Faculty and Staff:
I appreciate your efforts during the 2015-16 academic year. Have a wonderful summer.
- MAP Priorities and Projects on Chadron State 2020
- Visit the VPAA Update archive versions on the VPAA website: http://csc.edu/vpaa/snaresreleases/index.csc.
- The Week Prior to the First Day of Classes (Academic Affairs and Student Affairs) and Opening Day are attached with the VPAA
- Large CSC Contingent Learned from HLC Conference by Alex Helmbrecht, Director of College Relations: http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/11294.
- Faculty Senate approved By-Law changes at the last meeting 5 May
Faculty searches in progress: 2 Business; 1 Art; 2 Graduate (Counseling & Education); 1 English and Humanities.
Gary Dusek accepted a tenure track Business position.
Jeremy Weremeichik accepted a tenure track Science position. Brittany Helmbrecht accepted a tenure track ESP/HPER position. Aaron Field accepted a tenure track ESP/Range position.
Academic staff searches in progress: Liberal Arts Office Assistant II. Terie Dawson, Director of Institutional Research, and Dr. Susan Hines, Associate Vice President for Teaching and Learning Technologies, will be pursuing other opportunities. Their contributions are greatly appreciated.
Frontier Rural or Frontier and Remote (FAR): Part 2
The Frontier Rural “mentality is marked by an emphasis on independence and self-reliance, while at the same time substantial value is placed on community and connectedness to others. The unique focus on taking care of oneself, and at the same time taking care of community members within a close-knit environment, was clear in the themes that emerged …” (Urruty, 2011, 92-93); Purity’s conclusion relates to the study of first generation college students from frontier communities.
The values of self-reliance, resilience, community connectedness, and living simply are themes of Frontier Rural (or Remote) areas. Students exhibit such behaviors – sometimes in productive ways to enhance their education. Chadron State College (CSC) staff and faculty expressed the connectedness value in the February 2016 survey – to people they work with and CSC or the Chadron area.
The 4 April 2016 VPAA Update provides links to FAR maps.
Bookstore Vendor for 2016-2017
In April three bookstore vendors conducted presentations. All three companies offer options to purchase new texts, used texts, and eTextbooks as well as rental of texts. MBS (www.mbsbooks.com/) will begin ramping up services for the fall 2016 semester. Reeves Incorporated will operate a retail outlet within the Student Center.
Scholarly Talks and Presentations AY 2016-17
The Library Learning Commons and Teaching & Learning Center are seeking faculty speakers for next year’s Graves Lecture Series and TLC Seminars. The Graves Lecture Series format is flexible and has featured a variety of formal and informal presentations that appeal to college and community audiences alike – from scholarly talks to musical performances. For more information about the Series and how to participate, contact the LLC’s Outreach Librarian, Shawn Hartman (firstname.lastname@example.org or 308.432.6271); to view previous lectures, visit: http://academic.csc.edu/llc/blog/?page_id=50. Faculty who are interested in sharing their scholarly and professional endeavors with fellow faculty (and staff) should contact the TLC Instructional Design Specialist, Elizabeth Ledbetter (email@example.com or 308.432.6275); to find out more about the TLC Seminars, visit: http://csc.edu/tlc/workshops/.
Starting on May 2, the Director of Records will supervise the project coordinators within the Graduate Office on a day-to-day basis. The Graduate Dean will continue to offer significant input on the overall operation of the Graduate Office. While the Graduate Dean will continue to be involved in the annual evaluation of the project coordinators, the Director of Records will be the primary evaluator.
Education Program 2014-15 Title II Report for Education Program
Every year the CSC Education Department must complete the Title II report for the U.S. Department of Education. This information serves as our “report card” for the Higher Education Act. All CSC students who have been officially admitted into the Education program are included in this report. To be admitted they must have completed all their course prerequisites, passed the Praxis CORE test, and met the GPA requirements. We also report specific information on program completers for each academic year. For the 2014-15 AY, 244 students were enrolled in the Education Program. Of that group 95 students achieved program completion. Of the remaining 149 students enrolled in the program, 117 were female and 32 were male. Demographically, 136 students identified themselves as white, 5 of two or more races, 4 Hispanic/Latino, 2 Native American, 1 African American, and 1 Asian. While the minimum GPA requirement for entering the program is a 2.75, the median GPA of those 149 CSC students enrolled was a 3.47. Program completers had an average GPA of 3.5.
