Welcome to Week 1!

It is only Thursday and I'm sure the first week has already felt a year long! We know many of you are stretching beyond what you may have originally believed about your teaching modality. With students quarantining, hiccups both expected and unexpected, you are already working hard as a pivot-ready professor and you are not alone! We also know you may be in a space where even getting support feels like just one more thing to do. Wherever you are today or tomorrow or next week--we're ready to meet you there. 

Our own Virginia Pitts reflects on her Hyflex experiences in a new blog post, What to Do When It All Feels New: Teaching at a Social Distance, which highlights resources on active learning at a social distance as well as lessons learned from using a socially distanced classroom. See the blog for practical guidance that you can enact immediately!

Virginia also invites you to a casual, come-as-you-are, happy hour tomorrow, Friday, to debrief the week.

End-of-Week Virtual Happy Hour: Unwind, Reflect, and Regroup
Friday, September 18, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Want to gather with colleagues as you breathe a collective sigh of relief at having made it through the week? Interested in sharing your stories of what went well and what was challenging as you began teaching in this new and unique context? Looking for some support and inspiration as you move forward into this fall term? Join the OTL’s Virginia Pitts for a virtual happy hour from 4:00-5:00 this Friday, where we will reflect together on how things are going so far and what we’re learning, plus connect with old friends and perhaps make some new ones now that we are all back!  

Feel free bring your favorite beverage or snack, and drop in and out as you're able. Kids and pets and life happening in the background are welcome. Looking forward to seeing you then!
Last Call: Fall Writing Accountability Groups

You are invited to apply to participate in the new Writing Accountability Groups that are open specifically to tenure-track or tenured faculty at DU.
Writing Accountability Groups (WAC) are a collaborative project between the Office of Teaching and Learning, the Writing Program, and the Office of Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs. This program creates groups that consist of four faculty and a facilitator. Groups will be made based solely on the availability within specific time slots.
The goal of the program is for participants to identify a writing project they would like to make progress on and meet with their group for support and accountability. 
The group will meet weekly for 10-weeks. You will be committing to:

  • Participate in 90-minute synchronous sessions via Zoom.
  • Complete a weekly asynchronous NCFDD webinar which takes approximately 90-minutes.
  • Make progress on your individual writing project.
There are only 28 slots available, thus you will need to commit to attend all sessions and complete the weekly work. 
The application deadline for the Writing Accountability Groups is September 18th.  Please submit your application if you are interested in joining us!
One-on-One Meetings with OTL Instructional Designers

We are happy to welcome our Instructional Designers to our OTL Team! You can schedule time with them for assistance with Canvas, Zoom, Universal Design for Learning, and other technical and pedagogical issues. Do you have questions about how to coordinate student groupwork, create community in your courses, or incorporate best teaching practices into your courses? We can help with all of those questions and more.

We have multiple ways you can book time:

This system allows you to book a half hour time slot with an OTL expert.

Fill out this survey to request time for more in-depth assistance.
Interfaith Calendar

Let’s make DU more religiously inclusive! As the new academic year gets started, we can all make more of our community members feel more welcome if we take just a few simple steps. Consider taking a moment each month to check an interfaith calendar or go the full 9-yards by transforming your everyday calendar into an interfaith calendar with these simple step-by-step instructions. Knowing about religious holidays helps you learn more about your colleagues. This small gesture gives you super-powers to make people’s day. Learn more about how to make religious inclusivity a part of your everyday.
Upcoming Events

OTL Office Hours
Join the OTL Instructional Design team and colleagues for virtual office hours! We are here to answer your questions and provide support as you prepare for the fall quarter. We encourage you to register for the events, but feel free to join any time during the open hour. Please visit our OTL Events Calendar for more information, including the Zoom link, for each session and to view our other events!

Course Planning: Troubleshooting Week 1
Friday, September 18, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Video Open Lab (Zoom and Kaltura)
Friday, September 18, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 22, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Technology Office Hours (Canvas, Zoom, Kaltura, etc.)
Monday, September 21, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 22, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 24, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Course Planning: Adapting Assignments/Activities to be Pivot Ready
Wednesday, September 23, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

Course Planning: Troubleshooting Week 2
Friday, September 25, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Providing Feedback: Effectively, Efficiently
Friday, September 25, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Probably nothing dismays professors more than the prospect of spending endless hours responding to or grading student writing--all the while worrying if they're doing any good. This workshop will teach practical strategies for responding efficiently and effectively to student writing. More isn't necessarily better! Led by Doug Hesse, DU Writing Program

UDL Coffeehouse Session
Monday, September 21, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
As we prepare for the upcoming fall term, join colleagues from across campus to discuss Universal Design for Learning (UDL). These coffeehouse sessions will provide time and space to learn UDL principles and strategies together. You can register for this week's session using the link above.

Planning Your Quarter: Teaching, Grading, and Scholarship
Wednesday, September 23, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

We offer this planning webinar so that you can take time out of your schedule to identify your personal and professional goals, create a strategic plan to accomplish them, and identify the types of community, support, and accountability you need to make this your most productive and balanced quarter ever!

Heart of Higher Education
Wednesday, September 23, 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 24, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

The Heart of Higher Education (HOHE) is an opportunity to gather as a DU community to share the challenges and opportunities of transcending the institutional, professional and personal choices that tend to separate core identity/integrity from day to day actions. The meetings are open to all faculty (of any rank) and staff (of any title). The Conversations are facilitated by Dr. Paul Michalec, OTL Faculty Teaching Fellow, and Clinical Professor in the Morgridge College of Education. The Heart of Higher Education Conversations create a positive and constructive space where staff and faculty can explore ways of re-connecting calling with professional responsibilities. In this academic year we will investigate the themes of uncertainty, impermanence, and resilience in academia. We will have sessions each month of this term, so if you are unable to join us in September, keep your eye out for future sessions.

Please visit our OTL Events Calendar for all of our upcoming events!
Teaching Resources

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.

Getting overwhelmed by all of the different terms you hear related to online teaching and learning? Visit OTL’s glossary for definitions of key terms.

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.

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.