CARPE News #25–Opportunities, Opportunities, Opportunities!

Hello, everyone!

As the subject line says, this edition of the CARPE Newsletter is all about upcoming events and opportunities!


  1. Panel Discussion: Student Voices, Finding the Bright Spots
  2. Registration for Winter Academy is now open
  3. An Invitation to Join a Faculty-Staff Learning Community: Exploring Anti-Racist Initiatives in Higher Education
  4. Post-Election Resources–Tips for teaching at this particularly fraught moment in time.

1) Panel Discussion: Student Voices, Finding the Bright Spots–Wednesday, 4 November, 12:30-1:30 (Virtual)
The idea for this session is very simple. A panel of students will discuss approaches to virtual/blended instruction that have been working for them, then we’ll open the conversation up to hard questions and honest answers. This is an opportunity to take our thinking beyond the stress and pressure of the summer and get a clear sense of how our efforts in the classroom are landing: in the chaos of this crazy fall, what’s actually working?

Interested? Register Here! 

This event is co-sponsored by Academic Technologies and CARPE.

2) Registration for Winter Academy is now open!
Go to and spend a few minutes fantasizing about fun ways to spend exam week. At the risk of seeming biased (it is, after all, our newsletter!), we’d like to highlight a few particular events:

Small Contemplative Teaching for Focus, De-Stressing, and Building Community (Tuesday, 17 November, 10:30-12:00. Virtual)
We’re teaching college in some of the most demanding conditions most of us have ever seen. How can we reclaim scattered attention, or help ourselves and our students manage our stress, or nurture classroom relationships when there’s no classroom? This workshop offers an introduction to the field of contemplative pedagogy, an approach that combines contemplative and mindful practices with academic inquiry across all fields that offers ways to turn our problems into occasions for new possibilities. In the spirit of James Lang’s and Flower Darby’s Small Teaching books, this workshop will focus on simple, easily incorporated practices that you can start using right away, whether in chemistry or creative writing.

Dr. Chris Phillips is Professor of English at Lafayette College, where he specializes in early American literature, book history, and spiritual writing. He is the author of The Hymnal: A Reading History (Johns Hopkins, 2018) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Renaissance (Cambridge, 2018)

Imagining CBL Possibilities for Your Class (Tuesday, 17 November, 2:15-3:45. Virtual)
Want to try community-based learning (CBL) in your classes but don’t know how to begin? Join CARPE and CBL’s staff as they lead you through brainstorming exercises to imagine ways to enrich your course with CBL opportunities. Participants will leave this workshop with an overview of the basic elements of this pedagogy and knowledge of community partners, types of collaboration, resources for course development, and project examples. Meet faculty like you who are interested in exploring CBL and are interested and willing to think through a variety of options.

This event is co-sponsored by Community Based Learning and CARPE.

The Work Continues: Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom (Wednesday, 18 November, 2:15-3:45. Virtual)
Session 2 in the series on Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom will focus on exploring our positionality and locating ourselves in oppressive structures with the analysis of current syllabi and classroom practices. Dr. Chanelle Wilson will guide us through her evolving process for decolonization and implementing anti-racist practice. And, together, we will use principles of decolonization, Critical Race Theory, and Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture to analyze our contexts and professional documents as we continue deconstructing to rebuild. The work continues.

NOTE: Though this is the second session in a series, newcomers should not hesitate joining in!

Dr. Chanelle Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Africana Studies, at Bryn Mawr College. With over ten years of experience, and a lifelong commitment to revolutionizing education for justice, Dr. Wilson supports self-introspection for outer transformation and guides with the steady underlying premise of love, joy, and hope.

Co-sponsored by CARPE, The Office of Inclusion and Engagement, Academic Technologies, and Africana Studies

Ungrading in a Pandemic…and the Rest of the Time, Too (Thursday, 19 November, 2:15-3:45. Virtual)
In this workshop we discuss some of the research on motivation and learning and the reasons many educators have moved to ungrading—the WHY. Then we move to talk about the practical dimensions of moving toward ungrading, whether completely or partially—the HOW. Participants will workshop some revisions of their own assignments and course structures.

