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Join us tomorrow at 1:30 for a presentation co-hosted with ABLED@BC on designing more accessible syllabi.

ETD Registration Now Open!

Excellence in Teaching Day, held this year on May 21 from 12:00 - 3:00, is a chance to come together (virtually) to reflect on—and perhaps redefine—what “excellence” in teaching means given all that’s happened in the past year. As always, we’ll be featuring faculty in our panel discussions and, given this unusual year, we’ve decided to turn also to faculty to deliver the keynote.

Keynote Lecture

Amey Victoria Adkins-Jones, Assistant Professor in Theology and AADS, will kick off the day as our keynote speaker. Her talk, “What Remains: Reflections on Pedagogy, Pandemics, and Practices of Freedom,” will speak to how she’s making sense of a year in which teaching intertwined with profound grief and joy. She will then be joined by Sylvia Sellers-García, Professor of History, who will deliver a response to the keynote, followed by a short dialogue between the two. Breakout discussions after the keynote will give participants a chance to talk with colleagues in smaller groups.

Panel Presentations

The final hour of concurrent panel presentations will focus on faculty and student perspectives on what they’re taking from this year:

  • (Re)imagining Student Learning and Engagement (Kyrah Daniels, Art, Art History, and Film; Ellen Goldstein, Math; Rita Owens, CSOM)

  • Redefining “Inclusion” when Teaching in Times of Crisis (Nicholl Montgomery, LSEHD; Heather Olins, Biology; Min Song, English)

  • The View from the Student Side: Undergraduates Share Their Reflections

Full descriptions of the various elements of the day and access to the registration form can be found on the Excellence in Teaching Day website. We look forward to welcoming you to our annual celebration of teaching at BC!

Presentation: Accessible Syllabi

As more students with disabilities enroll in higher education, as research continues to indicate the extent of learner variability, and as more students actively seek out the support they need to learn, many instructors are looking for proactive ways to create more accessible courses—especially following this past year of pandemic teaching. As we prepare to return to more typical educational contexts, join ABLED@BC and the CTE tomorrow (April 27, 1:30 - 2:30) for a practical session on applying Universal Design principles to the course syllabus, one powerful tool in creating more accessible learning environments. Find more information and register online.

Preparing Summer Courses

As instructors prepare for primarily remote teaching contexts this summer, CTE staff are ready to assist with any course planning or instructional technology questions you might have.  Feel free to request an individual consultation by emailing, or explore our remote instruction resources and FAQs. For those looking for a deeper dive into designing remote courses, our Adaptable Remote Instruction course is still available (simply enroll yourself online) and our Quick Start Checklist may also be of use.

Please note that our BC Libraries colleagues ask that you submit your requests for library material (articles, ebooks, films, etc) as soon as possible using the Library Reserves request form.

New Resources: UDL & Exit Tickets

Some new and newly updated resources may also be useful to those planning for summer courses. The Universal Design for Learning resource will be of interest to those thinking about designing courses that are accessible to as many students as possible from the start, and the new resource on Exit Tickets may be a helpful thought partner to instructors who are thinking about how to get some insight into student learning in rapidly-paced summer courses.

Active Learning Classroom: Fall Availability

As we hope for a return to in-person classes in Fall 2021, we have some spots available for full-semester courses in our Active Learning Classroom (O’Neill 246). If you are interested, please complete the reservation request form and we will be in touch.

Supporting Students During Ramadan

Muslim members of the BC community are celebrating Ramadan from approximately April 12 to May 12 this year, depending on their geographic location. During Ramadan, some Muslims participate in fasting, increased prayer and acts of charity, and might be navigating less flexible schedules as they take part in those practices. Fasting students may experience dips in energy later in the day and may need time to pray and break their fast around sunset.

Instructors can support student learning and belonging by acknowledging that Ramadan is occurring and signaling your willingness to work with students who are celebrating. Accommodating students' religious commitments might look like negotiating extensions, clarifying that students are welcome to briefly leave class to pray, or offering an alternative time for inconveniently scheduled exams (e.g. in late afternoon when students’ energy and focus might be at its lowest). See the University of Calgary’s resource on supporting students celebrating Ramadan during exams for more information.

CIHE Summer Workshop

The Center for International Higher Education is offering an online (asynchronous) course on Internationalizing the Curriculum for All Students the week of June 28, 2021. Led by Professor Emerita Betty Leask, a leading scholar in the field of internationalization of the curriculum and former Visiting Professor in the CIHE, this course will engage participants from all over the world in conversation about their role in imagining and creating internationalization of the curriculum for the future. Discounts are available for current Boston College faculty and staff. Contact for more information.

Around Campus: Inclusion Surveys

This semester two separate groups on campus (one student-driven, one made up of faculty and staff) are seeking input on projects focused on questions of classroom and campus inclusion. See below for more information and who to contact with questions.

FACES Compiling BC "Green Book"

FACES, an anti-racist student group committed to educating the BC community on issues of race, identity, and systems of power and privilege, is compiling a database of racially inclusive spaces on campus. They’re calling this undertaking The Green Book Project, and they’re developing it to counter systemic anti-Black racism they see playing out on campus and across the nation. Much like the original Green Book, which identified safe ports for African American travelers, FACES Green Book hopes to identify classrooms, student organizations, and departments that are racially inclusive, dynamic and—most importantly—pro-Black. 

In phase one of their project, FACES is inviting instructors to complete a survey about their teaching practices. FACES will compile responses into a database that will be made available to the student body to aid in the identification of racially inclusive spaces. Questions about the project can be directed to Brian Rudolph, Ivana Wijedasa or Aman Mohapatra.

Trans Inclusion Survey

The Trans Inclusion Subcommittee of LGBT@BC is gathering information about BC employees' experiences to inform its work towards making BC a gender-inclusive community. The survey is open to all employees, whatever their gender identity, and it is completely anonymous and confidential. All data will be available solely to the trans inclusion subcommittee, and will be used to help them strategize regarding advocacy and programming. Completing the survey shouldn't take more than five minutes. You can contact the subcommittee with any questions.

Center for Teaching Excellence
140 Commonwealth Ave
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

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