In this issue


Keeping up with Coursera

Teaching and Learning in Open, Online Courses

Coursera as Innovation Accelerator?

Teaching with MOOCs: Four Cases

Getting to Know Coursera: Video Lectures

Getting to Know Coursera: Video Discussions

Getting to Know Coursera: Assessments

Getting to Know Coursera: Peer Assessments


Check out these recent posts to our blog.

The Flipped Classroom

Ask Professor Pedagogy: Finding Teaching Opportunities

Thinking About Metacognition

Ask Professor Pedagogy: Crickets, Crickets

CFT Hosts International Scholar Catherine Easton to Study Educational Technology





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February, 2013

Upcoming Teaching Visit Opportunities

Description: many years The Center for Teaching has hosted Teaching Visits, among the most productive and helpful events we offer.  They are wonderful opportunities for Vanderbilt teachers to observe directly and then discuss various forms of teaching across the disciplines, building collegiality and expertise around inquiries into teaching and learning.

We endeavor to organize visits across the university in various disciplines, but visitors do not have to be in the same discipline as the course they are observing.  Indeed, many faculty members have found it helpful to encounter teaching styles and strategies different from their own, which they can then discuss with colleagues after the observation and adapt to their own use.


Cynthia Paschal, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Thursday, January 31st
9:35-10:50 am, followed by 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Faculty of Any Rank)


David Weintraub, Professor of Astronomy

Tuesday, February 12th
8:10-9:25 am, followed by a 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Junior Faculty Only)


John Geer, Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt Professor in Political Science.

Thursday, February 14th
1:10-2:25 pm, followed by a 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Junior Faculty Only)


Leonard Folgarait, Professor of History of Art

Wednesday, February 27th
11:10 pm – 12:00 pm, followed by a 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Faculty of Any Rank)

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Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight:
Claudia Rei

Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Claudia Rei, Assistant Professor, Economics and History, talks about her teaching philosophy and interests.

"I'm interested in the incentives behind the origins of the different organizations of merchant empires, and also in the consequences of such institutional arrangements."

I am an economist whose research concentrates on early modern Europe at the onset of overseas exploration. I'm interested in the incentives behind the origins of the different organizations of merchant empires, and also in the consequences of such institutional arrangements. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses in Economic History, focusing in Europe before and during the industrial revolution. The objective is to understand why countries performed so differently in the 1800s while they exhibited similar development levels around 1500. A major challenge in the classroom is to highlight the relevance of events in the distant past in connection with today’s issues so to stimulate the students’ interest. Current examples are key and in-class projects/presentations allow the students to engage in guided investigations on the topics of interest.

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Spring 2013 Conversations on Teaching

These events focus on emergent teaching and learning issues in an informal, discussion-based format. These sessions provide members of the Vanderbilt teaching community a chance to share their teaching experiences and learn from each other. Conversations on Teaching typically begin with opening remarks from panelists and then open up to larger group discussions.

Teaching to Thousands: A Conversation about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Thursday, February 21, 3:10-4:30pm
Register for this event

Teaching Large Classes
Tuesday, February 26, 4:10-5:30pm
Register for this event

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Grad Students, Come Work at the CFT!

The Center for Teaching is now accepting applications for its 2013-14 Graduate Teaching Fellow and Teaching Affiliate positions.

  • Graduate Teaching Fellows (GTFs) are employed for the entire academic year, engage in a variety of CFT activities around training and supporting Teaching Assistants across the university, and are paid $20,000 August - May.
  • Teaching Affiliates prepare and lead sessions at our annual Teaching Assistant Orientation in August, working about 70 hours total (mostly in August), and are paid $1000.

These positions are great opportunities for graduate students to refine their teaching and presentation skills, network with graduate students outside of their department or program, and develop expertise in training and supporting new TAs. Every year, our Teaching Affiliates and GTFs tell us how much they enjoyed and benefited from their experience working at the CFT.

Additional information and application instructions can be found here.
Applications are due Friday, March 1st.

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From the Stacks...


Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher
by Stephen D. Brookfield

1996 Winner of the Cyril O. Houle World Award for Literature in Adult Education


Building on the insights of his highly acclaimed earlier work, The Skillful Teacher, and applying the principles of adult learning, Brookfield thoughtfully guides teachers through the processes of becoming critically reflective about teaching, confronting the contradictions involved in creating democratic classrooms, and using critical reflection as a tool for ongoing personal and professional development.

Available in the Center for Teaching library.

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Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
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