September 29, 2020
Volume 5, Number 4
Reimagining Service Learning in the Digital Age
During COVID-19, many instructors are asking important questions about how to bring a sense of humanity into their hybrid or online classrooms. This discourse may rightly lead us to wonder how to teach when we can’t physically see a student’s face or hear their voice. We may ponder how we can make instructional technologies more accessible to students’ bodies and home spaces.

As I sought desperately to know how I could make remote learning more relatable to my students’ lives, I was surprised when the answer came from my students themselves. Their creative approaches to service in their own lives gave me insight into the future of service learning in the digital age.

For me, the call for a human-centric education is now more urgent -- and more intimidating -- than ever before in my teaching career. While I have implemented student-centered pedagogical approaches in the past, teaching during 2020 feels different. My students are learning during a time of unprecedented police brutality, quarantine and protests for racial equality.

So at the end of this past spring term, I felt like I was picking up the pieces of a broken course, set adrift in a broken society. At the beginning of the semester, I had introduced a service-learning assignment in which students could volunteer at the library, interview a local author or read to children at a daycare. Many of my students in the Intro to Literature course were not English or humanities majors, and I originally wanted to emphasize how reading is a real-world skill that can bring people together.

But that focus on service bringing people together seemed naïve when I myself felt so distant from my students and, well, everyone else. I pulled the service-learning assignment from my syllabus and made it optional. After all, how could they engage in service learning when they were in their homes and most literary centers like museums and libraries were closed?

Nonetheless, I noticed students around the world, including my own, innovating new, digital opportunities for activism in their personal and academic lives. I quickly realized that I had made a vital mistake when I underestimated the power of service learning for my students during COVID-19. The vast majority of my students had turned to digital service to find valuable human connections during their physical isolation. And nearly all of them used my service-learning assignment as an opportunity to reassert their own humanity by connecting with other people outside their home and reflecting on current social traumas.

Many researchers and educators have highlighted the benefits of community engagement and service learning, but my students infused this pedagogy with new meaning during this pandemic. My students’ digital outreach projects were the key to a relevant curriculum precisely because good service learning is innately human-centric. With this digital service learning, my students hit upon the very heart of the humanities.

To continue reading this story, please click the link.

– by Laken Brooks, Inside Higher Ed.
Tomorrow: Virtual Career Fair
TOMORROW - Wednesday, September 30th
12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Sign up to Attend as a "Job Seeker" here!

A college degree provides such a broad skill-set to students that students may want to explore opportunities related to social services, non-profits and general business, so please encourage students to check out the complete list of organizations attending. See the full list of organizations attending by clicking HERE
At the career fair, students have the opportunity to network with employers and graduate schools, learn about shadowing and experiential education opportunities, practice introducing themselves and interacting in a professional setting, and may even be given an on-the-spot interview to secure a job.
Five reasons to attend:
  1. Find out about full-time and part-time jobs
  2. Land an internship that will put you ahead of the competition
  3. Get insider tips from graduate school admissions
  4. Build a network by chatting with MSU alumni and other recruiters
  5. Take advantage of free professional headshots

Upload a resume, know a bit about the organizations attending and dress professionally to make the best possible impression. Find a complete list of organizations attending, and Career Fair 101 tips on how to be successful in the free Career Fair Plus app (Get it at Questions: Contact Career Services at 606-783-2233.

Want to excuse your classes or offer extra credit to your students for attending?
Simply send your class rosters with MSU ID# to and we will let you know who checked in!

The greater our student attendance, the more likely we are to get these organizations and others like them to recruit from Morehead State University in the future, so please encourage your students to attend.

Employers and graduate programs want the opportunity to speak with faculty and staff, so they can gain a personal understanding of the solid education MSU students receive and find out what MSU students can do for them as employees. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend the Career Fair to network with the visiting employers & graduate programs.

Latest updates can always be found on our twitter at We hope to see you and your students at the career fair!
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: High Impact Practices
When: Tuesday, October 13, 2020; 3:45pm – 4:45pm
Where: The following link, WebEx
Educator: FCTL
Synopsis: Join FCTL in exploring “High Impact Practices” 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
  • Virtual Meetings on Fridays @11am
  • Contact: Daryl Privott -
  • Multiple Pathways to the Student Brain: Energizing and Enhancing Instruction - Janet Zadina
  • Virtual Meetings on Thursday's @10am
  • Contact: Hunter Chandler -
  • Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers - Jessamyn Neuhaus
  • Virtual Meetings on Tuesdays @1:30pm
  • Contact: Annette Hines -
  • How to Be an Antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi
  • Virtual Meetings on Fridays @10 am
  • Contact: Monica Himes -

We would love to have you participate.

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 Sarah Kelsey:
My love for teaching is revealed in my students' learning. When my students are able to captivate the knowledge and carry it into the field, I feel I've completed a huge part of my role in creating future educators. My work with pre-service teachers allows me to come full circle as a literacy teacher because I'm teaching them to teach. Cultivating beings with outstanding drive and determination is my ultimate goal and I'm glad to say I am able to see it in my students daily.

Sarah Kelsey - Instructor Education
Response from David Flora:
The thing I love most about teaching is the opportunity to mentor and encourage our students. Getting involved in their dreams and helping them become reality is a great thing, as is involving them in new experiences. I also learn so much from them!

David Flora - Director of Distance Education and Instructional Design

To share your response, click here.
Blackboard Buzz

WebEx Breakout Rooms

Starting in WBS40.9, you can use breakout sessions in meetings to place your participants into smaller groups where they can collaborate and share ideas. Check out what you can do in breakout sessions as a meeting host, co-host, or attendee.

WebEx Polling

As a presenter, you can use a poll to create and share questionnaires. Polls can be useful for gathering feedback, taking votes, or testing knowledge.
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University