Prevent Burnout with Self-Care Strategies

2nd annual T&L Day, Jan 21, 2022 HHS 204, 1-3:30 pm

Join us for our 2nd Annual Teaching & Learning Day.  We will meet from 1 – 3:30 to discuss strategies faculty can use to prevent burnout in these demanding times.  We will also discuss ways in which we can encourage and support our freshman and sophomores whose academic preparation was affected by the pandemic. 

We have invited an expert on helping faculty prevent burnout through self-care to give the keynote address.  Dr Julie Harrison-Swartz, DNP, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, is an assistant professor in the Department of Nursing at UNC Pembroke.

In the second hour of the event, we will discuss supporting students to be successful. We had an unprecedented increase in failure rates last semester at WCU.  But we are not alone in this as other institutions across the country are also experiencing this situation. We will discuss what’s happening and brainstorm some ways in which we as instructors can help these students succeed this semester. 

Let us know you are going to attend REGISTRATION LINK

To Flip or Not to Flip? That is the Question.

Whether you call it inverted instruction, classroom flipping, or some other term, the concept behind this kind of instruction is basic. Students get the foundational knowledge they need outside the classroom and class time is spent on higher-level learning. Properly executed, this instructional methodology changes the instructor’s role from one of a “sage on the stage” to a “guide on the side.” (Bergmann & Sams, 2007)

How do the students get that foundational knowledge?

  • Video
    • If you record your own videos:
      • Keep them short (7 minutes max)
      • Topic focused
      • Provide captions and transcript
    • If you don’t want to make your own, there are plenty of sources:
      • Khan Academy, YouTube, Ted Talks
    • Assign specific time ranges as appropriate
  • Texts
    • A history, account, narrative, or case study
    • From the course texts, assign specific pages if the students don’t need the whole chapter – they are more likely to do the reading
    • Consider developing a reading guide to target their attention on particular concepts or ideas 
  • Websites
    • Again, assign specific pages or parts of the website as appropriate
  • Research
    • Give your students a list of questions and let them find answers

How can I know they have attained the foundational knowledge?

Barkley and Major, in their text Learning Assessment Techniques, offer concrete ways to assess students’ foundational knowledge, and they fit the “blending” teaching paradigm:

  • If asking them to recognize – consider an online quiz that focuses on verification, matching, or forced choice, to be taken prior to coming to class.
  • If asking them to recall – consider online quiz questions that focus on low cues or high cues.
  • If asking them to interpret or exemplify – consider an online quiz that focuses on constructed responses or selected responses.
  • If asking them to infer – consider questions that focus on verification, matching, or forced choice.
  • If asking them to explain – consider questions where students must reason, troubleshoot, redesign, or predict.

What are some effective classroom strategies to engage students in higher-level learning?

  • Muddiest point
    • Have your students bring a list of points they’d like to have clarified to class
      • Alternatively, have them post them to a discussion board
    • Address these points first before moving on to other learning activity
  • Group discussions
    • Students discuss/clarify muddiest points in groups
  • Group presentations
    • Have students teach what they learned
  • Knowledge Demonstration
    • Let the students demonstrate what they have learned

Is flipping right for me?
The real question is whether or not flipping is right for your students. One of the big advantages of flipping is that it gives students more control over their learning as they guide the classroom activity with their questions. Another is the opportunity it provides instructors to review their teaching methods. After considering your options, you may decide that flipped instruction does not provide any advantages. However, keep in mind that this is not an all-or-nothing proposition. You may determine that some material in your course is suitable for flipping, while some still require more of a hands-on approach. In either case, you’ll have reflected on how you are teaching and that is always a good thing. (Trach, 2020)

If you’d like to talk about group work with a member of the Coulter Faculty Common, click here to schedule a consultation.

Sources

Barkley, Elizabeth F., and Claire H. Major. Learning Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2016. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hunter-ebooks/detail.action?docID=4205832.

Bergmann, J., & Sams, A. (2007). Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day. International Society for Tech in Ed. http://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/hunter-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3317690

Hertz, M. B. (2012, July 10). The Flipped Classroom: Pro and Con. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-classroom-pro-and-con-mary-beth-hertz

Trach, E. (2020, January 1). A Beginner’s Guide to Flipped Classroom. https://www.schoology.com/blog/flipped-classroom

UPDATED LOCATION! WCU welcomes Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kevin Gannon for Teaching & Learning Day

Join us in person for a day of learning and discussion on Inclusive Pedagogy!

When: Teaching & Learning Day, is scheduled for Friday, August 13, 2021.

Where: Forsyth 101

Date: Aug 13, 2021

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Dr. Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto and a frequent contributor to The Chronicle of Higher education, will present the keynote, A Pedagogy of Hope for the Post-Pandemic ‘Normal’.

Following the keynote, he will facilitate an interactive workshop on Inclusive Pedagogy from Theory to Practice. We will reassemble in the afternoon to gather in small groups to explore what Inclusive Pedagogy looks like in our teaching.

This event is sponsored by the Coulter Faculty Commons, Hunter Library, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs.

