Courage to Take Risks

In our second Innovators’ Toolkit, “Risk Taking and Managing Student Expectations,” we discussed the challenges of risk-taking in the classroom and strategies to address them.  As fellow Richard Bautch reminded me, one of our distinguishing characteristics drawn from our Holy Cross heritage and expressed in our mission is the “courage to take risks”.

Here is a round up of challenges and strategies discussed by our fellows: Continue reading

Prep for Innovators’ Toolkit 2

In preparation for Innovators’ Toolkit 2, Risk Taking and Managing Student Expectations, please do the following:

  1. Complete the “Teaching Risk” blog assignment.
  2. Read: Ebbeler, Jennifer. “‘Introduction to Ancient Rome,’ the Flipped Version.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 22, 2013.

Teaching Risk Blog Assignment 2, due 5/20/2015 at 10 am

In preparation for Innovators’ Toolkit 2, Risk Taking and Managing Student Expectations, Wednesday, May 20, 10:00 – 11:30 am, please complete this blog assignment on your personal blog before the session.

Tell about a time you took a teaching risk, e.g., tried something new with your class.

  • What was the nature of the risk?
  • Why did you take this risk?
  • How did your students react? Why?
  • How did you talk to your students about this risk?

Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL)

SoTL tableThe History of SoTL

Continue reading

Going 100% Digital with the iPad

Coffee and iPadMary Boyd, Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Edward’s University has made the commitment to go digital. As she explains on her new blog, #100percentdigital:

I’ve committed to moving to a 100% digital workflow and practice.  That decision required a lot of persuasion by colleagues, who convinced me that I could do everything I do now, but better, in a completely digital process.

To encourage Mary’s commitment and get the community involved in helping her go digital, I’m offering a little incentive. I’ll buy coffee (or an equivalent beverage) for anyone who catches Mary using paper instead of her iPad. There are a few conditions:

  • It has to be paper she provides. It doesn’t count if you bring her paper in a meeting.
  • You have to tweet your picture to the hashtag #100percentdigital and to me @frostdavis
  • I reserve the right to stop this incentive program if Mary is using too much paper (and I’m buying too much coffee)!

Faculty Guide for Collaborative Online International Learning Course Development

In today’s session I mentioned a resource for those team teaching, the “Faculty Guide for Collaborative Online International Learning Course Development” from the SUNY Center for Collaborative Online International Learning aka SUNY-COIL. If you are interested in this resource you can get it online.  Here are directions from their homepage:

Our current v1.4 guide includes info on globally networked learning, locating a faculty partner, gathering institutional support, and negotiating course content with your partner.

Please email to get a free copy of the guide.

If you are interested in this resource, I’d be happy to tell you more. I find it useful for helping you think through the steps for collaborating with a faculty partner to teach a class, and I imagine that the lessons learned apply just as much to those teaching locally as those teaching internationally.

Prep for Day 8

To prep for Day 8, Wed, May 28

1.  Take a few moments to review the portion of your project proposal that addressed your assessment plan.

2. Consider your goals for translating your project into a scholarly presentation or publication:

  • Are you interested in developing this pedagogical experiment into an area of scholarly work?
  • Can you imagine presenting on this topic at a conference, or even writing an article about it?
  • If so, what conferences or journals might be appropriate venues for you to present or publish on this topic?
  • Are you collecting the right kind of assessment information in order to share this project publicly with others?
  • Would you consider applying for a summer presidential excellence grant to pursue work turning this project into a scholarly project?

Mid-Institute Check-In

Brainstorm – on paper or your iPad – your thoughts about the following questions (20 minutes)


  • What have you learned so far that may prove relevant to your project?
  • What else do you want / need to learn?  (Pedagogy, concepts, skills, resources?)

Progress & Needs

  • What progress have you made on your project?
    • “None” is an option!  If you list this, you might think about ideas you’ve gained, or ways you’ve clarified aspects of your project.  That counts as progress, too!
  • What additional progress do you want to accomplish in this final week, or what skills or support do you need to gain?

Challenges & Successes

  • Have you encountered unexpected challenges in your work so far?
  • Have you had successes / accomplishments so far?

Teach Students to Write Marginalia and to Highlight or Underline Wisely

Rap Genius and moreOne of the recommended readings for flipping the classroom addresses strategies for getting students to do the reading:

Linda Nilson, “Getting Students To Do the Readings,” Ch. 23 in Part Five of Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for Instructors (2010), available as an e-book through the SEU library.  (You’ll need to be logged into the SEU library site for this e-book link to work.)

On p. 216 Nilson suggests the strategy, “Teach Students to Write Marginalia and to Highlight or Underline Wisely.”  There are several technology tools to support this strategy for both the individual and for groups. Continue reading