September 1, 2020
Volume 5, Number 2
6 Tips for Teaching Online and In Person Simultaneously
To adhere to social distancing guidelines within classrooms, many colleges and universities that are planning to have students back on their campuses are offering concurrent classrooms in which professors teach some students in person and others simultaneously online. Under those circumstances, professors can feel overwhelmed by attempting to cater to two audiences and worry that the online students may have a diminished learning experience.

In this article, we outline six strategies to promote meaningful engagement for online students while at the same time providing a rich in-person learning environment. Fundamentally, professors can take one of two approaches with their distanced students: they can simulate the in-person experience or differentiate online engagement.

First Approach: Simulate In-Person Experience
The basic premise of this approach is to make the online experience feel as similar as possible to the in-person experience by integrating across modalities. Here are three strategies that ensure balanced student engagement regardless of setting.

No. 1: Chat mods. Online students can struggle to get their professor’s attention over the more visible students in the classroom, and introverted students -- especially in an online setting -- may lose out on participation altogether. Online contributions need to carry the same weight as those in person to achieve a balanced learning environment.

To ensure that happens, assign chat moderators, or chat mods, to filter questions or other quality contributions from the online platform’s chat. Already knowing which student is designated for this role for the day eliminates the time spent searching for an online student willing to speak and allows for smooth transition and curation of the best student contributions. Rotate this role among the students who attend online, potentially partnering two students per class session to serve at a time if necessary. Include specific checkpoints in your PowerPoint slides or lecture notes where you will purposefully elicit the chat mods to share with the class.

For this strategy to work, of course, online students need to provide content for the chat mods to filter. Assigning participation points can increase online student engagement and quality. The online students can earn points for contributing a question or example via the chat, and the chat mods can earn points for their successful presentation of the most popular or insightful contributions to the class at large. You can also save the chat contributions through default settings for easy grading after class.

To continue reading this story, please click the link.

– by Amy E. Crook and Travis W. Crook, Inside Higher Ed.
Announcing: Gather & Share Events
The FCTL is offering " Gather & Share " events on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, from 3:45pm - 4:45pm on WebEx. The objective is to have a "topic" area and share a couple of ideas and then have folks gather and share about the topic.

The Next Gather & Share Event:
Topic: How We're Doing
When: Tuesday, September 8, 2020; 3:45pm – 4:45pm
Where: The following link, WebEx
Educator: FCTL
Synopsis: Join FCTL in exploring “How We're Doing” at this “Gather & Share” event. Come ready to “chat it up” with your colleagues.
Book Reads
In addition to offering traditional professional/educator developments, the Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning (FCTL) is offering Book Reads. Faculty, staff, and students may participate in these book reads. The Book Reads will run from September 18 - November 6, 2020.

Fall 2020 Book Reads:
  • Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto - Kevin M. Gannon
  • Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain: Energizing and Enhancing Instruction - Janet Zadina
  • Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers - Jessamyn Neuhaus
  • How to Be an Antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi-

For more information on the books and to register for a book read, click here.

If you have suggestions for books and/or would like to lead/facilitate a Book Read, please email Daryl Privott at
What I Love About Teaching
Response from April Nutter:
I think it's important for staff to connect with students and teaching a class is a great way for me to do that. It also helps us remember why we are here - students. No matter what your role is at MSU, you are important and you are helping students learn and develop. Teaching SOC 203 also helps energize my other job - digital and web marketing. I learn a lot from the students and class provides other perspectives that inform what I do in my staff position.

April Nutter - Web Digital Marketing Director

To share your response, click here.
Blackboard Buzz
Student Preview
Do you want to check a Blackboard shell before making the course available to students? Would you like to see your course from the students’ point of view? If so, try the Student Preview feature before deploying your course.

With Student Preview, faculty can experience a course exactly as their students will. This feature allows faculty to review the availability of course content including those triggered by particular student interactions.

YouTube has a video tutorial on the Student Preview tool. For on-campus support, email
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University