Course Syllabus

Outline of Topics

Theme I: Pedagogy

Topic 1: Students struggle when their instructors use unhelpful pedagogies.

    • Guest presenter: Nick Monk, Director of the CTT, will introduce the downsides of pedagogies that do not include students as active participants in their learning.
    • CTT presenters: Steven Cain and Eric French will present an abbreviated version of their workshop How to Excel at Teaching in 1,317 Easy Steps.

Topic 2: In their larger classes, students often lack the level of instructional support they need.

    • Guest presenter: Kasey Linde, Associate Director of the College of Business Teaching and Learning Center, will discuss the types of instructional support students need (and how they often struggle to have these needs met in large courses).
    • CTT presenters: Eric French and Robert Vavala will discuss the promise of learning assistants for supporting large courses.

Topic 3: Often, instructors do not know that their students are struggling.

    • Guest presenter: Chad Brassil, Faculty Director of Undergraduate Analytics, will discuss what we can learn about student success challenges by looking at analytics.
    • CTT presenters: Amy Ort and Brian Wilson will discuss ways of adjusting one’s instruction around insights gained from institutional analytics.

Theme II: Inequity

Topic 4: Many students experience inequities inside and outside of the classroom.

    • Guest presenter: Gwen Combs, Director for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion, will discuss the ways that inequities can enter the instructional environment.
    • CTT presenters: Amy Ort and Steven Cain will discuss essential inclusive teaching practices.

Topic 5: Students with disabilities struggle when courses and course materials are not accessible.

    • Guest presenter: Barbara Woodhead, Assistant Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, will discuss the types of problems students with disabilities commonly experience in their courses.
    • CTT presenters: Julia Remsik-Larsen and Grace Troupe will discuss a few initial steps people can take to make their course materials more accessible.

Theme III: Preparation

Topic 6: Many students (especially those who are first-generation) are unfamiliar with the unwritten rules of college and do not have well-developed academic habits.

    • Guest presenters:
      • Amy Goodburn, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Undergraduate Education, will discuss challenges that first-generation students face, compared to their continuing-generation peers.
      • Lori Romano, Director of the Center for Academic Success and Transition, will discuss the student habits and behaviors that most interfere with learning.
    • CTT presenters: Eyde Olson and Jeff Kosse will discuss approaches for helping students practice better reading skills.

Theme IV: Life

Topic 7: Students often struggle because of resource insecurity, substance abuse, or mental health challenges – or because their coursework must compete with important outside priorities, such as employment, medical treatment, or caregiving.

    • Guest presenters:
      • Kelli King, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, will discuss challenges that students often face related to mental health, substance abuse, and resource insecurity.
      • Connie Boehm, Director of Big Red Resilience, will discuss the various dimensions of well-being and the outside factors that most often impact student well-being and educational performance.
    • CTT presenters: Grace Troupe and Eric French will discuss outreach planning, how to approach sensitive consultations with students, and how to build flexibility into course policies and requirements.

Theme V: Belonging

Topic 8: Students struggle when they lack a sense of academic and social belonging.

    • Guest presenters: Bill Watts, Associate Dean - Undergraduate Advising and Career Development, will discuss the importance of advising for ensuring that students experience academic direction and belonging.
    • CTT presenters: Steven Cain and Nate Pindell will discuss ways of building community in one’s course.