TeachTech FeastFest logoInterested in incorporating a new technology into your teaching? Looking for a boost to get started? Or a refresher on a technology you learned about at Enriching Scholarship in the spring? Join the Teaching with Technology Collaborative on Friday, November 21, for TeachTech FeastFest, a day-long series of 75-minute sessions on a range of technologies you can use in your courses.

Sessions will allow participants to sample and share ideas about a variety of tools and techniques to enhance student learning through technology. Topics include: screencasting, transitioning to the Canvas learning management system, designing effective presentation slides, using videoconferencing to connect your students with guest speakers around the world, understanding the enhancements of the latest version of iClicker, and much more. Register here soon: sessions are filling up quickly!

On this CRLT webpage, you can find a regularly-upated collection of examples of U-M instructors using these technologies and more. As always, CRLT consultants are also available to help you think through plans for integrating instructional technology into your particular courses. 

Canvas logoThis fall, 18 U-M instructors are piloting the Canvas learning management system (LMS) as an alternative to CTools in their courses. The pilot of Canvas will expand to additional courses in the winter term as U-M evaluates whether Canvas is the right choice to be our next generation LMS. Canvas is available to U-M by virtue of our membership in the Unizin Consortium.

Canvas includes many features that are similar to CTools, such as gradebook, assignments, quizzes, file sharing, and announcements. Canvas also has powerful tools for improving the teaching and learning experience such as integrated rubrics and peer evaluations. The Canvas SpeedGrader tool is proving popular among pilot instructors because they can view, annotate, comment on, and grade assignment submissions without downloading and re-uploading files. 

CRLT is currently interviewing the pilot instructors and surveying their students about their Canvas experience and how it compares to CTools. We'll share these findings with ITS and the Digital Innovation Advisory Group (DIAG) this December to inform next steps in U-M's exploration of Canvas. 

Learn more about Canvas and the pilot on the NextGen LMS pilot site

What does it mean to succeed as a U-M student? This is one question the upcoming SuccessFest, organized by LSA's Newnan Advising Center, is designed to help answer.

The October 22 event will bring together representatives from a range of campus programs and offices that provide support and opportunities to help students succeed in many different senses. Topics range from academic skill-building to career development, financial strategizing, and personal wellness. Students sometimes perceive campus support services as designed only for those who are struggling, but teachers see first-hand that students who regularly seek help and take advantage of campus resources are often among the most academically successful. SuccessFest captures this idea with their slogan, "everyone needs this."

SuccessFest banner

Though SuccessFest is organized by LSA, all members of the campus community are welcome. You can encourage your students to attend, or check it out yourself. Whether you're new to teaching at Michigan or have been here for decades, you're likely to learn something new about the range of campus resources available to your students, whether they are facing challenges or just looking for a boost.

After many months of preparation, U-M Student Life and the Educational Theater Program launched a major new initiative this fall to promote a welcoming campus climate for diverse students. If you’re teaching first-year undergraduates, your students will very likely attend a "Change It Up!" training this month, where they will learn about bystander intervention strategies to promote safe and respectful communities on campus. 

Based on a nationally recognized bystander intervention model, the Change It Up! program is organized around several key goals, including:

  • encouraging students to recognize themselves as members of a campus community where individual behaviors can collectively have a powerful effect upon broader campus climate 
  • increasing students' awareness of language and behavior that disrespects or excludes some campus community members based on their social identities 
  • building students' skills and confidence at intervening effectively in potentially harmful situations. 

Change It Up! informational flyer with contact information

The program highlights strategies a bystander can use to intervene in discrimination, disrespect, and even interpersonal violence. As highlighted in the image, these are represented by the “4 Ds” of Direct, Delay, Delegate, and Distract.

U-M teachers might be especially interested in the "Delegate" strategy. In this bystander intervention option, students are encouraged to turn to other people who can be resources or allies when they witness or feel targeted by language or behavior that insults or excludes members of the campus community. The workshop identifies instructors as one group of people to whom students might delegate and with whom they might strategize an effective intervention.

As a teacher, how might you prepare yourself to respond should such a request come your way?