Register to Attend the 2023 Instructional Development Institute (Jan. 10, 2023)

 

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) and the Instructional Development Council are looking forward to hosting the upcoming  Instructional Development Institute on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. The IDI will be a one-day completely virtual teaching conference that will feature live presentations, panels, and roundtable discussions by university experts on the theme of “Cultivating Student Success.” Sessions will explore the many ways university communities can (and do) support the success of students. This year’s conference will be online and hosted in a Canvas course. In December we will publish the Canvas course and email registered attendees instructions on how to access the course for the conference.  

About the Conference Theme: “Cultivating Student Success”

Cultivating student success in higher education requires the interconnected efforts of an entire university working toward shared goals. We are all needed to create the conditions that support students’ success through their growth in intellectual, socio-emotional, civic, cultural, professional, creative, or other realms. Although there is no single answer as to how universities can ensure students are successful, there are a variety of consistent, small, and transformative practices institutions of higher learning can employ to support students across their campuses. Innovation is occurring across all four of our UW-Green Bay campuses, from the ever-evolving classroom environment to novel advising and teaching approaches to administrative and policy changes. This year the Instructional Development Institute seeks to highlight and celebrate the ways all members of our university community support the success of students. 

Keynote Speakers

This year’s IDI features two keynote speakers and research collaborators who will address evidence-based challenges to student learning and corresponding effective teaching strategies. Dr. Stephen L. Chew is a cognitive psychologist whose videos for students on how to study have garnered millions of views nationally. He was the 2011 Carnegie Professor of the Year and the 2018 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s national award for distinguished teaching. Dr. Bill Cerbin is an educational psychologist and the founding director of the Center for Advancing Teaching & Learning at UW-La Crosse. Bill is a former Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is a nationally recognized expert on lesson study and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the author of Taking Learning Seriously.” More information about the keynote session and workshops is coming soon!

 

Cold Lunch & Hot Topics: “How Do We Promote Civil Discourse in Classes?” (Oct. 31, 11:30 a.m.)

Bring your lunch and join the conversation with CATL and instructors from across the institution as we discuss a hot topic in teaching and learning! Our October conversation will explore the issue of classroom civility. How do we promote civil discourse in classes?

  • Dates and Times:
    • Monday, Oct. 31 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Zoom link)
  • Location: Cofrin Library 405C (CATL conference room) and virtual

Register to receive a calendar reminder or drop in either in-person or virtually during the session. If you’d like to prepare your thoughts before our meeting, you may find the Inside Higher Ed article, “The Challenges of Teaching Controversial Topics in a Divided Society,” a good starting point.

Do you have an idea for a future Cold Lunch & Hot Topic? Email CATL Director Kris Vespia (vespiak@uwgb.edu).

Photo of the 2019 cohort for the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars program

Call for 2023-24 Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars Program (Applications Due Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022)

The UWGB Provost Office and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, on behalf of the UW System’s Office of Professional and Instructional Development, invite faculty and instructional academic staff to apply for the 2023-24 cohort of the Wisconsin Teaching Fellows and Scholars (WTFS) Program.

This program is designed to provide time (one year) to systematically reflect with peers in a supportive and open-minded community and, ultimately, to move from “scholarly teaching” to the “scholarship of teaching.” Administered by the UW System’s Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID) and directed by UW faculty, the WTFS Program is grounded in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Read more about the WTFS Program on the OPID site.

Interested applicants should submit items 1-5 below as separate attachments to one email message. That email should be sent to CATL (CATL@uwgb.edu) with the subject line “WTFS Application” by Nov. 29, 2022. The reference letter can be submitted directly to the CATL email by your Department Chair or Dean, but it is also due by Nov. 29. The full list of required materials is below:

  1. Application checklist;
  2. A letter stating your interest in and qualifications for the WTFS Program (two-page maximum);
  3. A teaching & learning philosophy as it intersects with equity, diversity, and inclusion (three-page maximum);
  4. An abbreviated curriculum vitae (two-page maximum);
  5. This budget sheet estimating costs using UW System travel reimbursement rates (Note: please use this 2022-23 form but also include $320 for an in-person, not virtual, spring conference; selected applicants will have their budget signed and approved by the Provost on a 2023-24 form);
  6. A reference letter from your Department Chair or Dean (can be directly emailed to CATL@uwgb.edu).

