Points-Based Grading Now in Ultra Courses
If you teach an Ultra Course Format course, you will have noticed that the gradebook has only had a "weighted grades" option in the past. Well, good news! As of this summer, there is now a points-based overall grade option! This is especially good news for instructors who like to offer extra credit assignments, as they can be hard to factor into a weighted grade. If you would like help setting up your points-based or weighted overall grade, please reach out to us at OIR@wichita.edu with your questions!
Staff, Adjuncts, GTAs, and Full-Time Faculty
You probably know that the Academic Resources Conference (ARC) is offered three times a year, for a week each time. But did you know that everyone is invited? And by "everyone," we mean EVERYONE! All staff, full-time faculty, part-time faculty, and GTAs are welcome at the ARC, and we work to have sessions to interest a wide-spectrum of WSU employees. Are you a department admin needing to know a little more about Blackboard? We've got you covered! Are you an adjunct needing evening training? We set up our 6:00pm sessions just for you! Are you a full-time faculty looking to connect with other faculty across campus? We have discussions, article clubs, and panels! If you haven't been to the ARC before, come see what all the fuss is about. You won't be disappointed.
Types of Sessions at the ARC
This month the ARC takes place August 15-19 and runs fully online in Zoom. We have several kinds of offerings including:
- Article Club: No time for a book club? No problem! With article club you can prep for the discussion on the day we meet if necessary. Our articles are always chosen from the Chronicle of Higher Education, a publication you can access FREE through your MY WSU portal. Just look for the quick link.
- Panel Hour: Each day of the ARC there is a panel discussion over lunch. We vary our topics widely, so there is always something for everyone, and some people will want to watch them all. This ARC we have panels on: preparing students for the future, inclusion on campus, supporting adult students, purchasing digital and technical products, and a primer on Student Affairs.
- Technical Training: Every ARC includes training in Blackboard, Panopto, Microsoft products, and other systems provided by the university.
- Special Topics: This August, be sure to make time to hear from the President and Provost and to get special training in how to support neurodiverse students as they prepare for the workforce.
And there's more! To see what we have on offer and to pick up Outlook invites with Zoom links, check our our August session schedule here.
Topics for Teachers This August
Whether you are a full-time instructor or you are an adjunct who teaches one or two classes a year, the Academic Resources Conference has training for you. This August, OIR recommends instructors have a look at these sessions:
- Monday, August 15, 6:00-6:50: "Building a Course in the Ultra Course Format," Presented by Mary Morriss.
- Tuesday, August 16, 9:00-9:50: "AY 2022/23 Required Accessibility Training for Faculty," Presented by John Jones.
- Tuesday, August 16, 10:00-10:50: "Full Instructor Town Hall," Presented by Provost Shirley Lefever and guests.
- Tuesday, August 16, 4:00-4:50: "Nontraditional Grading Methods" Presented by John Hammond.
- Wednesday, August 17, 1:00-1:50: "Mental Health for Instructors," Presented by Chris Leonard.
- Thursday, August 17, Noon-12:50: Panel Hour! "Inclusive University" Moderator: Jody Fiorini. Panel: Edil Torrez Rivera, Aaron Austin, Valerie Thompson, and Jenny Pearson.
And of course there are more. Check out our full schedule of offerings and make a plan to come join us the week before classes begin.
I've Looked at Clouds from All Sides Now!
Ali Levine's sessions on OneDrive and cloud storage options at WSU were so popular at our May ARC, that we've asked her to reprise them for August. You will not want to miss hearing about your options and why you should seriously consider going to the cloud with Ali's fully-updated sessions, both of which will take place on Thursday, August 18.
Get Personalized Blackboard Help
Do you need some help with Blackboard? Maybe you feel it's time to convert one of your courses to Ultra, or maybe you need to update a course you've been using for a few years. Whatever the reason, the Office of Instructional Resources is here to help you get your Blackboard course looking just the way you want it. As a sepcial service, we will be expanding our "come-and-go" lab hours the week before school starts. We will be staffing labs Monday-Thursday from 1:00pm-3:00pm (August 15-18) and we will have more lab time from 9:00am-noon on Friday, August 19. After that we will return to our regularly-scheduled lab times: 1:00pm-3:00pm every Tuesday and Wednesday. Our labs are in Zoom, and you can get the Zoom link for all of these times on our labs schedule page.
Blackboard (and more...) Training in August
We have so much Blackboard training available at our August ARC. Whether you are staff or faculty, you are welcome to join us. No expertise is required! You'll want to check out the full ARC schedule for all of our sessions, but here are a few to be sure to consider:
- Getting Started with Blackboard: offered twice! Once on Wednesday during the day, and once again that evening.
- Building a Course in the Ultra Format: offered on Monday evening at 6:00pm.
- And while you are working on learning Blackboard, it might be time to have a look at Panopto too. Getting Started with Panopto is offered during the day on Wednesday and again in the evening on Thursday.
GTA-Specific Training is Just the Beginning!
The Office of Instructional Resources partners with the Graduate School to help onboard new GTAs each fall and spring. This training will take place for August as part of the ARC on Wednesday, August 17. We are especially excited because our morning events will be in person in the RSC's Santa Fe room, and both new and returning GTAs are invited to these in-person sessions. If you know a GTA, please help spread the word. We will have food, special give-aways, and even t-shirts, and the GTAs will hear directly from President Muma. They will also receive valuable mental health training from CAPS. Then, after lunch, new GTAs can choose to stay in the Santa Fe room for snacks and networking with their peers as they watch the afternoon Zoom-based sessions as a group right in the room.
We Challenge YOU to a LiL Course
If you are a regular reader of Teaching Today, you already know that WSU provides you access to LinkedIn Learning courses for free! Access is available to all WSU-associated people including instructors, staff, and students. Now is a great time to claim your license, and once you do, you can participate in the August ARC's LinkedIn Learning Challenges by taking some or all of the following courses curated for you by the Office of Instructional Resources:
- How to Increase Learner Engagement
- Gamification of Learning
- 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management
- How to Speak so Others WANT to Listen
- How Getting Curious Helps You Achieve Everything
- Inclusive Instructional Design
- Applying Analytics to Your Learning Program
- Mindful Stress Management
- Increase Visibility to Advance your Career