Reflecting on the 2023 Instructional Development Institute

On January 10, 2023, we gathered virtually for the annual Instructional Development Institute hosted by CATL and the Instructional Development Council. This year included attendance and presentations by educators from UWGB, UW System, K-12 schools, and the private sector for the 2023 Instructional Development Institute: Cultivating Student Success. The conference was a huge success, with over 140 in attendance for our keynote session and strong momentum throughout the rest of the day. In this blog post, we will reflect on the Insitute and share teaching resources, materials, and takeaways from this year’s Institute.  

Keynote & Workshop Leaders

2023 Instructional Development Institute: "Cultivating Student Success" Keynote Speakers Dr. Stephen L Chew & Dr. Bill CerbinThis year’s IDI included two keynote speakers, Dr. Stephen L. Chew, 2011 Carnegie Professor of the Year and 2018 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s national award for distinguished teaching, and Dr. Bill Cerbin, the founding director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning at UW-La Crosse and a nationally recognized expert on lesson study and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Dr. Stephen and Dr. Cerbin’s keynote and workshop presentations explore the nine main cognitive challenges of student learning and how we, as educators, can address each of these nine challenges to better support our students.  

We encourage you to watch the recording of the keynote and both keynote workshops to learn more about the cognitive challenges students experience and ways educators can address these challenges. In addition to the keynote presentations, Dr. Bill Cerbin has created a self-paced, self-directed, ungraded Canvas course, Cognitive Challenges of Lectures, that is available for IDI attendees and those who enroll in the IDI Canvas course. The Cognitive Challenges of Lectures course expands upon the keynote’s research and presentation and provides instructors with tangible takeaways to improve student learning and success.  

Presentations, Roundtables, and Panels on Student Success

The theme this year was centered on “Cultivating Student Success,” and presentations highlighted the many ways all university community members support the success of students. Sessions throughout the day covered topics such as using universal design for learning (UDL), information literacy, fostering growth mindset in high-tech classrooms, best practices for handling hot-button topics in the classroom, and reflections on student internship experiences. All sessions were recorded and are available to view from the 2023 IDI Canvas Course. We encourage you to watch the recordings to hear from our presenters and enroll in the Canvas course if you have not done so already! Below are some resources from a variety of different IDI presentations for you to explore.  

The session, “Teaching Students to Evaluate Website Credibility” led by three members of the UW-Green Bay Libraries’ team, Jodi Pierre, Renee Ettinger, and Carli Reinecke included a demonstration on lateral reading and additional resources for instructors teaching an FYS or a research focused course to help students identify credible websites for their research purposes.  

Instructors can use the resources available through the UWGB Libraries FYS Integration Kits which include pre-built learning objects, lesson plans, and simple assignments that can be integrated into their courses to support a variety of information literacy learning outcomes. Additional resources provided are the Civic Online Reasoning website which provides lesson plans, assessments, and videos on evaluating online information as well as the SIFT framework used to evaluate websites. As a reminder, UW-Green Bay libraries offer a wide range of research and information literacy resources, including library instruction for your classes.  

The session, “Inner Tracking: A Reflective Practice for Holistic Learning” led by David Voelker included a discussion on implementing written reflective learning practices for students that help students reflect on how their learning is affecting them as a person. An additional resource from this session includes the Inner Tracking exercise which instructors can incorporate into their course. 

The IDI hosted a special podcast episode of Psychology & Stuff, “How to Build Community” with co-hosts Ryan Martin and Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges. In this thought-provoking discussion, Ryan and Georjeanna discuss approaches to creating meaningful connections and building community among university staff in higher education. Watch the recording to learn more as Psychology & Stuff hosts apply research and principles from urban planning and environmental psychology to the building of community in our workplaces and learning communities 

The session, “Using Universal Design (UDL) to Create Access and Increase Student Success,” led by Lynn Niemi and Alison Gates provided a useful hand-out for instructors to use in their instruction for Further Resources for Universal Access Design for Learning.

