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Cedar Valley College

January 2010 Volume 43

Teaching Learning Center KNOCKING OUT YOUR TO-DO LIST Tim Xerliand’s workshop titled ‘Work Hackers’ provided us with a list of effective ways to accomplish more in our workday. Here are the top ten ways to start crossing things off your lengthy to-do list. 10 – Managing Files: Organize your desk so you never have to handle the same piece of paper twice. Begin using a three file system with a file labeled review, one labeled archive or to file, and another labeled to do. Anything which doesn’t fall into one of these three categories should be able to be thrown away. 9 – Computer Files: Create a ‘Junk Drawer’ on your desktop where you can move things that must be sorted or saved for later. You may also want to create three additional folders: docs or documents, docs-archived, and multimedia. Filter your files into one of these three folders. This will help keep your desktop and file system as clean as possible to help you to find things easier. 8 – Google Desktop: Just like using Google for the web only this version works with your personal computer. It has the same style search function to help you locate files on your computer. 7 – Email Folders: Can be handled very similarly to the way we dealt with the computer desktop. Create three folders; hold, archive, and action. Use these to sort through your emails so you will know the ones which require further action, need to be saved, or should be reviewed at a later date. Color coding also helps. Groupwise allows you to change the color of emails addressed to you personally, from a specific source, etc… Groupwise will also let you sort emails as you receive them, routing them to specific folders. 6 – Email: Type specifics in the subject line so the recipient will be able to see exactly what the intent of the email will be. If your entire email is within the subject line type EOM - end of message to indicate to the recipient that there is no need to open the email for further information. If you have several questions it’s a good idea to use bullet points. This makes it clear what questions you’re asking and helps the recipient respond quickly and easily. 5 – Keyboard Shortcuts: Using shortcuts like Ctrl + C to copy, Ctrl + V to paste, Ctrl + X to cut and Ctrl + Z to undo save a great deal of time. 4—Flash Drives: There are several things which can help tremendously by having them on your flash drive. A web browser incase you find yourself on a computer with out one, an office suite like Open Office, email like portable Thunderbird, a virus scanner like portable ClamWin, and a remote login from Tight VNC so you can access your home or office computer from anywhere. It’s also a great idea to have your to do list, address book, passwords, return if lost.txt, and web site bookmark list. continued on page 2...

BEING A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE STUDENT:  Develop good time management skills  Be aware of deadlines - Print out the course calendar and keep it handy  Take the course seriously  Be sure to give the instructor a valid email address that you check frequently  Respond to emails and discussion board posts promptly  If assignments are unclear always ask for clarification  Log in everyday to each course  Resolve problems quickly - ie if you are unable to log-in contact your instructor.  Actively participate in discussion board discussions, it is often a requirement  Turn in your work by the deadline


KNOCKING OUT YOUR TO DO LIST CONT’D... 3 – Smart Phone: Smart Phones are almost like having a small portable computer. They are becoming more and more powerful and are capable of being a computer, phone, and camera all in one. 2 – Auto Hotkey: Tim has installed AutoHotkey in the TLC. This program allows you to use simple keystrokes to open webpages, applications, email etc… It will also correct common misspelling as you type. It’s a terrific program and we can easily set it up for you in your office! 1 – DO NOT MULTITASK!! This just causes you to be fragmented and unable to focus your energies on anyone task through to completion. It is actually counter-productive.

“Organize your desk so you never have to handle the same piece of paper twice.” -Tim Xeriland, Teaching Learning Center CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE

SYLLABUS CHECKLIST:

Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134 Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30

Once again it’s time to prepare for classes to begin and that means updating your syllabus. Here is a check list for you to make sure none of the necessary components are omitted. Make sure to send a copy to your division secretary to keep on record.

 List of required materials

 Make-up exam procedures  The Texas Success Initiative statement

 Drop statement

 Classroom Etiquette  ADA statement  Grading scale

 Attendance Policy  Stop before you drop statement

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

 Financial Aid statement

 Code of Conduct  Office hours & contact information

Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

 Withdrawal policy

 Semester Calendar  Course description & learning objectives

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

Welcome Back!


Cedar Valley College

February 2010 Volume 44

Teaching Learning Center WEAVE ONLINE: PREPARING FOR SACSOC We in the TLC are here to make every effort to pass on what we have learned about inputting all of your Student Learning Outcome and assessment data into WEAVE Online. Here is a step by step guide to help make this process as easy as possible. As always, feel free to drop in and receive one on one assistance.

Accessing WEAVE Online 1. Open a browser and navigate to http://app.weaveonline.com/cedarvalleycollege/index.aspx 2. Enter your WEAVE Online ID (the first initial of your first name along with your last name, Jane Smith’s ID would be jsmith) 3. Enter your password (if it’s your first time to login, your password will be the initial of your first name, the first initial of your last name and the word temp, Jane Smith’s password would be jstemp) 4. Click the login button and you will be prompted to change your password.

Inputting your Student Learning Outcomes Under Cycle and Entity Selection, select the desired cycle and entity/class into which you wish to add your first SLO (the current cycle is the default).

Outcomes/Objectives

Measures 1. Under Measures & Findings, click the Add button. 2. Select the type of measure you will be entering from the Select Source of Evidence section. 3. Enter in one of your measures for this entity. (This is the method you use to asses your students). 4. Under Select Related Outcomes/Objectives, select all the outcomes/objectives you wish to associate with this entry. Please note that you must select at least one. 5. Under Established in Cycle, you may change the cycle that this goal was established in. If you have already selected the cycle under Cycle and Entity Selection, you should not need to change this. 6. Under Active through Cycle, you should not need to change this dropdown box from Keep Active unless you know this goal will end at some point. 7. Under Entry Status, select Final if you are sure the entry is ready for review – otherwise, leave Draft / In-progress selected. 8. Click the Save button. Continued on page 2...

BLACKBOARD 9 TIPS & TRICKS:  Click the Edit Mode button to ‘off’ to see what the student sees.  Double arrows (» or ) indicates addition menu options. »

1. Under Assessment, click on Outcomes/Objectives 2. Then click the Add button. 3. Enter one of your SLO’s. You must include a condensed description (a few key words) and a full description in the text areas provided. 4. Under Outcome/Objective Associations - Goals, click Add Associations, if available. 5. Click all you wish to associate with this outcome/objective. 6. Repeat these two steps for each of the groups under Outcome/Objective Associations. 7. Enter in any other associations in the text box under Relevant Associations. 8. Under Entry Status, select Final if you are sure the entry is ready for review – otherwise, leave Draft / In-progress selected. (The data will still be able to be changed regardless.) 9. Click the Save button. Repeat this process until you have entered all of your Outcome/Objective information for your Student Learning Outcomes.

