Teaching Today

Teaching Today is Wichita State's monthly teaching newsletter. See recent issues and archives below, or access the archives by selecting the "Section Menu" above. 

Recent Issues

Four students walking on a sidewalk at WSU.

May 2024 ARC in Review

Our summer issue reviews everything that happened in our May Academic Resources Conferences. With our transition to Ultra official, there is something for everyone in this issue. 

Patch of colorful tulips and daffodils.

April Brings More Updates About Ultra

With the arrival of spring, WSU saw the official transition to Blackboard Ultra beginning with Summer 2024 classes. In this issue, you will find updates about Ultra as well as what those who have been using Ultra have to say about it. 

Cartoon image of WSU's mascot WuShock in a rocketship.

Wichita State University is Officially Ultra

This issue covers the official transition to Ultra. If you are just dipping your toes in, this is the issue for you. This issue covers important information about Ultra as well as WSU specific resources to help you with this change. 

Cartoon pink and red hearts.

What we love about lectures, feedback, and more!

With our February issue, we take a step back to look at what we love about teaching. From looking at techniques when it comes to lectures to the importance of failure, this issue has a little of everything. 


Teaching Today Archive

2023 Issues

Teaching Today Archive: 2023
Issue Topics

January 2023

January 2023 Academic Resources Conference recap and videos!

The theme of this conference was Digital Transformation. Session topics include equity considerations of digital transformation, the fututre of work, the academic honesty/student conduct process, the ethics of big data, mental health for instructors, technical training in McGraw Hill and Cengage, Watermark CES, and more.

February 2023

Fall in Love With Teaching

This issue includes links to free training from Blackboard, Microsoft, and others, information about ICPSR (an archive of political and social research data), which we can access through University libraries, and information about Teaching Matters, a series hosted by the Retention Faculty Fellows. 

March 2023

Retention Faculty Fellows Takeover!

  • Student Retention as a Mindset: Cindi Mason
  • Structuring Feedback in Your Classes: Katie Lanning
  • Welcome to Joy in my Classroom: Moriah Beck
  • Mattering and Marginality: Sarah Taylor
  • The Sky's the Limit: Carolyn Shaw
April 2023

Very Large Enrollment (VLE) Classes

VLE courses (classes with enrollment above 100, including in-person, hybrid, and online) present challenges not present in smaller courses. In this issue, you will find results of VLE instructor survey, tips for course management, assessment recommendations, advice from peers, and more. 

May 2023

May, 2023 Academic Resources Conference recap and videos!

Topics for this conference include Diversity and Inclusion in student retention, positive risk-taking, AI and academic integrity, encouraging intrinsic motivation, tech training in Adobe Acrobat, Watermark CES and more. 

Summer 2023

Professional Development and Conference Highlights

In this issue, we hear from faculty and staff who have recently attended conferences or professional development events. Articles by Brett Bruner, John Hammond, Sandra Ranney, Anna Porcaro, Carolyn Speer, Rachel Bastian, and John Jones

August 2023

August 2023 Academic Resources Conference recap and videos! 

Topics for this conference include using Generative AI as a tool in the classroom and in your job, AI and academic integrity, technical training in Teams, Blackboard Ultra's new features like AI and Flexible Grading, in-class digital surveys and more.  

September 2023

Student Support Services

Have you ever worried about whether you know the “right” office or campus service to recommend to a student in need?  It’s understandable because Wichita State has a lot of student support services!  To make the job of keeping them all clear in our minds easier, OIR has compiled a list in the September 2023 Teaching Today. We hope it’s helpful to you and your students!

October 2023

Digital Transformation - Welcome to the Wild, Wild West! 

Our annual Digital Transformation issue which brings our readers a useful update on the state of educational technology and the impact new technologies has on teaching. This year there is a heavy emphasis on artificial intelligence, including opportunites for lowering the cost of classroom materials for students, deepfakes, links for AI training, the use of AI as a tutor, and more. 

November 2023

Annual "Thankful" Issue

This issue includes ideas for activities that cultivate gratitude in the classroom, the benefits of gratitude, advice on student engagement, the 8 Dimensions of Wellness, and special thanks from the OIR staff.

December 2023

We are Moving to Ultra!

Our December issue includes a special announcement: We are moving to Blackboard Ultra! Inside, you will find links to training, advice for preparing for the move, unpacking, and getting ready to teach in Ultra. 

2022 Issues


Teaching Today Archive: 2022
Issue Topics

January 2022

January 2022 ARC in Review

Highlights: Aligning Outcomes, Activities, and Assessments; LinkedIn Learning suggested courses about goals; where to get Blackboard help.