Susan D Blum is a professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, currently fixated on education and pedagogical praxis. She is the author of “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College (Cornell, 2016) and the editor of the forthcoming volume Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (West Virginia University Press, 2002).

3) An Invitation to Join a Faculty-Staff Learning Community: Exploring Anti-Racist Initiatives in Higher Education
All faculty and staff are invited to participate in this year-long initiative. Our goal? To support ongoing campus-wide anti-racist initiatives at Washington and Lee by researching and creating a comprehensive and accessible data-base that looks at the best anti-racist practices at all levels and in all facets of higher education.

Working in cohorts, we will seek out resources that address essential anti-racist practices in curricula, course design, pedagogy, academic culture, social culture, institutional culture, individual mindset and positionality, technology, and any other topic that participants bring to the table. What are the best practices? Where are the innovations that raise the conversation to the next level? How do we make change sustainable and impactful? How do we curate these resources and make them accessible to all members of our community? How do we engage each other in powerful, positive conversations? What are the next steps, and the steps after that, and after that?

Participation will involve initial Learning Community-wide meetings, occasional cohort coordination, and on-going, at-your-own-pace, individual initiative. Faculty and staff from across campus, regardless of area of specialization, are encouraged to give this essential and rewarding opportunity serious consideration.

Interested? Please contact Paul Hanstedt at by no later than 2 November.

This learning community is co-sponsored by CARPE, the Office of Inclusion and Engagement, Africana Studies, and Academic Technologies.

4) Post-Election Resources–Tips for teaching at this particularly fraught moment in time.
This last resource comes by way of Dr. Ellen Mayock in Romance Languages. There’s a lot here; you don’t, of course, need to get to all of it by next Wednesday, but it’s worth browsing. And if you can get through that final video without tearing up, you’re stronger than me!

Take care, everyone. Here’s hoping we’re soon to leave these choppy waters behind.

CARPE News #24

Hello, all:

I hope this finds you well, that you’re finding ways to enjoy your work with students, and that you’re also finding some way to enjoy the nice autumn weather.

My apologies ahead of time for the length of this e-mail. My hope is to shift to a once-a-month format, which of course means more accumulated resources collected in each e-mail. To help you sift through the materials, I’m including a table of contents. As always, if you have items or ideas you think might be useful for your colleagues in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Thanks, as always, for your endless efforts to ensure a powerful educational experience for our students.

Be well.




1) A reminder about the new CARPE website

2) Upcoming virtual events, the “on campus” version

3) Upcoming virtual events, the off-campus version

Classroom Practices

4) Three resources on strengthening community and equity in virtual settings

5) Useful digital whiteboards for realtime collaboration

6) Alternatives to traditional exams

7) Jigsaw listening–one way to make the virtual classroom more engaging

Remembering the big picture

8) “Why We Build.” An essay by mathematician Robert Talbert on how we do what we do in the current chaos–and on what makes it all meaningful.


1) A reminder about the new CARPE website
The new CARPE website is still under construction, but nonetheless contains dozens of resources for faculty and staff, including whole sections dedicated to inclusive and anti-racist pedagogies, and to instruction in a virtual setting.
There’s also a section  that contains many of the resources students might need as they dive more deeply into the semester. Feel free to pass this information along to your classes.
2) Upcoming virtual events, “on campus”
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the Activism and Black Life series. The coming weeks bring labs on Kendrick Lamar and the film “Night Catches Us,” as well as a conversation on Race and Policing with Simon Balto and Brandon Hasbrouck.
In addition, CARPE, Academic Technologies, Africana Studies and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement are co-sponsoring a series of workshops on decolonizing our syllabi and engaging anti-racist approaches more broadly in our courses. The first event will be on Tuesday, 13 October, from 12:30-1:30. and will be led by Dr. Chanelle Wilson, of Bryn Mawr. For more information, go to
3) Upcoming virtual events, “off campus”
LACOL, the Liberal Arts Collaborative, is sponsoring a series of multi-campus, student-led brownbag discussions on trauma-informed anti-racist teaching in hybrid and virtual environments. The sessions occur on most Fridays from noon until 1:00. Feel free to check these out!

