January 22, 2020
Volume 3, Number 9
Using Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) to Structure a Final Portfolio Assignment
This assignment grew out of a recent overhaul of my British Literature II survey course using backwards design to shift emphasis from coverage of material to student learning. It also aims to better engage the increasing number of nonmajors taking the course for General Education credit, students for whom the purpose and value of studying literature is often not self-evident.

In this final portfolio assignment, students first take each of the four Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), choose one or two artifacts demonstrating their competency, and write a paragraph explaining how the artifact shows their achievement of the outcome. The artifacts can come from either graded work (low- or higher-stakes assignments) or from in-class work (small group activity answers, exit tickets, personal course notes). Then, they write longer answers to two additional questions: one “big picture” question that the SLOs were designed to help them answer and another question about their own individual learning.

Student responses were strongly positive across varied majors and skill levels; they reported feeling less stress and more control than with a traditional final exam, presentation, or literary analysis paper. Nobody who followed the instructions earned a poor grade, nobody plagiarized, and nearly everyone successfully connected their individual efforts to our shared goals. They were also relatively easy to grade, since for each item, I only needed to evaluate two criteria.

In addition, the SLO-driven final portfolio:
  • Implicitly requires students to review everything they did over the semester---in class and at home--- in light of what they now know and can do and to demonstrate cumulative learning
  • Levels the playing field, in terms of majors and nonmajors. The portfolio requires less knowledge of disciplinary conventions than traditional assessments, and working directly with SLOs is familiar to many pre-professional majors.
  • Fosters metacognition, a habit of mind that supports learning well beyond a single course.
  • Gives students significant choice in how they demonstrate their learning and unique perspective, and thus ownership of the project
  • Makes visible both how course activities are connected to each other through the SLOs and how the work of the course is connected to the big picture of college learning

– by  Helen Bittel, Associate Professor of English, Director of the Center for Transformational Teaching and Learning, Marywood University
What I Love About Teaching Campaign
Hello Educators,
We are looking for your response to the question "What do you love about teaching?"

While enjoying the summer, 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  :
  • MSU Star Theater - Saturday, January 25 & February 1, 11am & 1pm, Space Science Center. Every Saturday from September thru June, the Star Theater at MSU’s Space Science Center invites the public to see a full dome planetarium show or laser show!
  • Resume Lab - Wednesday, February 5, 2-4pm, Bert Combs Building, Room 302. Drop in and have our team assist you in constructing a strong resume to use in your job/internship search. Start from scratch or bring a draft in electronic form.
  • Fall in Love with your Major - Wednesday, February 24, 1-3pm, Bert Combs Building, Room 302. Is your major your perfect match? Unsure of what to major in? Know your major, but don't know what to do with it? This event will help you make the connection between your strengths and specific careers. Stop by to explore TypeFocus and learn about options that match you!
12th Annual Conference on
Higher Education Pedagogy

February 5-7, 2020  

Virginia Tech/Blacksburg, Virginia, USA   

For information about conference registration and associated fees, visit the conference website: https://chep.teaching.vt.edu/

If you have an interest in attending this conference as part of an MSU cohort, send an email identifying your interest (why), what you hope to gain from the conference, and what you will be willing to share with the MSU community upon your return to fctl@moreheadstate.edu
Call for Proposals: The 2020 Pedagogicon
May 15th, EKU
Proposals Due: February 16th

The conference theme, “  Students as Partners in Teaching and Learning,” encourages us to examine and promote students-as-partners strategies for teaching and learning that encourage deep, transferable academic experiences.
Do you have an exceptional strategy to share? Do you have a new theory or practice that might enhance teaching and learning, faculty development, educational practices, or student engagement at your institution and beyond? Presenters are encouraged to engage their audience, so preference will be given to those submissions that specify how this engagement will be provided. The conference will host an opening session on transparency in learning and teaching.

Threads might include but are not limited to:
  • Use of technology to enhance students-as-partners in teaching and learning
  • Creative instructional techniques that engage students in partnership experiences
  • Faculty development initiatives, programs, and processes that promote students-as-partners in teaching and learning
  • New ways to use Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to enhance student partnerships in teaching and learning
  • Strategies for incorporating diversity, culturally responsive pedagogy, and/or inclusive excellence into students-as-partners teaching and learning models and designs
  • High-Impact Educational Practices that enhance students as partners in teaching and learning
  • Student perspectives on partnerships in teaching and learning.

Presenters will also have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration in the annual Proceedings, to be published in late 2020.  

Submit proposals online at   https://studio.eku.edu/pedagogicon-proposal-form .
19th Annual   Posters-at-the-Capitol
March 5th, Frankfort

The   Link to Register  is:
Posters-at-the-Capitol   an event hosted collaboratively by Eastern Kentucky University, Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and Western Kentucky University, is intended to help members of Kentucky’s legislature and the Governor better understand the importance of involving undergraduates in research, scholarly, and creative work. It 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. 
Magna (Online) Webinars
24/7 Professional Development for Faculty
Featured Webinars:

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.

How Can I Earn Swift Trust in My Online Classes?
Discover how the core elements of creating trust can be accomplished in an online course setting including:
  • Communicating fully and openly.
  • Delivering on promises.
  • Building confidence in students.
  • Recognizing student concerns. 

Accessing Webinars:

These licensed Magna resources are available through a password-protected website. For access, faculty 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 msuonline@moreheadstate.edu.
  • When you click on the Magna Training Site, the Blackboard shell will open. Please note, you will be asked to submit a "Terms of Use" agreement before viewing any webinars.

Benefits of Magna Webinars:

I understand that you have a lot on your plate, so let me give you a few reasons why you should consider trying a Magna webinar:
  • 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.
Ambassadors for Excellence in Teaching
Morehead State University