Teaching Hub: Post Five, Week Four

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PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: It’s Week 4 already! Those assignments are going to be due before you (and your students) know it!

teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

Questions? Good Question!

The comment below got us questioning questions, didn’t it?

“My other take-away from Focus On Learning was not to ask the students, “are there any questions?” but to ask them “what questions do you have?”. Assume there are questions and you get them.” Liz Mathewson, Hub Post 2 Comment Section

And what did it get us thinking? That is an excellent question, isn’t it? We’re thinking that, since questions help lead to answers, better questions may lead to better answers, or even more good questions and more good answers. Whether those questions are in class, for a test, from teachers, or from students, knowing how to form an excellent question will benefit everybody.

Want to learn more about questions that work? Dorothy Strachan has asked a lot of questions in her day, and here’s a chapter from her book, Making Questions Work. Scroll down to the section called Reminders on page 26 for a quick table with some question-asking tips and examples.

While we’re on the topic of questions, want a reminder about a question-related Classroom Assessment Technique? Check out the Student-Generated Test Questions CAT, okay?

What are your favourite kinds of questions to use with students? What are some questions that have totally fallen flat? Let us know in the comments section below.

Question mark tally for this section: 11

tech icon Learning Technology

The Post-It that inspired this section

Did you know that getting involved in Open Educational Practices leads to  happier, longer, wealthier, healthier, more democratic, more organic, less confrontational, more peaceful, less wistful, and more powerful lives for everyone and everything?

And what does Open Educational Practice mean? Very simply put, it means to share what you do and how you do it, in the open. And how can you do that? Well, I’ll tell you one way that we can get started opening up: Get thee on Twitter! Here are some small steps to follow so that we can share and grow our Teaching & Learning community through Twitter:

  1. Get an account at Twitter.com.
  2. Follow @FlemingLDS.
  3. Send a tweet to @FlemingLDS saying “Hey! Everybody! I want in on this sweet learning community!” Then we will follow you, and you will follow us, and y’all will follow each other, and our network will become unstoppable. Include #FlemingLDS in your tweet (this will make our tweets show up on the D2L main page, too!).
  4. While you’re at it, follow @alanacallan, @greeneterry, @jarliwin, @blackjodie32, @mary_overholt and @FlemingCollege.
  5. For the rest of your days, continue to tweet out things that you are doing with your class or anything that you think will contribute to our learning community. Include #FlemingLDS in your tweets. We’ll retweet you, probably!

You can use the same steps in your class to build your own class or program learning community, too! Need help? Let us know at LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca

polci icon Policies & Procedures

October 7th, 2016.  If students are considering dropping a course, they may want to avoid an “F” mark on their transcript! The final date to withdraw from courses less than eight weeks in duration (offered in first seven weeks) and receive a “W” designation on an Academic Record is October 7th. If they miss it, they’ll be saying a different F word! 

There are also lots of other important dates in the Academic Schedule, like the quickly-approaching Independent Learning Week (October 24 – October 28).

dept icon  College Departments

Winner of The Department of The Week Cage Match is the IT Service Desk! Check out this documentary directed by Alana Callan and starring Rick Robinson. Rick tells Alana how they are truly here for everyone.

and check out their website here.

student service icon Services for Students

Academic and Student Advisement

The Fleming Academic Advising Team has created a website with plenty of helpful information for students, including tips, FAQs, and links to resources. They’re also popping up throughout the semester to help with things like academic preparation, transfer credits, and how to get back up once you’ve taken a seat in one of their bean bag chairs (no promises on it being done with any grace)! So keep an eye out… you never know where they’ll pop up next! Oh wait, yes you do, because there’s a schedule on their website!

academic advising sched.PNG
click here to see the image in a bigger way

communicate icon Chatter

Reports are in that we have been too vague in what we mean by chatter. Have you noticed lately how everyone and their dog is asking you to join the conversation? I’m pretty sure that already today my shampoo bottle and my cereal box have each asked me to join the conversation. What exactly do you want to talk about, Shreddies?

