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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Learning Management System Change Announced

The following is a copy of the first official email from your D2L to Canvas Migration Design Team.
Our campus (as well as all those within the UW Wisconsin System) is migrating from our current learning management system (D2L) to Canvas in Fall 2019.

This email is intended to provide you basic information on the migration as well as timeline and contact information. You’ll see regular (at the minimum, monthly) emails and other communication from us regarding the progress of the migration and ways you can be involved beginning in January 2018.

Why are we changing to a new learning management system?
UW – System requested proposals from companies to identify a more effective and innovative learning management system that is aligned with our 2020FWD Strategic Framework. The timing of the proposal was related to ending of the current contract with Desire2Learn. Following feedback from campuses, Canvas was chosen both because of the system and the services they offer. One of the things our design team is most excited about is the 24 hour-a-day, 7 day-a-week support that Canvas will offer for both instructors and students.

Who is the design team for this project? What work are they doing?
Members of the design team are:

  • Co-facilitators Jim Rink, IT and Monica Roth Day, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs;
  • Harry Anderson, Dean of Students;
  • Christina Kline, Interim Director of the Distance Learning Center;
  • Representing instructors (Faculty and Academic Staff): Julie Gard, Kim Lebard-Rankila, Scott Smith, Maryjane Burdge, and Nicholle Schuelke;
  • Representing instructional design and support: Del Wright, Stacy Leno, Mike Olson, Rebecca Graetz and Tom Tu.

The work of the design team is to: 

  1. Identify policies and/or practices needed for a successful migration.
  2. Develop a communication plan with our campus, then communicate each step of the process.
  3. Identify the migration process and timeline, with a focus on the least amount of work and time for instructors.
  4. Identify necessary trainings, including online and face-to-face opportunities.

What is the timeline for the project?  Do I need to prepare now?
We will be migrating to Canvas very deliberately over the next two years, with a great deal of work done “behind the scenes” by specific staff in Information Technology. The earliest that the Canvas migration could occur is next fall (2018) with early adopters (such as graduate programs).  As an entire campus, we are planning for a full migration in Fall 2019 so that only one learning management system is used (rather than using D2l and Canvas simultaneously).  NO MIGRATIONS WILL HAPPEN NEXT SEMESTER (Spring 2018).

What does this mean to me as an instructor? How much work will I need to do?
The design team is working hard to ensure that the migration process will take as little work as possible for instructors. The migration is related to the process of using the new learning management system, not changing your course content or learning activities.  Think of it as moving to a new house – the look is different, but your furniture and household items are all the same.

What should I consider now in planning for the migration?
The design team is working with UW – System project managers and Canvas staff regarding the Canvas design (the basic tools for courses) and timeline to ensure as much as possible a successful migration. Keep an eye out beginning this spring semester for regular emails and notices regarding Canvas trainings from our design team. In addition to emails, we’ll post them in digests and on our website, https://www.uwsuper.edu/teachingtools/canvas/index.cfm. We’ll post opportunities for online and face-to-face trainings and consultations, as well as other information.

I’m nervous/worried/excited/etc and would like more info. Who should I contact?
For questions or concerns regarding this project, please feel free to contact Jim and Monica at canvas@uwsuper.edu.

The UW-System Digital Learning Environment (DLE) Course Template Design team will be visiting campus on Friday, December 8th for two course template feedback sessions.  The sessions will be in the Jim Dan Hill Library room 231 (see attached invites):

  • First session is at 10:00-11:00 AM
  • Second session is at 11:00 AM – Noon

Instructors and students are welcome to attend either of these feedback sessions.  They will be hands-on sessions, so you’ll be able to log into the UW-System Canvas testing area to see examples of what the course templates could look like and give your feedback on which you like the best.


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CETL Weekly – Expanding Perspectives

November 13, 2017

“To the person who does not know where he wants to go there is no favorable wind.” — Seneca

Vision is critical to higher education.  Even as we ground students in long-standing theories and ideas, we prepare them for their future careers and lives.  We can envision the possibilities of the future and ways to prepare our students even as we adapt our campus to their perspectives and understanding of the world.  We ask students to adopt a growth mindset and we must as well.  This includes our ability to learn about the students we are teaching and their generational perspectives on the world.

