August 2021

Throughout August, the CFT will be offering a number of workshops about various technologies and strategies to help you prepare to make the transition back to the classroom.
You can find more details and full workshop descriptions of these events by visiting our August events web page.
The Flipped Classroom
Date: Wednesday, August 11th
Time: 2:00-3:00pm
Panelists: Chris Candelaria (Leadership, Policy, and Organizations), Lars Plate (Biological Sciences and Chemistry), and Heeryoon Shin (History of Art)
Faculty panelists share lessons from pandemic teaching that will shape how they have students prepare for class and what they have them do in class this fall.
Teaching With Top Hat
Date: Thursday, August 12th
Faculty Guest:
Jesse Blocher (Owen)
In this session you’ll hear about Top Hat, Vanderbilt’s student polling application. Jesse Blocher, associate professor of the practice at the Owen graduate school of management will share the ways he has used Top Hat for his classes.
Teaching for Wellbeing
Date: Tuesday, August 17th
Time: 1:00am-2:30pm
Julaine Fowlin (CFT) and Stacy Simplican (Gender and Sexuality Studies)
In this workshop, we will give an overview of wellbeing and the relationship to teaching and learning. Participants will apply the new definition to their courses and actively brainstorm ways to enhance the wellbeing for themselves and students.
Digital Media Lab Open House
Date: Monday, August 23rd
Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Digital Commons, 1101 19th Ave. South, Room 012
Facilitators: Rhett McDaniel, Tracye Davis, and Seth Shepherd
Come explore the CFT’s new Digital Media Lab! This new facility provides instructors with the software, equipment, environment, and instructional staff needed to help you learn how to create high-quality resources for your courses.
No registration is required, but adding your name to this Google form will help us know how many visitors to expect.
Inclusive Teaching
Date: Monday, August 23rd
Joe Bandy
Using case vignettes, this workshop will give participants the opportunity to explore practices of inclusive teaching that can improve their courses by engaging wider range of voices and viewpoints, by creating greater accessibility in activities and assessments, by supporting classroom civility and productive conflict, and by fostering a culture of collaboration and empowerment with students that encourages deep learning and critical thought.
Group Work that Works
Date: Tuesday, August, 24th
Time: 10:30am-12:00pm
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Ransford Pinto
Group work is an effective teaching approach that enhances student learning and encourages critical thinking and decision-making skills. In this workshop, we will explore strategies and leverage some lessons learned from last year to foster better group work during our in-person classes.
Teaching in Stereo:
Strategies for Class Participation

Date: Tuesday, August, 24th
Time: 11:00am-12:00pm
Facilitator: Derek Bruff
Zoom classes showed us that having students participate using their voices isn’t the only meaningful kind of participation. How can we take a more inclusive, accessible approach to class participation once we’re back in the classroom? Join us in person or via Zoom to learn about principles and practices to foster student participation and engagement.
Teaching Assistant Orientation
Many graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships, and while teaching assistant (TA) duties vary across departments, they all demand considerable skill and knowledge. These duties can include grading, consulting with students during office hours, leading discussion or problem sessions, teaching labs, or giving lectures.
To assist new TAs as they prepare for their duties, the Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching offers its Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) each August. 
  • Sessions at the orientation offer effective strategies for the varied teaching duties assumed by TAs and provide information on campus resources available to TAs.

  • Participants at TAO also receive an opportunity to practice their teaching skills and receive feedback on their teaching from experienced teachers.

