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Smeal Academy Newsletter

Inclusive Teaching Practices – Fall 2022 Newsletter 2

Smeal Academy Fall 2022 Connections Newsletter 2 –Inclusive Teaching Practices

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip the Smeal Community with best practices and strategies for teaching and learning with technology to support Smeal’s business education and research needs. This newsletter provides resources, tips, and pointers as we move through the semester.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

5 Ideas for Inclusive Classrooms from the eLDIG Team

It’s always important to consider how we can cultivate classroom environments that make everyone feel welcome. The following suggestions can be easily incorporated:

  1. Consider representation in the resources you provide students. There are so many fantastic repositories of free images available for use in your classroom materials. The following are just a few: Women of Color in Technology, Disability Inclusive Stock Photography, and Beyond the Binary.
  2. Add your pronouns to your Canvas and Zoom profiles. Recommend that students do the same and provide support documentation: Canvas: Add Gender and Identity Pronouns to Your Name and Zoom: Add Gender or Identity Pronouns to Your Zoom Profile.
  3. Remember the importance of connection before content. Learning is social! There are lots of great tools for encouraging interpersonal connection within your class that make your content more meaningful. These virtual question cards from WeConnect are a great free resource for encouraging conversation.
  4. Solicit student feedback frequently, including personal reflections on their learning. This is a great way to support students and keep your finger on the pulse of their classroom experience. Tools like Canvas Surveys and Microsoft Forms are great ways to gather this feedback.
  5. Remember the power of microaffirmations! Microaffirmations include behaviors as simple as: nodding and making eye contact with students while they’re talking; making sure to call on students of different races and genders equally; referring to every student by his or her name; using inclusive language — for instance, talk about “families” instead of “parents;” openly giving praise for a wide range of actions; and staying enthusiastic when interacting with students. (Rastegari & Shafer)

Rastegari, I. and Shafer, L. (2016, December 22). Accentuate the Positive: The transformative power of small encouragements and welcoming interactions. Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The eLDIG team is here for the Smeal community. If you want to discuss an idea or need for your course(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation at eldig@smeal.psu.edu

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • TLT Creating Community via Technology,1:30 to 3 pm on Nov. 8th or 9th. Register via the Creating Community via Technology Registration Form.
  • Lab Virtualization Considerations and Strategies, 2-1 pm on November 30th. Come learn about Smeal’s lab virtualization approach to ensure that students and faculty have the software and apps they need for their courses. Smeal faculty will share some of their experiences with virtual labs. We will also discuss the next steps for faculty considering the use of virtual labs as we increase our virtualization offerings. Zoom link

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1: Canvas New Quizzes Update. The Canvas vendor has informed Penn State that the New Quizzes migration timeline is on hold and will be sending an update in the coming weeks with more details. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
  • Tip #2: Set up Thresholds in Starfish. To make Starfish reporting easier, be sure to set up your grading thresholds in Starfish (and your gradebook and grading scheme in Canvas). Check out this Knowledge Base article for instructions. Students have indicated that Starfish feedback helps them better understand how they’re doing in classes, and it also supports advisors as they guide their advisees which is particularly important as we approach the late drop deadline.

Contact Us

Email us at eldig@smeal.psu.edu or fill out the eLDIG Contact form and we will be in touch.

Welcome Back – Fall 2022 Newsletter 1

Smeal Academy Fall 2022 Connections Newsletter 1 – Welcome Back

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2022 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2022 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

5 Resources from the eLDIG Team:

As we get started with a new semester, we have curated five resources we want to share with the Smeal Community:

