UTLC Newsletter

Teaching Tips:

Welcome back to standard time and the final month of the semester. As the leaves and temperatures continue to drop, so too does the energy and attention of students and instructors alike. With four weeks left to go, and with final assessments looming around the corner, today’s tips focus on using popular content to promote active learning and help students to go the distance:

  • Fuel burning fast on an empty tank. Keeping students engaged is hard at the best of times, and it gets ever more difficult as the semester comes to a close. As we combat fatigue, anxiety, and other distractions, it becomes all the more important to focus on active learning as a foundation for giving students practice with the skills and content knowledge that they have been developing across the semester. One fun example of this comes from a recent post in the Chronicle of Higher Education, which describes an activity that Dr. Heather Urry uses to make use of Halloween candy while also cultivating key lessons about research study design.
  • Skills from Skittles. In this post-Halloween learning activity, Dr. Urry gives students practice with a type of experimental design by having them collect data in class, quickly tabulate the statistics, and then make conclusions about whether the data supports the instructor’s particular “hierarchy of candy goodness.” Of course, the content is relatively inconsequential to experimental psychology, but the focus is on how to use the excitement of the moment to practice important skills in the discipline.
  • Active, inclusive, and invested. We may not all have the luxury of replacing EEGs and fMRIs with Hershey’s and Reese’s, but consider points in your remaining class sessions where you can emphasize applied skills in ways that draw on examples that may be more intrinsically exciting to more of your students. As always, it can be hard to find popular content that is inclusive of all students – even candy is not exempt from that concern – and one should consider how popular content can be received by a diverse student population. The goal here is to get as many students through the late semester haze and back to being engaged with key learning outcomes. As the example in the Chronicle article concludes, “the free chocolate doesn’t hurt, either.”

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 2019

Spring 2020

September 5 February 6
October 3 April 2
November 7

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 19, 11:30am-1:00pm – HIPs
  • November 20, 11:30am-1:00pm– HIPs
  • February 5, 12:00am-1:00pm– HIPs

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.

  • August 21
  • September 18
  • October 16
  • November 20
  • January 15
  • February 19
  • March 18
  • April 15

Early Fall Events

August 9 – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Institute.

Important opportunities are available!

  • 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.