The move to online instruction means both instructors and students are going to be doing a  lot  more writing.
CELT Teaching Tip • April 9, 2020
Grammarly as a teaching and learning tool
The move to online instruction means both instructors and students are going to be doing a  lot  more writing. We may not always have time to check our work scrupulously before sharing it, but one slip of grammar or spelling can make a bad impression. 

Grammarly* can help make the transition to online teaching easier. It provides powerful grammar, spelling, and punctuation checking while integrating seamlessly into many of the places where online instruction is happening, such as Canvas assignments and quizzes, remotely edited collaboration in Google Docs, and email communication via CyMail or Outlook. 

In addition to using it to check their own writing, instructors can make Grammarly part of the course assessment. Requiring students to check their writing in Grammarly before submitting assignments or sharing ideas with classmates can make it easier for everyone to focus on the message and avoid any distracting errors that might detract from it. 

ISU faculty and students have FREE access to Grammarly Premium via a CASTLE-funded initiative. Set up your account now at the Grammarly Enterprise site using your ISU email address or visit Grammarly at Iowa State University website for more information.

Here is how Grammarly can help you and your students:

1. Use Canvas. Grammarly works within Canvas via browser plugins, see this Grammarly guide .

2. Communicate with your students. Use Grammarly to make sure outgoing email messages composed in Outlook or CyMail are error-free.

3. Deliver course content 
  • In-class assignments: Use Grammarly to check text before it is shared or published in Canvas assignments, discussions, quizzes, etc..
  • Collaboration: Have students use Grammarly when collaborating in Google Docs.
  • Student presentations: Grammarly can be used to check written scripts.

4. Establish methods for collecting assignments/submissions. Instructors can require students to check written work in Grammarly before submitting it and to provide proof of having done so; see the Showing your ISU instructor that you've checked your work in Grammarly video tutorial .

5. Exams . Students can check responses to essay questions in Grammarly before submitting them via Canvas Assignments.
With a joy for teaching,

Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

* With thanks to Jim Ranalli, Assistant Professor, Linguistics Program. Professor Ranalli received a CELT Miller Faculty Fellowship and led the CASTLE funded Grammarly Initiative .
Remember: Only share grades via Canvas
Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) protected data should never be sent via email or social media, as this is not a secure method of transmitting sensitive data.
  • Restricted information such as grades, GPA, or personally identifiable information such as a Social Security number should never be emailed. 
  • Do not forward or reply to emails that are sent to you containing sensitive data without removing such data before transmission.
  • Instead, use Canvas, EAB, or CyBox to transmit FERPA protected information.
For additional information, review the  ISU Office of the Registrar's FERPA page  or their  COVID-19 FAQ page .
5 Reasons to Consider Immediate Access Digital Course Materials
  1. Day one access for students
  2. Robust interactive content + ebooks from over 200 publishers
  3. Significant savings for students
  4. Eliminates need for multiple access codes
  5. Increased measurable student engagement

Contact: John Wierson
Digital & Immediate Access Buyer, Iowa State University Book Store
phone: 515-294-3501 or email:
All Other Course Material Options Still Available
  • Traditional Print & Rental Books & E-books
  • Access Codes, subscriptions, Top Hat, Lab supplies, Art supplies, OER 
  • Custom Course packets – Print or Digital 

Contact: Carl Arbuckle  
Print & Rental Buyer, Iowa State University Book Store
phone: 515-294-0236 or email:
Deadlines extended until June 1 for these CELT professional development programs
The application process extended until June 1 for each of the programs below.

Involves faculty framing and systematically investigating questions related to student learning, to improve their teaching as well as an advance practice beyond it through peer-reviewed presentations and publications. SoTL Scholars meets twice monthly throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.

Participants attend monthly sessions that address course design, evidence-based teaching strategies, inclusive classroom practices, peer-review of teaching, and documentation of teaching effectiveness. Local experts on college teaching and learning will lead sessions during the academy. Instructors from all disciplines are encouraged to apply for this cohort-based teaching and learning community. The academy meets monthly throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.

This cohort-based teaching and learning community supplements departmental mentoring by pairing a new instructor with a senior instructor from a different discipline who is a successful and experienced teacher. Junior partners should be in their second or third year at Iowa State University. Partners discuss teaching and learning topics, complete classroom observations, and focus on documenting teaching effectiveness for continuous improvement efforts of use in teaching portfolios. This program meets monthly throughout the 2020-2021 academic year.
Webinar, Mindfulness in the Online Environment
(Apr. 15, 1-2 p.m.)
It's a stressful time for students and instructors as we adapt to the online environment and social distancing. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce anxiety and enhance learning. Presenters Karen Couves and Karen Bovenmyer (CELT) will demonstrate a variety of pedagogical mindfulness techniques that can be used online in both synchronous and asynchronous courses.

Participants will practice at least three techniques during the session, share their own ideas, and leave with ways to implement more mindfulness in their lives and classrooms.

Register for this webinar via this Webex web form.
Virtual panel: How-to tackle assessments & uphold academic integrity (Apr. 10, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
ISU's OLC first virtual meeting will feature a panel of three instructors discussing how they tackle assessments in their online courses and continue to uphold academic integrity while supporting their students in these challenging times.

Panelists: Drs. Monica Lamm (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Sayali Kukday (Genetics, Development and Cell Biology), and Elizabeth Stegemoller (Kinesiology) approach online assessment from different angles, but all with a razor-sharp focus on their students and instructional objectives.

Virtual panel: ISU Online Learning Community (ISU-OLC), Apr. 10 (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Online only via WebEx registration page)
Webinar, Synchronous Delivery: An example from a graduate course (Apr. 17, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
Join Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and instructor Karen Bovenmyer, who will share the strategies for dynamic engagement via synchronous class sessions.

Karen and Clark Coffman teach ISU’s popular Preparing Future Faculty program. They transitioned their courses to online delivery. Karen will describe and model ways in which these instructors stay connected with the graduate students and continue creating active learning experiences in their synchronous class sessions.

Webinar: ISU Online Learning Community (ISU-OLC), Apr. 17 (11:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m., Online only via WebEx registration page)
Get the Support You Need
Our ISU Campus Partners are here to help
Call us through the CELT Response Team 515-294-5357 (Monday-Friday, 8-5 p.m.). We have staff across campus willing to assist.

If needed, the campus partners will meet with you virtually using Webex. Additionally, you may wish to  contact one of the support units directly .
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All 24/7 support options may be found by clicking the ? Help icon (found on the left-hand navigation bar in Canvas) to access the support available to you:
Prefer a Print version?
To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with the web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for April 9, 2020 (PDF) (