As always, let us know if you have any questions via email: CATL@uwgb.edu.

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.

Guide and Recommendations for Using Digital Whiteboards

Unsplash image of whiteboard markers and a table.

Introduction to Digital Whiteboards 

Digital whiteboards, such as Microsoft whiteboards and Zoom whiteboards, provide a virtual space for both instructors and students to communicate and collaborate simultaneously about course concepts on a shared digital canvas. Digital whiteboards, alternatively called virtual whiteboards, have been a recent addition to the modern interactive, online classroom. With physical whiteboards, instructors can write out important concepts and illustrate examples to the class quickly and with ease. For students, the whiteboard presents the information in a way for them to visualize and collect key points from the lesson. Virtual whiteboards take the concepts of a traditional whiteboard and make them available online for instructors to use without changing their lesson dramatically and are easy to incorporate into a Teams or Zoom class meeting. 

In this blog post, we will explore two types of virtual whiteboards instructors can use in their teaching as well as the support available for instructors looking to incorporate virtual whiteboards in the classroom. While there are several different online whiteboards, UW-Green Bay instructors have supported access to Microsoft Whiteboards and Zoom Whiteboards. We encourage you to stick with these two whiteboard options, as students already have access to Microsoft whiteboards and Zoom whiteboards through their UWGB accounts. We will begin by reviewing these two whiteboard applications and the features available to use within each whiteboard. To broaden the discussion, we have provided instructors with a list of potential use cases, benefits, and limitations to consider when incorporating a digital whiteboard in your class.  

The Case for Microsoft Teams Whiteboards or Zoom Whiteboards 

Microsoft Whiteboards with Microsoft Teams 

Microsoft Whiteboard Cause and Effect Diagram
Microsoft Whiteboard modeling the “Cause and Effect Diagram” template

The Microsoft Whiteboard application allows instructors and students to collaborate in a hybrid or remote classroom both inside and outside of Microsoft Teams meetings. With Microsoft Whiteboards, instructors and students can brainstorm, plan, and share with others on a digital canvas asynchronously and synchronously. You can access your whiteboards through your desktop browsers, in Microsoft Teams meetings, breakout rooms, chat, and channels. You can also download the application to use on your smartphone or tablet.  

Zoom Whiteboards

Zoom whiteboard basic flow chart template
Zoom whiteboard modeling the “Basic Flow Chart” template.

Zoom whiteboards can be created and shared using the desktop application and the Zoom web portal. Instructors can share whiteboards with students before, during, and after a Zoom classroom meeting. Zoom whiteboards can be viewed and edited on a computer using the Zoom app or web browser and on a tablet or iPad with the Zoom app. If you use the Zoom mobile app on a smaller device, such as a phone, you will only be able to view Zoom whiteboards. In-app collaboration does not allow attendees to edit the same whiteboard simultaneously across multiple breakout rooms, so breakout room attendees will have to navigate between two windows (one with the whiteboard and one with their breakout group) to participate in the activity.  

Resources and Support

Considerations and Use Cases for Using Whiteboards for Instruction

Like most teaching and learning tools, there is no singular perfect way to use digital whiteboards in the classroom. One class might find it easier to incorporate whiteboards than another classroom might. If you are interested in using whiteboards, think about how you can use the whiteboard to facilitate the desired learning outcomes of the course content, activity, or assessment.  Below is a list of some possible use cases for digital whiteboards and how instructors and students can benefit from the interactive application.  

