Volume 4 Issue 1
Reach to Teach Mission Statement
Quote of the Month
GIFTS (Great Ideas for Teachers)
Dos and Don'ts of PowerPoint Presentations
Across the Campus
Guidelines for Dealing with Disruptive Students
Critical Thinking Poster Contest
Applied Science Name Change
GCN Internet Training
The Teaching Professor Conference
Change is Good...You Go First!
Reach to Teach Deadlines and Archives
REACH TO TEACH MISSION STATEMENT
Reach to Teach strives to:
· Provide information, strategies, and tools to improve teaching and learning
· Promote a spirit of open dialogue and collaboration within the teaching community
Reach to Teach is a bimonthly publication focusing on instructional articles and news. We hope that you will benefit from information and ideas to provide the best learning opportunities for our students at YTC. Please share your successes and challenges as you provide instruction in the classroom and one-on-one services vital to our customers and to our success as a college. Share your tried-and-true strategies or your recently discovered learning activities. Include results of your successful student interactions or helpful information you’ve acquired at a conference or workshop. Please e-mail email@example.com to contribute to future issues of Reach to Teach.
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QUOTE OF THE MONTH
Sometimes students need a hand on the shoulder…at other times, they need a kick in the pants. The art of teaching is knowing when to do which.
--Dr. Ike Shibley, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Penn State Berks
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GIFTS - DOS AND DON'TS OF POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS
Electronic presentations have become a fixture in our online and face-to-face classrooms. It can be beneficial to take a step back and reflect on how we use PowerPoint, our friendly presentation tool, because PowerPoint is easy to use—and misuse! Take a look at a few Dos and Don’ts of using PowerPoint.
Include one main point per slide
KISS – Keep it short and simple
Use the 6 X 6 rule (or 4 X 4); use no more than 6 bullets and 6 words per bullet (or 4 bullets, 4 words)
KILL – Keep it large and legible; use 24 – 32 point font for main text, 23-46 point font for titles
Show key words only
Use sans serif fonts (without feet) such as Arial
Keep text aligned, left or right justified
Use strong contrast between slide background and font color
Limit color palette to two or three colors
Use figures, charts, photographs, clip art
Make sure visuals relate to your story
Keep quotes short
Don’t use complete sentences (except for quotes)
Don't use punctuation
DON’T USE ALL CAPS (HARD TO READ)
Don't use both red and green fonts (or blue and gray) for those who are color blind
Don't use bright on bright (red font and bright yellow background)
Don’t include all data; include only that which supports your main points
Don't clutter your slide with visuals
Don't use many colors and many fonts
Don't use dashes as bullets or HUGE bullets
Don’t use bulleted titles
Don’t use more than two levels of bullets
Don’t just plop in clip art—make it relevant
Don't include TMI (Too Much Information!)
Remember that PowerPoint slides are visual cues, not notecards to be read to your audience. Your presentation should tell a story that can be understood and connects the message to your audience. The tool allows you to be creative while being consistent and concise. If your presentation doesn’t fit this ideal, perhaps you need to utilize a variety of tools to be most effective—slides, notes, text handouts, physical demonstrations, etc.
For an entertaining look at How Not to use PowerPoint, watch a short video using the following link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cagxPlVqrtM
From Paul J. Gibler, PowerPoint & Presentation Guidelines.
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Guidelines for Dealing with Disruptive Students
If you are experiencing challenges with distressed or disruptive students or simply want to be well prepared for those occasions, please refer to helpful information on the Instructional Development/Classroom Management web page. In addition to classroom expectations and management techniques, you will find YTC guidelines to help you deal with distressed or disruptive students and an incident reporting form should you need it.
Classroom Management Web Page
Classroom Management Techniques
Guidelines for Dealing with Disruptive Students Brochure
Video for Dealing with Disruptive Students
Disruptive/Distressed Reporting Form (online or paper submission)
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Faculty and staff who participated in the limited implementation phase of the QEP met in the spring to share their activities, discover what others were doing, express their concerns, and ask questions. You may also have questions as we move into full implementation of the QEP this fall; if so, you may find some of the answers here.
