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Best of 2021: Community Examples of Shared Practices

School of Life Sciences is a wonderful community focused on improving teaching, sharing new ideas, and working together to find solutions for our students. Join us for a minute to reflect back and lift up the many voices in this community. Here are some of the key ideas and popular posts shared last year from our SOLS Community: Faculty Contributions: Our blogs covered a number of different ideas generated by the strong relationship between instructional designers and faculty. Often new ideas are tested and written about from courses. Some of the highlights this year were seen here: In How Active Learning is Implemented , Sara Brownell, shared various questions about how instructors help or hinder students when implementing active learning strategies. Gillian Clark shared her experiences with using specifications learning and shared the benefits and challenges in Adventures in Specifications Gradin g Reimagining classroom collaboration activities and teams became a topic for both bl
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A Look Back At 2021

As 2021 has come to a close and we look to a new semester of teaching it is normal to reflect back on what we’ve learned, what worked well, and what we need to let go. Here is a look back at some of the key points from our TIC blog posts from last year that are worth taking into the new semester: Inclusion Today there are endless resources available covering the subject of inclusion in classrooms and though they are filled with useful information, it is a journey that each educator must make as an individual. Professional Learning Communities, or PCLs, serve as a way to collaborate and discuss the themes of teaching inclusively and to continue to build awareness and new teaching norms. PCLs usually meet on a regular basis and help build a further understanding. The Teaching Innovation Center has a number of opportunities to connect with your peers on teaching. More information on the subject can be found here. Accessibility Critically thinking about the accessibility needs of everyon

Scale Up: Successful High Enrollment Courses

On November 4, 2021, The Teaching Innovation Center hosted a workshop titled “Scale Up: Successful High Enrollment Courses”. The “Scale UP” series focuses on expanding access in undergraduate programs (UP= undergraduate programs). The workshop featured explorations of online and immersion coursework “to scale”, the direction of the growth in the School of Life Sciences, and insights from an EdPlus instructional design team specializing in high enrollment courses. Speakers included: Kate MacCord , PhD, Instructor, SOLS Zachary Shaffer , PhD, Lecturer, SOLS Jill Roter , Principle Instructional Designer, EdPlus Dee Mullins , Instructional Designer, EdPlus Scot Schoenborn , Director of Academic Services SOLS Lenora Ott , Instructional Designer, Teaching Innovation Center What is “scale”? and what is High Enrollment? You may hear the term high enrollment often at ASU and it can mean different things to different people. It might be some magic number at which an instructor is given TA supp

4 Quick Ways to Care for Your (Burned-Out) Students

It's that time of the semester again where students are feeling more burned out than ever. Consider implementing policies or course design changes to help support the well-being of your students. Here are four quick ways:  1. Use macro- and micro-affirmations in your course: You may have heard of microaggressions but have you heard of micro-affirmations (because they’re equally as important)? In their SABER/RISE seminar , Dr. Mica Estrada talks about how an inclusive and welcoming classroom is composed of low macro- and micro-aggressions and high macro- and micro-affirmations . Macro- and micro-affirmations are obvious acts and subtle or ambiguous cues of social inclusion, community, and respect for dignity. Some examples include: asking students how they are doing and listening to their responses, asking others for their opinions, recognizing the achievements of others, and just being - ‘nice ’. What macro- and micro-affirmations can you introduce into your classroom to build an

Reimagine Labs and Experiential Learning

Recently the Teaching Innovation Center (TIC) hosted a Coffee and Conversation event that focused on discussing the question, how can we reimagine labs and experiential learning opportunities?  We further examined this question by talking about how lab skills prepare students for future careers, considering both the lab technology and the collaborative nature of the lab environment.  Joining us as a guest speaker was Ara Austin, PhD . Dr. Austin is currently the Director of Online Engagement & Strategic Initiatives at The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University. Experiential Learning So, how do we define experiential learning ? During our conversation, we discussed how experiential learning is about the application of learning rather than just sharing information about a topic. It is the "learning by doing" concept. Most often in biology education, these unique skills are only given in laboratory settings, with a hands-on approach. We also conside