Classroom Practices

4) Three resources on strengthening community and equity in virtual settings
First, a webinar by Alexandra SedlovskayaAlexandra Sedlovskaya, assistant director of the Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard Business School.
Second, from OneHE, resources that are thoughtful, practical, and easily implemented to create better community and learning in any classroom.
Third, from Top Hat, five tips for creating a stronger learning community. Warning: some of these may challenge your sense of what it means to be a professor engagine with students!
5) Useful digital whiteboards for realtime collaboration
Every once in a while, I’ll start hearing about a pedagogical tool in conversations with multiple colleagues from different disciplines. AWW App is one of those tools. In the course of a week, several people talked about how it allowed their students to collaborate in virtual settings, share that work with others, and save and archive their thinking over time. There are, of coure, other tools that do this, but this whiteboard app seems to allow flexibility that some of the other tools might not. If you’re looking for better ways to have students collaborate in breakout rooms, give this a look.
6) Alternatives to traditional exams
Given that chaos of the times and the anxiety and stress that are students are feeling, is there a less-high-stakes way than exams to get a clear sense of how much they are or aren’t learning in our classes? The teaching and learning experts at the Chronicle asked faculty from around the country for their most successful alternatives. Go here for a look at some interesting ideas.
7) Jigsaw listening–one way to make the virtual classroom more engaging
Still feel like you’re not getting the engagement and energy that you’d like out of students in your virutal classes? Well, here’s one idea. It may seem complicated at first, but there’s actually a logic to it, so be patient, read the whole article, and give it a try!

Remembering the big picture

8) “Why We build.” An essay by mathematician Robert Talbert on how we do what we do in the current chaos–and on what makes it all meaningful.
Robert Talbert is smart, innovative, and brutally honest about what it takes to teach in powerful and lasting ways. If you want to take a deep breath and think about the big picture give this piece a read. It’s a good reminder admist all the uncertainty and pivoting of why we do what we do.

CARPE News #23–Valuable information for you and your students

Hello, all:

I hope this finds you well, and that, despite everything, the prospect of returning to the classroom (virtual, or otherwise) is giving you energy and hope. It’s been a long summer, with lots of workshops and lots of reading and lots of worry. Fair enough. But now it begins: those amazing conversations with students about ideas, about their futures, about the life of the mind, about problems and solutions and the role that they can play in making a better world. Now, in other words? Now comes the fun part. Whatever else you’re feeling, whatever else you’re thinking about, remember that: now is when lives change–students’ lives, but also ours. Enjoy that.

Take care, and let me know if I can help in any way.

Paul Hanstedt


  1. Student resource information for your syllabus.
  2. A reminder about faculty resources on the CARPE website
  3. What does Anti-Racism look like in Mathematics?
  4. Should we require our students to keep their video on?
  5. How to be a trauma-informed Department Chair
  6. A letter to my students
  7. Giving credit where credit is due
  8. Final tips 

1) Student resource information for your syllabus.

