Faculty Learning Communities

Sentipensante Faculty Learning Community

You are invited to join Paul Michalec (Morgridge College of Education) and Paula Adamo (Languages and Literature) for a conversation and exploration of Laura Rendon’s book: Sentipensante: Sensing/Thinking . Her book offers a rich description of a teaching philosophy and engaged pedagogy that favors holism, integration, and community while also attending to critical thinking and rigor. Core to her reconceptualization of teaching and learning in higher education is the Aztec understanding of “difrasismo”, where two allied concepts (subject and object) are pulled together forming a third unified concept (knowing in relationship). Rendon’s goal is to free the hearts and minds of professors and students in service of learning. She brings to the conversation her experience in higher education as well as data from conversations with faculty who teach in ways counter to more traditional forms of pedagogy in the academy.  

Paul and Paula started this conversation in the Spring 0f 2019 as a book study and are continuing the conversation this fall through this faculty learning community.  All faculty, regardless of whether or not they read the book or participated in the book study, are welcome.  The Sentipensante Faculty Learning Community will meet from 12:00-1:00 in the OTL conference room (AAC 345). Bring your lunch and join us on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 11
Wednesday, October 9
Wednesday, November 13

White Fragility and Our Teaching

This Faculty Learning Community is centered around Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility book. We will explore how the phenomenon of white fragility impacts how we show up in the classroom, and how we make space for all our students to grow and thrive. Our goal is to unpack "how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively" to increase our intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness and enact Inclusive Excellence.

Co-facilitated by OTL Directors Dr. Valentina LaGrave and Dr. Karen Swanson, this is a collaborative Faculty Learning Community structured around book chapters. Participants will take turns leading the discussion, and they will receive a copy of DiAngelo's book once registration is closed.

We will meet every other week on Tuesdays. Please feel free to bring your lunch and anything else to be comfortable in the community.

Our first session:

Tuesday, September 17
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
OTL Conference Room (AAC 345)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Please join us in exploring how to incorporate the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning into the balance of your work at DU. Blending your teaching and research agendas is a great way to invigorate your course design through a systematic approach.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Community will meet approximately every 3 weeks to engage in discussion around systematically studying our teaching and student learning. Please join us if you are new to this topic or have been involved in SOTL for years.

Our first session:

Friday, September 27 
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
OTL Conference room (AAC 345)

Heart of Higher Education
The Heart of Higher Education 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 hosted by the Office of Teaching and Learning and facilitated by OTL Faculty Teaching Fellow, Professor Paul Michalec from 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. Our time together is bounded by norms designed to create an open invitation to share while respecting individual choices to not share at a particular time.

The Heart of Higher Education conversations occur monthly on the second Thursday, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the OTL conference room (AAC 345).  Prior to each meeting an agenda and brief reflective reading is sent out. Bring your lunch. Come late or leave early. This is an invitation for self-care - no guilt necessary.

Our first session:

Thursday, September 12
12:00 - 1:00 pm
OTL Conference Room (AAC 345)

Peer-to-Peer Conversations
A corner stone of the DU approach to faculty development is the Peer-To-Peer (P2P) conversation which faculty are encouraged to host every three years. The intention of the P2P conversations is to promote a form of professional engagement that is often missing from higher education communities because of current political, economic, and social constraints.
P2P conversations are not intended to replace other forms of faculty to faculty conversations which occur in less formal settings or gatherings. The P2P conversations differ in that they are formally structured around key moments in the life of a faculty, focused on professional development, and are bounded by norms of confidentiality. A P2P committee consists of one-host (the faculty convening the conversation) and 3-4 committee members who use Open/Honest questions to help the faculty convener gain wisdom, perspective, and deeper understanding of their professional/personal problem of practice.

During the 2019-2020 academic year the Office of Teaching and Learning will host three general training/information sessions, once each quarter (dates yet to be determined). All faculty are invited to attend. Participation in the general information session does not presume that faculty will host a full P2P session. The session will provide, however, a complete understanding of the process and potential benefits of faculty participation. 
Complete information (training documents and rationale) are available on the DU Faculty Senate website . Additionally, Paul Michalec and Kate Willink are available for further conversation, resource materials, or questions about the P2P process. 
Plan Your Course

While preparing your syllabi for the fall, please consider the many resources available to your students as well as the course and DU policies that they may not be aware of. The OTL website has sample syllabus statements that you can use and adjust to fit your class and your needs. This page has many statements, including:
  • Students with Disabilities/Medical Issues
  • Religious Accommodations Policy
  • Honor Code/Academic Integrity
  • Title IX
  • Inclusive Learning Environments

The OTL is also happy to meet with you and review your syllabus. Please contact the OTL with any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment!

Teaching Resources

C.A.R.E. Behavioral Intervention Team

As part of our culture of care and support, the University of Denver is committed to providing care and access to resources to create a safe and secure environment for our campus community to maintain our safety, health, and well-being. The Crisis Assessment Risk Evaluation (C.A.R.E.) team is comprised of staff and administrators across campus who are dedicated to crisis support and behavioral intervention in the best interest of the individual student and the campus community. As we care for both the individual student and the campus community, the following policies outline the ways in which the C.A.R.E. team intervene, identify behavioral expectations and other support strategies to help the student remain in good standing with the University.

