Blog Archives

Takeaways from Instructional Excellence conference 2016

Last week, we had the annual Instructional Excellence conference. It’s always a good time and many innovative teaching and learning ideas are shared among the faculty. This year, we partnered with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity to bring to campus Dr. John Mateja, President of the Goldwater Foundation. Dr. Mateja spoke about how to re-envision undergraduate education at UTC and offered some suggestions on how we

Keeping Students Engaged Immediately Before and After Spring Break

March is upon us and Spring Break is right around the corner! While this is a welcome break for many, it can also bring about certain challenges for instructors. Although the expectation is that students will be present in class the days leading up to Spring Break, this is often not the case. Some students will choose to start their break a few days early, and in anticipation of

Smartphones and Tablets: Should you be using them in your course?

Imagine this: You’re standing at the podium, giving the biology lecture you spent hours preparing, and out of nowhere you hear the random sounds of the latest viral YouTube video being mistakenly played through a phone. You immediately know that one of your students was browsing social media instead of learning the material. Recreational phone use during class time has become an epidemic. Many instructors have a difficult time

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Best Grading Practices: A Student’s Perspective

One of the biggest areas of concern for students is their grades. Many students incur a significant amount of stress agonizing over their scores on exams or assignments. Although students must work hard to obtain good grades, there are a few things you can do as an instructor to alleviate a bit of the stress. Providing clear instructions for assignments and providing accurate, specific, and timely feedback are critical

Fostering Engagement and a Feeling of Community in your Online Course

Distance learning courses conducted through online platforms such as UTC Learn can be an extremely valuable asset to universities looking to expand their student reach. Online learning allows students to complete courses from any location and use technology sometimes not available in a traditional classroom setting. However, advantages of distance learning courses do come at a cost. One of the greatest disadvantages is a lack of student engagement and

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Optimizing Email

NEWSFLASH! There’s no hard and fast rule that says you must respond to every ding, buzz, or chirp the second after you hear it. Reducing the amount of email you receive is about educating students to read the syllabus and to utilize the discussion boards. Managing your email can be achieved by using tools like filters, rules, and auto replies. A good first step is to train your students

Ideas for Faculty: Making the Most of your Summer!

By the time Spring semester ends, most faculty are ready for a short break. Whether you teach in Summer or not, just having a lighter load can make all the difference and allow you to time to recharge. One of the best ways to fight that burned out feeling, is to set aside a little time to learn something new. That way, when you go back to your classes,

IclickerGO replaced with REEF polling

If you are a user of audience response systems or “clickers” at UTC, there is a change coming this fall that you will want to know about.  Iclicker is moving from using its own IclickerGO application, that allows use of smart phones as clickers, to REEF polling which is a new mobile-first classroom engagement product.  Some faculty only allow the use of the handheld clicker device in class and

Faculty Highlights – Professor Christina Vogel

This month’s faculty highlight is Christina Vogel, Assistant Professor of Art, Painting and Drawing. Professor Vogel received a grant for the Spring 2014 semester to support an experiential learning project for her upper division Drawing VI class (ART4060). Drawing VI is the most advanced level class for drawing, and is a requirement for students who are in the BFA painting and drawing program. Juniors and Seniors in the BFA

Faculty Highlights – Dr. Jennifer Boyd

  Dr. Boyd is currently working in her 12th semester at UTC. She teaches ecology and climate change biology. We selected Dr. Boyd for this month’s faculty highlight because of the grant she was awarded in Fall of 2013. Dr. Boyd’s ecology class is coupled with a lab that traditionally required students to conduct experiments on the local flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the experiments were so local they were