Preparing for Winter and Spring 2021

Welcome back! We hope that you had a restful break and are looking forward to what this new term and new year brings.

We have many upcoming opportunities to learn and connect with each other throughout January, including Canvas Coaching sessions and Faculty Learning Communities. We look forward to a new year with you!
Canvas Update - New Rich Content Editor

When working within Canvas, you may notice a new interface for the toolbar you use to edit your text. Learn more about the update to this toolbar, also known as the Rich Content Editor, by visiting the Rich Content Editor Update Article in the Educational Technology Knowledge Base. For additional support with this update, you can access 24/7 Canvas help by clicking on the Help Icon in your Canvas Navigation Menu.
Student Engagement - Starting Class Creatively

How do we get students engaged in class immediately? Check out our Creatively Starting Class handout for ideas and prompts that can help you connect with your students and start your classes off in a fun and inventive way!
Events This Week

Teaching with Video (Zoom and Kaltura)
Monday, January 4, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Are you new to ZOOM or Kaltura? Not a problem, this webinar will introduce you to the basics of ZOOM and Kaltura and for sure give you some new ideas on how to use video for teaching. In the webinar, we will focus on:

  • Getting started with ZOOM
  • Teaching with ZOOM
  • Using breakout rooms, poll questions, and chat using ZOOM
  • Getting started with Kaltura
  • Creating lecture videos into Canvas using Kaltura
  • Student video assignments

Canvas Coaching: Course Organization
Tuesday, January 5, 1:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Before the Quarter begins, join the OTL in this Canvas Coaching session focused on Canvas course organization. In this session, you will learn what the minimum requirements are for a Canvas course. We will support you in building thematic modules, adding content to your course, managing your files, and setting up Zoom meetings and course notifications.

Reflecting on What is Essential in Our Teaching
Tuesday, January 5, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

This past term has been overwhelming in so many ways, and after weeks of being stretched beyond-thin from trying to do it all, many of us are feeling exhausted and realizing something has to give.  In his book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less,” Greg McKeown describes an approach for regaining control of our precious time and energy by deciding what is most essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so that we can make our highest possible contribution toward the things that matter most to us.  During this pause between terms, join us as we reflect on what is most essential in our teaching and explore whether there might be ways to put into practice the “pursuit of less” in focusing on what we care about most.

Seasonal Scholarship Retreat
Wednesday, January 6, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Join us for the Seasonal Scholarship Retreat! The Seasonal Scholarship Retreat, facilitated by Rebecca Campbell, Ph.D., is an opportunity for academics to hit the reset button to achieve a creative and productive scholarship season. Together we will reflect on your goals and values as a creative and scholar, reflect on your research pipelines and projects, and create personalized structures for you to realize your goals.

Creative Final Assessment Workshop
Wednesday, January 6, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

As you know, finals are going to look a little different for the Winter and Spring quarters this year. Join Instructional Designers Christine Hood and Jeff Schwartz for a workshop on how to facilitate creative, inclusive, online assessments. 

After a brief overview on types of creative assessments, we will host a working session for participants who want help brainstorming ideas for their courses.

Please visit our OTL Events Calendar for all of our upcoming events. You can also book a one-on-one appointment with an OTL Instructional Designer if you would like to discuss these or any other topics further!
January Canvas Coaching Sessions:

Course Navigation
Monday, January 11, 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Join the OTL in a demonstration on how to navigate important functions and pages in Canvas. We will walk through the Canvas interface and show you how to manage your navigation menu. Whether you are new to teaching online or just want a refresher on Canvas course navigation, this space is designed to benefit your Canvas Coaching needs.

Accessibility in Canvas
Wednesday, January 20, 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

This Canvas Coaching session will walk you through how to use the accessibility checker in Canvas. We will also share resources for accessibility, UDL and inclusive accomodations in your online course.

How to Use SpeedGrader
Thursday, January 28, 2:00 - 2:30 p.m.

If you are not sure how to access, navigate and/or use SpeedGrader, this is the perfect event for you. The OTL invites you to a webinar on how to use SpeedGrader in Canvas. We are here to answer your questions and help you feel more confident grading assignments online this Quarter.

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

Anti-Racist Teaching & Reciprocal Empathy
Monday, January 11, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

How can our classrooms and pedagogies challenge systems of inequity to support anti-racist teaching and promote change? Is reciprocal empathy possible in our pedagogies? With the book Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary Frances Winters (2020) as an anchoring guide, we will explore how to reframe the “problem” by interrogating systems and classrooms versus “fixing” the student. We will explore teaching tools to examine our disciplines and praxis in ways that foster critical thinking and deep learning in our students.

This Faculty Learning Community is a collaborative exploration guided by book chapters and shared facilitation between OTL Faculty Fellow of Equitable Professorial Experiences, Brian Gonzales, and OTL Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices, Dr. Valentina LaGrave. Participants are encouraged to attend every session and will receive a copy of Winters’ book once registration is closed.

We will meet every other week on Mondays 11-12:30 pm, beginning on January 11th via Zoom for the winter quarter. Space is limited, so please sign up early.

Heart of Higher Education
Tuesday, January 12, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 28, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.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!

Internationalization Faculty Learning Community
Wednesday, January 13, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Co-facilitated by RSECS Associate Dean for Undergraduate studies and Teaching Associate Professor Breigh Roszelle and Executive Director for Internationalization Casey Dinger, this collaborative Faculty Learning Community is structured around book chapters. Participants will take turns leading the discussion using key theoretical and applied materials supplied by the facilitators to provide a grounding in the approach and tools to implement.

This FLC is organized around exploring the practice, development, and implementation of a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL)-based course. This can take numerous forms, but in essence COIL is a type of virtual mobility, where students from DU and a partner institution abroad are given the tools and space to engage in purposeful interaction in a course. Students from both classes may interact synchronously or asynchronously for a few weeks or an entire term through whichever technologies are most relevant and useful. Often students work together on a project, class discussions, or similar group work. COIL is a powerful opportunity to help students engage in cross-cultural learning and global education on DU’s home campus.

Teaching and Professional Faculty Tools for Success
Friday, January 22, 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. 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, January 22, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 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 Michael Caston, Associate Professor of Innovation, Product Design, and Development and Executive Director of the Innovation Labs. We’ll spend our session discussing various topics of interest in SoTL.
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.

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.