  1. Final Touches for Fall Session Recording
    Check out our Smeal Academy Session Recording: Final Touches for Fall for some information that is relevant even after week 1 of the semester. You can also check out previous Smeal Academy sessions and newsletters on the eLDIG site. We will offer regular Smeal Academy sessions and resources targeted to address your teaching and learning needs.
  2. Residential Syllabus, Part 2
    Do you struggle to keep up with syllabus policies? eLDIG keeps a Smeal Residential Syllabus, Part 2 up-to-date based on the semester instructions from Undergraduate Programs. You are welcome to use this for your syllabi now or in the future.
  3. Tips for New Faculty
    Higher Ed Jobs Tips for New Faculty – Tips for success (and failure) for new faculty that are relevant to all faculty.
  4. Canvas New Analytics
    Want to get more out of Canvas analytics? Enable New Analytics in your course(s).
  5. Canvas Grading Scheme
    Remember to set up your Canvas grading scheme to match your syllabus. Here’s a Smeal Academy Video Tech Tip explaining how.The eLDIG team is here for the Smeal community. If you want to discuss an idea or need for your course(s), please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation at eldig@smeal.psu.edu.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • TLT Dreamery Speaker Series with Tanya Joosten
    The Dreamery Speaker series hosts experts from other institutions to address timely teaching and learning with technology topics. The first speaker in the series is Tanya Joosten, a Senior Scientist, the Director of Digital Learning Research and Development, and advisor to the Provost for innovation projects at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). On 9/27 & 9/28, 2022 Tanya will have interactive discussions focused on teaching (Approaching Intentionality: Factors That Influence Student Success) and learning design (Considerations for Equity-Minded Practices). Dreamery Speaker Series Registration.
  • TLT Prep & Practice: Top Hat for Course Engagement, Part 1
    Dates of Offerings: Monday, 10/10, 1pm – 3pm & Thursday, 10/13, 1pm – 3pmDescription: New faculty are invited to join Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) for sessions focusing on introducing Top Hat, an engagement platform for teaching and learning. These sessions provide participants the opportunity to get familiar with the Top Hat environment and understand the features that help learning be engaging, interactive, accessible, and connected. Prep and Practice Registration.
  • TLT Prep & Practice: Top Hat for Course Engagement, Part 2
    Date of Offerings: Monday, 10/17, 1pm – 3pm & Thursday, 10/21, 1pm – 3pmDescription: New faculty are invited to join Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) to continue the conversation on Top Hat, an engagement platform for teaching and learning. The second part of the sessions will allow participants to build a Top Hat course and understand best practices for integrating the engagement features into courses. Prep and Practice Registration.

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1: Customize Your Canvas Dashboard. If your Canvas dashboard is cluttered or this semester’s courses aren’t showing up on your dashboard, here’s How to customize your dashboard.
  • Tip #2: Remind students to enable Canvas notifications. To ensure students are receiving Canvas notifications, show them how to enable them. The default settings in Canvas do notify students of announcements right away, but they might miss discussion notifications because those are set to be “off” by default.

Contact Us

Email us at eldig@smeal.psu.edu or fill out the eLDIG Contact form and we will be in touch.

Summer Reading Recommendations – Summer 2022 Newsletter 1

Summer 2022 Connections Newsletter 1 – Summer Reading Recommendations

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.
This week, we are sharing our favorite books about teaching, learning, and life. Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading! Here are some of the eLDIG team’s current favorite reads.

What is the eLDIG Team Reading?

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Mark DeLuca recommends this book for anyone exploring checklists! The author looks at ways that checklists can be used to communicate information more effectively in a world that seems oversaturated with content that people do not seem able to take in.

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Renee Ford recommends this best-seller. James Clear provides concrete advice for changing your habits. This book is full of practical strategies for forming good habits and breaking bad ones. His website includes some helpful resources that are available for free.

Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirksen

Emily Baxter loves how this book breaks down the fundamental concepts of instructional design in a visually engaging way. Have fun exploring ways to improve your own learning and better engage your audience – whether you are teaching in a classroom, presenting at a conference, or writing a blog post! The first edition of the book is also available online through the Penn State University Libraries.

Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment by Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass R. Sunstein

Matt Mignogna recommends this New York Times Bestseller. The authors of this book explore why people make bad judgments – and how we can all make better ones.

Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning by James Lang

This book is a favorite of many members of the eLDIG team. James Lang shares evidence-backed recommendations for small changes that can be made in your classroom to build community and help students retain more information. The first edition of this book is available as an e-book through Penn State Libraries: https://catalog.libraries.psu.edu/catalog/19435958.

What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching by Tracie Marcella Addy, Derek, Dube, Khadijah A. Mitchell, and Mallory E. SoRelle

This book is part of our Smeal Academy Summer Book Club! If you are interested in reading along with us, you can find an e-book in Penn State Libraries. We love all the practical suggestions in the book for creating inclusive classrooms.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Smeal Academy Summer Book Club Kickoff Session
    In this session, we will provide an overview of the book, What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching and talk about our goals for the summer book club.Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://psu.zoom.us/j/710269538?pwd=THlOeHlobTRFbmtTL2RoZG1VbjNGZz09.

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Contact Us

Email us at: smealtlthelp@psu.edu or fill out the eLDIG contact form and we will be in touch.

End of Semester Tips – Spring 2022 Newsletter 4

Spring 2022 Connections Newsletter 4 –  End of Semester Tips

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.
This week, we are sharing some tips for wrapping up your courses at the end of the semester. Hang in there! We are almost at the end!

FOUR End-of-Semester Tips

  • Encourage students to complete the SRTE.
    Penn State’s Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence has provided several strategies for improving your SRTE response rates. These include:

  • Make sure your Canvas grades are prepared for LionPATH.
    The following steps will ensure that your Canvas course is set up to successfully load your grades into LionPATH. As always, reach out to eLDIG if you would like to walk through the process with someone on our team.