 

WCU welcomes Keynote Speaker, Dr. Kevin Gannon for Teaching & Learning Day

Join us in person for a day of learning and discussion on Inclusive Pedagogy!

When: Teaching & Learning Day, is scheduled for Friday, August 13, 2021.

Where: Forsyth 101

Date: Aug 13, 2021

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Dr. Kevin Gannon, author of Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto who will present the keynote, A Pedagogy of Hope for the Post-Pandemic ‘Normal’.  Following the keynote, he will facilitate an interactive workshop on Inclusive Pedagogy from Theory to Practice. We will reassemble in the afternoon to gather in small groups to explore what Inclusive Pedagogy looks like in our teaching.

This event is sponsored by the Coulter Faculty Commons, Hunter Library, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs.

 

Faculty Can Register for Video-Conference Mid-Semester Course Analysis

Videoconference with laptop

Coulter Faculty Commons facilitating a mid-semester course analysis with students.

Faculty may now schedule Coulter Faculty Commons staff for a mid-semester course analysis for a fall course.

The Quick Course Diagnosis (QCD) takes about 20 minutes and helps faculty better understand challenges their students are facing with content, pacing, performance, and student behavior.

All fall 2020 QCDs will be conducted during a regularly scheduled class time which occurs in any video-conferencing software (Bb Collaborate, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom) during the weeks of September 21 – 25, and September 28 – October 3.

For the fall 2020 term, we have capacity to visit 12 classes, and scheduling is first-come, first-serve.

Faculty may schedule through a Qualtrics link.

The process generates student insights about the course, teacher, and student behavior, ranging from observations about testing, reading load, clarity of assignments, accessibility of the professor, and even systematic issues that go beyond the individual classroom. It is no surprise that students usually know more than they let on and are very happy for the chance to contribute to the value of their learning experience. Often their reports align with hunches the professor already had, but now there is real data to work with and the CFC can partner with the faculty to develop creative solutions to learning challenges that are now clearly defined.

This year, the Coulter Faculty Commons developed a video that explains the process more fully; it can shared with students ahead of time prior to the virtual class visit, so students understand what is expected.

To Learn More:
Text-based information about the QCD
Video for sharing with students prior to virtual course visit

To Schedule (first-come, first-serve):
Register for the QCD

Dr. Eli Collins-Brown
Dr. Terry Pollard
Mr. John Hawes
Coulter Faculty Commons

 

 

Strategies and Tools for Fall Class Planning

The Coulter Faculty Commons often entertains questions throughout the summer about ideas for fall teaching. Here, we share some of those commonly asked questions and our responses.

Q. Can a shift in the syllabus verbiage encourage a better learning environment?
A. Ken Bain, who conceptualized the term “the promising syllabus,” argues yes, in his book What the Best College Teachers Do. You can find an excerpt – and strategies for incorporating self-determination theory into a course, visual design elements, and more, on the Montclair State University website. You can find his book in the WCU library.

Q. What can I do in the first week of class to keep my students engaged all semester?
A. A professor from the University of New Mexico, Gary Smith, has shared a strategy he used on the first day, after many years of feeling his students were only learning at a surface level.

On the first day of class, he asked his students the following question: “I’d like you to think about your college education and this course in particular. Which of the following is most important to you?

1. Acquiring information (facts, principles, concepts)?
2. Learning how to use information and knowledge in new situations? or…
3. Developing lifelong learning skills?

He writes about the back-and-forth negotiation – and the wonderful outcome it had on his students and his course – in an article entitled First-Day Questions for the Learner-Centered Classroom (Smith, 2008). A highly recommended reading!

Q. Am I required to use the WCU syllabus template?
A. The WCU syllabus template has been offered for many years as a single document/place where institutional policies are maintained and updated.

Q. Is there anything new in the WCU syllabus template for fall 2020?
A. Yes, and they have been substantial. Over the past few months, the Coulter Faculty Commons has been steadily making changes to the university syllabus, based on the impacts brought about by COVID. In May, we included a statement about the use of Respondus Lockdown Browser and Lockdown Monitor, including instructions for students to download the software. In June, we provided the university statement on the wearing of masks (this was revised again in August to include faculty processes when students are non-compliant). In August, we also published an update to the Course Recording and Broadcasting sub-section. The two major changes are 1) the need for faculty to obtain student waivers (to adhere to FERPA), 2) the particular need for waivers if faculty intend to use a video for a governed research project (outside normal class use case), and 3) language in a faculty syllabus if they intend to use Lockdown Browser or Lockdown Monitor.

Q. Have there been recent changes to the CFC Syllabus webpage?
A. Yes. In early August, we added a MWF and TR calendar document for faculty to use and distribute to their students. These are for fall 2020. We also added a link to Rice University’s Course Workload Estimator tool, to help faculty allocate hours and minutes to each activity, assignment, or lecture in an assigned week for a course in development (note: this tool is useful at any week in the term, for what lies ahead in a class). Due to the shift in online and remote teaching, we have had a lot of questions about “how much work is too much?” This tool helps you decide.