Wrap-up & Conclusion

This year’s Institute was a huge success, and we thank everyone who attended our teaching and learning conference and supported all our thoughtful presenters. The presentations and conversations throughout the day offered us some important themes, which CATL director Kris Vespia shares in the wrap-up of the day, that we can take into the spring semester. One is the importance of empathy and perspective-taking, as throughout the day we were asked to put ourselves in a student’s shoes and struggle to understand in new learning contexts. Another theme of the day focused on the importance of communities, whether that is in the classroom to create inclusive environments or building communities amongst faculty and staff. The communities we build in higher education will directly affect students’ paths to success in individual courses and in their educational endeavors. We hope to see you at the 2024 Instructional Development Institute!  

In case you missed it

If you were not able to attend the Instructional Development Institute this year, we welcome you to self-enroll in the IDI Canvas course (select “UW Employee / Faculty / Student”). Enrolling will grant you full access to the IDI Canvas course until May 2023, including the session recordings.  

Follow-Up: PlayPosit “Replicate and Repeat” Training

On Nov. 15, 2022, PlayPosit held a training that focused on how to replicate and repeat content in PlayPosit. These features can help create a more streamlined workflow for users that would like to reuse bulb content or share bulbs with other instructors. Some of the content covered in this training includes:

  • How to duplicate/copy a bulb
  • How to reuse an interaction (question, discussion, pause point, etc.) from a previous bulb
  • How to use PlayPosit interaction templates
  • How to save an interaction or a group of interactions as a template
  • How to share a bulb with a collaborator
  • How to send a copy of a bulb to another instructor

A recording of this training is embedded below.

Questions?

As you explore PlayPosit, we encourage you to consult PlayPosit’s extensive knowledgebase of instructor guides, including this guide on building graded bulbs in Canvas. You can contact PlayPosit support directly by clicking the “Contact” link on their support site and filling out their web form. Guides on how to build a bulb, share a bulb with your students, use PlayPosit for peer review, and more, can also be found on the UWGB IT knowledgebase. 

As always, we also welcome you to request a CATL consultation if you’d like to see a demo of PlayPosit or talk through how you might use it in your course!

Cold Lunch & Hot Topic Follow-up: To Record or Not to Record

To Record or Not to Record? 

That appears to be the question many of us are asking ourselves.  

COVID has accelerated the presence of remote learning technology in the classroom. Much of this technology allows for videoconferencing and video recording. For many of us videoconferencing has become a normal part of the workday as we use Teams and Zoom for classes and/or meetings. This increased use and comfort of working with technology has translated into our teaching and learning, so the question is more of a should we record instead of a can we record. 

Comfort with recording, however, does not require us to implement that technology in the classroom. As you decide what to do for your class, CATL would encourage you to think first about pedagogy and content before considering technology. 

The purest and simplest answer is to be consistent with the modality of your class. The reality, though, is that our students have become accustomed to recordings being available  because we have offered recordings to support learning as part of our response to COVID. As we move away from that emergency approach to teaching, some students may still expect class recordings to be readily available regardless of the modality if they miss a class now for illness, family obligations, or work.  

Perhaps this point has merit, however, there are a few limitations we would suggest you consider before you make your final decision regarding whether to record or not record your classes.  

It may be easy to record a class meeting if you are in one of the classrooms that has all the equipment necessary to support videoconferencing or lecture streaming. Virtual classrooms that are completely run in Teams or Zoom are also easy to record. Before you hit the record button, though, you need to be mindful of your pedagogy. If your classroom is not equipped with cameras and microphones, it may seem like using our GBIT provided laptops, smart phones, or a DE cart could be a solution. But such a solution is limited by technology. We have all been in meetings this semester where the audio and video focused on one person or access to information shared in the meeting was limited. Recording with our laptops, DE carts, or personal phones creates a limited, potentially inequitable learning experience.  

If you rely on active learning, large class discussions, or significant periods of Q&A in your class, passively watching a recording of the video may not yield a comparable learning experience for your students. The CATL Team has curated a few ideas to consider offering students who must miss a class meeting which can be viewed below.  

