Archive for the ‘Teaching’ Category

I was actually searching for tutorials to help me better construct online courses. But came across this very fun 3-minute music video about the realities (?) of teaching online. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


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Northeastern State University’s Center for Teaching & Learning will host two screenings of the documentary Waiting for Superman in early March. All those interested in the education of American students are invited to attend and join in a discussion of the issues it brings up.

NSU President Don Betz suggests that this film (and one shown last month–Race to Nowhere) would be excellent vehicles to begin a collaborative campus/community conversation about the future of education and our role in it. Thus far, he has been correct in his assessment, as the first film was well attended and has resulted in positive community conversations and collaborations.

Each event is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

The first screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 7th in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus.

The second screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10th in the Broken Arrow Auditorium on the Broken Arrow campus.

Following the 102-minute movie, administrators and educators will join in a discussion of the realities and potential reform of contemporary education.

According to the director, Waiting for Superman is a “deeply personal exploration of the current state of public education in the U.S. and how it is affecting our children.” The film has been nominated for and won numerous awards for best documentary, including the Academy Awards, Critics’ Choice, and Sundance.

For more information about Waiting for Superman, visit http://www.waitingforsuperman.com/

For more information about the NSU screenings and discussions contact Linda Summers (summerla@nsuok.edu or x6455) or Chuck Ziehr (ziehr@nsuok.edu or x2065).

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Due to unusual (but lovely ;-) weather the Tulsa Metro area is experiencing (1/3 of the United States, actually…), the free screening of the film Race to Nowhere on the Broken Arrow campus of Northeastern State University, originally scheduled for this evening, has been postponed.

It will now be shown on Thursday, February 17th beginning at 7:00 p.m. If you’ve not already, you can reserve free tickets online at http://www.racetonowhere.com/epostcard/3983

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Thank you to Dr. Chuck Ziehr for composing and sharing this exceptionally well-written and explicitly detailed update on CTL. I especially like how he acknowledges the past, incorporates the present, and looks to the future.

It’s pretty incredible to see all the many issues CTL has been addressing over the past few months. We may have a small staff, but we have an exceptional one :-)

And the Steering Committee is pretty incredible, too. Thanks to each of you for the time and effort you so selflessly give in your service towards the continued improvement of the Teaching & Learning process at NSU and the communities it serves.


NSU Center for Teaching and Learning:  CTL Update,  February 4, 2011

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has undergone a number of changes over the past few months, while continuing its mission to foster a culture of excellence in teaching and learning, and more changes are on the way.  This update is designed to provide an overview of these changes and ongoing efforts and outline some plans for the future.

About 10 years ago the Center for Teaching and Learning was created to help the NSU faculty integrate technology and pedagogy.  The focus on the use of technology in teaching and learning continues and is being enhanced, but the mission of CTL is expanding beyond technology to include a broader emphasis on greater collaboration, innovation, and support for all aspects of teaching and learning.

Organization and Personnel
The Center for Teaching and Learning is a function of the Office of Academic Affairs and is supervised by the newly-created position of Assistant Vice President for Teaching and Learning (AVPTL); all CTL personnel report directly to the AVPTL.  After the former CTL Director (Jym Brittain) left NSU in Spring 2010, Dr. Tadlock appointed the CTL Steering Committee (CTLSC) to provide input and advice.   The formation of CTLSC resulted in sunsetting of two existing committees: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning committee and Distance Learning committee.  This semester we have been able to add a half-time Teaching & Learning Fellow, Linda Summers (Library faculty), who will work on various initiatives including Quality Matters and a film/discussion series to promote university/community conversations regarding current issues in education; we hope that this half-time Teaching & Learning Fellow position will be available for other faculty in the future.  We are in the search process for a full-time Online Instructional Designer, who should join CTL later this semester to assist faculty in the development and enhancement of online and blended courses. The search for a permanent AVPTL is underway.

CTL Personnel:

Interim Assistant Vice President for Teaching & Learning:  Chuck Ziehr [through July 31, 2011]

(A122, ziehr@nsuok.edu, ext. 2065)

Coordinator of Academic Services (full-time CTL):  Kip Finnegan

(WEBB 617, finnegac@nsuok.edu, ext. 5854)

Assistant Coordinator of Academic Services (half-time CTL):  Rick Shelton

(BALB 132, sheltorw@nsuok.edu, ext. 6630)

Administrative Assistant (full-time CTL):  Stacy Thompson

(WEBB 610, thomps30@nsuok.edu, ext. 5855)

Teaching & Learning Fellow (half-time CTL):  Linda Summers

(BALB 133, summerla@nsuok.edu, ext. 6455)

Student Assistants (part-time CTL):  Kyla Eden, Brandi Ross, Sarah Taylor, Amy Wilbins

CTL Steering Committee (CTLSC)

EDEN, Kyla, Undergraduate Student

FINNEGAN, Kip, Assistant Professor, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

