Faculty Focus Live Podcast

The inspiration your classroom needs…

We’re here to bring instructors and teachers inspiration, energy, and creative strategies that they can utilize in their everyday teaching. We hope the following tips, tricks, and pedagogy techniques give teachers and instructors an extra boost of creativity and motivation.  These episodes are perfect for your drive to work or can be integrated as a 15-minute think session to get your wheels turning before stepping into the classroom or “zooming” onto the computer screen.


Episode 82: Streamline Your Teaching and Workload with Artificial Intelligence

We are back on the conversation of artificial intelligence (AI) since we’re seeing AI being used more and more in our everyday lives. In this episode, we dive into how AI can offer assistance to faculty overwhelmed by escalating workloads. We’ll explore the practical applications of AI in higher education, from enhancing teaching practices, drafting course materials, and helping assess student learning. Additionally, don’t forget to check out the recommended resources where you’ll find an array of AI programs, articles, and more to kickstart your AI journey in higher education.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in-person from June 7th – 9th in New Orleans and engage with like-minded colleagues, collaborate on innovative solutions, and find cutting-edge strategies to help your students succeed. 

To download episode 82 transcript, click here.

Episode 81: Wandering Minds: Improving Retention through Retrieval Practices, Interleaving, and Microactivities

Have you ever looked at your students and saw their eyes glaze over, knowing they most likely are not retaining anything you’re saying? So, what tools can you implement to help your students retain more of what you teach in class? Today, we’re going to go through study skills you can provide to your students to enhance their recall, and we’ll cover interleaving and microlectures. Research says you have 15 minutes of attention span before minds start to drift and wander. What can you do to increase long-term memory skills within your students? 

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in-person from June 7th – 9th in New Orleans and engage with like-minded colleagues, collaborate on innovative solutions, and find cutting-edge strategies to help your students succeed. 

To download episode 81 transcript, click here.

Episode 80: Unlocking Teaching Excellence: Strategies for Growth

What can you do to propel your teaching career, and what advice do some of our great higher ed instructors have for you? In this episode, you’ll be reminded of the importance of remaining open to learning, how to seek mentorship, and how to foster meaningful connections within your academic circle. Additionally, we’ll cover prioritizing work-life quality over monetary incentives, along with truly understanding your teaching methods and recognizing both your strengths and weaknesses. Through insightful anecdotes and practical advice, this episode offers a roadmap for those of you seeking to elevate your teaching practices and advance your careers. 

Recommended Resources

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in New Orleans from June 7-9 and share ideas, discuss strategies, and get the charge of inspiration from knowing you are not alone in tackling today’s teaching! 

To download episode 80 transcript, click here.

Episode 79: Class Adjourned: The Importance of Ending Well

We always talk about the beginning of the course and setting the tone, but what about the end of the course? How can you make your course memorable? How can you make your end-of-course project meaningful? Today, we’ll look at it from multiple perspectives. First, we’ll look inward and outward and ask ourselves pertinent closing questions. Next, we’ll look at how an end-of-semester service learning project can make students feel empowered and feel as if the class work they are doing is meaningful. Last, I’ll read an article from Maryellen Weimer about a learning moment, and how it impacted her students from the first day until the last day. You may think that the first day is the most important day, but how students feel walking out of your classroom on the last day is just as important.

Recommended Resources:

To download episode 79 transcript, click here.

Episode 78: The Art of Meaningful Assessment: From Choice Boards to AI-Driven Dialogues

Today, we’re going to explore innovative assessment strategies that enhance student learning. We’ll talk about reflection and how to use feedback as a tool for growth and knowledge, and then we’ll talk about asynchronous online teaching assessments such as a weekly choice board or brochure. Finally, we’ll talk about the integration of generative AI in assessment practices. Whether you teach in-person or online, these ideas offer new ways to reveal student understanding and better connect complex ideas for your students.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor, a source of inspiration for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide. 

To download episode 78 transcript, click here.

Episode 77: A Quest for Knowledge: Making Learning Irresistible through Gamification Strategies

In this episode, we dive into the power of gamification in education, exploring how it can transform student engagement and motivation. We start by examining the role of failure as a motivating tool within gamified learning, proposing that challenges and setbacks can be reconfigured as stepping stones toward success. We also talk about strategies, such as playful openers, game-infused instruction, and storified assessments, to spark interest and sustain engagement among students, especially reluctant learners. Lastly, we’ll delve into the importance of leveraging pop culture to create memorable learning experiences, from incorporating familiar characters (like Harry Potter) into case studies to embedding entire courses with engaging, fictional scenarios. So, how can you start gamifying your courses? Game on!

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor, a source of inspiration for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide. 

To download episode 77 transcript, click here.

Episode 76: Teaching Tomorrow: Unleashing the Synergy Between Humans and Robots

In this episode, we dive into the rapidly evolving landscape of generative AI tools in education. Dr. Jayne Lammers emphasizes the importance of collaborative exploration, urging teachers and colleagues to embark on a collective learning journey together. We also discuss specific AI tools such as Claude, Bing, Bard, TeachAI, Magic School, and more, and how educators can use these tools for brainstorming sessions, language translation, and lesson planning. 

“We are all learning how to use these tools together. And I think that will go a long way to not keeping it as something we need to hide or feel like we’re cheating with but using it as a tool to make the things we don’t like to do or that are hard to do, easier. And this gives us the energy and space to be more creative and to do the things that humans are best at.”

Mentioned resources:

Other recommended resources:

To download episode 76 transcript, click here.

Episode 75: My Classroom is a Safe Place: Empowering Trans-spectrum Students

Last summer, I attended our Teaching Professor Annual Conference, one of my favorite conferences that we host. If you haven’t been to it, I highly recommend attending it this year in New Orleans. You can check it out at www.TeachingProfessorConference.com. When I attended last year, I went to a session by Jonathan Howle about empowering trans-spectrum students. He said something that I’ll never forget. He said, “Your space and your class may be the only safe space that a student has. Your class being a safe space, could save lives.” So today, we’re going to talk about strategies that instructors can use to create safe spaces where transgender students feel as if they belong without fear or stress, and ultimately, help students grow personally and academically. Both instructors in this episode will share their own stories and explain how making small, inclusive adjustments will help students feel more comfortable, perform better academically, and grow personally.

Recommended Resources:

To download episode 75 transcript, click here.

Episode 74: Social Media as a Gateway: Forging Connections and Enhancing Classroom Culture

Join Staci Gilpin and Courtney Plotts in their research on how social media impacts the educational journey and engagement of undergraduate students. They explore the transformative power of social media in bridging a genuine human connection and discuss strategies to integrate social media into the educational journey, sharing insights on cultivating communities, empowering students, and enhancing the overall learning experience. Discover how social media is reshaping education, fostering lifelong connections, and preparing students for the interconnected world of tomorrow.

“Humaneness can transcend technology, it really can, and that’s what it comes down to. And at the end of the day, we can’t be everything for every student, but we can give them access to what they need in those psychological and social spaces for a relationship, for connection, for those other important pieces of learning, right? Because learning is not done alone. It’s done in a community.”

Recommended Resources:

Other articles:

This episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor, a source of inspiration for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide. 

To download episode 74 transcript, click here.

Episode 73: Mindful Living: Developing Our Mindfulness Muscles

As we wind down in the month of December, I’m always in awe at how fast it goes by. I thought it would be a good reminder to slow down this month and to really practice our mindfulness muscles. It’s the season of giving, so let’s give ourselves a break and remind ourselves of what we can do to really live in the moment. 