  • Reflect on what went well and what could have gone better.
    HThe end of the semester is the best time to reflect on your semester. Everything that happened (or did not) is still fresh in your memory. This is a good opportunity to note resources you may want to add or eliminate; instructions that should be tweaked; ideas for new activities; or challenges you want to reflect on before the next time the course runs. The following list provides some good jumping-off points for reflection:What were some of your favorite moments of the semester? What happened that you would like to avoid in the future?What happened that you did not plan for?What did you do in the classroom to help students feel like they belonged? What more could you do in the future?With what activities and/or resources were students most engaged? When were they the least engaged?

    What surprised you about the students’ behavior?

  • Celebrate!
    Though this time of year is busy, make it a point to do something to acknowledge and celebrate the end of this semester. Maybe you go out for a meal to celebrate with colleagues or family, or perhaps you schedule time to quietly reflect on the end of this semester before beginning the next. Whatever you do, remember that there is power in marking the passing of time and celebrating milestones.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Smeal Academy Session: Microsoft Bookings Lunch & Learn
    Join us for a Microsoft Bookings Lunch & Learn facilitated by Jessie Sorensen and Carrie Marcinkevage. Several members of the Smeal College of Business utilize MS Bookings for admissions, coaching/advising, and individual appointments. Participants are invited to share their tips and tricks for maximizing MS Bookings’ value and use. If you have some MS Bookings success and tips, please come share and learn from peers! Join us Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 12-1 PM EST via Zoom.

Please note that rather than a first-time training for MS Bookings, this facilitated sharing session assumes basic knowledge and use.

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Contact Us

Email us at: smealtlthelp@psu.edu or fill out the eLDIG contact form and we will be in touch.

Spring Cleaning – Spring 2022 Newsletter 3

Spring 2022 Connections Newsletter 3 –  Spring Cleaning for Your Courses

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.
This week, we are sharing some spring cleaning tips for courses and Canvas spaces.

THREE Spring Cleaning Tasks Worth Tackling Now

  1. Create a Canvas Master Course for your Spring Cleaning
    A Canvas Master course can be used as a space to clean up and prepare your course in a space other than your live courses with LionPath enrollments. Are you worried that your students might see changes, or do you need a place to make changes in between semesters? Request a Canvas Master course and then import course content to make your changes in a more secure editing environment. Another great use for Canvas Master courses is to import, save, and organize content from previous semesters.
  2. Delete Old or Unneeded Files
    One common issue in courses is that there often are several files no longer in use and/or the Canvas “Files” tab is cluttered or disorganized. You can delete Canvas files and you also can organize and move your Canvas files. Note that if you’d like to delete multiple files, you can do that: From “Files,” if you click one item (or folder) in the right-side menu, and then press CTRL+A or Apple/Cmd+A, you can then press the delete key to delete everything selected. It is much faster than going one by one.
  3. Review Your SRTEs and student feedback
    Have you taken the time to review the feedback received from students? Take a moment to look through your SRTEs and other student feedback (student emails with questions, anecdotal comments, your own student evaluations for feedback). Reflect on the information you have received. Are there any trends or common issues that should be addressed before the next time your course is offered? Make a list of what you’d like to keep the same, change, and/or remove based on your feedback and experiences. Check out this article outlining 10 Ways Faculty Can Support Student Success if you’re looking for inspiration or guidance.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Smeal Academy Session: Inclusive Classroom Practices
    Join Jamie Campbell and Olivia Lewis from Smeal’s Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs as they share tips and strategies to make our classes more inclusive for Smeal’s diverse student body. We will discuss five specific things everyone can do to promote a feeling of belonging in our classrooms. Join us Tuesday, April 12, 2022, 12-1 PM EST via Zoom.
  • Smeal Academy Session: Microsoft Bookings Lunch & Learn
    Join us for a Microsoft Bookings Lunch & Learn facilitated by Jessie Sorensen and Carrie Marcinkevage. Several members of the Smeal College of Business utilize MS Bookings for admissions, coaching/advising, and individual appointments. Participants are invited to share their tips and tricks for maximizing MS Bookings’ value and use. If you have some MS Bookings success and tips, please come share and learn from peers! Join us Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 12-1 PM EST via Zoom.

Please note that rather than a first-time training for MS Bookings, this facilitated sharing session assumes basic knowledge and use.

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1: Course Announcements. Consider using announcements for course communication to inform the entire class about something. It is easier to use than course mail for sharing global information – but you have to tell students at the beginning of the course to check announcements frequently!
  • Tip #2: Remind students to enable Canvas notifications.
    To ensure students are receiving Canvas notifications, show them how to enable them. The default settings in Canvas do notify students of announcements right away, but they might miss discussion notifications because those are set to be “off” by default.

