|CRLT Grants Can Support Your Innovative Teaching Ideas
CRLT stewards grant competitions with the goal of enhancing teaching and learning at the University of Michigan. Some grants can be used to test a classroom idea, and others are intended to empower much greater change in curricula, teaching techniques, or inclusion of University values and priorities. If you are an instructor at the Ann Arbor campus, one or more of these might be particularly useful to you.
The Instructional Development Fund (IDF) is a rolling fund that grants amounts of up to $500 for a classroom activity or innovation. It is a rolling grant fund; proposals are accepted at any time until the funds for the year are exhausted. An IDF may be used to pay for supplies and equipment, programming or research assistance, fees and expenses for student field trips, honoraria for classroom guest speakers, fees and expenses for conferences directly related to teaching, or summer projects aimed at developing or enhancing courses. You may have another great idea; it is always worth asking if your idea is eligible. The proposals are brief: only one page plus a budget. Typically, decisions can happen within two weeks for these grants.
|CRLT Services in Spring/Summer
Is CRLT still available to support U-M instructors during the summer? Indeed, we are! If you're teaching a course in one of these terms, you can request a Midterm Student Feedback session led by one of our consultants. CRLT staff are also available to discuss the student ratings from past courses or to consult on course design and planning as you look ahead to the fall. We're happy to hear from you at any time of year.
For our full range of consultation services, see this page.
|Connecting Classrooms with Communities: Guidance for U-M Instructors
How and why might you work with community partners to enhance student learning in your courses and build valuable connections beyond the university -- whatever your discipline? In this guest post, CRLT campus partners Denise Galarza Sepúlveda of LSA’s Office of Community-Engaged Academic Learning (CEAL) and Neeraja Aravamudan of the Ginsberg Center offer key insights for planning courses that build productive, equitable relationships with community partners.
Community-engaged learning, also referred to as community-based learning or service-learning, has been recognized as a high impact educational practice that promotes deeper understanding of course concepts while advancing connections between the university and communities. Community partners bring valuable knowledge and expertise to contribute to students’ learning, and those students in turn--and the broader partnership with the university--can expand community partners’ capacity to address their priorities.
|Transparent Teaching: A Focus of This Year’s Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan Series
What does ‘transparency’ mean in a teaching-learning context, and why is it a key principle featured in many CRLT workshops and resources about inclusive teaching? At its simplest, transparency means clearly communicating with students about course expectations and norms. As outlined below, such transparency can lead to more equitable learning experiences. That’s why transparency is the focus for this year’s Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan May workshop series. (Registration available here; for more details about both transparency and the May series, read on.)
|Making Student Ratings More Useful: Guidelines for Students and Instructors
As we approach the end of the term, students will be asked to provide feedback to instructors using U-M's course evaluation system. At CRLT, we often hear from faculty and GSIs who are discouraged about a number of issues related to student ratings, including the tone of some written comments, relatively low response rates, and uncertainty about how best to use the results productively. This post provides some resources for each of these concerns.
1) Minimizing Unhelpful Comments: Student ratings comments can be unhelpful when vague or irrelevant, whether positive ("Great course!") or negative (e.g., criticism of instructor attributes not linked to the learning environment). To encourage students to avoid rude or personally hurtful comments, CRLT worked with ADVANCE at U-M on a handout that instructors can give to students before they fill out their evaluations. The handout, Course Evaluations: Providing Helpful Feedback to Your Instructors, asks students to keep three key issues in mind when completing their ratings:
|Teaching in the Wake of Hate Incidents
We wish we did not have so many occasions to provide guidance to instructors on teaching in the wake of hate-based violence. As our campus processes the news coming out of New Zealand today, we offer this slight update of a blog from October.
In the wake of the massacre of worshippers at New Zealand mosques, many people in our community are feeling threatened and terrorized, grieving deeply, experiencing intense anger, or fighting a sense of despair at a swelling of hatred and violence in our world. These emotions enter our classrooms, studios, and labs, and they can understandably and significantly affect students’ ability to focus on their learning and work with peers in intellectual community.
|Now accepting applications for the 2019 May Preparing Future Faculty Seminar
Nikolas Sweet Ph.D Candidate 2019 PFF Program Assistant
Are you considering a faculty career after graduation? Want to know more about how to prepare? The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching offers a month-long seminar, “Preparing Future Faculty” (PFF), which helps graduate students navigate the transitional period between graduate school and becoming a faculty member.
|New CRLT Resource: Supporting Students Facing Mental Health Challenges
U-M counseling offices in collaboration with President Schlissel recently launched a new campaign with the motto “We’re here for you,” designed to increase community dialogue on mental and emotional health and normalize access to services. As a U-M instructor, you are likely aware that many of your students experience mental health challenges. What can you do within the bounds of your role to promote mental health and support students experiencing challenges?
CRLT’s latest Occasional Paper “Supporting Students Facing Mental Health Challenges” provides a starting point for faculty and GSIs interested in exploring this topic. As the paper emphasizes, you can take many steps in your role as an instructor to normalize a focus on students’ mental health and set up an academic experience that promotes growth and resilience.
In the Occasional Paper, you will find:
|Teaching with Student Veterans in Mind
*updated November 7, 2018
During U-M's Veterans Week, it's a good time to reflect on the needs of our students who have served in the military. Did you know that record numbers of veterans are enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities--and many of them are here on U-M's campuses? Since January 2014, the university's tuition policy has allowed students who have served in the military to qualify for in-state tuition. If you teach at U-M, odds are good you've had or will have student veterans in your classroom.
How might your awareness of veterans in the classroom make a difference in your teaching? The research on student veterans suggests several strategies and cautions for teaching inclusively with veterans in mind. Here are a few:
|Teaching in Teams: A Planning Guide for Successful Collaborations
Have you been approached about team teaching, but are nervous about the process of sharing a classroom with other instructors? Have you participated in a team-taught course, and want to learn new strategies to make it even more successful in its next iteration? Are you looking to learn more about the benefits of team teaching for both students and instructors? Are you curious about team teaching, but unsure of how to plan for, structure, or evaluate such a class?
We welcome faculty and GSIs across campus to explore our newest Occasional Paper, Teaching in Teams: A Planning Guide for Successful Collaborations. Many team-taught courses seek to promote students’ development of higher-order thinking skills by enabling them to interact with instructors who have different sets of expertise and perspectives (Bacharach, Heck, & Dahlberg, 2008; Bierwert, 2011; Helms, Alvis, & Willis, 2005). And for instructors, team teaching enables instructors to encounter new content knowledge, as well as new perspectives on their own expertise (Bacharach et al., 2008; Plank, 2011; Shibley, 2006). As Dr. Laura Olsen (MCDB) shares: