Welcome to our November edition of “What’s happening at UCAT this month?” This post will highlight some upcoming events in November, discuss our monthly social media theme, detail some UCAT updates, and give you the specifics about our November book giveaway!


Spotlight On UCAT’s Course Design Institutes (CDI)

UCAT hosts two types of Course Design Institutes: one for face-to-face instruction and one for online courses. These CDIs run for 5-6 sessions at a time over a number of days or weeks, depending on the timing in the year. Participants always give excellent feedback about the helpfulness of the process in designing their own courses. Please apply soon or our Winter Break CDI as spaces are limited. For more information or FAQs about the CDI process and experience, please visit our website.


Monthly Social Media Theme

CDIs promote the principles of active learning and inclusivity. Given the upcoming CDIs, as well as our InterACT performance-based workshop on November 15 that dramatizes the impact of learning affordability on students, our social media theme will focus on Inclusion through Active Learning. In honor of this theme, we will be highlighting research, statistics and resources for thinking about how to use active learning in order to build more inclusive classrooms. Each Thursday, we will be posting a UCAT Conversation Starter on our Facebook and Twitter pages with specific details and quotes about active learning and inclusivity, and we invite you to join in these conversations to share strategies for promoting active learning and building inclusive learning environments. We also discussed Active Learning during our October STAR breakfast. Read one participant’s takeaways on our blog.


Staff Updates

Congratulations to UCAT’s Post-Doctoral Researcher Dr. Jennifer Collins for being awarded the POD Network 2107 Graduate Student, Professional Student and Postdoctoral Scholar Developer (GPSD) Career Development Travel grant! To learn more about Jennifer’s research please read our recent blog profile of her work.


Conferences and Publications

During October, six of UCAT’s staff attended the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) Network conference from October 25-29 in Montréal, Quebec. Assistant Director Stephanie Rohdieck facilitated a pre-conference workshop on “Responding to Challenges and Opportunities: Years 2 through 8,” and she also presented with UCAT Assistant Director Dr. Teresa Johnson in a session entitled, “Consultation Skills for Engaging Units in Organizational Change.” Instructional Consultant Dr. Jessica Riviere facilitated an interactive session called “Graduate Student Development Showcase: Discovering and Sharing What Works.” Additionally, Instructional Consultant Sarah Holt co-facilitated the Welcome Session for New Members at the conference.

If you are interested in reading more about POD, we will share some of the staff reflections from the conference in an upcoming post this month.


Upcoming Events

UCAT has a variety of events and exciting activities to fill our November. We hope you will join us for some of these sessions!

Please pre-register for any events you’d like to attend on our events page.


Book Giveaway

We are delighted to announce a book giveaway contest for the month of November! This month, we will be giving away a copy of James Lang’s Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning.

Lang, James M. (2016). Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

James Lang, English professor and director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College, explains how small but powerful modifications in course design and teaching can yield positive results in Higher Education settings. He groups these modifications into three broader categories: 5-10 minute classroom activities; one-time course interventions; and small modifications in course design or communication.

Each chapter presents means to implement these small teaching practices in your classroom. The chapters are broken down into accessible pieces, structured with an Introduction, Theory, Models, Principles, Quick Small Teaching, and Conclusion. The models and quick small teaching sections in each chapter provide quick references and activity descriptions. The “principles” section also provides short summaries of the main theoretical discussion of each chapter.

Part One of the book focuses primarily on small teaching activities you can introduce in the classroom, including opening quizzes and questions, closing reflections/predictions, and how to interweave class material.

Part Two considers how to build on prior knowledge, how to design assessment and provide helpful feedback, and also how to encourage students to self-explain, or relate information on their own.

Part Three provides small teaching methods for motivating students and for communicating using growth mindset language, rather than fixed mindset language. Finally, in Chapter 9, “Expanding,” Lang provides web and text resources for further reading on teaching and learning practices.

This book blends manual-style explanations of activity with theory and research to support these practices.

Enter Now

We hope you will join us for some of these events, and we look forward to reviewing your entries for the book giveaway contest. All of us at UCAT wish you a happy and productive November!

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