Resources

Welcome Back to the Arctic! – Spring 2022 Newsletter 1

Spring 2022 Connections Newsletter 1 –  Ready or Not, Here We Go!!

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.
This week, we are sharing some beginning-of-the-semester tips and pointers to get your semester off to a great start.

Welcome Back! We hope you had some downtime before the launch of the new semester.
We know that members of the Smeal community – faculty, staff, and students alike – are juggling a lot at the start of this semester. It’s great to be back and we are still navigating all the regular semester challenges along with COVID-19 changes. The following are some resources and reminders to get the semester off on your best foot.

Productivity Tips

  • Use Available Tech Tools. Get to know the tools available to us at Penn State. Schedule a meeting with someone from the eLDIG team or check out Penn State’s Ed Tech Advisor to learn more about available tools to enhance your teaching and learning.
  • Compose Ahead and Delay Posting of Canvas Announcements. Instructors are carrying an increasingly heavy workload and balancing all the new intricacies of teaching can feel overwhelming. When possible, consider composing your regular course tips and announcements ahead of time using Canvas announcements and delaying posting so that they are ready when you need them.
  • Explore suggested teaching strategies in residential courses for temporary instructor or student absence in order to be prepared (as much as possible) with contingency plans. Note: This is a resource Felisa Preciado-Higgins shared with us during a recent Smeal Community meeting.
  • Schedule Grading Time On Your Calendar. Just as we schedule meetings and office hours, scheduling time for grading can help ensure that you can reserve time for grading and still have time for work-life balance.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the eLDIG team.

Tech Tips for Teaching with Masks

  • Use the Mic. No one thinks they need a microphone. But even in non-masked situations, it’s best to use microphones when they are available. It’s essential when teaching with a mask so people can hear. Just use it – all General Purpose classrooms have them. Checkout the list of Classroom Technology for more information on GPC technology.
  • Use Tech Tools to Gauge Emotions and Build Community. Masks make it difficult to see nonverbal cues. You can use tools like Top Hat to generate a word cloud at the beginning of class so students can let you know how they’re feeling. You could have a simple prompt like “Describe your current mood in one word.” It is as important as ever to build connections with our students.
  • Model the Correct Way to Wear Masks. Our ability to continue in-person instruction depends on all of us to do our part to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Consider reminding students that this is part of upholding the Smeal Honor Code. To reinforce mask adherence, have students agree (via a Canvas or Top Hat quiz) at the beginning of each class to abide by PSU’s masking requirements completely to receive full participation credit for the day. You can also add a slide at the beginning of each class to remind students how to correctly wear masks. Note the new mask guidelines this semester – check your inbox for a January 11 email from Yvonne Gaudelius, Vice President and Dean for Undergraduate Education and Kathryn Drager, Interim Dean of the Graduate School and Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

Resource

Check the following resource for more information: Effective ways to teach in person with a mask on (opinion).

Here are some additional Top Hat Teaching Tips for the beginning of the semester.

Current News

Canvas Archiving – Opt-Out Before January 25, 2022

On January 25, 2022, Penn State IT will perform its regular archiving of older Canvas courses. Beginning December 7, 2021, you may choose to delay particular courses from being archived by using the in-Canvas Course Archive Manager tool. Please be sure to opt-out of any courses you do not want archived before January 25th.

Archiving on January 25 will include:

  • All LionPATH courses taught prior to, and including, Fall 2020 (LionPATH term 2208) will be archived.
  • All LionPATH courses that you may have previously opted out of archiving will be archived.
  • All non-LionPATH courses, regardless of creation date, including Master, Manually Created, Sandbox courses, and Prides will be archived.

Full details on the long-term archival storage and instructions on how to opt a course out of archiving are available on the Penn State Canvas website.

Register Now for the 2022 TLT Symposium on March 19, 2022

The Penn State Symposium for Teaching and Learning with Technology is an annual event to showcase ways that technology can be used to enhance teaching, learning, and research. Our intent is to give faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to share how they are using technology in unique ways, network with other colleagues, and generate new project ideas.

The Symposium is a free event that welcomes all Penn State faculty, staff, and students. Please be sure to use your Penn State email when registering.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • ITLD Session: SharePoint – An Introduction to File Storage and Collaboration in the Document Library
    Are you new to SharePoint for Office365? Do you have an existing SharePoint site you don’t quite know how to leverage for file storage and collaboration? Join us to learn how to navigate SharePoint online. We’ll cover file sharing and how to leverage your document libraries to collaborate effectively. We will also discuss how SharePoint interacts with Teams and OneDrive to simplify your work and collaboration. Register by January 25th for the session being held Wed, Jan 26, 2022, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM EST
  • Smeal Academy Session: Contingency Planning – Coming Soon
    We will be holding a Smeal Academy session to explore and discuss strategies and tools for contingency planning. More to come in next week’s newsletter!