Today, we will have Seena and Stuart Haines dive into mindfulness and offer strategies on how we can build our mindfulness muscles. Picture this: you’re zipping through life on autopilot, not noticing the tension building in your body until you flop onto the couch at night. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone! This episode dives headfirst into what mindfulness really means. It’s a superpower that helps us pay attention to the here and now—our thoughts, feelings, and the world around us—without putting a “good” or “bad” label on it. Our brains can do amazing things, but sometimes they need a little nudge to calm down. Mindfulness isn’t about shutting off our thoughts (because hello, ideas and creativity!), but it’s about taming the internal chaos and letting some thoughts just be.

Recommended Resources:

To download episode 73 transcript, click here.

Episode 72: Live with Michael Strawser: Embracing Rejection, Rediscovering Your Teaching Purpose, and Empowering Students

Join Michael Strawser as he explains how he maintains motivation in his teaching amidst the challenges of complacency and burnout. Strawser explores the power of professional development communities and the impact of public teaching on invigorating classroom dynamics. He uncovers the value of reaching out to former students, seeking recognition, remembering your why, and embracing rejection as part of the growth journey. Additionally, he explains how building relationships and advocating for students’ needs are integral to sustaining motivation, and explores ways to support students in their journey toward discovering their passions and professional development.

This episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor, a resource for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide. Choose from a monthly or yearly subscription. 

To download episode 72 transcript, click here.

Episode 71: Teaching in the Digital Age: Building Connection through Technology

As educators, you understand the need to captivate your students’ attention. So today we’re going to explore specific technology tools that can help reinvigorate your teaching methods – if you’re having fun with the content and technology, so are your students.

However, it’s not enough to simply adopt technology; it must be thoughtfully chosen to align with specific pedagogical needs. We hope you can take a few technology tools that fit into your course to help you better assess and better engage your students. From self-reflection to interactive instructions to Loom and a digital foldable, let’s explore the intersection of technology and pedagogy. 

Recommend Resources

This episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor, a resource for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide. Choose from a monthly or yearly subscription. 

To download episode 71 transcript, click here.

Episode 70: Words Matter: The Art of Effective Classroom Communication

Communication in the classroom matters. Whether it’s verbal communication or non-verbal, how and what you say – or don’t say – in the classroom directly impacts your teaching and your students’ learning. For instance, something as simple as the placement of a pause can completely alter your intended message. If you say, “Let’s eat Grandpa,” or “Let’s eat, Grandpa,” those have two totally different meanings. Now, this is a more humorous example, but communication mishaps aren’t always funny.

So today, we’re going to provide you with techniques to help strengthen your communication in the classroom and with your students. We’ll explore what students consider as communication “misfires” in the classroom, different forms of communication that can help facilitate student learning, and then we’ll dive into communication techniques for the online classroom, because we’ve definitely learned these past few years that online communication is not easy. Get ready to communicate because your words matter!

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online ConferenceLearn teaching practices you need to help your students succeed in the comfort of your own space! 

To download episode 70 transcript, click here.

Episode 69: Transforming Reading Assignments into Engaging Tasks and Elevating Student Success

According to research, less than half of students complete assigned readings. So, how do you get your students to complete the reading so they are better prepared to complete assignments, to participate in discussions, and are just more engaged with the content?

Today, we’ll talk about how changing the term “reading assignment” to a “task” can give students more agency and break down the wall of resisting reading. We’ll talk about different strategies to encourage active reading and to help strengthen student reading techniques. And lastly, we’ll cover reading assignments that help students discover how much more they learn when they actually do the reading. 

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online ConferenceLearn teaching practices you need to help your students succeed in the comfort of your own space! 

To download episode 69 transcript, click here.

Episode 68: From Doubt to Drive: Navigating Disengagement, Self-worth, and Faculty Workload

Today we’re going to dive into some of the challenges that faculty are currently facing and explore strategies to re-engage faculty in their roles. We’re tackling the issue of faculty disengagement.

We’ll be discussing strategies to overcome disengagement stemming from workload, stress, technology, and self-worth. In this series of programs, Russell Carpenter and Kevin Dvorak will offer practical insights that can empower both educators and administrators to foster a more supportive academic environment. From celebrating faculty success to addressing self-worth, we’re here to equip you with the knowledge and tools to help overcome faculty disengagement. 

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online ConferenceLearn teaching practices you need to help your students succeed in the comfort of your own space! 

To download episode 68 transcript, click here.

Episode 67: Exploring the Possibilities: Creating, Enhancing, and Editing with Artificial Intelligence

Get a notepad or your laptop ready for this episode, because you’ll want to write down some of these AI tools we’re about to dive into. From using AI to design course materials, to supporting students with AI writing and editing, to creating multimedia teaching materials, this episode has something for you! You’ll discover how AI can help with translation, image creation, slideshows, and audio or video support. Get ready to unlock the potential of AI in education and take your teaching and learning to the next level with Jeremy Caplan’s three AI-featured programs.

Recommended resources:

To download episode 67 transcript, click here.

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online ConferenceLearn teaching practices you need to help your students succeed in the comfort of your own space! 

Episode 66: The Curious Mind: Fostering Critical and Creative Thinking in Students

Today, we’re going to dive into the world of critical thinking – a skill that’s often misunderstood and rarely mastered. We’ll explore how this skill can transform students into astute thinkers who question the world with curiosity and creativity. By the end of this episode, you’ll have the tools to craft lessons that invigorate curiosity, evaluate learning, and inspire the minds of your students.

Recommended resources:

Other resources:

To download episode 66 transcript, click here.

Episode 65: Exploring Extended Reality for Engaged Learning and Innovative Instruction

Do you know the difference between virtual reality, mixed realities, augmented reality, and extended reality? In this episode, Juanita J. (JJ) Wallace will start by explaining the differences between these realities, and then dive into specific tools that instructors can use in their own courses. Wallace will also go through design aspects when creating assignments and assessments that utilize virtual reality. This will help instructors impact student learning outcomes more effectively and use best practices while creating assignments.

Recommended resources:

Mentioned resources:

To download episode 65 transcript, click here.

Episode 64: Engaging Faculty and Creating a Healthier Academic Environment

Today we’re going to look at ways we can increase human motivation and give faculty a sense of autonomy. We’ll talk about the Motivation Hygiene Theory, where although someone can be highly motivated they can also be highly dissatisfied. We’ll also discuss the Job Characteristics Theory, where skill variety, task identity, test significance, autonomy and feedback all help in the meaningfulness of work – we’ll specifically relate this to faculty development. 

Lastly, we’ll go over recognizing intervention points to promote health and wellness. We dig deeper into looking at the structures of work, how to shape people’s daily working lives, and how to make choices that improve people’s health. Katherine Sanders will be guiding us in creating a healthier academic environment.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online ConferenceLearn teaching practices you need to help your students succeed in the comfort of your own space! 

To download episode 64 transcript, click here.

Episode 63: The First Day of Class: Fostering a Zest for Learning with a Sense of Empathy

The first day of class is filled with emotions. Whether or not you feel confident, calm, and collected, doesn’t mean your students are feeling the same way. So how do you use the first day to foster a zest for learning? How do you make sure they know you care? How can you decrease their stress they may be feeling?

In today’s episode, we’ll cover some teacher-tested activities for the first day of class and how you can make slight tweaks to make meaningful strides in relieving student mental health concerns and stress on the first day. By setting the stage on day one, your students will be invested, interested, and ready for your class!

Recommended resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online ConferenceLearn teaching practices you need to help your students succeed in the comfort of your own space! 

To download episode 63 transcript, click here.

Episode 62: Supporting First-Year Students in their Educational Journey

Do you remember your first year as a college student? Were you nervous, scared, excited, lonely, happy, sad? Maybe you felt all of these emotions, which is a lot for anyone to take on. Add to that figuring out your class schedule, where things are on your campus, the dialogue of instructors using words you’ve never heard before. 

