February 2020
It’s February, which means it’s time for the CFT’s annual Celebration of Learning! This is one of my favorite events of the year, an exhibition of student projects from around campus. The CFT staff and I often help faculty take a “Students as Producers” approach to their course and assignment design, and it’s exciting to see the fruits of those assignments.
This year’s Celebration of Learning will feature designs for children’s playsets, capstone research on antibiotic resistance, a digital game about presidential campaign music, a virtual reality history of gender and technology, a video about roller coaster safety, a middle school lesson on fluorescent microscopy, and more, including projects from all four undergraduate colleges and schools.
I hope you can drop by Thursday, February 13th, between 2 and 4pm in Alumni Hall to see a picture of immersive learning across campus and get a few ideas for assignments in your courses!
In other news, I’m happy to announce that longtime CFT educational technologist Rhett McDaniel is now the CFT’s assistant director for digital media. As that list of student projects above shows, digital media is playing an increasing role in teaching and learning at Vanderbilt, and Rhett leads the CFT’s efforts to help faculty and other instructors create and use digital media in their teaching. He oversaw the launch of the CFT’s One Button Studio last year, and he’s planning new CFT programming around digital media for the coming year, working with CFT digital media specialist Carly Byer.
Rhett’s new title reflects his leadership at the CFT, his work supporting faculty and other instructors, and his contributions to the mission of the CFT. Please tell Rhett congratulations when you see him!
Teaching History: A Conversation with William Caferro
The Center for Teaching is honored to host a conversation with William Caferro, Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt Professor of History and Interim Director of Classical and Mediterranean Studies, regarding his new book, Teaching History (Wiley Blackwell). 

This will be an informal and participatory dialogue for anyone interested in teaching history, with many insights from the journey William took to write it and from the lessons he learned along the way
All faculty and students are welcome to attend. We hope you can come, participate, and celebrate the insights from Teaching History. Learn more on our events webpage.
Date: February 19th
Time: 1:00-2:30pm
Location: Center for Teaching, 1114 19th
Brightspace Support for Students
Do your students need extra help with Brightspace? The CFT has resources available for students as well as instructors! New guides for students are released regularly and can be found at 
vanderbilt.edu/brightspace, including our brand new guide on submitting large video files using Kaltura.
VandyVox Podcast Prepares for its Third Season!
The Vanderbilt Center for Teaching and Vanderbilt Student Media are excited to announce that Vandy Vox will return for a third sesaon! VandyVox showcases the best of student-produced audio at Vanderbilt University.
We hope that VandyVox gives listeners a sense of the creative and critical media produced by students at Vanderbilt, and that it inspires faculty and students to consider ways that audio production might enhance their teaching and learning.
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.
We are always looking for innovative and creative audio to showcase. If you know of student audio we might feature on VandyVox, please let us know!
Three Upcoming
Graduate Student/Postdoc Workshops

Crafting an Effective Teaching Statement

In this workshop, we will address best practices for writing a teaching statement/philosophy for the academic job market. This workshop is open to Vanderbilt graduate students & Postdocs from across the disciplines who want to improve their teaching portfolio materials. All teaching experience levels are welcome.
Date: Tuesday, February 4th
Time: 12:30-2:00 pm
Location: CFT Classroom
Facilitator: Chad Carpenter, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow
Open to Vanderbilt Graduate Students & Postdocs

Developing a Written Diversity Statement

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.
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: Friday, February 21
Time: 1:00-2:30 pm
Location: CFT Classroom
Facilitators: Rachel Gould and Leah Roberts, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow
Open to Vanderbilt Graduate Students & Postdocs

Teaching 101

Have you been thrust into an instructional role for which you feel unprepared? Are you a multi-semester teacher who wants a refresher on some of the basics? Regardless of your teaching experience, this workshop will provide practical, concrete guidance on the mechanics of teaching and classroom presence, with an eye towards small tweaks and adjustments that can have large impacts on classroom dynamics, student learning, and instructor confidence. By the end of the session, participants will be able to:
  • organize and structure class sessions to maximize student understanding.
  • describe and implement techniques to speak more confidently and present more effectively for student engagement.
  • design and put into practice classroom activities that increase authentic participation and meaningful conversations.

