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Commentary Category

Student motivation journal club: Supporting our students’ motivation in the era of COVID-19

Apr. 8, 2020—by Cynthia Brame, CFT associate director Our student motivation journal club is ending the academic year in the age of COVID-19 and all that implies: working from home, teaching and/or taking classes remotely, reading shifting but consistently bad news each day. We are learning how to negotiate challenges of spotty internet connection, kids and animals...

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Inclusive and Equitable Teaching Online

Apr. 7, 2020—by Joe Bandy, CFT assistant director   Teaching face-to-face presents many challenges, not least of which is the task of ensuring that all students feel belonging and have equal chances to thrive regardless of their abilities, identities, or perspectives. The online teaching environment suffers from all of the same obstacles to this and more, especially...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Chad Carpenter and Multi-Step Class Problem Solving

Apr. 6, 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.   In teaching quantitative courses, it can be easy to fall into the trap of creating plug-and-chug problems for students. However, Chad Carpenter,...

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Gathering feedback during remote teaching and learning: questions and tools to use

Apr. 5, 2020—by Cynthia Brame, CFT associate director As we head into our fourth week of remote teaching and learning at Vanderbilt, it’s a good idea for instructors to gather information from students about how they’re experiencing the shift. You may be doing that informally with your students by checking in via virtual office hours, email, and...

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Using OneNote to teach online

Mar. 30, 2020—by Elliott McCarter, Senior Lecturer in Hindi-Urdu, Asian Studies Program and 2019-2020 Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow at Vanderbilt University Upon being called to teach my courses online, I cringed at the thought of being chained to a computer for hours on end as I slowly typed everything in Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit. My strong desire...

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Junior Faculty Spotlight: Audrey Bowden

Mar. 23, 2020—Each month, the CFT highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Audrey Bowden, Biomedical Engineering, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests. Having recently moved to Vanderbilt, I feel like a re-entrant to teaching, despite the fact that I have been teaching at the college level for eight years. Therefore, participating in the Junior Faculty...

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Communicating with your students about the move to online classes

Mar. 12, 2020—by CFT assistant director, Joe Bandy I just wrote my students an email (see below) that you can use as model of things you might say to your students in preparation for next week, if you haven’t considered something like this already.  Included in it is a link to a Google Forms survey I constructed...

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Celebration of Learning Spotlight: GoCheck Kids Superuser Training and Global Expansion

Mar. 11, 2020—On February 13, 2020, the Center for Teaching held a Celebration of Learning, an exhibition of students as producers. The event featured students from all over campus sharing what they learned, created, designed, and discovered. Alexa Levitt led an initiative to bring early vision screening to underserved areas where preventable vision issues are currently the most debilitating using the...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Joe Bandy and Accessibility and Inclusivity in an Environmental Course

Feb. 24, 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.   Taught by Dr. Joe Bandy, SOC 3314: Environmental Inequality and Justice covers the history, ethics, and policies of environmental activism and how the...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Stacey Johnson and Reflective Final Exams

Feb. 10, 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. Dr. Stacey Johnson is passionate about teaching languages, and if there is one teaching technique she is passionate about, it’s reflective exams. For...

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