New Blog - Community from a Distance: How to Create a Vital Asynchronous Classroom

We continue to explore how best to engage with our students in the OTL Winter Engagement Blog Series. In our latest blog, Community from a Distance: How to Create a Vital Asynchronous Classroom, Jeff Schwartz and Dr. Vince Tango, OTL Instructional Designers, discuss best practices for enhancing community in online asynchronous courses.
Application Deadline Extended to 2/21 for the Spring Student-Faculty Partnership Program!

Are you teaching an undergraduate course this spring, and wanting to deepen your understanding of your students and their experience of your class? Do you believe students and faculty can learn much from each other regarding the experience of teaching and learning? If so, you can still apply for our Student-Faculty Partnership Program, in which students and faculty members learn and work together as partners in exploring how we might create more engaging, inclusive, learning-rich environments.  The application deadline has been extended to Sunday, February 21. 

Each participating faculty member will be paired with a student partner for the Spring 2021 quarter. Every week throughout the quarter, students visit and observe their faculty partner's class (virtually or in person), and then student and faculty partners meet with each other to discuss their respective observations, insights, and wonderings. Most of this partnership work will be conducted virtually (with all meetings happening via Zoom), though participating faculty members who are teaching on campus may choose to have their student partner visit their class in-person.

To learn more about this program and to apply, please visit our Student-Faculty Partnership Program web page. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Virginia Pitts, OTL's Director of University Teaching.
NCFDD Online 14-Day Writing Challenge Starts March 22!

Join us for the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) 14-Day Writing Challenge! This challenge is online and an opportunity for you to experiment with daily writing, online community, and supportive accountability. It's very simple:

  1. You commit to write every day for at least 30 minutes.
  2. At the beginning of your writing time, you login to our online community, start the timer, complete your writing, and post your progress at the end.
  3. You take 5 minutes to support other writers in your group by commenting on their progress.

If you're up for the challenge, you can sign up by March 17 at the NCFDD website. Those who complete the challenge are eligible for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Email a screen shot of completion to Dr. Virginia Pitts at [email protected] to be entered in the drawing.
STEM and High Impact Practices (HIPs)
Tuesday, February 23, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Join Megan Haskins, Faculty Developer of Integrative Learning and HIPs, and Paula von Kretschmann, Instructional Designer, to discuss implementing High Impact Practices in your course. They will provide a brief overview of best practices for HIPs in STEM. Then they will facilitate a conversation to answer questions and discuss individual experiences. Whether you are just learning about HIPs, new to implementation, or interested in hearing from other colleagues, this workshop is for you!
Canvas Coaching Sessions with Lexi Schlosser, OTL Faculty Developer of Online Learning

Using Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor
Monday, February 22, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

This session will be co-faciliated by Dr. Mark Pleiss from the Center for World Languages and Cultures and Lexi Schlosser from the Office of Teaching and Learning. We are extending the session to one-hour for the inclusion of a demonstration, lessons learned conversation, and walk through of a case study from the intrsuctors perspective with the Respondus Monitor Software.

Prior to joining this Canvas Coaching session, you are highly encouraged to register for the Instructor Training on Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor.

Canvas Template Launch
Tuesday, March 2, 11:00 - 11:30 a.m.

The OTL developed a template course for faculty using DesignPlus Tools (also known as "CidiLabs"). This suite of tools provides colorful templates, content blocks, and navigation links that establish a unified and organized look for your online classes. DesignPlus integrates into Canvas to help faculty improve course design, accessibility, course readiness, and module management. Join our Canvas Coaching session to learn more about our Canvas Template, including how to import it into your courses!

Managing the Gradebook
Wednesday, March 10, 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

To help prepare you for wrapping up Winter Quarter grading, join the OTL in a Canvas Coaching session on Managing your Gradebook.
In this session, you will learn how to:
  • Access and view the gradebook in Canvas
  • Organize your gradebook by setting up assignment grade weights
  • Mute assignments while grading
  • Refresh your memory with SpeedGrader
  • How to submit grades to the registrar

Visit our OTL events calendar for more Canvas Coaching sessions coming up during the winter term!
Faculty Learning Communities

Teaching and Professional Faculty Tools for Success
Friday, February 19, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Friday, March 5, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Teaching and Professional Faculty Tools for Success is a year-long FLC designed for teaching and professional faculty in the assistant rank at the University of Denver. Led by Dr. Laura Sponsler, Clinical Assistant Professor of Higher Education and the Faculty Scholar for Teaching and Professional Faculty, the FLC will explore areas essential to the success of teaching faculty including community building, effective instruction, wellness, DU culture, promotion, national trends, inclusive excellence, and university resources. The winter sessions are organized around the book Inclusive Collegiality and Nontenure-Track Faculty: Engaging All Faculty as Colleagues to Promote Healthy Departments and Institutions (available online through DU Libraries) and learning important to advancement, promotion, and university culture.

In the spring quarter, we will focus on the scholar/teacher model of excellence. We will form a Scholarship on Teaching and Learning (SOTL) group with the intent of writing about and publishing on our experiences as teaching and professional faculty in higher education.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Friday, February 19, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is an emerging field of study focusing on the reciprocal relationship between teaching and learning to develop best pedagogical practices. If you are innovating in the classroom during these COVID times and want to share your successes and failures while learning from others, this is the FLC for you. Led by Dr. Michael Caston, Associate Professor of Innovation, Product Design, and Development and Executive Director of the Innovation Labs. you’ll spend the session discussing various topics of interest in SoTL.

Heart of Higher Education
Thursday, February 25, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Monday, March 8, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

The Heart of Higher Education (HOHE) is an opportunity to gather as a DU community to share the challenges and opportunities of transcending the institutional, professional and personal choices that tend to separate core identity/integrity from day to day actions. The meetings are open to all faculty (of any rank) and staff (of any title). The Conversations are facilitated by Dr. Paul Michalec, OTL Faculty Teaching Fellow, and Clinical Professor in the Morgridge College of Education. The Heart of Higher Education Conversations create a positive and constructive space where staff and faculty can explore ways of re-connecting calling with professional responsibilities. In Winter 2021, we will explore the theme of connection through the lenses of self (calling), others (colleagues and students), and bigness of life (institution, family, spirit). We will have two sessions each month of this term with the same content. You are welcome to attend one or both sessions, and keep your eye out for future sessions!

Teaching Resources

Build your course in 4 weeks while considering the rhythm of the term with this helpful resources guide.

This tool kit provides practical steps for readying your courses, no matter the modality. From Canvas basics to hyflex considerations, and complete with worksheets to guide you, this toolkit is a great starting point for course planning.

Visit this OTL web page for helpful links to resources such as Canvas guides and Knowledge Base articles organized by task, as well as a video walking you through setting up your Canvas course. These resources can be helpful no matter how you offer your courses this term.

This Knowledge Base article provides helpful tips and tricks you can use as you create pre-recorded videos, lectures, and demonstrations to enhance the asynchronous components of your course. You can also learn more about the various tools you can use to create your videos, such as Zoom and Kaltura.

This web page provides access to the robust virtual services and resources that the Libraries provide along with a host of online services and resources.

Visit our Sample Syllabus Statements webpage for optional statements to help you communicate with students your policies around wearing masks in class, social distancing, attendance and participation, and more. Be sure to reach out to your Dean, Chair, or Director with any questions or for clarification around the use of these statements in your syllabus.