Faculty Development Digest, September 2023

The Faculty Development Digest highlights events and resources that may be of interest to faculty and other educators on campus. The Digest will be posted on the Faculty Resources site periodically throughout the year. If you have an item that you would like to suggest for inclusion in a future issue, please send the details to Director of Faculty Development Rachel Weir at rweir@allegheny.edu.

Mindfulness Minute

Inspired by the spring 2023 book group focused on Oren Jay Sofer’s book Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication, here is one example of a way to create short pauses amidst your busy day:

Right now, as you are reading this newsletter, be aware of the sensations of your body sitting (or walking, or standing). Bring your attention to points of contact between your body and the chair and your feet and the ground. Keep returning your attention to those points of contact. Were you aware of those sensations a few moments ago before beginning this exercise? How does it feel to become aware of your direct, present-moment experience?

Fall Educator Resource Institute

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Fall 2023 Educator Resource Institute on Monday, August 21. Materials from all of the sessions are now linked to the schedule.

Whether or not you attended the ERI, we invite you to complete the ERI survey. As part of this initial survey, ERI participants will have the opportunity to opt into a follow-up survey that will be distributed later this year to collect information about the kinds of changes participants made as a result of the ERI.

Save the Date. The Spring Educator Resource Institute will take place on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Click here to save the date on your calendar.

Gator Day Faculty Events

Mark your calendars for these two Gator Day (Tuesday, October 24) events for faculty.

Using Assessment Instruments. (Tillotson Room, 9:00am-10:00am) A hands-on workshop that guides faculty through the process of implementing assessment instruments such as the DR rubrics (in courses that carry an ME or CL tag) and those identified in program assessment plans.

Caffeine and Cupcakes. (Tippie Alumni Center, 10:00am-11:00am) The Office of the Provost invites you to stop by to connect with colleagues, eat some cupcakes, and pick up some Allegheny goodies.

In the Library

Each month we will highlight a resource in Pelletier.

Teaching at Its Best : A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors: released in 2023, this is the updated fifth edition of this well-known book, which provides multiple evidence-based strategies for faculty. Here’s an example from Chapter 9 (Enhancing Student Motivation):

Explain to your class why you have chosen the teaching methods, readings, assignments, in-­class activities, policies, and assessment strategies that you are using. Students don’t assume that everything you do is for their own good.

Canvas Information

Canvas Workshops. Recordings from the August 17 Canvas Essentials workshop and Canvas Q&A session are now available via the Canvas Workshop Materials document, which is linked to the Canvas Tips page.

Canvas and RSEs. Please remember that all courses that are eligible for end-of-semester Reports of Student Experience (RSEs) must have published Canvas sites because the RSEs are administered via Canvas. This doesn’t mean that entire courses need to be managed through Canvas, but every Canvas course does need to be published with at least some minimal amount of content. You can find instructions on how to create a minimal Canvas course in this document.

Fundraising and You

Are you interested in learning more about how fundraising at Allegheny works? This could include: how to identify and engage with potential donors; how to effectively communicate possible donor opportunities; how Institutional Advancement can help departments and programs connect with donors; the role of faculty in donor stewardship; or understanding fundraising responsibilities for faculty who move into administrative roles. Interested faculty are invited to complete this form, briefly indicating the kinds of topics they would like to learn more about. Responses will be collected by Director of Faculty Development Rachel Weir and shared with Institutional Advancement in order to plan possible training opportunities.

Useful Subscriptions

  • Allegheny is an institutional member of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD), a nationally-recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty at all stages of their career. To take advantage of resources such as the Monday Motivator emails, 14 day Writing Challenges, and a range of webinars, set up your free account by following the steps detailed in this post.
  • Looking for news, advice, and analysis that is relevant to higher education community? Use your Allegheny email to create free accounts with platforms such as Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education and then subscribe to email newsletters that connect to your interests. Department chairs, check out the Ask the Chair posts that address readers’ questions related to departmental leadership.

Do you have other suggestions that would be of general interest to faculty? Email them to Director of Faculty Development Rachel Weir for use in future issues of the digest.

AI and Teaching

AI Assignment Collection The WAC Repository, a publication of the WAC Clearinghouse and the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum, recently released TextGenEd: Teaching with Text Generation Technologies, a digital collection of 34 undergraduate-level assignments to support students’ AI literacy, rhetorical and ethical engagements, creative exploration, and professional writing, along with an Introduction to guide instructors’ understanding and their selection of what to emphasize in their courses.


Upcoming Events

  • Oct 24 (Gator Day) – Using Assessment Instruments, 9:00am-10:00am, Tillotson Room
  • Oct 24 (Gator Day) – Caffeine and Cupcakes, 10:00am-11:00am, Tippie Alumni Center
  • May 14, 2024 – Spring Educator Resource Institute (save the date)

See the Faculty Development Opportunities page for additional links to previous events.