Faculty Learning Community: February & March Sessions

Join Instructional Technology and the Center for Teaching Excellence for our February faculty development events. These sessions will mostly be delivered virtually using Zoom and each one is geared specifically towards teaching online. Sessions will be 30 minutes or less and, whether you are teaching online or just want to know more, these practical sessions will help you expand your pedagogical toolbox without setting foot on campus!

Telling the Story of Your Course in the Online Classroom, Rebecca Davis
Tuesday, February 11, 3:30 – 4 pm in Zoom

Framing and contextualizing learning is an important element in any course to keep students oriented and engaged. In a traditional course, this might be the time spent at the beginning of a class or week. In an online course, that same process of “setting the scene” needs to be explicitly stated through the course introduction video, overviews for weeks or units, and weekly announcements. In this session, we’ll look at how you can build the story of your course and touch on this narrative over and over again. Participants will leave with a sense of their course’s story and how to tell it in the course shell.

Transparent Assignment Design,
Rebecca Davis
Friday, February 14, 12:30 -1 pm in Zoom

Data shows that transparency in teaching can positively affect student success by fostering academic confidence, a sense of belonging, and mastery of skills. What does transparency in teaching look like? In this session, we’ll review transparent assignment models, try out templates for transparent assignment design, and provide you with simple strategies to make assignments clearer in terms of directions, purpose, and outcomes.

How to Calculate Course Workload using the Rice Course Workload Estimator, Rebecca Davis
Friday, February 21, 12:30 -1 pm in Zoom

How much time are students working on assignments for your class? In this session, we’ll take a closer look at time. The Rice Course Workload Estimator is a tool to help instructors quantify and compare student workloads across their course. We’ll try it out, discuss pros, cons, and caveats, and discuss other ways of estimating course workload when planning online courses or documenting course rigor for accreditation bodies.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Friday, February 28, 12:30 – 1:30 pm in Holy Cross Hall 101

Join the Center for Teaching Excellence and Instructional Technology for a hands-on workshop on Universal Design for Learning.


Interested in reconsidering your content?  Want to craft assignments for different modalities? Curious about intentional community building? Join us for this workshop on Universal Design for Learning where we’ll discuss general principles of the framework and then have time for application to your own courses. The goal with this lunch session is to provide you with resources to implement changes, both immediately and long-term, into your courses.

We recommend that you watch this video in advance of the session:

Using Hypothesis for Social Annotation in Canvas
Rebecca Davis

Friday, March 6, 12:30 – 1 pm in Zoom
Social annotation helps students better engage in digital texts through shared highlighting and comments. For online classes, this interaction can take the place of shared reading of texts in the face-to-face classroom and can be especially helpful when students are approaching new kinds of texts like academic articles. This session will demonstrate the Hypothesis plug-in for Canvas and examples for using social annotation in online classes.

Getting Started with Accessibility in Online Classes
David Cuevas and Brenda Adrian
Tuesday, March 10, 3:30 – 4 pm in Zoom
Accessibility can be an overwhelming topic, but this session will get you started with some practical steps you can take to make your Canvas courses, presentations, and videos more accessible for your students with disabilities. These strategies will also benefit all of your students.

Best Practices for Making Videos
Jessica Vargas, Eric Trimble, Mike Bell
Friday March 27 at 12:30pm  in Zoom
Join us online to learn about evidence-based best practices for creating course videos.  We’ll talk about making instructional videos and recording presentations or mini-lectures.  You’ll learn more about optimum length, legibility, accessibility, scripting, best ways to record, sound & video quality, framing, lighting and captioning.

Designing Assignments with Instructor Workload in Mind – in Zoom
Mike Weston
Tues March 31 at 3:30pm
In this 30 minute session, we’ll take a look at Assignments from the Instructor perspective. Specifically, we’ll look at techniques for grading efficiently, using rubrics and different types of assignments.

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that are freely available and openly licensed, allowing you and your students to access and use them in your courses for free. OER include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, video, audio, simulations, assessments, and any other content used in education (ELI 2018).

Have you considered incorporating OER into your courses? Use of OER reduces cost for students and ensures all students have access to course materials from day one, thus breaking down barriers to access and affordability. As an instructor, using OER allows you to choose the most current, meaningful content and customize materials to your specific course learning outcomes.

