ADTL

The Cure for Death by Powerpoint

This is an edited version of the talk I gave in the Faculty of Arts Teaching and Leaning Workshop series at the University of Calgary on 20 October 2016.

I delivered it for university faculty, but I think it could apply equally to all classrooms — maybe even beyond.

UPDATE (28 November 2016): I’ll give another version of this talk to the wider university community on 20 January 2017. Click here for details

Here’s the abstract:

Most of us use slideshows like Powerpoint or Keynote to accompany our lectures and illuminate our points. But what principles and habits are we following when we write our slideshows? Are we showing students the right information, in the right way, at the right time?

In this workshop, you’ll design slideshows to match your teaching goals to students’ learning needs. You’ll critique some slideshows that just don’t work. You’ll learn about some features of these two programs, like text animations and embedded media. And you’ll learn how slides can tell stories and provoke conversations, not just deliver information.

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Engaging Large Classes: Notes from a Workshop

These are my notes from a recent Teaching + Learning Workshop on engaging large classes, with Patrick Finn (R, Drama) and David Dick (L, Philosophy).

I’m posting these notes here because far too often, events of this kind aren’t documented for those who had the misfortune to miss them.

This isn’t a transcript of everything that happened in the workshop; merely a cluster of impressions and ideas that David and Patrick raised today. (For the most part, I’m paraphrasing their words. My interjections are in italics.)

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Teaching + Learning News 3.02

UC-arts-black

2015-11-12
Semi-regular reports on higher-education teaching and learning from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts. By Michael Ullyot, Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning): saving your inbox from overload since 2014. Follow me on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing. Feedback and submissions are always welcome. Leave a comment below, or drop me a line.
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The Secret of Good Humanities Teaching

The Secret of Good Humanities Teaching will be of interest to anyone who teaches difficult texts, particularly in the humanities. The hardest part for many students is getting some purchase on these texts, orienting themselves to what the texts are about. So our first step is to simplify them just enough to orient students to their main ideas, themes, or narrative arc, and then to “show the subtleties and depths,” the reasons “why the text was really worth reading — and reading carefully, and rereading.” The authors (Dettmar and Taranto) use a memorable image to underscore why hard texts are worth the labour: “the juice is worth the squeeze.” To sum up their argument in a sentence:

The best humanities professors leave students with the ability and the desire to first make a complicated text simple and understandable, and then to reread and find the complexity again.

Job Opportunity: Learning Technologies Coach

ATTENTION GRADUATE STUDENTS IN THE FACULTY OF ARTS 

Job Description

As a Learning Technologies Coach you will provide desk-side support for instructors in the Faculty of Arts. Learning technologies include D2L Brightspace, Adobe Connect Meetings, Top Hat, and others that enable student learning. The Learning Technology Coaches’ job will be to identify methods and practices that meet instructors’ pedagogical goals. Coaches will work as a collaborative team to provide both in-person support and online or remote support when necessary.

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Teaching + Learning News 3.01

2015-09-11
Semi-regular reports on higher-education teaching and learning from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Arts. By Michael Ullyot, Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning): saving your inbox from overload since 2014. Follow me on Twitter, if you do that sort of thing. Feedback and submissions are always welcome. Leave a comment below, or drop me a line.
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Mentoring New Faculty

Mentoring New Faculty

I’ve been reading about different systems and advice for mentoring new faculty members, and here are some of the highlights and must-reads on my list.

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What’s a university education for?

Second in a series of posts on graduate attributes; here’s the first

 

As educators, we probably could articulate a few answers to that question. It promotes knowledge about the world, as reflected by our disciplines. It induces curiosity about things, and to make positive change. It gives you the values, dispositions, and skills to be both principled and influential.

It’s much easier to define a university education by what it’s not. It’s not job training, though it gives you the necessary skills for a range of vocations. It’s not about filling you with information, but empowering you with the knowledge that leads to wisdom. It won’t make you rich quick, though it will boost your earning potential. I could wax lyrical about these outcomes all day.

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Digital Badges for Professional Development

A continuing series from the University of Calgary’s “Design for Learning” conference on university learning and teaching this week (#ticonf2015 on Twitter). I’m live-blogging my notes, so forgive my typos and omissions.

This morning I’m in a session on Micro-Credentialing and Badges, offered by the Educational Development Unit team: Lin Yu, Patti Dyjur, Kevin Saito (who designed the amazing conference app), and Joni Miltenburg. It has clear links to the project my team and I presented yesterday, on our digital badge system in English 205 (Foundations: Shakespeare).

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