January 27, 2021
Volume 5, Number 1
8 Strategies to Prevent Teaching Burnout
Teaching in the new semester? Chances are you’re coming into the classroom — virtual, physical, or both — already exhausted from the Covid crucible.

New class formats, increased teaching loads, work-from-home problems — the early months of 2021 promise more of the same. So with little relief in sight, it’s essential to determine what you can do in your own courses to protect your well-being while also supporting your students.

Online teaching can feel more time-consuming and draining than teaching in person. You may be hearing the word “polysynchronous” a lot in 2021, given that many faculty members do some combination of asynchronous and synchronous teaching, not one or the other. The wide range of newly popular teaching formats — HyFlex, blended, and others — are here to stay. To help you regain some level of work/life balance, I offer the following eight strategies, designed to work in whatever mix of online formats you plan to use this term.

Keep it simple. It’s easier on you and promotes equity. Last fall the move to remote and online teaching produced a frenzy of advice on how to engage students online. Many professors, however, ended up using new tools and techniques that were more complex — and thus, more stressful to use — than necessary. You can teach a good, engaging online class with low-tech approaches. Even better, low-tech and simple means a more equitable experience for students.

In asynchronous environments (like Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, or Moodle) you can hold students’ interest with simple activities and tools as long as you vary their use and sequence them intentionally each week. A good model is to provide information (readings, videos), structure interaction with the information (homework, discussion forums, practice sets), and then assess their learning (assignments, quizzes, projects)...

Don’t teach the same way online as you do in person. My expertise is in online teaching, so I know from years of experience that it requires methods different from teaching in person. In the fall I worked with thousands of well-meaning instructors — many of them new to Zoom — who hadn’t realized that yet. In short, don’t try to do things on Zoom in the same way you would in a physical classroom...

Aim for the right balance of synchronous and asynchronous. If your college allows you the flexibility, design each class to be a mix of 75 percent asynchronous/25 percent synchronous. Zoom classes are exhausting. Interactions in your LMS are much less so and, again, are more equitable and inclusive of students with different home and economic circumstances.

One model I like: Each week hold an hour of class on Zoom and do the rest asynchronously. That way, you connect with students regularly in real time without adding to everyone’s Zoom fatigue. Pro tip: Think about the best ways to use that Zoom hour. Plan activities that benefit from synchronous interactions — modeling, demonstrating, solving problems, Q&As. Move the rest of the course to your LMS...

Hit pause, or build in breaks from the get-go. If, at some point this spring, you find yourself at wit’s end, call a timeout. Cancel Zoom sessions and plan only asynchronous online activities that week. That can work really well on the fly, if needed, but why not build in Zoom pauses in your course schedule? Once or twice during the semester, create asynchronous-only weeks. Alert students to those Zoom-free dates upfront...

To read the full article click here

by Flower Darby, Instructional Designer and Author for The Chronicle of Higher Education
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:

Covid-19 Testing. - Morehead State University is partnering with St. Claire HealthCare to offer a free COVID-19 testing opportunity on campus. This is open and free to all faculty, staff, and students. No appointment necessary.

  • DATE: Wednesday, January 27th

  • TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

  • LOCATION: Laughlin Health Building Gymnasium

  • PROVIDER: St. Claire HealthCare 

  • COST: Free
Teaching and Learning Innovation Conference

University of Tennessee, Knoxville announces registration is open for its Innovative Teaching and Learning Conference that will be held on Tuesday March 30, 2021 from 8am - 5:30pm.  

The theme this year is "Lighting the Way to Deeper Learning". The goal is to highlight the importance of good teaching in higher education settings by featuring the innovative teaching practices that occur in this context. The keynote speaker for both breakfast and lunch is Claire Major, a world-renowned teacher, consultant, and scholar.

She is the author or co-author of several books in the field of instructional development that include: Learning Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty; Online Learning: A guide to theory, research, and practice; Teaching for Learning: 101 Intentionally Designed Learning Activities to put Students on the Path to Success, and Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty.
The conference is free and virtual. You can now register to attend by clicking here
Registration for the conference closes on March 12, 2021 @5:00pm.
If you have any questions, please contact Ferlin McGaskey at fmcgaske@utk.edu. Feel free to forward this information to your colleagues and friends.

After attending the webinar feel free to let me know your thoughts and take-aways.

"Agile Teaching & Learning"
Sponsored by the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE)

Hosted by: Noel Studio for Academic Creativity and Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning, Eastern Kentucky University

When: May 14, 2021 - Virtually

Proposals due: February 10, 2021

The conference theme, “Agile Teaching & Learning,” encourages us to examine and promote responsive strategies for teaching and learning that encourage resilient, engaged, and dynamic approaches within and across online, hybrid, flexible higher-education environments.

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 participants, through interactive activities, demonstrations, or discussions.

Presenters will also have the opportunity to submit their work for consideration in the annual Proceedings, to be published in late 2021.

Questions may be directed to:
Jamie Shaffer
Coordinator, Teaching & Learning Initiatives
Noel Studio for Academic Creativity
Eastern Kentucky University

For more information on the conference: 2021 Pedagogicon

If your proposal is accepted, contact the FCTL to discuss registration cost.
Magna 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 msuonline@moreheadstate.edu.
  • 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