February 2021 Newsletter

February 16, 2021

Design for Alignment

“To feel more fulfilled, your actions and activities need

to be in alignment with what you deem important.”

~Deborah Day

We’ve heard a great deal during the pandemic about burnout, depression, and anxiety as a result of the current national health crisis. Perhaps it would be useful to take a moment to think about what can combat those problems. Alignment may be the key both in your work and at home.

Align Your Life—Create a Work/Life Balance

A plan is often necessary to make things happen. We can’t achieve balance without planning for it. Due to the recent shift towards working from home during the Covid Crisis, we’re often working while we should be resting, spending time with our families, and generally enjoying ourselves. One thing that might help is creating specific spaces for different activities to help your mind differentiate between work life and home life. Most importantly, make a plan for what you want your life to look like. As Stephen Covey said, “Begin with the end in mind.”

Align Assessments, Learning objectives, and Instructional Strategies

Speaking of beginning with the end in mind, aligning your instructional strategies with student outcomes and learning objectives may help you achieve more fulfillment in your work life by contributing to the success of your students. Assessments are meant to reveal if or how well students have learned what they need to learn. Instruction should ensure that they learn it. For this to occur, assessments, learning objectives, and instructional strategies need to be closely aligned so that they reinforce one another. Some questions to consider while designing your courses for alignment: What kinds of activities in and out of class will reinforce my learning objectives and prepare students for assessments? What kinds of tasks will reveal whether students have achieved the learning objectives I have identified? (Source: https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/assessment/basics/alignment.html)

TLF Announcements and Resources


Spring Book Groups

It’s time to sign up for book groups again. Check out the spring semester book list. Sign-up begins this week. Visit our website for changes to book group policy during Covid-19. The deadline to sign-up is January 15.

Faculty Symposium and Launch of the new Digital District

Take Action and be a part of the Faculty Symposium on Tuesday, March 23 from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m.

We invite all faculty to participate in this event. Come hear and share your ideas about teaching and learning. Discuss current issues in education. Additionally, we are thrilled to highlight the new technology in the Digital District space in Lampros Hall during this Symposium. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the new spaces virtually.

Sign up here to attend the Faculty Symposium.

Teaching for Learning Conference

Overcoming Distance, Disruption, and Distraction Thursday, February 25, 2021, 9am - 4:45pm

The 5th annual Teaching for Learning (T4L) Conference is co-hosted by Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Brigham Young University. This year's conference outlines the many factors that are distracting our students and offers both practical and theoretical approaches to overcoming those obstacles. During this one-day conference, participants will have the opportunity to make connections with other instructors, take home great ideas for teaching, and stay current on research in teaching and learning. Learn more at this link.

Enter "WSU2021" to register for free!

The organizers have also suggested it would be good to have a facilitator in the Zoom room for each presentation to briefly introduce the speaker, keep track of time, monitor the chat, and be a point of contact for any technical difficulties that may arise. Please use this form to sign up for as many time slots as you are willing/able to cover.

Zoom Etiquette Videos for Students

The Computer Literacy Center (CLC) has developed a series of short training videos for students on Zoom basics, as well as etiquette, safety, and how to engage in virtual classes. Students, staff and faculty can access the videos at https://www.weber.edu/clc/zoom.html

Faculty, we've created a Canvas page with these videos that you can easily import into your course. Access this page on WSU's Canvas Commons and then click "Import/Download" and decide where you'd like to place it in your course (e.g., in your first module). Don't want to put the full module in your course? You can also pick and choose the videos you'd like to include from our website.

Tuesday Teaching Tips

Please join the Teaching and Learning Forum for Tuesday Teaching Tips at Two once a month this spring semester. These virtual events will showcase some of the best practices for teaching in virtual and online formats presented by faculty members from all colleges. Presentations will be in the format of GIFTS sessions (Great Ideas for Teaching Students) with Q&A opportunities at the end of each showcase. You can register on our website at this link. You will receive a calendar invitation and Zoom links for all sessions you wish to attend. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday Teaching Tips Spring 2021

Date Presenter Topic
January 26 Alex Lawrence Increasing Online Communication Quality and
Effectiveness with New Technology
February 23 Aspen Florence Building Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into Online
March 30 Drew Weidman Using Yuja to Create Simple Concept Videos for
Your Classes
April 20 Paul Neiman Teaching with Word Clouds and Creating
Community in Online Classes


Canvas Corner

24/7 Canvas Support

WSU faculty and students can now get basic Canvas tech support 24/7 — even on holidays — thanks to a partnership between the Utah System of Higher Education and Instructure. The Utah CARES Act provided funding for the enhanced service.

For the fastest response using this new feature, use the live chat (located in the "Help" menu under the global navigation sidebar). You may also contact support via phone by calling 877-215-0831 anytime. During times of high call volume, you may receive a wait-time notification.

Where can I find articles about alignment in education and in work/life balance?

What resources and ideas does Weber State University offer for teaching online and virtually?

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About The Author

Rachel Cox

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