 Double ended arrows ( or ) indicate an item can be moved. Simply drag the item to the desired location.  This button ( ) also allows you to reorder page element from a drop down menu.  If your Course Menu is no longer visible, click the arrow (›) to the left of the announcements to reopen it.  You may easily ‘hide’ a button rather than deleting it from the Course Menu.  Add a banner by clicking Customization in the Control Panel; then click Style.


WEAVE ONLINE: PREPAREING FOR SACS CONT’D... 9. Click the Add Achievement Target button for your measure. 10. Under Achievement Target, enter your target information in the text box. (Enter what your expectations are for the outcome of the measure). 11. Under Established in Cycle, you may change the cycle that this goal was established in. If you have already selected the cycle under Cycle and Entity Selection, you should not need to change this. 12. Under Active through Cycle, you should not need to change this dropdown box from Keep Active unless you know this goal will end at some point. 13. Under Entry Status, select Final if you are sure the entry is ready for review – otherwise, leave Draft / In-progress selected. Repeat this process until you have entered all of your Measures and Targets for your Student Learning Outcomes.

Findings 1. Under the Achievement Target for one of your measures, click the Add Finding button. 2. Under Add Finding, enter your finding information into the text box. (You will enter your 2009-10 data at the end of the semester). 3. Under Achievement Target, select Met, Partially Met, or Not Met. 4. Under Entry Status, select Final if you are sure the entry is ready for review – otherwise, leave Draft / In-progress selected. Repeat this process for each Finding you need to enter. If you encounter any problems contact Timothy Sonnier at ext. 8031 or tsonnier@dcccd.edu

“The outstanding teachers use assessment to help students learn, not just rate and rank their efforts.” -What the Best College Teachers Do ARTICULATE STUDIO 9:

CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134 Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30

Articulate Studio 09 is much like the older version available in the TLC. You are still able to create a PowerPoint, add narration and publish your project to eCampus. Stop by the TLC to experience what the new Articulate Studio 09 has to offer.  Record Narrations  Add Annotations  Sync ‘On-Click’ Animations  Import Audio

Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

 Edit Audio  Insert Quizzes  Insert Interactive Media

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

 Publish to eCampus

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

Happy Valentines Day!


Cedar Valley College

March 2010 Volume 45

Teaching Learning Center CONDUCTING CLASS A study was conducted to settle the debate over whether the lecture is the most effective way to deliver material to students. Ken Bain, author of “What the Best College Teachers Do,” uncovered seven fairly common principles among the teachers studied. 1. Create a Natural Critical learning Environment: “’Natural’ because students encounter the skills, habits, attitudes, and information they are trying to learn embedded in questions and tasks they find fascinating.” “’Critical’ because students learn to think critically, to reason from evidence, to examine the quality of their reasoning using a variety of intellectual standards, to make improvements while thinking, and to ask probing and insightful questions about the thinking of other people.” Some teachers are able to create this environment with their lectures while others use discussions, role playing, field work, or a variety of other techniques to achieve this environment. 2. Get Students’ Attention and Keep It: Teachers are most successful when beginning a class with “a provocative question or problem that raises issues in ways that students had never thought about before, or by using stimulating case studies or goal-based scenarios.” 3. Start with the Students Rather Than the Discipline: Socrates used this method as explained by Michael Sandel, a Harvard political theorist, “by attending to what people thought they knew, and then he tried to gradually and systematically to wrench them from their familiar place.” This forces the students to grapple with an issue from their own perspective, prior to them knowing much about it, getting them to articulate a position. 4. Seek Commitments: This is often carried out on the first class day. Teachers lay out the plans, promises, and commit to making the course worthwhile, and then invite the students to make a commitment to the learning objectives and to attend class. 5. Help Students Learn Outside of Class: Teaching students material that will best help and encourage them to learn outside of class is much more beneficial than teaching material simply because it’s traditional or because it covers a subject. 6. Engage Students in Disciplinary Thinking: Ken Bain notes “the most effective teachers use class time to help students think about information and ideas the way scholars in the discipline do.” They don’t concentrate on only teaching their discipline; they focus on “teaching students to understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate evidence and conclusions.” 7. Create Diverse Learning Experiences: “The brain loves diversity,” as stated by Jeanette Norden. The best teachers seemed to offer a nice balance between the systematic approach and the creative, non-traditional approach.

From “What the Best College Teachers Do,” Ken Bain (First printing: TLC Newsletter, September 2009)

ANALOG TO DIGITAL SHIFT:  Convert old vinyl records to digital format and burn them to a CD.  Convert old cassette tapes to digital format and burn them to a CD.  Convert old VHS tapes to digital format which can be edited and burned to a DVD.  Use the freeware application, Audacity to record and edit audio.  Scan photos which can be edited and burned to a CD.


SUDOKU Fill in the missing numbers so every row, column and quadrant contains the numbers 1 through 9.

“The brain loves diversity.” - Jeanette Norden, “What the Best College Teachers Do” CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE

WEAVE ONLINE: THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134 Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30

Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

As you finish entering all of your Student Learning Outcome information, assessment data, and target information in to WEAVE Online here are a few things to keep in mind.  For ALL data at the course level, your SLO’s MUST be entered under the Outcome/Objective area. There should be NO information entered at this time in the Goals area. (Goals will only be entered at the program level.)  The ability to delete information has been granted to the WEAVE administrators in the TLC and to the division secretaries. The secretaries have made the decision whether to extend this ability to the coordinators. If you are a coordinator and do not have the ability to delete, ask your division secretary to grant you entity administrator access.  Be sure to click Final and Save so the reviewers are able to add comments or suggestions to the information you have entered. This will also show that the information is Complete on the report generated by the administrators through WEAVE Online.  Make sure there is an Achievement Target entered for every Measure.

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

Have a Safe and Happy Spring Break! (March 15th - 21st)


Cedar Valley College

April 2010 Volume 46

Teaching Learning Center GREETINGS FROM CHINA While on sabbatical, Tim Xeriland experienced educational practices in both rural and urban China. In both settings, he found four common threads that have helped students achieve exceptional results.

1) Commitment to Technology: The Chinese have put a great emphasis on incorporating technology into their instruction. In addition, China currently has more online users than the entire population of the United States and the number is growing exponentially. Because of this, institutions are rapidly ramping up their online delivery capabilities so they can compete globally.

