Director’s Blog

Wishing You an Engaging Quarantine

Fall quarter is here at last, and I hope it was a fairly smooth start for all of you. Before I delve into my topic for today, I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who read and reach out to say you enjoy my posts. I really appreciate it! I don’t have a comments section because internet comments sections are where my faith and hope for […]

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Expect the Unexpected

As we get closer to fall quarter, I get more emails from vendors trying to sell me the latest tech that will make our return to campus even easier. And they almost always start with, “I hope this email finds you well.” I ignore them, but lately I have wanted to reply with, “No, your email did not find me well. I AM VERY NOT WELL!” I am stressing, as […]

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Come Back Better

With every passing week, we get closer to an in-person fall quarter. And part of me is excited and part of me is cautious that this is actually going to happen, only because our remote work lasted so much longer than any of us anticipated. So is this finally the end of it? Or will we be teased with in-person classes only to have it ripped away once again? Instead […]

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What Does Success Look Like?

While I know we are all dragging ourselves toward the finish line of spring quarter, I also feel less dread about the future. It seems like fall will be better as we navigate towards in-person classes again. And that has me thinking about a question I’ve always posed in workshops: What does success look like in your course? This is a question both for the instructor to consider as well […]

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On Class Participation

James Lang, one of my favorite faculty developers, wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education this week about why he no longer grades class participation. In short, he found it difficult to do in an equitable way, hard to distinguish through grading between substantive comments and ones that merely agreed, and stressful for students who don’t feel comfortable speaking up in class. This article got me thinking about […]

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Spring is Coming…And I Just Can’t

Spring quarter seems to be arriving with a sense of gloom and resignation. Coming up on the one-year mark of the world shutting down is weighing heavy on us all. I mean, who would have thought we would be teaching Spring quarter remotely – AGAIN?! Students and faculty are collectively groaning, “Enough with the Zooming, I am Zoomed out.” How can we approach yet another quarter of remote teaching? First, […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy: Looking Ahead

Well, 2021 arrived with a bang. As things hopefully begin to move in more positive directions, I finally feel like I can start looking ahead to when we return to campus. It’s still a ways off, and there’s plenty of remote teaching ahead of us, but I think it’s important that we reflect on what we have learned during this time and how that can positively influence our future teaching. […]

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So Long 2020

For my final post of the year, I’m reflecting on 2020 – what a dumpster fire. Reflection over. But seriously, it was an incredibly challenging, exhausting, frustrating, emotional year, for so many different reasons. I don’t need to recount those reasons, and I don’t need to rehash how difficult remote teaching has been. I’ve been talking to faculty throughout out this time, and I know the obstacles you all have […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy: Teaching Into the Void

Over the past 8 months (which feels more like 8 years), faculty developers have worked tirelessly to come up with new and creative ways to promote community building in the classroom. “We need connection now more than ever!” we have cried and beat our drum for Zoom breakout rooms, live office hours, and interactive polling. My first posts here covered student engagement. Yet, as the pandemic drags on, I still […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy: Self Preservation

I’d like to take a moment to shift focus from students to you, the faculty, as part of this pandemic pedagogy series. Since the switch to remote teaching, we’ve been going fast and furious how to teach and support students as they experience tech problems, wildfires, food insecurity, homelessness, job loss, COVID, and the list goes on. But this list isn’t exclusive to students. Faculty are facing personal challenges on […]

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