October 2017

Thank You
Open Classroom Hosts!

On September 5th and 6th the Center for Teaching hosted our program, The Open Classroom: Two Days of Teaching Visits, for the second year. The event featured 50 different hosts who graciously and bravely opened their classrooms to a total of over 75 visitors.  This gave the visitors the valuable opportunity to observe high quality teaching, discuss common challenges with an informal mentor, and refine their practice. 
At the end of the two days, the CFT hosted a reception for all of the hosts and visitors with some structured dialogue about lessons learned from the visits.  The rich conversation that ensued revealed many insights from a range of faculty perspectives across the disciplines about anything from creative assignments to discussion leading, from student engagement techniques to educational technology. In these discussions, we hope that the hosts and visitors alike found an opportunity to surpass the pedagogical isolation of day-to-day teaching, and find support and and mentorship in a community of their peers.
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.
Apply to be a BOLD Fellow!
Want to create innovative online learning experiences? Investigate the impact of the experience on your students’ learning and share the results with colleagues?
The BOLD Fellows program helps graduate students from all disciplines design and develop online learning experiences, from building online learning modules to fostering online spaces for their students to interact. Each Fellow works with a faculty member who has identified a teaching “problem” in a particular course, working to develop a potential solution, integrate it into the faculty member’s course, and gather data on its impact on student learning. The program spans two semesters: the Spring 2018 “design and development” semester, in which Fellows receive training and support as they develop their module, and the Fall 2018 “implementation and assessment” semester, in which the Fellows implement the project, gather evidence, and work with the CFT to interpret and present their results.
Graduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to identify a faculty mentor, discuss a potential project, and apply by November 13. Previous projects from STEM participants are described in the BOLD project gallery; the program is expanding to include all disciplines and encourages applications that take novel, discipline-appropriate approaches.  
The Fellowship carries a $1000 stipend and the opportunity to apply for $500 to fund travel to present the project. For more information about the program, including application information, see the CFT’s BOLD program page.
TAO Refresh:
Drop-in for an hour or stay all afternoon!
Did you just participate in Teaching Assistant Orientation this year and want to dig deeper with the basics of being a TA?  Are you resuming your TA duties this year and would like a refresher about best practices in teaching? Have you been a TA for a while, but would like to hone what you’ve been doing? Then the TAO Refresh Workshop is for you.  We will be unpacking topics such as designing a lecture, grading, office hours, and even ones you bring to the table!  Come join us for as little or as much of the workshop as you can! 
  • Facilitating Active Learning Within Your Discipline
  • “What do I do if…?”: Using Case Studies to Answer your Practical Questions
  • Grading
Facilitators: CFT Graduate Teaching Fellows
Date: Thursday, October 12th
Time: 12:30pm-3:30pm

Location: Center for Teaching
Open to Graduate Students
Register and come to any or all of the sessions!
Microaggressions in the Classroom
When teaching, it is almost guaranteed that microaggressions will take place. These seemingly small, ostensibly singular manifestations of oppression can deleteriously effect the teaching-learning environment, our students, and ourselves. As common as microaggressions are, it is equally common that educators are at times unsure of the best way to intervene, particularly in ways that maintain effective relationships with students and/or colleagues. Further, typical best practices for intervening assume the responder’s position as bystander, ignoring the ways that educators may also perpetrate or be targets of injustice.
This session aims to create an active learning community wherein current and future educators can build their capacity to respond effectively to microaggressions in the classroom. After offering some guiding principles for effective interventions, the facilitators will lead participants through a skill-building sessions that draws from participants’ own experiences and questions.
Facilitator: Amie Thurber, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow
Thursday, October 26th
Time: 3:00pm-4:30pm

