In this issue







Mellon Summer 2016 Accelerated Workshop
Seminar –  May 16th, 17th, 18th
Practicum – May 26th, 27th

Teaching Assistant Orientation
Wednesday, August 17th
Buttrick Hall

Teaching at Vanderbilt
New Faculty Orientation
Thursday, August 18th
Buttrick Hall









Check out these recent posts to our blog.

Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight: Melissa Glassfor

Making Course Evaluations More Meaningful

Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight: David Diehl

Campus encouraged to participate in Blackboard feedback survey

BOLD Fellow presents at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting

Gender Awareness and Inclusion Forums

Class, Race, and the First-Generation Student Label









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May 2016

Graduate students present investigations of teaching tools and approaches on May 18th

Several programs at Vanderbilt help graduate students address questions of teaching and learning within their discipline. Among these are the BOLD Fellows program, sponsored by the Center for Teaching and CIRTL, which focuses on creating and assessing online instructional approaches for use in a Vanderbilt course; the TAR Fellows program, a flagship CIRTL program; and the VIDL Fellows program, which focuses on exploring digital pedagogies for use outside as well as inside formal course structures.

We invite you to attend presentations of the BOLD, TAR, and VIDL Fellows on Wednesday, May 18, 11:30-1:00, in the Library Community Room in the Central Library (map). The event will include four short oral presentations (~11:30-12:15) and a poster session. Please feel free to drop in for the portion of the event that fits your schedule. Refreshments will be provided.

The presenters and the titles of their projects are found here.

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Certificate in College Teaching Graduates

Congratulations to the all the participants who completed the Certificate in College Teaching this past year! The purpose of the Certificate in College Teaching, co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching and the Graduate School, is to assist graduate students and post doctoral fellows who wish to gain a clearer, deeper, more active approach to teaching and learning in higher education. For more details on the program, visit the CiCT webpage.

Xochitl Arzeta-Ferrer
Lewis Baker
Tiffany M. Crescentini
Esther Epum
Dipanwita Ghose
Adrienne Girone
Thushara Gunda
Hana Itani
Benjamin Jorge
Ahmed Katsha
Rebecca Levinson
Robert Marx
Patrick Mulcrone
Allison Norlander

Kendra Oliver
Jordan Rhodes
Chatney Spencer
Asha Spivak
Katherine Yewell
Zhi Zheng
Kaleigh Bangor
Anna Carella
Stephanie Castillo
Kellie Cavagnaro
Hannah W. Clayton
Linh Dang
Donald Davis, Jr.
Tessa Eidelman

Begum Erdogan
Beth Estes
Kelley Frances Fenelon
Michael Fisher, Jr.
Joseph Gardella
Anna Sophia Gayek
Lydia J. Harmon
Ngaire Honey
Katherine Hutchinson
Lance Ingwersen
Elizabeth Ferrick Kiddie
Danielle Kopke

Peter Kropp
Jennifer Landino

Michael Moody
Rocco Moretti
Lexa Murphy
Udochukwu Obodo
Christine O'Brien
Gloria Perez-Rivera
Leah Roberts
Thomas Scherr
Christopher Smith
Jennifer Stancill
Irisa Treijs
Randi Ulbricht
Yun Young Yim

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Mellon Certificate Graduates

The Mellon Certificate in Humanities Education is a special section of the CiCT reserved for humanities graduate students and post-docs as part of the Vanderbilt’s Mellon Partners for Humanities Education project. Like the CiCT, the Mellon Certificate program is comprised of a sequential seminar and practicum. We congratulate the graduate students who received certificates.

