UTLC Newsletter

Teaching Tips:

We’ve made it to Reading Day, and the end is in sight! We hope your semester is wrapping up well. In honor of Reading Day – and in recognition that many may not be fully engaging in the activity for which the day gets its name – today’s teaching tips focus on issues and strategies related to students doing the assigned reading:

  • Is it worth it? The biggest obstacle for students reading is the perception that it is not worth their time. Luckily, faculty have significant control over that assessment. The most straightforward strategy here is to implement some form of reading quiz at the start of class, or prior to class via Canvas, that will encourage students to engage with the reading before class. This strategy works even better if the reading check is woven throughout the class period to keep students engaged. The more that students are required to do with the reading in class, the more likely they are to see the value in doing the assigned reading.
  • Reviewing without restating. Although it is well-intentioned to summarize important parts of the course content for students in class, it is also a surefire way to communicate that students do not need to do the assigned reading in order to get the salient points. It is as important that faculty avoid these negative incentives for reading as it is that we provide positive incentives in the learning environment. Try to devise ways for students to apply what they’ve learned from the reading in order to review the key points, rather than focusing on restating those same points.
  • Higher order reading. It can be easy to overlook that many of our students do not ever get taught how to read at a level that college coursework requires. You may see significant gains simply by providing some structured activities early in the semester that guide students on what successful reading looks like in your course. Whether that means instruction on how to outline important points, using concept maps for key concepts, or other creative approaches that work for your discipline, it is important to recognize that students might not be getting much from the assigned reading because higher order reading is a skill in itself.

There are plenty of options out there for specific activities that will help students to do the assigned reading. Consider this resource from Temple University’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching. As always, the Teaching Innovations Office is happy to consult on particular strategies that can work for your specific course as well.

Check out more here: Past Teaching Tips


We need your input!

The UTLC will soon be building on the Teaching Tips format to include a podcast focused on more in-depth responses to the common questions and concerns faced by UNCG faculty. If you have something in mind that you want the UTLC to address, we invite you to send topics or specific questions to us at tio@uncg.edu, and stay tuned for the first episode of the podcast!


Library Tips

This semester, we add some tips from UNCG Libraries to our regularly scheduled programming! These tips are designed to help you better use the resources available through the libraries to achieve your teaching and learning goals. Did you know that UNCG’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) has an extensive online World War I Pamphlet Collection? As this month is the 101st anniversary of the United States’ involvement in the Great War, we would like to bring this collection to the forefront! These pamphlets were issued by governments of US allies and contain information ranging from first-hand accounts of wartime conditions, battle maps, photographs, and brochures that involve soldiers’ postwar rehabilitation efforts. These online primary sources are well suited for class projects that involve the history of World War I, government efforts to sway public opinion on the homefront to support the war, and the psychology of conflict. Please contact SCUA if you would like further information about how to incorporate this wonderful collection into your class curriculum.


Mark your calendar – key upcoming UTLC events:

Coffeehouses The UTLC:TIO Coffeehouses are open to all faculty each month. Coffeehouses are meant to bring faculty members together for a quick cross-campus conversation. No specific topic is identified. There is no need to register for the UTLC Coffeehouse – drop in as your schedule allows! No sign up required. In the Faculty Center from 9am to 10am on the dates listed below.

Fall 2018

Spring 2019

September 9, 2018 February 6, 2019
October 3, 2018 April 3, 2019
November 7, 2018

Brown Bag Lunches Drop-in discussion sessions with colleagues. You bring your lunch, and we bring the snacks and coffee. There is no need to register for Brown Bag Lunches – feel free to join or leave at any time as your schedule allows! No sign up required. In the Faculty Center on the dates listed below.

  • September 18, 11:30am-1:30pm – HIPs, Easing the Transition for First-Year Students
  • October 15, 10:30am-1:00pm– Hybrid course design
  • November 14, 11:30am-1:00pm– HIPs, Capstones and Signature Work
  • February 12, 12:00am-1:00pm– HIPs, Integrated and Applied Learning
  • March 13, 12:00am-1:00pm– HIPs, Common Read and Characteristics of First-Year Students
  • March 19, 11:00-2:00pm– EDI

Biergartens Join us on the third Thursday of each month for Biergarten in the Faculty Center! We will be serving up snacks and beer (as well as good ol’ water) to get the semester started off right. Stop by to enjoy the shift away from summer with friends and colleagues.

  • October 17
  • January 16
  • February 20
  • March 20

Early Fall Events

September 10: The Spark of Learning with Sarah Rose Cavanagh The Teaching Innovations Office, in collaboration with the Title III Intentional Futures Grant, is excited to welcome to campus Sarah Rose Cavanagh, author of The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion, on the morning of Monday for a visiting lecture and workshop. In the meantime, you can find out more about her book here!


 

Important opportunities are available!


  • Faculty Funding Application – Global Engagement Course Development Award

For 2017-18, Global Engagement has up to $50,000 in Global Engagement Course Development Award funding available for faculty to create or revise courses incorporating the four Global Engagement SLOs. Awards range from $500 (revised course) to $1,000 (new course or series of courses). The Spring 2018 deadlines to apply are January 19 and March 16. It is our goal that by supporting faculty as they incorporate more global themes into their courses, students will graduate from UNCG with the skills necessary to thrive in an increasingly global world. Please visit globalqep.uncg.edu/faculty/grants.htm for more details on available awards.


  • URSCO Student Travel Grants

The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office has limited resources to support student travel to disseminate results of scholarly inquiry at conferences/exhibitions. Support can include costs of travel, room, board, and registration. The maximum request amount is $500. Requests are due by the 1st of each month, with award announcement by month’s end. Funds are distributed as a reimbursement upon the completion of travel and presentation.


  • Opportunities for faculty in the Office of Research and Engagement

Click here for a list of deadlines, events, and upcoming workshops with the Office of Research and Engagement.


  • STEM Faculty: Call for Participation in Faculty Incubator on student growth mindset and self-regulation

Do you wish you could actually do something in your classes to improve your students’ learning, motivation and self-regulation? Join STEM colleagues in a RISE-sponsored Faculty Incubator to develop and try out teaching methods that cultivate a growth mindset, student self-regulation, and promote the use of good learning techniques. We will meet 6 times in the Spring semester on Wednesdays (time TBA based on participants’ availability). Each faculty participant will receive a $300 stipend. Dr. Sara Heredia will engage the group of faculty in the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) problem solving framework, which is widely used to identify and test solutions to classroom problems. Identify and solve a current issue that is meaningful to you while learning a process you can continue to use in the future! If you are interested in joining the incubator, or would like to learn more about it, please contact the facilitator, Dr. Sara Heredia (TEHE), at scheredi@uncg.edu.