February 2022

Fall in Love With Teaching

Highlights: Let's talk about the cloud; Using word to create tests for online use, rubrics in Ultra courses, "Learn to love learning theory," 

March & April 2022

Spring has Sprung!

Highlights: Looking forward to May ARC -- Myths about Teaching and Learning, articles "Why the Science of Teaching is Often Ignored" and "The Power of Telling Students Why,"

May 2022

What to expect at the May ARC

Highlights: panel discussions include student panel, portfolios at WSU, Intersectionality of ODI and ODS; sessions about teaching include Inclusive teaching, encouraging metacognition, intro to learning theories; sessions your GTAs will love, and more. 

June 2022

May ARC in Review (includes videos)

Highlights: Metacognition Training from Moriah Beck, Myths about Teaching and Learning by Carolyn Speer, OneDrive and cloud storage with Ali Levine, Introduction to Learning Theories by Carolyn Speer, and more.

July 2022

August ARC is coming!

Highlights: types of ARC sessions, topics for teachers, including nontraditional grading methods, mental health for instructors, and accessibility training; tech training in OneDrive and Blackboard; LinkedIn Learning suggestions.

August 2022

Welcome to AY 2022-23!

Highlights: August ARC review, including panel "What will the future look like, and how do we prepare our students for it?" and sessions "Nontraditional Grading Methods" with John Hammond, "The Inclusive University" panel, technical training in Blackboard and OneDrive, and more. 

September 2022

Teaching Matters

Highlights: Suicide prevention training and video from Rick Muma, Teaching Matters discussion recap, tips about Blackbaord course messages. 

October 2022

Digital Transformation and Education by Humans and AI

Highlights: Teaching Tomorrow with provost Shirley Lefever, What is digital transformation, high performance computing, Creative AI with John Hammer, AI and music with David MacDonald, and more. 

November 2022


Highlights: Messages of gratitude from WSU faculty and staff

December 2022

OIR Gifts to You

Highlights: Digital Transformation and AI, how to guard your mental health, Blackboard training, Book club, etc. 

2021 Issues
Teaching Today Archive: 2021
Issue Topics

January 2021

The "Welcome to Spring Term!" edition

Highlights: Maria Sclafani's article "So you think you can teach? Finding my teacher identity in the classroom, the writing cetner, and the library;" improving engagement in Zoom classes, LightBoard studio training, Intro to Panopto, #WeSupportU program, Information on FERPA, Copyright.

February 2021

The "Fall in Love With Teaching" edition

Highlights: Change from IDA to OIR, OIR staff introduction, what does OIR do? What to expect during IDA to OIR transition, Thinking about Metacognition with Moriah Beck, Learning to love online teaching, "First Year Students are a Joy," by Aaron Rife, First Year Seminar faculty coordinator.

March 2021

How Far We've Come!

Highlights: Revisit computer security, call for ARC21 May and August presentations, Snagit for making GIFs, "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" presentation by Dr. Corrie Moreau, professor of arthropod biosystematics and biodiversity at Cornell University, Aaron Rife muses on How Far FYS has come.

April 2021


Highlights: Campus-wide switch to Blackboard Ultra base navigation, Ultra FAQs, topics for May ARC, call for proposals for August ARC, Freedom of Expression curriculum, "Thinking During a Pandemic" by Aaron Rife. 

May 2021

What to Expect When You are Expecting an ARC 

Highlights: Sessions on proctoring, Blackboard Ultra, infographics, accessibility, classroom management, beyond the discussion board; in addition, links to OLC Innovate session recordings like "Creative Strategies for Equitable Engagement in Online Classes," "Building 21st Century Skills for All Learners," as well as LinkedIn Learning challenges. Also, "The First Days of College" essay by J. Hadley Perkins. 

June 2021

May ARC Revisited

Highlights: Ultra is here! Brush up on Blackboard Original tools, accessibility is here to stay, 21st century workforce skills, Advanced Title IX with Sara Zafar, Microsoft Office tricks, free software overview.

August 2021

August ARC in a Nutshell

Highlights: August ARC review, including Blackboard Ultra training, new required accessibility training, alternative assessment in higher ed, freedom of expression in your classroom, making human connections in class, intro to Panopto, getting started with open educational resources, Title IX training, Excel features. 

September 2021

Doing What Can Be Done

Highlights: "It's the Little Things that Count," guest column by Dr. Carolyn Shaw; Blackboard/Teams integration; in-person classes with masks, sexual assault prevention training for students. 

October 2021

Encouraging All Voices

Highlights: "Encouraging All Voices," guest column by Dr. Rick. Muma, intro to Examity, improve your course's visual design, Blackboard webinars, human captioning on Panopto.