Alexander Ayris
Raquelle Bostow
Ryan Brand
Alicia Brandewie
Courtney Campbell
Peter Capretto

Edward Dawson
Michael Fisher, Jr.
Timothy Foster
Leah Lomotey-Nakon
Kirsten Mendoza
Megan Minarich

Jessica Polish
Leslie Reed
Aurora Romero Sunggu Yang
Anne Castro
Terrance Dean

Melanie Forehand
Katie Foster
Juliet Larkin-Gilmore
Darla Migan
Alexis McBride
Mariann VanDevere
Laine Walters Young

The CFT is happy to announce that the Mellon Certificate in Humanities Education will now be known as the Certificate in Humanities Teaching and Learning (CHTL).  The program was created through and has had the generous support of the Mellon Partners for Humanities Education and Andrew Mellon Foundation.  Now as that collaboration reaches its end, we want to continue offering this very important program to humanities graduate students and postdocs at Vanderbilt.

We look forward to seeing you in the Certificate in Humanities Teaching and Learning program, beginning this fall and are now accepting applications.  For more information about the program, see the CHTL webpage.

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Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows

The CFT acknowledges these junior faculty who participated in the JFTF program this year!

This year’s Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows are, left to right, Gabriel Briggs (English),
Courtney Cook (Nursing), Larisa DeSantis (Earth and Environmental Science), David Diehl (Human and Organizational Development), Anita Disney (Psychology), Ravindra Duddu (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Melissa Glassford (Nursing), Karen Hande (Nursing), David Laird (Leadership, Policy, and Organizations), Abby Parish (Nursing), Anna Richmond (Nursing), Anand Taneja (Religious Studies), LaTonya Trotter (Sociology).

We are now accepting applications for 2016-17.Tenure-track and non-tenure track, full-time faculty who will be in their second through sixth year in 2016-2017 are eligible to apply. Fellows also will receive $2000 in research funds each to be used to enhance their teaching. For more details on the program or to apply, visit the JFTF webpage.

Applications are due May 16th.

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Blackboard Course Availability/Deletion Policy and System Upgrades: What it Means for You

BbThe Center for Teaching, as the administrative home for Blackboard, is announcing a new Course Availability and Deletion Policy for Blackboard.  This policy, recommended by Vanderbilt’s Blackboard implementation team and approved by the Blackboard Faculty Advisory Committee, is intended to reduce the amount of storage space Vanderbilt purchases annually from Blackboard, while also allowing most instructors to make use of Blackboard course copying tools to reuse materials from previous courses in new ones.

Following the new policy, on May 31, 2016, students will lose access to all courses offered Spring 2015 and earlier, and instructors will lose access to all courses offered Fall 2013 and earlier.  Please make personal copies of any needed course materials by May 20th.

Additionally, any courses not already migrated from the OAK server will be deleted entirely at the end of May 2016.  OAK has been maintained in a limited-access archival mode since 2014, but the OAK archive will be deleted entirely during this summer.  Instructors who wish to access content from courses still on OAK should request access via no later than May 15th, 2016.

Blackboard will be upgraded May 21-22, 2016.
On May 21, 2016 starting at 8pm, Blackboard will be updated to a more recent version of the system. This update will provide several feature enhancements, but the user interface will be unchanged. We are updating from the April 2014 Blackboard release to the Q4 2015 version. Please note that Blackboard will be unavailable between 8pm on Saturday, May 21st, and 8pm on Sunday, May 22nd, while the update is applied. Instructors teaching during that time are advised to bear this in mind when setting course schedules and assignment deadlines.

If you have questions about the update or any Blackboard support needs, please contact the Blackboard support team at

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We are recruiting graduate students to participate in the BOLD Fellows program beginning in August 2016.

The BOLD Fellows program is designed to help graduate student/faculty teams build expertise in developing online instructional modules grounded in good course design principles and our understanding of how people learnSTEM faculty members partner with graduate students or postdocs to design and develop online modules for integration into a course, either as a tool to promote flipping the classroom, a module for a blended course, or a unit to supplement an existing course. The teams implement these modules in an existing class and investigate their impact on student learning. The program is a collaboration between Vanderbilt’s Center for Teaching and the CIRTL Network (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning).  Example projects are described in the BOLD project gallery.

