December 11, 2018
Volume 3, Number 9
Looking Ahead to Next Semester:
Wrestling with Content Collaboratively (Part 2)
By the third class period, students will be introduced to PLC members and have time to exchange contact information. For the rest of the semester, the PLC functions as both a study group and the test group. The rules are simple and non-negotiable. First, anyone who misses more than once between tests will have to take the test by themselves. University excused absences are exempt from the one time and you are out rule. Attendance is rarely a problem. Second, if at any time a group member is not pulling their weight, the group can come talk to me and vote them out of the group. These ground rules are critical to the smooth running of the PLCs.

When test day rolls around, I give either a multiple choice or case study exam. Each student has a copy of the exam to read and write on. Only one test paper is turned in by the group. Anyone not agreeing with a group answer, may provide their own response. The collaborative approach supports almost all students’ testing accommodation needs.
During the test, my role is to constantly monitor participation and conversations. I make note of participation, making sure that each member is contributing. If necessary, I will ask students to give an answer, or to provide support for an answer. After the first test, a PLC may request that a nonproductive member be removed. I am more concerned with students learning the content than if students receive a good grade.

When students wrestle over a question, I jot down the question number and make sure that it shows up on subsequent tests. I note incorrect answers. As students wrestle with the questions, their thinking process is given a voice. I am able to clarify misconceptions after the test. Debating responses allows students to make new connections to course content. Reinforcement through repetition of critical content also contributes to student learning.

Over the years, I have made interesting observations of the assessment process. Most surprisingly, I have watched three people with the right answer, be talked out of it by a group member with the wrong answer. While this is painful to watch, I make sure that this question is on the next test. Students will remind each other of their entire discussion and remember the correct answer.

 I have heard students declare they know an answer is incorrect, but they are sticking with “My group, right or wrong”, which turns out to be a good choice. To date, every student who chooses to go against the group has been wrong.

Perhaps the most gratifying moments are those that come when students, long after the semester is past, tell me that they still remember content because of the discussions they had during their tests. They didn’t just memorize the content for the test, but remembered it.

– by Kim Nettleton, Ambassador for Excellence in Teaching, Morehead State University

Note: Part 1 of this article can be found in the last edition of the Teaching Tuesday newsletter (vol. 3 no. 8) which was sent on November 27th.
Announcing: Gather & Share Events
The FCTL will be offering "  Gather & Share  " events on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, starting in January, from 3:45pm - 4:45pm in ADUC 301. 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: Student Engagement
When: Wednesday, January 16, 2019; 3:45pm – 4:45pm
Where: ADUC 301
Educator: FCTL
Synopsis: Join FCTL in exploring “Student Engagement” at the inaugural “Gather & Share” event. Come ready to “chat it up” with your colleagues on this important topic. Refreshments will be served.
Blackboard Buzz
Best Practices for Mobile-Friendly Courses
Is your student always on the go? Do you want to build a mobile learning environment? Read Best Practices for Mobile-Friendly Courses and make a positive impact on learning outcomes and retention.

Student mobile device ownership is at an all-time high. Therefore, there is naturally an increased awareness of how smartphones can be used effectively as a resource and tool for academic course work. A majority of learners prefer blended learning environments and mobile access provides options for instructors to flip their classrooms and provide course materials and activities to students 24/7.

Read Best Practices for Mobile-Friendly Courses . Email msuonline@moreheadstate.edu for additional information and on-campus support.
In-The-Know
What I Love About Teaching Campaign
Hello Educators!

We are looking for your response to the question "What do you love about teaching?"

Click the link below to share your response:
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/.
Teach Abroad
Deadline: March 1, 2019
Faculty are invited to apply to teach a course in a KIIS Summer 2020 program. KIIS operates approximately 22 Summer programs each year. Faculty application materials include:
  • Biographical information
  • CV (PDF)
  • Your proposed course title & a brief course description (For more information please click here.)
  • Details of your teaching & experience
  • Email address for your supervisor (he or she will receive an email to complete this section within 10 days of the faculty deadline)
 The Faculty Summer application deadline is March 1, 2019. 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.
2019 Gateway Course Experience Conference
Atlanta, GA / March 17-19, 2019

 Higher education faculty, professionals, students and educators are invited to:
  • 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).
See you next year!
 Important January Dates:
  • University Offices open: Wednesday, January 2nd
  • Convocation: Wednesday, January 9th
  • Classes begin: Monday, January 14th
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (University closed): Monday, January 21st
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University