............................................................................................................................October 2016

The Center for Teaching is proud to begin an exciting new venture: the Senior Faculty Fellows Program.  It is designed to support senior faculty as they lead learning communities in scholarly and innovative dialogue about significant teaching challenges.
In this inaugural year, a group of faculty led by CFT Senior Fellow Robert Barsky (Professor of English, French and Italian, and Jewish Studies) will address Maymester courses and the many challenges and opportunities for teaching and learning they present.  Specifically, the group plans to focus its attention on supporting sustainable instructional models that leverage immersive learning that is integrative, experiential, interdisciplinary, and research-oriented.
For those who are interested in participating in this group and exploring the possibilities of Maymester courses, or if you are interested in proposing a future Senior Faculty Fellows program on other subjects, please contact Joe Bandy.  For more on the Senior Faculty Fellows program, please see the program website.

BOLD Fellows Program Helps Develop Online Instruction

The CFT and the CIRTL Network (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning) share a mission to enhance teaching excellence. They are partnering to offer the Blended & Online Learning Design (BOLD) Fellows Program.
New BOLD Fellow Teams

The program is designed to help graduate student-faculty teams build expertise in developing online instructional modules grounded in good course design principles and our understanding of how people learn. The teams investigate the use of these modules, collecting data about the effectiveness of the module for promoting student learning. You can view a gallery of past BOLD projects on the BOLD website.

Blackboard Drop-in Sessions for October

Blackboard Support at the CFT will be offering drop-in training and support for the fall  semester for faculty, graduate students, and staff using Blackboard. Come get technical and pedagogical support from a team of Blackboard specialists during our drop-in support hours. Feel free to bring any questions or issues you want to resolve.

October Drop-in Hours

Monday              10/10    2-4pm

Monday              10/17    2-4pm

Monday              10/24    2-4pm

Monday              10/31    2-4pm

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Junior Faculty Spotlight:
Amanda Clayton

Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Amanda Clayton, Political Science, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests.
I teach comparative politics, gender and politics, and African politics in the Political Science Department.  As a teacher, I strive to create learning hooks through personal engagement, and to encourage students to extend their learning beyond the classroom.
Students need hooks to stimulate learning and maintain motivation. When I was a student, this hook was often the expectations of my teachers, and I believe encouragement and personal attention are among the best ways to kindle students' intellectual curiosity. I personally engage with as many of my students as possible. In particular, as a woman using and teaching statistical methods, I enjoy encouraging female students to excel in a discipline in which we are underrepresented.
Civil debate among peers is another excellent learning hook. For instance, I found that students come into my gender and politics courses with strong prior beliefs about the origins of gender inequalities in the US and beyond. When facilitating group discussions, I use the diversity of the classroom to encourage respectful interaction among classmates with different backgrounds (e.g. race, ethnicity, gender, political beliefs, family income). This forces students not only to articulate their own convictions to a new group, but also to engage with viewpoints they may not have previously encountered or considered.
I also encourage students to see the connection between academic inquiry and public policy by expanding their learning experiences beyond the classroom. I find many of my students have earnest intentions to make the world a better place, and I want to encourage them to throw themselves into this commitment in the most informed and culturally respectful ways. For instance, I often have extra credit or service learning options that encourage students to become active and involved in political organizations and causes on campus and in the wider Nashville area.

Graduate Student Workshop:
Assessment, Implicit Bias, and the Impact on Student Learning

Implicit bias, in its simplest form, describes prejudicial judgment that affects social behavior. Despite its relatively unconscious nature, it is still possible to identify specific attitudes that reflect our predispositions toward socially marginalized groups. In this workshop, we will discuss the ways in which implicit bias, when left unchecked, can adversely affect our teaching and the outcomes of student assessments. Participants will collaborate with one another to formulate best practices for detecting implicit bias and adopting fair assessment measures. 
Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Time: 3:00-4:30pm

Location: Center for Teaching

Facilitators: Alexis McBride and Michael R. Fisher, Jr.

New Podcast Episode on Ed Tech in Higher Education

The latest episode features Lee Forester, Professor of German at Hope College and co-founder of a textbook publishing company, and Bill VanPatten, Professor of Spanish and Second language Studies and author of 6 textbooks dicsussing digital textbooks, and specifically the online platforms that often come with introductory textbooks. For many instructors, the publisher-provided online supplements are a major technology component in their courses. Lee and Bill talk about why online textbook materials may not always provide students with what they need, and what instructors can do about it.
To listen to the podcast, 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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