Each week this section will cover one of the Teaching Works High Leverage Practices. These are the skills that we would like to highlight in the Open Faculty Development Textbook project that we’re working on. If you’d like to be involved with the project, please let us know. This week’s skill is:
Implementing Organizational Routines
Restrictions can breed creativity, which is why routines and expectations in your courses can help set up a successful, knowledge-creating community of learners. Watch Jack White talk about how setting restrictions for his band The White Stripes helped lead them to such creative heights.
Dependable routines and expectations help students to prioritize and plan. By discussing class structure and routines, you are giving students an idea of how the learning environment will work. This is not a one-sided process, so it is important to spend time discussing class routines. Student involvement in establishing the norms is essentially building the learning community together. Your course outline is a good place to begin discussing the general routine for your class. You can highlight the learning sequence, material to be covered, and how the assignments connect to the course learning outcomes. Establishing a schedule that explicitly states when assignments are due and when you will be handing them back will also help set up these routines.
You can also discuss ways to organize study time, prepare for class, and form study groups (see the next section for a cool way that students can take collaborative notes). You can see an example of routines & scheduling on the UDL on Campus site. Scroll down to see the Timing & Scheduling section specifically.
D2L Thing of the Week
Faculty D2L Level One: The D2L Apprentice.
If you were to be so bold as to complete the Faculty D2L Level One course, a few things will happen: 1) We will respond with positive feedback that will make you feel a good feeling. 2) You will get a shiny (digital) badge that you will cherish forever. 3) You will learn a bit about D2L and see D2L from a student’s perspective. And it only takes 20 minutes or so to complete! You can self-register for it on D2L, in the Help & Information Widget (yellow header, right-hand side, scroll ⇓).
Non-D2L Thing of the Week
Collaborative Note-Taking. Click on this tweet for the whole sordid tale.
Those sneaky students! Collaborating together right under our noses! Creating notes from each class for the benefit of everyone! BRILLIANT! We have created a Co-Curricular Record position for students to take a leadership role in this task. If one student in a course coordinates the setting up and sharing of the notes, they will get a shiny awesome thing to add to their CCR (and, you know, students will co-create a set of notes and explanations to help each other learn course material). These notes may also help you see where the students are in their understanding. If you would be so kind as to share this idea with your students, please do! Please have interested students contact us directly if they want to do it at LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca
Each week the LDS Team holds a college department of the week competition. The reward for winning is the chance to say something about what they do for faculty in The Teaching Hub. If you think these elaborate competitions are a waste of college resources, you would be right. But rest easy, they are only make believe. This week we set up a street luge track in Skjervet, Norway. Here is some footage:
The winners were the speed demons of the Accessibility Centre. Here’s a transcription of their acceptance speech:
“The Accessibility Centre is your go-to internal resource for creating accessible instructional materials. Creating accessible instructional materials means that you intentionally design the learning materials like PowerPoints, Word documents, and videos to be accessible to different assistive technologies. It means all your students can access the learning materials that you create! If you want help getting started, check out the Accessibility Resources or contact Ian Guest at extension 1065.
Please remember to do the (ahem, mandatory, ahem) Accessibility Training: Log in to Evolve> My Self Serve> Learning and Development> Accessibility Training”
Services for Students
Accessible Education Services (AES) is an important service for students with disabilities and it’d be great if you reminded students that they can access these services. When you’re reviewing your course outline during the first class, that would be a good time to remind students to sign up. AES suggests using words like these words:
“If you have a disability, such as a learning disability, ADHD, mental health disability, visual impairment, mobility challenges, or medical conditions that may impact your success in school, or if you had an IEP in high school, you may want to meet with a counsellor to set up supports for the semester.”
And hey, did you just think about note-taking? We thought you did! AES is always looking for peer note-takers & would SO appreciate if you help recruit note-takers in your class. If you have a student who is interested in being a note-taker for a course, they should speak with Kristi McKay (Sutherland) or Kathleen Conway (Frost). And using Google docs for students to take collaborative notes is a cool option, too!
Policies & Procedures
Fleming has an Accessibility for Students with Disabilities Policy and Procedure that outlines lots of important information about student rights and Fleming’s responsibilities. In the Accessibility for Students with Disabilities Policy, you’ll find the definition of disability, reasonableness, & undue hardship. In the Accessibility for Students with Disabilities Procedure you’ll find definitions of academic accommodations, disability documentation, and the academic accommodation process.
It’s a new year, which usually means making all sorts of new resolutions for the new you. We thought we’d help you get started on developing the new professional you…
Here is our top 5 list of how to kick-start 2017 as being YOUR year of professional learning:
5. All Aboard is a project funded by Ireland’s National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning, which aims to identify the wide range of skills and knowledge that students, and all those who work in higher education, will need to feel confident and creative when learning, working, and exploring the digital world. Take some time to explore this digital literacy transit map and determine which “stop” you want to spend more time learning at.
4. Modern Professional Learning has the tag line “helping you organize and manage your professional growth in the new world of learning.” This site is brought to you by our favourite tool resource, “Top 200 Tools for Learning,” making #4 a “twofer” on our list.
3. Join a professional organization like STLHE (Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) or ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development). Membership in these organizations provides you with access to their publications, resources, and more.
2. Check out this list of 50 of the Best Books for Teachers/PD. Perhaps this year we’ll host a book club? Would you be interested in participating in a virtual bookclub? If so, please let us know by commenting on the blog or by emailing us at the LDSTeam@flemingcollege.ca address.
Lonnie’s critiques have always been so inspiring to us. This week she gave us a new word to use to keep track of discussions. We have devised a chatter scoring system to measure the amount of discussion created by our previous Hub post. The score will be measured in blorps, which have no real meaning, like learning styles. A link click is worth 1/10th of a blorp, a like is worth 1, a comment is 5, and a faculty member agreeing to contribute to a future teaching hub post or to the faculty development textbook project is worth 20 blorps. Let’s check our blorp score for last week. (Blorp-o-meter was run at 9:19 a.m. on January 6th)
178 views + 2 comments + 1 like + 1 faculty contribution agreement =
Let’s beat that score next week!