: Monday, March 23rd

Time: 12:30-2:00 pm
Location: CFT Classroom
Facilitator: Chelsea Yarborough, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow

Open to Vanderbilt Graduate Students & Postdocs


Junior Faculty Spotlights:
Brittany Haskell and
Denis Zhernokleyev 
Each year, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Brittany Haskell, Nursing, and Denis Zhernokleyev, German, Russian and East European Studies, talk about some of the most useful lessons they have gotten from the Fellowship.
Brittany Haskell
Being a nurse educator encompasses two skillsets, knowing current nursing science and utilizing current nursing education science. The former we excel at, and the later we oftentimes do not consider enough. I feel fortunate to be a part of the 2019-2020 cohort of nursing faculty participating in the Junior Faculty Teaching Fellowship (JFTF), which has supported my growth as an educator by providing a thoughtful space to reflect on and refine my teaching skills.
Through group JFTF activities, I better appreciated the value of a cohesive teaching community to enhanced teaching outcomes. For example, brainstorming with peer educators during JFTF seminars allowed us to identify effective ways to increase student engagement in educational activities. In my case, I learned how to apply theories of debriefing such as the 3-D Model of Debriefing and Plus/Delta Debriefing to enhance student engagement and learning after visits to a patient’s home. The group dynamic also let me build on the experience of others as the group, instead of the individuals, honed their skills. 
Through individual JFTF activities, I valued the space to consider practical application of backward design to a course I am teaching in now. In the fall, I focused on refining student role playing activities and streamlining Brightspace content. In the spring, I look forward to implementing and evaluating those changes.
Most importantly, JFTF highlighted the necessity for those in nursing education to be lifelong learners of nursing science and nursing education science. Vanderbilt University is fortunate to have the Center for Teaching, and I look forward to participating in their future educational opportunities

As a young professor, busy with full-time teaching, I was looking for an occasion to reassess my pedagogy in a meditative and systematic manner. The Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows program offered me such opportunity.
The program appealed to me because of its attention to the practical side of teaching. Every semester I teach a variety of different classes: language, survey lectures, and writing seminars. Hearing other teachers reflect on how they deal with the use of technology in the classroom, grading and responding to different types of student assignments, teaching different kinds of writing, integrating campus resources such as the writing studio into their classrooms, maximizing effectiveness of the office hour visits etc. helped me re-assess the structure of my own courses.
The JFTF seminar was a wonderful context in which to discuss specific pedagogic strategies. A group of five young professors, all from different disciplines, reflected on what we wanted our students to learn and together decided on how to advance and assess that learning. The seminar included a practical segment, a workshop where we helped each other revise new courses.  An opportunity to discuss my syllabus with colleagues from different disciplines helped me see my course from new perspectives.
The staff members at the Center for Teaching are not only passionate teachers themselves but also scholars of pedagogy who, in addition to expert advice, can direct teachers to valuable resources. Help at the center is available in every form, everything from personal consultations to general course observations and follow-up group discussions. Time spent at the center would be a valuable investment in every teacher’s pursuit of effective pedagogy. ________________________
We are now accepting applications for the 2020-21 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 2020-2021 are eligible to apply.
Application Deadline: Thursday, April 30
For more details on the program or to apply, visit the JFTF webpage  
The Traveling Stanzas:
Poets for Science
The Traveling Stanzas is an interactive exhibit that will be on display in the lobby of Buttrick Hall from Monday, Feb 3rd at 12 pm until Wednesday, Feb 5th at 4PM.  The Wick Poetry Center at Kent State University has driven innovation and generated national distinction for over three decades through its award-winning Traveling Stanzas project, which brings poetry to people’s everyday lives in communities around the world.
At the inaugural March for Science, a global demonstration centered in Washington DC, a special edition of Traveling Stanzas titled Science Stanzas provided an opportunity for participants to discover the intersection of expressive writing and scientific inquiry.  The highlight of the display is twenty 7-foot banners with science-themed poems curated by Jane Hirshfield. Additionally, participants will develop emergent poems and work on a community thread poem to be read at the NASEM Town Hall.
Branches from the Same Tree: The Integration of the Humanities and Arts with Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Higher Education
On Feb 4th in the Student Life Center, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine  and Vanderbilt University will hold a Town Hall – Branches from the Same Tree: The integration of the humanities and arts with science, engineering, and medicine in higher education.  The town hall will be held on Feb 4th with a reception at 4:00-4:30 pm and the panel discussion from 4:30-6:00 pm. Panelists will include Kate Daniels, Jay Clayton, David Weintraub, Charles Malone (Wick Poetry Center), Austen Applegate (NASEM), and David Wright (moderator). 
The panel will discuss the important roles for the humanities in communicating science, approaches for the integration of the humanities and arts with science, how this improves support for science, promotes understanding of its wider relevance to society, and encourages more informed decision-making at all levels, from government to communities to individuals.
Share this newsletter
Follow The CFT Online
facebook logotwitter logoreflectreflect
©2016 Vanderbilt University · The Center for Teaching 
1114 19th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: 615-322-7290 Fax: 615-343-8111
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.