2) Discipline: While it is true that Asian students in general are reared with more discipline in school than their American counterparts, higher education in China is not without its difficulties in this area. However, Chinese students quickly learn that counterproductive behavior is not tolerated. Expectations are made clear from the beginning of class and failure to meet those expectations is dealt with promptly.

3) Instructional Design: Instructors in China are very data driven. With their data, they can analyze where students are struggling and then use the services of an instructional designer to make improvements to their courses. With the help of an instructional designer, instructors learn to make directions more clear, vary the medium in which the information is presented, make assignments more effective, and much more.

4) High Standards: In China, students are held to very high standards. Although Xeriland has not met any instructors in China that specifically grade on a curve, their grade distribution closely matches the traditional bell-shaped curve. In other words, most students receive the average grade of C with far fewer students getting A's. Counter this with U.S. community colleges where grades tend to have a bimodal distribution (i.e. students tend to do very well or very poorly in class). Chinese students pick up quickly that if they want to receive a top grade, they must do more than just complete the minimum standards laid out by the professor.

INTERESTING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTS:  Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil.  Energy saved from one recycled aluminum can will operate a TV set for 3 hours, and is the equivalent to half a can of gasoline.  By turning down your central heating thermostat one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%.  Recycling creates 6 times as many jobs as land-filling.  If every newspaper printed just for one Sunday edition for the New York Times were to be recycled, we would save 75,000 trees.


EVALUATING STUDENTS There are several schools of thought concerning the most effective method of evaluating students. Ken Bain of “What the Best College Teachers Do” prefers a learning centered approach which presents us with the fundamental question: “What kind of intellectual and personal development do I want my students to enjoy in this class, and what evidence might I collect about the nature and progress of their development?” There are a couple things to note about this statement:  It assumes that learning is more than acquisition, it is a developmental process.  It allows grading to become a way to communicate with students rather than solely rank them. All too often professors and students focus on performance rather than the learning centered approach. In order to shift towards a learning centered classroom, the best teachers start by finding out as much as possible about their students:  Begin by exploring students’ ambitions, their approaches to and concepts of learning, the ways they reason, the mental models they brought with them, their temperaments, their habits of the heart and mind, and the daily matters that occupy their attention.

“What kind of intellectual and personal development do I want my students to enjoy in this class, and what evidence might I collect about the nature and progress of their development?” - Ken Bain, “What the Best College Teachers Do” CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134 Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30

Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

 The first day of class may present the perfect opportunity for a survey or pre-test informing the students of the top 5 – 10 questions the course will help them answer. Have the students rank their interest in each question.  Many professors use anonymous feedback after 3 – 4 weeks of class which functions much the same as our Teaching Analysis Poll here at CVC (available through the TLC). A facilitator arranges a time with the professor to attend the class and divides them into small groups. Each group is given 3 or 4 question and asked to discuss them for 6 or 7 minutes then provide feedback to the facilitator. The information gathered is then presented to the instructor for review. Getting to know your students is the first step. The second is helping students understand the criteria by which they will be judged. This is best accomplished by stating the standard as clearly as possible. The comprehensive exam can be one of the most effective methods of evaluation. Many of the best teachers choose to give a test then follow the first exam with one which covers new information plus the information learned for the previous exam. Students may use the new test grade to replace the old in the grade book. This encourages students to learn the material, not just memorize it for a single test. It forms building blocks to help them grasp the bigger picture.

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu From “What the Best College Teachers Do,” Ken Bain


Cedar Valley College

May 2010 Volume 47

Teaching Learning Center EFFECTIVE POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS Creating an engaging Powerpoint can be challenging and extremely effective. It is important to keep in mind the audience and plan carefully. Putting together an outline of the key points you wish to cover in your presentation will help you keep organized. It is also helpful to practice your presentation and keep track of its length. Often images which remind you, as the presenter, of a key point are vital. A simple image can replace excessive text which can clutter the slide, overwhelm the viewer and take away from your presentation. Your Powerpoint should always require your presence to be effective, if it can stand alone, there is too much information included. Rework your slides to contain brief bullet points with a word or a few words to jog your memory as the presenter. Here is a list of the things to keep in mind as you sit down to create your Powerpoint:  Use an outline and plan carefully  Know your subject matter  Time your presentation  Use design templates

HELPFUL EXCEL FORMULAS:

 Be consistent with styles, colors, and positioning

 Range ‘=FORMULANAME (parameters)

 Be consistent with effects, transitions, and animations

 Range ‘Start:End’

 Use bullet points

 If Statement ‘IF(Condition, True, False)’

 Avoid long sentences, no more than 6 words a line  Generally use no more than 6 lines of text per slide

 Reference another worksheet ‘=WorksheetName!Parameter’

 Ideally no more than 6 text slides in a row

Functions:

 Use clean, simple fonts

 Totals SUM( )

 Words in all capital letters can be hard to read  Limit punctuation  Use images to get your point across and hold the audience’s attention  No more than two images per slide Always remember your Powerpoint should enhance your lecture or presentation and should not be effective without you as the presenter present.

 Average AVERAGE( )  Maximum MAX( )  Minimum MIN( )  Addition Cell1 + Cell2  Subtraction Cell1—Cell2  Multiplication Cell1 * Cell2  Division Cell1 / Cell2


SUDOKU Fill in the missing numbers so every row, column and quadrant contains the numbers 1 through 9.

“Your Powerpoint should enhance your lecture or presentation and should not be effective without you as the presenter present.”

CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134 Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

ECAMPUS GRADE BOOK IN EXCEL FORMAT: We were fortunate here in the TLC to have Mary Lou present a workshop on downloading your eCampus grade book and putting it in Excel format. There are some specifics that all online instructors should know to make sure their spreadsheet is done correctly. Once you are logged in to eCampus and ready to download your grades, do so then save them to your desktop (click ‘work offline’ in the grade center, then choose download). They will then be able to be opened in Excel. Please remember the following:  Do a separate spreadsheet for each section in Excel  Always include a grading scale on the spreadsheet (may choose to display it via a footer)  Make sure your Excel document is set to “landscape”

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

 Format the cells so all text is visible (center & expand cells as necessary)

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

 The Header (custom header) should include: (left) name of course, (center) college, (right) date, semester, & section number

 The necessary columns are the students first and last name, student ID, & grades

 Include the grading scale  Save the file as the course title, section number, & semester  Any 9000 sections should be placed on a separate spreadsheet  Always include each students’ final grade on the spreadsheet (including all “W” grades)  Please choose to show gridlines, it makes it easier to read once it’s printed Now you’re ready to give your spreadsheet to Mary Lou. She keeps track of your “blue rolls” and will make sure the final grades are entered and submitted to LeCroy. If you have any questions, feel free to drop by the TLC or contact Mary Lou directly at ext. 8050.

