CARPE News #21 Jul 22, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

My apologies for the delay in getting this newsletter out to you. I'm tempted to make excuses that this is not the summer that I anticipated having, but then, of course, this is not the summer that any of us anticipated. Regardless, I hope this finds you well, and that you're finding some way to get a change of pace and/or scenery, while continuing to stay safe.

I really can't emphasize this last point enough: we are a dedicated group of people. We care deeply about our jobs, and recognize that our work has a big impact on our students. Consequently, our sense of obligation is strong--and also, at times, a little dangerous to our health.

So honestly: take a break. Seriously, if it would help, ignore this e-mail (except, please, for the first item!). Or skim quickly. Just because there are a thousand resources out there--including hundreds of possible approaches to teaching this fall--that doesn't mean that we each have to attend to every single one. Finally, we can turn off the spigot (or at least reduce the pressure). Settle on an approach, develop your syllabi, then let them sit for a week or two. Read some trashy novels, do some of your own research. Eventually, yes, pick up the syllabi again and tinker, just enough to make sure all of your students have some options regardless of their particular situations. E-mail me if you want. But then? Watch Community, if you haven't already, or Brooklyn 99, or that documentary on bee-keeping or goat-herding that you've had your eye on for a while. Build a yurt. Mess around with a new language. Learn to play the harmonica. Plan that trip to Italy for when all of this is over. Make homemade ice cream. Pressing "pause" is crucial to ensuring we can do our jobs well.

Of course, for those of you who still have the energy, I've assembled a number of resources below. As always, please let me know if you have others to share.

Take care, all.
Paul Hanstedt


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. An invitation to engage in conversations about anti-racist pedagogies
  2. Tips for the New Normal
  3. A variety of approaches for teaching blended (or not-so-blended) models this fall.
  4. A link to recordings of all of the W&L Summer Academy workshops
  5. A video-taped workshop by scholar Flower Darby exploring best practices in virtual instruction
  6.  Resources on inclusivity in a virtual environment
  7. Resources, courtesy of Skidmore College, for those still exploring options for teaching the sciences in a virtual setting
  8. A NYT piece exploring the tutorial approach as a antidote to the chaos of the present moment
  9. A Personal World Clock, for those of us who may find ourselves working with students in multiple time zones
  10. Art under the lockdown

  1. An invitation to engage in conversations about anti-racist pedagogies

    A number of faculty members, as well as the University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (UCICC), have reached out this summer asking about anti-racism pedagogical resources and roles that CARPE might play in efforts to improve the ways we envision our classes, navigate sensitive moments during class discussion, and - as advisors and mentors - support students from diverse walks of life. Among possibilities that colleagues have mentioned are:

    1. workshops mediated by a guest speaker or member(s) of the faculty on
      • effectively recognizing and addressing prejudiced comments made in class contexts.
      • becoming more aware of, and growing beyond, our own implicit biases.
      • reviewing our syllabi and/or departmental curricula for better representation from BIPOC authors, scholars, and perspectives. Students need to see themselves in our courses, including topics that might not seem, on the surface, to address issues of colonialism, ethnocentrism, or racial justice.
    2. resources for self-education. Should there be a hub for articles, blog posts, news items, books, documentaries, webinars, or other sources that might help faculty improve their anti-racist pedagogy? If so, what format might work best (Box, Teams, etc.)?
    3. what we've done and tried to do. How might faculty share efforts they've made in recent weeks, months, or years to make W&L a more equitable, just, and welcoming space for all staff, students, and faculty? For example, have you taken students who are underrepresented in your discipline to professional conferences, or undertaken independent studies or summer research? How or where might we compare notes about possibilities? How can we evaluate the impact or success of these practices or attempts?
    4. external speakers, reading groups, extended learning communities. Also additional training opportunities from Dean Futrell and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement and/or other experts (at or beyond W&L).

These possibilities are preliminary, potential directions for collaborative support as we move toward the fall and into the school year. I hope you'll reach out to CARPE (CARPE@wlu.edu) or me (phanstedt@wlu.edu) about these or other ideas and/or resources so that we might carry through in meaningful ways to improve anti-racist pedagogy for the benefit of everyone in the W&L community.

  1. Tips for the New Normal

    This is a short, common-sense piece that basically reminds all of us to keep it sane. It also includes several very useful links as we begin to pull our courses together.

  2. A variety of approaches for teaching blended (or not-so-blended) models this fall

    If you're still not settled on an approach (or approaches) for your fall courses, here's a video, courtesy of Holly Pickett, on a very reasonable, very manageable model developed by Mike Caulfield of Washington State University. In addition, check out these different models outlined by Gary Hawkins of Warren Wilson College. He also includes a weekly sketch of what each model would look like in practice. The sketches alone are worthy of perusal.

    While this last source, forwarded to me by Deborah Miranda, comes from a historical society in the UK, some of the topics--building community, running seminars--are applicable to any field. Each section is quite short, and full of easily implementable ideas.

  3. A link to recordings of all of the W&L Summer Academy workshops

    Here's a link to recordings of all of the Summer Academy workshops. If you're still looking for some inspirations or some tech tweaks, these are worth browsing. I particularly recommend the "What Worked, What Didn't . . . " session--in which Brian Alexander, Nadia Ayoub, and Sarah Horowitz share ideas that worked for them--as well as Mays Imad's session "Beyond Imagination," exploring practical tips for helping to alleviate the trauma that all of us are experiencing this year.

  4. A video-taped workshop by scholar Flower Darby exploring best practices in virtual instruction

    Flower Darby, author of SMALL TEACHING ONLINE, recently gave an online workshop entitled "Small Teaching Online: Practical Strategies to Enhance Learning in Online Environments". In this session, she covers eight tips--most of them fairly easily implemented--for deepening student learning. If you can spare the hour or so, it's worth a look.

  5. Resources on inclusivity in a virtual environment

    One silver lining to all of us having to suddenly learn virtual pedagogies is it gives us an opportunity to be more deliberate about inclusion in our classrooms. One open-access resource you might find useful is Catherine Shea Sanger's INCLUSIVE PEDAGOGY AND UNIVERSAL DESIGN. The nice thing about this excellent resource is that much of what's discussed can also be applied in the face-to-face classroom.

    The Association of College and University Educators has also made available an Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit, covering 10 powerful practices ranging from ensuring our courses reflect the diversity of the broader world to ensuring our syllabi set the tone for diversity and inclusion to setting expectations for valuing diverse viewpoints. Each of these modules is brief, but filled with useful ideas.

  6. Resources, courtesy of Skidmore College, for those still exploring options for teaching the sciences in a virtual setting

    The title here pretty much says it all. Below are a number of online resources for folks in STEM fields. They were assembled by Kim Frederick, of Skidmore College. Some are free, some are not, but they're all worth a glance. 
  1. An NYT piece exploring the tutorial approach as a antidote to the chaos of the present moment

    Back in June when we had our first Summer Academy Session, Brian Alexander described how he used a tutorial method to bring a little more connection and learning to his courses. This short piece, written by a neuroscientist, explores this idea a little more, and talks about why it might be beneficial for our students.

  2. A Personal World Clock, for those of us who may find ourselves working with students in multiple time zones

    Anticipate the possibility of having students working in multiple time zones? This personal world clock, forwarded to me by Scott Dittman, might be just the thing you need!

  3. Art under the lockdown

    Just because we all need something beautiful in our lives, I'm concluding with this link to David Byrne's Reasons to Be Cheerful, and particularly the collection "Making Art is Keeping Us Sane." I certainly hope so. Scroll down until you reach the gallery, and then hit play.

Be well.