Teaching Well Newsletter

Fall 2017, Week 10

Innovation Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Oregon Tech Excellence in Teaching Innovation Grant Recipients

  •  $1351, Student Perceptions of Asynchronous Writing Feedback, Amber Lancaster
  • $1000, Implementation of new, innovative Product Design Software for Senior Projects, Brian Moravec

The proposal submission deadline for the winter term round of funding of CCT’s Innovation Grant is February 2, 2018.  Recall that proposals are invited in four categories:

  • (I) Innovative Teaching Methods,
  • (II) Education Research,
  • (III) On-Campus Workshops/Seminars, and
  • (IV) Teaching Workshops/Conferences. 

More information, including the application form (now fully online!) is available at:

Oregon Tech Foundation Teaching Grant Renewed for a Second Year

Call for Winter Term Oregon Tech Foundation Teaching Grant Proposals!

For the second year in a row, the Oregon Tech Foundation has voted to provide $10,000 in funding for Oregon Tech Foundation Teaching Grants (a second grant opportunity, distinct from CCT’s Innovation Grants).  The deadline for winter term submission is February 2, 2018.  Proposals are invited in four categories:

  • (I) Service Learning and Community Connections,
  • (II) Innovation and Industry Partnerships,
  • (III) Technology for Hands-On Learning, and
  • (IV) Undergraduate Research.

More information, including the application form (now fully online!) is available at:

CCT New Faculty Training

Congratulations to Oregon Tech’s newest cohort of faculty for their successful completion of CCT’s new fall-term New Faculty Training series! Below is a list of the weekly sessions:

  • Week 1: Surviving Your First Term, with Faculty Senate President David Thaemert and Faculty Panel
  • Week 2: Using Campus Technology Effectively, with ITS, Oregon Tech Online, and the Oregon Tech Library
  • Week 3: FOP Workshop, with Dan Peterson
  • Week 4: The Oregon Tech Student, with Dean Foley and Student Services
  • Week 5: IDEA Center, with Kristen Konkel
  • Week 6: Introduction to Assessment, with Interim Director of Academic Excellence Seth Anthony
  • Week 7: Assignment Design, with Kari Lundgren and Oregon Tech Safety, with Sherry Himelwright
  • Week 8: Classroom Tips and Pedagogies with Travis Lund, Maria Lynn Kessler and CJ Riley
  • Final Celebration: The Tech Nest, Syllabus Policies with Ben Bunting, Carrie Dickson and CCT

For full session information, visit http://www.oit.edu/faculty-staff/resources/committees/commission-college-teaching/new-faculty-training, and contact CCT (or any of the new faculty!) if you would like to hear more about any of these topics!

Oregon Tech Syllabus Information

As you are composing your syllabi for winter term, note that CCT’s website includes a collection of the latest standard syllabi statements (from Disability Services, Title IX reporting, etc.), as well as some sample policy statements (academic integrity, digital device policy, etc.)

Currently, CCT maintains this collection of sample syllabus statements located on our website:

A CCT subcommittee is currently working on expanding this resource to include more example language, as well as syllabus templates. The motivation behind this effort is to encourage more uniformity in syllabus design across the university so syllabi are easier for students to read and understand. Ultimately, a universal Oregon Tech syllabus template would allow important university information to be communicated to students in a predictable and uniform way while still allowing individual faculty the freedom to present information pertaining only to their unique classes as they see fit.

If you have any questions about or suggestions for the continued development of this resource, contact:  Carrie Dickson or Ben Bunting.

Recommended Reading

Don’t let being away from campus keep you away from the news: Chronicle of Higher Education is available in Full from the Oregon Tech Library!

What the best college teachers do

Creating cultures of thinking: the 8 forces we must master to truly transform our schools

Lean engineering education: driving content and competency mastery

Reach before you teach: ignite passion and purpose in your classroom

McKeachie's teaching tips: strategies, research, and theory for college and university

Small teaching: everyday lessons from the science of learning

From the Students

With all of our attention on finals, it’s easy for us to forget how much work goes into grading finals, preparing for next term, and evaluating last term for improvements. After ten weeks of discussing with students, athletes, and peer consultants on the Klamath Falls campus, I’ve identified three main thoughts that seem to resonate among students about this past term.