Q: Why should I get involved in this phase of the QEP?
A: We will be reporting our results to SACS in two years. You may also discover valuable information about the effectiveness of your teaching tools and strategies so that you are better equipped to maximize student success.
Q: What are the fall training sessions all about?
A: Training sessions are offered during September and October to introduce the QEP initiative to those who are new to YTC, to refresh the memories of those who have not yet participated, and to assist you as you decide what critical thinking project you will assess and develop your critical thinking rubric.
Q: How many critical thinking activities should I do in my classes?
A: You may have your students participate in as many critical thinking activities as you wish.
Q: How often do I need to report my results?
A: You need to report your results one time per year on the Excel spreadsheet available at www.yorktech.com/qep
Q: If I teach multiple sections of a course, should I have all sections participate in the critical thinking activity?
A: Departments may choose how many sections to include. A representative sample may be appropriate.
Q: How should I measure the results of my critical thinking activity?
A: Please use the YTC 4-point critical thinking rubric. You will likely want to adapt this generic rubric to your particular class or even to the specific activity. If you currently use a different measurement for an activity, you can also use that measurement; but you could be responsible for compiling those results for a SACS visit.
Q: What if I need help in constructing a rubric?
A: Michele Wells, a member of the QEP ACTiON team will provide useful guidance to help you make your rubric fit your activity. You can also seek assistance from the QEP Training Team: Lynne Fantry, Karen Hedgepeth, Sally Herlong, Ed Moore, Lori Ochsner, and Terry Spisak.
Q: How do I report the results of my critical thinking activity?
A: Use the Excel spreadsheet that has been developed specifically for this purpose. You can find the spreadsheet on the QEP web page. Download the spreadsheet, follow the simple directions to enter your course results, save the document, and e-mail it to Shelly Myers.
Q: Do I need to save the students’ actual activities?
A: You may wish to save a few samples of actual student papers/projects. Perhaps you can file a sample or two each of advanced, developing, and elementary work.
Q: Do I need to use the critical thinking score as the grade for this activity?
A: You may certainly use the critical thinking score as the grade if you wish, although you may choose to include other criteria than critical thinking to grade your project. You may also choose not to include this as a graded activity in your course.
Q: Is the QEP related to student learning outcomes?
A: Measuring student learning outcomes is an ongoing process at YTC; each degree program must assess two to three outcomes per year for reporting purposes. To kill two birds with one stone, use the 4-point YTC rubric to assess critical thinking for both the QEP initiative and student learning outcomes for your program.
Q: I still have questions about the critical thinking activities. Whom can I ask?
A: Any member of the QEP ACTiON team will be happy to answer your questions. Contact Taunya Paul, Shelly Myers, Ed Moore, Chris Cimino, Martin Grant, or Michele Wells.
You can find many helpful resources on the QEP web page, www.yorktech.com/QEP.
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CRITICAL THINKING POSTER CONTEST
You have probably noticed the JUST THINK banners in the parking lots, and now we need something inside. JUST THINK how much thinking a good poster can generate. We would like our students to use their creative critical thinking skills to develop posters that will remind everyone to JUST THINK.
Although posters do not have to be related to a specific content area, English and Reading have already decided not “to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous illogic.”
Details and rules for the poster contest are available at www.yorktech.com/qep.
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APPLIED SCIENCE NAME CHANGE
Effective Fall 2009, all colleges in the South Carolina Technical College System will change the name of their associate degrees to Associate in Applied Science and diplomas to Diploma in Applied Science. The Associate in Arts and the Associate in Science will not change.
Visit the link for College News and Announcements on www.yorktech.com for a complete listing of the academic program name changes and a description of options available to students in programs affected by the change.
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The college has again subscribed to Atomic Learning, a web-based training service for more than 110 applications. It includes just-in-time training, resources for classroom activities, and approximately 35,000 short video clips on a multitude of topics. Sample topics are Office 2007 and 2008, Desire 2 Learn, Dreamweaver and Contribute, iTunes, Inspiration, Google Docs, OpenOffice.org 2, TI-84 and TI BA Plus Professional, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X Leopard. This is only a short list of all the many tutorials available!