November 2021

Ultra Course Format is Here!

Highlights: "Holistic Support for Students and Instructors," guest column by Dr. Shirley Lefever; MRC educational technology survey results, intro to Ultra course format, Assessment committee meeting about curriculum mapping, student access to Microsoft Office 365.

December 2021

Ultra Course Format Delays

Highlights: required move to Blackboard Ultra delayed based on feedback and experience, how to choose between Blackboard Original and Ultra, preview of January ARC, grade codes.

2020 Issues
Teaching Today Archive: 2022
Issue Topics

January 2020

Your Teaching Resource

Highlights: Merging courses with similar content, Blackboard Ally accessibility dial; Open/Alternative Textbook (OAT) Initiative, Interdisciplinary Program Award Comptetition, embed a librarian in your course, advice from the FYS team. 

February 2020

Your Teaching Resource

Highlights: Active Learning Fellows, Katie Cramer wins Academy for Effective Teaching award, Pre-Tenure club meetings, Advice from Dr. George Dehner, Fall in Love with Teaching, from tthe FYS team, How to write a good alt-text tag, tips from ITS. 

March 2020

Emergency Preparedness Issue

Highlights: Putting your course online in an emergency, CDC guidance for higher ed, message from Dr. Carolyn Shaw about coronavirus, concerns about serving student in emergency situations, basic computer training, going online FAQs, accessible online presentations, connecting to work computer from home, SafeAssign. 

March Extra: Community

Your Teaching (Community!) Resource

Highlights: Keeping healthy, CAPS "Keep Calm and Breathe On," "I will survive" Coronavirus version for teachers video, LinkedIN Learning enterprise license makes courses free for all, other free teaching resources, "Leading Remote Teams" by John Jones.

April 2020

Yes We Can!

Highlights: IDA help with Blackboard; What you need to know: Blackboard tests; Honor pledge available for classes, Peer Insight from Cindy Malcolm and her transition to remote teaching, Zoom pro accounts, promoting online tutoring, "Helpful Hints from University Libraries," by Ginger Williams, Accessibility Ally training info.

April Extra: Security

Security Extra

Highlights: Welcome, new CISO, Mark Rodee; "Avoid the scams of the moment" by Chris Cavanaugh, social engineering (aka human hacking) - don't get human hacked! computer updates, avoiding Zoom intruders, using password managers, OneDrive saves the day, Secure your home network, computer self diagnosis, helpdesk, IDA suport. 

May 2020

The Off Contract Issue

Highlights: unchaining the 2020 ARC, community online events, "What We're reading" feature by faculty and staff.

September 2020

Your Teaching Resource

Highlights: ARC is now three times a year in January, May, and August; join ARC facebook group, Zoom pro accounts, online icebreaker ideas, helping students find your comments, finding streaming media at WSU libraries, subject librarians, adding subtitles to PowerPoint in real time, set up an escape room in your Blackboard course. 

October 2020

Your Teaching Resource

Highlights: The ARC big read: Derek Bok's Higher expectations; using polls in Zoom, ask for "reactions" during your online class, archiving blackboard courses, controlling the archive size of your Blackboard course, 5 things to know about hyperlinks, locating OER texts, host a Zoom-based murder mystery. 

November 2020

The "Why Didn't Someone Tell Me That?" Issue

Highlights: Spotlight Zoom panels and guest speakers, improved breakout rooms in Zoom, new Zoom backgrounds, simplify test creation in Blackboard, course size limits, organize personal courses, Respondus lockdown browser, Incomplete policy, free access to LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft stream. 

2019 Issues
Teaching Today Archive: 2022
Issue Topics
October 2019

Welcome to our first edition! 

Highlights: Accessibility Ally dials, important accessibility decisions from the Ninth Circuit, pros of hybrid course delivery, Blackboard course copy, miderms in Blackboard, chalk and markers available from IDA, Inclusive teaching training with Dr. Jennifer Stone, information literacy in higher education, PowerPoint shows, friendly online course audit, call to share conference news with WSU. 

November 2019

Your Teaching Resource

Highlights: Grade entry tips and instructions, Tell your students about alternative formats, research on note-taking, new roles in Blackboard courses, Library textbook collection, CourseLeaf Curriculum training.

December 2019

Your Teaching Resource

Highlights: Open/Alternative Textbook (OAT) initiative to reduce student expenses, Harvard settles with National Association for the Deaf, FYS team "Demonstrating Care," Blackboard items to set up before your course launches, Give better feedback with technology, what CMS does for you, OER.