Fall 2020 Virtual Teaching & Learning Event

fall 2020 virtual teaching and learning image with presenter headshots

Join us virtually for a half day teaching and learning event on September 4th from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM.  Wentworth faculty and staff will present best practices, share examples, tools and strategies that can be implemented for the upcoming Fall semester. Please note that event information and details will be shared in MyWentworth.

About the Event: This event will include concurrent sessions (presentations) offered across four tracks:

  • Teaching and Learning
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Faculty Spotlights
  • Faculty Resources & Support
Presenters (listed in alphabetical order):
  • Christopher Brigham – Interdisciplinary Engineering
  • Aaron Carpenter – Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Memo Ergezer, Computer Science & Networking
  • Lizzie Falvey – Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Ron Frattura – Learning Innovation & Technology
  • Jody Gordon – Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Semere Habtemical, Applied Mathematics
  • John Haga – Applied Mathematics
  • Mel Henriksen – Applied Mathematics
  • Ella Howard – Humanities & Social Sciences
  • JoJo Jacobson – Center for Academic Excellence
  • Anuja Kamat – Civil Engineering
  • Ian Lapp, Office of the Provost
  • Joseph Martel-Foley – Office of the Provost
  • Maura Mulligan – Center for Wellness
  • Kelly Parrish – Office of the Provost
  • Adam Payne – Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Stephanie Pollard – Applied Mathematics
  • Nicole Price – Office of the President
  • Youssef Qranfal, Applied Mathematics
  • Juval Racelis- Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Pia Romano – Library
  • David Simpson – Interdisciplinary Engineering
  • Emma Smith Zbarsky – Applied Mathematics
  • Nasser Yari – Civil Engineering

Get Your Syllabus Ready!

The Institute Curriculum Committee posted approved syllabus templates with accessibility features already built in that you should use.  In addition, there’s a short video that walks through the features that make the syllabus accessible. Download the accessible syllabus template and watch the help video on the ICC website

The Wentworth (WIT) Online team has created netiquette language and guidelines for faculty to include in their course syllabi to outline student expectations. Please take a moment to review these helpful tips. Feel free to add or modify these items, depending on your course delivery format. While learning can take place either in-person or remotely, students should adhere to the University’s Student Code of Conduct and respectfully conduct themselves to maintain a safe, supportive, and productive learning environment.

“The most powerful forms of purposefulness arise when students see the ability of their learning to make the world a better place…self-transcendent purpose produced the strongest driver for students to persist through challenging academic tasks.” (Lang, 2016, p.175 Small Teaching)

  • Use the syllabus the first day of class to establish the course climate and expectations
  • Infuse learning with a sense of purpose, activating curiosity – connect to the course purpose: on your syllabus, individual assignments, writing on the board, opening and closing minutes of class
  • Connect with students: get to class early, use electronic communications to create community (open the zoom a few minutes early, announcements, discussions, social media)
  • Tell great stories, they have a special power to capture and maintain interest (key discoveries in your field, major thinkers, your field experiences, current events, your reading/research)
  • Share your enthusiasm and passion, demonstrate how you care about what you’re teaching
  • Show compassion, especially in these challenging times, offer responses to student challenges that keep learning happening in your course (we don’t know challenges they face)

Additional Resources:

August Faculty Workshops

LIT and WIT Online look forward to cross-disciplinary conversations and sharing in the workshops to end the Summer 2020 term and begin preparations for fall:

Contact Learning Innovation & Technology at lit@wit.edu for support getting your courses ready:

  • Accessible syllabus template and new accessibility features in your Bb course
  • Course copy, merge, and readiness checklist
  • Academic Technology Toolkit and time-saving strategies
  • Course pain points or areas you get a lot of student questions we may be able to help minimize

What Does Asynchronous Really Mean? How Can It Help Me During COVID-19?

The concept of class time is very different in asynchronous instruction. You’re probably used to thinking of teaching in 50 to 90-minute chunks, planning each session in detail on what you want your students to learn for the day. But, with asynchronous teaching, start thinking of your class as something that happens over the course of a week. Begin by thinking of activities your students can perform that align with your course goals and learning outcomes.

Want to help your students be more successful during this COVID-19? In this article of the Chronicle of Higher Education by Flower Darby, she discusses 5 low-tech examples of how to use asynchronous techniques to improve your online teaching. There is a large amount of creditable and reliable information out there – YouTube, TED Talks, articles, professional journals – that you can incorporate into your course without any heavy lifting.

If your finding yourself in endless one-on-one zoom sessions and emails answering individual questions, you’re to be congratulated, but it’s not sustainable – or healthy. Instead, aim for lots of posts using your LMS and communicating one-to-many. Each week provide your summary of the course materials and make them available on a specific day of the week, so your students know when its coming.

Lastly, hold your students accountable. We know all our students don’t do the required readings as we’d like them too, but, when you incorporate short pop quizzes worth points, students become more engaged.

Check out the 5 Tips. Contact lit@wit.edu for a course consult.

D2L Brightspace Resources

By now you’ve heard that Wentworth selected D2L’s Brightspace as our new LMS. Learning Innovation and Technology (LIT) will be offering open sessions and training on the new system over the summer and fall. Because many faculty prefer to access materials and learn on their own we will also be offering self-paced training. In addition to those training options, I’ve assembled a preliminary list of resources that you may find helpful as we move toward migrating to Brightspace.

An Instructor’s View of Brightspace for Higher Education

Getting Started with Brightspace Instructor Video Playlist

Teaching Tips for Instructors Video Playlist

Between Two Moose Video Podcast Series

Specific episodes of interest:

Visit often as I add new resources to help the transition from Blackboard to Brightspace.