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1: Course Announcements. Consider using announcements for course communication to inform the entire class about something. It is easier to use than course mail for sharing global information – but you have to tell students at the beginning of the course to check announcements frequently!
  • Tip #2: Remind students to enable Canvas notifications.
    To ensure students are receiving Canvas notifications, show them how to enable them. The default settings in Canvas do notify students of announcements right away, but they might miss discussion notifications because those are set to be “off” by default.

Resources

Grading and Semester Wrap-Up Essentials – Fall 2021 Newsletter 6

So Much to Grade, So Little Time – Fall 2021 Resilience Newsletter 6

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

A nod to Art Jones for this image:

The eLDIG team knows you are busy right now and possibly just a little stressed, so we will keep things short, providing a couple of key resources and reminders intended to make your life easier.

Preparing Final Grades in Canvas

These helpful resources will help you wrap up the Fall 2021 semester courses and ship the grades away to LionPATH:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the eLDIG team.

Current News

Canvas Archiving – Opt Out Before January 25, 2022

On January 25, 2022, Penn State IT will perform its regular archiving of older Canvas courses. Beginning December 7, 2021, you may choose to delay particular courses from being archived by using the in-Canvas Course Archive Manager tool. Please be sure to opt-out of any courses you do not want archived before January 25th.

Archiving on January 25 will include:

  • All LionPATH courses taught prior to, and including, Fall 2020 (LionPATH term 2208) will be archived.
  • All LionPATH courses that you may have previously opted out of archiving will be archived.
  • All non-LionPATH courses, regardless of creation date, including Master, Manually Created, Sandbox courses, and Prides will be archived.

Full details on the long-term archival storage and instructions on how to opt a course out of archiving are available on the Penn State Canvas website.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • ITLD Winterfest Training: During December and January, Penn State IT Learning and Development is offering Winterfest training sessions via Zoom on a variety of topics. Winterfest is a collection of courses traditionally focused on faculty. The goal is to help participants learn something new that might help them or improve the experience for their students in the semester to come. Everything from the basics to advanced topics will be covered in Canvas, Kaltura, Office 365, Zoom, and more.

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our eLDIG Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1:  Export Canvas Grades to Verify Final Grades
    The final grade column is the grade that will import into LionPath. Be sure to export Canvas grades and check the Excel file to make sure that students’ “Current Grade” column is the same as their “Final Grade” column. If these numbers are not the same, then there is an issue somewhere in the Canvas Gradebook that will need to be resolved before importing grades into LionPath.
  • Tip #2: Consider Adding a Student Feedback Survey
    If you want to know things beyond what is asked on the SRTE, you can create your own end-of-semester survey to gather feedback to improve future offerings of your course. Here is one example survey for your reference. NOTE: Smeal has an instance of Qualtrics. If anyone would like to have an account set up, please email the eLDIG team and we’ll get you set up.

Resources

Helpful Websites

Website

Check out the eLDIG Website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: smealtlthelp@psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.

WE ARE…Grateful – Fall 2021 Newsletter 5

Fall 2021 Resilience – Newsletter 5

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending periodic emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

thankful to be stuffed with knowledge

November is the month of gratitude. Here in eLDIG, we are often grateful to work with amazing staff and faculty to create courses that make a difference to our students.

In our work, we can get tired and stressed. In some ways, in this pandemic era, we have more pressure on us than ever before. Mitigating that stress and pressure can be achieved by practicing gratitude. When someone asks what we are grateful for we think of family, friends, opportunities, etc. Gratitude is something that we accept we should do, but that we rarely talk about how to do. When someone practices gratitude, what do they actually do each day? It is really just about the small things. Someone might:

  • Say one small thing they are grateful that happened in their day before a meal
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Include an act of kindness in your life each day
  • Look up from your phone or work and notice the beauty in nature each day
  • Avoid negative media and movies with destructive content
  • Commit to one day a week when you won’t complain about anything
  • Say thank you for the little things others do for you, things you normally take for granted.

Conlon C. (nd) 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude, Lifehack

Gratitude in Teaching and Learning

A growing body of groundbreaking research shows that gratitude has the power to heal, energize, and transform lives by enhancing people psychologically, spiritually, physically, and cognitively. Gratitude can impact focus and resilience in class and when experiencing difficulties. Wilson (2016) found that “when students intentionally practice gratitude toward learning, they tended to report better focus during class, while studying, or taking an exam. This increased focus may be linked to a more positive attitude about learning as well as a reduced stress level. Since college academics often produce stress, these findings are worth considering. Energy that might be taken up feeling stressed or anxious may be able to be redirected to focusing on and making sense of new information after a student mindfully chooses a grateful spirit. Another benefit for students who intentionally practice gratitude is experiencing added strength to sustain effort when learning feels challenging. This resilient spirit is rooted in students’ appreciation that challenges can help them grow as learners. Thus, rather than closing down one’s mind when faced with challenges, a student with a grateful spirit may view those challenges as an opportunity to learn.” (p. 9)

