September 18, 2018
Volume 3, Number 3
The 18th Annual  Posters-at-the-Capitol  will be Thursday, February 21, 2019

Deadline for online registration: Friday, October 12, 2018 by 6pm EST

Posters-at-the-Capitol provides undergraduates with the opportunity to engage in scholarship, research, and creative work that is important to their educational experience and professional development. We encourage faculty to have their students participate in Posters-at-the-Capitol to help those in Kentucky who fund higher education understand why these experiences are so important. 

Important Links:

On campus contact: Michael Henson ( )
Getting Professors to Talk About Teaching
It was early in the semester, and Michelle Watson was frustrated. Watson, an instructor in the department of communication at the University of Dayton, had designed her section of an interdisciplinary social-science course to be discussion based. But her students weren’t doing much talking. “I wasn’t getting that energy,” Watson said.

Over coffee, Watson described the challenge to a professor in the anthropology department, who gave her some advice: Give students points for participating, using a rubric. Watson put the tip into practice, and it “changed the participation in my class” this past spring, she said. 

Creating a culture of collaboration around teaching is a goal on many campuses. But achieving it can be difficult. Teaching-and-learning centers, where they exist, provide resources, but using them tends to be optional. At many colleges, serious conversations about teaching are confined to departments, or else happen when instructors from very different disciplines co-teach a one-off course.

What’s happening at Dayton is a bit different. Several years ago as part of a broader curricular reform, the university began requiring all students, typically during their sophomore year, to take  the interdisciplinary course Watson was teaching. It’s meant to provide an “introduction to what the social sciences do, and what they’re for,” said Jackson A. Goodnight, an associate professor of psychology and the course coordinator.
Each section of the course shares common learning outcomes, but is otherwise quite distinct. Instructors choose a theme to focus on and three disciplines to use to explore it. Goodnight, for instance, has used parent-child relationships as a theme and brought in perspectives from economics and sociology as well as his own field.

For professors, teaching the course can be “overwhelming” at first, Goodnight said, and not only because they have to provide a crash course in other disciplines. Because all students are required to take the course, professors can’t assume that everyone in the room sees a clear purpose in being there, and they may have to work extra hard to foster engagement — the challenge Watson ran into.

On top of that, students come to class with very different levels of background knowledge, Goodnight said. Some might have taken an Advanced Placement social-science course in high school or a specific discipline’s introductory course in their first year. For others, this is their first real exposure to a whole new way of seeing the world. 

Given these challenges, instructors get a lot of support. Professors teaching the course for the first or second time attend two workshops as they prepare, covering topics like backward course design and assessment. They meet as a group a few times during the semester. They also participate in a midterm instructional diagnosis, observing one another’s teaching and providing formative feedback. All of this is required, and instructors receive a stipend their first two times teaching the course. This structure, and the simple fact of teaching a common course, can also lead to more informal collaboration, like the conversation Watson had with her colleague in anthropology.

That adds up to much more professional development in teaching than professors typically get. And such training can benefit students taking the professors’ other courses. “At least in my case,” Goodnight said, “I think it’s helped me as an instructor.”
Have you taken teaching advice from a professor in a different field? What does your college do to facilitate such discussions — or how do you make them happen on your own?

– Beckie Supiano, Teaching Newsletter: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Thanks for reading Teaching. If you have suggestions or ideas, please feel free to email us at, or If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to sign up to receive your own copy, you can do so  here.
Blackboard Buzz
How to Create a Blog
Perhaps the word "blog" in the social network era has become obsolete, we feel otherwise in the education sector, blog can play a huge role in both online and face-to-face teaching.

The blogs tool in Blackboard enables you to create a shared online diary for use in class.

This tutorial video on YouTube  shows you how to create a new blog and select settings that meet your learning objectives. Email for additional information and on-campus support.
Stem+ Monthly Webinar
First Friday of Every Month: 3-4pm EST
The Next Webinar: October 5, 2018

 KyCC has created a monthly webinar for STEM+ faculty to connect with each other and learn about effective practices. The webinar is on the first Friday of the month from 3-4pm EST.  For more information, please see their website:
2018 Assessment Institute in Indianapolis
October 21-23, 2018
*Registration deadline is October 5th *

The Assessment Institute in Indianapolis is the nation's oldest and largest event focused exclusively on outcomes assessment in higher education. This event is designed to provide opportunities for (1) individuals and campus teams new to outcomes assessment to acquire fundamental knowledge about the field, (2) individuals who have worked as leaders in outcomes assessment to share and extend their knowledge and skills, and (3) those interested in outcomes assessment at any level to establish networks that serve as sources of support and expertise beyond the dates of the Institute.

For more info, click here.
The Teaching Professor Conference - (June 7-9) - New Orleans
The Teaching Professor Conference, is accepting proposals for concurrent sessions and poster presentations. New this year is a proposal to present a 20-Minute Mentor session, which will be published as a Magna Webinar (yes, that's the ones we feature in our Workshop Wednesday newsletters). The deadline for submitting a proposal is  October 31. The conference is June 7-9, 2018, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Conference Information and session proposals can be found here.
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:
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University