Last week, at least six transgendered people were elected into office around the United States. (See more athttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/11/08/transgender-people-have-been-elected-before-but-they-can-finally-let-the-voters-know/?utm_term=.5091ff515a6e). This is a much-celebrated event. In social media, people shared that they thought the country would not reach this milestone in their lifetimes, and yet here we are! The concept of gender has changed over time as has society’s perspective on it. It is much more fluid than the past binary definition.

Last year, Daniela Mansbach, Associate Professor in Political Science and Gender Studies Coordinator, facilitated an amazing conversation on gender and the use of gender pronouns.  For example, “xhe” is a non-binary pronoun and “they” is now used as a singular pronoun. We also talked about how gender has been shaped by our own generations, experiences, and perspectives on the world. Our students reflect much more diverse perspectives on gender; we must learn and adapt to those perspectives to better support students in their identities.

The conversation last spring led to the purchase of “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric” by CETL and succeeding conversations about gender and what it means to our interactions with students. This summer, we hosted a viewing to a packed room from folks in a diversity of roles.

Our next part of the Gender Revolution conversation is TOMORROW (Tuesday, 11/14) from 5 – 7 p.m. Why attend?  Discussion will be integrated into portions of the video, with opportunities to share ideas on what our learning means to our work inside and outside the classroom. As a community, we will generate concrete strategies in working with students and expanding our own learning.   If you have not attended previous sessions, please feel free to join us!

If you cannot attend this session but would like to see the video and the National Geographic issue, Gender Revolution, contact cetl@uwsuper.edu, or contact Nicole or Monica in CETL.

Additional upcoming events

Please see the attached flyers for Native American Heritage Month and Diversity events this fall.

Both events below are in CETL (Swenson 2074); light refreshments will be served.

  • The URSCA Peer Network meets this Thursday, November 16 from noon – 12:50 p.m.
  • The Well-being Community of Practice meets next Wednesday, November 22 from noon – 12:50 p.m. The topic for this session is “Cultivating a Character Strengths Focus”. Character Strengths are the positive parts of your personality that impact how you think, feel and behave and are the keys to you being your best self. When individuals are aware of their strengths, and have the opportunity to use them within their work or school day, they are happier and more engaged. Come learn how to identify, use and benefit from the VIA Charter Strengths Assessment.

CETL events are winding down to better support faculty and staff during the final weeks of the semester. We are happy to consult with you on various teaching and learning interests and needs including instructional design/development, technology integration and media production. Please feel free to contact Monica, Del or Tom. See more details at https://www.uwsuper.edu/cetl/about/services.cfm.


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Teaching and Learning Relationships

November 6, 2017

Teaching is not about information. It’s about having an honest intellectual relationship with your students. ~ Paul Lockhart

Please forgive me for stating the obvious – this is a difficult time for our Yellowjacket community. People have been impacted in various ways. In recent days, I’ve found myself reflecting often on the teaching and learning relationship and what it means to be at a university.

Teaching and learning are about relationships, not just knowledge and how it is taught. One of the best things about working at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning are the countless and varied conversations about what it means to be a teacher. Over time, the themed response to “What is the most critical thing in the teaching and learning process?” is “relationship”.  This theme comes up again and again, regardless of role – student, staff, faculty, advisor, coach, and/or supervisor.  Some frame it as empathy and compassion, others as trust, others as responsiveness.

Numerous research studies support the importance links between relationship, teaching and student progress. When we combine students’ trust in us and our interest in their progress with best practices in teaching and learning, amazing things can happen.

This week showcases the importance of relationships.  It is National Veteran’s Week! I’ve attached Monte’s email from the Veteran and Non-traditional Student Center on the many activities to celebrate this week.  I’m pleased that our CETL collaboration with them continues.  Green Zone training will be held this Tuesday, November 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. in CETL (Swenson 2074).  Why attend?  You will learn the strengths and challenges of student soldiers and veterans and various strategies to best support them both inside and outside the classroom. All are invited!

Chickering’s vectors of student development, long a staple of higher education, have been extended into working with student veterans. They include 1) developing competence, 2) managing emotions, 3) moving through autonomy toward interdependence and others. See more information at http://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/Chickerings-Seven-Vectors-and-Student-Veteran-Development.aspx.

