The midpoint of the semester is an important opportunity for students to understand their progress in a course. As an instructor, you can help students understand their standing in the course through midterm grade submission.
CELT Teaching Tip • October 4, 2018
Midterms: A valuable time for formative assessment
The midpoint of the semester is an important opportunity for students to understand their progress in a course. As an instructor, you can help students understand their standing in the course through midterm grade submission. Midterms are due Friday, October 12 by 2:15 p.m. and can be submitted electronically via Canvas or AccessPlus. More information about grading policies on the ISU Catalog Grading website. Read more about how to calculate midterms from the Calculate Grades for Submission in Canvas web guide.
Using midterms as an opportunity for meaningful and purposeful assessment paired with constructive feedback can help learners understand and address their achievement gaps and organize future learning. CELT has prepared information regarding low- and high-stakes quizzes within Canvas that provides a way for instructors to deliver helpful feedback, and assess learning via the Low and High-Stakes Quizzes in Canvas web guide.
This time in the semester is also a wonderful opportunity to informally collect student feedback on the day-to day operations of the course. The Midterm Assessment Technique (also known as the Plus/Delta) is a tool used in the fourth through eighth week of the semester. The beauty of this tool is that students are asked to focus on what is working to advance their learning in the course and what could be improved by the teacher and by the student. It helps students to think about their responsibility to the course and what they should continue doing to learn (PLUS) and what they need to change for the course to improve for them (DELTA) (Helminski & Koberna, 1995). The plus delta can be completed on paper, online using Canvas, TopHat, or Qualtrics, asking these four questions:

  • What is helping me to learn in this class?
  • What changes are needed in this course to improve learning?
  • What am I doing to improve my learning in the course?
  • What do I need to do to improve my learning in this course?

Once the students complete the plus delta, the instructor collects the information and summarizes it to report the themes in each category back to the class in the next session. The feedback loop creates the opportunity to discuss the shared responsibility for teaching and learning in a course. Instructors can also describe what changes will (or will not) be implemented as a result of their feedback. To learn more, visit CELT's Using a PLUS/DELTA Assessment Technique webpage.

According to Dr. Kelly Reddy-Best, an assistant professor in the College of Human Sciences:
I have a class of 300 students resulting in lots of different types of people, and when I summarize it back to them it helps me show them why there are different types of activities in the course: readings, quizzes, group work. Some of them say they love the group work, but hate the quizzes, while the other say the opposite. The plus-delta summary helps show them why different methods are used in the course to cater to different learning styles!

If you are interested in assessment and midterm grading practices, join CELT at the ISU-OLC (Online Learning Community) meeting on Friday, October 12 (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 0031 Parks Library) register to attend through the Learn@ISU website.
Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
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CELT's Award-Winning Seminar Series (Fall 2018)
Hofstetter 	 Lamm	Weber-Feve 	Nettleton 	Vela-Becerra
We are hosting the following outstanding faculty to present in our Award-Winning Seminar Series during October and November:

  • Multiple Modalities & Top Hat: Mixing methods for learning, Oct. 9, (12:10-1:30 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall) will be presented by Shannon Hostetter, Associate Professor, Veterinary Pathology, Early Achievement in Teaching awardee
  • Authentic Problems: What to do when learners just aren't getting it?, Oct. 10 (12:10-1 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall) will be presented by Monica Lamm, Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Outstanding Achievement in Teaching awardee
  • How Can I Do This Better Next Time Around? Implementing backward design in your classroom, Oct. 16 (12:10-1:30 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall) will be presented by Stacey Weber-Feve, Associate Professor, World Languages and Cultures, Louis Thompson Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching awardee
  • Advising Graduate Students: Ten tips for major professors, Oct. 24 (12:10-1 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall) will be presented by Dan Nettleton, Distinguished Professor, Statistics, ISU Margaret Ellen White Graduate Faculty Awardee
  • Among Others: How to really make your classroom more inclusive, Nov. 7 (12:10-1 p.m., 2030 Morrill Hall) will be presented by Janier Vela-Becerra, Associate Professor, Chemistry, Martin Luther King, Jr. Advancing One Community Faculty awardee