FULLER, Danny, Technology Specialist, College of Business & Technology

KELLER, Cari, Professor, College of Liberal Arts

KOZLOWSKI, Gene, Professor, College of Business & Technology

MCKEE, Earlena, Assistant Professor, College of Optometry

MOODY, Judy, Assistant Professor, College of Education

PARROTT, Martha, Associate Professor, College of Science & Health Professions

SHELTON, Donna, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts

SHELTON, Rick, Instructor, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

SUMMERS, Linda, Instructor, University Libraries [CTLSC Chair]

THOMPSON, Stacy, Administrative Assistant, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

THORP, Zac, Library Technician III, University Libraries

WHITLEY, Vanessa, Science Lab Manager, College of Science & Health Professions

WOODS, Evelyn, Assistant Dean, Student Affairs

ZIEHR, Chuck, Interim Assistant Vice President, Ex Officio, Center for Teaching & Learning

On-going Stuff

Kip and Rick continue to provide one-on-one assistance (or workshops upon request) in the use of Blackboard (learning management system), ITV faculty orientation, multimedia classroom orientation, smartboard training, multimedia production support (including podcasts and Camtasia), CheckBox (online surveys), and EvaluationKit  (online surveys).  The Center for Teaching and Learning provides service learning grants, teaching and learning fellowship grants, and online and ITV course development compensation.  The CTL website provides a number of online resources, application forms, and contact information at http://academics.nsuok.edu/teachingandlearning; this webpage can be accessed from the NSU homepage under My NSU—Faculty & Staff Links—Center for Teaching and Learning (under NSU).

New Stuff

  • Wimba provides “interactive technologies such as voice, video, podcasting, instant messaging, application sharing, polling, and whiteboarding.”  These capabilities may be accessed via the Communication button in Blackboard.  An introduction to the use of Wimba may be found in the Wimba LiveBinder developed by Rick Shelton http://livebinders.com/play/play/57757.
  • Quality Matters “is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered, peer review process designed to certify the quality of online courses and online components.”  The centerpiece of Quality Matters is the QM Rubric based on research-supported and published best practices which provides a set of standards by which to evaluate the design of online and blended courses.  We have 12 NSU faculty members undergoing training now to become QM peer reviewers (and more will be trained later).  The new Online Instructional Designer will help faculty to develop effective online and blended courses which will reach the nationally-recognized QM standards.  For more information about Quality Matters and online course development check the Online Teaching LiveBinder developed by Rick Shelton http://livebinders.com/play/play/58273
  • iTunes U – NSU has joined this distribution system as another means of providing and accessing audio and video content to a wider audience.  More about this capability will be forthcoming soon.
  • OpenCourseWare Consortium – This is yet another collaboration of higher educational and associated organizations that NSU has joined to distribute and access educational content.  More about this capability will be forthcoming soon.
  • Blackboard 9.1 — We will migrate to version 9.1 (from 8.0) this summer with 9.1 being the operational version of Bb running at NSU at the beginning of the Fall 2011 semester.  More information and training for this migration will become available later this semester and summer.
  • Campus Conversations and Collaborations on Teaching and Learning – CTL will host webinars, forums, learning communities, films, speakers, and debates/dialogues to address current issues and trends facing us in higher education and to develop a culture of sharing innovative ideas and best practices in the public endeavor of teaching and learning.
  • Help Desk – CTL is working with Information Technology Services (ITS) to develop an even more effective one-stop contact source for the NSU community when there are technology-related questions or problems.  NSU faculty and staff are asked to call the familiar 5-6-7-8 extension to report technology problems or to ask technology-related questions.  ITS will handle hardware issues and campus-standard software issues.  Questions related to using technology in course design and delivery will be handled by CTL; the Help Desk will create a work order and transfer such calls to CTL.  Details and procedures of this collaboration are still being worked out.
  • CTL webpage – The existing webpage will be enhanced and expanded to provide more information and greater resources for teaching and learning, including online tutorials for Blackboard 9.1, Wimba, Quality Matters, and designing online courses.  Given our very small CTL staff most of this expansion will have to wait until the new Online Instructional Designer is onboard in order to re-distribute the various demands on staff time.

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have suggestions for how to make CTL more responsive to your teaching and learning needs.

Dr. Chuck Ziehr
Interim Assistant Vice President for Teaching & Learning
Email: ziehr@nsuok.edu
WWW: http://arapaho.nsuok.edu/~ziehr/

***  NSU:  “Gather Here. Go Far.”  ***

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Northeastern State University’s Center for Teaching & Learning will host two screenings of the documentary Race to Nowhere in early February.

Each event is free and open to the public.

The first screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, February 7th in the Webb Auditorium on the Tahlequah campus. Reserve free tickets for the TQ screening at http://rtnnsutahlequah.eventbrite.com/

The second screening will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 10th in the Broken Arrow Auditorium on the Broken Arrow campus. Reserve free tickets for the BA screening at http://rtnnsubrokenarrow.eventbrite.com/

Following the 90-minute movie, students and educators will join in a discussion of contemporary education and the cultivation of creativity in schools.

According to the publisher, “Race to Nowhere is the only film that shows what is actually happening to our kids as a result of current policies and practices obsessed with testing, performance and competition rather than meaningful teaching and learning.”

For more information about “Race to Nowhere,” visit www.racetonowhere.com/.

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One of the most important responsibilities charged to college students each semester is to evaluate their instructors.  The reason I label this responsibility as important is because these evaluations serve as mirror to faculty so that they can better assess their effectiveness in the classroom, adjusting as necessary. Another element as to the importance of these evaluations is that they help determine who gets to continue to teach and who does not, in that administrators use them as one of the measures of teaching effectiveness.

And though the results are shared with the instructor after all course grades have been submitted, the students only see the one they fill out, ultimately not knowing how their evaluation compared to others in the classroom, nor learning of the compiled results.

That said, in the spirit of transparency, below is a compilation of the instructor evaluations submitted by the students enrolled in my class this past fall semester. Twenty four were enrolled; twenty were in attendance at the time of the evaluation (thank you, Eddie for proctoring ;-)





As A Student In This Class:

  • I attended the first day of class –  85% yes – 15% no answer
  • My skills were adequate for this class in
  • Math –  5% agree – 40% strongly agree – 50% not applicable – 5% no answer
  • Reading –  5% agree – 90% strongly agree – 5% not applicable
  • Writing – 15% agree – 80% strongly agree – 5% not applicable
  • I attended class regularly – 15% agree – 85% strongly agree
  • I prepared for each class – 5% disagree – 35% agree – 60% strongly agree
  • I turned in papers and assignments on time – 20% agree – 80% strongly agree
  • I was free to ask questions and contribute to class discussions – 5% agree – 95% strongly agree
  • So far in this class, my grades reflect my level of performance – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree

The Instructor, At the Beginning of the Course:

  • Explained the Syllabus – 100%
  • Explained what work would be required – 100%
  • Explained how work would be evaluated – 100%

The Instructor Throughout the Semester:

  • Set and maintained high standards – 15% agree – 85% strongly agree
  • Was well prepared for each class – 10% agree – 85% strongly agree – 5% no answer
  • Explained topics clearly – 10% agree – 85% strongly agree – 5% no answer
  • Encouraged understanding and applying facts as well as memorizing them – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree
  • Encouraged the students’ creative thinking – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree
  • Encouraged the students’ critical thinking – 5% agree – 95% strongly agree
  • Was available for consultation during posted office hours or by appointment – 20% agree – 80% strongly agree
  • Was patient with students’ learning – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree
  • Alternated methods of instruction (handouts, films, overheads, the Internet) – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree
  • Returned graded work as promised – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree
  • Returned papers, tests, and assignments with helpful comments – 10% agree – 90% strongly agree


  • The instructor’s attitude toward the subject matter was – 95% enthusiastic – 5% interested
  • Information & dates for major assignments were announced and/or distributed through the syllabus, handouts, or course materials – 90% always – 10% frequently
  • Regarding course subject matter, the instructor’s ability to answer students’ questions suggests – 80% mastery – 20% competence
  • The instructor responded to students’ questions in a manner that was – 90% patient – 5% reasonable – 5% no answer

Summary of Course:

  • My expectations for this course were met – 100%
  • This course was a challenging and learning experience for me – 100%
  • I would recommend this course to other students – 100%

Additional Comments – a blank box at the end of the evaluation in which students can write specific comments (all are direct quotes including format and spelling ;-):

  • Learned a lot! Great class! Loved it. Would recommend to anyone. Loved the :-) on papers!
  • Would recommend Mrs. Summers to anyone. Great teacher and shows true passion and expertise for her job and teaching. Actually enjoyed going to class thanks to Linda Summers.
  • Your understanding and “down to earth” attitude made learning fun and exciting :)
  • Very good writing teaching. Would have enjoyed having you for Comp 2 :(
  • Your a great teacher! I enjoyed class very much. :) I wish you would teach Comp II :)
  • You are very open and have a broad mindset on topics. Great teacher :)
  • Made essays easier by the topic were freely choosen. If it wasn’t explained correctly the first time explained again to understand.
  • Great teacher! :) One of the best I’ve had. Sometimes instructions were a little vague though.
  • Great assigned readings
  • I like the class. :)
  • Loved your class!
  • Great teacher! Very knowledgeable and helpful! Thanks!
  • Awesome! <3 U! :) Again…UR awesome! :)
  • Great teacher!
  • She was the best instructor I ever had.
  • I <3 Linda. Enjoy this pig (comment accompanied by the hand-drawn image of a pig with a curly tail standing in a mud puddle ;-)
  • Good teacher, really cares about students. I have nothing to add.

(Thank you to all the students who successfully completed last semester’s class. I’m proud of your accomplishments. You were a great group – dynamic and energetic. Good luck in Comp 2 and in all your future endeavors. :-)



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