November 2022
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CFT Resources Highlight

In the second half of the semester, you might be thinking about the most effective and efficient ways to assess the good work your students are doing. The CFT has guides to help:

CFT Teaching Guides: Writing Science Exams and Assessing Student Learning
These two guides provide guidance, ideas, and resources for instructors creating a range of different kinds of assessments.

Brightspace Resources: Grades and Rubrics

Take advantage of our collection of on-demand resources on the Brightspace grading tools. With a bit of investment in setup, these tools can help you give better feedback in less time. If you need some help figuring out which grading tools will work for you, email us at to chat!

Giving Students Feedback

At this time in the semester when students are handing in an assortment of assignments, it is important to provide meaningful feedback to guide their future performance and support their growth. Effective feedback can come in a variety of forms, but students find it most helpful when it is educative about what they are doing well and not so well, when it is timely, when it is personalized as much as possible, and when it provides models or examples of improved performance.  Given that effective feedback is often in tension with efficient feedback, and time is of the essence for faculty and students alike, there are several techniques that may make feedback more timely.  These include using rubrics, possibly designed with students, that have pre-prepared language for different levels of performance on different criteria.  One might also use self- or peer-feedback processes to both empower students in their own assessment, while also lessening the time faculty need to give to each assignment. Lastly, one might look for common concerns or suggestions across a class’s assignments and give it to the students as a group, rather than in multiple individual assignments. For more helpful advice on giving effective and efficient feedback you might review this article from Laura Reynolds or this guide from the MIT Teaching + Learning Lab.
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Rubrics Workshop

Workshop Date: Thursday, November 3rd
Time: 12:00-1:00pm
Location: CFT classroom (1114 19th Avenue South, 3rd floor) Click here for location information.
Facilitator: Stacey Johnson, Assistant Director for Educational Technology at the Center for Teaching

Feedback and grades should convey to students where they are succeeding and where they need to invest more effort in order to meet expectations. Rubrics are organized grading schemes that can help you give better feedback in less time while also making grading criteria transparent for students. Instructors interested in thinking through how to use rubrics in their teaching are welcome to attend this workshop. Participants will explore several models of rubrics, workshop a rubric that connects to course objectives, and learn how to create easy-to-use rubrics on Brightspace.

Open to Vanderbilt Faculty, Graduate Students, & Postdocs.

New Leading Line Episode!

In an interview with Derek Bruff on episode 114 of Leading Lines, Remi Kalir discusses how annotation works in partnership with reading as a knowledge construction activity. With physical books, digital reading, and even on social media, people add notes to texts to wrestle with what they read and reach new audiences.  Let’s explore how instructors can harness the power of annotation in formal educational contexts. Find the full episode here.

CHPP Fellows Course Design Seminar

This Fall the CFT has had the pleasure to get to know and to support Vanderbilt’s Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Fellows by hosting a Course Design Seminar for them. Established by the College of Arts & Science and funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities American Rescue Program, the Vanderbilt Collaborative Humanities Postdoctoral Program (CHPP) has begun with nine Fellows, whom you can meet here.  The grant supports their work in the “new” or “hybrid” humanities, which focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration to address pressing public problems in one of three areas – urban, environmental, or global humanities.  The fellowships term is for three years during which time the fellows will engage in collaborative research projects as well as develop and teach new undergraduate courses in their respective areas.  The CFT’s Course Design Seminar, in addition to ongoing services, support their development of nine writing seminars that will be taught in Spring 2023 on topics that include identity and the Afro-Latinx condition, social and environmental justice movements in the Americas, art and environment, commodities and nature, art and race in urban space, and urban issues of immigration and indigeneity. The CHPP Fellows have been energetic, engaged, insightful, and generous in their support of one another and in the creation of truly innovative and interdisciplinary courses that will contribute greatly to the A&S humanities curriculum.
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.

©2022 Vanderbilt University · The Center for Teaching 
1114 19th Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212
Phone: 615-322-7290 Fax: 615-343-8111
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