That said, we want the same thing for our Chatter section. We want you to get involved simply by sharing your thoughts by adding a comment to this blog post. We’re also happy to collect thoughts by email, phone, actual face-to-face talking, or Twitter… and we’ll report back here in the Chatter section. Like, have you heard that Angela Pind is using the Apgar Score for Class Meetings idea that we mentioned in a previous post? Angela says it has been an interesting way to get students a little more self-aware of their preparedness for class. Cool beans!

info icon More Information

Looking for more information? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, follow us on Twitter @FlemingLDS or send us an email: LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca!


Teaching Hub: Post Four, Week Three

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teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

feedback: Good stuff.

Faculty can increase student motivation and engagement by providing feedback early and often. Giving students evidence of their progress in the course allows them to stay on track, and/or make informed decisions about accessing additional help (such as Tutoring; see below!), if it’s required. Helpful feedback is:

  • Goal-referenced: How am I progressing toward the outcomes?
  • Tangible and transparent: How will I know when I’m doing it right?
  • Actionable: What can I do to improve?
  • User-friendly: Specific and personalized
  • Timely: The sooner the better!;
  • Ongoing: Starting now, and frequently; and
  • Consistent: based on pre-determined standards, such as those found on a rubric.

You can remember these feedback tips by using the mnemonic GTAUTOC: Greg Talks About Underwear To Our Customers. See Seven Keys to Effective Feedback for more information. Speaking of feedback, hook us up with some comments below!

tech icon Learning Technology

We’ve heard your feedback, and are proud to announce Faculty D2L Level Two is NOW available…

d2llevel2In this mastery-level course you will:

  1. Spend time thinking and learning about new ways to create and present content in your course pages;
  2. Learn and try out the new Virtual Classroom tool and other communication tools; and
  3. Learn about rubrics, and badges, and awards… oh my!

You can self-register for Level TWO on D2L, in the Help and Information Widget (yellow-header, right-hand side, scroll ⇓).


polci icon Policies & Procedures


This image has absolutely no Academic Integrity (except for citing the source of the image below). That’s not a picture of Joe Strummer! And those aren’t Joe Strummer lyrics! This is an abomination. Let’s avoid having something like this exist in our world.

Here are some thoughts:

Academic Integrity – What do you do if you find evidence of cheating or plagiarism in your classroom?

Academic integrity in teaching, learning, and research is fundamental to a learning organization. There is an expectation that all faculty, staff, and students adhere to a high standard and that violations (such as cheating and plagiarism) should have serious consequences, but how do we evaluate academic integrity?

Currently, breaches of Academic Integrity at Fleming College are based on a four-strikes-and-you’re-out policy. Breaches of academic integrity are reported by faculty, in writing, to the Registrar. The details are contained in the Academic Regulations Policy 2-201. A new policy is currently in the works and we will update you when that policy is implemented.

image source: http://static.theglobeandmail.ca/98f/migration_catalog/Arts/article4027147.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/Chad+Kroeger

dept icon College Departments

The Tutoring & Academic Skills Centre: An Origin Story

Many years ago (2 or 3 to be exact), there was a Fleming College department known as Learning Support Services, and then it became The Learning Centre. Eventually we all realized that we use the word ‘learning’ too much around here. So much so that it got watered down and no one knows what any of it really means. I mean, like, we’re all learning here, right? It’s a school! We all learned a lesson from that (except for the recently named Learning Design & Support Team, they didn’t get the memo).

Amid all of this drama, was a group of people helping students directly with what they really need. They are the unsung heroes of the college. And now they have a name to suit their hero status: the Tutoring & Academic Skills Centre (If we want, they can be colloquially known as the T.A.S.C. Force). Check out one of our heroes describe their services, and here is the T.A.S.C Force website.

See the Services for Students section next for more information on what they do for students and how you can refer students to them.

student service icon  Services for Students

Tutoring & Academic Skills Centre

“When it comes to tutors, the earlier in the semester that you sign up the better. Use them and then lose them.”

-Old East Virginian Proverb

Tutoring. One-on-one or small group help in an area in which the student needs help. A service for students doesn’t get much better than that. But wait, there’s more!

  • It’s free (Michael does accept bribes, though);
  • It’s for everybody;
  • There are one-on-one, or small group sessions;
  • Drop-in sessions occur for Math, Writing, Test Prep & Success Strategies; and
  • There is additional support for students registered with Accessible Education Services.

So, should your students maybe know about this service? Ummmm, yeah!