For program descriptions visit CELT’s Event and Registration website and register via the Learn@ISU website.
CELT Accessibility Awareness Week (Oct. 15-19)
CELT is hosting a number of accessibility workshops to launch Disability Awareness Week, learn more from ISU's Disability Awareness Week website.
  • Workshop, Hands-On Accessibility - Captions, Oct. 15 (12-1 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Hands-On Accessibility - Headings, Oct. 16 (10-11:00 a.m.)
  • Workshop, Hands-On Accessibility - Alternative Text, Oct. 17 (9-10 a.m.)
  • Seminar, Progress is Progress - ISU Extension's Accessibility Journey, Oct. 18 (12-1 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Hands-On Accessibility - Web Accessibility Tools, Oct. 19 (12-1 p.m.)
For program descriptions visit CELT’s Event and Registration website and register via the Learn@ISU website.
First Annual Canvas Conference @ ISU (Oct. 18)
Would your course benefit from all section instructors using the same information?

Do you seek ways for students to collaborate through video in Canvas?

If so, join Canvas company experts and CELT staff for the engaging first annual Canvas conference @ ISU on Thursday, October 18.

Kick Off Session with Canvas Customer Success Rep, Ryan Jacobson
(9:30-10 a.m., 206 Durham Center)

The Power of Blueprint and You!
(10-11:30 a.m., 206 Durham Center) 

Amazing Arc: Engaging Students to Actively Collaborate through Video
(1-2:30 p.m., 206 Durham Center)

Registration: To participate in one or more of these programs, register via this Canvas Conference @ISU Quatrics weblink or the use the button directly below.
Enroll Now for the ISU Green Dot Faculty and Staff Bystander Training at Iowa State University
Whats your green dot logo
What is Green Dot?
A green dot is any choice, behavior, word, or attitude that promotes safety for everyone and communicates utter intolerance for power-based personal violence in our Iowa State University community.

What is Bystander Training?
Bystander training for faculty/staff is a 3-hour training designed to help employees understand the expanded definition of "bystander." Participants will leave equipped with the knowledge, skills, and key behaviors to establish norms that address power-based violence in our community.

Why should I participate?
  • Learn about 'active' bystander skills to use in your role, with peers, students, and your community.
  • Receive access to tangible tools you can use to integrate in your departments, classrooms, and office spaces.
  • Receive Green Dot gear to help promote ending violence in our community.
  • Join over 2,000 community members that have participated in the training and program.

Sign-up for one of the following trainings on the Learn@ISU website:
  • October 18
  • November 15
  • December 17
  • January 4
  • February 7

Learn more from ISU's Green Dot website.
Seeking applications for two CELT Faculty Fellows positions
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is seeking applications for two CELT Faculty Fellows positions. These are half time appointments to begin spring semester 2019 or fall semester 2019. One Faculty Fellow will lead the development of a new Teaching and Learning Academy and provide leadership in the Teaching Partners Program. The other Faculty Fellow will lead CELT efforts in the area of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and assessment. 

October CELT programs
To learn more about the events listed below visit CELT’s Event and Registration website and register via the Learn@ISU website. Many of these workshops are available in-person and/or via Zoom, virtual web-conferencing.

  • Meeting, ISU Online Learning Community, Oct. 12 (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Using Free, Openly-Licensed Textbooks in Your Classroom, Oct. 17 (11 a.m.-12 p.m.)
  • Workshop, Publish Teaching in Your Discipline: How to get started, succeed, and disseminate your educational research, Oct. 23 (12:10-1 p.m.)

Teaching Inclusively
  • Online event, How Can We Identify Implicit Biases in Ourselves and Others? (CIRTLCast Series - Part 2 of 4), Oct. 8 (10:30-11:30 a.m., in-person and online)
  • Inclusive Classroom Workshop, Oct. 17 (2:10-5 p.m.)
  • Online event, How Can We Minimize Implicit Bias in Our Academic Communities? (CIRTLCast Series - Part 3 of 4), Oct. 22 (10:30-11:30 a.m., in-person and online)
  • Online event, How Can We Interrupt and Mitigate Implicit Bias When We Witness It? (CIRTLCast Series - Part 4 of 4), Oct. 29 (10:30-11:30 a.m., in-person and online)
  • Conversation, Navigating controversial topics in the classroom, Oct. 30 (4-5 p.m.)

Quality Matters
  • Quality Matters: Improving Your Online Course (IYOC), Oct. 23 (8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.) and IYOC Follow Up, Oct 23 (1–3 p.m.)
  • Meeting, Quality Matters Learning Community, Oct. 25 (3-4:30 p.m.)

Canvas Training
Prefer a Print version? To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with the web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip (PDF) (