Fall ’16 Events

Workshop on Transparent Assignment Design

Date: August 22,23,25 2016

Facilitated by Lee Skinner (CMC) and Darryl Yong (HMC)

Cover of Peer Review magazine (Winter/Spring 2016 issue)In this 2-hour workshop, participants learned how to be more transparent to our students about our goals and expectations for their learning. There is recent research by Mary-Ann Winkelmes and others that this kind of transparent teaching can enhance students’ learning in our classes. Participants looked at examples of assignments that had been redesigned to be more transparent to students and then engaged in peer review of each others’ assignments. The goal was for participants to gain practical strategies for creating transparent assignments and ideas for implementation.

Workshop on Facilitating Discussion on Difficult Topics

Date: September 12,13,15 2016

Facilitated by Dr. Sumun Pendakur (HMC)

Classroom discussions can help students develop critical thinking, perspective-taking, and discourse skills. But, how can we do so with rigor without censoring dissenting voices? The goal of this workshop was to help participants gain practical strategies for facilitating classroom discussions, especially on difficult topics, by learning how to work with students to establish conditions for these discussions and how to navigate common issues that can arise.

For further reading: “From Safe Spaces to Brave Spaces” by Brian Arao and Kristi Clemens in The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections from Social Justice Educators. Stylus Publishing, published 2013, pages 135-150 and “Respect Differences? Challenging the Common Guidelines in Social Justice Education” by Özlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngelo, published 2014 in Democracy & Education.

Link to PowerPoint slide (courtesy of Vijay Pendakur): http://bit.ly/samplenorms (click on “Download” button)

Wise Interventions: Practical Ideas for Student Success

Date: Thursday, October 27, 4:15-5:15pm

Location: Smith Campus Center Room 208 at Pomona College

Optional: Professor Cohen’s talk was be shown at Smith Campus Center 201 from 3-4pm on the same day

This panel discussion was organized as a follow-up to a talk (link to video) that Geoffrey Cohen gave at Pomona College on February 17, 2015, entitled “Wise Interventions“. The main gist of Professor Cohen’s talk is that (1) perception matters (subjective experience of students can be very different even though they experience the same things) and that (2) the right messages sent to students at the right time and place can have long-lasting psychological effects that can be result in better student outcomes.

A panel of Claremont Colleges faculty discussed some responses to the work cited by Professor Cohen in his talk and some strategies that they have used to promote student success.

Workshop on Collaborative Learning

Students working in small groups in a math course at HMC

Collaborative learning (sometimes referred to as group work or cooperative learning) involves coordinating groups of students to work on a common task. It can be a great strategy to boost student motivation and engagement in critical thinking, problem-solving, and perspective taking. In this workshop, participants learned about the benefits of collaborative learning and some common structures for setting it up. They also gained effective strategies for planning, implementing, and assessing group work and dealing with common issues that arise when students work in groups.

The workshop was be offered four times and locations during finals week.

Faculty Town Hall Meetings

The CTL held a series of “town hall” meetings to learn more about the Center for Teaching and Learning, give feedback on its goals and mission, and suggest programs and ideas for events. There will be a meeting organized at each of the five undergraduate colleges. Faculty can attend any of the meetings, regardless of their affiliation.

Mon, Nov 14, noon-1pm Harvey Mudd College, Hoch-Shanahan Dining Hall Aviation Room
Mon, Nov 14, 4:15-5:15pm Claremont Mckenna College, Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, Freeberg Lounge
Wed, Nov 16, noon-1pm Scripps College, Balch Conference Room (lunch served)
Thu, Nov 17, 3-4pm Pitzer College, Broad Hall 110
Tue, Sep 5, 2018, 4:15-5:30pm Pomona College, (location TBA)

Spring ’17 Launch Week (Jan 9-13)

Syllabus Drop-In Clinic

Times and Locations:

  • 9am-noon on Tue, Jan 10, in Founders Room at Honnold Library
  • 1-4pm on Thu, Jan 12, in Founders Room at Honnold Library

Facilitated by Shamini Dias (CGU) and Darryl Yong (HMC)

Working on a syllabus for an upcoming course? The Syllabus Drop-In Clinic is a supportive environment where you can learn some useful tools and ideas, get your questions answered, get feedback on your syllabus, and walk out with a more complete syllabus.