Additional upcoming events

  • The Global Awareness and Inclusivity Community of Practice meets this Wednesday, November 8 from noon – 12:50 p.m. in CETL (Swenson 2074). Facilitated by Jerel Benton and Lynn Amerman Goerdt, this is a great opportunity to share ideas and engage with colleagues in learning about students.  Attached is a schedule of events the group has developed – please share with your colleagues!
  • Learn@UW-Superior: Analysis and Grades is this Thursday, November 9 from noon – 1 p.m. in Swenson 2020 with Stacy Leno and Tom Tu. Why attend?  You will learn how to use these tools along with how to implement them to best support student learning. For example, did you know that you can use the analysis tool to see how much course material (if included in Learn@UW-Superior) that the student has accessed and for how long? This relates to how you might work with the student regarding study strategies.

If you cannot attend this session and would like more information, please feel free to contact Tom Tu at ytu@uwsuper.edu or x8463.

CETL events are winding down to better support faculty and staff during the final weeks of the semester. We are happy to consult with you on various teaching and learning interests and needs including instructional design/development, technology integration and media production. Please feel free to contact Monica, Del or Tom. See more details at https://www.uwsuper.edu/cetl/about/services.cfm.


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Teaching at its Best

October 23, 2017

Teaching at its best arises from healthy teachers who are well rested, open minded, clear thinking and compassionate towards the challenges of learning. ~ Kathryn Lovewell, Every Teacher Matters

Good morning! We have reached the mid-term point of the semester. In the past two weeks, a number of people privately or at CETL sessions have shared how overwhelming/busy/hectic the semester is, and how it is difficult to find time to meet obligations and goals.  I believe that teaching is one of the best professions. It requires significant time and energy to teach, provide feedback, develop assignments, provide more feedback, assess and evaluate, then revise.  Additional campus responsibilities affect our time teaching and working with students.

There are ways to take care of ourselves as teachers. Our Well-being Community of Practice, which meets this week (see info at the bottom of this email) provides great ideas and is a source of support.  In the attached article, Helping New Faculty Thrive, there are a myriad of strategies and ideas offered to help enhance teaching. While the intent is towards new faculty/instructors, even those more seasoned may find some new ideas.  The article is broken out into specific sections:

  • The Things I Did Badly: Looking Back on My First Five Years of Teaching……….. 6
  • Qualities of Successful Teaching………………………………………………………………. 8
  • Lessons Learned from My Students…………………………………………………………. 10
  • ‘What Works’ in the Messy Landscape of Teaching and Learning………………….12
  • Student Engagement: What Is It?……………………………………………………………. 14
  • Ways to Achieve Student Engagement…………………………………………………….. 16
  • Critical Thinking: Definitions and Assessments……………………………………………18
  • A Less-Structured, More Learning-Centered Environment……………………………20
  • Avoiding Information Overload: Remembering Course Goals……………………….22
  • Some Lessons Learned about Learner-Centered Teaching………………………….. 24
  • Learning from Our Mistakes…………………………………………………………………….26
  • Talk about Teaching That Benefits Beginners and Those Who Mentor Them….28
  • Confessions of a Bad Teacher…………………………………………………………………..30
  • Six Things That Make College Teachers Successful………………………………………32

Upcoming events:
This week, CETL is hosting three open sessions, all held in the CETL conference room (Swenson 2076).

  • The URSCA Peer Network meets Tuesday, 10/24 from noon – 12:50 p.m. (See more info in the attached email from Julie.) This group is facilitated by Cheong Soon Gan and Julie O’Leary.
  • The Well-being Community of Practice meets Wednesday, 10/25 from noon – 12:50 p.m. This month’s topic is “Attitude of Gratitude”. Research has shown that gratitude is good for our bodies, our minds, our relationships and our workplaces. Come learn how to cultivate and appreciate the many blessings in your life based on new research being done in this area of well-being. This group is facilitated by Randy Barker and Mimi Rappley-Larson.
  • Implicit Bias Training, facilitated by Jerel Benton, EDI Director, is on Thursday, 10/26 from 11:30 a.m.  – 12:50 p.m. Implicit bias is defined as attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. It can have a powerful influence inside and outside classrooms.
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