  • Participation in the orientation can make students’ work as TAs easier and will be a valuable addition to their curriculum vitae, especially if they intend to pursue an academic career.
TAO is being held remotely via Brightspace and Zoom, August 16-18, 2021. Synchronous sessions will be from 9:00-11:00am on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Students will be expected to work asynchronously in the afternoons of those days between 12:30-2:00pm.
Visit the TAO Orientation page for details and to register.
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Teaching at Vanderbilt New Faculty Orientation
At the beginning of every academic year, the Center for Teaching hosts “Teaching at Vanderbilt,” an orientation for junior and senior faculty new to Vanderbilt.
The orientation features an introduction to strategies for launching a successful teaching career at Vanderbilt, with concurrent sessions on a variety of practical topics. Teaching at Vanderbilt is an opportunity for new faculty to meet each other and to learn how the Center for Teaching can support them throughout their Vanderbilt careers. See our orientation page for details.
Date: Thursday, August 19th
Time: 2:00-5:00pm
Buttrick Hall
Join A CFT Learning Community
The CFT hosts a number of learning communities, intended for members of Vanderbilt’s teaching community interested in meeting over time to develop deeper understandings and richer practices around particular teaching and learning topics. Consider joining one of the following learning communities: 
Queer Teaching, Queer Thriving: A Learning Community on Inclusive Teaching for All Educators
Open to all faculty, graduate students, and staff of any background, the learning community will discuss a wide variety of issues: the needs of LGBTQI+ students and faculty on campus, the complexities of gender and sexual identities, inclusive course design and teaching practices, queer pedagogies, building LGBTQI+ community, as well as educator wellness and self-care. 
Online Teaching
This faculty learning community is for Vanderbilt faculty, staff, or grad students who want to dig deeper into online and hybrid course design principles in order to create excellent socially-distanced courses. In our working group, we will explore principles of effective online teaching as described in research literature, expert accounts, and personal perspectives. 
Learning Assistant Instructors 
Learning assistants, or LAs, are undergraduates who serve as peer educators in courses that they have previously taken. Supported by training in pedagogy, they extend the reach of faculty members implementing active learning components in a course and help provide personalized experiences that increase students’ sense of belonging. In this learning community, faculty who are currently working with LAs or are considering doing so in the future will meet regularly to discuss challenges, successes, and the approaches they are trying.
Even more Brightspace Help is Now Available!
As you prepare your fall courses, keep in mind all of the Brightspace resources we offer here at the Center for Teaching including our new, expanded 7-days-per-week support schedule!

You can also find a listing of all our upcoming workshops by visiting the Brightspace worskhops page. We would love to answer your Brightspace questions, talk about different educational technologies that might work for your courses, and even help with course design questions!

In addition, the CFT has developed a template for online courses in Brightspace. If you are interested in learning more about the template to see if it might work for you, you can sign up for a 45 minute workshop with Brightspace Instructional Technologist, Erica Brandon. Erica will walk you through the elements of the template so you can use it effectively, then provide you with your own copy that you can use to build your online course in Brightspace.

To see all of the August workshop dates and to register, visit the Brightspace worskhops page.
10 Faculty Awarded
Internal Grants for Teaching

The Office of the Provost has announced the inaugural round of recipients for the Course Improvement Grant and Educational Advancement Fund. Ten faculty members across three of Vanderbilt’s schools and colleges will receive support for their teaching. 
Course Improvement Grants aim to promote excellence in teaching within a single course or course section. Funding is used to support activities such as acquiring or developing course-related materials and seminars and other programs to improve the quality of teaching, studies and experimental tests of new instructional methods and programs.
For more information about the teaching grants, including eligibility standards, proposal requirements and funding guidelines, visit the program website. See below for a complete list of awardees.
Educational Advancement Fund
  • Divya Chaudhry, senior lecturer in Asian Studies; “Improv for language learning and promoting intellectual risk-taking.”
  • Carolina Palacios, senior lecturer in Spanish; “A transformative learning approach for FL2 Spanish students.”
Course Improvement Grant
  • Tucker Biddlecombe, associate professor of choral studies; “Choral library modernization.”
  • Jessica Gilpin, senior lecturer in biological sciences; “Incorporating student feedback in introductory biology to increase learners’ sense of belonging.”
  • William Grissom, associate professor of biomedical engineering; “Cloud-hosted Python notebook for teaching biomedical signals and systems.”
  • Allison Leich Hilbun, senior lecturer in biological sciences; “Compare studies of 3D materials to creating quizzes to consider whether learning strategy outshines motivation in memory retention.”
  • Nozomi Imai, lecturer in Asian studies; “Use of Adobe editing software to make innovative learning videos for elementary Japanese classes.
  • Neil Kelley, senior lecturer and research assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences; “Restoration and rehabilitation of Vanderbilt fossil teaching collection.”
  • Asami Nakano, lecturer in Asian studies; “Incorporating Japanese cultural experiences for Japanese language course.”
  • Chiara Sulprizio, senior lecturer in classical and Mediterranean studies; “Italian language enhancement for Maymester course in Rome.”
Application deadline for the next funding round will be October 15, 2021.
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