Pew FTLC: Late April 2024
Pew FTLC: Late April 2024
Grand Valley State University
Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center
Grand Valley Marching Band sculpture
April 25, 2024

Finals Reflection

Whether you are most looking forward to rest, renewal, research, refinement, reconnection or reflection, I hope the coming months are good for you. The Pew FTLC is hosting a wide range of professional development options (the opportunities below have a few spots remaining) and we are always available for confidential, individual consultations on the topic of your choice. I have been gathering a treasure trove of resources to share with you. After a short pause, we will be back in a few weeks with another link-rich offering and a relaxed spring/summer schedule. 
It is truly a gift and an honor to work with talented and dedicated colleagues across this university. My best to you and yours as the semester wraps up. 

Christine Rener
How can YOU give students a powerful introduction to their GV journey?
The Strong Start Teaching Institute sharpens faculty focus on proven strategies for engaging first-year undergraduates. This initiative explores vital themes through collaborative learning:
  • Clarity of academic expectation
  • Fostering a sense of belonging at GVSU and in our classrooms
  • Familiarity with available student resources
  • Active learning strategies to boost engagement, motivation, and achievement
Whether you're new to teaching or seeking to enhance your courses, this Institute is designed for you. With both in-person and asynchronous elements, the program is suited to instructors from various experience levels and disciplines. For more details, visit the Strong Start page.

Only 15 spots left! Priority will be given to adjunct, affiliate, and visiting faculty. Register by April 26th to secure your spot.
Register for the Spring 2024 Strong Start Teaching Institute

Exploring Study Away at GVSU

Whether a week- or semester-long trip, faculty-led learning within the U.S. are often referred to as “study away” opportunities. Whether you are already engaged in study away (or study abroad) programs or have an exploratory interest, please consider joining a group of faculty and staff for a conversation about study away that will address:
  • Planning, implementing and assessing study away program
  • Sharing experiences and lessons learne
  • Brainstorming ideas and potential collaborations
  • Pursuing outside funding opportunities
Session facilitators: Peter Wampler and Peter Riemersma, faculty leaders of the Water in the West program, Christine Rener from the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center, and Kate Stoetzner from the Padnos International Center.

Inclusive Teaching is Better Teaching

Inclusive teaching is a commitment by educators to support diverse student needs, interests, and abilities, shaping not only classroom dynamics but also course and curriculum design.

The Inclusive Excellence Teaching Institute (IETI) will equip both Affiliate and Tenure-Track faculty with the tools to enhance inclusivity in their teaching. Drs. Chasity Bailey-Fakhoury and Sherry Johnson will lead this transformative experience. 
Learn more about IETI here!

Only 7 spots remain! Register today!
Register for the Inclusive Excellence Teaching Institute

Campus novels spotlight the human comedy of academe. Wherever you are in July, join us Fridays 3-4 in Zoom to discuss a book. Register for one or as many as you like, and FTLC will send you the print or audio version, your choice. Open to GVSU faculty & staff.

July 5, 3-4 PM
Changing Places: A Tale of Two Campuses (1984) by 
David Lodge
At an English Department party an assistant professor gets tipsy and jokes about having never read Hamlet. Several years later, the incident is raised when he goes up for tenure…

Register for JULY 5: Changing Places

July 12, 3-4 PM

Adjunctivitis (2013)
Gordon Haber
An adjunct writing instructor tries to land a tenure-track position. 

The author of this novella will join our discussion!
Register for JULY 12: Adjunctivitis

July 19, 3-4 PM
Dear Comm
ittee Members (2014) by 
Julie Schumacher
This epistolary novel is told entirely in letters of recommendation in which a tenured professor bemoans his colleagues, students, administration, the state of academe in general, and his own undistinguished career.

Register for JULY 19: Dear Committee Members

July 26, 3-4 PM
Real Life
 (2020) by 
Brandon Taylor
A queer Black graduate student in biomedical science comes of age in a White midwestern college town.

Register for JULY 26: Re
al Life
Learn More About Summer Book Club

Spring + Summer 2024 Learning Communities:

Are you eager to connect with fellow faculty and staff and engage in enriching discussions tailored to your interests? Consider joining or leading a Spring/Summer Learning Community (LC).

The Spring/Summer 2024 LCs listed below are now accepting members—click on a title to see the full description:

  • ADHD & Higher EducationHow might basic knowledge of explicitly designed instruction and other evidence-based practices assist with successfully supporting those with ADHD at the university level?
  • Generations — How might greater understanding of the characteristics of our students, as compared to those of previous cohorts and our own demographic, help us connect with and teach them more effectively?
  • Transforming the College ClassroomHow might creating a classroom environment that is conducive to learning benefit students for the world beyond college?
  • Four Thousand Weeks - Time Management for Mortals — Do you feel there is never enough time to get things done? Are you holding yourself to, and judging yourself by, standards of productivity or performance that are impossible to meet?
  • Cheating, Yesterday and Today  In the age of AI, how can instructors foster academic honesty?
  • Teaching with AI — AI is here—what should instructors know and do?

Visit our Current Learning Communities webpage for more information and the link to the online application.
Interested in leading a Fall 2024 LC? Have a topic you are passionate about or looking to explore? Submit an LC Letter of Intent to propose an LC.

Join Us for Our Last Installment of the Strong Start Light Lunch Series
1:00  2:00pm, JHZ 3068     •     
Tuesday May 7th

Let's gather one final time to reflect on the past year's teaching challenges and triumphs, and strategize for a successful 2024-25. Join us as we share experiences and set our sights on a strong start to the new academic year.
Please RSVP by emailing

Magna Digital Library  Self-Enroll Now!

For your reading and viewing pleasure, we subscribe to the Magna Digital Library. There are over 400 programs that include 20-minute and longer-form videos, presentation handouts, sample assignments, and more. In each of the upcoming newsletters, we will be highlighting one of the 14 topical areas and offering a curated set of programs. You can access this in several ways, but we recommend self-enrolling in the Blackboard Organization here — just remember to log in when prompted!
Active and Engaged Students
  1. Beyond Syllabus Policies: What Strategies Help Students Take Responsibility for Learning?
  2. How Can I Get Students to Engage with Course Content Before Class?
  3. What are Five Methods that Help Students Become More Effective Learners?
  4. How Can I Use Discussion to Facilitate Learning?
To access the Magna Digital Library, first create an account.
  1. Go to
  2. In the Authorization Code box, enter the code in our last newsletter and click Submit. Please note: entering the Authorization Code is done only once. Please do not share the Authorization Code with anyone outside our campus community
  3. Once you have an account, go to and enter your email address & password & click Submit
  4. On the left side of the screen, under My Account, My Online Access, select Subscriptions. The online content you have access to will be listed. 

Partner Events

Authentic Assessment Workshop
Joint Program of eLearning Technologies and Pew FTLC
Wednesday, May 8, 2024
10am – 12pm, 3068 JHZ

Gardner Institute Teaching and Learning Academy

Available at no cost as part of our engagement in a gateway course redesign initiative - contact us for registration details, including a secret GVSU-specific code 

  • The Humanity of Inclusive Practices, July 8-19 – online synchronous course
  • Gateway Course (Re)Design Primer – asynchronous workshop 

Save the Date!

Course Refinement Workshop Series - virtual and in-person
Tuesdays, June 4 - July 30

30th Annual Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning
Thursday, August 15
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