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June 6, 2019
Beyond the Final Performance: How to Build Transferable Knowledge and Skills

Emily Moss

It’s tempting to focus on the final performance when teaching music or on the final exam when teaching other subjects. But Emily Moss, chair of the Department of Music at California State University, Los Angeles, suggests that we teach in ways that help students apply what they’ve learned as they continue their studies and after they graduate.

“Can your students take what they have learned and use it in the future in some meaningful way?" Moss asks. "When we pass out that new piece of music, we hope our students recognize the similarities and apply their knowledge and skills appropriately. The reality is this does not just happen automatically.”

Read the post
NISOD International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence 2019

"I knew right away that ACUE and NISOD share the same goals: to provide high-quality resources to faculty, to discover and share new approaches, and to help many more students be successful.”

Edward Leach, Executive Director
National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD)

Last October, ACUE and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) announced a major collaboration to promote faculty and student success through excellence in instruction. Our partnership launched officially last week at NISOD’s annual conference, which brought together over 1,000 faculty members and senior administrators for three days of inspirational sessions and keynotes. Among faculty presenting from ACUE partner and NISOD member institutions:

Michelle Brock from American River College, part of California Community Colleges, led “A Deep Dive Into Productive Persistence: Students’ Academic Mindsets”

• Kreg Mebust from Truckee Meadows Community College shared the secrets of “Creating Order Out of Chaos With Service Learning Projects”

• Michelle Ploetz from Miami Dade College took us on “A Test Drive Into Dual Enrollment”

• Julie Smith-Stewart from the Community College of Edward Leach and Jonathan GyurkoAurora examined how to turn students into their own “Chief Education Officers”

NISOD executive director Edward Leach and ACUE president and co-founder Jonathan Gyurko, during the plenary luncheon, noted that “among the many ‘student success’ interventions” underway, “the most powerful is right here among us—our faculty.” Their full remarks are on The 'Q' Blog.


Starting this August and throughout 2019, ACUE is offering Regional Seminars hosted by NISOD member institutions. Similar to NISOD’s Regional Workshops, these seminars will provide faculty with a unique, blended-learning opportunity to earn credit toward ACUE’s Certificate in Effective Collegiate Instruction. Find seminar topics, dates, locations, and registration information at or email us at

Congratulations to the presenters and the entire NISOD team on another fantastic conference!
Read the remarks
Teaching in Higher Ed:
Natasha Jankowski
Natasha Jankowski - TiHE
Natasha Jankowski discusses intentional and transparent assessment through ACUE's collaboration with Bonni Stachowiak on episode 259 of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast.

News in Brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education

Our Fail Year
At Pomona College, a small group of faculty and students convened a Humanities Studio with the inaugural theme of “fail better,” examining different perspectives on failure. Kevin Dettmar, the studio’s director, believes in the importance of making it worthwhile for students to take risks that might lead to failure, suggesting “fail-safe spaces,” such as ungraded first semesters. (Inside Higher Ed)

Online Student Success Symposium: Innovative Strategies to Support Today's Online College Students
A report from the Strada Education Network examines the question “How do we promote student success in the online learning environment?” Based on discussions from the Online Student Success Symposium, the report draws five conclusions about student success strategies, including understanding current and future student populations and designing online programs and courses to deliver personalized learning. (Strada Education Network — via download)

5 Methods of Energizing and Motivating Your Students
For online instructors, it can be difficult to spot a disengaged student until it’s too late, according to Dr. Bruce A. Johnson. He recommends strategies for recognizing lack of motivation, including focusing on open communication, helping certain students by providing resources in feedback on their assignments, and reaching out to disengaged students proactively. 

How to Fix the Dreaded Survey Course
Because survey courses often result in content overload, Kevin Gannon advises faculty to curate content and know when to omit information. He opines that these courses are meant to build a foundation and create interest in a deeper study of the subject and offers strategies for prompting intellectual curiosity, such as framing the course around key questions and choosing themes. (Vitae)

Strategies for Improving Student Success
With so many students struggling with degree completion, Steven Mintz offers strategies for promoting student success. One of these strategies is to encourage evidence-based teaching practices, focusing on active learning, experiential learning, skills mastery, student interaction, and instructor feedback. (Higher Ed Gamma)

Partner News
California State University San Bernadino: Glowing Feedback for ACUE Online Course (CSUSB Teaching Resource Center)
Elmhurst College: Faculty Members Earn National Credential for Teaching Excellence (Elmhurst College)
Miami Dade College: University of Miami and Miami Dade College team up for student success (News@The U)
Truckee Meadows Community College: Faculty and Staff Honored with Awards (TMCC College News)
Photos of the Week
Elmhurst Pinning
Elmhurst College faculty celebrated earning their Certificates in Effective Collegiate Instruction during a pinning ceremony on May 17.
Krystal Rawls
California State University San Bernardino interviewed Krystal Rawls, lecturer of business management organizational behavior and theory, about how she has implemented the techniques she learned in the ACUE course. Read more here.
U Toronto Course Launch
The University of Toronto launched the first Canadian ACUE partnership through its Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation. Provost Cheryl Regehr addressed the faculty cohort at a course launch event on June 4.
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