Faculty and instructors are invited to apply for the new Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Teaching Consultants Program. Selected participants will develop and evaluate projects designed to increase the use of equity-minded and inclusive pedagogies or practices by others within their college. They will earn a $5,000 stipend over the course of a calendar year and have the support of CATL and the Director of Inclusive Excellence and Pride Center. To learn more about the program and to apply, please copy and paste this site into your browser. Please direct questions to Caroline Boswell, Stacie Christian, or Kris Vespia.
As a part of CATL’s Social Justice Series, a workshop is being offered Microaggressions in Higher Education. Participants will explore what microaggressions are and the impact they may have in classrooms, hallways, and interactions with students and colleagues. Given the research that demonstrates their negative consequences, they will also discuss strategies for reducing and coping with microaggressions. Faculty and staff are invited to join this interactive presentation on Teams that will be led by Kris Vespia, Psychology faculty member and CATL consultant. The workshop is from 12-1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28. Register in advance to receive the Teams meeting link.
The Instructional Development Council (IDC) is accepting applications for Teaching Enhancement Grants (TEG), through support from the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. The Teaching Enhancement Grant program is designed to support professional development activities that will enhance a faculty member’s teaching skills or result in the development of innovative teaching strategies. All full-time faculty, lecturers and teaching academic staff whose primary responsibility is teaching for the current academic year are strongly encouraged to apply! Click the button below for full details.
TEG applications are due Friday, April 30, 2021. See more.
As part of Earth Week 2021, the UW-Green Bay Sustainability Committee is launching the Phoenix Green Teacher Badge program. The program is overseen by the UWGB Sustainability Committee and is administered by the UW-Green Bay Office of Sustainability, with assistance from the UW-Green Bay Center for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning (CATL). The program recognizes UWGB instructors who promote environmental sustainability through their teaching and seek to minimize negative environmental impacts associated with teaching. Instructors who successfully apply for the badge will receive a dated digital badge that they can display on syllabi, Canvas, and webpages. Badge recipients will also be displayed on the UWGB Sustainability webpage. For more information and to apply for a badge (by taking a survey), visit the Phoenix Green Teaching Badge page on the UWGB Office of Sustainability site. Please direct questions to David Voelker, chair of the Sustainability Committee, or to John Arendt, director of the Office of Sustainability.
Join Brent Blahnik and Jemma Lund from the Office of International Education on Monday, April 26, 2021 from Noon to 1 p.m. as they discuss considerations when teaching international students, the study abroad experience for students, information on how one goes about leading travel courses, and other topics. Register and see more, here.
The next CATL “Tough Talk” will be around the book “Beyond the Asterisk: Understanding Native Students in Higher Education” by editors Heather J. Shotton, Shelly C. Lowe, and Stephanie J. Waterman. This book will help lead discussions about how to better support our First Nations students and support those who are trying to remove the asterisk as a signaling tool for First Nations peoples in research and practice.
Join in Thursday, Apr. 22 from 1–2 p.m. via Microsoft Teams to discuss some actionable, tangible strategies or steps we can take to affect change at UW–Green Bay. Our discussion will be facilitated by Crystal Lepscier, UW–Green Bay’s First Nations Student Success Coordinator, and Adrienne Thunder and Steven Martin, co-authors of Chapter 2 of the book! Register on CATL’s blog, The Cowbell, for access to the reading materials and meeting link.
Researchers have identified eight characteristics of high-impact practices (Kuh & O’Donnell, 2013). This spring, CATL will run workshops on four of them, with a particular focus on how these characteristics may enhance equity and inclusion in your courses. For the full schedule and registration details, view the full post here.
The remaining topics are: Frequent, Timely, and Constructive Feedback (Mar. 2), Supporting Inclusive Faculty-Student Interaction (Mar. 26 and Mar. 30), and Authentic and Experiential Learning Assessments (Apr. 13 and Apr. 20). Register to join us for any number of sessions!
Instructors challenged to rethink virtual teaching and reach students online
When UW-Green Bay instructors began planning their teaching for fall 2020, their focus was on learning, especially in the context of the online environment forced on colleges and universities by COVID-19.
A good portion of their summer was spent learning the software needed to present information, but also on teaching online in stressful times, said Caroline Boswell, associate professor in Humanities and History, and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL). Funded in part by money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act, and in part from a grant from the University of Wisconsin Systems Online Learning Initiative, the training helped instructors adapt to the new normal of teaching during a pandemic.
The new training, she said, focused not just on the pedagogy of how to teach a course, or even the nuts and bolts of how to deliver a lesson online, but on how instructors can reach students when their presence is mainly digital.
Boswell said nearly 130 instructors participated in the two sessions. The first session trained instructors on how to use Canvas, the learning management system for the University.
“We want to ensure that faculty feel confident using Canvas and know how to use it to communicate with our students,” she said.
The second, more advanced training was a two-week course in which instructors learn about how they can reach students—either by breaking up their online lectures, or creating online group assignments or even redoing their lessons to ensure that all students have access to it.
