching in the Summer. 
During the institute, participants will:
  • Learn about the basic principles and considerations for converting a face to face course to an online course
  • Appreciate the value and importance of creating equitable and inclusive learning experiences that account for student motivation
  • Become aware of  the power instructors have in proactively providing the structure (design) and leadership (facilitation/direction) to foster inclusive and meaningful learning in an online environment
  • Develop a course plan for their upcoming online course that integrates learning objectives with assessments and both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities
  • Learn about the affordances of online teaching tools, identify tools that align with their goals, and develop practical skills using those tools
  • Identify possible problems that may occur based on their course design and plan solutions
Format and Time Commitment
The Online Course Design Institute  will consist of a mix of asynchronous and synchronous activities, with time built in for individual course planning and digital tool practice. Participants will work through a series of Brightspace modules leading through a course design process. They will meet daily (typically for 60-90 minutes) via Zoom in small cohorts for peer feedback on course plans. Participants should plan to spend  2- 3 hours daily to complete structured activities and individual work on their courses. 
Eligibility and Application Process
The Online Course Design Institute is open to all Vanderbilt faculty members with teaching responsibilities, as well as graduate students and postdocs who will be serving as instructors of record at Vanderbilt. 
All instructors of record are invited to apply by Friday, April 23rd.  If you are interested in participating in the Online Course Design Institute, please apply here.  
The total number of participants will be limited to 40, and applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Wednesday, April 28.  Preferences will be given to instructors of record intending to (re)design courses to be taught in the summer and the upcoming academic year.
If you have further questions, please contact the CFT’s Assistant Director,  Julaine Fowlin at julaine.fowlin@Vanderbilt.edu.

Latest Leading Lines Podcast Featuring Stephen Kosslyn

In October 2020, Stephen Kosslyn published a new book called Active Learning Online: Five Principles that Make Online Courses Come Alive. The book draws on Kosslyn’s experiences at Minerva, but also his very long and impressive career in higher education.
He recently facilitated a virtual workshop here at Vanderbilt on his new book, and we took the opportunity to talk with him for the podcast.  Kosslyn goes through his five principles for active learning, offers practical strategies for implementing these principles in the virtual classroom, and speaks to the important role motivation plays in learning.
You can hear this podcast episode, as well as others you've missed, by visiting the Leading Lines website, searching for “Leading Lines” in iTunes, or subscribing via RSS.  You can also follow us on Twitter, @LeadingLinesPod.

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Course Design Institute
on Inclusive Teaching
This Spring – May 24th through 27th – the Center for Teaching invites you to join in our Course Design Institute on the theme of Inclusive Teaching.  This virtual event will take place via Brightspace and Zoom, May 24-27 (9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and 9-12:30pm Thursday). During the four-day institute, participants will (re)design courses with careful attention to the ways they can help all students thrive through greater belonging and engagement.  In the institute we will explore a variety of facets of inclusive teaching, especially…
  • Motivating and challenging all students, regardless of their identity or background
  • Engaging a diverse range of voices and perspectives for dynamic and critical dialogue
  • Helping all students better understand – and cooperate across – differences
  • Developing trusting and productive dialogues about difficult subjects
  • Providing accessible and supportive assignments and activities
  • Closing performance and persistence gaps across the curriculum
  • Ensuring all students are meaningfully involved in their own learning and experience intellectual, social, and emotional growth
Throughout the Institute’s events, participants will…
  • Learn strategies for designing courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments foster inclusion and equity
  • Work collaboratively in a mix of small- and large-group sessions to refine and apply these strategies to diverse teaching contexts
  • Expand a peer network of Vanderbilt educators dedicated to inclusion and equity
  • Develop a (re)designed syllabus and course plans for the coming semesters
All instructors of record are invited to apply by Friday, April 23rd.  The total number of participants will be limited to 40, and applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Wednesday, April 28th.  Preferences will be given to instructors of record intending to (re)design courses to be taught in the upcoming academic year.  
If you are interested in attending the Course Design Institute on Inclusive Teaching, please register here.  If you have further questions, please contact the CFT’s Joe Bandy at joe.bandy@vanderbilt.edu or Stacey Johnson at stacey.m.johnson@vanderbilt.edu

Apply to be a Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow!
We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows program. The program is designed to help you:
  • Build understanding of principles of learning to inform your teaching
  • Stock your teaching toolkit with new skills and approaches
  • Develop a framework for course design
  • Build teaching community
Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows receive $2000 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching. Tenure-track and non-tenure track, full-time faculty who will be in their second through sixth year in 2021-2022 are eligible to apply.
Application Deadline: Friday, April 30
For more details on the program or to apply, visit the JFTF webpage

CFT Offers New Guide for Writing Science Exams
Are you a scientist who uses timed exams in your course? Would you like to know some research-based recommendations for making your exams more valid, effective, and equitable? If the answer to both those questions is yes, check out our new guide for writing science exams. Put together by a learning community of scientists striving for inclusion and equity, the guide describes unintended consequences of curving, exam writing strategies that can help avoid the need for it, and class structures that help students maximize their learning and their exam performance.
Contributors include: Ben Yett from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Adriane Seiffert from Psychology; Guil Gualda from Earth & Environmental Sciences; Megan Williams from the MSTP program; Katie Clements and David Cliffel from Chemistry; Vicki Greene, Richard Haglund, Shane Hutson, Savanna Starko, and Keivan Stassun from Physics & Astronomy; Cynthia Brame, Thomas Clements, Jessica Gilpin, Kathy Friedman and Jim Pask from Biological Sciences.

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