CETL Highlights

Spring 2018



GIST Seminar

This month’s seminar for graduate instructors addressed developing courses through Backward Design. Susan Gaunt Stearns (History) and Patti O’Sullivan (Pharmacy Administration) presented the

GIST Seminar Feb 23

Backward design model and provided materials with questions to guide instructors’ thoughts about courses they teach or plan to teach. The instructors appreciated the tips and suggestions about developing measurable goals and objectives, but one of the tips they especially appreciated related to the final exam. By creating the final exam while planning the course, instructors can reduce the stress traditionally attributed to ”end-of-semester frenzy” and improve the likelihood of their staying true to their course plans throughout the semester.  The materials for this seminar are included on the Graduate Instructor Course on  Blackboard. The next GIST event is scheduled for Friday, March 23.


Graham Bodie (Journalism) lead CETL’s first FacChat of the semester. Elaborating on his presentation at CETL’s faculty development luncheon in October, he discussed practical classroom applications of the Listen First Model.

Graham Bodie. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Communications

Several participants mentioned the difficulty in motivating students to engage in conversations involving controversial topics or to converse with those dissimilar from themselves. They highlighted factors that might contribute to students’ silence: fear, minimal confidence, and cultural norms. Perhaps some students wanted to avoid others’ expectations that they have an opinion. Dr. Bodie stressed the importance of preparing students for classroom conversations.  He offered several resources to help students and instructors develop a good “space” for good “conversations.” These resources are available in CETL Learning Communities on Blackboard.


Critical Thinking Workshop

Linda Nilson

In lieu of the monthly faculty development luncheon, CETL collaborated with the Provost’s Office on UM’s 2018 Kickoff Event, a day with Linda Nilson, Director Emeritus of Clemson University’s Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation.  Dr. Nilson is a leading expert on critical thinking (CT), which is the focus of UM’s upcoming Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).  During her visit, she met with a variety of committees, administrators, and faculty to discuss her research and experiences related to CT initiatives on university campuses.  The day culminated with her workshop, “Critical Thinking Unmasked,” where she summarized her research on CT and offered suggestions for promoting it in discipline-based courses.  The handout for the workshop as well as materials from one of her CT webinars may be found in CETL Learning Communities on Blackboard.


Winter Intersession Workshop

Matt Ohland (Purdue University) joined us in January to lead CETL’s 3rd Annual Winter Intersession Workshop.

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning- 3rd Annual Winter Intersession Workshop- CATME: Smarter Teamwork, Forming, Teaching and Managing Student Teams. Photo by Kevin Bain/University Communications Photography

Despite icy roads and school closings, UM faculty, instructors, and administrators gathered for the two-day workshop to examine the instructional applications and research opportunities afforded by CATME, Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness.

Participants left the workshop inspired to try or augment team-based approaches in their classes and to incorporate CATME.

Presently, individual UM departments are licensed to use CATME, but given the interest generated by the workshop, CETL and The Division of Outreach are investigating the possibility for a university-wide license to allow broader access to this innovative tool.


GIST Seminar

CETL scheduled its first monthly Graduate Instructor Seminar on Teaching (GIST) on January 26thMore than 45 graduate students attended to lunch and learn about the value of teaching statements for their careers in higher education. Ken Sufka (Psychology) and Lauren Reynolds (Modern Languages) provided tips on creating teaching statements, using them as a basis for reflection, and refining them to support academic job searches at different types of institutions, e.g. R1’s, community colleges, etc. They stressed that teaching beliefs are not static; they change with time, experience, students, and environments. They advised the graduate students to continually reflect and refine their teaching statements as they develop as instructors. Materials included in the seminar are posted on the Graduate Instructor Course on Blackboard. The next GIST Seminar is scheduled for Friday, February 23.


Fall 2017

Faculty Development Luncheon


Dr. Graham Bodie guides faculty through a “Listen First” collaborative activity.

On Thursday, October 12, Dr. Graham Bodie lead our faculty development luncheon about The Role of Listening in Civil Discourse.  He introduced the  Listen First Model, its application in university classrooms, and responded to faculty questions.

For a full description of Dr. Bodie’s presentation please see Better Learning Through Listening in the Classroom by Dr. Deb Wenger (Journalism).

If you are interested in viewing the faculty development luncheon in its entirety, please refer to the following linked video:  CETL FDL:

                                                       The Role of Listening in Civil Discourse