Faculty Blog

Technical Writing Class Serves Local School During COVID

by Donna Branyon, Department of English If asked to define technical writing, one might mention rocket science, brain surgery, computer programing, or biochemical crystallography. However, all occupations and fields of study — not just those associated with science and industry — utilize technical writing. On the first day of English 319 (technical writing) in spring

16 Community-Building Ice-Breakers for Zoom

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Among the many objectives for the first day of class, for some teachers, is to create a sense of community. Many of the strategies used face-to-face may be adapted to the online environment. Here are some ice-breakers that have worked in the past. They may be adapted to

Remote Teaching, Difficult Topics, and the Cultivation of Political Judgment: Lessons From the Israel/Palestine Conflict

by Daniel J. Levine, Political Science and Religious Studies This post outlines a set of group assignments developed while teaching The Israel/Palestine Conflict (PSC 344) remotely in Fall 2020. I start by outlining the challenges that typically attend teaching on this topic. I then take up the circumstances faced when planning for it late last

Three Ways to Construct Supportive Online Courses

by Jaimie Choi, Department of Psychology As COVID-19 swept the country, many of us have transitioned to virtual teaching, using diverse platforms that deliver online lectures. Unfortunately, despite the convenience of being able to lead a lecture in our pajama pants, there are many studies that cast light on the psychological pitfall that follows being

Social Reading Supports Student Success (e.g., Hypothesis)

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies Maintaining engagement and a sense of community is valuable no matter how strange and extenuated the conditions for teaching and learning. 24 UA courses used the new Hypothesis tool in Blackboard (found in your “build content” menu). Hypothesis allows teachers and learners to add a layer of commentary

Last Week’s Teaching in 2020 – Episode 7

UA faculty describe their experiences teaching during the 2020-2021 academic year. Share your ideas and experiences here, and your entry could be featured in the next episode. Anonymous Surveys to Make Adjustments for Spring 2021 “Listen to students” is part of my teaching philosophy. I’ve used Blackboard’s “survey” tool since 2015 for pre-term, mid-term, and post-term

Sanford Media Center Offers Support for Creative Projects

by Jon Ezell, University Libraries The Sanford Media Center is now scheduling spring 2021 tours and instruction for UA courses. Here’s the most important stuff: The SMC lab will be open 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sign up for tours and instruction for your course. Please note that scheduling is on a first-come, first-served basis. Students

What’s Best for Students? How Do You Know?

by Kaleb Heinrich, Biological Sciences Remember the WWJD bracelets from the 1990s? They were popular among U.S. Christians, who used them to prompt ethical mindfulness. I’ve got the next best thing for college and university faculty, staff, and administration. WBFS – What’s best for students? This question should be at the root of every decision

Last Week’s Teaching in 2020 – Episode 6

Faculty and staff are being asked to do so much in Fall 2020, but the circumstances of the doing aren’t visible. That is just as true for students this fall. We can pause to think of our colleagues and our students — the ones who’ve excelled despite everything, the ones who seem like they’re holding

Using Gradescope to Give Detailed Feedback on Assignments

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies/eTech Did you notice the “Gradescope” option under the “Build Content” option in your Blackboard courses in Fall 2020? Perhaps you also noticed the Gradescope resources posted by the Center for Instructional Technology? Thanks to the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and