February 2021
Spring Meetings Around Teaching and Race
As part of the 2020-21 Teaching, Difference, and Power learning community on Teaching and Race, the Center for Teaching is hosting three meetings this Spring that we hope you will attend.  
First, on February 12th, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm, at this link, we will be honored to have Elizabeth Self and Barbara Stengel from the Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College, discuss insights from their latest publication, Toward Anti-Oppressive Teaching: Designing and Using Simulated Encounters. They will share lessons they have learned about how to prepare educators to become more effective and anti-oppressive in diverse classroom settings using simulated encounters. They will discuss the methods they have used as well as the successes and challenges they have confronted helping educators develop greater self-awareness and critical competencies of inclusion. The discussion also will involve insights from participants who will have volunteered to participate in a simulation on Zoom.  If you are interested in volunteering for this unique opportunity to consult with Liz and Barbara, and to develop your skills of anti-oppressive teaching, please contact Joe Bandy for further information at joe.bandy@vanderbilt.edu. 
Second, on February 19th, from 9:00am to 10:30am, at this link, we are fortunate to have Rich Milner from the Department of Teaching and Learning, Peabody College, facilitate a discussion entitled, “Opportunity-Centered Teaching Across Disciplines in the ‘New’ Normal.”  Centering racial justice and equity in the “new normal,” the discussion is designed to support instructors in building tools to more deeply understand and address complex needs of racially diverse and minoritized students. Building on conceptual features of what Milner calls Opportunity-Centered Teaching, particular attention will be placed on curriculum and instructional practices that potentially build humanism and emancipatory spaces in university classrooms. Recognizing teaching and learning as more than cognitive rigor, the session highlights a range of tools to support social, emotional, psychological, and mental health and wellbeing among students and instructors alike. How do we co-construct (with students) classroom spaces that center opportunity for healing in the midst of racism, sexism, xenophobia and other forms of discrimination inside and outside of higher education?
Lastly, on April 2nd, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm, at this link, we will focus our attention on what faculty can do to close race (and other) performance and persistence gaps across the disciplines.  Throughout 2020-21, a group of STEM faculty have met to discuss their concerns with disparities that exist between underrepresented and well-represented groups of undergraduate students, particularly disparities of persistence in STEM majors. In their discussions they have concentrated on insights from their own experience and from the book, Talking about Leaving Revisited, a five-year study that explores the causes of field-switching among STEM majors and the factors that enable persistence to graduation. Members of this faculty group including William Robinson (Vice Provost for Academic Advancement and Executive Director of the Provost’s Office for Inclusive Excellence, and VU School of Engineering), Kathy Friedman (Biological Sciences), Adriane Seiffert (Psychology), and Thomas Clements (Biological Sciences) will join the Teaching and Race learning community to share what they have learned and discuss reforms to teaching practices that may reduce performance and persistence disparities across the disciplines.

New CFT Guide on Academic Advising
The CFT is proud to offer a new teaching guide on academic advising.  Academic advising is a foundational element of any institution of higher education because it is necessary for student achievement.  However, it can be difficult to do well, especially when time is limited or advising models are unclear.  In this guide, the CFT’s Joe Bandy borrows from existing literature to assist advisers in developing the philosophies, informational resources, and relational skills necessary to be effective in this important work.  Regardless of one’s role in higher education, this guide has insights and resources that will be helpful for advisers and their students. You may find the guide here.  

Come Work at the
Center for Teaching! 
Each year the Center for Teaching (CFT) hires a number of graduate students as part of its efforts to mentor and train graduate students, including those serving as teaching assistants or instructors of record here at Vanderbilt as well as those interested in developing teaching skills for future faculty careers. The CFT has several types of positions available for graduate students for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Graduate Teaching Fellow – GTFs lead sections of the Certificate in College (CiCT) Teaching program; consult with graduate students about their teaching; facilitate workshops for graduate students at TA Orientation and throughout the year; and assist CFT senior staff with various ongoing and short-term projects, including the creation of online resources for the Vanderbilt teaching community.  Learn more about the GTF Program.
Teaching Affiliate – The primary responsibility for Teaching Affiliates is to lead a cohort of incoming Teaching Assistants (TAs) through a day-long workshop at August’s TA Orientation. These workshops familiarize new TAs with the challenges and opportunities of working as TAs at Vanderbilt and help prepare TAs for the first few weeks of class. Cohorts are divided by discipline, and so the CFT seeks Teaching Affiliates from a wide variety of disciplines on campus. The Teaching Affiliate position is a 70-hour position, with most of those hours occurring in August 2021.
CiCT Facilitator – The CiCT Program facilitator will, alongside the Graduate Teaching Fellows, lead a section of the CiCT program.  The facilitator will read and prepare lesson plans, lead class sessions, and attend weekly meetings with the GTFs.  When the CiCT program is in session (8 weeks per semester), the approximate workload will be between 5-10 hrs/week.
These positions are great opportunities for graduate students to refine their teaching and presentation skills and network with graduate students outside of their department or program.
Applications for all three types of positions are due Friday, February 12, 2021.
Learn more about each of these positions and apply online by visiting the CFT's employment opportunities page.

