March 2022
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Online and Hybrid Teaching
Working Group
In this series of three meetings via Zoom, our group will explore experiential teaching online through the lens of telecollaboration, online community engagement, and online course design. Join us for one, two or all three of these conversations in which we will explore resources and challenges associated with experiential online and hybrid courses.   
Tuesday, March 29, 3-4pm
Online Community Engagement

Online community engagement allows students to engage in service and practical learning experiences even when they cannot be physically present in a community.
For this meeting, we will prepare by listening to an interview with experts in online community engagement, then meet together at 3pm to discuss how this form of experiential online learning might apply to our contexts.

Tuesday, April 19, 3-4pm
Experiential Online Course Design

There are a variety of existing models for designing experience-based online courses
. For this meeting, we will prepare by reading an overview of the most widely used experiential models, then meet together at 3pm to discuss our challenges and next steps in designing experiential online courses.

Email Stacey M. Johnson at with any questions.
Queer Teaching, Queer Thriving
Learning Community

The Center for Teaching and the K.C. Potter Center for LGBTQI Life are proud to continue our Queer Teaching, Queer Thriving learning community in 2021-2022 with a conversation and workshop hosted by Stephanie Mahnke, Vanderbilt’s new Director of the KCPC and LGBTQI Life.
Building upon our Fall conversations about LGBTQI+ well-being and Queer Pedagogy, this discussion will help faculty and staff take practical steps in their teaching to support LGBTQI+ students. After introductions to a useful model of inclusion, participants will discuss areas for possible improvement in their teaching and ways they may move towards greater inclusion and equity.
This discussion will take place March 25th, 11:30am-1:00pm and is open to all faculty, grad students, and staff of any background. If you are interested in attending and have not already registered for this learning community in the past, please register here and we will contact you as the event draws near.  

Preparing Syllabi for Your
First Faculty Job
This working group will support graduates students and postdocs who will be new faculty in the Fall of 2022 and expected to teach their own classes.  

Starting a new faculty position is stressful and demanding; the CFT hopes to ease this transition by helping graduating doctoral students and postdocs create their needed syllabi in advance of the upcoming school year. As such, this learning community will provide camaraderie, resources, and accountability for the work of syllabi development. Our first session will include a brief presentation about Understanding by Design for course development (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998), introductions of group participants, and goal setting for the duration of the group. At each subsequent meeting, participants will share their progress on their syllabi development goals, discuss any obstacles, and update goals for the next meeting.  

Meetings will begin the week of March 21st and occur via zoom, every other week, on Wednesday or Thursday afternoons; specific meeting time with be determined in collaboration with participants. The first meeting will be 60 minutes; subsequent meetings will be 30 minutes. Please email Sara Eccleston for more information.

Podcasting Essentials:
What you need to know to launch your own podcast
Have you ever listened to a podcast and been inspired to make one of your own? You can! Producing academic podcasts around your course topics is a great way to help your students learn. In addition, your podcast would be accessible to the nearly 118 million podcast listeners all over the world.

In this session, you’ll have a chance to visit the new Digital Media Lab in the Digital Commons building at 1101 19th Ave. South and become familiar with the hardware and software you'll need to create a professional sounding podcast, You'll also learn about other important aspects of successful podcasts like finding sources for music and sound elements, uploading and storing audio files, listing your podcast on Spotify and Apple, and designing your podcast artwork.
Date: Wednesday, March 9th
Time: 2-3:30pm
Location: Digital Commons, Room 012
Facilitator: Rhett McDaniel
Pham and Cravens explore
“What Students Value Most”
in online degree programs
Associate professor of the practice in LPO Xiu Cravens and Vanderbilt doctoral alumnus Lam Pham recently published an analysis of student experiences in an online Ed.D. program, identifying key program characteristics and structures for promoting student engagement and satisfaction in a fully online program.
Pham, who is currently an assistant professor in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development at NC State University, initiated this project as part of the CFT’s BOLD program* in 2018-2019 while he was working toward his Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
During that project, the pair made some initial observations that inspired them to continue and extend the collaboration, bringing on board NC State doctoral student Gage Matthews. The collaboration resulted in. . .[READ MORE]
Junior Faculty Spotlight: 
Ibby Cizmar 
Each year, the CFT highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Ibby Cizmar, a Theatre faculty member who specializes in Acting and Directing, talks about some of the lessons she has gained from the Fellowship on the CFT blog.
Through the JFTF program I have established connections with colleagues across disciplines and identified overlapping challenges across fields.Having a fellowship of colleagues creates a supportive environment where we problem solve and share innovative ideas to improve our teaching and pedagogical strategies. Specifically, I have been working on. . .[READ MORE] 