Student Resources: 

We’ve attempted to consolidate student academic resources, including peer tutoring, the writing center, subject tutoring, academic coaching, and much much more, on the CARPE website. Though this page (like the site as a whole) is still under construction, please feel free to include the following link for student resources in your syllabus:

Writing Center: 

Bill Oliver asked me to pass along the following information about the Writing Center:

We are going all virtual for Fall 2020. Our tutors will be available to help with writing projects and presentations via Zoom beginning Sunday, September 6th. Our expanded hours are 2-4 PM and 8-10 PM, Sunday through Thursday.  We hope that you will encourage your students to take advantage of our services. In the attached video, our Head Tutor, Seren McClain, briefly describes the kind of help we offer and the process by which students can sign up for a conference. You may wish to share the video with your students or you can refer them to our website,

2) A reminder about faculty resources on the CARPE website: 

Just a reminder that there are resources available on the revamped CARPE website that may be of use as you put the finishing touches on your syllabi. More particularly, be sure to give the Virtual Instruction and the Anti-Racist Pedagogies pages a glance.

The construction of this website continues daily, thanks to the tireless efforts of Helen MacDermott. Be sure to give it a look!

3) What does Anti-Racism Look Like in Mathematics?

Passed along to me by Aaron Abrams in mathematics, this piece is well worth a read for anyone in any field.

4) Should we require our students to keep their video on? 

I’m including this blog post, knowing that it may get under the skin of some of us. In part, this is because the tone of the piece is a little clunky, particularly with the use of “you,” which can feel a little accusatory. Beyond that, I know there are strong and divided opinions about this question across campus. In the end, agree or disagree, this piece is worth a read and some thought. Indeed, the author’s blog as a whole has many thoughtful pieces that deserve our attention.

5) How to be a trauma-informed Department Chair

The title pretty much says it all. Except, honestly? I think this essay is relevant for everyone on campus, not just department chairs and other folks in positions of leadership. What I like about this piece is it helps us find ways to negotiate daily interactions under very stressful conditions.

6) A letter to my students.

Full disclosure: I went to grad school with Steve Snyder, the guy who wrote this. I was always impressed with Steve: he was smart, but always worked hard to make sure he wasn’t the only voice in the room. I found that–the second part, not the first–to be a rare quality in grad school. I know several other faculty on campus who are including something like this in their syllabus or elsewhere in the course (Mikki Brock, for instance, as well as Melissa Kerin). A message like this to our students isn’t a requirement, of course, but it certainly is something worth considering. These are strange times. Addressing that directly might be wise.

7) Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

A nice piece from The Columns describing the incredible efforts of the University Facilities staff to get the campus ready for the return of students. Too often, it’s too easy for those of us in the classroom to forget how much effort goes into making our facilities some of the best in the country. This piece is a valuable reminder.

8) Final Tips

So what, finally, are the most important things to keep in mind as we teach our courses this fall, be they face-to-face, virtual, or blended? The answer, to some degree, depends upon who we are individually as instructors, what our goals are in the classroom, our course topics, and so on. That said, looking back over the summer, at all the workshops, all the essays and articles, all the websites and links and videos, here are four ideas that, for me at least, stand out:

  • Be deliberate about creating a sense of community. Allow students to show up early to your zoom room, so that they can chat. Show up early yourself. Engage in small talk. Find out how students are doing. Use breakout rooms and small groups. Add a personal component to the small group assignments. Require students to come to office hours every once in a while, just that you can see how they’re doing, both academically and personally. Know students’ names. Use those names.
  • Be deliberate about laying out the terms of engagement. Be clear from the start about what functions of Zoom you’ll ask students to use: the raise hand feature, chat, and so on. Should mics be on all the time? Not every student will be comfortable having their video on, but encourage them to do so when they can. And ask that, regardless, all students demonstrate a degree of engagement by using the chat, the clap hands response, or by asking questions or offering feedback–or just by e-mailing you occasionally with questions and ideas. All students can/should be expected to engage, but as is always the case, students will engage in different ways.
  • Whenever possible, hand over some degree of agency to your students. We’re going through a disruptive moment in our history. One way to counter the traumatic impact of everything going on is to allow students some agency in the design and implementation of the course. Perhaps, as we’re trotting out the course goals, we could ask what their goals are for the course? Perhaps even write some goals collaboratively? Perhaps, as we discuss terms of engagement, we ask them for suggestions about how to negotiate these strange new spaces? Perhaps we can ask their thoughts on assignment design, or, as mathematician Patrick Bahls does, work with them to co-write exam questions. Allowing greater student agency means a greater student understanding of the reasoning behind our courses, which, in turn, can lead to more effective and lasting learning.
  • Begin with a beautiful problem. My guess is that most if not all of us love our fields because of the problems we find there, the questions and paradoxes and contradictions that don’t quite make sense, that go against current thinking or our own assumptions. Okay. If that’s what causes us to engage with our fields, and we want our students to also engage, then we begin with that: here’s a problem. Here’s a challenge. Here’s a riddle. What do you think? Why? How do you know? How do we find out? Yes, eventually we need to cover the syllabus, but why not set the tone for your course by beginning with intense intellectual engagement?