Today, we’re going to focus on how you can continue to support first-year students in their educational journey. We’ll talk about being purposeful in your course design from studying habits to evaluations, and then we’ll talk about discussion board labs for first-year students to help them engage in discussion and increase their confidence in their abilities. Lastly, we encourage you to ask your students: What’s working well and what do we need to change? What do we need to improve upon? How can we continue to better meet what you need? These questions and tactics can help your first-year students become more successful and confident.

Recommended resources:

To download episode 62 transcript, click here.

Episode 61: What If You Had a Higher Ed Magic Wand?

Today we’re going to talk about student mental health, infusing applicable humor into the classroom, emotion science, and collective effervescence. By implementing temperature checks and reflections, you can assess how your students are feeling. Include a mental health check question like, What did you do to take care of yourself this week? And then at the end of the reflection, ask your students, Is there anything else you’d like to share? 

You’ll be asked to consider the question, If you held the higher ed magic wand, where would you start to create a humor climate? What would you do? What would your colleague do? 

Additionally, we’ll cover emotion science. That is, when we feel bad, we can’t learn as effectively. And when we feel good, it benefits our learning. Lastly, we’ll go over collective effervescence, which represents the synchrony we feel when we are together and in communication with one another. Flower Darby explains, “We want to extend this sense of belonging to our students, no matter who they are, no matter their personality, their preferences, their identities. We want all of our students to feel like they belong so that they can thrive in our classes.”

Recommended resources (Please note, the resources used in this specific episode are from last year’s Teaching Professor Online Conference. For similar and new content, register for this year’s Teaching Professor Online Conference):

To download episode 61 transcript, click here.

Episode 60: Navigating the Emotional Costs of Teaching with a Resilient Mindset, Grit, and Stress Management

In today’s episode, we will explore the topics of resiliency, stress management, wellbeing, and grit. Stress definitely has a significant impact on our wellbeing and overall mindset, so we’ll discuss work-related stressor strategies including the benefits of a 10-year journal and the concept of “eating the frog” in the morning.  We will offer valuable insights on fostering resilience and utilizing tools like appreciative inquiry, growth mindset, and grit in overcoming teaching challenges. By implementing these concepts into our teaching practices and daily lives, we can cultivate more happiness and better navigate the emotional costs of daily stressors. 

Recommended Resources:

To download episode 60 transcript, click here.

Episode 59: Playful Pedagogy: Connecting Students to the Content with Creativity

Here’s to having a little fun in class. Here’s to using creativity to connect with students and connect students to the content. Here’s to playing games in the classroom. Your lecture doesn’t have to snooze students to sleep😴. Today, we’re going to talk about how to foster creativity and connection in the classroom; we’ll talk about how to use tools such as AutoDraw, Pixlr, and ThingLink to strengthen student engagement; and lastly, we’ll talk about specific games you can use to engage students with the content and with you.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 59 transcript, click here.

Don’t forget! Expand your love of teaching at the Teaching Professor Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 9-11, 2023. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your school year: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place!

Episode 58: Finding Purpose in Your Profession: Teaching Tips for More Career Satisfaction

Every now and then it’s important to take a step back to self-reflect and listen to advice from other educators. With an exhausting past few years, here’s your reminder that your purpose as an educator is so impactful and so important. Today, we’ll talk about mindful teaching and how you can use the acronym HEARTS to be mindful of your presence as an instructor. And then, Ken Alford will talk about his 40-year teaching career, the best advice he’s received, and how you can experience more career satisfaction and effectiveness. We hope you can take these tips and techniques as a reminder that you are not alone – we are rooting for you.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 58 transcript, click here.

Don’t forget! Expand your love of teaching at the Teaching Professor Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 9-11, 2023. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your school year: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place!

Episode 57: Friend or Foe? Using Artificial Intelligence to Empower Your Teaching

There’s been a lot of chat about ChatGPT and artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of higher education. From concerns about academic integrity to prohibiting this all-knowing AI, but today, I want us to see AI from a different perspective.

What if you could use AI at your university to help students experiencing food insecurity and connect them with resources? What if you could use AI for your syllabus and lesson plan ideation? What if you could minimize the temptation to cheat? In this episode, Jeremy Caplan, Flower Darby, and Liz Norell discuss how educators can embark on this new technological journey.  Additionally, we’ll meet Reggie, Ocean County College’s virtual chatbot who can communicate with students and better meet their needs.

Remember, both of these Magna Online Seminars are 20% off with coupon code PODCAST20. You don’t want to miss out on these full, one-hour discussions!

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 57 transcript, click here.

Episode 56: Excuse Me, Will This Be on the Exam? How to Get Students to Learn the Content, Not Just Memorize

Have you ever been asked this question by a student: Will this be on the exam? Do I need to know this?

In today’s episode, Maryellen Weimer will offer evidence-based study strategies that you can implement into your course to help prepare students for exams. Rather than cramming the night before, you can encourage students to take more responsibility in their review techniques and redesign exams to promote learning.

Recommended resources:

Don’t forget! Expand your love❤️ of teaching at the Teaching Professor Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 9-11, 2023. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your school year: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place!

To download the episode 56 transcript, click here.

Episode 55: What Does Community Mean in the Classroom? Sharing Stories, Swift Trust, and a Sense of Togetherness

We’re going to talk about community, swift trust, and storytelling. Whether you teach an online or in-person class, you want your students to feel as if they are entering a community where they are welcome, safe, and can share ideas among each other. You want to establish common interests and a sense of togetherness because they are going to be solving problems together; they’ll be investigating and exploring topics; they’ll share knowledge and maybe even challenge each other respectfully. So today, we’ll talk about ideas to foster a sense of community, how swift trust can be applied in an educational setting, and finally, how a storytelling activity with a sticky note or penny can inspire students to share their own stories.

Recommended Resources:

Don’t forget! Expand your love❤️ of teaching at the Teaching Professor Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 9-11, 2023. Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your school year: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place!

To download the episode 55 transcript, click here.

Episode 54: Let's Talk About Racial Justice, Food Studies, and Moving DEI Work Forward

Today, we’re going to talk about racial justice, the relationship between food and culture, and a type of plan-do-check-act cycle for diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

To start, Santos Felipe Ramos explains how food is so intertwined with culture that it makes for an effective method of inquiry into racial identity and racial disparities, in his seminar, Understanding Racial Justice Through Food Studies. Additionally, Stephanie Delaney offers a multi-step process for narrowing DEI work from a huge multi-generational project into something obtainable each week.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 54 transcript, click here.

Episode 53: Your Class is So Tough: Addressing Academic Rigor and a Growth Mindset

Have you ever had a student say, “Wow, this class is so hard!” or “These homework assignments are impossible!” Many students might even do their own research before taking your class, trying to determine what the workload might be or what the level of difficulty is. For this reason, it’s important to understand how you can communicate your definition of academic rigor and ensure your goals are aligned with the expectations of your students. 

In this episode, we’ll go through the research on growth mindset. We’ll cover how you can foster growth mindset in your own course to improve learning and how you can make connections with your students to emphasize the task at hand, and then, we’ll cover specific strategies to inspire students to keep on trying even when it gets tough. 

Recommended Resources: 

Join us this year in New Orleans for the Teaching Professor Annual Conference from June 9 – 11.  Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of your school year: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place! 

To download the episode 53 transcript, click here.

Episode 52: A Thread Gone Viral: Last Night, A Professor Walked Into A Night Class...

In this episode, we’re going to talk about a Twitter thread that went viral. Dr. Liz Norell’s thread on her night class now has more than 800,000 views. On it, Norell talks about ice breakers, her liquid syllabus, ungrading, a “punchy” Word document syllabus she created the night before, and communicating the message of care and belonging. 

