Welcome – Share your strategies

There are many wonderful things happening on our campus to engage students, promote learning, and support retention and success. Please share your ideas by posting here in “leave a reply”.

For example, you might include a specific assignment, discuss how you use it, then share its impact on student learning and engagement.

Please remember to include your contact information so that colleagues can reach out to you.

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Connecting with Community

March 12, 2018

Advisement, mid-terms, spring break….the semester is moving along and soon we’ll be attending senior presentations and celebrating graduation. In the midst of the semester, things can seem all-encompassing and at times overwhelming. (For tips on managing work while promoting student learning, please see https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/save-time-promote-learning-yes-can/).

The ability to connect with others whether in a learning session, over coffee, or at a campus event builds community even as it helps us know that we’re not alone in our work with students.

Community is evident in the work of CETL! While we have many “bright spots”, I’d like to highlight a few:

  1. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Homegrown Poster session was last Wednesday.  Scholars highlighted their results and shared ideas on their path in SoTL.  I saw connections being made with links for future collaborative endeavors. Kudos to the scholars and facilitators Hilary Fezzey and Sakib Mahmud for their work! For information on each of the projects, please go to our CETL blog at https://uwscetl.wordpress.com/. The call for proposals for this year’s group is out (due date April 16); please see attached and contact Hilary and Sakib with questions.

2.       This coming Friday, March 16 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room (Swenson 2074) is Freedom of Speech, Academic Freedom, and Freedom of Expression. This session is the second in our series CommUnity Conversations, a collaboration with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. A growing national debate has broken out over the extent to which colleges/universities, the media, places of employment, and other entities should monitor individual expression and speech. Particularly in places of learning, most would agree that a balance must be established between community standards, students’ rights to feel safe, academic freedom, and the ability of individuals to express controversial or unpopular opinions and perspectives. Come and learn about the legal boundaries and implications of free speech in the University setting. Light refreshments will be served.

  1. The Global Awareness and Inclusivity Community of Practice (which meets THIS Wednesday from noon – 12:50 p.m. in CETL) developed a book club last fall, focusing on“White Folks” by Tim Lensmire. Several book groups met multiple times for discussion, and Lynn Goerdt is organizing a final group of folks before the author comes to campus on March 29 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the Multicultural Center. Please contact her if you’re interested, or Jerel Benton to learn more about the event (https://www.uwsuper.edu/edi/news/diversity-dialogue-with-dr-tim-lensmire_event2558603). Additionally, please see a list of events related to equity, diversity and inclusion attached that was developed by the CoP.

The CETL staff continues to grow our own culture and community as we expand in staff and services. We were pleased to welcome Thora Papineau, our new CETL program associate. An alumni of UW-Superior, she is quickly learning the current context, processes and policies of our campus even as she brings new and insightful ideas to CETL.

Not a day goes by in CETL without a consultation, collaborative meeting, or event. Some of the more common topics we’re working with folks on:

  • using D2L functions to heighten student learning and help with time management;
  • creating flipped classrooms and videos for face-to-face and online classrooms;
  • implementing critical incidence questionnaires for formative assessment of classroom learning and culture.

Thank you for engaging with our staff and services! Please let us know your ideas and how we can better serve you by emailing me or cetl@uwsuper.edu.


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Celebrating the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Homegrown Scholars Part II

February 27, 2018

Those teachers who are students of their own impact are the teachers who are most influential in raising students’ achievement. ~ John Hattie

We are pleased to host our 2017-18 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Homegrown Showcase on Wednesday, March 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in the Berchild Lounge (Swenson Hall 2ndfloor landing).  Our scholars will share their projects with the campus community.  ALL are invited – students and staff alike. Light refreshments will be served.

Last week, I shared information about the scholars and their projects (For more information on each of the projects, please visit our blog at https://uwscetl.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/celebrating-our-scholarship-of-teaching-and-learning-homegrown-scholars/).

