While CELT provides various resources to support your teaching, we hope to help strengthen your scholarship.
A lab at Iowa State during fall 2020 photo by Chris Gannon
CELT Teaching Tip • October 1, 2020
Strengthen scholarship & energize your pedagogy
While CELT provides various resources to support your teaching, we hope to help strengthen your scholarship. The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) involves faculty framing and systematically investigating student learning questions to improve their classroom and advance practice beyond it (See the Faculty Handbook covers SoTL under Promotion and Tenure Evaluation and Review, section The essentials shared in this Tip focus on SoTL, publishing in the new CELT Teaching Brief, funding opportunities, and upcoming winter session professional development programs.

  • Discover how Dr. Jessica Ward, Early Achievement in Teaching Award-winning Associate Professor, Phyllis M. Clark Professorship in Veterinary Cardiology, motivated and engaged students in implementing innovative teaching techniques in a very content-dense field. Attend Ward's webinar: Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in your classroom, Oct. 13 (12:10-1 p.m.) via this Webex registration form.
  • Authors at any stage of their academic and teaching careers are welcome to submit to the CELT Call for Teaching Briefs: Teaching through the Pandemic, effective practices from Iowa State University's instructors, and online and hybrid course modalities. The collection focuses on practical advice, solutions, and implementations, exploring the topic from a broad array of academic disciplines and perspectives. Learn more about the process, CELT's ISU Digital Press site (Submissions are due on Oct. 30).
  • Miller Faculty Fellowship Program: Are you interested in scholarly work to develop innovative approaches to enhance student learning? Consider submitting a Miller Faculty Fellowship Program proposals (Due on Dec. 18).
  • Do you teach large enrollment courses (50 students or more) and want to learn more about building community, effective assessment, active learning techniques, and course design? Apply for the CELT Winter Course Design Institute (CDI) 2021. The CDI is an online interactive, hands-on, and collaborative opportunity for ISU instructors to build skills and have time and space to design or substantially revise their courses in the online or hybrid environment. The CELT Winter CDI includes four 75-min sessions (held on January 4, 6, 11, and 13 from 9-10:15 a.m., followed by an optional 30-minute guided discussion and scheduled consultations).
  • Plan your winter session (Dec. 14, 2020-Jan. 21, 2021), download the CELT 2020-2021 Winter Session Programming (PDF).

With a joy for teaching,

Sara Marcketti, Director
Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Award-Winning Seminar Series:
Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in your classroom, Dr. Jessica Ward, Oct. 13 (12:10-1 p.m.)
In this webinar, Dr. Jessica Ward, Early Achievement in Teaching Award-winning Associate Professor and Phyllis M. Clark Professorship in Veterinary Cardiology (Veterinary Clinical Sciences) shares how she motivated and engaged her students in implementing innovative teaching techniques in a very content-dense field.

We invite participants to discuss their Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) ideas and leave with a plan to recruit enthusiastic students to help us learn how to teach them better. Share your passion for transparent teaching with other excited instructors and raise your motivation as you re-engage with your pedagogical career goals.

To attend, use this Webex registration form.

Dr. Shenglan Zhang, Associate Professor, Department of World Languages and Cultures, has spent 10 years at Iowa State. Shenglan’s advice for teaching:

I mostly teach language courses that focus on skills, which require a set of strategies that do not necessarily apply to teach content courses. I think, however, the following four suggestions are essential for any classroom teaching. 
  1. Create a pleasant and relaxing class atmosphere. A very stern face and inflexible attitude would likely make the students less attentive to the instructor and the subject matter. Only when the students are relaxed and enjoying the learning process can they truly learn. Students are usually susceptible to the teachers’ moods and attitudes and can be easily affected by that. A teacher can be flexible and friendly, while at the same time be rigorous and precise. 
  2. Meet the students where they are. This step requires knowing what the students already know for curriculum design and classroom teaching. For curriculum design, design activities that fill in missing knowledge gaps before introducing new concepts. To take advantage of synchronous online or Face-to-Face meetings with more teacher-student interaction, focus on the most challenging concepts or skills the students need to learn. To assess students’ prior knowledge, a new teacher might want to give students a short survey at the beginning of the semester or even the week before the semester starts to know whether they have mastered the foundational knowledge or skills needed for further learning.
  3. Teach students to self-regulate their learning. A large part of learning does not happen in the classroom but outside of it. Students’ self-regulated learning skills are crucial. A few things might help them include reminding them to avoid distractions when learning, setting up achievable goals, and assigning a specific chunk of time for each task. Also, please provide a few minutes in class occasionally for students to share their learning strategies with their peers. 
  4. Gain feedback from students. We usually get students’ feedback through course evaluation, which helps us revise and improve our teaching for the next semester. However, I suggest gathering feedback from students after a few weeks into the semester and before the midterm. This feedback helps instructors make adjustments for the second half of the semester. One can use the Delta/Plus form for this purpose, as requested by LAS Dean Slagell in her email (9/11/2020). Locate this information on CELT’s Using a PLUS/DELTA Assessment Technique page.

Upcoming CELT Programs
Five key principles of learning for college teachers, Dr. Amanda Baker, Oct. 6 (1-2:30 p.m.)
College teachers are tasked with facilitating the learning of students with a variety of backgrounds, prior knowledge levels, and motivations. Yet we're rarely provided with specific education about learning and how it unfolds in different contexts.

In this presentation, Dr. Amanda Baker, Assistant Professor, School of Education, will synthesize across different bodies of scholarship to propose five key principles of learning theories and will describe how these principles can inform college teaching practices across a variety of disciplines.

To attend, use this Zoom registration form.
CELT Programming from Oct. 1-16
Our program listing with descriptions and registration information may be found on the corresponding page on CELT’s upcoming events page or CELT’s programming schedule via ISU’s Events Calendar website.
To view events by topic area, download the CELT 2020 Fall Programming (PDF).
Where to go for support
Midterm grade submissions are due Oct. 9
Review and use the steps in the Grade Submission in Canvas guide.
Stay up-to-date on the instructional tools
Review CELT's News & Updates for upcoming changes to the ISU-approved learning technologies. Questions? email celt-help@iastate.edu.
A red button with a question mark and Help in white writing
For help with the Canvas, contact Canvas Support via the ?Help menu in Canvas:
  • Chat with Canvas Support use the live chat tool
  • Ticket support. Open the ?Help menu in Canvas and click Report a Problem
  • 24/7 phone support. Call 515-294-4000 (listen to prompts to connect to Canvas support).
  • Find answers to common questions in the Canvas Instructor Guides.
  • Use the resources in the Canvas @ ISU site.

For technical support, contact the ISU Solution Center:
  • Email solution@iastate.edu
  • Call 515-294-4000 and follow the prompts to receive support from Solution Center staff

To receive one-to-one assistance for teaching with technology, contact the CELT Instructional Designers
  • Connect with our CELT instructional designers for support or pedagogical consultations by emailing celt-help@iastate.edu; this will also create a ServiceNow ticket for easy tracking.
  • Additionally, you may wish to contact one of the support units directly. Please note which program, department, or college each unit serves and contact the unit for your area.
Prefer a Print version?
To view the Teaching Tip as a printable document with the web addresses, download the CELT Teaching Tip for October 1, 2020 (PDF) (https://bit.ly/2EPgxVW)