This two-semester program is divided into a “design and development” semester, in which Fellows receive training and support as they develop their module, and an “implementation and assessment” semester. We are currently recruiting Fellows to begin the program in August  for implementation and assessment in the following Spring semester.  The Fellowshi2014_BOLD application carries a modest stipend. For more information about the program, including a video from the inaugural group of BOLD Fellows and application information, see the CFT’s BOLD program page.

Applications are due May 16th; decisions will be made by June 1st.

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“Diversifying Diversity, Diversifying Disability”: New book features chapter written by CFT staff

A new book on intersectionality features a chapter written by Senior Graduate TeachingFellow Danielle Picard and former Assistant Director Nancy Chick, who now serves as the University Chair in Teaching & Learning, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching & Learning at the University of Calgary. The book, Intersectionality in Action: A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions features eleven chapters on ways institutions, faculty, and staff can address aspects of diversity and inclusion on their campuses.

Picard and Chick’s chapter on disability, entitled “Diversifying Diversity, Diversifying Disability,” stemmed from a teaching guide Picard wrote during the 2014-2015 academic year for the CFT website. The chapter aims to open current conversations on difference and inclusion to incorporate dis/ability. It offers action-oriented ideas to help faculty adopt practices that serve the students in their classrooms.

Picard explained, “The chapter came out of the work Nancy and I undertook as part of the CFT’s initiatives with the Teaching Difference and Power theme year. We felt it was important to consider how ability played into the complex power dynamics inherent in the classroom. This element is often elided in conversations of difference and power, but is a critical identity component for many of our students. We hope faculty will find our chapter helpful as they design courses and classroom experiences with a mind toward how purposeful actions can create inclusive classrooms for all students.”

From Calgary, Chick reflected on the collaboration with Picard: “This was a powerful essay for me, a really meaningful bookend for my work at the CFT.  First, while the content intersected with some of my research on diversity, it also grew out of our conversations about how these issues affected us personally--in our own classroom experiences and in our own bodies. And I was impressed at how easy it was for us to write together, especially knowing how challenging co-authorship can be. Since Dani had already researched and written on the topic in her teaching guide, and since we’d had those conversations, following her lead came naturally in the process, and the chapter just seemed to unfold. In the end, it had become far more than the typical academic writing exercise.”

For more information on the book, check out the Stylus Press website.

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New CFT Teaching Guides Available Online

The CFT has prepared guides to a variety of teaching topics with summaries of best practices, links to other online resources, and information about local Vanderbilt resources. Listed here are a few of the most recent guides. You can visit the CFT's teaching guide page to see the full list.

Effective Educational Videos
Video has become an important part of higher education. It is integrated as part of traditional courses, serves as a cornerstone of many blended courses, and is often the main information delivery mechanism in MOOCs. In order for video to serve as a productive part of a learning experience, however, it is important for the instructor to consider ways to provide a solid base for the development and use of video as an effective educational tool.

Teaching First-Generation College Students
The question of first-generation success is not limited to elite institutions, however. Despite their prominence in national conversations, elite institutions educate only a small portion of America’s college students, and even fewer of its first-generation students. What this means, then, is that all of us, faculty members at institutions big and small, national and regional, must undertake a period of self-reflection. How can we help students attain higher levels of education, with its attendant benefits?

Pedagogy for Professional Schools and Students
Recent commentators on American education have critiqued the general shift to career preparation in higher education. The stakes have risen in recent years in the wake of proposed budget cuts and priority shifts, for example, in the Wisconsin and North Carolina University systems. Given this warning, what then is responsible professional pedagogy? Is there necessarily a strict boundary between professional and liberal education?

Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary in the University Classroom
Increased awareness around gender identity has given rise to questions regarding best practices for promoting gender inclusivity. From debates about the appropriate policy regarding student name changes to awareness campaigns about pronoun usages, university administrators, professors, and students are collectively forging toward a more nuanced understanding. These shifting dynamics highlight the need for university-wide best practices for respecting gender identity and expression.

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