March 27, 2018
Volume 2, Number 6
Don't Forget the Classics!
When you were in graduate school and on your way to becoming a faculty member did your professors urge you to "stay current in your field?" Mine did. Good scholars, I was told, must read esteemed articles in important journals and notable monographs in their respective fields. Thorough knowledge of our subject is part of what it means to be a professor: one who professes to be some degree of an expert in a chosen field.
However, we university faculty are under a double obligation when it comes to "staying current." We all have at least two "fields" for which we are responsible. There is the "field" of our particular scholarly interest, our teaching subject, but there is also the "field" of our teaching itself. To be an excellent teacher requires both strong content knowledge and a high degree of skill in classroom or online delivery.
 It seems hard enough to stay current in our academic field, though. Finding the additional time to read about the scholarship of teaching and learning can be a daunting task. One strategy is to commit to reading at least one book a year on the subject of teaching and learning. Over the course of a career, this could add up to a substantial number of volumes. My personal practice is to try to read at least two books (one "new" and one "classic") on teaching and learning each year.
I'd like to commend one "classic" work for you to investigate; The Art of Teaching by Gilbert Highet. Highet was a popular professor of Classics at Columbia University. His book discusses the personality of the teacher, the teacher's methods and examples of great teachers and their students. It is a book with a general approach and focuses in on the methodology of teaching. As he put it, his book is about "not what should be taught, but how the teaching can be best done." If you are interested in reading more, Camden Carroll Library has a copy of the book in the Main Collection, at 371.3 H638A. Happy reading!

– Christopher Beckham, Teaching Ambassador, College of Education
Kentucky Student Success Summit 2018
The 7th annual Kentucky Student Success Summit will explore the theme "The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of Kentucky!
The conference is April 9th & 10th at the Marriott Louisville East, Louisville, KY.
For more information, visit
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:
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:
Blackboard Buzz
Notification Options for Students
Help your students meet deadlines and succeed in your course by making them aware of the Notification Options in Blackboard.

When students activate this feature, Blackboard automatically sends alerts to the students’ course homepage, email address or mobile device. This YouTube video demonstrates how this feature works.   

Students will can receive alerts when:
  • new content is posted;
  • new discussion board postings are submitted;
  • tests are available;
  • and much more.

Email for additional information and on-campus support.
Consortium Article
Instead of providing students with a study guide and go over it with a class of glaze-covered eyeballs, have students write their own study guide as class collaboratively using Google Docs, Canvas page, or similar tool. This can be done synchronously in a face-to-face class, or asynchronously in an online class. 

Ask students to write in complete sentences and in their own words for extra writing practice. This exercise will give them extra reinforcement, help them to self-identify weaknesses, and allow the instructor to correct mistakes before a high-stakes test.

I haven’t found it necessary to incentive this activity, but you can offer points if needed or even allow students to use the guide during the test. Google Docs will track the submissions so you can tell who posted each submission.

Submitted by:
Anne Marchant, PhD.
Director for Transformative Teaching and Learning
Shenandoah University
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University