To get to Atomic Learning on campus, go to www.atomiclearning.com, and you will be automatically logged in to the site. If you are off campus, you will go to the same link; but you will need to log in to the page. The username is yorktech and the password is atomic. You will be logging in to the current site, but Atomic Learning is upgrading the site and adding new features; as soon as our migration to the new site is complete, we will be able to take advantage of the upgrades.
Please share this information with your students. You can put a link in your D2L course directing the students to Atomic Learning; but as part of the license agreement, YTC cannot put this information on a public site such as our web page.
Use this great opportunity to build your own skills and to help our students be more successful!
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The Global Compliance Network (GCN) has over 40 tutorials available on OSHA, HR and Professional Development topics. The GCN tutorials meet the minimum standards for compliance as mandated by state and federal laws and are continually updated. Take advantage of self-paced tutorials such as ADAAA, ADHD, Alcohol & Drug Awareness, Bloodborne Pathogens, Computer Use Policies, Copyright Law for Educators, Diversity, FERPA, FMLA, Handwashing, HIPAA, Office Ergonomics, Swine Flu, and Videoconferencing Success Strategies.
The Global Compliance Network may be a useful resource for you as you complete your FPMS/EPMS planning documents for the coming year, which includes your individual professional development.
Simply click on the following URL and log in using york as the username; then create your personal ID. Select your topic and begin the tutorial. http://www.gcntraining.com/site.cfm?home
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THE TEACHING PROFESSOR CONFERENCE
At the conclusion of the 2008-09 pdMax workshops last spring, John McGill was chosen in a drawing to attend The Teaching Professor Conference in Washington, D.C. This annual conference provides an opportunity to expand your teaching and learning knowledge and expertise by interacting with top teaching and learning experts and colleagues from a wide variety of institutions and academic subject areas.
Reflections from John:
Having returned from The Teaching Professor conference in Washington, D.C., I am grateful for the emphasis the College places on professional development.
I learned how easy active learning strategies are to use and how valuable they are. I’ve found a variety of ways to engage students, but these simple strategies do not convey the magnitude or the breadth of what can be done. These techniques are proven to increase student retention.
Dr. Rutherford’s initiative of making “student success” a priority needs to be supported by a similar focus on active learning to achieve that goal. In my opinion, maximizing active learning strategies in the classroom needs to be a priority. Many YTC faculty already do this and could serve as examples to the rest of us.
Any reservations I had regarding active learning activities were resolved. I have thought I did not have enough time to widely implement active learning activities or that “cutesy activities” don’t allow me to go in depth. I was wrong. These presenters showed me how to use active learning activities to maximize time in the classroom, explain complicated concepts (rather than going over the same 30 PowerPoint slides again), go into more depth, and get students to think critically.
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On September 11, Dr. Kay McClenney, Director of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, helped us kick off our fall series of Benchmark Fridays. Dr. McClenney left us with a plate piled with food for thought as we strive to improve the design of our students’ education experiences. Her message supports our resolve to continue our discussions and actions aimed at achieving student success.
Our upcoming Benchmark Fridays series is based on the five components of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE); Dr. McClenney’s main points were based on data from CCSSE. Her talking points included:
When students make personal connections with someone on campus, they are more likely to persist.
Advising and planning are critical to point students down the right path.
Students must succeed in developmental courses before they can succeed elsewhere.
To be successful, student must be engaged in the learning process.
We must provide an integrated network of financial, academic, and social support
YTC has already made changes, such as ending registration after classes have started, that we hope will improve the student success rate. Discussions are ongoing about orientations and advising, and we are piloting learning communities this fall. You are encouraged to be a part of these discussions and learn how you can influence student success.
September 25 – Active and Collaborative Learning
Starla Ewan will present three unique presentations on the topic of Active and Collaborative Learning and host a Q&A session at the end of the day. Ms. Ewan comes to us from Estacado High School in Lubbock, Texas, where she teaches in the medical professions area. She has also taught at the college level. The success of her teaching strategies and increased student understanding of difficult material through the use of hands-on activities and teaching tricks has led her to share with teachers, massage therapists, and medical personnel nationwide. She also works with mentorship programs and staff development for first year teachers. Join Starla Ewan in the Baxter Hood Center for as much of the day as you can!
