In this issue



Upcoming Orientations

2015 Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO)
Wednesday, August 19

2015 Teaching at Vanderbilt Orientation (TAV)
Thursday, August 20








Check out these recent posts to our blog.

Thinking STEM, Teaching STEM: A Blog Series

Make the Most of Your Course Preparation Time This Summer

From Math Major to Teaching Center Director: My #altac Journey










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July 2015

The CFT Welcomes New Assistant Director Vivian Finch

We’re excited to welcome Vivian Finch as the CFT’s newest Assistant Director.  Vivian’s name might sound familiar—she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the CFT last year and a Teaching Affiliate before that.  Vivian is graduating this summer from Vanderbilt with a PhD in German literature, and we’re happy to have Vivian continue her work at Vanderbilt and the CFT as part of our full-time staff.  (Vivian takes the position vacated by Nancy Chick when Nancy left for the University of Calgary this spring.)

Vivian’s research focuses on the publication and reception history of Brazilian literature in post-war Germany, and she has taught both introductory and intermediate level German language courses at Vanderbilt.  Vivian was the CFT’s HASTAC Scholar in 2013-14, participating in campus conversations on the digital humanities as well as international dialogues on digital pedagogy through the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC).  That same year, Vivian was also a SoTL Scholar at the CFT, exploring the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and investigating the impact of Twitter use on student learning in the foreign language classroom.  Vivian brings strong skills in foreign language and digital pedagogy, valuable experiences consulting with graduate students around teaching and professional development topics, and a scholarly approach to teaching and learning.

As Assistant Director, Vivian will lead the CFT’s offerings for graduate students, including Teaching Assistant Orientation, the Certificate in College Teaching, the Mellon Certificate in Humanities Education, teaching consultation services, and various events and workshops throughout the year.  She will supervise and mentor our team of Graduate Teaching Fellows, working with them to prepare Vanderbilt graduate students to be effective and intentional teachers both here on campus and in future faculty roles.  Please join me in welcoming Vivian to her new role at the CFT.

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Mark your calendar & spread the word about upcoming August orientations.

curbTeaching at Vanderbilt (TaV), an orientation for junior and senior faculty new to Vanderbilt, will be held from 1p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 20th, 2015, in Buttrick Hall. Those interested in attending should RSVP by August 14th by registering online or by calling the Center for Teaching at (615) 322-7290. Throughout the week following TAV Orientation the CFT staff will be available for teaching consultations, and will offer a series of hands-on workshops addressing a variety of teaching topics to help further prepare new faculty for the coming academic year.

Teaching Assistant Orientation (TAO) will be held on Wednesday, August 19th, in Buttrick Hall. TAO is intended for all graduate students who will begin teaching assistant (TA) duties during the 2015-16 school year. New teaching assistants should register for the event byAugust 14th. Information about this event is also available on the CFT website.

Please spread the details about these two events to new faculty and new graduate students in your department.

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Teaching Workshops to Help You Prepare for Fall Courses

During the week classes begin, the CFT will be offering the following workshops for new and returning faculty:

Teaching Inclusively to Diverse Groups

Date: Monday, August 24
Time: 11:30am-1:00pm
Location: Center for Teaching
Facilitator: Joe Bandy, CFT Assistant Director
Audience: New and Returning Faculty

In our increasingly diverse classrooms, it is important to support the development of every student and to structure equal opportunities for learning for all who enroll.  Unfortunately, our teaching practices may fall short in their attempts to do this, particularly for underrepresented or more marginal student groups who may face difficulties finding belonging.  Based on existing research and the experiences of Vanderbilt faculty, this workshop will discuss common challenges to inclusive teaching and strategies for creating more dynamic, participatory, and diverse learning environments.  Particular attention will be given to discussion leading and leveraging student differences for more engaged and productive learning. Lunch provided.


Intro to Blackboard

Date: Monday, August 24
Time: 2:00pm-3:30pm
Location: Stevenson Center, Room 2200 See map
Facilitator: Stacey Johnson, CFT Assistant Director for Educational Technology
Audience: Faculty and Graduate Student Instructors

Intro to Blackboard is a workshop for instructors new to the Blackboard course management system, or for those who have been away for a while and need a refresher. Blackboard, formerly “OAK”, can be useful tool in managing your courses and enhancing student learning. This workshop will introduce Blackboard’s most commonly used features, including a few new ones that have been added this year like rubrics and integrated SafeAssign. Participants will explore how to create assignments and discussion boards, how to post and interact with course materials, and how to manage the grade center. This hands-on session will take place in a computer lab, but feel free to bring your own laptop if you prefer.


Flipping the Classroom: Putting Principles Into Practice

Date: Tuesday, August 25
Location: Center for Teaching
Facilitator: Cynthia Brame, CFT Assistant Director
Audience: New and Returning Faculty

The flipped classroom has captured the attention of the higher education community with its promise to help students prepare before class for more engaged, critical learning in class. The ideas behind the flipped classroom are relatively simple; the challenge is in putting the key principles into practice. In this interactive workshop, participants will explore the key ideas behind the flipped classroom identified in a brief pre-workshop reading and will draft plans for their own flipped class session. Participants will come away with initial plans for a flipped class session, identification of next steps to take, and resources for further exploration. Lunch provided.


Hands-on PowerPoint Clinic

Date: Tuesday, August 25
Time: 2:00pm-3:30pm
Location: Stevenson Center, Room 2200 See map
Facilitator: Rhett McDaniel, CFT Educational Technologist
Audience: New and Returning Faculty

We have all experienced the pain of a bad PowerPoint presentation. And even though we promise ourselves never to make the same mistakes, we can still fall prey to similar PowerPoint traps.  The good news is that your PowerPoint presentation doesn’t have to be boring. In this hands-on session, you'll learn about importing and adjusting photos, adding audio and video, creating appropriate slide transitions and animations, as well as strategies for displaying content. Come learn how to keep your PowerPoint slide shows visually appealing and interesting and make your classroom presentations stand above the crowd!


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From the Stacks...

imageLearner Centered Teaching
by Maryellen Weimer

To help educators accomplish the goals of learner-centered teaching, this book presents the meaning, practice, and ramifications of the learner-centered approach, and how this approach transforms the college classroom environment. Learner-Centered Teaching shows how to tie teaching and curriculum to the process and objectives of learning rather than to content delivery alone. Throughout the book, the author clearly illustrates the difference between teacher-centered and learner-centered instruction and offers practical strategies for creating learner-centered courses.

Available in the Center for Teaching library.

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Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching
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