♫12 Days of Professional Development Opportunities♫

For most of us, the fall 2020 semester required a major shift in how we do our job as faculty members. We had to come up with new ways to teach classes, conduct our research, and serve our institutions and professional organizations. Additionally, the need to create accessible and inclusive online or hybrid courses probably led to the most upheaval in our professional lives. As we look to the upcoming spring semester, we all are looking for ways to build and improve upon what we did in the fall.

In the spirit of the holiday season…

♫♫♫♫♫♫On the 16th day of December, this short piece gave to me…12 professional development opportunities♫♫♫♫♫♫

One short piece on encouraging student engagement in Zoom
Are you looking for practical tips to engage your students in synchronous class sessions via zoom? Check out this piece to help you think through how to build accountability in your courses from the start!

Two excellent ACUE webinars on effective and inclusive online teaching
The Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) has a variety of wonderful webinars created to support faculty. Here are two great options for those looking for some easily digestible, practical tips for being an effective and inclusive online teacher.

Three-minute primer on Universal Design for Learning
If you are not yet familiar with Universal Design for Learning (UDL), view this succinct three-minute video describing what it is and how it can help you to meet the needs of a diverse student base.

Four tips to help students engage, persist, and succeed
Are you looking for strategies to motivate students to maintain attention in your online classes? Do you wish they were more engaged? Do you want to help them persist but are unsure how to forge a connection with them? Check out this piece describing the importance of designing for emotion.

Five-minute read on being a more inclusive educator
Unsure on where to start on your journey to become a more inclusive educator? Start here to delve into some practical considerations to help you hit the ground running as you design your courses to be inclusive and accessible for all students.

Six ways to create magic in your online classroom
Looking for ways to foster that same sense of connection, passion, and curiosity for learning with your online students that you have in your traditional classrooms? This article has the perfect potion for how to create that magic in your online classroom.

Seven strategies to being an adaptive teacher
As we all know, adaptability is now the name of the game. Many of us made massive adaptations in our fall courses. If, like me, you are feeling close to your adaptive capacity, take a deep breath and read this article for some practical tips and resources to help you keep up in our current environment. No need to be a tech-pro, all that is required is a willingness to learn and grow as an expert in your craft.

Eight ways to improve group work online
Did you try group-work in the fall and it just didn’t quite work out the way you wanted it to? Or, did you scrap your group-work plans completely because it just seemed a bridge too far? This article is loaded with helpful tips and tricks to manage online course collaborations.

Nine-minute read on active learning in the socially distanced and hybrid classroom
What about active-learning in general? If you were in a socially distanced classroom, with masked students (and online students participating synchronously), the thought of engaging all students in meaningful active-learning is daunting. The same can be said for a course that is entirely online. Were your class discussions lacking a little punch? Did you feel like your remote students were relegated off to the side in “zoomland”? Are you looking for some low-tech solutions to collaborative learning? If any of the above apply, check out this great piece loaded with strategies to ratchet up active-learning in your courses, no matter the delivery modality.

Ten strategies to support students in this time of uncertainty
The uncertainty and anxiety surrounding this pandemic seep into our classrooms in many ways. Some of these we can point our finger at and readily identify. Many though, lurk beneath the surface, and without intentionality and careful consideration will go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Here are ten strategies to help you think through ways to be student-forward as you help your students grapple with the uncertainty and the myriad ways it may be affecting them in their learning.

Eleven techniques to be successful in online classes to share with your students
Are your students new to online learning? Does it seem like many of the skills they developed in traditional face-to-face classes didn’t translate over when they went online? If so, here is a great article to send them before the semester starts. With some gentle prodding and accountability checks, you can help them stack the deck in their own favor before the semester ever gets underway.

Twelve tips for improving Zoom security 
Concerned about keeping your zoom video meetings safe and secure? Here are 12 meetings settings and additional resources to consider so you can run a safe and secure zoom meeting.

And, there you have it. The twelve days of professional development opportunities. And a partridge in a pear tree!

Casey Dexter is an associate professor in the psychology department and the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development at Berry College. He is a scholar of the parent-child relationship in early childhood. Dexter has had articles published in the Journal of Family Psychology, Child Maltreatment, Reading Psychology, the Journal of Research in Childhood Education, and Contemporary School Psychology. A teaching award winner, his teaching approach is grounded inclusive pedagogy where he strives to create equitable learning experiences for all students.