  • Annotating and visual explanations: Digital whiteboards can offer space for annotation on images, documents, text, and visualizations. Whiteboard editors and collaborators can add images and documents to the whiteboard and can write, draw, and mark up images, insert sticky notes, and connect ideas using lines and shapes.  
  • Building community: Incorporate digital whiteboards for quick icebreakers, mid-semester check-ins, or even for first-day introductions. For remote learners and instructors, digital whiteboards can be a great tool to engage with one another in the virtual classroom and outside of the class session. Students can gain and create a sense of class community as they interact with each other’s ideas and course information in a shared whiteboard canvas.  
  • Brainstorming, practice, and review: Digital whiteboards allow multiple students to contribute to a whiteboard and the whiteboard is saved for students to return to in the future. Instructors and students can share examples and study notes with the whole class or in small groups. Students can use whiteboards as a study tool to practice for assessments, track projects, and review materials from previous whiteboard sessions. This may also allow students to navigate coursework and material with more autonomy by supporting their ability to set goals, organize their learning, and problem-solve individually or in a group.  
  • Student engagement and collaboration: Students and instructors can engage in real-time collaborative editing, annotating, formatting, and more. Students can participate in the lesson or learning activity by visually seeing the instructors’ connections and explanations. Additionally, instructors and students can use multiple different annotation and drawing tools during a collaborative learning activity. Ask students to solve problems, connect points, and unpack more abstract topics by using the whiteboard’s interactive tools. Consider even making a whiteboard activity a non-graded or low-stakes assessment to gauge the progress of your students’ understanding and connection to the course content.  
  • Group projects or activities: Create structured whiteboards or guide students in creating their own for group projects.  Instructors can share whiteboards outside of class meetings with specific groups of students to structure group projects and provide students with the whiteboard space prior to class. Students can use whiteboards to track project goals, brainstorm ideas, and serve as a shared project workspace. 
  • Breaking up class lectures: If you are looking to break up a class lecture or content that might require a great deal of student concentration, consider pausing the lecture and using a quick whiteboard for a recap or lecture review. For example, you could share a whiteboard you have already created as a part of the lecture and allow students to annotate it. This allows students to interact with the lecture material in different ways, giving students the space to make deeper connections or understand difficult concepts.  
  • Use templates for structured activities: To reduce set-up time during a class session, consider using the various Microsoft or Zoom whiteboard templates available to help structure collaborative activities ranging from concept maps, project planning and timelines, to icebreakers and games. 
  • Provide students with guidance and instruction: Be intentional with your use of digital whiteboards. Students will need to learn how to gain access to and use the digital application. They will also require guidance on how you would like them to interact with it. What tools would you like them to use (sticky notes, pen, text, etc.)? Where should they add their contributions? 
  • Use “view only” for large classes: To eliminate overwhelming the whiteboard with student collaborations in a large virtual class, consider presenting the whiteboard in a view state only. This allows you to present the whiteboard and its content in a focused and structured way. 
  • Remember that whiteboards will not be recorded: If you are recording your virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams or Zoom, the recording will not capture the whiteboard collaboration. While the whiteboard session will not be in the recording, Zoom and Teams will save the whiteboards for students and instructors to view after the session is over. Alternatively, you can use external software to record your screen during the session, like Kaltura Capture.  
  • Avoid reliance on drawing tools for annotations: Drawing on a computer or phone can be difficult for students and instructors. Consider limiting the need for drawing tools and ask students to use shapes, sticky notes, or text tools instead. If the whiteboard activity requires detailed sketches or handwritten notes, consider asking students to upload a file to the whiteboard instead. 
  • Keep in mind access and accessibility: A stable internet connection is required for both students and instructors to create and collaborate on a digital whiteboard. This may exclude students who have limited or inconsistent internet access from participating in the activity. Additionally, whiteboards are not compatible with screen readers, though you can still add alt text to images, shapes, and lines to explain the visual elements. 

Questions?

CATL is here to help! If you would like to discuss Microsoft or Zoom whiteboard features and functions or learn more about how to use whiteboards in your class, fill out our consultation request form to schedule a meeting with a member of the CATL team.