October 2, 2018
Volume 3, Number 4
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 ( m.henson@moreheadstate.edu )
Professional Development Opportunities
 on Campus
Here are opportunities for PD on campus:

Crafting Quality Mission Statements for Academic Programs:
  • Oct. 10th (Wednesday) from 9:30am to noon in Combs 413 - This training will focus on writing good mission statements for academic programs. It will also explore the new MSU strategic Plan (SOAR) and talk about how unit mission statements should be crafted to align with the institutional strategic plan while providing examples of good mission statements for such units. Those interested in attending should register by emailing Kathy Hargett at k.hargett@moreheadstate.edu or by calling 606-783-5470.
Crafting Quality Mission Statements for Administrative & Educational Support Units:
  • Oct. 11th (Thursday) from 9:30am to noon in Combs 413 - This training will focus on writing good mission statements for administrative and educational support units. It will also explore the new MSU strategic Plan (SOAR) and talk about how unit mission statements should be crafted to align with the institutional strategic plan while providing examples of good mission statements for such units. Those interested in attending should register by emailing Kathy Hargett at k.hargett@moreheadstate.edu or by calling 606-783-5470.
Goodbye Disruption, Hello Collaboration:
Ed Tech Changes Gears
What’s Next for Ed Tech?

Last April I attended the  ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego, which included posh receptions and appearances by George W. Bush, John Legend, and Matthew McConaughey. If that doesn’t sound like your typical academic conference, it’s because GSV stands for Global Silicon Valley. Yes, lots of ed-tech companies chased lots of investor money while promising to improve learning.

So was there anything of note for our newsletter readers, people on the frontlines of teaching? Absolutely. Many of the conversations around ed-tech began with a discussion of student achievement gaps. Presenters talked about the stagnant national college graduation rate; differences by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status; and the growing percentage of low-income students entering higher education. Far from disrupting traditional higher education, which has been the standard narrative of ed tech, the industry was promising to improve it.

One education consultant called the linking of tech and student success the new “North Star,” a way to find common ground with academe. We’ll be likely to hear a lot more, in short, about how tech tools and systems can help students learn better and move more quickly through college.

To be sure, plenty of start-ups described  their products in ways that seemed to exaggerate the ease with which they could solve higher education’s problems. That included apps to help students feel socially connected and thus — if only it were so simple — less likely to drop out, and programs that promised to remove course-scheduling barriers in the way that Google maps gets you on the fastest route.

But higher-ed representatives on a number of panels agreed that technology, including partnerships with tech companies, could potentially reduce bureaucratic inefficiency, lower costs, and improve the classroom experience, thus moving more students to graduation. That could include campus-wide predictive analytics to quickly reach at-risk students, open educational resources to lower textbook costs in general-education courses, and adaptive learning courseware to help reduce failure rates in large introductory classes. “There is no low-tech solution out of this,” said Bridget Burns, executive director of the University Innovation Alliance, a consortium of 11 large public universities exploring promising ways to increase graduation rates and reduce achievement gaps.

How to Help Students Focus

A few weeks ago, we asked if you ever ask students to practice silence — like a handful of professors I wrote about  here— and what else you do to fight digital distraction. A couple of readers shared that they, too, use quiet to prepare students for the class period. Among them was Robert Petersen, a professor in the art department at Eastern Illinois University, who offered a twist on the exercise he has adopted from Lynda Barry’s book  Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor. Petersen begins class by having students spend a few minutes drawing self-portraits on index cards. “This is how I take attendance,” he wrote, “and the students put everything away and quietly focus for a few minutes.” To shake things up, Petersen continued, “I will often suggest a theme for the day by telling them to draw themselves as magicians, or being shot out of a cannon, or as a dinosaur, or lying on the beach.” At the end of the term, he returns all of his students’ cards to them.

Holly Taylor Coolman, an assistant professor in the department of theology at Providence College, described her efforts to help students cultivate alternative habits. Among them: inviting students to her home for dinner. “This is unusually convenient for me because I live across the street from campus,” she writes, “but there would probably be other ways to support the basic idea: If we want to address digital distraction, we can't just try to take away devices. We also have to foster other habits ... like conversation!”

– 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  dan.berrett@chronicle.combeth.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.
Blackboard Buzz
Using the BlackBoard Calendar
Are you familiar with the teaching plan for this semester? Whether you are familiar or not, check the school calendar from time to time to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Blackboard Calendar is an easy-to-use feature that students and instructors can utilize when they’re not sure about the teaching schedule.

This tutorial video on YouTube (see video, below) explains the features students and instructors use in Blackboard.  Email msuonline@moreheadstate.edu for additional information and on-campus support.
Mini Grants Available for
Alternative Spring Break Trips and Activities
Applications open October 1st

 KyCC has received Volunteer Generation Funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) for alternative service activities that:
  • are in Kentucky
  • include reflection for participants
  • include an intergenerational component

For more information, see their website:  https://kycompact.org/americorps/alternative-spring-break-funding/.
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: https://kycompact.org/what-we-do/stem-network/.
Teach Abroad
Deadline: October 15, 2018
Faculty are invited to apply to teach a course on a KIIS Winter 2019-2020 two-week program. KIIS operates four Winter programs:
  • ITALY (open to courses in all academic disciplines)
  • MAYA MEXICO (open to courses in all academic disciplines)
  • PARIS-MUNICH (open to courses that focus on elements of food and culture from a variety of academic disciplines)
  •  ZANZIBAR ISLAND, TANZANIA(open to courses in Business, Administration, Social Work or all areas of Health - Nursing, Medicine, Public Health, etc.)
 The Faculty Winter application deadline is October 15, 2018. Click any “Apply Now” button at  kiis.org   to begin your application.  For information about your application, visit the “Faculty” dropdown at kiis.org. For information about the Winter programs, see the “Programs” dropdown.
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: http://kyconvergence.org
2019 Gateway Course Experience Conference
Atlanta, GA / March 17-19, 2019
Proposal Due Date: November 26, 2018

 Higher education faculty, professionals, students and educators are invited to  submit proposals  on a topic addressing:
  • Share innovative ideas and practices you are using to solve problems and enable transformative course redesign at your institution.
  • Connect and collaborate with colleagues from other institutions who are working to integrate active learning and other strategies into how they teach gateway courses.
  • Share evidence about how your course redesign efforts are improving student success and learning and/or advancing more equitable outcomes. 
  • We value your students' perspectives in all aspects of teaching and learning and encourage you to consider having a student(s) as co-presenter(s).

Early submissions are welcomed and appreciated.
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University