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From the Executive Director

Jan. 18, 2022—  As I write this, snow is falling in Nashville, and I’m reminded of all the challenges our local community has faced over the last two years, from tornadoes and storms to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The teaching community at Vanderbilt has had to adapt again and again over the last two years, and I...

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Teaching in a Mask

Jan. 12, 2022—Since the university has reinstituted universal masking for the spring semester, some of us will be teaching in the classroom in a mask for the first time or the first time in a while. This presents some auditory and other challenges, but there are strategies you can use to mitigate these challenges. Here are a...

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Newly Updated Teaching Guide: Personal Devices in the Classroom

Dec. 16, 2021—The CFT first published a guide on considering how to work with wireless devices in the classroom in 2010. Given the rapidly changing digital landscape since then, this guide has been updated to consider how personal electronic devices (especially laptops) can impact learning in the classroom, and how faculty members may design policies and positions regarding their usage.  ...

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New Additions to the Course Design Resources Site

Dec. 14, 2021—Branching scenarios are much like a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story. In a branching scenario, learners are taken through a scenario where they must make decisions based on the events that are presented. In the newest addition to the CDR (Online Course Development Resources) site, Carrie Sennet and Diana Vasquez (Vanderbilt School of Nursing) teach us how...

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Teach Coding? Learn About a tool for integrating enhanced Jupyter Notebooks into Your Teaching

Dec. 6, 2021—As part of a Course Improvement Grant project, associate professor of biomedical engineering Will Grissom been using Pathbird, a tool that runs enhanced Jupyter notebooks (in Python, Julia, or R). It allows students to navigate to their site with no additional setup, and the instructor can interleave autograders, multiple choice questions, and short answer questions with...

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New Guide on Project-based and Dynamic Collaborative Learning

Nov. 25, 2021—The newest addition to the CFT’s Course Development Resources (CDR) site, entitled Project-Based and Dynamic Collaborative Learning, is all about how instructors can design meaningful, effective group work through research-informed strategies and the intentional use of technology. The guide explores the research on collaborative groups and answers questions such as: How should we form groups? How can we effectively...

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Junior Faculty Spotlight: Janelle M. Delle

Nov. 18, 2021—Each year, the CFT blog highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Janelle Delle, Nursing, talks about some of the lessons she has gained from the Fellowship. When I first began my teaching career 5 years ago, I had no idea what to expect of myself or the students, nor what...

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Updated Guide! Dealing with the Unexpected: Teaching When You or Your Students Can’t Make it to Class

Nov. 12, 2021—  If you find yourself considering the question of how to deal with attendance and participation this year, you will want to check out our newly updated guide “Dealing with the Unexpected: Teaching When You or Your Students Can’t Make it to Class”. The most recent update to this perennially useful guide takes into consideration...

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Tweaking research presentations to foster community and knowledge construction: A focus on peer review

Nov. 10, 2021—by Cynthia J. Brame I recently got to watch a class session that taught me a new and very effective way to help students build their science identity by building a scientific community. It was awesome, and I can’t wait to figure out how to adapt it to one of my classes. Here’s the setting:...

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Making the most of clinical conference courses: Adding a “pair and share” element to prompt student engagement and reflection

Nov. 4, 2021—by Cynthia J. Brame I recently had the opportunity to watch Janelle Delle, Assistant Professor of Nursing, run one of the clinical conferences that she has with small groups of students every week. The point of a clinical conference course is to help students make sense of and learn from their ongoing clinical experiences, a...

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