This week, I’d like to share reflections by our two wonderful co-facilitators, Hillary Fezzey and Sakib Mahmud.

From Hilary:  This has been an exciting year for UWS’s SoTL Homegrown Program.  We have expanded our program to include participants from a variety of co-curricular units on campus.  Over the course of the summer, fall, and early spring, I have had the pleasure of seeing our current SoTL scholars refine their research to get at the central learning outcomes that their projects aim to improve.  This year’s scholars are investigating a variety of types of SoTL, including what is, what works, and theory building.  Many participants have found that they have already been evaluating their student learning outcomes using some aspects of SoTL.  The SoTL Homegrown Program allows them to receive formal training, funding and recognition for doing SoTL.  It is particularly helpful for our educators who may not have time to do research, as SoTL allows them to do research that incorporates assessment of student work that they may be doing already that is directly applicable to their work with students.

From Sakib: Being one of the facilitators, I found UWS’s SoTL Homegrown Program to have significant influence on SoTL scholars in developing, refining, and implementing their projects to meet their students’ learning goals and outcomes. It is fascinating to have participants coming from different disciplines, programs, and the co-curricular units from our campus. What I really liked about the SoTL Homegrown Program is the way the participants communicated and helped each other to improve and finalize their projects by identifying SoTL types that best represent their research interests associated with teaching and learning.

We are pleased to announce the application for our 2018-19 scholars (see attached)! The deadline for applications is April 16, 2018 submitted to cetl@uwsuper.edu. Hilary and Sakib will once again guide the scholars. They can be reached for questions at hfezzey@uwsuper.edu and smahmud@uwsuper.edu.

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Celebrating our Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Homegrown Scholars!

Goal Setting: Impact on students’ self-confidence and self-motivation
Jen Bird, Tammy Fanning, Allison Garver, and Nate Field, Student Affairs
During the fall of 2017, the instructors of IDS 130 sought to determine if students would report higher self-confidence and self-motivation after they learned and applied goal setting strategies. The students were taught strategies that focused on goal setting, activities included: DAPPS Rule (Dated, Achievable, Personal, Positive, Specific), 32 Day Commitment, Formula for Motivation (VxE=M), and the Four Quadrants (Acting on Purpose/Prioritizing). Students also completed a pre and post self-assessment survey from the textbook On Course (2017) which measured “self-motivation” and “believing in myself” as well as other components.

The methods used to collect data included the self-assessment surveys as well as qualitative data collected through self-reflective writing assignments. Preliminary findings of the aggregate data from four of the five courses (n =27) show a mean increase of 1.26 points in relation to “self-motivation” and a mean increase of 2.56 points in relation to “believing in self.” Preliminary results of the qualitative data show that the activities positively impacted the “self-motivation” and “belief in self” of nearly all students who participated in the study. The team will continue to evaluate the data and determine potential areas for future research.

What motivates our campus language learners? An exploration of directed motivational currents (DMC’s) in university students studying content in a second language
Kate Nolin-Smith, Writing and Library Science and English as a Second Language
My research question is “How does visualizing the end goals of speaking English impact motivation to learn and use it?” The course involved in this study was ESL 131 Reading, sec. L11 and L12, Fall 2017.

To get a holistic view, this research project used a mixed methods approach. Data collection included self-report Motivation Charts in which students indicated the level of motivation to use the additional language (English) each day. In addition to the charts, there were corresponding open-responses to elaborate on the reasons influencing the level of motivation for those days.

Based on the Motivation Chart responses and written explanations for motivation levels, the preliminary results indicate that very few students reported extended periods (more than 5 days in a row) of high or intense motivation to use the additional language. Furthermore, students reported to be more motivated by daily circumstances rather than an end goal for language usage.