  • Your students can book an appointment for a tutor online here.
  • Or, students may be able to become a tutor themselves here.

In summary, if you tell your students about the T.A.S.C. Force, they will probably think you are a super cool teacher who cares about their success in your course.

communicate icon Chatter

A long, long time ago, at the end of August, we began the Teaching Hub on a wing and a prayer. Four posts and 23 days later, here we are ready to take stock of the success of our endeavours. We dug deep into the data and metadata and the data about metadata… In other words, we checked out how many hits and how many comments we had. So, are we successful? The result is a resounding: yes, but also, not yet! See, we’ve had lots of hits, but not much chatter. We are starting to consider making fake accounts with names that sound familiar, but aren’t, and adding some comments. So please let us know about your successes, plans, and aspirations in your teaching. If you do, the next time we see you we will respond with kind words and positive, non-verbal body language. We promise.

info icon More Information

Looking for more information? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, or send us an email: LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca!

The Teaching Hub: Post 3, Week 2

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teac hing icon Engaging Teaching


We here in the Learning Design & Support Team have a lot of experience with putting our feet in our mouths. Jodie is often even trying to put her foot in other people’s mouths (editor’s note: this is entirely untrue). So we are uniquely qualified to help you avoid doing just that. 

In hallway chats with faculty, common questions that come up are “How should I bring up (insert topic here) with my student(s)”?  “Is (insert observable behaviour here) ok for me to talk with (student name) about?”  The answer is: yes, no, maybe, I don’t know.

These conversations usually happen either in class in front of everybody, or one on one. Setting clear expectations for communication in your learning environment helps everybody out. Here are a couple tips for each of those situations

Photo credit: https://flickr.com/photos/iambrad/315447534 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC) License

tech icon Learning Technology

Virtual Classroom, Available right MEOW!

D2L has a new Virtual Classroom Tool that allows you to set up a virtual (a.k.a. online) space. It includes video communication between you and all of your students (a.k.a. virtual lecture), or for you to host your office hours online (a.k.a. virtual office hours) and be able to see the whites of your students’ eyes 🙂 youseeu

For more details, please visit this URL 

Coming Soon: a Flemingized Tipsheet on how to use the Virtual Classroom Tool

Phot credit: flickr photo by Tim Ebbs https://flickr.com/photos/ebbsphotography/6057433664 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

polci icon Policies & Procedures

In our first Teaching Hub post, we highlighted the college’s new Class Absence Operating Procedure. All staff recently received a memo about the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s ruling on Medical Documentation and Accommodation, including some examples to help clarify these new processes. What do faculty members need to know? If a student approaches you about retroactive accommodations, you can thank them for sharing with you, but redirect them to Counselling Services, who will initiate the process. If/when your involvement is required, you will be contacted by the student’s counsellor.

student service icon Services for Students

Students with personal issues? Academic concerns? Mental health struggles? Need for accommodations? Counselling Services can help!

If you notice a student is struggling, you can encourage them to access Counselling Services or walk them down to Sutherland C2100, Frost 252, Haliburton main office, or Cobourg main office. Pre-arranged and drop-in appointments are available.

For times when Counselling Services is not available, students still have access to phone supports:

  • Good2Talk 1-866-925-5454 (for students under the age of 25)
  • Lifeworks 877-418-1537 (for students over the age of 25)
  • 4 County Crisis 705-745-6484

PLUS, keep your eyes peeled for the Campus Health Workshop Series starting September 23 at the Sutherland Campus! This four-session series includes Sleeping Smart, Priorities and Party Life, Managing Stress, and Supporting Peers.

dept icon College Departments

Every week, we hold an interdepartmental rap-battle to decide on the Department of the Week. After an intense, stream-of-consciousness freestyle by Colin Hughes, Human Resources was declared winner, and rewarded with the opportunity to say something in this space of our weekly post. Congratulations, HR!

Here’s what they want to say: Remember to complete your mandatory training! See here for details.

communicate icon Chatter

Our post from last week was one of the features in This Week in Ontario Edublogs! This thing is going global, folks! We were very proud to be shared on this blog. I told my kids about it, and they said “yay!” We also had a commenter asking for a badge because she really wanted one, so we sent her this:

Personalized Commenting Badge

You can have one, too! All you have to do is comment on our posts, perhaps adding to the conversation, sharing some teaching stories, ideas, plans, aspirations, well-wishes, hakuna-matatas, and what-have- yous! We will make a personalized badge of the calibre you see above, and send it right into your email inbox.