With this in mind, we can be role models and consider embedding gratitude practices into the classroom. A study by Howels (2014) found that when teachers embed this practice it has positive impacts in areas of relationship between teachers and students. Thereby increasing student wellbeing and a positive atmosphere. Some gratitude activities you could try in the classroom include:

  • Model gratitude yourself
  • Start the day with positive affirmation
  • Have students make a social media post about something they are grateful they learned in class that day
  • Thank a student when they make an excellent observation of the materials in class
  • Provide opportunities for students to show gratitude to peers in their class
  • Ask students to complete one act of kindness in their day, and to tell you how that went
  • Celebrate students’ growth and achievement in class
  • Encourage student independence
  • Ask a student to describe why and how they expressed gratitude
  • Have students reflect on the past, express gratitude and recognize their changes over time

With our own gratitude practice at the heart of our pedagogy, we create the right environment for gratitude to flourish.

Howells, K. (2014). An exploration of the role of gratitude in enhancing teacher–student relationships. Teaching and Teacher Education, 42, 58-67.
Howells, K. (2004). The role of gratitude in higher education. Research and Development in Higher Education, 27(2), 164-173.
Wilson, J. T. (2016). Brightening the mind: The impact of practicing gratitude on focus and resilience in learning. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 16(4), 1-13.

Current News

Canvas Training Sessions available through ITLD

Penn State IT Learning and Development is offering Canvas training sessions via Zoom on a variety of topics, from designing effective content to empowering students to collaborate using Canvas groups. Join them in for one of these upcoming sessions:

November

Canvas: Transition your Canvas Course to a New Semester
Thursday, November 18, 10 a.m. ET
Identify essential and recommended tasks to complete at the beginning and end of each semester.

December

Canvas: Empowering Your Students to Collaborate Effectively Using Canvas Groups
Wednesday, December 8, 11 a.m. ET
Learn to identify how students can use Canvas Group Tools to collaborate with peers.

For more information or to register visit the ITLD page here.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • Smeal Academy Session: The Finish Line – Strategies for Ending the Semester Strong As we approach the end of the semester, there’s so much to do to ensure a smooth and successful finish. Come for a discussion about some practices and time-saving tips to end the semester strong! We’ll explore tips related to Canvas, grading, student communication and feedback and more. Please feel free to enjoy your lunch while we meet. Join us Monday, November 15th from Noon–1 via Zoom: https://psu.zoom.us/j/710269538?pwd=THlOeHlobTRFbmtTL2RoZG1VbjNGZz09

NOTE: Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1: Make sure that important dates and information are provided in multiple modalities, such as on Canvas, in the syllabus, and on slides or other visual means of communication.
  • Tip #2: Check in on your students’ understanding. Use a minute paper, exit tickets, and online discussion forums or social annotation tools to check for students’ understanding after class. If you discover after class that students did not understand a key course concept, take time to review it at the start of the next class session.
  • Tip #3: Encourage students to engage with the course and collaborate virtually. Many of the tools that instructors use when teaching remotely can be brought into the face-to-face classroom, allowing students to interact with each other virtually while in the same space. These tools also allow instructors to monitor student work in real-time and offer feedback and guidance.

Rice University (nd) “Can you hear me in the back?”: Strategies for teaching (and learning) while wearing a mask.

Resources

Helpful Websites

Website

Check out the eLDIG website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: course-support@smeal.psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.

Video, Pedagogy, and Kaltura (oh my!) – Fall 2021 Newsletter 4

Fall 2021 Resilience – Newsletter 4

Video has become more and more a part of our lives, from visiting family in distant places to education and entertainment. In this newsletter, we’ll take a look at how student learning can benefit from this powerful medium. We’ll look at survey data and best practices to help hone your video skills and we’ll also review Penn State tools available to help craft your instruction.

Once videos are recorded in Zoom, they’re automatically sent to Kaltura–Penn State’s Media Management Platform. Many of you are already aware of this because after you finish recording a lecture through Zoom, you receive an email from Kaltura saying that a recording is available to view on their platform.

After accessing a video directly on Kaltura’s site, you can edit many aspects of the video, such as the title, description, and length. You also can share the recording through a URL link or embed the video directly into your Canvas course(s). We’ll go over how to do all of this and more in our live session on October 15th at 9:00.

