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Maria College Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching


What's New for April 2021

Magna Twenty-Minute Mentor highlights:

Resources for April:

Log in to access resources. Access instructions can be found in the Faculty Orientation to Teaching at Maria and your email 10/7/2021:

  • How Can I Help Students Who Are Struggling with Online Learning?
  • What Are Practical Solutions for Managing My Online Teaching Workload?
  • What Are Active Strategies for Structuring a Synchronous Class?
  • How Can I Engage Students During a Synchronous Online Class?
  • How Do I Infuse Equity into Any Online Class?

What does equity look like in the online classroom? This Twenty-Minute Mentor discussion by Dr. Stephanie Delaney unpacks how to work towards this by identifying classroom norms, creating community, tracking participation (Panopto video helps with this), and other approaches.

FERPA and Protecting Student Privacy While Using Online Educational Services: Requirements and Best Practices


Mission-Centered Teaching

What is meant by the Catholic Intellectual Tradition?

In our mission statement we explain that Maria College's commitment to career-relevant, opportunity education is rooted in the context of the Catholic intellectual tradition. This tradition is embraced by Catholic colleges and universities around the world. Boston College has created a document to foster discourse amongst faculty across disciplinary boundaries about what this tradition means for their teaching. Although Boston College is rooted in the Jesuit educational tradition, and Maria in the Sisters of Mercy, the document offers a historic introduction to how education at Catholic colleges engages with "the ultimate search for truth that animates faith", and how this serves as "the catalyst for inquiry": 

The Catholic Intellectual Tradition: A Conversation at Boston College


Professional Development Opportunities

Teaching Professor Conference June 4-6 2021.

Pearson's Top 10 Most Watched Faculty Professional Development Webinars of 2020

Topics include: active learning, engaging learners, and transitioning courses online.

While it may be difficult to travel to engage in professional development at this time, Pearson offers some free, easily accessible half-hour opportunities for faculty to further their skills in the online teaching space through their Digital Learning Webinar Series. The webinars are led by faculty from institutions across the country and address a range of topics, sharing Wiggins and McTighe's principles of  backward course design, suggesting ways to create engagement in STEM courses, and foster metacognition and critical thinking. Discipline-specific insights and ideas are presented for statistics, chemistry, A&P,  and psychology, to name a few. Some of the sessions are pre-recorded, so you may view them when you choose.

The Elon University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning

for a list of all the upcoming teaching and learning conferences in 2021. 


an open laptop on a desk with two hands typing on the keyboard

SUNY Online has developed the Course Quality Review Rubric (OSCQR), a research-based professional development tool for faculty to further online course quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. The rubric lists 50 standards across the following areas of an online course's learner experience:  Overview and Information; Technology and Tools; Design and Layout; Content and Activities; Interaction; and Assessment and Feedback.


Drop-in to the Center! We hope to be able to welcome you back in our center soon. When we do, you will find us upstairs in Main Building in Arts and Sciences wing. In the meantime, we are available for virtual consultations.

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. 

Digital Accessibility: How does your course measure up? 

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!

Designing courses with accessibility and digital inclusion in mind is one way to demonstrate our commitment to equity in higher education and ensure we reach all learners, and provide a meaningful learning experience for all. Here's a link to a Digital Accessibility Checklist created by Christina Moore, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. (Creative Commons License CC BY-NC). 

If you have questions about accessibility, navigability or Universal Design for Learning, please contact M-CELT via the link below.



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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.


Gender Neutral Language with Deborah Bennett

           Gregg Henriques, James Madison University: 

A New Definition of Depression


New to Teaching?

Professor Chris Palmer, School of Communication at American University shares his experiences:

Reflections on Teaching Mistakes I've Made 

From the Archives: 

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

Tips for Effective Online Discussions:

From Inside Higher Ed and EduCause 

Fostering Metacognitive Development

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


 The Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) is an open journal.   


Not All Flipped Classes are the Same: Using Learning Science to Design Flipped Classrooms by Alyssa Lawson, Caylor Davis, and Ji Son. Contextual Framework for Developing Research Competence: Piloting a Validated Classroom Model by Lynn Jamieson and Mark Lawson. Breaking Through Student Bias with Creative Debate Assignments by Daniel M. Settlage, University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Addressing Uncivil Behaviors in the Classroom: 

Applying "politeness theory" to address uncivil behaviors in the classroom and the relationship between faculty caring  and student engagement in    'If They Don’t Care, I Don’t Care’: Millennial and Generation Z  Students and the Impact of Faculty Caring by Amy Chasteen Miller, and Brooklyn Mills, University of Southern Mississippi



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 Kim or Wendy. Please be sure to state what you need help with, your name, email and what times you are available during the week.



Kim Santspree, Educational Technology Training Specialist,

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


By appointment

As a result of the move to virtual instruction, our hours have changed. We are available for remote consultations and for Blackboard and Blackboard Collaborate pedagogical support Monday through Friday by appointment. To set up an appointment, please send an email to Kim. For Blackboard troubleshooting, please contact the IT Help Desk.