When it comes to ungrading, Norell tells students that learning is change happening in their minds, something that you can’t always see. “And so my hope is that by the end of the semester…students really embrace ungrading, because I find, contrary to my own expectations, they do more work because they care, because they’re interested, and they’re not doing it for a grade.”

Additionally, Norell explains that a delightful consequence of ungrading is that students learn how to self-advocate and take ownership of the work they’ve done. From ungrading to a liquid syllabus to bringing snacks to class, Norell’s main goal is  communicating a message of care and belonging to every person in the classroom. 

Recommended Resources:

Don’t forget to expand your love for teaching at the Teaching Professor Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 9 – 11. Give yourself something to look forward to: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place!

To download the episode 52 transcript, click here.

Episode 51: Ungrading: The Misconceptions, the Research, and the Strategies

Ungrading might seem a little daunting, right? How can you just take away grades? How can you assess students without actually grading their essays, projects, or homework? How do you prepare students who depend on grades to adapt to a new type of grading? 

In this episode, we’ll cover what ungrading actually is, some of the research behind it, and how it can be brought to any classroom by having an honest conversation with your students. And then we’ll take a few minutes to dispel some misconceptions about ungrading, because ungrading doesn’t mean you have to completely eliminate grades in all forms from your classroom. Lastly, we’ll cover a few ungrading assessment strategies that you can implement into your own course.

Recommended Resources:

Don’t forget to expand your love for teaching at the Teaching Professor Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 9 – 11. Give yourself something to look forward to: a conference to network, learn, and refocus on why you got into teaching in the first place!

To download the episode 51 transcript, click here.

Episode 50: A New Year of Practicing Gratitude, Extending Kindness, and Setting Goals

In this episode, we’ll cover snippets from the Wellbeing Elixir course, presented by Seena Haines and Stuart Haines, on how gratitude is associated with numerous mental and physical benefits; how extending generosity to others has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase self-esteem and self-worth, and enhance optimism; and lastly, we’ll cover goal setting and how both success and failure are part of the journey – it’s important to set goals but to also know that having goals does not guarantee success, and that’s okay.

Recommended Resources:

A special coupon just for YOU! Use coupon code WELLNESS and take $60 off your purchase of the Wellbeing Elixir Course.

To download the episode 50 transcript, click here.

Episode 49: A Hyflex Course: Bridging the Gap Between Online and In-person Students

Teaching students in the classroom while simultaneously teaching students online is hard. How do you bring students together when some are in the classroom and some are online? What tools can you use to cater to this type of Hyflex or hybrid teaching? 

In this episode, we’ll explain different tools and techniques you can use in a Hyflex setting. We’ll go over a couple of best practices to keep in mind when designing a course like this, and lastly, we’ll cover more online tools you can use to help bridge the in-person and online students together and make it feel more like a cohesive class session.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 49 transcript, click here.

Episode 48: The Research Behind Memory: Memory-boosting Strategies to Incorporate into Your Teaching

Today is all about the memory, from short-term to long-term. Do you still remember your childhood phone number? What about your high school fight song? Or the street you lived on when you were eight years old? We might remember some of these things, but sometimes we forget what we just read this morning or what we ate for breakfast two days ago. Don’t worry, there are numerous proven ways to help develop our ability to remember! 

So, what small changes can you integrate to help students remember your content? In this episode, we’ll start with the academic research on memory and how you can create a more successful environment so that you can apply cognitive theory in your courses. Next, we’ll go over strategies that you can incorporate to improve student learning and memory, such as semantic encoding, cueing, peer teaching, and more. And lastly, we’ll cover how microactivities are a great way to check in with students and move information closer to long-term memory.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 48 transcript, click here.

Episode 47: Creating a Safe, Welcoming, and Positive Environment for Your Online Students

How do you make your online classroom feel welcoming and safe for your students? Unlike the face-to-face classroom, you don’t always have the opportunity to greet students with a warm smile and ask them how they’re doing. So, how do you bring these in-class approaches to your online environment? 

In this episode, we’ll cover techniques on how to be culturally responsive in your online courses. We’ll provide tips on how you can format your online class to be warm and welcoming, and we’ll cover assimilation strategies for nontraditional and marginalized students in the online environment. From student testimonials to a name story exercise and community rubric, your online classroom will be a safe space for all of your students.

Recommended Resources: 

To download the episode 47 transcript, click here.

Episode 46: How to Make Your Lecture More Engaging and Interactive for Your Students

Lectures can be boring, without a doubt, but they don’t have to be. There are a variety of creative approaches for making your lecture more interactive and interesting for your students so that they stay tuned in and remember the content you want them to remember. 

In this episode, we’ll talk about how you can start and end your lecture with bookends, how to incorporate lecture wrappers, and different engagement techniques you can try. We’ll also cover what a microlecture is and the process of creating one, and then we’ll go over effective Q&As to help engage students, buzz groups, and a snowball group activity. 

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online Conference – network from the comfort of your living room. 

To download the episode 46 transcript, click here.

Episode 45: Easy-to-Use Technologies You Can Implement Into Your Course Today

Today’s episode is all about technology. Now, you may be tired of hearing about all the tools and gadgets you can integrate into your courses, but we’ll go through easy-to-use technologies, including the appropriate application and benefits of each. We also don’t expect you to start integrating every single one of these tools. Start with just one, or maybe two, and see how it goes.  

We’ll demonstrate the value of H5P tools and how to use them with your existing platforms from crossword puzzles to flash cards. We’ll touch on FlipGrid, EdPuzzle, and more. And then we’ll discuss how you can use backward design to help you identify and implement the best technology tool solution for your course, so that there’s intention and meaning behind the technology you use.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online Conference – network from the comfort of your living room. 

To download the episode 45 transcript, click here.

Episode 44: Your Stress and Burnout are Real: Extending Mindful Self-compassion to Yourself

As an educator, you’ve been through some of the toughest years of teaching. Many have faced academic stressors, burnout, anxiety, and so much more. So this is your timely reminder to take care of yourself. In today’s episode, we’ll talk about resiliency, appreciative inquiry, growth mindset, and mindful self-compassion. The following tools, resources, and techniques can help you construct a more joyful mindset and will offer you a process for helping with stress and wellbeing. 

This episode is a reminder to direct an attitude of loving kindness towards yourself, using mindful self-compassion. No matter what the feeling is—anger, guilt, shame, or grief—whatever it is, treat yourself with a gentle kindness, as you would recognize common humanity with the rest of us.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online Conference – network from the comfort of your living room. 

To download the episode 44 transcript, click here.

Episode 43: All About the Online Discussion Board

Despite their universal use in online teaching, online discussions often fall flat. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In this episode, we’ll discuss how multiple due dates for a discussion can foster thoughtful responses; we’ll talk about the importance of using Universal Design for Learning to guide your discussion; we’ll discuss the importance of putting yourself in the student perspective when writing your discussion prompts; and finally, we’ll go over techniques for fostering a community within your discussion board and class.

This episode is all about the discussion board!

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Online Conference – network from the comfort of your living room. 

To download the episode 43 transcript, click here.

Episode 42: Reimagining STEM Education through Beauty, Critical Thinking, and Disruptive Innovation

As a STEM educator, how can you reimagine STEM education through a humanities lens? How can you use disruptive innovation to help students think more critically? And how can you teach critical reflection skills in an engineering or math course? 

In this episode, you’ll consider how to make sure your perception of what students want out of their education aligns with what the student actually wants. You’ll go through speaking, writing, activities, and media modes of critical thinking. And finally, you’ll go through a disruptive innovation assignment to encourage students to think more critically and be more impactful in their design. This episode is filled with STEM-inspired information!

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 42 transcript, click here.

