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Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar: What I Know Now Roundtable Conversation

What would you say to your younger self about teaching and learning? Join us for a round table conversation on Thursday December 2 (12-1pm) as CITL Director, Michel Bellini, and CITL Faculty Fellows Shelly Schmidt, Leon Liebenberg, Karle Flanagan and Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider reflect on some of their earliest teaching experiences. Listen in as they share funny stories and lessons learned about themselves, their students, and the art of good teaching. Don’t miss this final Art of Teaching Lunchtime Seminar of the Fall semester. Register here for the Zoom link.

CITL Welcomes Two New Faculty Fellows

The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning would like to welcome our two new Faculty Fellows, Karle Flanagan and Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider. Karle and Wade join our current fellows Leon Liebenberg and Shelly Schmidt in their efforts to help CITL identify campus needs and reduce barriers to participation in CITL programs. 

Karle Flanagan is a Senior Instructor of Statistics. She has taught introductory statistics to over 20,000 students at UIUC since Spring of 2014. In 2018, she was awarded the Illinois Student Government’s Teaching Excellence Award and in February of 2019, she also won the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Wade Fagen-Ulmschneider is a Teaching Associate Professor of Computer Science. With a passion for data, he often teaches thousands of students each year in his courses on Data Structures, Data Visualization, and Data Science. He was selected as one of the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Education scholars, awarded the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching, and has been consistently ranked as an excellent instructor by his students for the past ten years.

Volunteers Needed for the January Graduate Academy for College Teaching

We are looking for experienced teachers to help with the January edition of the Grad Academy, the campus-wide TA training program. Instructors of any rank can help, but we would especially welcome help from graduate students with personal experience of being a TA at Illinois. There are three main ways to help:

  • Facilitate Microteaching sessions. Help new TAs start strong by offering feedback on short mock lessons and running a short discussion. We provide training. You would need to be on campus on January 14.
  • Run a small group session. We are in special need of Engineering TAs here. We provide a lesson plan and training, and you could work with a partner. You would need to be available via Zoom on January 12.
  • Run a concurrent session. Pitch a teaching topic you think new TAs would be interested in. You would need to be on campus on January 13.

Contact Lucas Anderson (lander23@illinois.edu) if you are interested in helping, or if you would like more information.


CITL Events & Workshops

Tuesday, November 23
Innovation Studio Open hours
10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M., CITL Innovation Studio, Armory Room 172, repeats every Tuesday
Host: Jamie Nelson
Tuesday, November 30
Designing Cooperative Learning Experiences
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M., online via Zoom, register for Zoom link
Presenter: David Favre
Thursday, December 2
Art of Teaching Seminar Series: What I know Now, Lessons About Teaching & Learning
12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M., online via Zoom, register for Zoom link
Presenter: Faculty Panel
Tuesday, December 7
Breaking Up the Big Assignment
2:00 P.M. - 3:00 P.M., online via Zoom, register for Zoom link
Presenter: Lucas Anderson
Check the CITL calendar for new workshops added regularly, and for a complete listing of all our Canvas training and support opportunities.

Teaching Tips


Last Day of Class

(from Berkeley University Center for Teaching & Learning) Make the last day count. Too often, the last day of a class can be taken up with housekeeping-information on the final, last minute details, and course evaluations. But as Richard Lyons, author of several books on college teaching says, "the final class is a key student retention milepost." Some suggestions are: “Thank the class” (where one professor says,  "I take some time to thank the students for their part in the course and to tell them what they did to make my job easier (e.g. worked hard, asked questions, were cheerful, etc.) and “Students' concluding remarks” (after providing your own remarks, ask for theirs). Here is a potpourri of ideas from Berkeley faculty.

Final Exams

(from Harvard University Derek Bok Center for Teaching & Learning). Final exams remain one of the most common genre of capstone assignments, set at the end of courses in order to give students (and instructors) the opportunity to synthesize and reflect on the full arc of the semester. To some degree, the popularity of exams among instructors and students may owe something to their sheer familiarity. Often, because instructors assume that students are familiar with the form, they also assume that students need relatively little preparation in order to do well on them, thus freeing up class time for more content coverage. This is not always the case, however, and in order for exams to fulfill their potential for assessing certain levels of understanding, instructors must be clear about the purpose of what they will ask students to do, write good questions, and scaffold students into the exam. 

Before you settle on a particular genre of assessment, we recommend that you visit these pages on capstone assignmentswriting effective assignment prompts, and sequencing and scaffolding.

See More Teaching Tips Here

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