Moving forward, I will survey my future students at the beginning of each semester to not only understand what is motivating them to improve their language skills but also to identify their specific end goals for using the additional language. I will also continue to use motivation charts each semester as a reflective tool for the students. However, instead of reflecting on the charts at the end of the semester, I plan to review them weekly to see “where my students are at” academically, socially, emotionally, and physically in order to better support their language acquisition as they work towards meeting their language end goals.

Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Visual Arts Students
Susan Maguire, Visual Arts
My SOTL project explores the question: What percentage of our students hold a fixed mindset when it comes to visual arts? While researching my topic, discussing it with SOTL colleagues, and designing a survey tool, I determined to concentrate on whether or not I could reveal information about students’ mindsets related to intelligence in general, artistic ability specifically, and work habits. Sixty students taking Visual Arts courses completed the survey. I am still analyzing the results but one preliminary conclusion is that most students generally hold a growth mindset. Indications for a growth mindset drops, however, on questions about art ability (talent) and work habits compared to questions about intelligence.

Do video lectures improve student assessment scores for distance learning students?
Nathan Anderson, Natural Sciences Department
Physical Science at UW-Superior (PHYS160) is a course with a wide range of topics that make it difficult for students, especially distance learning students, and difficult to find a text that addresses each area of content to the desired depth. Over 60 lecture videos (about 10 and a half hours of content) were created as the primary learning source, replacing the previous text. The students went through the same weekly agenda as previous semesters watching three to six videos instead of reading a chapter from the text and took the same four online exams. Student assessment scores did not show significant change. A knowledge pre-test/post-test did show an increase in performance, and perhaps more important, student qualitative responses were mostly positive supporting the watching and learning from videos over reading from a science textbook.

Examining a Cohort Model of Student Organization Training
Allison Garver, Student Involvement
Does participation in a cohort group enhance the experience of students in a training program? This year Student Involvement is piloting an optional leadership certificate program for student organization leaders/officers and student supervisors employed within Student Affairs. Twelve (12) students initially signed up for the training program, but only three (3) students have completed multiple workshops towards earning the leadership certificate.

The three active participants in the program completed a six-question survey to share the benefits, drawbacks, and perceptions of the cohort experience.
Overall the students preferred being part of a cohort training group (vs attending a one-time workshop). They found the environment to be welcoming and respectful with open communication. Participants gained new perspectives and strategies from each other by sharing leadership experiences. One downfall to this model, which was experienced at times by this group, is not having enough participants show up. With few group members, discussion and sharing ideas becomes difficult.
Through the information gained from the pilot program, Student Involvement will be looking to expand the leadership certificate program next year using cohort groups.

Teachers are: Metaphorical representations of effective teaching
Matt Ridenour, Teacher Education
What are the dominant teaching metaphors of pre-service educators? What do these metaphors reveal about pre-service educator perceptions, identity and approach to the classroom?

This research study utilized the Conceptual Metaphor Theory of Lakoff & Johnson (1980) within the conceptual analysis framework of Long & Richards (1999). Data was gathered from students in TED 339, all of whom were pre-service K-12 educators at the time. As a course assignment, students were prompted to complete the sentence “Effective teachers are” and elaborate on their metaphor in written form. Data was then synthesized using the aforementioned theoretical and analytical framework. The study was approved by the UW-Superior IRB under protocol #1400. The initial findings indicate that these particular pre-service educators see effective teaching as an intentional act and a teacher-driven struggle. These gestalt characteristics are pervasive across metaphors and may well be predictive of future teaching-style and classroom approach.

People have the right to make bad decisions
Mandy Lilly, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity (Social Work)
This study examines how social work students apply and interpret the concept of client self-determination. Conducted through an assignment within Social Work 341: Individual Casework, students were asked to review four case studies and decide upon a course of action. They were then asked to reflect on the influences of their decisions. Preliminary results show the influence of family, life experiences, and strong values of independence, duty, and safety as impacting their decision-making. Though students understand the practical definition of self-determination, they are ultimately influenced by the filter of their life experiences and values.

