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Teaching at Vanderbilt (TAV)

Teaching at Vanderbilt was held on Thursday, August 17th, 2017

The orientation features an introduction to strategies for launching a successful teaching career at Vanderbilt, with concurrent sessions on a variety of practical topics. Teaching at Vanderbilt is an opportunity for new faculty to meet each other and to learn how the Center for Teaching can support them throughout their Vanderbilt careers.

PLEASE NOTE: “Teaching at Vanderbilt” features specific strategies for launching your teaching career at Vanderbilt, and is distinct from and complementary to the more general New Faculty Orientation sponsored by the Provost’s Office in August. Thus, faculty who will play an instructional role at Vanderbilt are encouraged to attend both events.


All sessions will be held in Buttrick Hall [map].

1:00-1:30 – Check-in & Registration

1:30-1:50 – Welcome Session including CFT Overview (Derek Bruff, CFT Director)

1:55-3:35 – Concurrent Sessions: Thirty minutes each

Concurrent Sessions: Choose 3

  • Getting to Know Vanderbilt Undergraduates
    Facilitator: Vivian Finch, Asst. Director, Center for Teaching
    Learn about our students, their backgrounds and goals, and their expectations for teaching and learning at Vanderbilt.
  • Leading Class Discussions
    Facilitator: Joe Bandy, Asst. Director, Center for Teaching
    Leading discussions is both an art and a science, since it requires us as teachers to apply a variety of roles simultaneously, and to manage complex social interactions in a spontaneous and unscripted way. This session will clarify some of the most common challenges of discussion leading and explore many of the strategies  necessary to make discussions more engaging and productive.
  • Making the Most of Course Evaluations
    Facilitator: Cynthia Brame, Asst. Director, Center for Teaching
    Student course evaluations are a ubiquitous, important, and often dreaded part of the teaching process. In this session, participants will learn about Vanderbilt’s course evaluation system and strategies to make the best use of the feedback your students can provide.
  • Leveraging Online Learning Platforms
    Facilitator: Stacey M. Johnson, Asst. Director, Center for Teaching
    This session will explore the online learning platforms provided by Vanderbilt, including Brightspace, Wordpress, and Box, as well as key tools and promising practices within those platforms. Participants will also learn about the various avenues for skill-building and support,
    both online and in person, offered through the Center for Teaching all year long
  • Improving Student Research Skills with Embedded Librarians
    Facilitator: Melissa Mallon, Director, Peabody Library
    The Vanderbilt University Libraries are committed to supporting instructors and students in the research process. This session will discuss how embedding a subject liaison librarian into your course can help improve student learning & research skills. We’ll cover different ways liaison librarians support teaching at VU, including research assignment design, planning & teaching sessions on effective research strategies, and offering point-of-need student support in Brightspace. We’ll also highlight examples of successful faculty-librarian partnerships at Vanderbilt.

3:40-4:10 – Plenary Session: Faculty Panel Discussion
Facilitator: Derek Bruff, Director, Center for Teaching

During the closing plenary, several experienced Vanderbilt faculty members will share reflections on their classroom practices and the teaching and learning culture at Vanderbilt.

Rebecca K. VanDiver, Assistant Professor
African and African American Art

Bruce Damon, Associate Professor
Radiology and Radiological Sciences
Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
Biomedical Engineering
Director of the Chemical and Physical Biology Program

Andrew Finch, Associate Professor of the Practice,
Human and Organizational Development
School Counseling Coordinator for the Human Development Counseling Program in the Department of
Human and Organizational Development

Tiffiny Tung, Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies of the Department of Anthropology

4:15-5:00 – Reception

Please join us for some light refreshments. Enjoy this opportunity to meet fellow incoming Vanderbilt faculty, and to get better acquainted with the CFT senior staff serving as your department liaisons.

After the Event

Date:Friday & Tuesday, August 18th & 22nd

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 work-shops for Vanderbilt instructors on August 18th and 22nd, before the start of classes on the 23rd.
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

For more information see our Just-in-Time Teaching Conference webpage. Please note the Provost Office, New Faculty Orientation with be held August 18th from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. This will conflict with the JiTT workshops on that day.

Teaching Consultations

The Center for Teaching provides a wide range of programs, services, and resources to help instructors develop, refine, and reflect on their teaching. These include confidential individual consultation services.  Please contact the Center (322-7290) if you are interested in a conversation with a Center consultant on topics such as the following:

You’re welcome to schedule a teaching consultation either before or after the Teaching at Vanderbilt orientation. Just call or email the CFT to schedule.

Traveling to the Center for Teaching

Please note that Teaching at Vanderbilt, the CFT’s orientation for new faculty, will be held in Buttrick Hall. Teaching workshops and teaching consultations will be held at the Center for Teaching itself or at the Stevenson Center Building 2 Molecular Biology Bldg in the computer lab, Room 200.  Directions to the CFT  and the Stevenson Center can be found below.

For those walking:

The Center for Teaching (CFT) is conveniently located at 1114 19th Avenue South. Situated at the corner of 19th and Edgehill Avenues, the CFT is just one block from the 21st Avenue pedestrian bridge, making it only a 7 minute walk from Central Campus and just 3 minutes from the Commons. See the map below for location.

Map to CFT

The Stevenson Center is located off 21st Avenue behind the Godchaux Nursing Annex and diagonally from the Central library . See the map below for location.

Map to Stevenson Center

For those driving:

Visitors will find four Zone 1 parking lots within two blocks of the CFT. Adjacent to the building on 19th Avenue is Lot 111 (please do not park in the spaces designated for the Child Care Center); on Edgehill Avenue there are two lots: Lot 80 and Lot 82; and across from the Commons Center is Lot 77 (18th Avenue South).

Zone 2 permit holders may park on levels 4 and 5 of the Wesley Place Garage, which is just two blocks away. After 2:30 p.m. vehicles with any university commuter permit may park in any zoned lot. There are also a number of metered spots available in front of the building on 19th Avenue.

For more information about TaV, contact the Center for Teaching at 322-7290.