Episode 41: Setting the Tone on the First Day of Class with Generative Games, a Kite, and Toast

The first day of class is approaching and this day is filled with emotions. Students might be filled with excitement or dread. They may be filled with eagerness or anxiety, but no matter the emotions it’s an important day for you to set the tone for the rest of the semester. In this episode, we’ll go through specific generative games you can implement on the first day to prime students’ minds for open mindedness; we’ll explain how you an use a kite drawing activity to have students introduce themselves; and we’ll talk about how you can use toast to help explain the diversity of opinions and the merit of working together.

Recommended resource:

To download the episode 41 transcript, click here.

Episode 40: Student Retention, Interleaving, and Fundamental Concepts: Design Your Course with This in Mind!

When you’re designing a course, what should you consider? How can you create your course so students are remembering and recalling the information you’re teaching throughout the entire semester? In this episode, we’ll explain how fundamental and powerful concepts can help you design your course with the big picture in mind. 

We’ll explain how starting from the end when designing your course is beneficial and will help you create an elevator pitch and purpose for your course. And lastly, we’ll go over how you can incorporate interleaving into your course design to improve student retention.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 40 transcript, click here.

Episode 39: Mentoring and Coaching: The Tools for a Great Faculty Coach and a Great Faculty Mentor

Maybe it’s your coach from high school, an instructor from college, a colleague who helped mentor you – no matter who it is, having someone to mentor you, coach you, motivate you, and help you be the best version of yourself is priceless. 

In this episode, we’ll provide a stepwise progression for mentoring:
1. Show them
2. Help them
3. Watch them
4. Let them

And then we’ll dive into what makes a great faculty coach and how this differs from mentoring. “Take a minute to think back to your own life experience of great coaches, maybe coaches that you’ve watched, coaches that you’ve observed, coaches that you’ve been coached by…great coaches are typically people who know how to inspire,” says Nicki Monahan. “They know how to motivate. They know how to observe carefully and analyze. They know how to listen. They know how to ask good questions. And they know how to help people through the change process, and sometimes that’s a hard process. And I would suggest that great coaches aren’t born, but they’re made and one of the things that makes great coaching is great coach training.”

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 39 transcript, click here.

Episode 38: Connections, Reflection, and Direction: Implementing a Peer 2 Peer Mentoring Program

In this episode, we talk to Loreen Smith who explains the purpose of a Peer 2 Peer Mentoring Program (P2P), the steps to implement it, and how it can significantly impact students.

Whether it’s a first-year student being mentored or a peer mentor learning how to lead, both roles form connections and are given direction on their journey. Peer mentors gain leadership skills, hands-on experience, and because it is a paid position, they have a job title they can use on their resume. Additionally, the students being mentored often become more confident in their understanding of their learning and learn how they can address any obstacles or barriers to help them achieve their goals.

With just four simple steps, Smith says any university can start their own Peer 2 Peer Mentoring Program:

  1. Establish a team
  2. Recruit
  3. Train mentors
  4. Promote the program

Smith says the joy this program exudes is infectious, and it’s really about making a difference in the students’ lives and seeing how many doors are going to open for them in their own way. 

“We’ve given these students the most important tools that they need to succeed, and that supports connections, direction, and really a reflection for a stronger and more meaningful education,” Smith says.

Recommended Resources:

  • Reach out to Loreen Smith to learn more about a Peer 2 Peer Mentoring Program (P2P): lsmith@isothermal.edu

To download the episode 38 transcript, click here.

Episode 37: Engaging Your Students with Mini-lectures, Prediscussion Posts, and Interactive Starter Activities

How do you get your students to engage with the content so they better retain it? How do you get your students to engage in discussion so that everyone is talking and everyone feels empowered to use their voice? 

The concept of student engagement is broad, but today, we’re going to talk about how to incorporate min-lectures, the importance of a prediscussion post, and how you can use drawings, a multimedia starter, or social activity to engage students with your content. 

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 37 transcript, click here.

Episode 36: Reading, Oh My! Getting Your Students to Engage with the Reading

How do you get your students to complete the readings you assign? More importantly, how do you get them to engage with and retain the readings you assign? In this episode, we’ll talk about strategies to help students master deep reading, a reading discussion or literature circle you can implement to foster student engagement through reading roles, and a technique to encourage students to do the reading prior to class.

From roles such as a discussion leader, passage master, devil’s advocate, illustrator, creative connector, and reporter, you’ll have students not only talking about the reading but engaging with one another as well. Additionally, Maryellen Weimer offers a technique to encourage students to do the reading prior to class and how to reiterate reading as an essential part of the course.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 36 transcript, click here.

Episode 35: Teaching More and Talking Less: Using Examples During Class

In this episode, we talk with Jeremy Rentz about the positive aspects that come from students doing work in class. By allowing students to figure things out for themselves, and giving them time to discover and interact with one another, students can have powerful learning experiences. 

By including examples that students can work on during class and encouraging in-class exam reviews, Rentz says students can support each other and he can essentially help “coach” them through the examples. 

“While they are in the class, they have their neighbors to help them, their neighbors can support them, they can ask them questions, they can make them feel good about themselves…and then the other positive that it brings is I can help coach essentially every student in class,” Rentz says. 

Lastly, Rentz encourages that instructors work together and learn from their colleagues as often as they possibly can.

“One of the things that I want to make sure that I highlight in my session is that I have a few good answers, but collectively, as a group, we have many, many good answers,” Rentz says.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 35 transcript, click here.

Episode 34: Sparking Joy through Co-construction Circles, Empathy Mapping, and the Teaching Perspectives Inventory

We’re chatting about co-construction circles, empathy mapping, and the Teaching Perspectives Inventory with Cynthia Alby, Karynne Kleine, and Caralyn Zehnder who will be presenting at our Teaching Professor Conference. 

They discuss how co-construction circles help give each student something different to focus on in a reading. Someone may be coming up with discussion questions, while someone else is focusing on reading connections, and when students come together in class, they all have something different to bring to the table. 

Additionally, they dive into empathy mapping and how instructors need to ask the question of, Who are we designing for? Empathy mapping fosters an incredible joy for them in designing for diverse groups of students. “We do that through building narratives that describe diverse student experiences and perspectives…”

They also use a tool called the Teaching Perspectives Inventory to get a notion of who they are as teachers and how to better appreciate their colleagues. Rather than having a perspective of “good” and “bad” teachers, they ask the question of, What can we appreciate from that person’s perspective?

You won’t want to miss out on the magic of the Teaching Professor Conference in Atlanta from June 3 – 5. 

To download the episode 34 transcript, click here.

Episode 33: Let’s Discuss: Radical Empathy, Empathy Without Burnout, and a Recipe for Engagement

In this episode,  we discuss and chat with a few of our Teaching Professor Conference presenters. First up, Mary Norman and Lisa Low talk about radical empathy and burnout, and how you can use empathetic strategies to empower yourself and students for success. 

“I think that radical empathy is something that’s very important to talk about, because it’s so needed right now. Our students are really being inundated with stressors that we’ve never before seen,” Norman says. 

Additionally, both Norman and Low add empathy tactics to help read their classroom and ask questions like, “How are you feeling about this class today?” and “How are you feeling right now?” This helps students be seen and heard both in class and within their personal lives. 

Julia Osteen, another Teaching Professor Conference presenter, also uses the analogy of menus, master chef, and ingredients to guide engagement strategies that work in her class. 

“So, just like great chefs create menus with a variety of ingredients, teachers need to put together a variety of strategies and techniques to reach today’s learner,” says Osteen. “What’s oftentimes overlooked is an end reflection. And this would be like complimenting the chef. It’s much like when you’re in a restaurant and a server comes to your table, and they say, ‘How was it?’ and you say, ‘Oh, it was delicious,’ right? But this encourages in our students the development of metacognition.”

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 33 transcript, click here.

