Educational Development Digest | February 2020

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 

Pedagogy and Practice

Have you ever wondered if what you’re doing in the classroom is accomplishing what you want? Are students getting out of the assignment the intended goals? Is it worth the effort to continue this project? How do you know it’s really working? You are not alone in asking these types of questions!  How do you find evidence to inform your answer? Can you do more than hypothesize the answer? YES. 

Figure of Dimensions of Activities Related to Teaching (DART)

Reflecting and then investigating on one more narrow question by seeking out evidence using a systematic, scholarly method speaks to the essence of SoTL: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. The purpose of the SoTL is to enhance teaching and student learning. This is accomplished through studying teaching and assessment strategies, assignment design, and other practices in conjunction with instructor reflection and analysis.

SoTL is frequently an individual faculty effort even if the published work is acknowledged toward tenure, limiting the potential to impact students. The greatest benefit of evidenced-based and a reflective teaching practice is using it to improve student learning for all students, not just those in an individual faculty member’s class.   

Criticism of SoTL is the lack of generalizability of study results due to the focus on individual classrooms and instructors, but this focus is exactly what SoTL research in intended to do (McKinney, 2007). Instructors need to complete research on their students and classrooms in order to modify and enhance their instruction and the student learning experience (McKinney, 2007).  Evidence of this intent is emerging at national conferences focusing on evidenced based instruction such as the Lilly Conference series, Carnegie Summit conferences, and other various conferences in the United States and Europe.   

MN REFLECT Applications Available 2/7/2020

NED Event Highlight

The MN REFLECT program brings together faculty from across disciplines, institutions, and experience to participate in a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) faculty learning community. Minnesota State REFLECT scholars will be supported as they develop, implement, and present research results at a conference or in a journal. Research studies should focus on pedagogical practices that enhance the teaching and student experience.

Participants will meet for a May one-day retreat and then monthly (Sept. â€“ Nov. and Feb. â€“ April) to continue progress, share ideas, collaborate, and obtain consultation and support. Minnesota State REFLECT is a credit release (.5 credit per year) 2-year commitment. 

This year, MN REFLECT cohorts will be asked to reflect on their teaching, develop SoTL questions, and explore their teaching and students’ learning using a lens of equity. Additionally, applicants may apply as part of a partnership or triad to expand the impact of the work. 

Applications will become available on Friday, February 7, 2020 and will be accessible via the NED Events Calendar. Applications are due Tuesday, March 24, 2020. 

Connecting and Engaging Virtually with Video

Academic Technology Tips

Effectiveness of video and multimedia varies based on content and intended audience, but there are some fundamental principles that can help improve existing videos and should be kept in mind when preparing to deliver new content online.

A video overview accompanies this guide and is not intended to be completely comprehensive, but will introduce some key components including:

  • Effective instructional approaches involving cognitive load, universal design for learning, and accessibility.
  • The technical requirements for sound, lighting, background, and composition.
  • References to research supporting the efficacy of these practices and tips on humanizing content.

Watch the video on MediaSpace (3:25)
View the Guide

Save the Date! 5th Annual Shark Tank Open

Initiatives Update

The Shark Tank Open is Minnesota State Educational Innovation’s premier innovation event, taking place March 26, 2020 from 4:00 – 8:30 pm. Faculty and staff innovators from across the state will go before expert panels, providing spirited pitches in an effort to win up to $25,000 in innovation funding.

The Shark Tank Open will also feature an innovation expo room dedicated to previously funded innovations. Attendees will have a chance to apply for up to $10,000 in Pay It Forward Funding, which is used to replicate an innovation project on another campus.

New this year! On March 27, the day following the Shark Tank Open, is a Mindfulness & Equity Summit, as well as four separate workshops to choose from:

  • Digital Badging Workshop
  • Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Workshop
  • Virtual Reality Workshop
  • Storytelling & Podcasting Workshop

Register for these events and the Shark Tank Open at:

Join the Office 365 Community of Practice

Share Your Voice

Have you been using tools available in the Office 365 suite to support your teaching and learning?  Want to learn from others and/or share your findings. Educational Innovations is coordinating a Community of Practice, an informal sub-group of the broader CATT Community

Participants in this community of practice will explore available Office 365 tools (e.g. Teams, OneNote, Stream, etc.) and compare these tools with existing enterprise instructional technologies including, but not limited to, D2L Brightspace, Kaltura MediaSpace, and Zoom.   

To join the community, please join the SO-Office365-CoP-Team and attend the kick-off meeting on Wednesday, February 19 at 12:00 pm via Zoom.

Details of this Community of Practice 

  • Meetings held online via web conference tool (Zoom, Teams, etc.) 
  • Participation is open to all employees in Minnesota State, and targeted to those using or interested in using Office 365 tools to support teaching and learning

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