Skip to main content

Commentary Category

Learning Online with Social Annotation

Jul. 26, 2021—This spring CFT executive director Derek Bruff experimented with the social annotation tool Perusall in his first-year writing seminar. Perusall allowed him to share a variety of course materials with students, including news articles, podcast episodes, and YouTube video, and to invite students to annotate those texts collaboratively. He used the tool in several different...

Read more


CFT Celebrates Certificate in College Teaching Graduates

Jun. 22, 2021—Congratulations to all the 54 graduate students and postdocs who completed the Certificate in College Teaching this spring! The Certificate in College Teaching (CiCT), co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and the Graduate School, prepares Vanderbilt graduate students and postdocs who wish to develop and refine their teaching skills. The certificate focuses on the research...

Read more


Online Teaching Learning Community

Jun. 21, 2021—Even before the campus-wide move to online and remote teaching last year, the online teaching group was meeting regularly to explore challenges and opportunities. The Course Development Resources site (CDR), which has grown out of the work of this group over the last two years, is a self-paced guide to designing, building, teaching, or maintaining great courses...

Read more


Learning Community Focusing on the Needs of LGBTQI+ Students

Jun. 18, 2021—This year, the CFT and the KC Potter Center for LGBTQI Life hosted a learning community on ways faculty can better support the needs of LGBTQI+ students.  Over twenty participants met throughout the year to explore LGBTQI+ student’s experiences inside and outside the classroom, to discuss scholarly literature on strategies for inclusion, and techniques of...

Read more


Learning Community on Teaching and Race

Jun. 17, 2021—In 2020-21, the CFT hosted a learning community dedicated to understanding the many challenges and opportunities of teaching issues of race, and supporting students of all racial identities and backgrounds.  In five events throughout the year, dozens of participants from across the disciplines engaged in a variety of conversations about the challenges of teaching race...

Read more


CFT Concludes Latest Online Course Design Institute

Jun. 16, 2021—To help faculty prepare for teaching this Summer, we offered an Online Course Design Institute (OCDI). The institute was a revised and updated version of the institute that the Center for Teaching offered in summer 2020 to more than 500 participants. Participants worked in three cohorts led by CFT Senior Staff Members Cynthia Brame, Julaine...

Read more


Learning Assistant Pilot Program

Jun. 15, 2021—Learning assistants (LAs) are undergraduate students who are guided by a faculty member to work with small groups of students to promote active learning in a course. The use of LAs has been found to be associated with increased sense of belonging and to increase inclusion, particularly in large courses. LAs were piloted in BSCI...

Read more


New Course Design Institute Focusing on Inclusive Teaching

Jun. 14, 2021—The Center for Teaching was pleased to offer a Course Design Institute on Inclusive Teaching, May 24-27, in which participants (re)designed courses with a focus on all aspects of inclusive teaching, particularly engaging a diverse range of voices and perspectives, supporting student belonging and empowerment, developing productive dialogues about difficult subjects, providing accessible assignments and activities,...

Read more


Investigating Student Learning Journal Club

Jun. 11, 2021—This spring, a group of graduate students and faculty members worked with Graduate Teaching Fellow Leah Roberts and Associate Director Cynthia Brame to explore different approaches that can be used to investigate how and what our students are learning. Discussing research articles that illustrated a range of methods and questions, we identified possibilities for interrogating...

Read more


From the Executive Director, Derek Bruff

Jun. 9, 2021—My wife and I started birdwatching earlier this year. Working from home helped us appreciate the feathered residents of our backyard, and now we keep an eye out for colorful birds when we walk at places like Radnor Lake. And, as of this morning, we have an empty nest—literally. The family of house finches that...

Read more