If you elect to record a specific class meeting to accommodate a student absence, please follow best practices in video sharing, as well as guidelines for FERPA. Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching provides a good starting point to consider as you design and deliver Effective Educational Videos. In a recording, you can elect to pause or remove student conversations in class, but remember that if students’ images, names, or voices are captured in the video, you should limit access to the video to that one class. The Department of Education provides guidance a FAQ on Photos and Videos that should help with determining how best to manage FERPA concerns with class recordings.  

Finally, if these conversations have led to thoughts about your class modality and whether you should change it for a future term, please consult with your Chair. They, in consultation with the Associate Deans and Associate Provost, can help you with any policy questions you might have about the UWGB modalities. 

Strategies to Deal with Student Absences and Makeup Work 

  • At the beginning of the semester, create semester-long small groups of students and encourage them to communicate with each other about sharing notes from class. You can create a Canvas Discussion group for students to interact or post photos or links to their class notes.
    • You can also encourage students to coordinate amongst their group and share what strategy for note taking is most effective and ask students to create a plan for sharing class notes when a group member has missed a class.
    • You can use Hypothesis to create a shared note-taking document that is assigned to these small groups (e.g., post your module PowerPoint slides as a group Hypothesis PDF document for possible annotating).
  • If students are working on a group project and one of their members is missing, have one student in the group be a notetaker to fill in their missing member on what the group accomplished during class. The student who missed class and group work time will know of any important decisions that were made and be aware of tasks they need to complete to make up for the missed work time.
    • You could even require students to complete a group charter at the beginning of the group project to establish group member roles, expectations, and communication methods.
  • Have students do research to find scholarly resources, videos, or web resources that supplement the topics and materials covered during the days they missed. Ask for a brief summary of the source or sources. Bonus: you may learn of a few new resources to share with the class.
  • If your class includes reading assignments, ask students to submit a reading journal to share their observations and questions regarding assigned reading content. The reading journal serves both to meet participation for in-person class and an opportunity to engage with students about the content shared and discussion questions they may have asked if in class.
  • If you track attendance or incorporate participation points in your course, consider creating a Canvas Discussion Board where students can respond to prompts as a make-up activity if they miss class.
  • If a student missed class, and you require them to complete an alternative assignment to make up for the in-class absence, use the “Assign to” feature in Canvas to assign just the absent student(s) the make-up activity.
  • Administer your exams and quizzes through Canvas. Doing so can make it easier for students to make them up if they miss an exam day. Canvas quiz features like shuffling answer options or using question banks can also help prevent cheating if you are concerned about a student taking the quiz later than the rest of the class.
  • If you use Power Point slides for lectures or in-class instruction, consider posting them to Canvas. You can share the slides before or after class. A best practice for slides is to have limited text that students fill in with notes, as note-taking is an important part of studying and learning.
    • As a bonus for sharing your slides with the class, some students might like to print off the slides in advance and use the paper copy for taking notes during the lecture, which will also be helpful for studying later.
  • Consider supplementing your face-to-face instruction by regularly sharing brief videos (and/or audio and text resources) in Canvas that review “muddiest points” from class meetings or work through additional example problems. This type of material can be videos you create yourself or videos you have discovered on a public site (YouTube, etc.). Doing this can aid students who missed class and reinforce the learning of students who were present.
    • In general, short, targeted videos tend to be more effective than full lecture recordings and as a bonus you can reuse the material from term to term.
  • Consider using in-class digital activities which can be completed synchronously or asynchronously.
    • For example, a Hypothesis annotation activity or a collective note-taking document can be used during in-class instruction but can also be completed by a student after the fact, allowing them to see their peers' contributions as well.
    • Another example is the use of a PlayPosit video with embedded questions. PlayPosit Broadcast can be used to let students interact with the video synchronously in class, or you can create a lightbulb activity to be completed before or after a course or for an asynchronous course.

Session Recording: “Hypothesis: A Social Annotation Tool” (Thursday, Sept. 1, 2:30 p.m.)

Session Description

Learn more about our new tool, Hypothesis, and transform reading from a passive, individual activity to an active, collaborative exchange.

*Session led by vendor representative with CATL input.