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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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Evidence-based teaching: my definition

Jun. 19, 2019—by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director I’ve been thinking lately about what we mean when we say “evidence-based teaching.” It’s a term I’ve used a lot (e.g., the Evidence-Based Teaching Guides feature of LSE that I co-edit with Kristy Wilson of Marian University), but I didn’t really think about the definition until earlier this...

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Who’s doing all the work? Who’s having all the fun?

Jun. 4, 2019—Part 2: Five adaptable steps to active learning by Cynthia J. Brame, CFT Associate Director I recently wrote about Barb Stengel’s challenge to ask ourselves “Who’s doing all the work? Who’s having all the fun?” in our classes. I find that Barb’s questions keep me thinking about the fun and work of learning and help...

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So What’s Next? A Conversation on the Future of Digital Literacies

Jun. 3, 2019—by Chelsea Yarborough, Graduate Teaching Fellow, and Derek Bruff, Director In the final meeting of the 2018-2019 Digital Literacy Learning community, we gave ourselves space and permission to wonder about the possibilities of the future while also discussing the realities of today. The hope for this conversation was to engage the imagination and invite both...

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Getting Started with Active Learning: Behind-the-scenes Development of a Cheat Sheet

May. 28, 2019—by Greg Smith, CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow This year, I helped lead a learning community focused on active learning. Together, Cynthia Brame and I guided a group of about 25 faculty and graduate students through seven sessions to investigate the “why” and “how” of active learning. As our meetings progressed, we started thinking about how...

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