January 2018
Celebration of Learning: An Exhibition of Students as Producers

On Monday, January 29th, the Center for Teaching will hold a Celebration of Learning, an exhibition of students as producers. The event will feature posters, presentations, and performances by students from all over campus, sharing what they have learned, created, designed, and discovered. The event will provide the Vanderbilt community with a picture of immersive student learning across the colleges and schools.
We are inviting faculty and other instructors to recommend students to participate in the Celebration of Learning. We are particularly interested in showcasing work done by students as part of courses taught at Vanderbilt. Have you asked your students to tackle open-ended problems, to operate with a degree of autonomy, or to share their work with wider audiences? Please think about students who might share a project from calendar year 2017.

We’re interested in all types of student projects—podcasts, policy briefs, Wikipedia entries, service-learning projects, digital stories, human-centered design, Twitter fiction, original research, whatever! Most students will share posters or other visual representations of their work, but a few time slots will be available for readings, viewings, and performances. If you’d like to recommend a student, but aren’t sure how they might participate, just let us know and we’ll help you brainstorm.
To recommend a student, have them complete this participation form by January 12th. You can wait until the end of the fall semester to decide whom to recommend, or go ahead and recommend a student whose project is already complete. Please don’t invite all your students to participate; select one or two, or perhaps students who worked together on a group project. We are looking to instructors to help us identify students who have done interesting work.
If you’re interested in attending the Celebration of Learning, you can RSVP here. Questions about the event? Please contact CFT Program Coordinator Tracy Tveit.  
Crafting an Effective Teaching Statement Workshop
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: Monday, January 22nd
Time: 3-4:30pm

Location: Center for Teaching
Open to Graduate Students & Postdocs
Latest Podcast Episode on Ed Tech in Higher Education
In the latest installment, we have another interview from Open Access Week 2017. Cliff Anderson, associate university librarian for research and learning, talks with Kelly Doyle, Wikipedian in residence for gender equity at the West Virginia University Libraries. Kelly was at Vanderbilt to talk about her work at West Virginia and to assist with a Wikipedia edit-a-thon here on campus.
Cliff talks with Kelly Doyle about her rather unique position at West Virginia University, and ways she’s found to help students at West Virginia contribute to Wikipedia and make better use of it in their research.
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.
Brightspace Support Hours for December
We hope you have used the on-demand resources available on our Brightspace support site, but have you also checked out the Brightspace blog recently? In addition to important information about Vanderbilt’s course management system, the blog is where we share news and tips that will help you take advantage of all that Brightspace has to offer, such as details on the newest improvements to Brightspace. We also post videos and other resources on the blog to help you make the best use of available tools.
Beginning January 2nd, drop-in support hours will be held each week according to the following schedule:
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 of the three introduction to Brightspace workshops scheduled for January. These workshops are open to all Vanderbilt faculty, students and staff.
Date: Monday, January 8th
Time: 1:00pm-2:30pm
Location: Center for Teaching
Date: Wednesday, January 10th
Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Location: Center for Teaching
Date: Thursday, January 11th
Time: 10:00am-11:30am
Location: Center for Teaching

Happy New Year! We’re off and running here at the Center for Teaching, with a variety of opportunities for you to refine your teaching skills and experiment with new teaching practices. Looking at the semester ahead, let me draw your attention to a few highlights:
  • On January 29th, the CFT will hold a Celebration of Learning featuring posters, presentations, and performances by students from all over campus. The event continues our work exploring the theme of “Students as Producers,” engaging students not only as consumers of information, but producers of knowledge. If you have a student who has created or designed something interesting in one of your courses, you’re invited to recommend them to participate in the event. And if you’d like to get a sense of what immersive student learning looks like across the colleges and schools, please join us at the Celebration of Learning on January 29th! Details here.

  • The CFT hosts a number of learning communities in which faculty, staff, and students learn from and with each other about particular teaching and learning topics. We have four learning communities continuing this spring semester: Environmental Course Development, Disability and Learning, Teaching Design Thinking, and Lab Pedagogies. You’re welcome to join any of these communities at any time.

  • Late last spring, the CFT launched Brightspace as Vanderbilt’s new course management system. Our Brightspace support team had a busy fall semester as instructors and students learned the new system. This spring, in addition to our ongoing Brightspace support options (email, phone, drop-in office hours, and more), the Brightspace team is planning opportunities for instructors to learn more about the assignment tool and the new Learning Object Repository, which makes it easier to share instructional materials with other instructors. More info: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/brightspace.