BE SURE TO ARCHIVE YOUR ECAPMUS SITE AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER!


Cedar Valley College

June 2010 Volume 48

Teaching Learning Center WEAVE ONLINE: ADDING YOUR FINDINGS With the Spring semester behind us, the time has come to input our final assessment data into WEAVE Online. Your SLO’s, Assessment Techniques, and Target Data should have already been input and now it’s time to see if you met your target for each course. Follow this simple guide to get started inputting your Findings into WEAVE Online: 1.

Log into WEAVE Online, the same way as before. Use your First initial + your last name (John Doe would be jdoe.) Use the password you set and log in.

2.

Next, go to the ‘Assessment’ tab and choose ‘Measures and Findings’. Then Scroll down until you reach the area designated as ‘Measures and Findings’.

3.

Click the gray arrow to the left of your first measure. This will reveal your method of assessment and the target you set for each associated SLO.

4.

You should see a button with a green plus sign labeled ‘Add Finding’. Click this button, this is where you will add your results.

5.

Go ahead and enter your findings for the first Measure. For instance: 82% of the students who completed the assignment met expectations and received a grade of 78% or better. If your results met your target then select ‘Met’, click ‘Final’ and ‘Save’. If not, then click ‘Not Met’ and you will need to complete an ‘Action Plan’.

6.

7.

Once you click ‘Final’ and ‘Save’ you will be taken back to the previous screen where you will need to scroll back down to the ‘Measures and Findings’ area. Then look for a new button, also labeled with a green plus sign titled ‘Add New Action Plan’. Click this button and enter the method by which you plan to meet your target next semester. Add a date when you hope to achieve this New Action Plan a brief description of how this will be implemented. Enter the person(s) responsible for completing this task and any additional resources necessary in order to achieve this. Click ‘Final’ and ‘Save’ then go on to add the next finding and action plan if needed.

TIME SAVING TIPS FROM THE TLC: Use hotkeys when you can to save time! Here is a list of a few common and useful hotkeys.  Ctrl + c = Copy  Ctrl + v = Paste  Ctrl + z = Undo  Ctrl + x = Cut  Ctrl + s = Save  Ctrl + u = Underline  Ctrl + i = Italics  Ctrl + b = Bold  Ctrl + p = Print  Ctrl + f = Find  Alt + Tab = Allows you to toggle between open windows  Printscreen = Copies a screenshot of the current screen to the clipboard  Alt + Printscreen = Copies a screenshot of a current active window to the clipboard


SUDOKU Fill in the missing numbers so every row, column and quadrant contains the numbers 1 through 9.

Before you leave for the day organize your workstation so you will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ first thing in the morning. -’Work Hackers,’ Tim Xeriland CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134 Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

PRODUCTIVITY TIPS: This is a recap of Tim Xeriland’s well received workshop titled ‘Work Hackers.’ Tim clues us in to a multitude of excellent time saving practices which streamline the workday resulting in far less stress! Here are a few of his great ideas in case you missed hearing them in person. To-do lists: Many of us use a to-do list but end up with several things that we never get around to crossing off the list. Tim suggests the list be categorized by importance. If you have some tasks which are very large, it’s a good idea to break those items down into smaller steps so you won’t continue to put them off. Park on a slope: Before you leave for the day organize your workstation so you will be able to ‘hit the ground running’ first thing in the morning. Studies show we are most productive in the morning so if you are able to jump right in when you arrive at your desk you will be able to mark more off your to-do list. Focus on short bursts: Most people are able to concentrate for no more than 50 minutes at a time. Figure out how long you are capable of focusing your attention and work for that period of time then take a break. Tim suggests increasing this amount of time gradually over time and working up to 50 minutes or more if you are unable to focus for longer than a few minutes. Stop caring about things that don’t matter: Some things that have been on your to-do list forever may be able to be dropped off. You may be able to locate a business to do a task for you like scanning all of your pictures to make them digital.

BE SURE TO ARCHIVE YOUR ECAPMUS SITE AT THE END OF THE SEMESTER!


Cedar Valley College

July 2010 Volume 49

Teaching Learning Center PITFALLS OF DOING TOO MUCH AT ONCE In this high-tech, high-pressure age, multitasking has become a national pastime. No matter where we are or what we're doing, we can always add one more ball to the juggling act. Many people regularly check emails on their Blackberry while talking on the cell phone, pausing only to yell at other drivers. "Because of all of the new electronic gadgets like cell phones, Palm Pilots, and other personal digital assistants, multitasking has exploded in the last 10 years," says David Meyer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. Doing two or three tasks simultaneously may seem like the height of efficiency -- and it would be, if a person had more than one brain. In the real world, multitasking actually wastes time and reduces work quality, Meyer says. Missed deadlines and shoddy work may get a person fired, but they're not the most worrisome consequence of multitasking. According to Meyer, juggling tasks can be very stressful. In the short term, stress makes you feel lousy. In the long term, it can become a serious threat to health -- and that's not even counting the dangers of sending a fax while changing lanes. One brain, one task Meyer sees three major types of multitaskers. Some people do it out of desperation. In their minds, talking to a client while doing research on the Internet is the only way to keep up. Other people multitask impulsively. They'll abandon a report in mid-sentence to check email without thinking about the consequences. The third group multitasks with pride. "Many people delusionally believe that they're good at this," he says.

TIME SAVING TIPS FROM THE TLC: Use hotkeys when you can to save time! Here is a list of a few common and useful hotkeys.  Ctrl + c = Copy

Some people's jobs, like air traffic controllers and emergency room doctors and nurses, virtually demand multitasking under pressure. But in reality, nobody can effectively do more than one remotely complicated thing at a time. "The brain is not equipped to do heavy-duty multitasking," Meyer says. "People are being asked to do multiple things, but they would need superhuman abilities."

 Ctrl + v = Paste

Multitasking is especially futile if the different activities use the same part of the brain, Meyer says. For example, the brain only has one language channel. If a person tries to read while talking, one or both tasks will get short shrift.

