The OTL Reflects During Arab American Heritage Month

The OTL reflects this month on our commitments to see, acknowledge, and appreciate the integral contributions across all of our fields made by our Arab American community members. The Arab American National Museum (AANM) reminds us that Arab Americans are one of many groups whose experiences are often not represented in our courses, and offer us some excellent free resources for educators including lesson plans, digital scrapbooks, and a downloadable copy of the book Arab Americans: History, Culture and Contributions. And the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association encourages us to Include #MENA in our own scholarship, to further boost health data, political power, and access to social services- amplifying our participants’ choice, resources, and visibility through inclusive scholarship. #WeAreMENA

Join this month’s C+V Heritage Months initiative - The Arab American Experience: A Conversation on Being and Belonging.
Ramadan at DU

This school year, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins April 12th and ends May 11th. Ramadan involves a month of fasting, introspection, and prayer for Muslims, the followers of Islam.

The University’s commitment to inclusivity includes a commitment to accommodate the observance of religious holy days by all of its community members. We encourage you all to consult an interfaith calendar throughout the year and especially when designing syllabi.

Visit the Cultural Center and Spiritual Life Ramadan 2021 web page for more information and resources.
Upcoming Panel with Dr. Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave

Dr. Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave, OTL's Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices, will be presenting as part of a panel at Higher Ed's Reset Leadership Summit from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Advice Panel: An Inclusive Environment
Thursday, April 22, 2:20 p.m.

The pandemic and the country’s reckoning with systemic racism in the wake of the killing of George Floyd have re-emphasized the need for colleges to create inclusive learning environments. How do colleges achieve this in such uncertain times?

For more information and to register, visit the Reset Leadership Summit website.
Heart of Higher Education 2021: Rooted and Reaching

We are pleased to announce the upcoming “Heart of Higher Education 2021: Rooted and Reaching” conference/retreat, taking place virtually on June 16-19 from 9:00-12:30. Co-hosted by the Center for Courage and Renewal, the University of Denver and the Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs office, this event is for those higher education professionals who are eager to foster ways to sustain and renew personal identity and professional integrity in the midst of the profound changes that impact our lives. You are invited to join with other educators and leaders in naming core personal and professional callings with integrity, nurturing and caring for the hearts of others with fidelity, and faithfully acting to transform education that is worthy of the human heart and not limited by measures of effectiveness. Parker J. Palmer, author of Courage to Teach, will join in this time of inner reflection and outer commitment to cultivating a renewed vision of education. His conversation partners will be Laura Rendón, author of Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Pedagogy, and Colorado poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, who will be the conference poet in “virtual” residence.

The early bird registration deadline for this event is April 23. For more information, see The Heart of Higher Education 2021: Rooted and Reaching.
Spring Showcase: Celebrating Faculty Teaching Excellence - April 26- May 7

Save the date for our upcoming virtual event Spring Showcase: Celebrating Faculty Teaching Excellence! The showcase will be a series of events celebrating the hard work you and your colleagues have done over this past year.

The official Spring Showcase starts on Monday, April 26, and we are excited to announce Pre-Showcase events starting next week! These Kitchen Table Conversations are candid and informal chats about the struggles and the wins of teaching during an unprecedented time in higher education.

Tuesday, April 20, 11:00 - 11:50 a.m.

Wednesday, April 21, 11:30 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
New DU Image Database: Artstor
Artstor is a new DU database that offers a wide variety of diverse and inclusive still images that can be incorporated into classes across the disciplines and throughout the curriculum. DU is transitioning to Artstor from CourseMedia as the central image database for your teaching and for student learning. 

Whereas CourseMedia was only available to students who were enrolled in classes in which the professor used the system for the course, now all faculty, students, and staff can find high quality images for teaching and learning - including those that were available in CourseMedia - in Artstor. In this workshop, Heather Seneff and Meagan Callahan, Visual Media Center, School of Art & Art History, and Peggy Keeran, Arts & Humanities Librarian, University of Denver Libraries, will demonstrate how to get started with Artstor, how to find, add, manage, group, and project images for your courses, how to integrate into Canvas, and more.

Artstor - Using Images and Managing Collections at DU
Tuesday, April 27, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Accessibility Tip

The OTL is partnering with the Disability Services Program (DSP) to provide accessibility tips you can implement in your courses today!

Are you sharing accessible PDFs with your students? It is important to make sure you are not sharing scans of coursebooks or readings (for copyright and accessibility reasons). Your electronic documents should be accessible with screen readers like Kurzweil3000, VoiceOver, NVDA, or JAWS. Visit How to Test and Remediate PDFs for Accessibility Using Adobe Acrobat DC created by the Accessible Electronic Document Community of Practice (AED CoP). There are a series of videos to explain and demonstrate the minimum steps needed to ensure your PDF is Section 508 conformant!

Questions about accommodations and accessibility? Please visit the DSP website for faculty and staff resources, or email [email protected].
Upcoming Events

Canvas Coaching: How to Create Quizzes/Exams in Canvas
Thursday, April 22, 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Canvas Coaching: Mid-Quarter Feedback
Thursday, April 29, 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Canvas Coaching: Peer Review
Friday, May 7, 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Respondus is also hosting several training webinars throughout the month.

Visit our OTL events calendar to discover other events coming up!
Teaching Resources

Build your course in 4 weeks while considering the rhythm of the term with this helpful resources guide.

This tool kit provides practical steps for readying your courses, no matter the modality. From Canvas basics to hyflex considerations, and complete with worksheets to guide you, this toolkit is a great starting point for course planning.

Visit this OTL web page for helpful links to resources such as Canvas guides and Knowledge Base articles organized by task, as well as a video walking you through setting up your Canvas course. These resources can be helpful no matter how you offer your courses this term.

This Knowledge Base article provides helpful tips and tricks you can use as you create pre-recorded videos, lectures, and demonstrations to enhance the asynchronous components of your course. You can also learn more about the various tools you can use to create your videos, such as Zoom and Kaltura.

This web page provides access to the robust virtual services and resources that the Libraries provide along with a host of online services and resources.

Visit our Sample Syllabus Statements webpage for optional statements to help you communicate with students your policies around wearing masks in class, social distancing, attendance and participation, and more. Be sure to reach out to your Dean, Chair, or Director with any questions or for clarification around the use of these statements in your syllabus.