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Center for Teaching Year in Review 2015-16

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director The fall semester is right around the corner, which makes this a good time to look back at the academic year we’ve just completed. I’m happy to share the CFT’s 2015-2016 Annual Report which gives a sense of the reach and impact of our work here at Vanderbilt and beyond….

Posted on July 28, 2016 in News, , ,


Just-in-Time Teaching Conference – August 22nd and 23rd

It’s never too late to make a good decision, right?  Although planning fall courses starts long before the start of classes, we recognize that many instructors are still making course design and implementation decisions right up to the wire.  That’s why we’re offering a variety of teaching workshops for Vanderbilt instructors on August 22nd and…

Posted on July 18, 2016 in Events,


Summer Course Management System Pilots

This summer, the Center for Teaching is facilitating pilots of three platforms under consideration for Vanderbilt’s next course management system (CMS). The platforms are Canvas by Instructure, Brightspace by D2L, and Blackboard Ultra by Blackboard. In April, the CFT hosted campus visits and public demos by all three vendors. Given feedback on the demos, the…

Posted on July 11, 2016 in News, ,


Teaching with Digital Timelines

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director This year the Center for Teaching hosted a few educational technology working groups for faculty, staff, and students interested in exploring ways particular technologies might meet their instructional goals. One of the groups investigated the use of digital timeline tools, like Tiki-Toki and TimelineJS, that facilitate the creation of online,…

Posted on June 28, 2016 in Resource, , , , , ,


Campus Invited to Course Management System Vendor Demos in April

The Center for Teaching invites Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students to a series of product demonstrations by the three vendors under consideration for Vanderbilt’s next course management system (CMS). The demonstrations, along with feedback from those who attend them, will inform Vanderbilt’s decision to renew its contract with Blackboard, set to expire in 2017, or…

Posted on April 11, 2016 in News, ,


Making Course Evaluations More Meaningful

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director Course evaluations for spring semester courses begin today. When I served on the Provost’s Committee on the Evaluation of Teaching a couple of years ago, I found that instructors commonly face two challenges when it comes to course evaluations: motivating students to complete them (and thus increasing response rates) and…

Posted on April 11, 2016 in Resource,


New Blackboard Course Availability and Deletion Policy

The Center for Teaching, as the administrative home for Blackboard, is announcing a new Course Availability and Deletion Policy for Blackboard.  This policy, recommended by Vanderbilt’s Blackboard implementation team and approved by the Blackboard Faculty Advisory Committee, is intended to reduce the amount of storage space Vanderbilt purchases annually from Blackboard, while also allowing most…

Posted on April 6, 2016 in News


Digital Timelines, a Conversation on Digital Pedagogy, April 4th

Digital Timelines Monday, April 4, 2016 12:10 to 1:00 p.m. (lunch provided) Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities Register Here Remember those timelines you saw in your history textbook back in middle school? Today’s digital timelines do far more than present a static, linear progression of dates and names. Online, interactive timelines support visually…

Posted on March 24, 2016 in Events, , , , ,


EdTech Spotlight: Clickers, Critical Thinking, and Legal Education

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director. Cross-posted from Derek’s blog, Agile Learning. The other week I blogged about one of the educational technology working groups the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching is hosting this year. That group is exploring the use of digital timelines in teaching. Another group, which I’ll discuss in this post, is looking at…

Posted on February 22, 2016 in Resource, , , ,


From the Director

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director Happy New Year! We’re looking forward to another busy semester at the Center for Teaching. A few highlights… We are organizing several faculty teaching visits this spring. These visits provide instructors the opportunity to sit in on a colleague’s class, then engage that colleague in conversation about teaching choices. Doug…

Posted on January 21, 2016 in News, , , , ,