You can drop by the clinic at any point during the three-hour block and stay for as long as you’d like. At the top of each hour, we’ll give a brief presentation on an idea that will help you improve your syllabus. Then participants will get some uninterrupted time to work on their syllabi. There will also be a time for sharing and getting feedback with colleagues.

  • Hour 1: Creating a more transparent syllabus
  • Hour 2: Creating a more welcoming and inclusive syllabus
  • Hour 3: Creating a more user-friendly syllabus

You’ll want to bring a laptop computer or several hard copies of your syllabus so that you can work on the syllabus during the session.

Workshop on Transparent Assignment Design

Times and Locations:

  • 2-4pm on Tue, Jan 10, in Founders Room at Honnold Library
  • 9:30-11:30am on Thu, Jan 12, in Founders Room at Honnold Library

Facilitated by Lee Skinner (CMC) and Darryl Yong (HMC)

Cover of Peer Review magazine (Winter/Spring 2016 issue)In this 2-hour workshop, participants will learn how to be more transparent to our students about our goals and expectations for their learning. There is recent research by Mary-Ann Winkelmes and others that this kind of transparent teaching can enhance students’ learning in our classes. Participants will at examples of assignments that had been redesigned to be more transparent to students and then engage in peer review of each others’ assignments. The goal is for participants to gain practical strategies for creating transparent assignments and ideas for implementation.

Inclusive Classroom Practices

Facilitated by Jennifer Randall Crosby (Stanford University)

Mon, Jan 9, 3:30-4:30pm in the Founders Room at Honnold Library

We will examine the importance of inclusion for student achievement, and discuss concrete strategies for creating more inclusive learning environments. Strategies will focus on the ways in which course climate is created and sustained in syllabi, first days of class, and everyday teaching practices. We will discuss how inclusive practices can be implemented in a broad array of disciplines and learning environments.

Rethinking Assessment for Non-Traditional Assignments

Facilitated by Lee Skallerup Bessette (University of Mary Washington)

Wed, Jan 11, 3:30-4:30pm in the Founders Room at Honnold Library

At this point in the semester, it may appear to be too early to think about grading and assessment. But, one of the most important questions we face as we work on developing our courses is how to assess the work we’re going to ask the students to do during the semester. This is the ideal time to develop and strategize the assessment of non-traditional assignments, i.e. anything outside of the traditional forms of assessment for your discipline. The goal of this session will be to think through some of the complications of assessment and especially to think about what happens when our assessments are directed at complex projects in sometimes unfamiliar media. Specifically, how do we assess digital projects, web sites, blog posts, or more elaborate creative experiments, while keeping the student central in the process?

Building Syllabi that Engage, Include, and Actually Get Read

Facilitated by Jessica Tinklenberg (Morningside College)

Fri, Jan 13, 3:30-4:30pm in the Founders Room at Honnold Library

If you’ve ever wondered if your students actually read the syllabus, you’re not alone. Syllabi have the potential to be so much more than dry contractual statements that students bury after the first day of class, however. When done well, syllabi are an opportunity to immediately engage our students, set the tone for the course, provide a sense of shared values, promote inclusivity, and help our students develop skills in negotiation, critical thinking, and creativity. As you prepare for the new semester, this workshop will offer faculty a chance to reevaluate and reimagine one course syllabus with an eye toward fostering student engagement and inclusive learning. Please bring a hard copy of one current syllabus you wish to discuss, as well as a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Spring ’17 Events

Guilt-Free Book Club: Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks

cover of To educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn.”  (pg 13)

In Teaching to Transgress, bell hooks re-envisions teaching as an emancipatory act in which we enable students to transgress against racial, sexual, and class boundaries.  Though she wrote this book in 1994, hooks speaks to critical needs and questions in education today:  How do we deal with racism, sexism, and other -isms in the classroom?  What should teaching look like in a pluralistic society?