 Ctrl + u = Underline

Multiplying stress

 Ctrl + z = Undo  Ctrl + x = Cut  Ctrl + s = Save

 Ctrl + i = Italics  Ctrl + b = Bold  Ctrl + p = Print

Whenever demands exceed abilities, stress is bound to follow. Multitasking is especially stressful when the tasks are important, as they often are on the job, Meyer says. The brain responds to impossible demands by pumping out adrenaline and other stress hormones that put a person "on edge." These hormones provide a quick burst of energy, but energy won't make multitasking easier, he says. An old pickup can't go 150 miles per hour no matter how much fuel you put in the tank or how hard you step on the gas.

 Ctrl + f = Find

Continued on page 2...

 Alt + Printscreen = Copies a screenshot of a current active window to the clipboard

 Alt + Tab = Allows you to toggle between open windows  Printscreen = Copies a screenshot of the current screen to the clipboard


PITFALLS OF DOING TOO MUCH AT ONCE CONT’D... Over time, the stress of multitasking may even become dangerous, Meyer says. A steady flow of stress hormones can strain the body and threaten health. As recently reported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, numerous studies have found that on-the-job stress can cause headaches, stomach trouble, and sleep problems. Chronic work-related stress can lead to chronic problems, including back pain, heart disease, and depression. Wrong way to work Not only is multitasking risky, it's counterproductive. Meyer and colleagues published a report in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance that exposed a major pitfall of juggling tasks. The researchers studied young people who were attempting to quickly shift from one job to another. Without exception, the shift took time -- time where absolutely nothing productive happened. In many cases, the lag was only a half second or so. But Meyer notes that's a long time to

“Anytime you're trying to multitask, you have less attention available to store memories." - David Meyer, PhD

CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134

Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

be lost in space, especially if one of your tasks involves operating a steering wheel. Even if you're multitasking at the office, all of those half-seconds can add up to a serious waste of time. It's worth noting that these subjects were in a laboratory setting, and they were trying their best to move quickly from one task to another. In an office setting, shifting gears can take much, much longer. Gloria Mark and colleagues at the University of California at Irvine recently observed how actual office workers handle interruptions, whether it's a phone call, an incoming email, or a visitor to their cubicle. As reported at a conference for the Association for Computing Machinery, the average worker needed a staggering 25 minutes to return to their original task after the nterruption was over. To make things worse, Meyer says, multitasking can interfere with short-term memory. "Anytime you're trying to multitask, you have less attention available to store memories," he says. For example, a person who tries to read email while talking on the phone will have a hard time retaining any of the information. And if the phone rings while a person's in the middle of a thought, it will take a while to find that thought again -- assuming it can be recovered at all. Short-term memory loss isn't always a short-term problem. The flood of adrenaline and other stress hormones unleashed by trying to do too much at once can actually cause permanent damage to the brain cells that store memories, Meyer says. After years of multitasking, a person might eventually have trouble doing just one thing at a time. So what should a person do when the phone rings and the email pings? Meyer urges people to organize their work life to cut down on multitasking as much as possible. That means ignoring the phone and turning off your email alerts while you're working on an important project. You can always check your messages later. When that task is over, take a break to clear your thoughts and refresh your mind. No matter how demanding your job is, you can take steps to protect yourself from stress. Meyer recommends meditation, regular exercise and a healthy diet. Just don't try doing it all three at once. -- Chris Woolston, MS, is a contributing editor at Consumer Health Interactive.


Cedar Valley College

August 2010 Volume 50

Teaching Learning Center A TLC MILESTONE: We are so exited in the Teaching Learning Center! Not only is it the start of a brand new semester, but it’s time for us to publish our 50th TLC Newsletter! My how time flies… For years now the TLC has brought you relevant information to better yourself and your students through instructional design principles and current cutting-edge technology for the classroom. It is our hope that we will continue to be your resource throughout the semester. The TLC Newsletter first arrived in your CVC mailbox in September of 2003. Over the last seven years, the newsletter has undergone several visual representations, four editors, and is currently branching out to reach even a larger audience. The editors of the newsletter all seemed to have the same goal and that was to provide you with information to work efficiently, reach as many students as possible and have fun while you’re doing it. Those editors we speak of are:  Kate Burkes: September 2003 – April 2004  Ed Dawson: September 2005 – April 2007  Lenora Mathis: September 2007 – February 2008

MOTIVATING STUDENTS:

 Christa Crawford: March 2008 - Present Kate Burkes was our first editor; she willing gave of her time to publish the newsletter and spent countless hours lending a helping hand whenever it was needed. Kate has been a teacher, trainer, and educational consultant for over 20 years. She has a B.A. in Spanish, a M.A. in Linguistics and Sociology, and a PhD in Applied Technology, Training, and Development. Kate handed the newsletter off to Ed Dawson in the Fall of 2005. Ed enthusiastically took on the project, thrilled to continue to provide CVC with information for student and employee success. Until his retirement, Ed worked as a humanities professor for over 20 years. He was instrumental in developing the TLC at Cedar Valley. The TLC is like one of Ed’s children and he has shown deep devotion to the center and the activities that take place here. While a full-time professor, Ed lightened his load by 40% just to be able to lend a hand in the TLC. After Ed retired, he handed the newsletter down to Lenora Mathis. Lenora began teaching Graphic Design at CVC in the Spring of 2005. She had degrees in both Business and Art and a Masters degree in Education/Teaching. While employed in the TLC, Lenora enjoyed her work on the newsletter and eventually gave the project over to our present editor, Christa Crawford. Christa has a degree in Fine Art from UNT and hopes to continue her studies in the not too distant future. Christa also enjoys the whole process of putting the newsletter together and is thrilled to be branching out, trying new things, and providing information in the most effective and efficient way(s) possible. We in the Teaching Learning Center would like to thank you for your continued support and interest in the TLC. We hope you have a productive and happy Fall semester!