Episode 32: For What It’s Earth…Implementing Measures to Help Campuses Go Green

What better way to empower students to make a change in the world than working on their own campus?  In this episode, Beth Choate explains how campuses can motivate students and instructors to make positive changes in their future homes, future jobs, and all of the places that they’ll go.

Choate explains how the students and teachers at Allegheny College have conducted solar panel installation at local churches, used Geographic Information Systems to map out the city and figure out what residents are at greatest risk for flooding, grown their own food in a 3,000 sq. foot garden, and increased the refill filtered water stations from two to 28 stations. She says there are numerous ways to prepare both instructors and students to help facilitate environmental sustainable goals and help your campus go green.

“If everyone isn’t at the  table, then we can’t fully understand the depth and breadth of these environmental issues,” Choate says.

This week’s episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Conference. 

To download the episode 32 transcript, click here.

Episode 31: Authentic Assessment Strategies: Assessing Learning that Empowers Your Students

How do you know that student learning is actually happening? Usually through assessment, right? But how can you assess students without just a quiz or paper? How can you empower them and motivate them to learn and want to learn, so that assessment becomes something that is both powerful for you as an instructor and to the student as a learner?

In today’s episode we’ll talk about authentic assignments and authentic assessment, specific active learning assessment strategies that you can use in your class, and how to use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to help mold your assessments.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in Atlanta June 3-5 for an exhilarating three-day event and pursue your passion for teaching.

To download the episode 31 transcript, click here.

Episode 30: Bringing Your Syllabus to Life with Inclusivity and Creativity

The syllabus…it’s where everything lives. From due dates to policies to your office hours to who you are as a teacher, it’s all-encompassing. And with that, the syllabus can get pretty lengthy. It may sometimes get overwhelming for both you and your students, and maybe even boring for students to read. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In today’s episode we’re going to talk about:

  1. How you can add creative flair to your syllabus and specific tools you can use to do this
  2. How you can get your students to actually read your syllabus
  3. What to look for when you’re creating an inclusive and antiracist syllabus

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in Atlanta June 3-5 for an exhilarating three-day event and pursue your passion for teaching.

To download the episode 30 transcript, click here.

Episode 29: Exploring Online Best Practices to Implement Into Your Own Course

As we consider online learning moving forward, we must continue to explore and implement best practices for teaching online. In this episode, we’ll do just that. We’ll explore online learning best practices and specific ideas that you can implement into your own courses.

From incorporating FAQs into your course design to implementing a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Challenges (SWOC) analysis to checklists and a three-week feedback form that uses student-centered questions, there are numerous opportunities and ideas that you can incorporate into your own online courses. Join these instructors as they provide clear, practical, and proven online learning best practices.

Recommended Resources:

This episode is sponsored by The Wellbeing Elixir, a course about understanding and managing your physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual wellbeing so you can experience more joy and less stress. 

To download the episode 29 transcript, click here.

Episode 28: Live with Tanya Boucicaut: Giving Grace to Yourself and Students While Creating a Safe Space

Tanya Boucicaut always dedicates a few minutes of class to integrate mindfulness (both online and in-person). From positioning herself from a side view during deep breathing exercises so students can see her, to implementing body scans and mindfulness prompts that put students in different sceneries, her classes have always wedded mindfulness.

“Students are moving so fast. They have so much to do, and mindfulness gives students a chance to be present in the moment, to breathe in the moment, to take care of themselves in the moment,” says Boucicaut . “Mindfulness helps give students grace to say, ‘I can’t do it all right now.'”

Additionally, Boucicaut recently  implemented an empathy experiment in her class, where she asked students to think about the impact of the pandemic on someone outside of themselves (professor, family member, food service worker, hospital worker, etc.).

“When we’re thinking about wellness it is so important to think about ourselves and to be embodied in our experiences, but also to realize we don’t live in this world by ourselves,” says Boucicaut. “There are other people going through things themselves, and that same grace you extend for yourself, you also want to extend it to others.

Additionally in this episode, she covers a post-it project, a pilot program that helped initiate mindfulness on her campus and pushed wellness to the forefront, and her new YouTube channel dedicated to helping students navigate this time as a learner.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 28 transcript, click here.

Episode 27: The Heartbeat of Your Why: Exploring Gratitude as a Superpower and Illuminating the Power of Mindfulness

In this episode, you’ll join Seena and Stuart Haines on their journey of meditative practices, how you can illuminate the power of mindfulness in your own lives, and how you can use gratitude as a therapeutic superpower. You’ll learn about becoming more aware of your thoughts and emotions, where you can start to reframe them and take a pause of awareness. Additionally, this husband-and-wife duo will cover the importance of taking micro-moments throughout the day to calm your mind and how yoga can help calm us, center us, and ground us. 

They’ll explore the setbacks and failures we all encounter, and how being grateful for these difficult moments can take your mindset in a different direction. Rather than dwelling on our setbacks, we can appreciate them for the journey they take us on and for the discovery they provide. They also explain the concept of the “heartbeat of our why” and how exploring your belief system and mindset matters—especially when paying attention to the environment around us.

“The environment matters—be on the lookout for the things that might make us step backwards instead of forward,” said Stuart. “There’s a wealth of resources and data that can help guide us and set our course in the right direction.”

Seena and Stuart are also the presenters in Magna’s brand-new Wellbeing Elixir course. They hope this course provides individuals an opportunity for self-reflection, provides motivation and time to think about core values, highlights steps to take deliberate action towards the things that mean most to you, emphasizes the importance of a community of shared learning and the power of connection, and encourages you to try something new.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 27 transcript, click here.

Episode 26: Live with Sara Rutledge: Fostering a Trickle Effect of Happiness on Campus for Both Faculty and Students

There’s a trickle effect with happiness. When teachers are mindful and intentional about practicing happiness and spreading joy, students also reap the benefits. In this episode, Sara Rutledge talks about several things that herself, the instructors on campus, and her overall university, Mount Aloysius College, are doing to foster positivity despite the hurdles campuses worldwide are facing. From walk and talk office hours, a hot chocolate bar, tea with the teacher, customized camping chairs and class outside, to virtual study nights, volunteering with the students, and alumni panels, there are numerous ideas to inspire faculty and students, and bring a sense of community to your campus again.

This week’s episode is sponsored by The Wellbeing Elixir, Magna’s brand-new wellness course for educators, where experts will help guide you through wellbeing and resilience. 

  • Dr. Sara Rutledge serves as the coordinator of the Newer Faculty Mentoring Program and as Chair-Elect for Faculty Assembly. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators, the Editorial Review Board for the Kappa Delta Pi Record, the Journal of the International Honor Society in Education, and on the Technology and Teacher Education Committee of the Association of Teacher Educators. 

To download the episode 26 transcript, click here.

Episode 25: Zoom into Your Online Course with Mindful and Effective Techniques

As we enter the new year your list of goals and intentions for the year may be a well-crafted and well-thought-out plan. And perhaps on that list of yours are ways to be more mindful and effective when teaching online, specifically if you’re using Zoom or other alternatives. If that’s the case, stay tuned, because this episode will cover mindful techniques you can implement into your online classroom. We’ll even dive into specific Zoom features and other techniques that can help increase student interactivity, from polling to the annotate function to the Wheel of Names.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 25 transcript, click here.

Episode 24: Live with Carine and Christine: Using Risk, Creativity, and Rituals to Uncover a World of Teaching Possibilities

“We can choose to look at the current teaching situation as a risky situation where anything could go wrong, or we can look at it as an opportunity to have courage and take risks and try new things. The more you dare to be creative, the better you become,” Carine Chisu says.

In this episode, Carine Chisu and Christine Boyko-Head explain how entrepreneurial thinking can be applied to learning and teaching when assessing the risks educators and learners are taking–especially now with new codes of virtual learning and teaching. Additionally, they dive into reciprocal teaching, where learning and teaching has become more of a continuum because teachers are learning and learners are teaching.  “I can teach students something, but they can certainly teach me. Let’s share in the knowledge and the places we’re at,” Boyko-Head says.