The CTL selected Teaching to Transgress for its inaugural “guilt-free book club” in the Spring 2017 Semester.  The club is guilt-free in that all were encouraged to attend even if they hadn’t done the reading for week or had missed prior meetings.

Book club meetings took place every two weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  Participants could attend either Tuesday or Wednesday every two weeks, according to your schedule. Lunch was served.

Dates and Times: Jan 31/Feb 1, Feb 14/15, Feb 28/Mar 1, Mar 21/22, Apr 4/5, Apr 18/19, May 2/3 (all noon-1pm)

Teaching to Transgress is available online through the Claremont Colleges Library.

2nd Annual Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Award Ceremony

George SanchezDate and Time: Wed, Feb 22, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Location: Balch Auditorium, Scripps College

The 7C Diversity Working Group is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of The Claremont Colleges Diversity and Inclusion Awards: Jean Reith Schroedel (CGU), Diana Selig (CMC), and Wei-Chin Hwang (CMC). The achievements of these three faculty members have positively impacted the lives of students, faculty, and staff alike.

The keynote speaker for the awards ceremony was George Sanchez, who is a Professor of American Studies & Ethnicity and History at the University of Southern California, where he also directs the USC Center for Diversity and Democracy. The title of his keynote was “Do They Really Want Me?: Faculty of Color, Student Protests, and the Future of Predominantly White Campuses.”

First5 Spring Social Event

Claremont Craft Ales LogoFirst5 is a Claremont Colleges Professional Development & Networking Initiative aimed at connecting faculty in their first 5 years at the Colleges. The CTL partnered with First5 to announce its Spring Social Event at Claremont Craft Ales.

Date and Time: Wed, Feb 1, starting at 5:30pm

Location: Claremont Craft Ales, 1420 N Claremont Blvd, #204c, Claremont, CA 91711

Handling Difficult Classroom Situations

Times and Locations:

  • Feb 21, Tuesday, 2:45-4:00pm @ CMC Bauer Center Founders Room
  • Feb 22, Wednesday, 1:15-2:30pm @ SCR Humanities Building Room 204
  • Feb 23, Thursday, 1:15-2:30pm @ POM Millikan 1181

Facilitated by Darryl Yong (HMC)

What do you do things go awry in the classroom? Join other faculty in developing and sharing strategies for handling derailed discussions, heated exchanges between students, controversial topics, disrespectful comments from students, and other challenging situations in the classroom.

Digital Pedagogy Workshop

Time and Location: Friday, Feb 24, 2017, from noon-2pm, at The Hive (130 E 7th St, Claremont, CA)

Virtual Reality Demo

This 2-hour workshop blended design thinking with a focus on digital pedagogy. The first part was devoted to engaging with several faculty members who have addressed particular instructional issues through the thoughtful integration of technology in a class. In the second part, participants brainstormed current teaching and student learning challenges they face and used the design thinking process to develop potential solutions to at least one of their challenges. Participants with all levels of experience with digital pedagogy were welcomed, especially those for whom digital pedagogy is new.

This workshop was co-sponsored by DH@CC, the Claremont Colleges Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Hive.

Designing Rubrics that Benefit both Instructors and Students

Facilitated by Shamini Dias (CGU) and Darryl Yong (HMC)

Do you assign papers, presentations, and other projects that you find challenging to grade? Whether you already use rubrics or not, this workshop was designed to help faculty create useful rubrics that will benefit both you and your students. Participants learned how to create more descriptive rubrics that assess the things that you care about, and how to use to use rubrics to help students improve their work and enhance their learning. Our goal was for participants to walk out of the workshop with at least one new or improved rubric that they can use in their classes.