 Become a role model for student interest  Get to know your students  Use examples freely  Use a variety of student-active teaching activities 

Teach by discovery



Use cooperative learning activities

 Set realistic performance goals  Place appropriate emphasis on testing and grading  Be free with praise and constructive in criticism  Give students as much control over their own education as possible


NEW ADDITION TO THE TLC: We would like to announce something new for the TLC, a new Teaching Learning Center Blog. It is our hope that the blog will be an extension of the information provided in the newsletter and that it will allow you to comment and receive feedback on various subjects. The blog will provide you with up-to-date information regarding instructional design and technology for improving your classes and for professional development. The blog will also be the place to find past issues of the newsletter along with links to downloadable documents which may provide assistance for completing a variety of tasks throughout the course of the semester. It is our hope that the blog will be an excellent resource for you to help make your classes more productive and your students more successful. Please visit us today and check back frequently for updates. www.teacinglearningcenter.blogspot.com

“It is our hope that the blog will be an excellent resource for you to help make your classes more productive and your students more successful.” -TLC Staff SYLLABUS CHECKLIST: CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134

Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

It’s that time of year again, time to revise your syllabi. There is a new template which I’m sure you are aware must be followed when preparing your syllabi. The template has been distributed by the division offices however, here is a brief reminder of what must be included in the order in which it appears on the template. General Information: 

College, division, semester/term & year

Instructor Information: 

Name, DCCCD e-mail, telephone number, office number, & office hours

Course Information: 

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

Course number, section number, credit hours, class meeting time, course title, course description, prerequisites, EEO’s, IC’s, SLO’s, course outline, required/ recommended materials, ISBN or textbook, evaluation procedures, grading scale, exams & assignments, & attendance policy

Institutional Policies: Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu



ADA statement, religious holidays, academic honesty, withdraw policy & drop date, repeating this course, financial aid, & disclaimer

Classroom Policies: VISIT THE TLC BLOG! www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com



Food, drink, cell phones, etiquette, etc…

HAVE A GREAT FALL 2010 SEMESTER!


Cedar Valley College

September 2010 Volume 51

Teaching Learning Center PREPARING AN ONLINE COURSE The book,”147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups,” offers excellent advice when adapting a course to be taught online. Before you begin to organize an online course, consider and clarify your own philosophy and assumptions about teaching and learning. Consider also the organizational framework from which you will develop and offer your course; the people you will work with to develop the course; and the nature of the online environment that you want to create. Here is a list of some things to reflect on as you decide to offer your course online: Know Yourself: By understanding your own perspectives and abilities, you will be able to better assist and contribute to the learning of others. Determine your Philosophy of Teaching and Learning: Teacher-centered – You organize the course, the content and the learning activities without a great deal of input from or negotiation with the learners. Learner-centered – You structure the course to enable learners to share in the process of selecting and developing content. Learning community-centered – You intentionally create environments that recognize and emphasize the social aspects of learning. Technology-driven – The technology you select dictates many of the decisions you make about the way you establish the course environment and the approach you take to deliver course content. Learn New Skills: Make certain you understand the characteristics of the technology involved with online teaching.

ONLINE TEACHING STRATEGIES:  Design methods to introduce learners to each other  Develop team-building activities

Spaces for Work, Interaction, & Socializing: Create places for different types of interaction. For example, small groups in one space, individual assignments in another, a place for large group forums, and a casual chat area for social interaction.

 Share biographical information or stories

Team-based Learning: This is an excellent strategy and it presents rich opportunities for creating teams for problem solving, project development, and discussion.

 Involve learners in team projects

Clarify Expectations: Expect learners to be present online and to avoid passively observing. Self Motivated and Self Directed: Online learning emphasizes learner responsibility even in courses that are largely teacher centered. Learners must be able to set a schedule and stick to it; organize their time effectively to incorporate their readings and online discussions into their normal schedules; and complete assignments within the suggested timeframe set for the course. Establish a Contingency Plan: Have an alternative way for students to reach you. Whenever you’re working with technology, you can never guarantee that it will do what you want it to do. Also be sure to test the technology often and back up your files. Adapted from: “147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups” Donald E. Hanna, Michelle Glowacki-Dudka, & Simone Conceição-Runlee

 Create a social space

 Develop asynchronous group discussions  Develop challenging problems  Encourage learners to evaluate, analyze, & connect information  Use simulations as opportunities for learning by doing  Use external communities, people, & resources to build content knowledge  Consider online office hours


TEACHING ANALYSIS POLL Once your classes have gotten off to a good start it is a great idea to consider using the Teaching Analysis Poll (TAP). The TLC offers this service as a way for instructors to receive feedback from their students as to how they feel the class is going and what they like or dislike about your teaching style and methods. This information can be hugely valuable in making your classes the best they can be. Students will often open up to an outsider easier than they would to you as the instructor. It can be hard to tell a professor they are the best teacher they have ever had, that they are hard to follow, or that they do not seem to quiet disruptive students quickly enough. Please contact the TLC if you are interested. We will set up a time to visit your class and conduct the poll which typically takes 10-15 minutes.

“By understanding your own perspectives and abilities, you will be able to better assist and contribute to the learning of others.” -”147 Practical Tips for Teaching Online Groups”

CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134

Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

VISIT THE TLC BLOG! www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com

WHY USE GOOGLE DOCS? Signing up for a Google account has many perks, one of which is access to Google Docs. Google Docs is an easy to use place to upload or create documents, spreadsheets, forms, drawings and presentations and store them for later use or collaboration. For an example, visit the TLC blog at www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com. Many of the links provided on the site will take you to documents stored on Google Docs and can be accessed later simply by visiting the blog or by logging into your Google Docs account. It is easy to share documents uploaded or created with anyone. If you decide not to make your document public, you may also select who you share the information with and whether or not they are able to edit your document. Any changes made will appear right away to anyone who has access to the information. Documents can be edited in real time with a collaborator(s) and it is possible to see who made the changes and when. Documents are simple to locate at a later date. Google Docs makes it straight forward to search by item type, date created or added, shared documents, starred documents (ones you click on and mark with a star), documents owned by you, shared with you, etc… It is no problem to find what you are looking for. It is possible, naturally, just to email the information to whomever needs it, but Google Docs provides a safe, convenient place to store numerous documents and access all of them with ease. For instances like a blog, it is great to be able to provide a link to specific information and once you have clicked on the Google Docs link it will appear in your Google Docs item list. No more searching through a mountain of emails to find that one document you know someone sent you sometime last semester! With Google Docs it is easy to find the information you need at a moment’s notice.