Check out this video for a brief overview of OER and research on their effectiveness:

To get started using OER, we encourage you to visit Educause’s Open Educational Resources page, which provides some key resources for understanding and integrating these resources into your courses as well as links to OER repositories. Prefer to talk to someone in person? Contact an Instructional Technology staff member to set up a consultation.

We also invite you to two events we are hosting on the topic of OER in the coming weeks:


“7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content.” 7 Things You Should Know About Open Education: Content, ELI, June 2018, https://library.educause.edu/resources/2018/6/7-things-you-should-know-about-open-education-content.

Faculty Recognition Gathering 4/30/19 4-6 pm

Please join us for the 2019 Faculty Recognition Gathering to recognize your colleagues’ accomplishments.

Tuesday, April 30
4:00–6:00 pm
Mabee Ballroom

The program will open at 4:00 p.m. with the awards presentation. The ceremony will be immediately followed by a reception with food, wine, other drinks, and the music of St. Edward’s Band.

Those individuals who will be recognized include:

  • the Distinguished Teaching Awards for Full-Time Faculty and Outstanding Teaching Award for Adjunct Faculty recipients and finalist;
  • the Sr. Donna Jurick Distinguished Career Award recipient;
  • the Hudspeth Award for Innovative Instruction recipient and finalist;
  • the Center for Teaching Excellence Mission-Informed Teaching Champion awards;
  • those who were promoted and/or tenured;
  • the 2019-2020 Innovation Fellows;
  • the 2019 Technology for Innovative Learning & Teaching Pilot Project Grant recipients;
  • those who have piloted new technologies on behalf of the university in the 2018-2019 academic year;
  • the 2019 Presidential Excellence Research Grant recipients;
  • and those who have applied for grants, both external and internal.

This gathering is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence, the Department of Instructional Technology, the Office of Sponsored Programs, and the Office of Academic Affairs.

What’s New in Campus Technology This Fall

Transitioning from summer to the fall semester can be tough, particularly when there are changes to the technology you use to teach. To help get you on track for a great semester, we wanted to highlight some updates across the Office of Information Technology you need to be aware of.

G Suite Has (Finally) Arrived

Yes, it’s true! All faculty, students and staff have access to these core G Suite applications:

You’ll notice there’s overlap between some of these services and other tools at the university — notably Google Drive and Box. Sometimes, that overlap is perfectly fine; at other times, we may find we can condense our tools into one. We’ll be looking at each area individually.

That said, a note about Google Classroom: Despite its name, Google Classroom is not a full Learning Management System. You are welcome to use it, if you think it’s a fit for your class, but the only supported LMS at St. Edward’s is still Canvas.

For more information — including comparisons of functionality with existing tools — search “Google” at support.stedwards.edu.

A Reminder About Your Password

In the spring, we rolled out a new university Password Policy. As part of this policy, everyone at the university is required to change their password once a year. (For 30 days before your password expires, you’ll get notifications when you log in.)

Want to get ahead of the game? You can find out when your password is set to expire and reset it at any time by logging in to account.stedwards.edu.

Having trouble logging in? Your password may have expired over the summer. We can get you back into your account at (512) 448.8443 or Moody 309.

Introducing myHilltop Mobile

Available for both iOS and Android devices, the new myHilltop mobile app makes getting things done on the go even easier. In the app, you can search myHilltop tasks (mobile-friendly tasks appear by default) and find contact information for campus offices. There’s also a handy link to the campus map and an easy button to get to Canvas.

The app is in active development, so it will continue to grow and evolve. For now, consider it a fast pass to the university’s one-stop shop.

Some Things Never Change

Like us! If you need help starting your semester, ending it or just managing the middle, we’re here to help. Our Instructional Technology staff is a key resource when it comes to your courses, but they’re not the only place you can turn to for assistance.

Help Desk
The first line of defense against technology issues and the router of all things OIT support. 
Moody 309
M-Th: 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
S: 9 a.m.-noon

Instructional Technology Hub
Faculty-focused support in a faculty-centric space.
Holy Cross 101
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Digital Media Center
Lights, camera, action! Digital production education and execution in a high-tech space.
Munday Library 246
M-F: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Not on campus? Search support articles or submit a case at support.stedwards.edu or give us a call at 512-448-844. To stay in the know throughout the semester, you can follow us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram, where we post updates and events.