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Welcome to Spring 2018 and CETL event calendar

January 22, 2018

Welcome back to Spring 2018 semester.  Wow – this “winter break” seemed to pass quickly.  Congratulations to those instructors who taught during our inaugural J-term!

I am resending the CETL newsletter with events included.  This has been REVISED with correct dates.  You may have read in my previous email that Nicole has departed for warmer climes and new opportunities, and we sure miss her! She was my proof-reader for many semesters. I apologize for the mix-up in dates – the ones in this document are correct, and the event notifications will be in our CETL emails as well as the Staff Digest.

(BTW, were are hiring for the CETL program associate. This is a 60% time position.  For more information, please see https://www.uwsuper.edu/hr/employment/university-services-program-associate-center-for-excellence-in-teaching-and-learning_employment2475703.  You may know of someone who is interested; please encourage them to contact me with questions at 715-394-8486.)

Our sessions are intended to engage you in learning new ideas, sharing strategies, and developing our campus community. We are pleased that we can web-conference nearly every session held in CETL, for those staff who are off-site and would like to participate. Please see our attached schedule for information on planned sessions. If you would like to propose a session, please contact me at mrothday@uwsuper.edu or x8486.

Our new Yellowjacket Pantry developed in collaboration with Student Affairs continues to grow with an increasing number of students visiting. The Pantry provides food and personal items to current students and is easily accessible in the CETL Suite. Please feel free to send students our way!  They are able to submit food requests anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., with food pick-up from 3 – 4:30 or as arranged.  For more information, please contact our student employee, Guilia Maciel Martins at gmarti13@uwsuper.edu.

As shared at the end of last semester, Nicole and Tom have departed UW-Superior for new and exciting professional opportunities.  Del Wright and I are still here and happy to consult, including on instructional pedagogy and the use of the learning management system (D2L).  Feel free to contact us. The CETL suite is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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CETL Weekly Email – Celebrating Our Students! Part II

December 20, 2017

Celebrating Our Students

Senior Year Experience is a High Impact Practice adopted by our campus.  Last week,  we highlighted SYE presentations and posters from a variety of program.  Here are more which showcase the great work all these programs and students do! Thank you to Del Wright, CETL staff for the pictures.

(left) Natural Sciences majors
The intent of the science SYE is to provide students practical experience doing the things scientists and people with science-related careers actually do.  Our students pair either a research project or an internship with a public presentation of their work, thereby practicing science in action.  Oral communication in a typical science conference format is integral to the process.  Some presentations this year involved topics such as:

  • Determining the role of specific proteins in zebrafish cancer initiation
  • How to predict the color of an optically active material
  • Development of an interpretive trail at Amnicon State Park
  • Internship in forensic pathology in Trinidad
  • Evaluation of food preferences of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches

For more information, contact Nick Danz.

(right) Transportation and Logistics Management majors
All T&L majors are required to do a minimum six week long two credit internship.  Most students are engaged in a twelve week internship.   A public presentation is part of the requirement for the UW-Superior capstone course TRSP-400. The goals of the internship presentations are twofold: Showcase the individual’s internship experience; provide valuable information and insight for T&L students who will be doing an internship in the future. The student’s public presentations are designed to share the following: 1) Informs about the company or agency and its business structure, location, and culture; 2) Describes a typical internship day; 3) Describes one or more projects that were part of the internship experience; 4) Shares lessons learned from the internship experience; 5) Discusses how their UW-Superior education prepared the student for the internship. For more information, please contact Richard Stewart.

(left) Educational Leadership – undergraduate Education majors
For teacher candidates in the Educational Leadership Department, the SYE is meant not only as a means of demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of elementary and/or secondary education, but also to situate that knowledge within a personal context. Parker Palmer (1998) argues that it is at this intersection of personal and vocational life that powerful pedagogy is found.  This sort of “undivided self” (Palmer, 1998, p.15) – wherein a teacher’s life is both affected by, and reflective of, what happens in their classroom – makes for a highly coherent educational philosophy. To this end, the SYE is focused on offering a generative reflective experience that connects a student’s UWS coursework to the whole of their educational journey while also launching each candidate into their chosen vocation equipped with a stronger sense of their educator-selves. For more information, please contact Matt Ridenour.