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Let’s talk about love:
Bridging the gap between the affective and cognitive domains
In this workshop, we will dissect the construct of love and examine how it may manifest itself in our teaching and learning experiences. We will then apply the construct of love through the lens of cognitive psychologist Robert Gagne specifically his nine events of instruction that can be used as a connecting bridge between the affective and cognitive domains of learning.
Participants will leave with a framework that can be used for course design and instructional delivery. 
This workshop is timely as some of us get ready to celebrate Valentine's Day.

Date: February 11th
Time: 2:00 – 3:00
Location: A Zoom link will be sent to registrants

Spring Science Teaching Lunch Series

The Science Teaching Lunch series resumes in Spring 2021, typically meeting on the third Friday of the month from 12-1. In these lunches, we invite faculty to discuss common teaching challenges and to seek ideas and solutions from colleagues and the literature on science teaching and learning—in the past, over lunch, but now, over Zoom. 
This semester, the lunches will start with “Hits and Misses,” which will be an opportunity for participants to share successes and challenges from their pandemic teaching, either to let others know what is working in their hands or to get ideas to make their efforts more successful. This informal conversation will be followed by a more focused discussion of a particular teaching-related resource. The topics will be:   
Fostering student metacognition
Feb 19, 12-1

Maximizing student attention in class
March 26, 12-1 (note: fourth Friday of the month)

Teaching problem-solving
April 16, 12-1

Email Cynthia Brame at Cynthia.brame@vanderbilt.edu for Zoom information. 

Upcoming Brightspace Worskhops
CFT staff offer Brightspace workshops for instructors interested in learning how to use Brightspace tools effectively and efficiently.
We are also available during the academic year to facilitate Brightspace workshops on topics both general and specific for departments, programs, and schools, upon request. Email brightspace@vanderbilt.edu to ask about these offerings or the possibility of an invited workshop.
For more information about these workshops and future offerings, keep an eye on the Brightspace support workshops page.

Discussions in Brightspace
February 2, 2pm
See details and register

Setting up your Gradebook

Catch up with the
Leading Lines Podcast 
In January, the Leading Lines team released three podcasts with great advice for online teaching.
Dan Levy, a faculty member at Harvard University for 15 years, describes strategies for engaging and assessing students on Zoom.
Heeroon Shin, Mellon assistant professor of Asian art here at Vanderbilt, talks about her changing use of recorded video lectures, leading discussions on Zoom, and an Instagram activity.
Betsy Barre, the executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Wake Forest University, and Karen Costa, a faculty developer and author of the 2020 book, 99 Tips for Creating Simple and Sustainable Educational Videos, talk about student workload during pandemic teaching and how to address it.
You can hear these podcast episodes, 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.

Wish You Could Have Attended One of Our January Events? 
Last month, the CFT hosted workshops and conversions on a wide varitey of teaching topics.
If you weren't able to attend, you don't have to miss out! We have recordings of many of our past events available on our website. Topics include:
  • Synchronous Sessions in Online Courses

  • Hybrid courses: Approaches to engage your virtual and F2F students

  • Overcoming the ‘busywork’ Dilemma: Creating Meaningful Asynchronous Activities for Student Engagement

  • Teaching with Chat & Channel Apps

  • Teaching with Games and Simulations in a Pandemic

  • Testing Strategies in Hybrid and Online Classes

  • How to teach coding in an online or hybrid environment
Take advantage of this second chance by visiting our events webpage.

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