Cedar Valley College

October 2010 Volume 52

Teaching Learning Center The Value of Formative Assessment Some of the most valuable experiences from many students education involve thoughtful feedback and hands on assignments where they are encouraged to examine principles and apply the knowledge gained to various new concepts. Once students apply something they have learned and use it in real world applications, they find it much easier to recall the information at a later date. There is a valid reason to remember, not just to take a test. The teachers students recall with great admiration are those who take the time to explain why and how their work needs improvement. Students take this information, make improvements and return to receive further guidance, not just a grade. They leave these encounters with a feeling of accomplishment and understanding, feelings they most likely do not recall having in relation to any sort of standardized test. As noted by the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, “summative assessment is the attempt to summarize student learning at some point in time, say the end of a course. Most standardized tests are summative. They are not designed to provide the immediate, contextualized feedback useful for helping teacher and student during the learning process. High quality summative information can, of course, shape how teachers organize their courses or what schools offer their students.” By definition summative assessment is designed to be used to determine grades or marks. As I recall, receiving nothing more than a glaring ‘C’ or ‘F’ with no further commentary made me feel defeated and lacking in a clear direction as to what I should do to improve. It seems students feel this way often when assessed in this way. They feel much more inclined to give up and stop trying. Students simply accept their fate and move on. Or they accept that they are just bad at a particular subject. Then a good deal of effort must be put toward overcoming this preconceived notion that the student simply cannot succeed at math or whatever subject in which they were awarded the low grade. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing states, “by contrast, formative assessment occurs when teachers feed information back to students in ways that enable the student to learn better, or when students can engage in a similar, self-reflective process. If the primary purpose of assessment is to support high-quality learning (principle one in Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems), then formative assessment ought to be understood as the most important assessment practice.” Formative assessment is the monitoring that occurs throughout the process of learning, providing students with feedback on how they are doing and what their next learning steps are. Its purpose is to provide students with the concrete and specific information they need to be able to evaluate and therefore improve their own learning. A student-centered, learning approach is altogether much more successful than that of a test-centered, grade-based environment. Students have a much greater instance of retaining the information taught when the instructor uses a formative teaching method. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing continues to say that “In this environment, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam’s ‘Inside the Black Box: Raising Standards Through Classroom Assessment’ (Phi Delta Kappan, October 1998) provides strong evidence from an extensive literature review to show that classroom ‘formative’ assessment, properly implemented, is a powerful means to improve student learning — but summative assessments such as standardized exams can have a harmful effect.”

TOOLS FOR FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT:  Index Card Summaries  One Minute Paper  Analogy Prompt  Mind Map  Misconception Check  Student Conference  3-minute Pause  Observation  Self-Assessment  Exit Card  Portfolio Check  Journal Entry  Debriefing  Think-Pair-Share  Oral Questioning

For a more detailed description of each of the above tools, please visit the TLC Blog: www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com


VISIT THE TLC This is a friendly reminder that we in the Teaching Learning Center are always willing to lend a hand. If you have questions regarding clerical matters or class work, we are here to assist or simply point you in the right direction. Keep in mind the TLC is open most of the day, has a knowledgeable staff, and is equipped with several computers, printers, scanners, video editing equipment, and various software packages including: 

Microsoft 2007 Office Suite



Adobe Master’s Collection



Articulate



Captivate



And many more!

Drop by the TLC today and see for yourself!

“...formative assessment, properly implemented, is a powerful means to improve student learning - but summative assessments such as standardized exams can have a harmful effect.” - Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam

CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134

SUDOKU Fill in the missing numbers so every row, column and quadrant contains the numbers 1 through 9.

Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

VISIT THE TLC BLOG! www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!


Cedar Valley College

November 2010 Volume 53

Teaching Learning Center Motivating Students to Read Getting students to read can be a difficult challenge and all too often teachers have a tendency to teach to those students who have neglected to actually do the reading assignment. This leaves those students who were diligent and did what was asked of them bored and frustrated. Here are several ideas designed to get students reading and provide rewards for those that do.  Give them reasons to read. Do not repeat in class the material in the readings. This method absolves those who do not read and penalizes through boredom those who do.  Assume the best. Teachers tend to be pessimistic on this point. They assume students are not reading, then they teach in way that confirms what they suspect. If the same few students keep volunteering answers, stop calling on them. They will understand. It is also important to let students feel left out, like they have missed something important.  Use readings in class and expect resistance. Talk about the material, but do not review it in detail. Work from the text, not in it. If students ask questions, cite pages that answer their questions.  Send them on a treasure hunt. If reading has been assigned, there must be something valuable in it. Choose several sections, then ask students to find the most important idea, point, or argument. If you choose carefully, you can increase understanding and participation immediately.  Turn them loose. This activity places a greater burden on your students. Do not select any sections to target within the assigned pages. Ask them to choose an argument or philosophy or theory, and write out one or two counterarguments or refutations.  Borrow from the pros. Use the way people outside the teaching profession market information. Newspapers use headlines, magazines use pull quotes to draw readers in, movies show clips, and TV series use previews to build interest. Treat your class as if you have to sell them on reading.  Appreciate reading. Let students in on experiences you associate with that reading, difficulties you found, things you learned, how it relates to something else in your life – even how you were too busy or too tired to get the most out of it. Be human: share reading and reacting with your students.

Taken in part from: “147 Practical Tips for Teaching Professors” Robert Magnan

YOUR COLLEAGUES CAN MAKE YOUR CLASS BETTER:  Observe each other teach  Talk with students from your colleague’s class  Review a test from your colleague's course  Complete a set of readings or homework problems  Read a book about teaching  Review and discuss student evaluations of each other’s classes  Be professional  Draw up a plan for improvement


SUDOKU Fill in the missing numbers so every row, column and quadrant contains the numbers 1 through 9.

“Talk about the material, but do not review it in detail. Work from the text, not in it. “ - Robert Magnan “147 Practical Tips for Teaching Professors”

CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134

Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30 Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

SELECTING A FLASH DRIVE Flash drives, aka USB Drives have become invaluable in our day to day lives and are particularly important in the classroom. Students must use a flash drive to save all the work completed in class, while professors use flash drives to transport files from their office or home to the classroom. Most of the computers on campus are set up in such a way that no files may be saved on them and all work must be saved on a flash drive. The level of user access will not allow any modifications including the ability to install software. This creates a problem for many people who have purchased flash drives which require the installation of software to operate. Without the necessary software installed, the flash drive will not function. If you have already purchased a USB drive with U3 or have an older flash drive with U3 software and are unable to use it on the computers around campus, there is help. The U3 Web site: http:// u3.sandisk.com/ now offers both a U3 ‘launchPad removal tool’ which provides you with the ability to remove the U3 component from your flash drive and updates which make it no longer a requirement for the U3 software to be installed on a system once it has been first installed on a ’host’ computer i.e. your home computer.

Feel free to drop by the TLC if you have any further questions or need help.

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

VISIT THE TLC BLOG! www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY!