Q. Do I need to include all the institutional policies in my syllabus?
A. As stated above, if your syllabus includes a statement pointing to the Academic Toolbox, then you do not need to include those statements in your syllabus.

Q. What technology will be available in my classroom?

A. Upgraded Audio Features in Standard Classrooms
The Instructional Technology Team has been hard at work all summer trying to meet as many of the unprecedented needs of this coming fall as possible.  The CFC wanted to highlight a few things for faculty who are just returning to the university to teach hybrid courses.

As part of the preparations for hybrid teaching in WCU classrooms, additional audio connectivity was installed to allow for the use of a personal microphone, as well as to assist in the use of common software tools using the classroom audio system.

These enhancements include:

  • Expansion of the feed from the existing wireless lapel microphone to feed into audio recordings in Zoom and Panopto.
  • A Standard XLR Microphone Connection
  • Handheld XLR Microphones that are being distributed to the departments by the Provost’s office

For more information

 

The Instructional Technology Team and the Help Desk will have technicians available during the first two weeks of classes to troubleshoot issues.

Q. If I choose to record my classes, what responsibilities do I have?  Can students record me without my permission?

Students may make visual or audio recordings (Recording) of any class related content, using any approved recording device (e.g., smart phone, computer, digital recorder, etc.) upon the prior permission of the instructor and subject to the following restriction(s).  The Recording, along with the video capture of visible course materials (e.g., visible PowerPoint slides and/or visible lecture notes), shall be limited to the student’s personal, course related, educational use and shall be subject to all applicable copyright laws and institutional policies.  The student may not transfer, transmit, or otherwise disseminate the Recording to any third party, including classmates, without the permission of the instructor.  Any violation of these restrictions, or any other restriction verbally communicated by the instructor, may subject the student to the provisions of the WCU Academic Integrity Policy, the WCU Code of Student Conduct or both.

Meetings of this course may be broadcast and/or recorded. Broadcasting and recording are intended to complement the classroom experience. Instructors may broadcast and/or record courses for pedagogical use, student reference, to meet the accommodation needs of students with a documented disability, or any other reason deemed appropriate by WCU and/or the instructor.

Any recording of class that includes the image or voice of a student, or reference to the student’s name, would be considered FERPA, thus, protected. If faculty intend on making the recording available for future viewing (any viewing that is not live),it will require a waiver by each student.  The waivers may be collected by email or as a Canvas discussion board post or assignment with the following statement attached: By sending this email (by replying to this discussion board, by completing this electronic form – any use of WCU official identity verification) and typing my name below I acknowledge I have read and fully understand the terms of the VIDEO CONSENT AND RELEASE FORM FOR CLASS RECORDING and hereby release the University as stated in the Form.

If a student refuses to sign the waiver, then their likeness may not be included in any video made available. In other words, they would need to be excluded from video and not allowed to ask questions. If this happens faculty would be able to grade consistent with syllabi. In other words, the faculty member has the right to penalize the student by lowering their grade for not participating.  The faculty member is also free to create alternative assignments at his or her discretion.

Course recordings will be available to students registered for the course pursuant to applicable university policy and instructor preference.  All broadcasts and recordings are limited to personal, course related, educational use and may not be transmitted, transferred, distributed, sold, or posted on social media outlets without the written permission of the instructor. Unauthorized transmission, transfer, distribution, sale or posting of the broadcast and/or recording for any purpose other than the student’s personal, course related, educational use is not permitted. Students are expected to follow appropriate university policies and maintain the security of passwords used to access recorded materials.

If the Lockdown Browser and Monitor are being used, it is necessary that the instructor have both a syllabus statement and a waiver on file.

Any course recordings for purposes beyond the normal conduct of a course (promotional videos, videos related to a governed research project, etc.) will require an additional waiver and appropriate approval (such as IRB approval).

University Policy 122

For a more detailed version of when a waiver might be needed see:

Policy Considerations of Classroom Technology Use

Q. What are the supported synchronous streaming platforms?

Zoom.  There is limited support for Microsoft Teams, but it is not recommended for virtual course meetings beyond small groups at this time.

For more information see the Guidelines for Technology Use at WCU

Q. I’ve heard that the CFC isn’t recommending synchronous meetings with students physically present and at a distance?  Why is that?

Research and experience guide us to note that trying to hold class with a small group while trying to moderate interaction with students at a distance will lead to an inferior experience for everyone, including the instructor.  There are advantages and disadvantages to using synchronous and asynchronous activities in online and hybrid learning; in most cases, asynchronous activities provide the best experiences for students.  In our testing scenarios, attempts at synchronous activities using Zoom or Collaborate resulted in less-than-desired experiences, and were not comparable to using Zoom in a private meeting space.

We must recognize that mixing one group with synchronous digital technologies and one group with live synchronous meeting will increase both instructor and student difficulty (i.e., just turning on Zoom for the half of the class who isn’t physically in the classroom).

Consider whether your arrangements and the limitations of the technologies are equitable for all students.Particularly consider whether your activities are appropriate given the computer requirements for students in the university and in your department. Consider the student experience, including their access (or lack thereof) to sufficient broadband speeds.