January 23, 2018
Volume 2, Number 2
Conference Call - Pedagogicon
Conference Date: May 18, 2018
Proposal Due Date: February 1, 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 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 cpe.ky.gov/studentsuccess
Feature Article from The Chronicle of Higher Education's Newsletter
Don't Run From Emotions in the Classroom
The Value of Emotion
People who go into academe tend to gravitate toward the life of the mind, not the heart. So it’s no mystery that most teaching strategies tend to stick to the safe and rational terrain of the intellect. But what pedagogical advantages do instructors lose when they avoid emotions in the classroom? For me, learning has always had, at its core, an affective component — coming to a better understanding of something just feels emotionally satisfying. And so I’ve been interested to see some recent writing on the subject.

"We connect, understand, and remember things much more deeply when our emotions are involved," Flower Darby, a senior instructional designer at Northern Arizona University’s e-Learning Center,  wrote  recently for Faculty Focus. And in a 2016 book,  The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom With the Science of Emotion , Sarah Rose Cavanagh argues that targeting students’ emotions is an effective way to motivate and educate them. One method, wrote Ms. Cavanagh, an associate professor of psychology at Assumption College, is to be mindful when interacting with students. "Being emotionally authentic with yourself and with your students," she wrote, "can also go a long way toward a more mindful, present classroom."

I recently heard about a striking example of this practice at Boricua College, in New York City, where the pedagogical purpose of emotions takes center stage. Every semester, students must take a course in affective development, says Shivaji Sengupta, Boricua’s vice president for academic affairs. He contacted me after our  recent newsletter  about fostering interdisciplinary conversations about teaching — Boricua faculty talk among themselves about affect during weekly two-hour meetings. During the course’s first two years, students reflect in writing about their emotional response to the subject matter. At the course’s upper levels, they explore the differences between their values and the professional norms of the careers they’re pursuing. In the process, says Mr. Sengupta, they develop a capacity to listen, respond, and discuss their values.

The usefulness of emotions in teaching was palpably demonstrated to Mr. Sengupta many years ago, in the late 1980s, when he was leading a discussion at Boricua about  King Lear . The class was talking about the final scene of Act IV between Lear and his daughter Cordelia, whom he initially disowns but with whom he later reconciles. Lear tells her that she would have good cause to give him poison — and that if she did he would take it. In response, Cordelia says simply, "No cause, no cause."

"Whenever I used to come to that part, I was completely overwhelmed by my emotions," he told me. On that day, he was struck deeply by the expression of forgiveness distilled into two words and he started crying. "The students were all silent and I was a little embarrassed," he said, recalling that he tried to move on.
But a student stopped him. "The professor just cried here over something we were reading," he remembers the student saying. "What happened to you when you started to cry?" Mr. Sengupta explained how the moment reminded him of his relationship with his father, and how Shakespeare’s language helped Mr. Sengupta think about ideas like forgiveness and authority. The student, he recalled, listened intently. "This is emotional knowledge that I think I can live by for the rest of my life," the student said. It is one of Mr. Sengupta’s most memorable moments as a teacher.

Boricua has used a similar approach in its lessons. If students write about how a particular reading or discussion has affected them, professors will often ask them to talk about their experience at length in class. "The text," he says, "floats away from the frozen book to the student’s lives."

Thanks for reading Teaching. If you have suggestions or ideas, please feel free to email us at  dan.berrett@chronicle.com beth.mcmurtrie@chronicle.com , or  beckie.supiano@chronicle.com . If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so  here .