Helpful Links Related to Educational Video Strategies:

Current News

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • How to enhance pedagogy through video and integrate video into Penn State’s learning systems.This session will discuss numerous ways to enhance pedagogy through video and best practices to manage your video library and Canvas integration.Join us October 15, from 9 to 10 a.m. via Zoom:  https://psu.zoom.us/j/710269538?pwd=THlOeHlobTRFbmtTL2RoZG1VbjNGZz09
  • Smeal Academy Session: Learning Analytics Tricks and TreatsCome trick or treating with the eLDIG team and collect some creative basic learning analytics treats to inform and guide our teaching and learning efforts. We will have several doors to knock on from the Canvas house to the Zoom family…. and we may even check out what the Top Hat home is giving out this year. You never know what tricks might be up our costume sleeves or what haunted houses we’ll need to avoid as we wander through the analytics neighborhood. Come and join the fun as we collect some trick or treat loot (hopefully, there’ll be at least one or two full-sized candy bars)! Costumes are optional!Join us Tuesday, October 26 from 12 to 1 p.m. via Zoom: https://psu.zoom.us/j/710269538?pwd=THlOeHlobTRFbmtTL2RoZG1VbjNGZz09

NOTE:  Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Tips of the Week

  • Tip #1:  Set up thresholds in Starfish
    To make Starfish reporting easier, be sure to set up your grading thresholds in Starfish (and your gradebook and grading scheme in Canvas). Check out this Knowledge Base article for instructions. Students have indicated that Starfish feedback helps them better understand how they’re doing in their classes, and it also supports advisors as they guide their advisees.
  • Tip #2:  Aim to keep your instructional videos no more than 5-7 minutes long.
    According to Techsmith, 52% of viewers prefer instructional and informational videos that are between 3-6 minutes in length. When the eLDIG team reviews Kaltura video analytics for Smeal courses, this preference is reflected in student video completion rates – the longer the video, the less the students watch. They also tend to watch the beginning, middle and end of the videos, so be sure to use these points to convey key information.

Resources

Helpful Websites

Website

Check out the eLDIG website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: course-support@smeal.psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.

Midterm Motivation – Fall 2021 Newsletter 3

Fall 2021 Resilience – Newsletter 3

The goal of the Smeal Academy is to equip everyone with best practices and strategies for teaching, learning, and technology to ensure the Smeal community is prepared to respond to the unique challenges of teaching and learning during the Fall 2021 semester. Between now and the end of the Fall 2021 semester, we will be sending weekly emails with practical tips and information, providing live sessions, and holding virtual consultations.

This week, we share resources that can help you with student motivation.


During COVID we used more video than ever before. Students can find the use of video helpful, especially for second language students and students with disabilities.  This week, we will be talking a bit about the use of video in the Smeal Academy Sessions. Check out the list below for more information.

We all know it is important to motivate our learners and ensure the continuity of the motivation during the semester’s instruction. ARCS is an instructional model developed by John Keller and focuses on motivation.

There are four components of the ARCS model and stands for Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction.

  1. Attention: This refers to the learners’ interests. It is critical to get and hold the learners’ interests and attention. Some ideas for capturing student attention include:
    • Using video to allow for hearing the content again.
    • Providing real-world, related, and specific examples about content.
    • Using humor.
    • Going against learners’ past experience or providing an opposite point of view.
    • Using hands-on and role-playing activities.
    • Including brainstorming and critical thinking activities.
  2. Relevance: The learning process should show the usefulness of the content so that learners can bridge the gap between content and the real world. Some ideas for making content relevant to students include:
    • Explaining why and how this content helps the learners today or in the future.
    • Allow learners to choose their own paper topics or other ways to personalize their assignments.
    • Give learners continuity by establishing connections between new information and prior learning.
  3. Confidence: This component focuses on developing success expectations that allow learners to be in control of their learning processes. Some ideas for helping to build confidence in students include:
    • Use rubrics and checklists so that they can establish positive expectations and achieve success on your assignments.
    • Give learners’ early, and frequent feedback about their improvements/deficiencies during the course so that they can adjust their performance.
    • Allow learners the opportunity to be successful by providing multiple and varied assessment experiences. Avoid having only a few exams to measure understanding, instead include other assessments to vary the ways students can earn points.
  4. Satisfaction: There is a direct relationship between motivation and satisfaction. Learners should be satisfied with what they achieved during the learning process. Some ideas for making the content satisfying to students include:
    • Encourage intrinsic enjoyment of the learning experience so that learners have fun, continue the learning process without expecting reward or another kind of external motivational elements.
    • Extrinsic Rewards: Provide learners with positive feedback, rewards, and reinforcements. Be careful about scheduling reinforcement. It is more effective when you provide reinforcement at non-predictable intervals.
    • Maintain consistent standards and consequences for success. Check that there is consistency between yourself and your TA when sharing grading responsibilities.

