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Our next New Faculty Seminar on Teaching will address the question of ‘Equitable Grading’ and how we can craft our grading practices to better support all students’ learning.  (Photo credit Cristina Spano)

This January: Course Prep Retreat

We’re kicking off the new year with another offering of our popular Course Preparation Retreat. Being held January 4-7, this four-day virtual retreat will provide a structured opportunity for instructors to work on preparing their courses in conversation with colleagues. The majority of time each day will be dedicated to independent work by participants, bookended by gatherings over Zoom to share ideas and get feedback.

All BC faculty and Teaching Fellows are welcome to participate. Additional details and registration information can be found on the CTE website. Space is limited, so we encourage you to indicate your interest by December 16.

Additional January programs, such as back-to-school workshops and tech help drop-in sessions, will be detailed in our December newsletter.

Announcing 2022-23 Faculty Cohorts

The CTE is now accepting applications for its 2022-23 Faculty Cohorts on Teaching program, which brings faculty together for a year-long exploration of a pedagogical question or approach (see below for next year’s topics). A late spring kick-off meeting sets the stage for the year, and then monthly seminar meetings address relevant readings in the pedagogical literature and case studies developed by cohort participants. All Boston College faculty are eligible, and participants receive a $2,500 stipend. Applications are due March 1, 2022.
 

Teaching for Inclusion and Social Justice

Next year will mark the seventh (and final!) offering of our “Teaching for Inclusion and Social Justice” cohort. Open to faculty from all disciplinary backgrounds, this cohort seeks to investigate what it means to center goals of equity and student belonging in all areas of our practice: pedagogical approach, classroom interaction, and curriculum development. Please see the CTE website for more information and contact Kim Humphrey with any questions.

Applying Learning Sciences to Our Teaching

The second offering of the “Applying Learning Sciences to Our Teaching” cohort invites faculty to participate in a year-long collaborative inquiry into the research on how student metacognition, motivation, reflection, and self-agency impact student learning. Participants will each identify a learning problem common to the courses they teach and then experiment with implementing different pedagogical responses to that problem, informed by the learning sciences literature. Find full information on the CTE website. Sarah Castricum is available to answer your questions.

Next Roundtable: More Meaningful Assessment

Our series of informal Teaching Roundtables continues, aiming to provide instructors a space to think together about pedagogical questions that are both timely and ongoing. Our next roundtable, Assessing Learning In and Across Our Disciplines, will be held remotely on Thursday, December 9 from 2:00 - 3:00. Juliana Belding (Math) and Dana Sajdi (History) will kick off our discussion by sharing their reflections on assessing learning within their own disciplines. We’ll then open things up for a discussion of common challenges instructors face when evaluating student learning: first in two groups, one centered on STEM and one on Humanities, and then in the full gathering. Find further details and registration information on the CTE’s website.

New Faculty Seminar: Equitable Grading

This semester’s final New Faculty Teaching Seminar explores grading practices that can promote equity across disciplines. Join us for a brief review of the literature on equitable grading practices and a discussion of the opportunities and barriers you experience to implementing such practices in your own teaching. Register to attend on Wednesday, November 17 at 10 am in the CTE’s Innovation Lab, and learn more about this and other New Faculty Seminar topics.

New Faculty Seminars on Teaching are monthly gatherings for full-time faculty in their first two years at BC. Newly launched this year as a re-imagining of the CTE’s earlier Junior Faculty Conversations program, the New Faculty Seminars seek to address the topics of most interest to those getting started in the BC classroom.

Canvas Updates

Assignment Search

The Gradebook now includes two search fields: one for student names, and one for assignment names, avoiding the need to find individual assignments by scrolling. View a video introducing this new feature

Accessibility Checker

An accessibility checker is newly available in the Canvas editor. Click on the icon of a person inside a circle at the bottom of the editor to run a check for the appropriate headings, accessible tables, alternative text for images, and other accessible design features. Review the Canvas documentation on this tool for more information.  

If you’re generally interested in creating more accessible course materials, our recently revised resource on “Accessible Documents and Universal Design” provides an overview of key accessibility measures and some software-specific guidance.

New Quiz Tool

Canvas is rolling out an update to the Quiz tool that will become standard in July and is already available as an option for those who’d like to switch now. New Quizzes have an updated look and feel, with similar functionality to Classic (current) Quizzes and some new features. Instructors can convert existing quizzes into new quizzes (except for surveys and practice quizzes which will no longer be supported).

We recommend taking an opportunity to learn about the updated tool before you work with it, especially if you use question banks, surveys, practice quizzes, analysis tools, or manage release of results to students. See below for workshops and drop-ins being offered this fall for those who want to get a head start on the new tool; additional sessions will be offered this spring and summer. Contact centerforteaching@bc.edu with any questions.

Resources for Student Survivors

As we come to the end of the semester and the stress of exams, more student survivors of sexual violence or intimate partner violence may need to talk to someone or exercise their right to additional support on campus. Our colleagues from the SANet Hotline—a confidential campus resource for any student who has been directly or indirectly affected—encourage you to let your students know that SANet advocates are available 24/7 to listen and talk through support options.

Disability Services Newsletter

If you’re curious to learn more about the Disability Services Office and its work to support students at BC, you can sign up to receive the DSO’s monthly newsletter. Find the latest issue online.

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