February 2018
Celebration of Learning Provides Snapshot of Immersive Student Learning at Vanderbilt
The CFT hosted a Celebration of Learning Jan. 29 that featured 34 student projects, posters and presentations from across campus. Students from six colleges and schools exhibited digital timelines, service learning projects, computer games, manufacturing equipment, podcasts, lab research and other products of their work.
“The goal of the event was to provide a picture of immersive student learning at Vanderbilt and to inspire instructors to engage their students not only as consumers of information, but producers of knowledge,” Derek Bruff, CFT director, said.
More than 100 faculty, staff and students attended the event in Alumni Hall, which featured three rooms of student work: an exhibition hall with posters and projects, a digital media hall featuring podcasts and more, and a presentation hall with screenings and talks.
“It was a pleasure to see such a wide variety of student projects, both in medium and discipline,” said Cynthia Cyrus, vice provost for learning and residential affairs. “I’m grateful for the students who shared their work, and for the faculty and staff members who mentored and supported them.”
A student-faculty panel explored the teaching and learning dynamics in courses that lead to projects like the ones shown in the exhibition, and the event concluded with prizes in three categories as voted on by event attendees.
For more on the event, including examples of student projects, see this myVU article.
Latest Podcast Episodes on Ed Tech in Higher Education
The latest pair of episodes look at the use of laptops in the classroom. Both episodes blow up the assumption that laptops are for notetaking, and they push back on that transmission model of college teaching. Both episodes also explore the use of active learning classrooms, classrooms that are outfitted with a range of educational technologies, from movable furniture to whiteboards to good wifi to AV systems, designed to support active and collaborative learning.
In the first interview, we talk with astronomy professor Cornelia Lang about how she uses an active learning classroom in her “Big Ideas” course at the University of Iowa. For the second episode, we continue the converstation about active learning classrooms with Christopher Brooks, director of research at EDUCAUSE, the higher education technology association.
To listen to the podcasts, visit the Leading Lines website, search for “Leading Lines” in iTunes, or subscribe via RSS.  You can also follow us on Twitter, @LeadingLinesPod.
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 at 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 an 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 21st, 2018.
Learn more about each of these positions and apply online by visiting the CFT's employment opportunities page.
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“Students as Producers”
Course Design Institute
May 7-9

The CFT invites Vanderbilt faculty members to apply to its 2018 Course Design Institute on the theme of “Students as Producers.” During the three-day institute (May 7-9, 2018) participants will design (or redesign) courses that engage students not only as consumers of information, but producers of knowledge. Proposals for museum acquisitions written by students in a course on African-American art. MRI machines built by engineering students in a design course. A class podcast on the latest healthcare policy research. Video documentaries created by future teachers to explore social and philosophical aspects of education. These are just some of the products of student learning created in courses taught by Vanderbilt faculty who have adopted the “Students as Producers” approach to course design. Through this year’s Course Design Institute, the CFT continues its efforts to support instructors in building these high-impact teaching practices into their courses. Course Design Institute participants will…
  • Learn and apply a process for designing courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments are aligned;
  • Enhance their understanding of how students learn and apply that understanding to teaching in their disciplines;
  • Design assignments that foster deep learning by engaging students in meaningful, generative work; and
  • Expand their network of fellow Vanderbilt educators, connecting with peers with similar teaching interests.
Participants will leave the institute with plans for courses to be taught in the following academic year. Additionally, each participate will receive $500 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching.
"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

“The Course Design Institute is a really great way to get back into contact with teaching pedagogies in a short, quick, easy to digest three-day period.”

Rebecca VanDiver, Assistant Professor of the History of Art, 2016 participant
For more on the Course Design Institute experience, read stories from past CDI participants.  For more information or to apply, visit the Course Design Institute website.
Applications are due Sunday, March 11th. 
Junior Faculty Spotlight:
Carol Ziegler
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Carol Ziegler, Nursing, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests.
Carol Ziegler
I teach in Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing in the MSN and DNP programs. In my role as faculty, I have the great pleasure of teaching in a wide range of courses that focus on the development of diverse skillsets and the mixed delivery format supported by VUSN affords extensive creativity in content development and delivery. I coordinate Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning, Fundamentals of Global Health; Addressing Health Disparities, and Planetary Health, Policy and Social Justice. As a nurse educator, my goal is to facilitate the development of excellent clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills in our students, equipping future advanced practice nurses with the ability to rapidly adapt to a multitude of environments and clinical situations to meet community and patient needs. We strive to nurture leadership qualities and advocacy skills in our students so that they may emerge as leaders in promoting health equity on the global stage. To that end, it is important to motivate them to identify and develop their own passions and interests, and equip them with the tools to be excellent clinicians as well as effective patient and community advocates on the front lines of the fight for health equity and improved access to quality care.
I tend to teach from a bi-directional approach, utilizing both an integrative problem-focused, project-based approach as well as a more theoretical deconstructivist framework. This bi-directional approach enables students with different learning styles to develop solid scaffolding for developing complex clinical decision making skills in context, enabling them to assess diverse and complex clinical situations from a broad angle and develop evidence-based, holistic, creative, and patient/community-centered solutions. I try to facilitate learning by developing assignments that require students to integrate course content and apply it in a meaningful way in various contexts. Decontextualized information is essentially dehumanized information, so I often utilize case-based scenarios in my courses to facilitate learning. It is wonderfully inspiring to see our students move from novices to experts to nurse leaders, increasing access to affordable and quality healthcare for patients and communities.
Brightspace Support and Workshops for February

During drop-in hours, faculty and staff who have Brightspace-related questions can stop by the workshop space of the CFT (even without an appointment) and find a team of specialists ready to assist.
We can get you up to speed with Brightspace’s new features, assist with building your course content, or help you solve technical problems
Mondays 9-11am / 2-4pm
Tuesdays 9-11am
Wednesdays 2-4pm
Fridays 9-11am
In addition to the drop-in support hours, you can also attend one these Brightspace workshops scheduled for February. These workshops are open to all Vanderbilt faculty, students and staff.
Setting up Assignment Submission
Date: Tuesday, February 13th
Time: 1:00pm-2:00pm
Location: Center for Teaching

Date: Monday, February 26th
Time: 2:00pm-3:00pm

Location: Center for Teaching


Grading with the Assignments Tool

Tuesday, February 13th
Time: 2:00pm-3:00
Location: Center for Teaching


Date: Monday, February 26th
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm
Location: Center for Teaching

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