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Just-in-Time Teaching Conference

Click on a tab for details on sessions for each day and to register.

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It’s never too late to make a good decision, right?  Although planning fall courses starts long before the start of classes, we recognize that many instructors are still making course design and implementation decisions right up to the wire.  That’s why we’re offering a variety of teaching workshops for Vanderbilt instructors on August 18th and 22nd, right before the first day of the fall semester.  Topics at the CFT’s Just-in-Time Teaching Conference include:

  • Teaching with Top Hat: Vanderbilt’s New Classroom Response System
  • Teaching Inclusively to Diverse Groups
  • Intro to Brightspace Course Management System
  • What’s in Your Syllabus?
  • Presentation Renovation: Choosing The Right Tools
  • Small Changes, Big Results
  • Students as Producers: Creative Assignments for Deep Learning

We hope you’ll join us for one or more of these workshops!  Click on the tabs above to learn more about the workshops and to register.

(We know that not all Vanderbilt colleges and schools start classes on August 24th, but we hope that you find the Just-in-Time Teaching Conference useful, no matter when your courses begin!)

(Also, this isn’t a conference on just-in-time teaching, although that’s an approach to teaching that can be quite useful!)

9:30 – 10:45

 

Teaching With Top Hat: Vanderbilt’s New Classroom Response System

Top Hat is a “bring your own device” (BYOD) classroom response system that makes use of students’ personal mobile devices (phones, tablets, laptops) as response devices. BYOD systems offer a number of logistical and pedagogical advantages over traditional, “clicker”-based systems. Top Hat is the first classroom response system to be adopted campus-wide and is now available for free to all faculty, students, and staff. In this session, participants will become familiar with the basic functions and features of the product that allow instructors to rapidly collect and analyze student responses to questions posed during class.

Drop-in hours, for one-on-one assistance with Top Hat, will be available following the session throughout the day.

Date: Friday, August, 18th
Time: 9:30am-10:45am Session includes breakfast
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Kara Dingboom, Enterprise Account Manager at Top Hat

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11:30 – 1:00

Teaching Inclusively to Diverse Groups

In our increasingly diverse classrooms, it is important to support the development of every student and to structure equal opportunities for learning for all who enroll. Unfortunately, our teaching practices may fall short in their attempts to do this, particularly for underrepresented or more marginal student groups who may face difficulties finding belonging.  Based on existing research and the experiences of Vanderbilt faculty, this workshop will discuss common challenges to inclusive teaching and strategies for creating more dynamic, participatory, and diverse learning environments.  Particular attention will be given to discussion leading and leveraging student differences for more engaged and productive learning.

Date: Friday, August 18th
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm Session includes lunch
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Joe Bandy, CFT Assistant Director

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2:00 – 3:30

Intro to Brightspace Course Management System

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about Vanderbilt’s new course management system, Brightspace. Bring your own laptop computer so you can explore and build content in our test course! By the end of the session, users will be able to:

  • Confidently navigate the different areas of a Brightspace course
  • Post, edit, and copy content for students using a variety of tools
  • Communicate with students about important Brightspace tools

Date: Friday, August 18th
Time: 2:00pm-3:30pm Session includes refreshments
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Lee Scarborough, Instructional Technologist

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9:00 – 10:30

What’s in Your Syllabus?

The syllabus is one of the first ways we communicate with our students, conveying what the course will be about, how it will be run, and why it’s important. It can also be an important planning document for faculty, helping them describe plans and expectations. How can we make the syllabus welcoming, informative, and helpful for ourselves and our students? In this interactive session, we will discuss some important elements to consider in constructing a syllabus, from statements on inclusivity to grading policies, as well as approaches for getting students to actually read the syllabus. Participants will bring a draft syllabus to review with colleagues, leaving with ideas for adapting it for the start of the fall semester.

Date: Tuesday, August 22nd
Time: 9:00am-10:30am Session includes breakfast
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Cynthia Brame, CFT Assistant Director

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11:00 – 1:00

Presentation Renovation: Choosing The Right Tools

We have all experienced the pain of a bad PowerPoint presentation. The good news is that your presentations don’t have to be boring. In this session, you’ll learn how to make your good presentations look great! Participants will have an opportunity to compare some of the most popular presentation tools, learn about design best practices to make your presentations stand out from the crowd, and consider which best fits your content and teaching style.

Date: Tuesday, August 22nd
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm Session includes lunch
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom Session includes lunch
Facilitator: Rhett McDaniel, CFT Educational Technologist

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1:30 – 2:45

Small Changes, Big Results

Inspired by James Lang’s new book titled Small Teaching: Every Day Lessons from the Science of Learning (2016), this workshop will explore micro-level classroom activities and interventions that leverage what we know about how students learn. Ranging from what to do in the first or last 5 minutes of class to how to motivate students, both seasoned and new instructors will come away with a series of tools and ideas that can be immediately implemented into their everyday teaching.

Date: Tuesday, August 22nd
Time: 1:30pm-2:45pm Session includes refreshments
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Vivian Finch, CFT Assistant Director

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3:00 – 4:00

Students as Producers: Creative Assignments for Deep Learning

In the courses we teach, we have the opportunity to engage our students not only as consumers of information, but producers of knowledge. Usually this means moving beyond the five-page paper to less traditional assignments and projects. In this introduction to the “Students as Producers” approach to course design, we’ll consider assignments that encourage students to tackle open-ended problems, to operate with a high degree of autonomy, and to share their work with wider audiences. We’ll also discuss teaching and assessment practices that support students as they engage in these kinds of assignments.

Date: Tuesday, August 22nd
Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm Session includes refreshments
Location: Center for Teaching Classroom
Facilitator: Derek Bruff, CFT Director

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