(right) Health and Human Performance majors
The HHP Capstone experience is focused on internships, Wellness/Fitness focused Research, and Public Health programs.  Our HHP students for fall 2017 presented on:

  • internship experiences that allowed their educational journal to be applied to real life public health careers, bridging the gap between higher education and professional careers.
  • Public Health [AS-L programs], Sharing research, data collection, and employee wellness designs for presentation:  Building Employee Wellness programs for local and surrounding businesses.
  • Exercise science programs designed, directed, assessed with data collection to allow researching the outcomes of various concepts related to wellness/fitness.

All Capstones are to be related to student’s career paths and build upon their educational growth and personal creativity. For more information, please contact Kim Lebard-Rankila.

(left) Psychology majors and Intro to Psychology Profession students
The Psychology Senior Year Experience highlights students’ semester-long research project. Each project demonstrates their knowledge of the psychology curriculum and a reflection on their major, career aspirations, and liberal education. The students invited people who had supported and fostered their growth during their undergraduate career–including family, friends, and UWS employees. For the first time this year, psychology students in our professional development sequence presented a myriad of career options that are open to people with degrees in Psychology. For more information, contact Eleni Pinnow.

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CETL Weekly Email – Celebrating Our Students

December 11, 2017

Celebrating Our Students

Senior Year Experience is a High Impact Practice adopted by our campus.  This week we highlight SYE presentations and posters, with pictures from this fall by Del Wright, CETL staff.  And, more to come as there are a lot of SYEs this week!

(left)  Business Administration majors (including Finance, International Business, Management and Marketing)
Students each chose a major company and analyzed the strategies used by their chosen firm.  This included gathering data on the company and using a variety of analytical tools covered in the business administration curriculum.  They wrote reports on their firm, covering 1) current strategies and strategy types used by the firm, 2) an analysis of the firm’s macro environment (competitors, economy, consumer preferences, technology, etc.), 3) the resources the firm possesses (financial, internal culture, market share, reputation with customers, operational capabilities, technology owned/used, etc.) and 4) recommendations for changes in strategy going forward, if needed. For more information, please contact Rick Moran.

(right) Economics majors (from Spring 2018)
Senior Year Experience requirement in the Economics major is completed as a part of ECON 470 (Applied Economic Analysis) course.  To complete the requirement, students have to conduct an original (to them) empirical research, write a paper, and give an oral public presentation of their work.  During the research phase, each student has to select an economic issue or question that is interesting to them (many students complete interdisciplinary projects, e.g., transportation and economics, finance and economics, politics and economics), conduct literature review, formulate own research hypotheses, master in model-building, collect and quantitatively (statistically) analyze empirical data, use findings to formulate inferences and conclusions on the issue, and prepare a professionally written report on their research findings. Using Shippar-Beam Economics Program Enhancement Fund, every spring semester Economics program celebrates SYE through public presentation of student research. For more information, please contact Rubana Mahjabeen.

(left) Legal Studies majors (including the Criminal Justice concentration)
Seniors within the program are required to create a poster presentation based off of a significant capstone experience that can include internships, Mock Trial or independent research projects.  They are asked to reflect on their entire undergraduate career and critically analyze and explore the interrelationships between their capstone, major/minor, and their liberal arts education. This deep dive analysis requires them to reflect on how seemingly disparate courses, subjects and/or experiences during their time at UW-S allowed for a deeper understanding and appreciation of their field and capstone. Students are asked to do a self-evaluation of their capstone experience and how it contributed to their personal growth, intellectual development and career/professional development. Students also identify a unifying theme that typifies their undergraduate experience and explore how it made a difference within their capstone and education as a whole. Students publicly present their posters each Fall and Spring semester amongst friends, family, peers, and faculty.  Seniors are evaluated each semester to assess certain program learning outcomes.  For more information, please contact Maria Cuzzo or Danielle Fagen.

