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Spectrum Newsletter

Spectrum Newsletter - Spring 2014

Retention

Teaching for Student Retention

Financial needs, family issues, and personal adjustment can impact student retention at universities across the nation. Moreover, academic factors such as curriculum design, teaching methods, and academic advising can have a considerable impact on why a student will or will not stay in a particular course, major, or the university. To help increase student retention, you can implement specific classroom techniques to engage students and intrinsically motivate them to stay in class.

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Center Staff Share Teaching Best Practices with Chinese Faculty Visiting NIU

In a partnership with the Division of International Affairs and the International Training Office, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center staff offered two hands-on workshops for a delegation of eleven Chinese faculty from Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications and Shanxi Agricultural University who visited NIU February 23 - March 8, 2014 as part of the NIU Winter Camp 2014, Understanding American Culture and Higher Education. 

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New Features Coming to Blackboard at NIU in 2014

Blackboard continues to improve! Since NIU’s major upgrade to Blackboard NG three years ago, there have been a number of feature improvements and additions, and this year will be no different. Service Pack 14 is currently planned to be deployed Memorial Day weekend, May 23, 2014 - May 26, 2014. 

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Spring 2014 Teaching Effectiveness Institute Focused on Creating Excitement in the Classroom

The first day of the Spring 2014 Teaching Effectiveness Institute brought together over 60 NIU faculty, instructors, and teaching staff in two workshops presented by Todd Zakrajsek, Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Zakrajsek led two engaging half-day sessions: Critical Challenges in Teaching and Learning and How to Best Address those Challenges and Creating Excitement in the Classroom: Teaching for More Engaged Learning.

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Incorporating Active Learning by Flipping the Classroom: Spring 2014 Teaching Effectiveness Institute

The second day of the Spring 2014 Teaching Effectiveness Institute opened with a half-day session on Incorporating Active Learning by Flipping the Classroom. During the institute, participants reflected on how to apply the Flipped Classroom model to their own courses. They worked in teams to research, summarize, and present a model of active learning. Finally, each participant designed a course or lesson using the Flipped Classroom model and received feedback from their team.

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How to Go Beyond the Textbook Using Open Educational Resources

Almost 30 participants braved the extremely cold weather on January 10, 2014 for the afternoon session of the second day of the Spring Teaching Effectiveness Institute on Beyond the Textbook: Using Open Educational Resources. Creating educational resources for students can be time-consuming and potentially expensive. Open Educational Resources (OER) are free resources that can supplement teaching and learning needs. OER can include lesson plans, learning modules, videos, and interactives, just to name a few. 

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Blackboard Video Everywhere: Increasing Faculty and Student Communication

The ‘Video Everywhere’ tool in Blackboard can augment communication between faculty, student, and course content. Video Everywhere, which became available at NIU following the upgrade in June, 2013, allows users to record video anywhere in Blackboard that the text box editor is available (see image, right). Faculty can use this feature for creating and posting videos of course announcements, brief lectures, clarifications, discussion board posts, and instructions for assignments. Students can also post videos as submission to assignments, blogs, journals, and discussion boards.

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Center Staff Member Receives Conference Award

Stephanie Richter, Assistant Director of the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, recently attended the 2014 International Conference on Educational and Informational Technology where she presented the paper Preparing Faculty for Teaching a MOOC: Recommendations from Research and Experience, which she co-authored with Murali Krishnamurthi, Associate Provost for Academic Technologies and Faculty Development.  Being accepted to present was a significant recognition as only 27% of submissions were accepted. In addition, Richter received the Best Presentation award for delivering an exceptional presentation. 

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Spectrum is a newsletter for faculty published every fall and spring semester by Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center, Adams Hall 319, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois 60115. Phone: (815) 753-0595, Email: facdev@niu.edu, Fax: (815) 753-2595, Web site: www.niu.edu/facdev. For more information about featured articles or upcoming faculty development programs, please contact the Center at (815) 753-0595 or facdev@niu.edu

Last Updated: 3/22/2014