November 2019
Derek Bruff
From The Director
I’m excited to announce two new offerings from the Center for Teaching!
The CFT is the new home for the University Courses program, launched in 2016 by the Provost’s Office to encourage and support “cross-college” teaching as part of the Academic Strategic Plan. I’ve been impressed with the vibrant partnerships the program has fostered, as well as the creative and experiential teaching strategies used across the program. I’m looking forward to working with current and future University Courses faculty as they practice interdisciplinary team teaching and engage students in deep learning. Proposals for the next cohort of University Courses are due November 22nd.
The CFT’s new One Button Studio is now available for faculty and other instructors to use in support of their teaching. The One Button Studio is an automated video studio that can be used without any previous video production experience. Users simply plug a flash drive into a USB port and push a button to start recording. All of the lighting, audio, and video equipment is pre-set. Faculty are encouraged to use the studio to create educational videos for student review, flipped classrooms, online teaching, and more. Drop in to see the studio, or schedule an appointment.
The One Button Studio is the first of several new digital media services the CFT is rolling out this academic year, thanks to CFT educational technologist Rhett McDaniel and the CFT’s newest staff member, Carly Byer, who joined in October as a digital media specialist. Carly is a recent graduate of Belmont University, where she studied video production and design communication. She worked as a videographer, video editor, and studio manager before joining the CFT. Rhett and Carly are available to help faculty create and use digital media, including video and audio, in their teaching.

Welcome to the CFT, Carly!

Two Upcoming
Teaching Science Lunches
Sara Brownell, Associate Professor - School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University
Towards more inclusive active learning classrooms: How groups of students are differentially impacted by active learning 

Join Professor Sara Brownell at a Science Teaching Lunch as she discusses her lab’s work investigating some “off-target” effects of active learning. Professor Brownell writes, “To what extent do students experience college science classrooms differently because of their social identities? How has transitioning traditional lecture courses to active learning spaces impacted students? What can instructors do to create more inclusive college science classrooms? While there are well-established inequities in the representation of certain social identities in college biology courses, relatively little attention has been paid to possible inequities in the experiences of students in college biology courses.
This talk will focus on how the increased number of social interactions between students and instructors and among students in active learning classrooms can have both positive and negative impacts on students.  I will present work on LGBTQ+ students and students with anxiety, as well as highlight some concrete strategies to promote inclusion.”

Lunch will be offered on a first-come/first-served basis. Friday, November 22, 12-1pm, MRBIII 1202.

Jenny Knight, Associate Professor-Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Boulder
Improving student learning through understanding reasoning and problem-solving practices

Join the Biological Sciences Department on Monday, December 2, 3:30-5:15, to consider different teaching practices as part of their ongoing seminar series. Undergraduate Learning Assistants will present posters on questions such as, “Which clicker questions promote the most discussion?” during tea time from 3:30-4:10, followed by Professor Jenny Knight’s seminar.
Professor Knight writes, “Classroom practices affect student behavior, and by extension, their learning.  Through studying how students discuss clicker questions in active learning classrooms, we have found that students rarely use reasoning when answering in-class questions. However, their use of reasoning increases when they are cued to use reasoning by their instructors, by peer Learning Assistants, or when under pressure of accountability. Can students transfer in-class group practices to individual assessment opportunities that require reasoning and logic?
To answer this, we are studying how students independently solve complex genetics problems through written documentation of their problem-solving processes. We analyze their answers for correctness, use of reasoning, and other cognitive and metacognitive processes.
We have also collected data on whether giving students content “hints” or modeling of problem-solving processes improves their ability to solve similar problems, or changes their problem-solving.  Ideally, this work will lead to an understanding of how to better help students become life-long problem-solvers.”
Teaching Writing Workshops
Over the course of the academic year, the Writing Studio leads a faculty workshops focused on different aspects of teaching writing.
Workshops provide participants with current research, strategies for best practices, and a forum for discussing how these approaches might be adapted to teaching writing in their disciplines. This workshop is open to all writing instructors.
Scaffolding Writing Across the Semester
December 10th
, 11:00- 12:30
Participants will learn how to use backward design to scaffold writing projects and assignments throughout the semester. They will also have the opportunity to workshop syllabi for courses with writing components. Participants should bring a draft of a syllabus they wish to redesign.
Let us know you’re coming!

This program cosponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and the Graduate School offers Ph.D. students and postdocs a chance to reflect on the ways that gender affects their experience as they begin their professional journey in the academy.
Negotiating your First cademic job
Date: Wednesday, December 4th
Time: 12-1:30
Location: Buttrick 123

For more information, visit the Women's Center website.
University Courses Proposals Due November 22nd
Faculty proposals for the 2020 cycle of University Courses are due Friday, Nov. 22. The Center for Teaching is the new home of the University Courses program, and invites applications from faculty members for innovative, interdisciplinary, team-taught courses that engage students in deep learning.
The University Courses program was launched by the Office of the Provost in 2016 to encourage and support “cross-college” teaching, one of the cornerstones of the Academic Strategic Plan. Faculty from all of Vanderbilt’s colleges and schools have participated in the program, introducing 16 new interdisciplinary courses on topics such as historic black Nashville, health care disparities, design thinking and artificial intelligence.
Up to three new University Courses will be approved by a faculty committee for 2020, each of which will be funded for three offerings over a five-year span. Vanderbilt faculty interested in interdisciplinary team teaching are encouraged to read the call for proposals on InfoReady or reach out to the Center for Teaching to discuss ideas for new University Courses.
Learning at Play: A One-day Symposium on Games for Learning and Social Change
Games, both analog and digital, can immerse players in other worlds and give them experiences that help them see their own worlds in new ways. Play, structured or otherwise, can create opportunities to reflect, grow, and learn. During this one-day symposium, we will explore the ways that games and simulations can be used to foster learning and social change, both in and out of the classroom.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, the Curb Center, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the Comparative Media Analysis and Practice program, Learning at Play features a day of talks, panels, and games. The keynote will be provided by Mark Sample, associate professor and chair of digital studies at Davidson College, whose teaching and research includes software studies, video games, and other forms of algorithmic culture.
Learning at Play will be held on Friday, November 8th, at the Curb Center. Registration is now full, but if you’re interested in the event and would like to be on the wait list, please contact CFT program coordinator Tracy Tveit.
New Book from CFT Director, Derek Bruff
Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College 

Arguing that teaching and learning goals should drive instructors’ technology use, not the other way around, CFT director Derek Bruff’s new book explores seven research-based principles for matching technology to pedagogy. Through stories of creative and effective use of educational technology by faculty and other instructors, including several from Vanderbilt, Bruff provides both inspiration and practical strategies for teaching with technology.
Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College was published this fall by West Virginia University Press as part of their “Teaching and Learning in Higher Education” series edited by James Lang and Derek Krissoff. For more information on the book, see Derek Bruff’s website, Agile Learning, or check Intentional Tech out of the CFT library. 
Making your Brightspace Course More Accessible to Your Students with Disabilities
If you are interested in making your Brightspace course more accessible to your students with disabilities, we have a new blog post from the Brightspace support team that provides four options and setting you can use to begin when making your course more accessible.

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 2020-2021 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 2020.
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.
Learn more about each of these positions and apply online by visiting the CFT's employment opportunities page. 
Applications for all three types of positions are due Tuesday,
January 21st, 2020.
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