October 2019
CFT Thanks Open
Classroom Hosts!
On September 9-13, classes taught by some of the most well-respected and awarded teachers across Vanderbilt’s many disciplines opened their classroom doors to faculty and graduate students.
We sincerely want to thank the many hosts (listed below) who participated in the event for their exemplary teaching and for being willing to serve as sage mentors to their colleagues. Your example and the community you help us to build through this program helps to sustain us at the CFT and to fulfill the teaching mission of Vanderbilt. Thank you.
Faculty Workshop: Supporting Effective Teaching in a Department

How can academic leaders support a department or school’s teaching mission? In this session led by staff from the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, participants will consider the ways that faculty members can refine their teaching skills over time as part of their ongoing professional development. Participants will also explore structures and resources that can be employed at the department or school level to foster teaching development in the service of greater student learning and student success.
Derek Bruff, Director, CFT
Cynthia Brame, Associate Director, CFT
Date: Tuesday, October 15
Time: 12:00-1:00
Location: Sarratt 327
This session is open to department chairs, associate deans, program directors, and those who hold similar posts.
Graduate Student/Postdoc Workshop: Developing a Written Diversity Statement  

In this workshop, we will discuss evidence-based practices for writing a diversity statement for the academic job market. Increasingly, universities and colleges are requesting that faculty job applicants provide a statement addressing how they plan to contribute to inclusive excellence in their professional lives. Sometimes, a job ad will request that applicants address diversity in the cover letter or the teaching statement, but a request for a stand-alone diversity statement is becoming more common. From the perspective of the university, the purpose of this document is to verify that an applicant has a commitment to diversity in his or her work within higher education, including scholarship, teaching, service, mentoring, and advising. From the applicant’s perspective, a diversity statement offers an opportunity to articulate the many ways one may contribute to inclusivity via their research, teaching, and service; and the challenges to this work that one may help academic institutions overcome.
This session will introduce several approaches to developing and writing a diversity statement and give participants an opportunity to begin generating ideas on their own and in small groups.
Date: Friday, November 1st
Time: 1:00-2:30 pm
Location: CFT Classroom
FacilitatorsRachel Gould, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow, and Heather Fedesco, CFT Assistant Director
Open to Vanderbilt Graduate Students & Postdocs
Teaching Writing Workshops
Over the course of the academic year, the Writing Studio leads a series of faculty workshops focused on different aspects of teaching writing.
Workshops provide participants with current research, strategies for best practices, and a forum for discussing how these approaches might be adapted to teaching writing in their disciplines. The Teaching Writing Workshop Series is open to all writing instructors.
Writing About Visual Texts
October 28th,
3:00 - 4:30 
Participants will learn about common student essay genres in art history and film studies, hear faculty and student writing advice, and examine sample assignments and student essays in order to develop familiarity with these types of assignments as well as ideas for adapting these assignments to other disciplines.
Let us know you’re coming!
Scaffolding Writing Across the Semester
December 10th
, 11:00- 12:30
Participants will learn how to use backward design to scaffold writing projects and assignments throughout the semester. They will also have the opportunity to workshop syllabi for courses with writing components. Participants should bring a draft of a syllabus they wish to redesign.
Let us know you’re coming!
Learning at Play: A One-day Symposium on Games for Learning and Social Change
Games, both analog and digital, can immerse players in other worlds and give them experiences that help them see their own worlds in new ways. Play, structured or otherwise, can create opportunities to reflect, grow, and learn. During this one-day symposium, we will explore the ways that games and simulations can be used to foster learning and social change, both in and out of the classroom.
Co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, the Curb Center, the Center for Digital Humanities, and the Comparative Media Analysis and Practice program, Learning at Play features a day of talks, panels, and games. The keynote will be provided by Mark Sample, associate professor and chair of digital studies at Davidson College, whose teaching and research includes software studies, video games, and other forms of algorithmic culture.
Learning at Play will be held on Friday, November 8th, at the Curb Center. We’ll have three morning sessions, lunch at noon, then three afternoon sessions, followed by a reception. You can drop in and out, but please register to let us know you’ll be coming and to reserve a lunch.
If you’re using games for learning or social change, we would love to have you share what you’re doing. The 3:10 session will be for lightning talks and mini-games. You can propose something for the lightning session here.

The CFT launched Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt, a blog series exploring thoughtful, creative approaches Vanderbilt instructors are using to enhance their students’ learning. Authored by CFT undergraduate intern Faith Rovenolt, the series features interviews with faculty and graduate student instructors about the how and why of their teaching innovations. To date, 11 posts have been published featuring faculty from Arts & Science, Engineering, Nursing and Peabody describing innovative approaches to active learning, group work, lab instruction and more.
Vandy Vox wraps it's Second Season!
This podcast showcases the best of student-produced audio at Vanderbilt University. Each episode features student work from a curricular or co-curricular project, including audio documentaries, radio dramas, spokenword essays, and ongoing podcasts.
Leading Lines Ed Tech Podcast Features Andrew Wesolek
Andrew Wesolek is the director of digital scholarship and scholarly communication at the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries. He is also the co-author, along with Jonathan Lashley and Anne Langley, of the new book OER: A Field Guide for Academic Librarians. OER stands for “open educational resources.” These are educational resources, including but not limited to textbooks, that are published in ways that allow students and instructors to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute them, all for free. In the interview, Andy makes the case for the value of open educational resources to higher education, in terms of both affordability and student learning, and he offers advice for faculty and librarians interested in getting started using and creating open educational resources.
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.

This program cosponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and the Graduate School offers Ph.D. students and postdocs a chance to reflect on the ways that gender affects their experience as they begin their professional journey in the academy.
Fall events are 12-1:30 and are held in Buttrick 123. Lunch is provided on a first-come basis.
  • Wednesday, September 25th
    #Academictwitter?: Building a social media presence  
  • Tuesday, October 29th
    Establishing and understanding authority in the classroom  
  • Wednesday, December 4th
    Negotiating your first academic job
For more information, visit the Women's Center website.
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