Faculty Positions at CSC
Unlike most institutions across the country, 87% of full-time faculty positions at CSC are tenure track or tenured. There are few institutions, public and non-profit private, that could match this commitment.
Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE)
The spring 2016 Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) kicked off in April. Faculty who teach lower and upper-division undergraduate classes received email invitations from Indiana University with the subject line: Assessing Students Engagement at Chadron State College. The survey is designed to supplement the National Survey of Student Engagements (NSSE). FSSE measures how faculty members organize their time, faculty-student interactions, faculty expectations for student engagement in different educational undertakings, and the kinds of learning experiences their institutions emphasize. FSSE results are used to pinpoint areas of the undergraduate learning experiences at CSC that may deserve contemplation.
Listed below are some quick takes from the 2015 FSSE Administration.
84% of CSC faculty (n=53) believe it is important for undergraduates to participate in High- Impact Practices such as internship or field experience before they graduate.
67% of faculty indicate that at least “Some” of their courses include a service-learning component.
6.5 The average weekly class preparation time CSC faculty expect students to spend preparing for class.
2.9 Average number of hours per week that faculty believe students actually spend preparing for each class.
2.7 The number of hours lower division faculty (n=29) expect students to spend reading, compared to 3.1 hours that upper-division faculty (n=24) expects students to spend reading. 94% of faculty clearly explain course goals and requirements in their courses. More upper division faculty (96%) than lower division faculty (93%) explain course goals and requirements in their courses.
95% of upper division faculty indicate that their coursework emphasizes analyzing facts, theories, or methods to practical problems or new situations.
52% of lower division faculty believe it is important for students to prepared two or more drafts of a paper or assignment before turning it in.
Prepared by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness
Updated – 5/6/16
We’ve been made aware of some confusion or concern regarding this article. Please allow me to help clarify some of the major points. I will continue to update the article as new questions are raised.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Wait, what’s happening?!
- The Modules tool will eventually be removed from Sakai. It has not been actively supported by the community since 2014. We want to get started training people on Lessons and moving content away from Modules before it goes away completely.
- What is Lessons and Modules? The titles are confusing and were changed recently.
- Modules is a Sakai tool that was called Lessons prior to the Sakai 10 upgrade in March. The majority of courses taught in Sakai still use Modules to display course lesson plans.
- Lessons is the tool that was previously called Lessons Builder prior to the upgrade. In other words, before March 2016, you were calling the Modules tool “Lessons” and the Lessons tool was called “Lessons Builder”.
- This was a confusing, but very necessary change, to upgrade CSC Online to the community supported version of Sakai.
- What will faculty (course owners) need to do?
- All content that is currently in Modules will eventually need to be moved to the Lessons tool. Faculty will be responsible for moving their content, however, we will release a conversion tool and support documents to make this easier.
- How long do we have?
- We are hoping to accomplish this before August 2017.
- What happens after August 2017?
- After August 2017, the Lessons tool will be completely used in place of Modules. The Modules tool will still remain in the system for the time-being (for archival purposes), however it will be removed when CSC Online is upgraded to Sakai 11.
- Is this another name change?
- No, we are abandoning Modules and moving to Lessons, these are two separate tools.
- How do we transfer content before course shells are created?
- Fall course shells are planned to be created in June each year, Spring shells in October.
- For courses taught on rotation or other non-active sites, instructors may need to work in the most recent version of the course to move content from Modules to Lessons. This way, Lessons will be ready to import into the active shell when the time comes.
— Original Article —
The next critical step in our on-going initiative to improve CSC Online is abandoning the Modules tool. We are turning our attention to the Lessons tool (formerly known as Lessons Builder) which is actively supported by the Sakai developer community. Lessons provides a much-improved student learning experience and allows instructors to present course content in a more organized way. Currently, several faculty and adjunct instructors are successfully using this tool to teach courses in CSC Online-Sakai.
