Innovation Fridays

Innovation Fridays serve to enhance the climate of innovation and research at WCU by creating opportunities for innovation, connection, and collaboration across campus. So that we don’t let Covid-19 deter our collegiality and innovative mindsets, we have a couple of options for continuing the spirit of Innovation Friday this year.

  1. Consider joining us for Innovation Friday at Innovation Station in Dillsboro on the following dates for fall term:  October 9, November 13.  Spring term Innovation Friday dates are February 12 and March 12.  To keep us safe, we are asking for folks to RSVP and limiting attendance to 10.  Masks and social distancing are required. To RSVP for the October 9,  at 4 pm click here.  The first round of drinks is sponsored.
  2. Join our Teams Innovation Friday (or any other day) Group and join in for asynchronous collegiality, brainstorming, informal mentoring, interdisciplinary connections, and support for innovation in research and teaching.   Join the Team Here.
  3. Let us know your desire and ideas for synchronous remote Innovation Friday (or any other day)  via Zoom or other synchronous or asynchronous events by completing this very brief form.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Lisa Bloom

Professional Development Grant: Upcoming Deadline

Established in 2012, this grant supports the strategic mission of WCU by providing funds for faculty and instructional staff to pursue professional development opportunities in areas such as teaching and learning, scholarship, leadership, certification, accreditation, assessment, and other related areas. This program replaces and expands upon two former grant programs: Microgrants and Provost Instructional Improvement Grants. Maximum Award: $1,000.

Deadlines for 2020-2021 Submission are September 25, 2020 / January 29, 2021 / March 26, 2021

View the application and guidelines

Fall Preparation: Blackboard Offers Webinar Training Sessions

Blackboard Logo

In preparation for the fall semester, the CFC is encouraging all instructors who are not familiar with Blackboard or who want to expand their use of it to take advantage of these online training sessions offered by Blackboard. 

Due to increased demand for our services and our limited capacity, the CFC will not be conducting any Blackboard training sessions.  We will be hosting a number of drop-in Q&A sessions but we are asking instructors to go through the training modules and/or attend the sessions provided by Blackboard before attending a drop-in session.

Blackboard is offering a full menu of webinar training sessions for all experience levels.

About the Webinar Series

Many of you had to quickly transition to remote teaching in response to growing concerns on the spread of the coronavirus. The journey to teaching remotely is a process, and we want to ensure you have the tools you need to be successful for both you and your students. Whether you are brand new to teaching online or looking to make some improvements to what you have started, we designed a set of webinars from basic topics to advanced. We added more topics to help you as you prepare for your next semester

The Blackboard website provides descriptions of each webinar, the dates being offered, and a link to REGISTER. 

Click on a topic below to learn more:

  1. Getting Started with Blackboard Learn Original Course Experience
  2. Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate
  3. Getting Started with Bb Annotate: Inline Assignment Grading in Blackboard Learn
  4. OFFICE HOURS: Ask the Experts About Blackboard Learn and Collaborate
  5. Assessment & Assignments in Blackboard Learn (Original Course Experience)
  6. Guide to Building Mobile Content (Original & Ultra Course Experiences)
  7. Improving Student Engagement (Original Course Experience)
  8. Setting up the Gradebook (Original Course Experience)
  9. Grading Workflows for Discussions, Assessment & Assignments (Original Course Experience)

The Fall Blend – Hybrid Course Design Workshops

Coffee cup, latte with leaf design

It’s not too early to start working on your fall courses, particularly this year as we work within the requirements that the pandemic has imposed on us. Social Distancing will drastically reduce the number of students in your classrooms and labs requiring the need to rethink how you will teach. You may be moving totally online or using one of the suggested modalities in the Fall Instruction Plan from the Provost’s office. Without exception, you will not be teaching the way you taught last fall.

This three day online workshop offered by the Coulter Faculty Commons will guide you through a process using the goals and outcomes for your course to design learning experiences that work for both for you and the students. By using best practices in hybrid course design and facilitation, you will discover creative ways to engage your students online. You will also learn which activities and content can be put online for asynchronous access and prioritize what needs to happen in that very precious face-to-face or synchronous online time (Zoom). The goal of this workshop is to provide you with a streamlined process for converting your courses to a hybrid modality.

Each workshop will run from Tuesday through Thursday. We are offering the workshop three times this summer, starting this week.

For more information on the workshop and how to register, see The Fall Blend page on the CFC website, https://affiliate.wcu.edu/cfc/events/fallblend/.

Deadlines Approaching for 2 Summer Workshops!

As we wrap up the Spring semester, we are thinking of Summer and Fall and how the pandemic has changed how we are going to facilitate student learning.  The Coulter Faculty Commons is offering numerous workshops to support all instructors through this change process.  Two of the summer workshops require registration or application and approval by the deans and department heads, and the deadline is approaching quickly!

Moving Rapidly to Remote Instruction starts on Monday, May 11.  This is for instructors who will be teaching summer courses online. See Details and Register!

Fast-Track Online Course Design starts on May 18 and runs through the end of June. This is for Fall online course planning. See Details and Apply!