Lastly, they explain how turning an activity, no matter how small or how big, into a ritualized activity is by 3D-briefing it. They dive into the 3D-briefing process where you ask students: “What?” “So what?” “Now what?”  Where the “What?” is an identification question. The “So what?” is part of the analysis and interpretation. And the “Now what?” is the evaluation and creation stage. Fundamentally, this process helps students understand what they are doing and why they are doing something. “It’s more like a bridge that gives you an opportunity to transform from one state to another state,” Chisu says.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 24 transcript, click here.

Episode 23: What Fun! How to Implement Gamification Strategies and Play-based Activities Into Your Course

Almost everyone loves a good game. In this episode, we’ll go through specific gamification strategies and play-based activities you can implement into your own class. From creating badges and leaderboards to playing word associations or the “sometimes, always, never” game, you’ll have a toolbox full of ideas you can bring back to your courses.

Additionally, we’ll discuss how gamification, when integrated correctly, can increase student persistence and student engagement. Although gamification can be an adventure of fails and successes, it’s important to have fun and embrace the power of failure throughout your gaming adventure.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 23 transcript, click here.

Episode 22: Live with David Sandler: Getting the Butterflies to Fly in Formation While Public Speaking

When it comes to public speaking and the constant butterflies your students may get from presenting, “it’s all about trying to get the butterflies to fly in formation,” David Sandler says.

We practice public speaking as a waiter at a restaurant, in a Teams meeting for a job, on a podcast, and yes, in front of a podium, which is what we may associate most with the word “public speaking,” but every day we perform different acts of public speaking. Sandler says this is one reason why teaching public speaking skills to students is so vital. “The world loses out on whatever good ideas students may have to share. The ability to articulate what’s going on in your unique mind—it’s a life skill and that’s the paradigm I use to have people think about my course.”

From working on eye contact while reciting the ABCs to practicing walking up to the podium to a Q&A session, Sandler offers advice on how you can help students find their voice. Additionally, Sandler talks about how people tend to think they’re either an extrovert or introvert and the impact that may have on their speaking abilities, but there’s been research on another category called an ambivert. An ambivert lands in the middle but leans toward a side of being an extrovert or introvert. Sandler reminds us that wherever you are on that “timeline,” you can still be a good public speaker. 

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 22 transcript, click here.

Episode 21: Creating Pockets of Joy, Humor, and Positivity in Your Face-to-Face and Online Class

Humor in the classroom, it’s definitely not as easy as we think. For instance, making a joke can fall flat in an online class. You may not see the reactions from your students in their blank, virtual boxes, or your audio might freeze and they miss the joke. But despite these hurdles, it doesn’t mean you should give up on fostering humor and positivity into your class—no matter if you’re face-to-face or online.

Humor can improve memory, comprehension, and can even improve engagement. In this episode, we’ll dive into different tactics you can use to integrate humor into your course, such as memes which can be used as an assessment, as a learning tool, and can provide you with content that you can use later on, and how you can leverage both humor and positivity to achieve this. And finally, we’ll discuss how you can be successful at this in an online environment.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 21 transcript, click here.

Episode 20: Live with Debbie Fetter: Implementing Social Media and Virtual Study Halls

Social media polling. Instagram trivia Tuesdays. Virtual study halls. Get ready for a toolbox of new ideas!

How can you be strategic about implementing social media into your course? Whether it’s just one assignment or the entire course, Debbie Fetter offers insight on how she created a strategic social media plan to implement in her own course. Fetter explains how social media can help teach students how to craft a direct message to a specific audience, and how these tools can be used for future employment. Additionally, she often adds polling and trivia via Instagram for low-stakes grades, extra credit, or small prizes. 

Last year, she also created what’s known as, “Dr. Fetter’s Study Hall Office Hours.” By rebranding her office hours into a study hall and creating practice questions specifically for this, Fetter increased the attendance and virtual community these study halls fostered. 

To download the episode 20 transcript, click here.

Episode 19: Managing Your Time: How You Can Use a Teaching Calendar and Eliminate Time-Stealers

Time. There’s just never enough of it. You’ve got a million and one things to do when it comes to teaching, and your list is always growing. Intermix that with your personal life, and it becomes a matter of how do you balance it all?

In today’s episode, we’ll touch on how you can use a teaching calendar, how you can better manage your class time in a flipped learning environment so you’re not only utilizing your own time effectively, but also your class time effectively, and finally, we’ll cover tips for managing your workload in an online environment. Although we can’t cross everything off the list for you, we may be able to offer some helpers that can alleviate some of the stress that comes with an instructor’s workload. 

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 19 transcript, click here.

Episode 18: Establishing a Classroom Culture that Fosters and Encourages Student Feedback

As an instructor, giving feedback might come easily. You do it day in and day out when grading papers, offering insight to student responses or peers, and proofing assignments. But what about receiving feedback? Receiving feedback as an instructor can be nerve-wracking and stressful. It can undoubtedly impact your confidence as a teacher.

But what if there were ways that no matter the feedback, good or bad, you could learn to use student feedback constructively, and also better prepare your students to provide feedback that could help make you a more effective teacher. This episode dives into how you can foster a classroom culture that encourages student feedback, whether online or in-person.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 18 transcript, click here.

Episode 17: Live with Judy Klimek: Using Group Exams as a Review Learning Activity

In this episode, we dive into how Judy Klimek uses a group exam review to go over answers from the final, individual exam. From fostering engaging conversations to pinpointing challenging questions, each small group reviews the results from their individual exams and comes to a consensus as to why answers were right or wrong.

As an instructor, Klimek also explains how the group exam review allows her to reassess exam questions in the future and engage one-on-one with students who might need extra assistance.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 17 transcript, click here.

Episode 16: An Essential and Imperative Part of Teaching: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion in higher education…It’s important. It’s imperative. And it’s an essential part of teaching. In this episode, we talk about how you can infuse inclusive teaching strategies into your online classes and your in-person classes. From small scale to large scale incorporations, each inclusive strategy and diversity-related topic matters. Whether you incorporate these strategies into your syllabus, curriculum, or project-based learning activities, you can start to think about how this will improve how your students engage with your course and how you can better establish a classroom culture.

Recommended Resources:

To download the episode 16 transcript, click here.

Episode 15: Live with Melissa Schettler: How to Increase Student Engagement with an Engagement Rubric

In this episode, we talk with Melissa Schettler who presented at our Teaching Professor Conference. Here, she discusses how you can increase student engagement through the use of an engagement rubric. You’ll identify desired behaviors, undesired behaviors, challenging behaviors, and then finally, define what you think looks like “perfect participation” with engaged students.

Schettler explains how you can develop and implement your own student engagement rubric to help communicate expected behaviors to your students. What will make your “heart sing” when you visualize perfect participation and how do you accomplish that? Find out in this episode! Also, feel free to download the engagement rubric Schettler uses in her own classes to inspire your own engagement rubric.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 15 transcript, click here.

Episode 14: All About Exams: Crafting Exam Questions, Exam Security, and Exam Accessibility

Creating exams…it’s not an easy task. From crafting exam questions to trying to make your exams more accessible while also trying to promote academic integrity – there are numerous elements to consider. In this episode we talk about exam accessibility including time restraints, how you can write better exam questions, and what you can do about online exam security.
Although there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to designing online exams or in-person exams, there are numerous factors you can take into consideration to more effectively asses your students and to be more conscious when creating your exams.

Recommended resources:

To download the episode 14 transcript, click here.