CARPE News #22–A Website and office hours

Dear Colleagues,
I hope this finds you well and that you’re getting a clear sense of how you’re going to approach this term.
This e-mail will be short, but includes some crucial information:
First, at long last we’ve been able to reshape the CARPE website to enhance its practical value. To be clear, the website is still under construction, but given the challenges we’re all facing in the coming months, I wanted to make the following links available to all of you:
In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to fine tune and add to this website. In the meantime, please be patient with us. Finally, I’d like to offer a public thanks to Helen MacDermott for helping me get this site up and running. I’m incredibly grateful for all of her hard work and her great ideas.
Second, beginning next week, I’ll be resuming CARPE virtual office hours. Please feel free to stop in with questions–or just to say hi–on Tuesdays and Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon. I will send out reminders every day as hours begin, but I’m also including the Zoom information below.
Thanks, all! Be well.
Topic: CARPE Office Hours
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 984 1652 2722
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,98416522722# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,98416522722# US (Chicago)
Dial by your location
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 984 1652 2722
Find your local number:

CARPE News #21

Dear Colleagues:

My apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter out to you. I’m tempted to make excuses that this is not the summer that I anticipated having, but then, of course, this is not the summer that any of us anticipated. Regardless, I hope this finds you well, and that you’re finding some way to get a change of pace and/or scenery, while continuing to stay safe.

I really can’t emphasize this last point enough: we are a dedicated group of people. We care deeply about our jobs, and recognize that our work has a big impact on our students. Consequently, our sense of obligation is strong–and also, at times, a little dangerous to our health.

So honestly: take a break. Seriously, if it would help, ignore this e-mail (except, please, for the first item!). Or skim quickly. Just because there are a thousand resources out there–including hundreds of possible approaches to teaching this fall–that doesn’t mean that we each have to attend to every single one. Finally, we can turn off the spigot (or at least reduce the pressure). Settle on an approach, develop your syllabi, then let them sit for a week or two. Read some trashy novels, do some of your own research. Eventually, yes, pick up the syllabi again and tinker, just enough to make sure all of your students have some options regardless of their particular situations. E-mail me if you want. But then? Watch Community, if you haven’t already, or Brooklyn 99, or that documentary on bee-keeping or goat-herding that you’ve had your eye on for a while. Build a yurt. Mess around with a new language. Learn to play the harmonica. Plan that trip to Italy for when all of this is over. Make homemade ice cream. Pressing “pause” is crucial to ensuring we can do our jobs well.

Of course, for those of you who still have the energy, I’ve assembled a number of resources below. As always, please let me know if you have others to share.

Take care, all.
Paul Hanstedt


  1. An invitation to engage in conversations about anti-racist pedagogies
  2. Tips for the New Normal
  3. A variety of approaches for teaching blended (or not-so-blended) models this fall.
  4. A link to recordings of all of the W&L Summer Academy workshops
  5. A video-taped workshop by scholar Flower Darby exploring best practices in virtual instruction
  6. Resources on inclusivity in a virtual environment
  7. Resources, courtesy of Skidmore College, for those still exploring options for teaching the sciences in a virtual setting
  8. A NYT piece exploring the tutorial approach as a antidote to the chaos of the present moment
  9. A Personal World Clock, for those of us who may find ourselves working with students in multiple time zones
  10. Art under the lockdown

  1. An invitation to engage in conversations about anti-racist pedagogies 

    A number of faculty members, as well as the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC), have reached out this summer asking about anti-racism pedagogical resources and roles that CARPE might play in efforts to improve the ways we envision our classes, navigate sensitive moments during class discussion, and – as advisors and mentors – support students from diverse walks of life. Among possibilities that colleagues have mentioned are:

    1. workshops mediated by a guest speaker or member(s) of the faculty on
      • effectively recognizing and addressing prejudiced comments made in class contexts.
      • becoming more aware of, and growing beyond, our own implicit biases.
      • reviewing our syllabi and/or departmental curricula for better representation from BIPOC authors, scholars, and perspectives. Students need to see themselves in our courses, including topics that might not seem, on the surface, to address issues of colonialism, ethnocentrism, or racial justice.
    2. resources for self-education. Should there be a hub for articles, blog posts, news items, books, documentaries, webinars, or other sources that might help faculty improve their anti-racist pedagogy? If so, what format might work best (Box, Teams, etc.)?
    3. what we’ve done and tried to do. How might faculty share efforts they’ve made in recent weeks, months, or years to make W&L a more equitable, just, and welcoming space for all staff, students, and faculty? For example, have you taken students who are underrepresented in your discipline to professional conferences, or undertaken independent studies or summer research? How or where might we compare notes about possibilities? How can we evaluate the impact or success of these practices or attempts?
    4. external speakers, reading groups, extended learning communities. Also additional training opportunities from Dean Futrell and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement and/or other experts (at or beyond W&L).

These possibilities are preliminary, potential directions for collaborative support as we move toward the fall and into the school year. I hope you’ll reach out to CARPE ( or me ( about these or other ideas and/or resources so that we might carry through in meaningful ways to improve anti-racist pedagogy for the benefit of everyone in the W&L community.

  1. Tips for the New Normal 

    This is a short, common-sense piece that basically reminds all of us to keep it sane. It also includes several very useful links as we begin to pull our courses together.

  2. A variety of approaches for teaching blended (or not-so-blended) models this fall 

    If you’re still not settled on an approach (or approaches) for your fall courses, here’s a video, courtesy of Holly Pickett, on a very reasonable, very manageable model developed by Mike Caulfield of Washington State University. In addition, check out these different models outlined by Gary Hawkins of Warren Wilson College. He also includes a weekly sketch of what each model would look like in practice. The sketches alone are worthy of perusal.While this last source, forwarded to me by Deborah Miranda, comes from a historical society in the UK, some of the topics–building community, running seminars–are applicable to any field. Each section is quite short, and full of easily implementable ideas.

  3. A link to recordings of all of the W&L Summer Academy workshops 

    Here’s a link to recordings of all of the Summer Academy workshops. If you’re still looking for some inspirations or some tech tweaks, these are worth browsing. I particularly recommend the “What Worked, What Didn’t . . . ” session–in which Brian Alexander, Nadia Ayoub, and Sarah Horowitz share ideas that worked for them–as well as Mays Imad’s session “Beyond Imagination,” exploring practical tips for helping to alleviate the trauma that all of us are experiencing this year.

  4. A video-taped workshop by scholar Flower Darby exploring best practices in virtual instruction 

    Flower Darby, author of SMALL TEACHING ONLINE, recently gave an online workshop entitled “Small Teaching Online: Practical Strategies to Enhance Learning in Online Environments”. In this session, she covers eight tips–most of them fairly easily implemented–for deepening student learning. If you can spare the hour or so, it’s worth a look.

  5. Resources on inclusivity in a virtual environment 

    One silver lining to all of us having to suddenly learn virtual pedagogies is it gives us an opportunity to be more deliberate about inclusion in our classrooms. One open-access resource you might find useful is Catherine Shea Sanger’s INCLUSIVE PEDAGOGY AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN. The nice thing about this excellent resource is that much of what’s discussed can also be applied in the face-to-face classroom.The Association of College and University Educators has also made available an Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit, covering 10 powerful practices ranging from ensuring our courses reflect the diversity of the broader world to ensuring our syllabi set the tone for diversity and inclusion to setting expectations for valuing diverse viewpoints. Each of these modules is brief, but filled with useful ideas.

  6. Resources, courtesy of Skidmore College, for those still exploring options for teaching the sciences in a virtual setting 

    The title here pretty much says it all. Below are a number of online resources for folks in STEM fields. They were assembled by Kim Frederick, of Skidmore College. Some are free, some are not, but they’re all worth a glance.

  1. An NYT piece exploring the tutorial approach as a antidote to the chaos of the present moment 

    Back in June when we had our first Summer Academy Session, Brian Alexander described how he used a tutorial method to bring a little more connection and learning to his courses. This short piece, written by a neuroscientist, explores this idea a little more, and talks about why it might be beneficial for our students.

  2. A Personal World Clock, for those of us who may find ourselves working with students in multiple time zonesAnticipate the possibility of having students working in multiple time zones? This personal world clock, forwarded to me by Scott Dittman, might be just the thing you need!
  3. Art under the lockdown 

    Just because we all need something beautiful in our lives, I’m concluding with this link to David Byrne’s Reasons to Be Cheerful, and particularly the collection “Making Art is Keeping Us Sane.” I certainly hope so. Scroll down until you reach the gallery, and then hit play.

Be well.

CARPE News #20

Hello, colleagues:

This week’s e-mail will be mercifully short, but filled with some key information.

I know the uncertainty of the fall is frustrating. Will we be in the classroom or virtual? Will our students be virtual, face-to-face, or a blend of the two? How do we manage all of this without (further) exhausting ourselves?

It would make me very happy if I could offer all of you the perfect solution for your individual courses, but of course there isn’t one. That said, I do want to point you to some resources:

First of all, Helen MacDermott passed along the following tips for teaching courses with students BOTH in the room AND online. It’s a short but smart list, including my new favorite technique: “Tepid Calling.” You’ll have to read the article to find out what that’s all about.

Another useful piece on the concurrent or hyflex classroom comes from Derek Bruff, of Vanderbilt. Bruff breaks down a variety of options for engaging students in virtual and face-to-face configurations. Because he foresees issues with having in-class students engage online, he focuses on other methods, including polls, online written group-work, and back-channel conversations.

Second, for those of you who are more inclined to dive into the source material and develop your own methods, please give this essay by Sarah Rose Cavanagh a read. It provides a “syllabus” of summer reading for anyone exploring blended instruction. (Worth noting: the first book Cavanagh mentions–Flower Darby’s SMALL TEACHING ONLINE–is available in e-book form from our library!)

Finally, a few online conferences/workshop series are coming up in the next few weeks:

  • The Associated Colleges of the South has organized a series of online workshops aimed at advancing the particular pedagogies of liberal arts colleges in an age of uncertainty. Individual workshops cover a range of topics and disciplines, including teaching virtual or blended courses in language, mathematics, and STEM. These workshops start this week and extend through July.
  • Wiley (the publisher, not the coyote) is hosting a free online conference starting on 7 July. The speaker for the opening plenary isn’t half as funny as he thinks he is, but other than that, the conference provides an opportunity to hear from a variety of speakers in a variety of fields, about the challenges of teaching in virtual or blended environments.

Well, th-th-that’s all folks!

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

Be well, friends.