“The second part of the training was to help faculty think about how we can create full course citizenship for all of our students including students who may not be able to attend for a certain period of time because they are ill or they need to take on caregiving (for a family member or loved one), or that they’ve had to move back home, and their job schedules have changed. We have to be responsive to that,” she said. “And it’s also asking them to think about how issues around equity, inclusivity, and accessibility that are exacerbated within this context. Many students entered the semester online or having classes that are both in person and online, and they may be less familiar with learning in that environment. If our principle presence is digital, how do they know that we’re there for them and that we understand?”
The training takes into consideration everything from keeping students engaged in classes, to facilitating learning across a broad array of pandemic related situations by allowing groups of instructors learn from and work with one another to come up with solutions.
Jessica Van Slooten, associate professor in English, Writing Foundations, Women’s and Gender Studies, Humanities, and the co-chair for Women’s and Gender Studies program, said she was re-evaluating everything in terms of what could engage her students and make them successful.
“The way I would usually teach is face-to-face in a classroom…(using) a lot of active learning techniques and group work and students stopping to write some things,” she said. “I wanted to think about how I could translate those things into this online format. I was most concerned about my first-year writing class because these are all brand new college students, and they come with a wide variety of writing abilities and experiences. I just wanted to create a class that would allow all of them to be successful.”
To do that, she eliminated traditional methods, like selecting a book for the class to read and use to generate writing prompts, and replaced it with shorter writings, TED talks and podcasts for her students to consider. Additionally, she said, she would assign four main papers, and a variety of shorter pieces, that they will be able to select from to turn into a larger, much more
“They could turn it into a letter or podcast or even a video,” she said. “I just want to get them to think that writing has a lot of uses, in the broader world. And, hopefully that will also make it more relevant for them. So, I felt like that really translated well into an online format.”
In order to help students be successful, she said, it was important to be flexible.
“One of the resources that we shared in our trainings over the summer was this document that mapped out different kinds of learning activities along bandwidth requirements,” she said. “It really encouraged me to think about making sure that most of the activities I do are low bandwidth. Because we have a lot of students who don’t have great access for one reason or another, and I want them to feel like they can complete the class.”
Understanding that students are struggling with disruptions—from jobs and family to having to drive to a Starbucks in order to get internet access—helped Alan Chu, assistant professor in Psychology and chair of the Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology masters program, to consider equity when designing his class.
“I think the equity is a big piece that we’ve been talking about because not everyone has the same access at home,” he said. “Back in the spring when everything got moved online, some of my students told me that they had to drive to a parking lot next to a Starbucks just get the WiFi to do their homework. And I heard about some other students having to use their cell phone to write a whole paper. So, I did quite a bit of thinking and planning, to lay out some of the ways I could make my class more equitable.”
Chu also attended several conferences to learn more about using what he already knows about psychology to help his students.
“In the spring, I was including some of the positive psychology concepts into my classes,” he said. “In the discussions before class begins, I will ask them to list three things that they are thankful for before we go into the detail about the chapter discussions. And the students said it was great for them to be able to connect with other students in a way that is not about the course, but about life in general… some of them said it was helpful for them to be more positive in that and in other life challenges that they were experiencing.”
The advanced training also covered how to make information accessible for students by captioning videos, or making videos of classes that students could access on their own time frame. Instructors also worked on adapting how students can complete their assignments in order to not create more barriers to success.
And while the changes to the courses designed over the summer may be applicable to life during the pandemic, Boswell said she sees the changes to a more student-centered approach to learning to be something more permanent.
“When instructors put together their classes, they were also thinking about the positionality of their students. They are thinking about deadlines and whether or not they actually make sense in
the context,” Boswell said. “Are deadlines absolutely necessary, or are they kind of creating a barrier for students who might not be able to meet a deadline, for example, because their Internet isn’t working that day… or they have to share a computer with their siblings, and they didn’t get to choose who wins in those sorts of things. I think that a lot of that kind of thinking—about how the world structures your class—will definitely have long-term implications.”
Story by freelance writer Liz Carey
A recent update to the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra videoconferencing system changed the procedure for sharing a link to a session recording. It was previously possible to simply select “copy link” in a recording’s options menu and share that link, but the recent change now requires the recording owner to change an access setting before the copied link will allow viewers to watch the recording. This change only affects newly created recordings; existing links from recordings created before Sept. 5, 2020 will continue to work without additional action. The new Collaborate Ultra recording sharing procedure can be found in the UknowIT knowledgebase article at https://uknowit.uwgb.edu/99344.
In partnership with GBOSS, the Office of Academic Advising and Retention, and Web Development, CATL has rebranded what used to be the Digital Learning Environment (DLE) page to be simply named “Canvas.” Students, staff and faculty will notice that the “DLE” link at the top the UWGB home page and other UWGB sites has been replaced with a “CANVAS” link. The newly branded Canvas page contains the same Canvas login link and resources in the familiar layout that our patrons are accustomed to. This change was enacted to make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to find the Canvas login page. Since the days of D2L are now officially over, we no longer need to use the more-encompassing, yet less-self-evident “DLE” name and web address for this site. CATL advises faculty to update their syllabi with the new web address for the Canvas login page. Web Development has implemented a redirect that will take people using old DLE links to the new sit, but it is still important for faculty to make these updates and help get the word out to students. As part of the rebranding, the pages contained within the UWGB Canvas site have been updated and improved to make support resources for Canvas and its supporting tools easier to find. We hope this change makes it easier for new and returning students and employees to find the Canvas login page.