References

Current News

  • Reminder: How to get your Zoom Recordings into Canvas
    If you missed last month’s session on getting your Zoom recordings into your Canvas Course using Kaltura. Be sure to look back at the sessions and watch these helpful videos.

  • Canvas Course Archiving took place  September 28
    Penn State IT will perform its regular archiving of older Canvas courses. You may choose to delay particular courses from being archived by using the in-Canvas Course Archive Manager tool. This can be found in the right navigation on your Canvas. Dashboard. Archiving includes: All LionPATH courses taught prior to and including Summer 2020 (LionPATH term 2205). All LionPATH courses that you may have previously opted out of archiving. Non-LionPATH courses, including Master, Manually Created, and Sandbox courses will not be archived. Full details, including instructions on how to opt a course out of archiving, are available on the Penn State Canvas website. This is a regular occurrence, please keep an eye on the notifications at the top of your Dashboard for future notices.
  • Spring Student Registration Has Begun
    Penn State undergraduates can view the full schedule of courses for Spring 2022. The LionPATH enrollment shopping carts opened Sept. 22. The first day of registration for graduate students is October 12, and undergraduate students is October 13. Encourage your students to talk to their advisors about what to take next.
  • Canvas Training Available
    As we begin to return to campus for the Fall semester, Penn State IT Learning and Development (ITLD) is offering Canvas training sessions via Zoom on a variety of topics, from designing effective content to empowering students to collaborate using Canvas groups. Register and check out the complete schedule of training sessions for Fall 2021.

Upcoming Live Sessions

  • How to enhance pedagogy through video and integrate video into Penn State’s learning systems.This session will discuss numerous ways to enhance pedagogy through video and best practices to manage your video library and Canvas integration.Join us October 15, from 9 to 10 a.m. via Zoom:  https://psu.zoom.us/j/710269538?pwd=THlOeHlobTRFbmtTL2RoZG1VbjNGZz09
  • Smeal Academy Session: Learning Analytics Tricks and TreatsCome trick or treating with the eLDIG team and collect some creative basic learning analytics treats to inform and guide our teaching and learning efforts. We will have several doors to knock on from the Canvas house to the Zoom family…. and we may even check out what the Top Hat home is giving out this year. You never know what tricks might be up our costume sleeves or what haunted houses we’ll need to avoid as we wander through the analytics neighborhood. Come and join the fun as we collect some trick or treat loot (hopefully, there’ll be at least one or two full-sized candy bars)! Costumes are optional!Join us Tuesday, October 26 from 12 to 1 p.m. via Zoom: https://psu.zoom.us/j/710269538?pwd=THlOeHlobTRFbmtTL2RoZG1VbjNGZz09

NOTE:  Recordings and resources from previous sessions can be found on our SmealTLT Website.

Tips of the Week

Motivating Yourself: Did you know that a faculty’s intrinsic or “autonomous” motivations predict greater use of proven, effective teaching methods — namely instructional clarity and higher-order, reflective and integrative, and collaborative learning? Faculty who teach because they enjoy and value it tends to teach in the most effective ways.

Stupnisky, R. H., BrckaLorenz, A., Yuhas, B., & Guay, F. (2018). Faculty members’ motivation for teaching and best practices: Testing a model based on self-determination theory across institution types. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 53, 15-26.

  • Tip #1:  Attend professional development workshops about teaching
    Smeal faculty cherish the idea of continuous quality improvement in business. The same applies to the business of teaching. Collect the data you need to ensure you are making improvements. Then attend professional development workshops with teaching experts to improve your teaching methods.
  • Tip #2:   Allow yourself adequate teaching preparation time
    Preparation and planning are critical components of effective teaching. A common misnomer is that faculty only work a limited workday, but when the time for preparing and planning is accounted for, the time increases significantly. Teaching is not something you can do effectively on the fly. It requires a healthy blend of content knowledge, instructional strategies, and classroom management tactics. Plan days to weeks in advance if possible. Do not wait until the last minute to try to put content together. Doing so limits your effectiveness. Staying organized and budgeting your time can ease your stress.
  • Tip #3:  Connect with other teaching faculty
    Connecting with other educators is probably the best way to grow yourself as an educator. You can connect with other faculty through social media, in person, and in professional development sessions. Find a like-minded faculty member and truly connect to exchange ideas and make changes to your processes.

Meirovich, G., & Romar, E. J. (2006). The difficulty in implementing TQM in higher education instruction: The duality of instructor/student roles. Quality Assurance in Education.
Meador, D. (May 04, 2019). Strategies for Teachers: The Power of Preparation and Planning.
Heick, T. (nd.d). What Happens When Teachers Connect.

Resources

Helpful Websites

Website

Check out the eLDIG website for more resources and support.

Contact Us

Email us at: course-support@smeal.psu.edu or fill out our Remote Teaching Support form.