This just in! A great new comment on last week’s post from Liz Mathewson:

Hi, just wanted to let you know that there is some really good stuff being posted here and we need to get faculty contributing more and providing feedback suggestions, successes and challenges.

During the recent Focus on Learning session Mary Ellen Weimer spoke to us about student centred learning. She asked us to think about our classroom persona and what do we want that to be and how do we develop it? She also asked us how we, as faculty create a learning environment. Both were really good sessions. Two things I took away and used today in my first class….”you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” we all know this story….we can lead our students but we can’t MAKE them learn. Mary Ellen told us our job is to “salt their oats” so that when they get to the water, they were thirsty to drink. Now I see my role as a salt shaker! My other take-away from FOL was not to ask the students, “are there any questions” but to ask them “what questions do you have”. Assume there are questions and you get them.

Looking forward to more discussion especially now that week one is done!

Thanks, Liz the Salt Shaker! Great, easy tips for generating discussion. What questions do you have? Comment below!

info icon More Information

Looking for more information? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, or send us an email: LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca!

Teaching Hub: Post Two, Week One

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teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

Not C.A.T.s, Actual cats.

Last week , we talked a bit about Things you may want to do in your first class & the Teaching & Learning Bootcamp. Let us know how your 1st class goes by commenting below! This week, however, we want to talk about CATs. How do you know if students learned what you think you taught? Classroom Assessment Techniques can help you out! Students benefit because it helps them know what they know, and you benefit because it helps you know what they know. Then you know if you need to review, repeat or adjust. You know? Check out our ideas for quick C.A.T.s to use with your students.


tech icon Learning Technology

Guess what! There’s a How to D2L course just for you: Faculty D2L Level One: The D2L Apprentice.welcome

Here are some reasons to try the Faculty D2L Level One course.

  1. It only takes 20 minutes or so.
  2. You get a shiny (digital) badge that you will cherish forever.
  3. You will learn a bit about D2L and you will see it from a student perspective.
  4. If you do the (very short) activities, we will respond with positive feedback that will make you feel warm and fuzzy.

You can self-register for it on D2L, in the Help & Information Widget (yellow-header, right hand side, scroll ⇓). Stay tuned for D2L Level 2: D2L Wizard, or Master, or something else we haven’t decided for sure yet.selfregiter

polci icon Policies & Procedures

Students with disabilities have the right to access academic accommodations and Fleming College (including each of us!) has the responsibility to provide them. Fleming College (including each of us!) also have the responsibility to create accessible learning materials. It’s all outlined in the Accommodations Policy. Click this link https://department.flemingcollege.ca/hr/working-at-fleming/policies-and-procedures/ then scroll way….. way…… way…… down to Policy 7-701 Access and Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.

dept icon College Departments

And the winner of the Department of the Week is…The Accessibility Centre!

Accessibility rules! Accessibility standards are outlined in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Fleming College (including each of us!) have responsibilities under AODA. Teaching and learning materials need to be accessible to a wide range of individuals using a wide range of technologies. This includes all your teaching and learning materials such as PowerPoint presentations, videos, and documents. Check out Fleming College’s General Guide to Creating Accessible Documents on the Accessiblity Centre webpage or the Accessibility Training for Academics.

student service icon Services for Students

“Academic Accommodation”, “Accommodation Plan”, “Test Accommodations”, “Alternative Format Textbooks”

Do you know what these words mean? Students with disabilities might come to you with questions and information about their academic accommodations so it’s helpful for you to know the basics. Check out this information on the Accessible Education Services website:

communicate icon Chatter

more please.gifLast week, we had a lot of checking out the first post of The Teaching Hub & a little bit of chatter. There are currently 5 comments attached to that post. We want more, please! Please let us know your teaching stories, what worked for you, what you plan on doing with your students, whether or not we made any grammar errors, or if you have ideas for future episodes. Whatever you want to say! You can do it right at the bottom of this page in the comments!

info icon More Information

Looking for more information? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, or send us an email: LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca!