In this issue




Upcoming Events


Teaching in the U.S. Classroom: A workshop for international TAs
Thursday, January 9


GradSTEP 2014
Saturday, January 25





Check out these recent posts to our blog.

The Mindful PhD: Labyrinths & Learning

The Mindful PhD: Reading Like Bruce Lee

The Mindful PhD: How It Works, IV

Speaking into Humanity: French Students as Producers

Students as Producers: Bringing the Digital into (and out of) the Humanities Classroom #THATCampVU

Save the Date: A Celebration of Learning on April 21, 2014

SoTL Spotlight: Reflections from a SoTL Project

SoTL Spotlight: A Great Conference in Banff

“Inviting Genius”: Students as Producers in African American Studies





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December 2013

Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight: Courtney Young

Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Courtney Young, Assistant Professor of Nursing, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests:

Dr. Young's interest lies in flipping the classroom where clinical conference meetings between students and clinical faculty efficiently promote critical thinking regarding diagnoses, treatment, and management of chronic and acute conditions.

Courtney Young teaches at the Master and Doctoral levels and is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) with experience in internal medicine/family practice as well as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) care. She also has a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with an emphasis in Maternal Child Health and serves as the course coordinator of the clinical practicum course which contains the first clinical rotation for Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students. She is also a lecturer in courses concerning health assessment and management of diseases of the adult. She utilizes case studies, group tasks, and team based learning in a distance learning format as to promote teamwork, accountability, cultural competency, and provider awareness among soon to be family nurse practitioners.

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Save the Date: GradSTEP January 25, 2014

Held in January each year, GradSTEP provides several workshops and discussions on teaching, learning, and professional development issues across the disciplines. All Vanderbilt graduate and professional students, as well as post-doctoral fellows, are invited to attend.

GradSTEP 2014 will focus on Students as Producers: Developing dynamic learning in a virtual and real-world setting and will be held Saturday, January 25th, in Light Hall. The event will begin with a plenary session in which a panel of faculty and students examine two examples of Vanderbilt faculty enabling students to produce works for authentic audiences, and will feature Dr. Cynthia Cyrus (Musicology) and Dr. Joe Bandy (Sociology).

Participants then select three workshops insequential sessions. Workshops include the following:

- Using Wikis
- Service Learning
- Interactive Lecturing
- Team-based Learning
- Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
- Research and Design Projects in Classes
- Professional Development for Humanities and Social Sciences
- Professional Development for STEM
- Active Learning in Intro Classes
- Technology in the Classroom
- Managing Difficult Discussions
- Interdisciplinarity in the Classroom

Lunch is provided for registered participants!  Registration for GradSTEP is available now.

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Upcoming CFT Workshop for International TAs



Teaching in the U.S. Classroom: A Workshop for International TAs is designed to help international TAs effectively navigate the US classroom and gain a better understanding of Vanderbilt undergraduates. We will explore common sources of misconception about US undergraduates and see how international TAs and faculty have adapted to successfully teach in the US and enjoy this experience.

The workshop will also include strategies and tips to deal with some of the problems TAs face while grading, holding office hours, and conducting review sessions.
Teaching in the U.S. Classroom: A Workshop for International TAs
Date: Thursday, January 9th
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Location: Center for Teaching
Facilitator: Nayana Bose


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CIRTL Network Development Opportunities

Description: Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. CIRTL uses graduate education as the leverage point to develop a national STEM faculty committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of successful professional careers. CIRTL has opened registration for the Spring 2014 course opportunities. These interactive, synchronous, online learning experiences allow you to connect with other graduate students and post-docs from the CIRTL Network universities across the nation. Sessions include the following:

• The New Knowledge Base for the STEM Classroom: Strategies for Technology Optimization
• Preparing Future STEM Faculty to Meet the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
• Research Mentor Training
• Teaching Science & Engineering through Debating Civic Issues
• Understanding and Implementing STEM Education Research
• CIRTL Service-Learning Mini-Course: Implementing service-learning in STEM disciplines
• Teacher Training Learning Modules Mini Course

Register on the CIRTL Spring 2014 Course page. 
Space is limited and courses fill up quickly!

In addition to next semester's line up of classes, CIRTL is offering a virtual Coffee Hour on December 19th from 4-5pm targeted at post-docs on the topic of interviewing and negotiation. You can watch the event live in the Free Electron Laser (FEL) Center Conference room or participate virtually at the CIRTL Coffee Hour page.

See the entire list of CIRTL Coffee Hour events.


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Interpreting and Making Sense of Course Evaluations

As the semester draws to a close, our students are given the opportunity to provide us with potentially valuable feedback on our teaching and its effects on their learning.  You may find it challenging, however, to interpret what your end-of-semester course evaluations mean and decide how to act on them. 

The CFT can help.  A CFT consultant will be glad to meet with you in a one-on-one, confidential consultation to assist you with interpretation and response.  Questions considered include:

    • How do the evaluations indicate what we did well, and what we can change to improve student learning? 
    • What best practices may help us revise and refine our courses? 
    • What is the best way to reflect on our evaluations as we ready ourselves for professional review? 

To make an appointment, use our contact form or call 322-7290.  And for more information see our online Guide on Student Evaluations.

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From the Stacks...


Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
by Cathy Bishop-Clark and Beth Dietz-Uhler

This is a book for anyone who has ever considered engaging in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and needs a better understanding of what it is, and how to engage in it.

The authors describe how to create a SoTL project, its implications for promotion and tenure, and how it fosters increased satisfaction and fulfillment in teaching, improved student learning, collaboration with colleagues across disciplines, and contributing to a growing and important body of literature. This guide provides prospective SoTL scholars with the necessary background information, foundational theory, tools, resources, and methodology to develop their own SoTL projects, taking the reader through the stages of the process. Each stage is illustrated by examples of actual SoTL studies, and is accompanied by worksheets to help the reader refine ideas and map out his or her next steps.

Available in the Center for Teaching library.

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