March 2019
“Students as Producers” Course Design Institutes for Faculty and Graduate Students
The CFT invites Vanderbilt faculty and graduate students to apply to its 2019 Course Design Institutes on the theme of “Students as Producers.” During the three-day institutes in May, participants will design (or redesign) courses that engage students not only as consumers of information, but producers of knowledge.

Short videos created to explain computer algorithms. A radio drama exploring the future of gene editing. Proposals for museum acquisitions of African-American art. A water conversation education program aimed at children. A virtual reality simulation of protein-protein interactions. A candle-making device developed through human-centered design for a local nonprofit.

These are just some of the products of student learning created in courses at Vanderbilt using the “Students as Producers” approach to course design. Through this year’s Course Design Institutes, the CFT continues helping instructors build these high-impact practices into their courses.

"A lot of us come in to teaching positions without a lot of teaching experience. It’s intimidating, but the Course Design Institute gave me a lot of resources to connect with my students.”

Gilbert Gonzales, Assistant Professor of Health Policy, 2016 participant
“I walked away feeling better able to design courses that mobilize my intellectual engagements and disciplinary expertise to evoke students’ intellectual passions.”

Elizabeth Meadows, senior lecturer in English, 2017 participant

The Faculty Course Design Institute will be held May 6-8, 2019. The faculty institute is open to all Vanderbilt faculty members, and faculty participants will receive $500 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching.

The Graduate Student Course Design Institute will be held May 1-3, 2019. This institute is open to both graduate students and postdocs. If you’re leaving Vanderbilt to take a faculty position, the CDI is a great way to launch your new faculty career.

For more information on the Course Design Institutes, or to apply to either, visit our Course Design Institute web page.

Book Recommendation
From CFT's Stacey Johnson

If you are one of the many faculty or staff at Vanderbilt focusing on immersion initiatives, community engagement, or teaching for global citizenship, one of our newest books at the CFT library might be a useful tool in your work. The book is Community-Based Global Learning: The Theory and Practice of Ethical Engagement at Home and Abroad co-authored by Eric Hartman, Richard Kiely, Christopher Boettcher, and Jessica Friedrichs and will be available soon in the CFT library. This volume usefully threads multiple streams of scholarship together with real-world cases and examples of classroom practice. The effect of this multi-pronged approach is that the book is at once thoroughly grounded in research while also being accessible to practitioners.

In the introduction, the authors provide readers with a useful table in which reflective and critically reflective questions are provided for each chapter. For me as a reader, seeing the two types of reflective questions juxtaposed in that table primed my thinking from the very beginning about the kind of reading experience I was about to undertake. Chapter 1 frames the topic of community-based global learning and establishes their definition of the components of such learning that will inform the rest of the book. These components are:

  • Community-driven learning/service
  • Development of intercultural learning and cultural humility
  • Seeking global citizenship
  • Critically reflective practice
  • Interrogating power, privilege, and positionality
  • Deliberate and demonstrable learning
  • Health and safety
As someone who researches, among other things, the role of critical reflection and intercultural competence in college level language learning, I was particularly interested in chapter 3 and 4 over those two topics. For administrators and faculty leading community-based programs, chapters 5 through 8 contain more practical discussions about program planning, implementation, and development. These practical discussions include topics such as how to plan an orientation, how to manage risk around health and safety, and how to prepare students for ethical engagement with communities.

I definitely recommend this book as a resource for anyone planning courses or programs that ask students to engage with communities as part of their learning.
Stacey Johnson is the Assistant Director for Educational Technology at the Center for Teaching. She also holds an appointment as a Senior Lecturer of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is Affiliated Faculty in the Center for Second Language Studies, and Adjunct Faculty in Peabody College’s Masters program in English Language Learners.
Leading Lines Ed Tech Podcast with
Kylie Korsnack