By August 1, 2017, all CSC Online courses must exclusively use the Lessons tool. On this date, the Modules tool will no longer be available. CSC faculty members play an important part in this transition, and we request their assistance to successfully make this change.
In the coming weeks, the TLC will provide tools and resources to help course owners and instructors migrate content from Modules to Lessons and archive all other vital content. Watch for several announcements regarding tools and resources for migrating/archiving Modules content as well as training on the new Lessons tool features. Many of these tools and resources are courtesy of the past hard work contributed by Sakai community members.
Listed below are three resources to help get started using Lessons (links open in new tab):
- Longsight: Sakai Instructor Guide – Lessons
- Duke University: Getting started with the Lessons tool
- Sakai Project Confluence: Lessons features and specifications
The timeline for completing the migration from Modules to Lessons follows:
|Description of Goal||
|Training and consultations on the Lessons tool (Lessons Builder) and migrating course content from the Modules tool||
Offered Continuously (TBA)
May 2016 – July 2017
|Active term courses are using Lessons||
|Lessons will replace Modules as the default tool in Sakai shells (but will continue to work in past term courses)||
Prior to Summer 2017
|Modules content archived in all courses (past and current terms)||
|Modules tool no longer available as a tool option in Sakai sites||
|Modules is removed from the system||
Prior to Sakai 11 Upgrade (TBA)
For questions about the migration away from Modules, or other CSC Online – Sakai topics, contact the Teaching and Learning Center IT specialist Sam Ballard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 432-7089.
New faculty gathered at the Bean Broker for the final meeting of the New Faculty Orientation (NFO). Tracy Nobiling, NFO facilitator, led a discussion with the now not-so-new faculty to identify what they considered most useful and least useful aspects of this year’s program experience. The new faculty members shared their perspectives and offered suggestions for ways to improve the program for next year’s new faculty cohort.
The discussion expanded upon feedback the NFO participants submitted via an anonymous, online evaluation of the program’s full-day orientation held prior to the start of fall semester and the hour-length, bi-monthly meetings scheduled during the fall and spring semesters. Points taken from the survey framed the candid discussion.
Survey responses and the subsequent conversation suggest that new faculty have many things in common, that they appreciate and benefit from having structured, collegial opportunities to meet with each other, and that the program is not perceived as overly time-consuming.
Faculty expressed general agreement that the most useful meetings are those focused on explaining college planning, policies, processes, and
procedures as well as those which identify resources (individuals and offices) that support students.
Opinion was split on the value of meetings focused on teaching-related topics. Given the varied levels of new faculty teaching experience, these meetings were considered greatly beneficial to some, but less valuable to others.
The informal discussion underscored the challenges of providing the right balance of topics relevant to all new faculty while coordinating perfectly timed delivery of information just when faculty need it.
The group discussion prompted several suggestions to enhance future NFO experiences and/or CSC teaching overall. Some ideas proposed are:
- Add an agenda item to every meeting to increase time allotted to unstructured discussion and sharing of challenges and successes faculty are experiencing at the moment.
- Add a meeting or event in which a panel of experienced CSC faculty members address what to expect when teaching CSC students and how best to engage them.
- Schedule and promote a regularly scheduled “Teaching Table” to support both new and experienced faculty informal discussions regarding teaching strategies, ideas, and conundrums.
The NFO Program is designed to assist incoming faculty who are new to teaching and/or new to campus with just-in-time guidance and resources for getting settled on campus. Meeting topics aim to introduce new faculty to CSC and support them in navigating college processes, developing a support network, and fostering plans for improving teaching, scholarly and creative activities, and professional service.
One new faculty member expressed that the NFO experience was very helpful and provided some great information that could be used throughout the semesters.
“It was refreshing to be part of a group of faculty that was in the same boat as me, being in the first year of teaching here at CSC, and it helped provide a non-biased look at happenings around the campus. Often times, our views can be distorted and we can get cliqued into our own department and not have to travel outside of it. This was a nice way to branch out and meet new individuals and learn about campus.”
