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Maria College Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching


What's new for April?

Free webinars to support faculty working in the online space from AAC&U:

3 April 2-3 PM ET Teaching, Learning, and Assessing in Remote Learning Environments

Additional webinar topics, dates, and times:  Click To register

  • Managing Your Online Presence, Monday, April 6, 2020, 2:00 p.m. ET 
  • Organizing Your Online Courses, Thursday, April 9, 2:00 p.m. ET 
  • Planning and Facilitating Quality Discussions, Tuesday, April 14, 2:00 p.m. ET 
  • Recording Effective Micro-Lectures, Friday, April 17, 2:00 p.m. ET 
  • Engaging Students in Readings and Micro-Lectures, Monday, April 20, 2:00 p.m. ET 

Blackboard Collaborate support for you from your Maria Faculty Colleagues:

Blackboard Collaborate "Super Users". Thank you to the following faculty who have agreed serve as support guides for faculty new to using Collaborate Ultra: Anne Devlin, Mark Wahl, Stacy Kilts and Mollyann Lombardi. Please reach out to us if you have any questions about how you might use this tool in your course to further student learning and retention.

Rescheduled: Our M-CELT workshop on Test Construction conducted by Professor Peter Byrne, Chair, Liberal Arts and Management and Director, Psychology Program in which we will examine best practices for test design (including writing effective multiple choice questions), will be rescheduled. I will send out an invitation when we have set a new date.

In keeping with our focus on inclusive teaching this month, there's a recent article in Inside Higher Ed by Soulaymane Kachani, Catherine Ross and Amanda Irvin which shares research-informed strategies for the face-to-face class space that you will find informative.

Links to The Academic Minute in Professional Development (below), sponsored by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. These short podcasts share knowledge and scholarship on a range of topics from professors at institutions around the country. This month we include two below: on the benefit of nontraditional students in the classroom and how project-based learning can benefit students in the workplace.

APA 7th Edition released just in time for the new semester! Here's the updated site guidance: 

APA blog 7th edition guidance


Maria Community of Teaching Practice

Hands of a student taking a multiple choice exam

In our November meeting we considered the role of post-exam reviews in developing student understanding and metacognitive skills.

Today, in Beckie Supiano's Teaching newsletter for The Chronicle of Higher Education (12 Dec 1019) she shares a process used by Blake Harvard in his work with Advanced Placement psychology students to assist them in developing skills to approach multiple choice exams.

We might consider how his system for doing so might be adopted to serve our post-exam review practice, and promote meaningful individual student engagement with exam performance and importantly, understanding of the material tested. You may access his activity here and perhaps consider how it might be a time-saving way to accomplish what we all agreed was useful, but impacted teaching time. You might even like to consider using this as a post-exam review that's figured into your grading scheme in lieu of extra credit. A win-win for students and faculty!


                        The Academic Minute 
(from the Association of American Colleges & Universities)
Preparing Students with Project-Based Curriculum with Professor Kent Rissmiller of Worcester Polytechnic Institute 
Mixed-Age Students with Professor Angie Mayfield of Vincennes University. 
               2020 Teaching and Learning Conferences

From conferences in New York to California, and even Europe, 2020 promises to be a year of exceptional learning opportunities for faculty to connect with peers from across the country and globe to further teaching excellence and expand pedagogical approaches. Please select the link to review the range of opportunities on offer beginning in January.

The Teaching Professor Conference May 29-31 Atlanta, Georgia


Drop-in to the Center! We're upstairs in Main Building in Liberal Arts and Management wing. Our hours are listed below.

Our computers are set up with software for you to trial for presentations and lecture capture. We have instructional guides and headphones with microphones for your use.  Our instructional technologist is in the Center  Monday through Friday to assist you (please see hours below, or schedule an appointment out of hours at your convenience).

Course Design and Development

How does your online course stack up? Is it exemplary? Accomplished? Promising? Incomplete?

Review Blackboard’s Exemplary Online Course Program Rubric to review your online course. The rubric addresses key aspects of an effective online course including design, interaction & collaboration, assessment, and learner support, and will offer strategies to make your course exemplary!


Here you have access to The Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) which is a forum for the dissemination of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in higher education.  

Issue Highlights:

In this issue, you may read about how faculty apply politeness theory to address uncivil behaviors in the classroom and research into the relationship between faculty caring student engagement.



Sign up to get Teaching, the free weekly newsletter from The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Inside Higher Ed

A daily news brief about what’s happening in higher education around the country, as well as career advice and information for jobseekers.

Faculty Focus

A free newsletter that shares effective teaching strategies for the college classroom.


Strategies for online teaching innovation and effectiveness
How to Be a Better Online Teacher by F. Darby, The Chronicle of Higher Education
7 Guidelines for Effective Teaching Online by S. O'Malley, Inside Higher Ed 
How to Adapt Courses for Online Learning: A Practical Guide for Faculty by S. Cruickshank, Johns Hopkins
Organic Online Discussions: Saving Time and Increasing Engagement by  Beth René Roepnack for Faculty Focus.

M-CELT Archives:

Related to our Community of Teaching Practice discussion on developing metacognitive skills, Dr. Li-Shi Huang has some suggestions about how to foster critical reflection in our learners:

Three Ideas for Implementing Learner Reflection

Have you heard any of the following about learning: Listening to classical music increases reasoning ability? A primary indicator of dyslexia is seeing letters backwards? Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning styles (e.g., auditory, visual, kinesthetic)? Some of us are “left-brained” and some are “right-brained” due to hemispheric dominance, and this helps explain differences in how we learn? We only use 10% of our brain? If so, then you will enjoy reading, and learn how the academics involved in this study sponsored by the Online Learning Consortium (2019) hope to expand faculty understanding of the science of the mind and brain. 

Neuromyths  and Evidence-based Practice in Higher Education: An International Report

Reflections on becoming more effective teachers to promote learning, engagement and success

Reflections on Teaching: Mistakes I’ve Made, by Professor Chris Palmer, School of Communication at American University.


Teaching Questions? Would you like a strategy or educational technology consultation?

Here are just a few areas for consultation: Questions about Blackboard capabilities and using interactive tools such as blogs and wikis; Rubric development; Giving effective feedback; Active learning strategies; Universal and Backward Design for online courses; Implementing group work; Developing assignments that foster metacognitive and writing skills; Moving a F2F course online.

Please complete the following form to make a request for an appointment with Wendy or Deedra. Please be sure to state what you need help with, your name, email and what times you are available during the week.




Wendy Trevor, PhD, Assistant Professor, English, Director, M-CELT, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Deedra Vargo, Instructional Technologist


Monday 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Tuesday 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Wednesday 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Friday 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Other times by appointment