In this episode, CFT assistant director for educational technology, Stacey Johnson, talks with Kylie Korsnack about a new practicum the CFT launched aimed at preparing grad students to teach online. Stacey and Kylie discuss the origin and structure of the practicum, as well as a really useful framework for teaching online that Kylie learned about while designing the practicum. 
To hear the podcast episodes you've missed, visit the Leading Lines website, search for “Leading Lines” in iTunes, or subscribe via RSS.  You can also follow us on Twitter, @LeadingLinesPod.
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Junior Faculty Spotlight:
Elizabeth Self
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Elizabeth Self, Teaching and Learning, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests.
I have been a lecturer at Peabody College in the Department of Teaching and Learning for the last two years but have been at Vanderbilt University for much longer, having completed both my master’s and doctoral degrees here. Now as a faculty member, I teach future teachers in social foundations courses, focusing on the role of systems of oppression in everything from explicit curricular materials to disciplinary policies to how teaching is conceived of in our society. In this class, teachers start to learn how to teach by understanding how what they do can perpetuate or interrupt these systems of oppression – and daily affect the lives of children. We pursue this learning in both traditional ways – by reading, discussing, and considering case studies – but also innovative ones. Teachers in our department, for example, regularly participate in simulated encounters that I designed as a doctoral student and continue to do research on as a faculty member. In these encounters, modeled after standardized patient encounters in medicine, future teachers interact with actors, who play the role of a student, parent, or coworker, in a moment of teaching. Teachers engage with actors one-on-one, but afterwards, we use the video-recordings and group debriefs to think together about how these seemingly small moments require sociopolitical consciousness, asset orientations, and professional judgment to respond in a way that is educative. We also use the group debrief, as part of regular class time, to make sense of these small moments in the long timelines that are part of teaching, and in the broad context of the work of teaching and U.S. schools. In this sense, a big part of my job as a teacher educator is to help future teachers move back and forth like this – from small moments to long timelines, from one classroom to an entire school system, from the here-and-now to the historical context. 
A Conversation on Disability and Digital Literacies
As we teach various digital literacies, including critical consumption and multimodal production, how can we be inclusive of students with different abilities?
Join us for a conversation about digital literacies, disability, and universal design for learning at the Center for Teaching on Friday, March 15th, from 12:10 to 1:30pm
Our panelists will be:
  • Eric Moore, universal design for learning and accessibility specialist for the University of Tennessee's office of information technology, and
  • Emily Pendergrass, director of the reading education Master's program in the department of teaching and learning at Peabody College
Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP.
VandyVox Showcases the Best of Student-Produced Audio at Vanderbilt
The Vanderbilt Center for Teaching and Vanderbilt Student Media are excited to announce the launch of a new podcast! VandyVox showcases the best of student-produced audio at Vanderbilt University. Each episode features student work from a curricular or co-curricular project, including audio documentaries, radio dramas, spoken word essays, and ongoing podcasts.
Episodes 1 through 5 are now available, featuring student work on gene editing, names and identity, immigration, and women who kill. Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or another podcast app using the RSS feed. For more informatoin on the new podcast, visit
Season 2 of the podcast will launch later in 2019. To suggest student audio that might be featured for Season 2, contact Derek Bruff
Brightspace Help is Available!
Come the the CFT and get individual help during Brightspace drop-in hours or by appointment in a one-on-one consult with one of our instructional technologists. You can also email us at or check out this collection of step-by-step guides for help getting started.
Drop-In Hours
2:30pm – 4:30pm 
9:00am – 11:00am
1:00pm – 3:00pm
10:00am – 12:00pm

Teaching 101:
Part 2
Graduate Student/Postdoc Workshop

Do you want students to view your class within the framework of their lives or communities? Have you considered strategies for connecting class materials to social realities? This interdisciplinary workshop will introduce basic strategies for incorporating active and collaborative learning, community engagement, and social outreach activities into a variety of classroom environments. We will also discuss tools for designing and developing projects and assignments, facilitating discussion, and effectively organizing student groups. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
– Intentionally organize content for a class period
– Effectively facilitate discussion and equitably distribute group work
– Develop students’ sense of agency through service outreach or community engaged teaching
Date: Wednesday, March 13th
Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm
Location: CFT Classroom
Facilitators: Alex Oxner and Greg Smith, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellows

Open to Graduate Students & Postdocs

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