Open to Graduate Students & Postdocs
Introduction to Top Hat
If you think you might want to incorporate polling in your class, then this demo session is for you!
In this web-based introductory session, Kara Dingboom, Vanderbilt’s Enterprise Account Manager at Top Hat, will help you become familiar with the basic functions and features of the product and answer any questions you have about moving your content to Top Hat from another polling system. Learn more at Top Hat at Vanderbilt.
Date: Monday, October 9th
Time:  2:00pm -3:00pm
An email with the link for you to join the webinar will be sent prior to the event.
Date: Thursday, October 26th
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm
An email with the link for you to join the webinar will be sent prior to the event.
Follow The CFT Online
facebook logotwitter logoreflectreflect
Share this newsletter
Junior Faculty Spotlight:
Jannyse Starks and Michiru Lowe
Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Jannyse Starks, School of Nursing, and Michiru Lowe, Asian Studies, talk about their teaching philosophy and interests.
Jannyse Starks
I teach in Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s (VUSN) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program. Through the FNP program, we prepare registered nurses to provide comprehensive primary care to individuals across the lifespan. I am course faculty in advanced health assessment and application, advanced pharmacotherapeutics and clinical practica. I coordinate one section of the Context of Primary Care for students pursuing dual certification in family and midwifery or emergency practice.
My philosophy of teaching has been shaped by the student population that I teach. As an instructor of adult learners, it is important for me to recognize the unique qualities that each individual brings based on their own personal life experiences. This recognition helps to shape a diverse learning environment. This is especially true in preparing students for clinical settings. Graduate nursing students may desire a strong understanding on how classroom learning will correlate with clinical practice as a student and beyond. Therefore, it is important to create assignments and facilitate discussions that are practical and representative of what may be seen in practice.
Aligned with VUSN’s mission and vision, I have a passion to increase diversity and inclusivity in the classroom and beyond. My desire is to ensure that the learning environment promotes trust, understanding, and mutual respect. To that end, it is also my goal to encourage students to be cognizant of the diverse patient population that they will encounter during their clinical practica and in practice. To help with this, I am a co-facilitator of the Community Action Poverty Simulation, which is designed to increase awareness of the realities of poverty. I believe that it is critical that health professional students and providers are aware of the impact that implicit bias has on their ability to competently care for patients.
My goals in teaching are to foster life-long learners as well as promote the advancement of advanced practice nursing. I work hard to achieve this in my teaching strategies and relationships developed with students. I believe recognizing the differences in students’ life experiences coupled with a safe, respectful and inclusive classroom are vital in developing an effective and successful learning environment.
Michiru Lowe
I have previously taught at Japanese schools in Japan and New Jersey from school age children to senior community members before I came to Vanderbilt. At any age, I believe students learn languages most effectively when they play an active role in the classroom. As an instructor, I try to create an environment where students have opportunities to initiate conversations and ask one another questions. I also believe that language education involves learning to see the world from a different perspective; it is not merely memorizing sets of rules, though this is surely important. To understand alternative viewpoints requires both reflection on differences and similarities between one’s native tongue and the target language and culture. 
At Vanderbilt, I have taught Elementary Japanese, Basic Japanese, Intermediate Japanese, Advanced Japanese and Japanese though Manga. I also enjoy being a faculty adviser for Japanese Hall at McTyeire International House.
My scholarly interests are various forms of integration of technology in language education and heritage language learning. My current pedagogical interests include community involvement and the use of extensive reading materials in beginning-level language education.
Student-Produced Podcasts Panel Discussion
Podcasts have been around since the early 2000s, but the medium has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, thanks to increasing smart phone adoption and to very popular podcasts like Serial and Radiolab. Educational uses of podcasts are growing, as well. Some instructors create podcasts for use in their courses, others assign podcasts as “texts” for students to listen and respond do. But with the ready availability of podcast creation tools, it’s easier than ever for instructors to ask students to produce podcasts, connecting students with authentic audiences for their academic work.
In this conversation, we’ll hear from three instructors about their experiences with podcasts as course assignments. Panelists include John Sloop, professor of communication studies and associate provost for digital learning; Larisa DeSantis, assistant professor of earth and environmental studies; and Stacey M. Johnson, assistant director for educational technology at the Center for Teaching and senior lecturer of Spanish.
The conversation will be moderated by Derek Bruff, director of the Center for Teaching. The conversation is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning, and the Center for Digital Humanities.
Date: Thursday, November 7th
Time: 2:30pm-4:00pm

Library Community Room
Learning Community on Disability and Learning
This group will address a variety of principles of inclusive teaching, universal design for learning, instructional accommodations, as well as legal and cultural issues relevant to students and faculty with disabilities—inclusive of all disability sub-groups such as physical, sensory, learning, intellectual and mental health.  We also will address ableism, the history of disability rights endeavors, and other dimensions of social inequalities that can touch down in higher education. This group will have 5-6 monthly meetings.
Registration is now open. Visit the CFT learning communities web page to learn more and to register.
Brightspace Blog Full of Resources and Tips for Users!
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.
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.  
Latest Podcast Episodes on Ed Tech in Higher Education
In the latest episode of Leadning Lines, we talk with Elizabeth Self, a teacher educator at Vanderbilt University in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Stacey Johnson, Assistant Director for Educational Technology at the Center for Teaching, talked with Liz about her clinical simulation project, in which preservice teachers role-play with actors the kinds of interactions they might have one day as teachers with students, parents, and colleagues. Liz shares why these simulations are such powerful learning experiences for her students, and the specific ways that technology, particularly video technology, enhances those learning experiences.
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.
©2016 Vanderbilt University · The Center for Teaching 
1114 19th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: 615-322-7290 Fax: 615-343-8111
powered by emma
Subscribe to our email list.