— Dan and Beckie
Copyright © 2018 The Chronicle of Higher Education
Blackboard Buzz
Announcement and Email Features
Do students forget the schedule for assignments and tests in your class? Do you need to convey time-sensitive information to students? If so, the solution might be the announcement and email features in Blackboard.
Faculty can post announcements within their Blackboard shells and simultaneously have the information emailed to students. These tools alert students regarding upcoming events and time sensitive information.
Go to this YouTube tutorial for more information about these features. Email msuonline@moreheadstate.edu f or on-campus support.
Consortium Article
“Names have power.” - Rick Riordan,  The Lightning Thief

It seems that knowing our students’ names is “nice to do” but we might not make this a priority. Perhaps we say that “we’re bad with names” or teach large classes and thus have too many names to learn. Consider this – developing positive rapport with your students supports their engagement and motivation in your classes. This rapport helps to establish a positive course climate and learning environment, as well as classroom civility [7]. In fact, “faculty-student interaction impacts learning and performance through motivational and socioemotional mediating mechanisms, influencing participation, risk-taking, and persistence” [1, p. 178]. This means that building this positive rapport and course climate helps to develop buy-in from your students to engage in your course and class activities. Learning your students’ names is part of building this positive climate.

Moreover, “creating an effective learning climate often includes making students feel recognized as individuals, by both by instructors and by peers” [1, p. 182]. By knowing your students’ names, using them, and encouraging students to do the same, these positive interactions help to create community and reduce anonymity, which in part can help address cheating (see [1, p.178] and [3]). Finally, building rapport with your students humanizes the you, the instructor.

So now that you’re convinced to learn your students’ names. How might you go about this process? Tips to learn your students’ names are widely available (for example, see [2-4, 6, 8]). Here are some of my favorite strategies. It’s best to start on the first day of class, but it’s never too late to learn your students’ names. As a first day activity, I give each student a blank sheet of paper, provide markers, and ask them to each to make a tent card with their preferred name to place in front of them (bring tape if your classroom uses all-in-one chairs with flip up desks). I collect these tent cards at the end of the class period and then hand out a couple of them at the beginning of class (a different set each class) until I’ve learned everyone’s names. I find that handing out papers (including tent cards and graded work) helps me to learn my students’ names.  At the beginning, I ask my students for their forgiveness if I misidentify their names and ask for their help. I also use my institution’s student database system to view student photos and challenge myself to correctly identify their names, working with a subset at a time. 

In addition, I model the behavior that I want to see. I introduce myself to my students and let them know the name(s) I would like to them to call me. I practice using my students’ names at every opportunity. I arrive to class a few minutes early and greet students by name (and ask them their name if I haven’t learned it yet). In class, I call on students by name rather than only those who raise their hands. I also refer to students by name and ask them to learn and use each other’s names during class activities and discussions (this strategy also can be used online). Outside of class, I ask students to remind me of their names (if I don’t know them) and use their names to greet them or thank them for coming by when they come to my office or if I see them elsewhere. 

“[W]e have a great deal of control over the climate we shape, and can leverage climate in the service of learning once we understand how and why it influences student learning.”
- Ambrose et al. (2010), p. 180


[1] Ambrose, S.A., Bridges, M.W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M.C., and Norman, M.K. (2010). How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

[2] Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center. Inclusive Learning Environment. https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/teach/learningenvironment.html

[3] Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center. Solve a Teaching Problem. https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/solveproblem/strat-cheating/cheating-10.html

[4] Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center. Tips for Learning Students’ Names. https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/solveproblem/strat-cheating/tips-studentnames.html
[5] Middendorf, J. and Osborn, E. Learning Student Names.   https://citl.indiana.edu/files/pdf/Lecture_Learning_Names.pdf

[6] Palmer, J. Not Quite 101 Ways To Learn Students’ Names. University of Virginia Center for Teaching Excellence. http://cte.virginia.edu/teaching-tips/not-quite-101-ways-to-learning-students-names/

[7] The University of Utah Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence. Classroom Civility.  https://utah.instructure.com/courses/148446/pages/classroom-civility

[8] Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Teaching Large Classes.  https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/teaching-large-classes/

Written and submitted by:

Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning 
Professor of Engineering
University of Southern Indiana
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University