The Teaching Hub: Week Five, Winter 2017


teac hing icon Engaging Teaching

Group Work

Check out the video below to see six people engaging in weird but effective group work

Shared from Arcade Fire’s Official YouTube Channel 

History has shown that small groups of people can work together, mixing their skills to create something awesome. Examples that will confirm this statement include The Avengers, Arcade Fire & The Penguins of Madagascar.

In our classes, while engaged with their peers, students learn from each other and develop some of the Essential Employability Skills they’ll need. There are four basic elements needed to make cooperative learning work:

  1. Positive Interdependence – students have to believe they’re in it together. Ideas like creating a group charter can be effective, especially with long-term group work.
  2. Social Skills – not all students have these to the degree we’d like… yet. Essential Employability Skills can be developed and assessed during group work.
  3. Individual Accountability – again, students need to know they’re in it together, and will be evaluated as a group.
  4. Group Evaluation – by individual students, and by the faculty member, can help students assess how their group is working together, and how they can improve.

(From The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong & Rosemary Tripi Wong) Waterloo’s Centre for Teaching Excellence has more tips on Group Work. What a bunch of showoffs!

tech icon Learning Technology

D2L Thing of the Week: Group Tool

Create group work areas for users with the Groups tool. You can use groups to organize users’ work on projects and assignments.


Current Examples from Fleming Courses:

  • Pick a time for an event/meeting
  • Pick a presentation topic for class
  • Pick a research topic for an assignment
  • Randomly generate groups

To find out more about setting up Groups in D2L, check out this tipsheet.

Non-D2L Thing of the Week:  Padlet

Padlet is a virtual bulletin board or wall where individuals or groups can collaborate, share, reflect, and co-create. It can be placed in your D2L page for access.

Padlet of SnapChat uses
A Padlet featuring educational uses of the SnapChat app

With Padlet you can:

  • invite others to contribute (no limit);
  • modify users’ access to read only, writers, moderators, or administrator;
  • set updates to appear instantly;
  • use almost any file type: images, documents, links, videos, music;
  • embed content from anywhere on the web, including social media apps or news sites;
  • use it on desktop computers, laptops, or other personal devices.

student service icon Services for Students

Microsoft Word is constantly full of all kinds of words. It’s just sitting there making you write words and read words. It’s time for Word to do some word work for you. You can make it read to you! So sit back and let those Word words flow right into your ears. Here’s how:

  1. Create a Word document. Write something pithy since the robot voice doesn’t sound like a pithy person, so that’s funny. Or use an actual document. You choose. Check out this how-to video or the Accessibility Centre tip sheets to learn more about making a Word document accessible to screen readers.
  2. Add Speak to your Word quick access toolbar. Here are step-by-step instructions. Then highlight the words you want to read and get ready to listen to all the funny stuff you wrote in the Word document.
  3. Spread the word that text-to-speech software is a thing! Share it with your students, your colleagues, and that teacher you had in high school who told you you’d never amount to anything.

Here is Word Text to Speech in action:

polci icon Policies & Procedures

Acronyms, while meant to streamline things, often just serve to mystify and add barriers to understanding. Which is just a total SNAFU, isn’t it? In that spirit, here is a new & unhelpful acronym for you: FCLMSUP. That acronym stands for Fleming College Learning Management System Usage Policy. You can find it here, but the gist is that you should put the following stuff in D2L:

  1. A link to the approved course outline;
  2. Faculty contact information;
  3. Student progress/grades throughout the term, posted to the gradebook within two weeks of an assignment due date;
  4. Pertinent course materials, assessments, etc.; and
  5. Course announcements

Need help with that stuff? That’s one of the things we do here on the LDS Team! All the ways to get in contact with us are listed right at the bottom of this page.

dept icon College Departments

This week’s fake department battle of the week involved time travel. We sent each department into the past with the mission to Make the Funniest Change to History. This is actually how the platypus came into existence. Good job, library! (And bad job, LDS Team. We’re not going to tell you what we did.) Here is what the Library wants to say to you:

Our faculty and staff page may have some tabs and buttons that you do not know yet!

  • The Library Skills Orientations tab lists the many ways we can help your students develop library and research skills.
  • The Copyright tab provides guidance for specific resources you may be wondering about using, including: YouTube clips, government documents, images, database articles, and more.
  • The Program & Curriculum Review tab hosts library reports that support the Program Review process. They are posted as they are completed,  alphabetically by program name.request.png
  • We also have a Request a Workshop button for Library Orientations, Searching for Articles, & Library Skills CORE Modules, among many others. However, we’d like to request that the LDS Team stop requesting Ska Band workshops, as we do not offer those.

pdicon Professional Development

Here’s some informal PD that you can do at your earliest convenience: grab a peer and go for a walk in the woods to chat about how things are going in your classes. That is why we installed forests with trails next to our campuses. Just talking about what you are doing in your classes can help both of you work out some kinks in your plans, or get some new ideas. Literally walk a trail, as you discuss and think about new paths to follow in your pedagogy. To help us get all trail meta, we’ll have some fresh new trails to tread at Sutherland campus soon, as part of the Canada 150 Trails project!

Rail Trail flickr photo by andyarthur shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

communicate icon Chatter

This week’s post is dubbed ‘The Imposition Edition‘ because we would like to impose on you for a tiny bit of your time and effort. We need more contributions from faculty to make the Hub more of a hub! So please, make a comment below or let us know if you’d like to contribute some ideas. We have a couple of faculty signed up to write for us in the next few weeks and would love some more!

info icon More Information

Looking for more information, or want to chat with Jodie about your favourite episode of “Black Mirror”? Visit the LDS Team website, give us a call at extension 1216, follow us on Twitter @FlemingLDS, or send us an email:!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s