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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Cynthia Brame, homework to highlight “real life” relevance, and flipped classes

Jan. 13, 2020—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern During Spring 2020, the Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt blog series will highlight teaching innovations that CFT staff have implemented and evaluated in their own courses.   Working at the CFT has been one of the best decisions I have made in college. It has afforded me many wonderful opportunities,...

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Incorporating Games into TA Orientation

Jan. 8, 2020—By Cait Kirby, CFT Teaching Affiliate and Biological Sciences PhD student In my role as a Teaching Affiliate at Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching, I lead an orientation event for a group of Biological Sciences Teaching Assistants (TAs). This orientation serves to educate new TAs about their roles, Vanderbilt policies, pedagogical techniques, and the types of...

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Grades as a necessary evil? How they affect student motivation and what we can do about it.

Dec. 19, 2019—By Heather Fedesco, CFT Assistant Director   During the December meeting of the CFT’s student motivation journal club, we tackled the perplexing question of whether grades help or hinder student motivation. Chamberlin and colleagues’ paper titled, “The impact of grades on student motivation” gave us a great launching point to embark on this discussion. The authors...

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New CFT Guide on Assessing Student Learning Now Available

Dec. 18, 2019—Student assessment is, arguably, the centerpiece of the teaching and learning process and therefore the subject of much discussion in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Without some method of obtaining and analyzing evidence of student learning, we can never know whether our teaching is making a difference. That is, teaching requires some process through...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Danielle Picard, Mary Anne Caton and Wikipedia Editing

Dec. 15, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern We’ve all been told—or been the one telling people—to not use Wikipedia as a source. There’s a variety of reasons, of course, with the main one being the credibility of the information. Wikipedia is aware of this and has made a series of changes aimed at rectifying this. Their...

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Is Your Gradebook Ready for the End of the Semester?

Dec. 10, 2019—The end of the semester is coming up quickly! Is your Brightspace gradebook set up correctly? While you are certainly not required to use the Brightspace Grades tool to track your students’ grades, it can be a big help. Especially if you are using Brightspace to collect assignments or giving quizzes and exams. Tips for...

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Teaching Writing Workshop Series: Scaffolding Writing Across the Semester

Dec. 4, 2019—Over the course of the academic year, the Writing Studio leads a series of faculty workshops focused on different aspects of teaching writing. Workshops provide participants with current research, strategies for best practices, and a forum for discussing how these approaches might be adapted to teaching writing in their disciplines. The Teaching Writing Workshop Series...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: McKanders and Refugee Policy Podcasts

Dec. 2, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern In the spring of last year, three students from Professor Karla McKanders’s LAW 7620: Refugee Law and Policy course contributed podcasts to the Life of the Law Blog New Voices series. This amazing opportunity for students came about from a final project for the course. The course focuses on the...

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Biological Sciences Seminar: Improving student learning through understanding reasoning and problem-solving practices

Nov. 26, 2019—Join the Biological Sciences Department on Monday, December 2, 3:30-5:15, to consider different teaching practices as part of their ongoing seminar series. Undergraduate Learning Assistants will present posters on questions such as, “Which clicker questions promote the most discussion?” during tea time from 3:30-4:10, followed by Professor Jenny Knight’s seminar. Professor Knight writes, “Classroom practices...

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New Book from CFT Director, Derek Bruff

Nov. 19, 2019—Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College  Arguing that teaching and learning goals should drive instructors’ technology use, not the other way around, CFT director Derek Bruff’s new book explores seven research-based principles for matching technology to pedagogy. Through stories of creative and effective use of educational technology by faculty...

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