August 26, 2020
Volume 4, Number 1
Small Steps for a Compassionate Semester
As can be said about effective teaching in general, compassion and empathy matter deeply this fall for creating an effective and safe classroom atmosphere. You can take a few small steps to ensure that you and your students experience a compassionate semester: 
  • Be kind to yourself. Your newly hybrid, online, or physically distanced course is not going to be perfect—and that’s OK. This is unfamiliar territory, and you didn’t have much time to prepare. Be patient with yourself, focus on what’s most important, and be prepared to adjust your plans as you go.
  • Remember to build responsive and resilient dimensions into your pedagogy – know your students’ struggles if they’re willing to share, and craft alternative activities / assessments should any student face difficulties.
  • Find your way with your students, together. The new environment may initially feel quite awkward and strange for everyone. Have a good laugh with your students when things happen (for instance, you discover you’ve accidentally muted them and then can’t figure out why they aren’t responding to your questions!). Ask them about how the experience is working for them and respond to their concerns. You’ll see in just a few sessions how much more comfortable everyone will be navigating this temporary environment.
  • Communicate a message of understanding frequently to your students. Be flexible in your expectations, understand with each other as you smooth out the bumps, and commit to learning from each other as you go. You may not be able to accomplish learning in exactly the same ways as before, but you may be surprised at solutions you come up with together. 
  • Ask for help when you need it. Chances are, others are experiencing the same challenges and weird scenarios – share your struggles and discover new ways to resolve them!
by Kyle Sebastian Vitale, Ph.D., Associate Director, Center for Advancement of Teaching, Temple University
What I Love About Teaching Campaign
Hello Educators,
We are looking for your response to the question "What I love about teaching?"

Take a few moments to share your response by clicking the link below:
Events on Campus
Here are opportunities for students (and maybe you) on campus:

MSU Event:
  • Introduction to Cisco WebEx Training. - Tuesday, September 8, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.
WebEx is a video meeting application offering persistent virtual meeting rooms for both in-office and remote team conferencing featuring screen sharing, meeting recording, customizable layouts and meeting broadcasting.
Please contact the IT Help Desk by e-mail at to register for this training opportunity or contact the IT Help Desk via phone at 606-783-HELP (4357) for more information.

MSU Event:
  • Resume Lab - Wednesday, September 9, 2:00pm to 4pm.
Your resume is your personal marketing brochure, and a strong one is your ticket to an interview. Drop in and let the professionals in Career Services assist you in constructing a strong resume. Start from scratch or bring a draft in electronic form. All Career Services . events for the Fall 2020 semester will be held virtually. Make sure to check your MSU email account and the Career Services Facebook page ( one week before each event for instructions and access links.

Respondus Webinars

Respondus has comprehensive training webinars intended for instructors who plan to use LockDown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor with online exams. Click this link to see the dates and times of the webinars:

There is one scheduled for Thursday, August 27 at 2pm ET.

After attending the webinar feel free to let me know your thoughts and take-aways.
Association of American Colleges & Universities

Free Webinar Series
The Association of American Colleges & Universities offers a free webinar series: "Quality, Equity, and Inclusion during the COVID Crisis" that is available On-Demand.

After attending/watching the webinar let me know you thoughts and take-aways.
Magna (Online) Webinars
24/7 Educator/Professional Development for Faculty
Featured Webinar:

How Do I Build Community in My Classroom?
Community is an essential ingredient in the educational experience. Studies show that community building can increase retention, improve students’ cognitive intellectual development, and promote contributions to society.

This webinar explores:
  • How to build community in our classrooms.
  • The power and outcomes of community.
  • The challenges of building community.

Benefits of Magna Webinars:

  • Each webinar takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
  • All webinars are available on your schedule since they are online and easily accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Webinars include supplemental materials such as bibliographies and handouts.
  • Certificates of completion are available for professional portfolios and Faculty 180.

Accessing Webinars:

These licensed Magna resources are available through a password-protected website. For access, educators need to:
  • Log into MSU’s employee portal;
  • Look under the My Classes (Blackboard) section for the Magna Training Site;
  • If Magna isn't showing up in your list of courses, please send a request to be added to
  • When you click on the Magna Training Site, the Blackboard shell will open. Select Magna Campus and then launch the LTI link, select 20-Minute Mentor Commons. After selecting 20-Minute Mentor Commons, choose Teaching Face to Face then Student Engagement. Choose the featured title.
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University