|Structuring Classroom Discussions About Elections
This midterm election season brings an important opportunity for students and instructors to connect classroom learning to the value of civic engagement. Developments in law and politics at the national level have highlighted the particular importance of state and local civic engagement.
The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching works with instructors to think through approaches to incorporating discussion of the midterm election and its links to civic engagement into their courses, as well as strategies for responding in the moment when these issues arise.
Encouraging students to engage in the US democratic process is a non-partisan activity
This post shares highlights from resources curated for faculty and staff to not only encourage voter engagement, but also to support the development of students’ habits of democracy before and after the upcoming election. Regardless of citizenship status, domestic and international students benefit from understanding how democracy works.
|Teaching in Fall 2022: Balancing Flexibility and Accountability
Over the past two years, instructors across the university have learned a great deal about ways to build flexibility into their courses, a core principle of equitable teaching. We know that students have benefitted from this approach to course elements such as absences and deadlines.
As we move into the Fall 2022 semester, we are hearing a range of approaches to flexibility. For some instructors, this reflects a long-standing commitment to allowing students multiple ways to navigate their course and demonstrate learning. Others, especially those teaching large courses, have reported that student expectations for flexibility around course modality, grading, and attendance have become unmanageable for them and seem to have led to student disengagement as well.
So, what do you do this fall?
|2022 Equity-focused Teaching @ Michigan Series
It has been one year since CRLT has broadened its lens to center equity in our teaching and learning frameworks.
|“Help: My students are overwhelmed, and so am I!”
Guest Author: Joy Pehlke, Wolverine Wellness
A common theme we are hearing from instructors across campus is the level of stress they and their students are experiencing this term. To offer context about the current moment and suggestions for navigating it, we have asked Joy Pehlke, Health Educator and Wellness Coach at University Health Service and Lecturer in LSA, to write this guest blog post.
My role at Wolverine Wellness allows me to witness the student experience in multiple ways: through one-on-one wellness coaching conversations, well-being presentations, and discussions in my class, ALA 240: Living Well in College and Beyond. Many students, staff, and faculty hoped that things would get easier once we could go back to some sense of “normalcy.” Instead, a common theme has emerged. We are struggling with the tension of wishing things would get easier and finding they’ve only become more complicated. We are seeing higher levels of stress and anxiety, and it has become clear that pre-existing issues on campus (burnout, overwhelm, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, racism, loneliness, etc.) have only been amplified by the pandemic. And these aren’t just student issues. Instructors are impacted, too.
|Fall 2021 Course Evaluations: Creating Useful Questions
As we pass the middle of the term, instructors are asked to think about course evaluations that students complete at the end of the term (November 19-December 10). Twelve days before evaluations open, U-M instructors are invited to preview evaluation questions and create a few of their own if they wish. What principles or goals might guide you in that process?
In this blog post, we review the university-wide questions that appear on end-of-semester evaluations, and we offer guidance on how to make the most of instructor-created questions. These principles can also be used to create questions for feedback that you collect at other times of the semester. In addition, this previous CRLT blog post provides strategies for increasing student response rates, and this Registrar's site contains details about the course evaluation process.
|Lecture capture: A meaningful resource for learning
Still in the midst of a pandemic, you may be wrestling with the question of whether or not to record your lectures. On the one hand, recordings provide a simple way for students to catch up if they become sick. On the other hand, you may worry about student learning or about teaching in an almost empty classroom. You are not alone.
Concerns about the effects of lecture capture on attendance and learning have existed since its inception. While some studies find that lecture attendance does indeed decrease slightly when lecture capture is introduced, many others show no significant effects. The relationship between lecture capture, attendance and student achievement is complex and shows different patterns for different groups of students (e.g. Banerjee, 2020).
|Using Groups and Teams in Teaching: New CRLT Resources
What are the benefits of collaborative learning? What are best practices for forming teams? How can I promote effective group dynamics? And, how do I hold students accountable in this learning context?
Questions such as these arise regularly in consultations with U-M instructors who are implementing group work in their courses. Drawing on these experiences and the research on best practices, CRLT has created a new webpage, Introduction to Groups and Teams. It is designed to be a valuable starting point for instructors to consider as they add or revise group assignments and activities to their courses. The site includes information and resources on the following topics:
|Navigating the Return to In-Person Teaching
As the fall term begins, instructors and students are returning to campus in ways that will be both familiar and unique. While a very high percentage of classes will be offered in person (over 97% in LSA), we continue to grapple with the delta variant of the coronavirus, and masks will be mandatory for everyone in classrooms across U-M. For many continuing students, and for those just starting their first year (including instructors), Fall 2021 will be their first experience with in-person teaching and learning since March 2020. While first- and second-year students will have no experience with fully in-person classes, even juniors will have had only one fully uninterrupted semester.
At the same time, we have heard from instructors that remote teaching led them to new insights and improved practices, which they plan to maintain in the in-person setting. This blog is designed to bring together insights from U-M students and instructors, as well as national and U-M resources, and provide suggestions for successfully navigating the unique circumstances of this term. CRLT consultants are glad to meet with you about any aspect of your teaching. We will hold daily office hours via Zoom, and you can sign up for an individual consultation on the CRLT website.
|CRLT Spring/Summer Services
Is CRLT still available to support U-M instructors during the summer? Indeed, we are! Whether you want to discuss need to reimagine your course or modify an already flexible design, CRLT is here to support you with a range of services as you plan for Fall 2021, including the following:
|New Video on Teaching for Equity: U-M Faculty Perspectives
This week, CRLT kicks off our Inclusive Teaching at Michigan 2021 May Series. Our theme for this year, "Widening the Lens: Equity Focused Teaching," emphasizes the need for instructors to more clearly focus on developing an equity-driven teaching practice. We will offer a range of workshops designed to help U-M instructors think beyond inclusion in order to explore and develop equity-focused commitments and practices in their teaching. Register now to attend some or all of the workshops in the series.