The student consensus after this term reiterate 1) there is need for keeping classes timely and organized. Students comment that they prefer studying rather than attending class when too much class time is used for non-related topics. Of course it isn’t ideal to have students out of class, but keeping a focused classroom may help. Also, students seem particularly excited by classes in which professors are excited about the course too. 2) Remember to encourage students to work through a problem rather than providing an answer or explanation. Students want to learn material on their own, but sometimes it requires additional help. My conversations with students this term have revealed that some are worried about asking for help because they do not want answers handed to them. Perhaps reminding students to seek help and ensuring that you won’t hand them answers will help. Even better, you can remind students to say “don’t tell me the answer” as a reminder. 3) Encourage students to practice teaching each other content (this is especially useful because it helps students identify problem spots in their understanding). There has been a lot conversation among students this term about using teaching as a study tactic. Perhaps we can encourage students to reinforce their math or chemistry knowledge by offering tutoring for high school students. Could this not be a source for extra cash?

With these thoughts in mind, I want to thank you for your dedication to teaching and to students.  I wish you all a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! 

Cindy Reed

CCT Student Representative

Double Major: Biology- Health Sciences & Population Health Management
Hometown: Klamath Falls, OR
Athlete: Track & Field with Cross Country


Fall 2017, Week 4

Teaching Fellowship

Congratulations to the 2017-2019 Teaching Fellows:  Lucas Cordova and Jessica Luebbers.

The purpose of the Excellence in Teaching Fellowship Program is to provide faculty and teaching staff with advanced teaching and professional development opportunities to become excellent teachers.  This two-year Teaching Fellowship is sponsored by the Commission on College Teaching (CCT).

Selected Teaching Fellows will have the opportunity to:

  • further advance their teaching through mentorship, professional development, research, peer collaboration and leadership opportunities;
  • upon successfully meeting program requirements after year one of the program, Fellowship participants will receive a $1,000 award (transferred into department budget).  

OTET Workshop Graduates

Congratulations to the September graduates of the Oregon Tech Excellence in Teaching Workshop:

Bobbi Kowash, Dongbin "Don" Lee, Krista Beaty, Josh Millard, Erin Cox, Tonja Willey, Barry Canaday, Jesse Kinder, Dawn Taylor, Robin Schwartz, Monica Breedlove, Jesse Chaney, Terri Torres, and Darlene Swigart. 

This five-day hands-on practicum provides Oregon Tech educators with an opportunity to work with their peers to learn pedagogy models and improve their teaching abilities.   Participants who complete the workshop earn an Excellence in Teaching Certificate from the Commission on College Teaching.  Prior worship graduates, Addie Clark, Jessica Luebbers and Michal Kawka served as mentors to guide this year’s peers through the process. 

Contact:  CJ Riley or Sharon Beaudry

Help us upgrade the Teaching Talks!

The Commission on College Teaching is excited to announce a new TED-style format for the 2017-18 Teaching Talks, coming soon this winter term.  Help us plan for this event by telling us what you’d like to learn about…

One Question Survey:  https://oit.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8pEAYbQBkgT9kQ5

Contact:  Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy or Travis Lund

OTET Conference Highlight

Faculty Comments:

"The posters were excellent and the connections made during the poster session were invaluable.  Thanks for another opportunity to present via poster and connect!"

"Design thinking workshop was excellent!"

"I am especially interested in going to more Effective Teaching Workshops."

"Best practices for online teaching.  I found the panel for this to be well-informed and they gave very practical, easy-to-use tips for effective online teaching.  Very well done!"

"Interacting with colleagues in a meaningful way."

Fun Numbers:

12 Posters
12 Workshops
95 Faculty Attended
16 Staff Attended

OTET Conference Book: Being Wrong

Do you want more of “Being Wrong”, this year’s CCT faculty book, or are you simply curious what all the fuss is about?  Check out the author, Kathryn Schulz, in her TED Talk “On Being Wrong”:

 Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong

Contact:  Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy

Call for Fall Term Grant Proposals!

Contact:  Aja Bettencourt-McCarthy or Travis Lund

From the Students

Students come here because they know Oregon Tech professors are here to teach.  This week, for example, a prospective student asked a group of students and I, “What is great about being a student here?”  Everyone in the group responded, “The professors, because they are here to teach”.  Professors deserve recognition, as top-level students and athletes already do.  The creation of the Excellence of Teaching awards is just the start of a future of professor recognition by students.  That being said, students are also very excited about research opportunities and making a difference while at Oregon Tech. Community projects, research projects with professors, and senior projects tend to challenge students, but also seem to be the highlights of their academic college careers.  Although we may have a reputation for being a teaching school, students deeply value their time spent working with professors as well.  I am excited to aid the CCT in using student perspectives to make helpful decisions for both students and professors across this institution.

Cindy Reed

CCT Student Representative

Double Major: Biology- Health Sciences & Population Health Management
Hometown: Klamath Falls, OR
Athlete: Track & Field with Cross Country

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