This year, the TLC did something new. In its first year sans director, it took a page out of Plato’s Apology, and decided to examine a slice of life (2015-2016) – both to get a sense of what it does well and what it could do better. At the core of this self-examination is an important principle: utilization. As a service unit of Academic Affairs, TLC staff want to understand how their services are being used. Simple tracking strategies are able to tell us how often services are used and for what reasons. It’s assessment at its most basic, but it does give us some basis for extrapolating on faculty interests in pedagogical strategies and instructional technologies.
This year the TLC facilitated five mostly faculty-led seminars, with an overall attendance of 40 faculty and staff. There were a variety of topics, including verbal Judo, RSS, active learning, the science of student mindsets, and academic study tables. The nine faculty who led the seminars included Jamie Wada, Ann Buchmann, Joyce Hardy, Wendy Jamison, Beth Wentworth, Jesse Sealey, Josh Ellis, Susan Schaeffer, and Kurt Kinbacher. We were pleased to see participants from so many different disciplines with such a broad range of teaching experience (assistant professors to full professors).
Additionally, six multi-session workshops (some of which ran encore performances) provided hands-on and technology-infused instruction. Topics included Turnitin, high-impact practices, Sakai’s Lesson Builder tool, screencasting, object-based learning, and academic blogging. A total of 30 faculty and staff attended these sessions, while seven staff members from the TLC, LLC, and Sandoz Center facilitated and assisted with the sessions: Matthew Perrie, Susan Hines, Elizabeth Ledbetter, Jereme Patterson, Sarah Polak, Christine Fullerton, and Sam Ballard. The workshops – even the under-enrolled ones – have clearly elevated the skillsets of some faculty, but, more importantly, they have spurred closer connections between faculty and staff, which, we hope, will lead to more productive partnerships.
This August, the TLC will launch its first Summer Institute, a two-day event that focuses on online course revision and e-pedagogy. The author of Excellent Online Teaching: Effective Strategies for a Successful Semester, Aaron Johnson, will be on hand for “Tuning Up Your Online Courses.” The institute (which is limited to six participants, due to space and workstation restrictions) is currently full, but we’re already considering an encore. If you’re interested, contact the TLC’s ID Specialist, Elizabeth Ledbetter (email@example.com).
Like any sports enthusiast with a Fitbit, the numbers say something about overall health at a given point in time. Now that the TLC knows its numbers for the academic year (a grand total of 16 facilitators and 70 participants), the goal in 2016-2017 is simply to increase them and to expand its multiuse, presentation, media-development, and training spaces so that more faculty and staff can be accommodated. We are also very keen to keep the quality high and are experimenting with seminars that dovetail into publishing, such as Kurt Kinbacher’s “Academic Study Table,” and publishing that dovetails into book-club gatherings, such as the academic Book Review Club recently proposed by Josh Ellis.
While the TLC has been more focused than usual on its program offerings, which in addition to seminars, workshops, and institutes, include New Faculty Orientation and, beginning this summer, a Faculty Fellows program, it checks in on a number of its other numbers as well. These include data on:
- LMS (Sakai) stability and utilization
- LMS (Sakai) support utilization
- instructional design support utilization
- mediated-classroom support utilization
- mediated-classroom utilization
- web-conferencing and lecture-capture utilization
- academic web utilization
- TLC Blog & Website utilization
- subscription service utilization (Quality Matters & Lynda.com)
- TLC Library utilization (books and, beginning this summer, equipment circulation).
Currently, our utilization reports are monthly, but data will be aggregated into semester and annual reports. So, if you’ve ever been curious about Sakai’s uptime vs downtime or would like to know more about LMS user and ticket statistics, the reports are now available on the Reports page of the TLC Blog. There’s a bevy of other interesting facts to glean, such as how many people use Vidyo and how often or what MAP sub-priorities are advanced through TLC seminars, workshops, and institutes. You can even find out about hot-ticket TLC Blog posts or learn what percentage of faculty have received basic training in Quality Matters.