  • We have a new cohort of Blended and Online Learning Design (BOLD) Fellows starting this spring. These graduate students will work with faculty mentors and CFT staff to design, implement, and assess online learning materials for use in Vanderbilt courses. Thanks to permanent Provost funding, the BOLD Fellows program is now open to all disciplines across campus. Look for a call for applications for the Fall 2018 cohort later this semester, and keep an eye on this newsletter for other opportunities to explore online teaching practices.
Finally, I want to say farewell and thank you to Vivian Finch, who finished her time as an Assistant Director here at the CFT in December. Vivian brought new energy and ideas to our programs and services for graduate students, and she was an enthusiastic and collegial presence on the CFT staff. We wish her the best as she moves on to new adventures.
In related news, we’re hiring. See our employment page for information on our open Assistant Director position. If you know of someone good, send them our way!
Derek Bruff, PhD
Director, Center for Teaching
Junior Faculty Spotlight:
Mary Lauren Pfieffer and Natasha McClure
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Mary Lauren Pfieffer, Nursing, and Natasha McClure, nursing, talk about their teaching philosophy and interests.
Mary Lauren Pfieffer
I currently teach in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Vanderbilt School of Nursing. Ultimately, I am preparing graduate nursing students to be primary care providers that provide care across the lifespan. Our program is in a hybrid format. Our students learn in an online and clinical setting three weeks out of the month and one week out of the month they come to campus for face-to-face education. Through this rigorous three-semester program, there is an immense amount of information that has to get relayed to the student. This makes our weeklong face-to-face block critical to the students’ overall learning experience. Meeting the needs of various student learners in a hybrid format is challenging at times but ever so rewarding as you see the students apply knowledge from the classroom in small group case sessions and in clinical performance.
My philosophy of teaching is grounded on preparing students to care for patients as advanced practice nurses. They need to critically appraise the current evidence on comprehensively caring for patients with multiple medical conditions across the lifespan. I strive to engage the students in all learning experiences either online or face-to-face to the best of my ability.  I assess the learning styles of my students and try to incorporate many teaching modalities within the classroom to meet the various needs of the students—case discussion in small groups, simulation experiences in the lab incorporated in lecture, lecturing needed content and content expert panels when appropriate.
My teaching also extends outside of the classroom. I am available in my clinical practice where we can jointly see patients and also I go to see them in their clinical sites to assess their growing skills and knowledge. I try to provide mentorship as needed to help my students be successful.  I also encourage students in their lifelong learning. New evidence is emerging daily and it is important as providers to be up to date on evidence. I try to model this in my engagement with students and show them my resources for how to continue their education post graduation. My mentorship extends after graduation, as I still am connected with my faculty mentors. 
Natasha McClure
I co-coordinate community health nursing at VUSN, a three semester course designed to prepare graduate nurses to care for patients with complex chronic disease in their future practice. I developed and maintain an academic clinical partnership with the pediatric pulmonary outpatient clinic which provides a real-world clinical learning environment for nursing students, who deliver care to patients to improve medication adherence, reduce emergency department visits, and decrease hospitalizations due to asthma.
Students learn core skills through this clinical experience that are critical for graduate nurses practicing in the primary care setting and patients receive extra clinical care at no additional cost.
I am interested in improving clinical performance evaluation methods for community health nursing and evaluating competency in core chronic disease management skills. My scholarly work focuses on the impact of home visits on healthcare utilization, as well as the impact of school based asthma interventions on children’s ability to self-monitor and report asthma symptoms.
The Office for Inclusive Excellence Announces Two New faculty Workshops for January
On Thursday, January 18th, two workshops featuring the Cornell Interactive Theater Ensemble (CITE) will be offered as part of the Faculty Insights Series.
It Depends on the Lens
This workshop presents a complex, realistic interaction of a search committee evaluating candidates during a review of submitted materials in order to stimulate discussion about the behaviors, emotions, assumptions and biases present in search committees.
Date: Thursday, January 18th
Time: Breakfast: 8:30, Workshop: 9 -11
Location: Divinity 124 Reading Room
Registration required. Register Here
Hang in There and Be Tough 
This workshop is designed for faculty members interested in focusing on nuanced classroom climate issues. It stimulates discussion about the effect of identity abrasions (created by well-intentioned faculty) on students individual self-esteem and academic performance.
Date:Thursday, January 18th
Time: Lunch: 12:30, workshop: 1 - 3
Location: Divinity 124 Reading Room
Registration required. Register Here
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