Times and Locations:

  • March 8, Wednesday, 1:15-2:30pm @ POM Millikan 1249
  • March 9, Thursday, 2:45-4:00pm @ SCR Humanities Building 201
  • March 10, Friday, 11am-12:15pm @ CMC Bauer Center Founders Room

Enhancing Discussion-Based Courses with the Harkness Method

Facilitated by Lisa Sullivan (HMC) and Darryl Yong (CTL)

The Harkness Method is way of orchestrating discussion in class that encourages equitable and meaningful participation from all students with minimal participation of the instructor. Lisa Sullivan, professor of economic history at HMC, shared her experiences using Harkness discussions in her courses. Participants also experienced one of these discussions. The goal of the workshop was for participants to gain more strategies for increasing student engagement and autonomy in discussion-based courses, even if they don’t choose to adopt the Harkness Method.

Date and Time: March 24, Friday, 1:00-2:30pm

Location: Pomona Smith Campus Center 201

What Faculty Need to Know about Fair Use and Copyright

Facilitated by Allegra Swift (Claremont Colleges Library) and Darryl Yong (CTL)

Like it or not, copyright laws and fair use exemptions are important considerations in many aspects of faculty work, such as choosing readings for a class, curating student work for public presentation, or producing their own scholarly and artistic works. This session covered the basics of fair use and copyright in all of these settings and how to model ethical and responsible behavior for our students.

Dates and Times:

  • March 29, Wednesday, noon-1pm
  • April 6, Thursday, noon-1pm

Location: Founders Room at Honnold Library

Workshop Materials: Slides & Handouts

Read All About It: Connecting Source Evaluation and Fake News Literacy in the Classroom

Facilitated by Kirsten Hansen and Adam Rosenkranz (Claremont Colleges Library)

Fake news is now in the news. How do we help students discern between reliable and unreliable information? And, how do we do so in a way that connects to our discipline-specific teaching? During this workshop, participants gained tools to address the critical evaluation of news and journalism with their students in a way that equips them to evaluate all information, in and outside the classroom.

Dates and Times:

  • April 5, Wednesday, 2:45-4:00pm
  • April 11, Tuesday, 1:15-2:30pm

Location: Keck Learning Room at Honnold/Mudd Library

Universal Design for Learning Workshop

Facilitated by Tammy Tucker Green (SDRC) and Darryl Yong (CTL)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles that help instructors design their courses to better meet the needs of diverse groups of students, while simultaneously reducing the need for adaptations to overcome barriers for individual students. In this workshop, participants learned how to apply UDL principles to create courses and assignments that allow students multiple ways to acquire information, demonstrate what they know, and/or engage with the course material.

Dates, Times, and Locations:

  • April 26, Wednesday, 4:15-5:30pm @ CMC Bauer Center Founders Room
  • April 27, Thursday, 2:45-4:00pm @ POM Millikan 1181

More information on UDL: Universal Design for Learning was first defined by David Rose of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Center for Applied Special Technology in the 1990s. Inspired by the universal design movement in architecture and product development, the three principles of UDL are to provide students with multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement.

CTL Distinguished Lecture: Steven Volk

The CTL’s  first annual distinguished lecture was given by Steven Volk, Professor of History Emeritus at Oberlin College.

New Student Activism: Challenges and Possibilities

In the last few years, colleges and universities have been rocked by student protests at a level not seen since the late 1980s, and perhaps not since their apex in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In sync with earlier generations of student protesters, this one has called for the redistribution of power and rule-making authority in colleges and universities; demanded changes that often lay beyond the institution’s grasp; pushed administrators into uncomfortable, if not untenable, positions; and questioned the essential purpose and meaning of the higher education itself. That’s the good news. More problematic are student actions that seemingly challenge academic inquiry or crowd out dissenting or even questioning voices. In this talk, Dr. Volk suggested ways in which contemporary activists both share the perspectives of, and differ from, earlier generations of activists, and argue for a more involved role for faculty in scaffolding democratic practices on campus by creating democratic classrooms.

Date and Time: April 18, Tuesday, 4:15-5:30pm, with refreshments served at 3:45pm

Location: Kravis Center Lower Court 62 at CMC

Grading Session

Faculty from the Claremont Colleges finished their grading grading in good company. Faculty brought exams and papers to grade, and the CTL provided coffee and snacks.

  • May 16th, Tuesday, 12:00pm-3:00pm @ Honnold Library Collaborative Commons (2nd Floor)