The C.A.R.E. team is dedicated to a proactive, objective, supportive, and collaborative approach to the prevention, identification, assessment, intervention, management of, and coordinated response to student situations and behaviors that may be disruptive or pose a risk of harm to the safety, health, and well-being of individuals and the campus community.

If a student is displaying behavior that appears to present a significant disruption or risk of harm to the individual and/or community an Individual Assessment may be enacted.

While the C.A.R.E. team leads this effort of behavioral intervention, every member of the community has a shared responsibility and shared ownership in the culture of care and support.

Teaching Tips
Do you have a fantastic teaching tip or strategy that you have used successfully in your class? Have you read an amazing book or article that has changed how you think about designing your class or teaching your students? Is there a technology that you have tried that made your teaching more robust and interactive?
We want to hear from you and share your insights! Fill out our Teaching Tips & Strategies survey with a brief paragraph describing your useful tip, tool, or strategy, and we will start sharing these tips in our newsletters!
Kaltura - A New Video Management System

The University of Denver has adopted Kaltura as our new campus-wide video management tool! Kaltura has a suite of tools related to video creation, uploading, editing, mobile app, captioning, lecture capture, and sharing. This helpful tool is integrated with Canvas to allow faculty to capture and share videos with students through their Canvas courses.

Keep your eye out for upcoming training opportunities with Kaltura. Please also visit our DU Ed-Tech Knowledge Base Kaltura pages for recorded Kaltura webinars, video tutorials, user guides, and frequently asked questions.

Turnitin Adoption:
Update Your Syllabi
As of fall quarter 2019, the university will be using Turnitin as the plagiarism checking software in Canvas. You may remember that we had used Turnitin before moving to our most recent software, Vericite. Last year, Turnitin acquired Vericite, which resulted in a search for a new plagiarism checking software. After researching other options and critically reviewing the features available, Turnitin was chosen as the most optimal solution. The setup will be very similar to the way Vericite currently functions in Canvas.
Anyone who includes wording in their syllabus about Vericite should update it in preparation for fall and future quarters. Suggested wording and more information can be found here:  Turnitin Adoption Slated for Fall 2019 .
A New Look for Respondus LockDown Browser

We are transitioning to the latest version of Respondus LockDown Browser this fall quarter. The secure testing browser works exactly the same for students, but instructors will experience some slight changes in the Canvas setup. In the new version, rather than enabling LockDown Browser in the quiz settings, instructors need to add the LockDown Browser Dashboard tool to the course navigation menu. For detailed instructions and to learn more about using LockDown Browser for secure testing, visit the  Respondus LockDown Browser page  on the OTL Knowledge Base.
Join the OTL and other departments across campus for some great events this fall! Click on the names of the events below to sign up.

Friday, September 13, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Want to learn more about making your ZOOM sessions more engaging? ZOOM comes packed with many features that can improve your instructional webinar meetings. In this session, we will discuss the following topics:

  • Best practices for instructional webinars
  • Discuss various ZOOM meeting settings that can improve your webinar
  • Recording options - local vs. cloud
  • Using polling questions to increase audience interaction
  • Using collaborative screen annotation tools
  • Using breakout rooms for small group work
  • Ideas for using ZOOM for face-2-face courses

Monday, September 16
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
OTL Conference Room (AAC 345)
A critical key to success for both teaching and learning is deep engagement with assigned pre-readings. Not only does this benefit learning goals but also classroom discussions.
Understanding the metacognitive scaffolding necessary when choosing and designing homework will support the application of readings during class and their use in assignments. Join us to explore evidence-based pre-reading strategies including: structured critical pre-reading, epistemological, experiential, communicative and political questions.

We will be using Brookfield and Preskill’s Discussion as a Way of Teaching: Tools and Techniques for Democratic Classrooms (2005, 2 nd ed.) and The Discussion Book: 50 Great Ways to Get People Talking (2016).
Testing Center Tuesday
Tuesday, September 17
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Ruffatto Hall, Room 450A (inside suite 440)

Faculty and staff are invited to join Mary-Beth Rose, DSP’s Testing Coordinator, as she provides tours of the Testing Center. You will be able to ask Mary-Beth or one of our other staff questions about testing accommodations and the testing and accommodations process, best practices for inclusion of students with disabilities on campus, see some of the more common assistive technology (AT) solutions students use in the classroom and Testing Center, and meet the folks who you have exchanged countless emails with or spoken with over the phone! No need to register - stop by to visit, have a snack and a refreshment!
Monday, October 7, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Gregg Kvistad Special Events Room
(AAC 290)
Come enjoy an early happy hour to celebrate the fall as you learn about the different centers that support faculty teaching and research and that provide student academic support. Mingle with other DU faculty and staff as you learn about the latest services around campus.
Some of the centers that will be represented are:

  • University Libraries
  • The Writing Center
  • The Office of Teaching and Learning
  • The Center for World Languages and Cultures

And many more!

Appetizers and wine, beer, and soft drinks will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

As always, please visit our OTL Events Calendar to view all upcoming OTL events.