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Faster grading for free response assignments? Yes, please!

Jan. 10, 2020—Gradescope is an online, FERPA compliant grading tool that professors can use to grade handwritten exams, typed homework assignments, lab reports and more. Gradescope works well for many types of questions: paragraphs, proofs, diagrams, fill-in-the-blank and true/false to name a few. If your students can upload a pdf of their work, you and your team...

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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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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 Innovations at Vanderbilt: Christin Essin and Learning through Theatre

Nov. 11, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern I’ve never been quite so disappointed to have missed a play as when I learned about the process behind the making of Bowling for Beginners from Dr. Christin Essin. The play kicked off the fall season of Vanderbilt University Theatre in early October and I unfortunately never got around...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Anna Guengerich and Multi-group roleplay

Oct. 29, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern Certain classes stay with you, and HART-1330W Sacred Sites in World History is one of the classes for me. I still love to talk about the Stave Churches of Norway, which were the topic of my final paper and project. Another part of the class that I found very...

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Crowdsourcing ideas for student engagement and for dealing with student challenges

Oct. 1, 2019—by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director One of the most persistent questions that faculty face is how to engage our students productively, both in and out of the classroom. In some settings this is easier than others: when students are taking elective courses in their area of interest, the road is often smoother than...

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Teaching Innovations at Vanderbilt: Garrett Tate, Lily Claiborne, and student analysis of real-world data

Sep. 30, 2019—By Faith Rovenolt, CFT undergraduate intern It’s pretty hard to not find volcanoes exciting. That’s part of the reason why I think a new active learning activity in EES-1510: The Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Geological Sciences, is so cool. The other reason I think it’s amazing is that it represents a great example of an...

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Mid-Semester Student Feedback

Sep. 17, 2019—The feedback students provide about your teaching on their end-of-semester course evaluations can be valuable in helping you improve and refine your teaching.  Soliciting mid-semester student feedback has the additional benefit of allowing you to hear your students’ concerns while there is still time in the semester to make appropriate changes.  A Small Group Analysis...

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Teaching Digital Literacies: Six Conversations

Aug. 12, 2019—by Derek Bruff, CFT Director How can we prepare students for a world where they both consume and produce media in a variety of digital forms? In 2018-2019, the CFT hosted a learning community for educators interested in exploring ways to teach digital literacies, that is, the skills and competences students need to thoughtfully learn,...

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