IMPACT Insights

March 2021

IMPACT Team +1

Our team has a new student worker to help with courses and projects! Please welcome Jessica Padilla, a junior at the Corcoran School of Art and Design, majoring in Graphic Design. Jessica has had previous internships at the American Art and Portrait Gallery and the World Bank. She enjoys hiking, going on long walks, and trying out new baking recipes (whether they turn out to be a hit or a miss)! Her career aspirations include combining her passion for graphic design with an interest in medicine.

Panopto for Assignment Submissions

A list of Panopto recordings, user selects which video to submit as an assignment by clicking the radio button next to the recording, then clicking Submit video at the bottom right corner of the screen
Did you know that Panopto can be used for assignments where you’d like students to submit video recordings? Like any tool, Panopto’s Assignment Folder has some advantages and disadvantages. We are always happy to talk those through and brainstorm assignments with interested faculty.

Syllabus Tone Matters

With increasing rates of mental health issues, researchers are studying ways to help students get mental health support when they need it. Research published last month suggests that the tone of your syllabus influences how likely students are to ask for help. 
Students were more likely to seek support when the syllabus was written with a warm and friendly tone compared to a cool detached tone.
The study also found that reach-out statements that explicitly encourage students to contact the instructor for support were not as effective as a warm-toned syllabus.
Suggestions for writing a more warm-toned syllabus:
  • Use first- and second- person statements—  “We will learn… You will be able to… We are about to…”  vs. “The student will… or Students are expected to… This program is about…”
  • Provide a rationale for assignments— 1-2 sentences saying why they are doing an assignment. How does it help them practice an on-the-job skill?
  • Show compassion, humor, and enthusiasm— for example, does your statement about late assignments acknowledge the realities of working professionals or pandemic-associated challenges?  
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