Cedar Valley College

December 2010 Volume 54

Teaching Learning Center Fostering Effective Classroom Discussions We begin, then, with a simple premise: classroom discussion functions best when students are talking to students. Indeed, our goal is to get as many students involved in talking to one another as possible and for the teacher to fade into the background. Students are well practiced in how to talk to and listen to teachers, in how to address and look to authority figures for answers. But they are not well versed in how to talk to and listen to each other, in how to navigate and negotiate and discuss issues of serious consequence and work toward answers among equals. Set clear expectations for student participation in discussion sessions. Let students know the first day of class that a significant portion of their final grade for the course will be based on how effectively they participate in class discussion sessions, both in terms of the number of times they comment and in the quality of those comments. Keep your class roster handy during discussion sessions and mark who speaks and who does not. During conferences, ask those students who do not participate enough to "help you out" by speaking more in class. You might even specify a class rule: "You are not allowed to say ‘I don’t know’ in this class when asked a question. You are not required to know, but you are expected to think. So if I ask you a question and you don’t know the answer, you are responsible to think of an answer, to guess, to speculate, to wonder aloud." Be sure to "prime the pump" for discussion days. Require students to demonstrate that they have already begun processing the material before you discuss it in class. For instance, you could make students hand you an "entrance ticket" as they enter class, a homework assignment which guarantees that they are prepared to engage in a productive discussion. This ticket could consist of their answers to a set of questions on a reading, for example, or a list of questions they have about the reading, or a paragraph that discusses the three most surprising things they found in the reading, etc. Avoid open questions; call on individual students. Direct questions to specific students and distribute turns around the room. This will increase the level of attentiveness on the part of the students and increase the number of students who participate. In other words, consistently asking questions that are open to anyone in the class to answer allows the hyper-verbal students to dominate and allows others to hide. Ask good questions. The kinds of questions we ask can make all the difference between an engaging and fruitful discussion and the verbal equivalent of pulling teeth. It is a good idea to write down a skeleton script of questions you want to ask during a class discussion, being open, of course, to follow a productive thread should it move away from your plan.  "Guess What I’m Thinking" Question—in which the teacher asks a question to which he or she already has a specific answer in mind. This makes "class discussion" into an attempt at mind reading for students. Questions like "What should Bob have done to improve his focus?" ask the students to guess at the answer hiding in your skull, whereas "What could Bob have done to improve his focus?" actually asks for their input. Continued on page 2... Taken in part from: Jennifer Barton, Paul Heilker, and David Rutkowski; English Department, Virginia Tech; www.mhhe.com/socscience/english/tc/discussion.htm

ADDING YOUR PROGRAM TO WEAVE:  Make sure the cycle is set to 2009-2010.  Select the appropriate program from the drop-down menu.  Choose the Assessment tab and select ’Mission/Purpose’ from the drop down menu.  Enter the main mission of the program.  Now continue as you did when entering your course level data.  Enter your program’s objectives, measures, and finally findings.  Don’t forget to click ‘Final’ and ‘Save’ after each new addition.


FOSTERING EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM DISCUSSIONS CONT’D...  Yes/No Question and the Leading Question—in which the teacher’s question can be answered with a

simple yes or no, which stops a discussion dead. Questions like "Do you think Didion’s conclusion is effective?" or "Wouldn’t you agree that Didion’s tone is whiny and annoying?" ask students to engage in nothing more than simple affirmation or negation, simple agreement or disagreement. Transform the question into something that asks for an analysis or interpretation, for example: "Why do you think she chooses to end the essay this way?" "How would you describe Didion’s tone?"  Rhetorical Question—in which a declarative statement masquerades as a question to soften its blow and

make it more likely to be accepted. Rhetorical questions allow us to foist our interpretations and ideas on our students while deluding ourselves that we are actually asking for their opinions. Questions like "Don’t we have an ethical and moral responsibility to inform parents that a convicted pedophile is moving into their neighborhood?" aren’t really questions, of course. Transform such sneaky assertions into actual questions: "What arguments, pro and con, can we generate about informing parents that a convicted pedophile is moving into their neighborhood?"  Information Retrieval Question—in which students are asked to simply look in the text at hand, find

specific, concrete information, and bring it back to the teacher. "What metaphor does Milton use to describe Satan in lines 617-634?" amounts to a classic example of mindless, page-turning busy work. Transform the question into something that asks for analysis or evaluation: "How does Milton’s description of Satan in lines 617-634 compare with depictions of the Devil you know from the movies or television?"

“The kinds of questions we ask can make all the difference between an engaging and fruitful discussion and the verbal equivalent of pulling teeth. “ - English Dept., VA Tech, www.mhhe.com/socscience/english/tc/discussion.htm CEDAR VALLEY COLLEGE Teaching Learning Center

Room A206A 3030 North Dallas Avenue Lancaster, Texas 75134

Phone: 972-860-8083 Hours: M-TR 8:30-4:30 F 8:30 - 12:00 & 1:00 - 4:30

ECAMPUS GRADEBOOK IN EXCEL FORMAT We were fortunate here in the TLC to have Mary Lou present a workshop on downloading your eCampus grade book and putting it in Excel format. There are some specifics that all online instructors should know to make sure their spreadsheet is done correctly. Once you are logged in to eCampus and ready to download your grades, do so then save them to your desktop (click ‘work offline’ in the grade center, then choose download). They will then be able to be opened in Excel. Please remember the following:  Do a separate spreadsheet for each section in Excel  Always include a grading scale on the spreadsheet (may choose to display it via a footer)  Make sure your Excel document is set to “landscape”  Format the cells so all text is visible (center & expand cells as necessary)  The necessary columns are the students first and last name, student ID, & grades

Director: Tim Xeriland Phone: 972-860-8239 email: txeriland@dcccd.edu

 The Header (custom header) should include: (left) name of course, (center) college, (right) date, semester, & section number  Include the grading scale

Instructional Specialist: Timothy Sonnier Phone: 972-860-8031 email: tsonnier@dcccd.edu

 Save the file as the course title, section number, & semester  Any 9000 sections should be placed on a separate spreadsheet  Always include each students’ final grade on the spreadsheet (including all “W” grades)

Instructional Assistant: Christa Crawford email: ckcrawford@dcccd.edu

VISIT THE TLC BLOG!

 Please choose to show gridlines, it makes it easier to read once it’s printed Now you are ready to give your spreadsheet to Mary Lou. She keeps track of your “blue rolls” and will make sure the final grades are entered and submitted to LeCroy. If you have any questions, feel free to drop by the TLC or contact Mary Lou directly at ext. 8050.

www.teachinglearningcenter.blogspot.com

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY!


TLC Newsletters 2010