(right) Social Work majors
Students present on their internship experience, including agency mission, purpose and services; showcase their skills and knowledge in working with a hypothetical client; and provide an assessment of the agency and opportunities for growth.  They reflect on the connection between their liberal arts degree and the internship for a generalist social work degree. For more information, please contact Lynn Amerman Goerdt.

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Celebration and Equity

December 4, 2017

Our campus theme for December is Gratitude.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. ~ Maya Angelou

There are three things highlighted in these email:

  1. Celebration of students
  2. Celebration of our work to support students and the learning process
  3. Next steps in planning for our shared conversation on Equity during Opening Week in January
  4. Upcoming events at CETL

Celebration of students
As the semester comes to a close, numerous opportunities abound to celebrate our students, their persistence, and their academic and personal successes.  I believe that students’ determination and grit which leads to success cannot be captured by words. It is the look in their eyes of accomplishment, the grin on their faces, the relief in their body language that proclaims “I did this!” It is also the pride that family and friends radiate.  We see it when students walk across the stage for their degree and in myriad ways across campus this time of the semester.

In the next two weeks, our campus community will celebrate students in senior year experiences, from poster, paper, and portfolio presentations to musical recitals to final art shows.  (Many of these are on the campus calendar.) The CETL team has chosen to highlight student accomplishments linked to the senior year experiences in our weekly emails. Del Wright will be attending events to take photos (which will also be shared with the specific department), and we have requested narratives for these from department chairs.  Please feel free to email CETL with information or to notify us of additional events that you’d like to highlight.  We want to showcase the many bright spots on our campus!

Celebration of our work
We as UW –S Yellowjackets (faculty and staff) also have many things to celebrate, even while it has been a very difficult semester for our campus.  Our campus colleagues – YOU! – are implementing thoughtful and challenging strategies to help students grow. We invite you to share these on our CETL blog at https://uwscetl.wordpress.com/2017/09/04/share-your-strategies/#comments. You might share an activity that you found particularly impactful in helping students learn a difficult concept or a strategy that fostered students in their self-confidence.  We’ll draw from these posts and add them to our CETL emails both this December and next semester.

Conversation on Equity for January planning meeting
We are now in the planning stage for our Equity conversation during Opening Week.  Jerel Benton, Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity and I are co-facilitating the design team.

This team is open to ALL members on campus.  We meet this Friday, December 8 from 2 – 3:30 in the CETL conference room (Swenson 2074).  We are aware that concerns exist regarding trust, rapport, and communication on our campus. This is our opportunity to vision our own actions as we move forward, and how we engage with one another. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jerel or I.

Upcoming events

  • Global Awareness and Inclusivity Community of Practice meets on Wednesday, December 13 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room.  Please contact the co-facilitators Lynn Goerdt and Jerel Benton for questions or more information.
  • The December meeting of the URSCA Peer Network is Thursday, December 14th from 12 – 12:50 p.m. in the CETL conference room. The topic is focused on mentoring students in the Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Experienced mentors and those interested in learning more about the program are all welcome. Bring your lunch and join the conversation! For more information, contact co-facilitators Cheong Soon Gan cgan@uwsuper.edu and Julie O’Leary joleary3@uwsuper.edu.
  • HUNKER with us during finals week! Beginning Tuesday, December 19 and ending Thursday afternoon, December 21, we’ll open the CETL conference room beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m.  This is a quiet time/space for you to spread out at a table and work on grading assignments, working on reports or grants, etc. We will have treats from A Dozen Excuses, coffee, and tea available.  If you would like to consult with CETL staff or colleagues, separate space is available to meet.
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