We are now accepting applications for the 2022-23 Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows program.
The program is designed to help you:
  • Build understanding of principles of learning to inform your teaching
  • Stock your teaching toolkit with new skills and approaches
  • Develop a framework for course design
  • Build teaching community
Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows receive $2000 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching. Tenure-track and non-tenure track, full-time faculty who will be in their second through sixth year in 2021-2022 are eligible to apply.
Application Deadline: Monday, May 2
For more details on the program or to apply, visit the JFTF webpage.
Spring Internal Grants

The Office of the Provost supports two internal funding programs, the Educational Advancement Fund and the Course Improvement Grant, designed to support excellence in the classroom through continued pedagogical advancement and long-term educational transformation.

The Educational Advancement Fund supports longer term educational transformations and the Course Improvement Grants aim to promote excellence in teaching within a single course (or course section). Recipients in 2021-2022 include 21 faculty members across five of Vanderbilt’s schools and colleges.

To learn more about the recipients and their projects, visit the internal teaching grants recipients webpage. The deadline to submit for the upcoming second round is May 2, and funds will be available on July 1. Interested faculty can submit applications online using InfoReady Review.  All full-time, VU employed (Provost-reporting) faculty are eligible regardless of tenure status.  Graduate students and post-docs are ineligible.

Visit the Educational Advancement Fund and Course Improvement Grants webpages for more information about the program, including eligibility standards, proposal requirements, funding guidelines, and selection criteria.

Any additional questions about these two programs can be directed to Cynthia Brame, associate director of the Center for Teaching.   
Course Design Institute on
Inclusive Teaching
We invite you to join in our Course Design Institute on the theme of Inclusive Teaching.  This virtual event will take place via Brightspace and Zoom, May 16 – 19 (9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and 9-12:30pm Thursday). During the four-day institute, participants will (re)design courses with careful attention to the ways they can help all students thrive through greater belonging and engagement.  In the institute we will explore a variety of facets of inclusive teaching, especially…
  • Motivating and challenging all students, regardless of their identity or background
  • Engaging a diverse range of voices and perspectives for dynamic and critical dialogue
  • Helping all students better understand – and cooperate across – differences
  • Developing trusting and productive dialogues about difficult subjects
  • Providing accessible and supportive assignments and activities
  • Closing performance and persistence gaps across the curriculum
  • Ensuring all students are meaningfully involved in their own learning and experience intellectual, social, and emotional growth
Throughout the Institute’s events, participants will…
  • Learn strategies for designing courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments foster inclusion and equity
  • Work collaboratively in a mix of small- and large-group sessions to refine and apply these strategies to diverse teaching contexts
  • Expand a peer network of Vanderbilt educators dedicated to inclusion and equity
  • Develop a (re)designed syllabus and course plans for the coming semesters
If you are interested in attending the Course Design Institute on Inclusive Teaching, please register here.  If you have further questions, please contact the CFT’s Joe Bandy at or Stacey Johnson at
Student-Produced Podcasts with Stacey M. Johnson and Derek Bruff
In this episode, Leading Lines’ own Stacey Margarita Johnson and Derek Bruff discuss student-produced podcasts. Stacey and Derek share their own experiences with podcast assignments and, by searching through the Leading Lines rich archives, also bring in voices from past episodes so we can hear their stories as well.
To hear the podcast episodes you've missed, visit the Leading Lines website, search for “Leading Lines” in iTunes, or subscribe via RSS.  You can also follow us on Twitter, @LeadingLinesPod
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Vanderbilt University is committed to providing universal access to all of our events.
Please contact Juliet Traub at or 615-322-7290 to request disability accommodations. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.

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