8:15 – 10 a.m. Students are not Pets, but they are Trainable
10:15am – 12 noon Teaching through the Backdoor
12 – 1 p.m. Lunch break
1 - 2:45 p.m. If these Students Would only Study
3 – 4 p.m. Q&A
October 9 – “E is for Effort”
What role do faculty play in student effort? Do our students come to class after completing the reading, do they attend tutoring sessions, and do they prepare two or three drafts for a paper? Such behaviors and efforts definitely contribute to learning, and we as instructors can offer our students tools to help them succeed.
Following a few anecdotes, questions, and stories, you will watch instructors role play, view an excerpt from Dead Poets’ Society, and participate in a break-out session to explore what we currently do and what we could do to encourage student effort across the curriculum.
9:30 – 11 a.m. OR
1:30 – 3 p.m.
October 23 – Student/Faculty Interaction – “Woodstock to Wikis”
Discover effective methods of interacting with students from various generations. Explore ways to decrease anxiety, provide a welcoming environment when meeting with students, and address various learning styles in the classroom. Use effective language and strategies when interacting with students of all ages.
9 – 11 a.m.
November 6 – Student Success by Universal Design: Support for Learners
Join Dr. Sally Scott, Director of Disability Services and Associate Professor of Special Education at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, to examine the who, what, why, and how of bringing universal design (UD) to our campus. UD is the creation of products and environments meant to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialization. Promoting inclusive ways of thinking and acting involves campus-wide change to support learners and maximizing their success.
9 a.m. to 12 noon
(Schedule and location TBA)
November 20 – Academic Challenge
The Community College Survey of Student Engagement describes academic challenge in terms that are complementary to the concepts of critical thinking. Accordingly, the activities on this Benchmark Friday will highlight how the college’s model of critical thinking and the corresponding rubric can be used in support of the concept associated with academic challenge. Faculty will have opportunities to share ideas on other approaches that can be utilized to address this benchmark.
(Times and location TBA)
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“Learn from Old Warwick”
Fostering a spirit of teamwork is critical in times of change. The key element is trust. Trust for the leader and trust for each other. There is a wonderful story from the play, Some Folks Feel the Rain; Others Just Get Wet; and I think it's worth sharing again to shed some light on how people think about teamwork...
A man was lost while driving through the country. As he tried to reach for the map, he accidentally drove off the road into a ditch. Though he wasn't injured, his car was stuck deep in the mud. So the man walked to a nearby farm to ask for help.
"Warwick can get you out of that ditch," said the farmer, pointing to an old mule standing in a field. The man looked at the decrepit old mule and looked at the farmer who just stood there repeating, "Yep, old Warwick can do the job." The man figured he had nothing to lose. The two men and the mule made their way back to the ditch. The farmer hitched the mule to the car. With a snap of the reins, he shouted,
Fred! Pull, Jack! Pull, Ted! Pull, Warwick!"
And the mule pulled that car right out of the ditch.
The man was amazed. He thanked the farmer, patted the mule, and asked, "Why did you call out all of those names before you called Warwick?"
The farmer grinned and said, "Old Warwick is just about blind. As long as he believes he's part of a team, he doesn't mind pulling."
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Uncover tips and tricks to get the most out of your Gale literature resources by visiting the following link. Participate in a variety of webinars designed to help you search, locate, retrieve and save information.
Find videos from other colleges and universities covering a wide variety of topics.
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REACH TO TEACH DEADLINES AND ARCHIVES
Make this your teaching and learning publication! Send us your feedback by letting us know what is helpful and useful to you. Contribute material, and tell us if you or your department would like to be a regular contributor. Share your best practices as well as what you’ve learned along the way. Tell us what you and your colleagues are doing to better serve our students and associates throughout the community and the college. Send your contributions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Reach to Teach Archives
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