April 24, 2018
Volume 2, Number 8
Bias and Online Teaching
Instructors in online courses were nearly twice as likely to respond to comments from white male students as those from any other race-gender combination, a new Stanford University  study finds. A team of researchers sifted through several hundred actual student comments in massive open online courses to come up with a list of 32 generic comments. These comments were assigned names of students that suggested their gender and race or nationality — white, black, Indian, or Chinese — and then randomly placed in the discussion boards of 124 MOOCs. The researchers found that instructors were far more likely to respond to questions if the name suggested the student was a white man than if it suggested any of the other race-gender combinations. To read more about the study, check out  this story by  The Chronicle’s Emma Kerr.

– Excerpt from The Chronicle Teaching Newsletter, Dan Berrett ( dan.berrett@chronicle.com ) and Beckie Supiano ( beckie.supiano@chronicle.com )
If you would like to sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so  here.
Speaking of Bias...
Students’ course evaluations can reflect a  bias against  female instructors. A new study appearing in  PS: Political Science & Politics conducted a content analysis of the language students use in their evaluations and a quantitative analysis of their scoring. The findings? The language students use to describe their male faculty members is "significantly different" from that used for females. When a man and woman administered identical online courses, the man received higher ordinal scores — even when the questions weren't specific to the instructor.
On colleges’ official evaluations, the study found, women were over three times more likely to be judged by their personality than men were, and twice as likely to be scored according to how entertaining they were. Men, in turn, were more than twice as likely to be referred to as "professor" rather than "teacher," which was seen as an indicator of students’ differing levels of professional respect.

– Excerpt from The Chronicle Teaching Newsletter, Dan Berrett ( dan.berrett@chronicle.com ) and Beckie Supiano ( beckie.supiano@chronicle.com )
If you would like to sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so  here.
TOMORROW - It's finally time! YAY!
13th Annual Celebration of Student Scholarship
Wednesday, April 25th ( TOMORROW )

 Schedule for the 2018 Celebration of Student Scholarship
  • 7:45 AM to 8:30 AM Registration/continental breakfast (Camden-Carroll Library, 2nd floor)
Oral Presentations Set-Up (Camden-Carroll Library)
Poster Set-Up (Button Auditorium, Drill Room)

  • 8:30 AM to 10:15 AM Oral Presentations (Camden-Carroll Library)
  • 10:15 AM to 10:30 AM Break
  • 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM Oral Presentations (Camden-Carroll Library)
  • 11:45 AM to 12:00 PM Break
  • 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM Oral Presentations (Camden-Carroll Library)
  • 1:15 PM to 3:00 PM Poster Presentations (Button Drill Room, judging completed by 2:30)
  • 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Reception (Button Drill Room)
  • 4:00 PM to 4:15 PM Gallaher Memorial Music Performance (Button Auditorium)
  • 4:15 PM to 5:00 PM Awards (Button Auditorium)
Conference Call - Pedagogicon
Deadline to Register: May 11, 2018
Conference Date: May 18, 2018

This regional conference is sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. It is held annually at the Richmond campus of Eastern Kentucky University. This year's conference theme is Student-Centered Teaching and Learning. Proposals for group and/or individual presentations are due by February 1 st . For more information, please see their website: http://studio.eku.edu/2018-pedagogicon.
Kentucky Convergence Conference
Save-The-Date: October 17-19, 2018

The 2018 Kentucky Convergence Conference will be held October 17-19 at the University of Louisville Shelby Campus. The call for proposals will be issued in spring 2018. This year’s theme is “The Next Reality: Doing it Farther, Faster, and Better.”

Convergence is the single event that brings together professionals in information technology, academic libraries, online learning, and instructional design from all the public and private colleges and universities in Kentucky and the surrounding states. Sponsored by Kentucky post-secondary institutions and private sector partners, Kentucky Convergence is a conference that emphasizes innovations and best practices in the fastest-growing areas of higher education. For more info: http://kyconvergence.org
Blackboard Buzz
Multiple Attempts in Blackboard Learn
Do you view assignments as an opportunity for learning? Do you sometimes allow students to submit multiple versions of an assignment or a quiz?

If you replied yes to either question, consider activating the Multiple Attempts feature in Blackboard This feature allows you to provide feedback to early work so students increase knowledge and improve performance in later versions.

This YouTube tutorial demonstrates how to use the Multiple Attempts feature in Blackboard. Email msuonline@moreheadstate.edu for additional information and on-campus support.
Consortium Article
Engage Critically with the Digital Realm
Despite the continued prevalence of the myth of the “digital native,” many of our students are mainly proficient at using digital technology for entertainment and tend to accept unexamined approaches to finding and evaluating knowledge gleaned from digital sources. The incorporation of multimodal digital narrative assignments and activities can bring a range of benefits to your students and to your classes, bridging the perceived gap between disciplinary work in the classroom and the students’ digitally-infused lives. We can help our students engage critically with the digital realm and empower them as
active, reflective producers rather than passive consumers of digital multimodal narratives.

When designing a digital multimodal assignment, here are five basic suggestions:
  1. Start small. Don’t begin by re-designing an entire course or a major assignment if this is your first venture into digital multimodal composition. Choose an activity or assignment that you already want to change and decide if this approach could help you move toward your desired learning outcomes better than the previous one.
  2. Establish clear outcomes. What do you value primarily in the assignment? Choose a clear priority, whether it is technological proficiency, critical literacy, reflection on digital creation, rhetorical literacy, creativity, or another focus. Choosing that priority early clarifies the focus for evaluation.
  3. Scaffold. Build in small steps with clearly defined parameters, expectations, and due dates. Breaking it down helps clarify your priorities as well as technical needs, and it helps students engage fully in the process with a more realistic sense of both expectations and their performance.
  4. Don’t assume. Many students will not have experience in these areas, despite being inseparable from their phones and computers. They may feel anxious about being asked to undertake a project that is different from what they’re used to. Don’t underestimate how much they can benefit from bringing your disciplinary training to their approach to digital content and creation.
  5. Collaborate. Attend workshops, work with colleagues within and across institutions, and look at suggestions through social media, websites, print media. Chat with faculty across disciplines as well as in your own area; you can find ideas to adapt and advice from many sources. Often talking through your ideas on an assignment will help clarify its structure.

Have fun! Students engagement may increase as they find themselves both intrigued and challenged by a new approach to the assignment.

Miller, M. (2014). Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology. Boston, MA: Harvard UP.
Palmeri, Jason. (2012) Remixing Composition: A History of Multimodal Writing Pedagogy. Carbondale, IL: NCTE/CCCC and Southern Illinois UP.
Selber, S. (2004). Multiliteracies for a digital age. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Yozell, E., Fodrey, C., and Mikovits, M. (Forthcoming). “Implementing Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum at a Small Liberal Arts College.” S. Khadka & J. C. Lee (Eds.), Multimodality: History,Theory, Research, and Pedagogy. New York, NY: Routledge.

Submitted by:
Erica Miller Yozell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish and Director, Center for the Advancement of Teaching
Moravian College
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University