Episode 13: Live with Ben Blood: Metacognition—The Bridge to Student Success

“If you fail, it’s not a signal. It’s not a sign that you should quit. It’s not a flare being shot up to tell you you’re not worthy of college. Instead, we need to use our failures as opportunities for growth.” -Ben Blood 

College is hard. That’s why Ben Blood dedicates so much time to student success; it’s also why he spends time teaching students about metacognition, time management, self-discipline, help-seeking, and resilience/perseverance. Here, you’ll take away specific strategies you can implement into your class to help students succeed and also help students “find their why:” The reason they’re in college; the reason this is important to them; and their reason why.

Recommended resources:


To download the episode 13 transcript, click here.

Episode 12: Live with Stephanie Dunson: Embracing the Messy Parts of Academic Writing

In episode 12, we chat with Stephanie Dunson, PhD, who recently started her own podcast: 100 Mistakes Academic Writers Make…and How to Fix ThemIn this interview, we talk about embracing the messy parts of writing and acknowledge that those messy parts are most often necessary to create a piece of published work.

Additionally, Dunson explains how we can be so focused on the end result, that sometimes we forget to step back and acknowledge the gaps that we’re missing in our own writing. She offers questions to think about when writing and how this can foster a more intentional writing process. Also, stay tuned for a sneak peek into the upcoming podcast episodes she’s most excited for in her new series.



To download the episode 12 transcript, click here.

Episode 11: Assessing Online Student Learning: How You Can Gauge Activities and Writing Through Online Assessment

In the past year, many instructors worried that their online teaching presence might miss the in-person cues they picked up on with students in the classroom. In turn questions arose: How do you assess your students online? How do you make sure they’re learning the content? How do you gauge student learning through online activities? 

In this episode, we’ll provide ideas on how you can implement check points into your online teaching, and how you can use student-created videos to assess students in your online class. Additionally, we’ll touch on how you can create writing assignments that can be used as an effective means of assessment and how focusing on the process of writing can help foster student learning.

Resources mentioned:

This week’s episode is sponsored by the Teaching Professor Virtual ConferenceJoin the conference anytime and anywhere from June 7 through September 30, where you’ll have on-demand access to plenaries, sessions, downloadable handouts, and networking opportunities. 

To download the episode 11 transcript, click here.

Episode 10: A Sneak Peek into The Teaching Professor Conference: Enneagrams, Emotion Science, Embracing Culture, and More!

If you’ve been considering attending our Teaching Professor Conference (virtually or in person), look no further! Here, we chat with a few of our presenters about why their topic session is so important to them.

Liz Norell talks about how rewarding it is to witness those “aha moments” and how you can use different tools to cultivate your presence in the classroom. Next, Ashley Harvey explores invisible emotional labors associated with teaching and how to keep your positive emotion and energy at bay. Then, Dr. Tarsha Reid dives into how to incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy for African American students, and lastly, Jane Sutterlin explains how learning science and emotion science have helped guide her online teaching.

Register here for the Teaching Professor Conference

To download the episode 10 transcript, click here.

Episode 9: Live with Wendy Trevor: Overcoming Student Distaste for Collaborative Group Work Online

How can you help students overcome their distaste for collaborative group work online (and also thereby change your view of such work)? Wendy Trevor discusses how the timing of the assignment, the structure, instructor presence, feedback, and a grading rubric which privileges individual contributions, and signals the importance of engaging with others’ views, can help students approach group work more positively. Additionally, she touches on how group projects can foster the kind of communication skills and cooperative work employers today value.

Resources related to online group work:

This week’s episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in-person at New Orleans from June 4 – 6, or join us virtually with on-demand sessions from June 7 – September 30. 

For access to the episode 9 transcript, click here.

Episode 8: Establishing and Revisiting Our Teaching Philosophies and Teaching Personas

Your teaching philosophy helps examine who are you as a teacher and examines what beliefs and values are at the heart of what you do. In this episode, Maryellen Weimer reflects with other instructors on stories and vulnerabilities that helped shape their personas and philosophies in the classroom. 

Resources Mentioned:

This week’s episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in-person at New Orleans from June 4 – 6, or join us virtually with on-demand sessions from June 7 – September 30. 

For access to the episode 8 transcript, click here.

Episode 7: Finding the Missing Piece: How to Help Your Students Who Are Struggling with Online Learning

Are some of your students struggling with online learning? Have you seen a decrease in motivation or engagement? If the answer is yes, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad teacher or instructor. It might just mean there’s a missing piece, and today, we’re here to find that missing piece. The piece that recognizes that maybe one, two, a handful, or all of your students are struggling with online learning. We’re here to find the piece that helps incentivize, helps empathize, and helps motivate those students both in the online realm and in-person classroom.

Resources Mentioned:

This week’s episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in-person at New Orleans from June 4 – 6, or join us virtually with on-demand sessions from June 7 – September 30. 

For access to the episode 7 transcript, click here.

Episode 6: Live with Glenn Walton: How to Humanize Your Online Environment with Sound Boxes, Screaming Monkeys, and Rubber Chickens

Glenn Walton gives us 9 ½ ways to humanize your teaching in an online environment. From rubber chickens to sound boxes and a screaming monkey, it’s never a dull moment in his classes.

1. Use poll questions and chat box questions
2. Be predictably unpredictable
3. Be visually appealing
4. Be trendy
5. Explain your expectations
6. Be everywhere
7. Design your class to be more inviting and pleasant
8. Course materials
9. Human factors
½. Half way and another half: Ours and yours

This week’s episode is sponsored by The Teaching Professor Conference. Join us in-person or virtually and pursue your passion to teach.

Recommended resources:

For access to the episode 6 transcript, click here.

Episode 5: Online Discussion Boards: Creative Ideas to Spark Better Conversations and Engage Students

Online discussion boards. It’s something that’s come up a lot this past year as we’ve migrated to the online platform. One of the main questions is how do you get your online discussions to be more than just, “Hey Theresa! I agree with your statement, that’s a great point.” 
In this episode,  we’ll go over a few things you can do with your online discussion board, from using responses to give narrative shape to creating questions, and specific activities you can use in your discussion board to spark responses that aren’t so mundane. 

Mentioned resources:

Other resources:

For access to the episode 5 transcript, click here.

Episode 4: Live with Ken Alford: Seeing Instructors as People, Not Just Textbook Reciters and Question Writers

In this episode, we sit down with Ken Alford to discuss how he’s kept the storytelling element within his online classes and what you can do to help students see you as a person.

“Share your story and let them know that you know life happens to everybody. We’re all in this human drama together, and I think the more we can connect with each other, the better it is. I think anything we can do to keep each other as people and not just textbook reciters and question writers, is helpful.”

Products featuring Ken Alford:

For access to the episode 4 transcript, click here.

Episode 3: Using Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: Is it Possible to "Let it Go?"

You became a beacon of light for your students and offered their lives some peace, stability, and encouragement. As we move forward, what techniques can we use to deal with stressors (small or big), and how can we implement trauma-informed pedagogy into our classes to help support students during a pandemic?

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 Other resources:

For access to the episode 3 transcript, click here.

Episode 2: Asynchronous vs Synchronous: Engaging, Conveying, Injecting, and Building

Many have done quite remarkable things with both asynchronous and synchronous activities, and numerous instructors use a mix of both. In this episode, we’ll dive into specific techniques instructors are using that have the potential to build community, convey information, assess learning, and inject your personality.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

For access to the episode 2 transcript, click here.

Episode 1: Classroom Assessment Techniques: Does This Make Sense to Everyone?

In episode one, we’ll be taking a dive into different classroom assessment techniques that you can begin using in your own courses, both online and face-to-face. From application cards to a pros and cons list and even a polling system, there are numerous techniques you can use to make sure your students are following along, engaged, and learning.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

For access to the episode 1 transcript, click here.