February 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.

A Conversation on Teaching Collaborations
Helping our students develop digital literacies often involves moving outside our own areas of expertise--and comfort zones. How can we collaborate with others to teach students skills that we ourselves are still learning?

Join us for a conversation on collaborations for teaching digital literacies at the Center for Teaching on Tuesday, February 19th, from 2:00 to 3:30pm.

Our panelists will be:
  • Sophie Bjork-James, assistant professor of the practice of anthropology, and Kellie Cavagnaro, doctoral student in anthropology, who collaborated as instructor and teaching assistant to support student multimedia projects
  • Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh, assistant professor of religious studies, and Bobby Smiley, associate director of the Divinity Library, who collaborated as instructor and librarian to support a student-produced digital archive
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 2018-2019 academic year.

Graduate Teaching Fellow – GTFs lead sections of the Certificate in College 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 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 2018.

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 (6-8 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 Wednesday, February 20th, 2019.

Learn more about each of these positions and apply online by visiting the CFT's employment opportunities page.

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Digital Pedagogy: Engaging Students through Open Education
As part of Open Education Week, the Vanderbilt Libraries are hosting an event on Friday, February 22nd, exploring students as producers of open digital content. Christina Hendricks, professor of philosophy and academic director of the Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology at the University of British Columbia-Vancouver, will give a talk titled "Open Educational Practices: What, Why, and How?" from 11am to 12pm
Lunch is provided with advanced registration from 12 to 1pm, followed by an open pedagogy expo from 1 to 2:30pm, featuring faculty-led examples and strategies for successful adoption. The event will be held in the Library Community Room. Register here, and find more info about the event here.
Junior Faculty Spotlight:
Leon Bellan
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Leon Bellan, Mechanical Engineering, talks about his teaching philosophy and interests.
My research focuses on developing scalable fabrication techniques for making microfluidic materials with unique properties. We use these microfluidic materials for biomedical, structural, and energy related applications, keeping in mind that the processes involved should be easily translated to large-scale manufacturing lines. A major focus of the lab is to develop non-traditional fabrication techniques that are well suited for patterning microfluidic cell-laden biomaterials for regenerative medicine applications.  Additionally, we are developing technologies that leverage thermoresponsive polymers for transient circuitry, forming devices that function in warm aqueous environments but irreversibly disintegrate when cooled.

I teach a Mechanical Engineering module for the ES140 Introduction to Engineering course in the fall, and the sophomore level ME2171 Instrumentation lab in the spring.  My teaching approach places a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, and developing practical troubleshooting skills.

Developing a Written Diversity Statement
Student/Postdoc Workshop

In this workshop, we will discuss evidence-based practices for writing a diversity statement for the academic job market. Increasingly, universities and colleges are requesting that faculty job applicants provide a statement addressing how they plan to contribute to inclusive excellence in their professional lives. Sometimes, a job ad will request that applicants address diversity in the cover letter or the teaching statement, but a request for a stand-alone diversity statement is becoming more common. From the perspective of the university, the purpose of this document is to verify that an applicant has a commitment to diversity in his or her work within higher education, including scholarship, teaching, service, mentoring, and advising. From the applicant’s perspective, a diversity statement offers an opportunity to articulate the many ways one may contribute to inclusivity via their research, teaching, and service; and the challenges to this work that one may help academic institutions overcome.

This session will introduce several approaches to developing and writing a diversity statement and give participants an opportunity to begin generating ideas on their own and in small groups.

Date: Wednesday, February 13th
Time: 2:00-3:30 pm
Location: CFT Classroom
Facilitators: Chelsea Yarborough and Alex Oxner, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellows

Open to Graduate Students & Postdocs

The Best of Student-Produced Audio at Vanderbilt

The Center for Teaching and Vanderbilt Student Media have announced a new podcast, VandyVox! The podcast showcases the best of student-produced audio at Vanderbilt.
Each episode features student work from a curricular or co-curricular project, including audio documentaries, radio dramas, spoken word essays, and ongoing podcasts.
Subscribe to the podcast in iTunes or another podcast app using our RSS feed. Our episodes are also available on Podomatic. Learn more at http://vandyvox.com.
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Improved Multiple Assignment Options Brightspace
Did you know Brightspace now gives you multiple assignment options to give students? The new types include: Text Submission, On Paper Submission, and Observed In-Person.
Students no longer have to submit a file to a folder in order to obtain an assignment grade! If you want to know more, come by during our drop-in hours or email us to request a one-on-one consultation.
Drop-In Hours
2:30pm – 4:30pm 
9:00am – 11:00am
1:00pm – 3:00pm
10:00am – 12:00pm

Leading Lines Ed Tech Podcast with
Chris Parrish

In this episode, we hear from Christopher Parrish, senior vice president and portfolio general manager at 2U. In this interview, John Sloop, Vanderbilt’s associate provost for education development and technologies, talks with Chris Parrish from 2U about 2U’s model for online education, why 2U’s standard university partnership is a ten-year commitment, and where Chris Parrish sees online education going in the next decade. 
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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