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Download Conversation #65

Kelly Young
A conversation with Dr. Kelly Young of California State University Long Beach (CSULB) on mentorship.

I'm a Full Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University Long Beach.  A CSU graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I trained at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Oregon National Primate Research Center at the Oregon Health & Science University. My desire to teach in both the classroom and the laboratory made returning to the CSU system a priority, and I'm proud to be a Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program recipient.  In my reproductive biology laboratory, my students and I examine the genes and proteins that regulate the gonadal transition between atrophy in the non-breeding season to fully functional in the breeding season. Most of the research in my laboratory has been conducted with CSULB undergraduates, and I focus on developing independent, productive, and confident undergraduate scientists who take the lead role in their research projects. My passion for engaging undergraduates in science extends into the pedagogical world, where my goal is to design and teach student-centered courses. I’ve been involved in several course-restructure projects to create more effective classroom environments where learning, grades, and motavation improve. I’m also thrilled to be working with fellow faculty members as we all work to better our teaching and mentoring techniques. In that vein, I developed a STEM-faculty learning community for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and a BUILD Mentoring Community at CSULB. My goal of enhancing student success and trying to make the world a more positive place drives me to work hard each day.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #65: Kelly Young on Mentorship"

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s "Tests and Surveys" training focused on using tests, surveys, and self-assessments in Brightspace.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our training continues the week after Thanksgiving. The next training sessions will focus on setting up your gradebook in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s "Using Turnitin" training focused on detecting potential plagiarism in student work by using Turnitin.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our Brightspace training continues through the end of the semester.

Next week's training sessions will focus on using tests and surveys in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

Try out an interactive demo of Feedback Studio
Viewing the Similarity Report
Interpreting the Similarity Report
Rubrics and Grading Forms
Sample Rubrics
Commenting Tools
Using Layers

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Download Conversation #64

Keyana Scales
A conversation with Ms. Keyana Scales on enrollment management.

Keyana Scales is vice president for enrollment management at Xavier University of Louisiana. She is charged with strengthening the university’s enrollment through effective outreach strategies; overseeing the management of all aspects of the enrollment process; and ensuring that high ethical standards are maintained in admissions, recruitment, and financial aid policies and practices.

Ms. Scales has conducted presentations for national and regional associations within higher education. She attained both a BA in Communications and a M.Ed. in Counseling from North Carolina State University. She is a National Board Certified Counselor; an alumnus of the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women Program; a former member of the Southern Regional Council for The College Board; and a former executive board member of the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling.

Links for this episode:

  • In terms of helpful links to faculty, here is an article that may be helpful for faculty with high school-aged students as they prepare for the college admissions process.  There is also quite a bit of literature that speaks to the trends related to increased anxiety levels students are currently presenting upon their arrival to college that may be helpful.  A recent article featured in the NY Times speaks to this issue.  There was also an article in Inside Higher Ed that talks about the increased number of students who present mental health challenges on college campuses.   Finally, with regard to how faculty can best support students, our approach at Xavier will largely mirror what is described in the EAB whitepaper that can be found here.

...continue reading "Conversation #64: Keyana Scales on Enrollment Management"

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s “Assignments Tool” training focused on how to collect, manage, and grade student work using the Assignments Tool in Brightspace.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our Brightspace training continues through the end of the semester.

Next week's training sessions will focus on using Turnitin (plagiarism detection tool) in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

Create an assignment
View assignment submissions
Evaluate assignment submissions
Email students who haven't submitted an assignment
Allow special access for assignments

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

signpost with old name and new name signs printed on them

Instructors have the ability to change the names of their Brightspace courses to suit their needs. For example, if you teach two sections of English 1010, you can personalize the names to become ENGL1010 – 9 MWF and ENGL1010 – 1:15 TR.

Follow these steps to do it.

To change the name of your Brightspace course, you should:

  1. Get into the course you want to change the name of.
  2. While in the course, goto the NavBar and click on Course Admin.
  3. Click on Course Offering Information.
  4. Enter the new name in the Course Offering Name field and and click Save.

Note: Care should be taken to make sure the new name of the course can be easily recognized by the students enrolled.

Want more information?

Brightspace Migration FAQs
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing for this blog professor, author, and social critic Corey Dolgon. I had heard Professor Dolgon speak at an IARSLCE conference, the International Association for Research on Service-Learning, and I was intrigued by his critique of certain universities' historic and ongoing actions that have disenfranchised or otherwise harmed the very communities the schools purport to serve. The talk was both wide in scope and specific in researched detail, the ability to achieve which is a defining characteristic of public intellectuals I admire, such as Henry Giroux, Robert Reich, as well as Professor Dolgon. The work of these scholars manages to clarify in plain language vast and intricate socio-political-and-economic movements in order to distill their tangible effects on our day-to-day lives.

Now Professor Dolgon has a new book out called Kill It to Save It: An Autopsy of Capitalism's Triumph over Democracy that traces the corrosive effects of recent (read post-Vietnam) political discourse and the public policy that flows from it regarding the civic institutions that uphold democracy, and thus on the common well-being of the citizenry. Such concerns, such considerations, may or may not play a part of any given service-learning course, depending on the discipline and academic level of the course. A capstone course in environmental sociology may well include as primary this type of far-reaching discussion, while a 1000-level English course designed to improve writing ability while engaging with community elementary schools may include such theoretical material in a limited, introductory amount, if at all. Yet whatever the service-learning course, the social disparities, deficiencies, and injustices addressed by community action are likely created or exacerbated by these larger forces operating just beyond our view. While teachers often internalize these realities, while they may inform our work in very close, almost second-nature ways, students may be only first learning about such broad historical contexts. Part of what we teach then in service-learning is not only course content or even the value and necessity of civic engagement, but also a larger awareness of, and a questioning of, the very real series of human choices that led to the situations the class addresses.

Kill It to Save It takes apart several myths of modern American life that have allowed public policy to work against the public good. The first to go is the idea of the rugged individual, free to succeed on his own terms without need of governmental assistance. As policies purport individual freedom and economic opportunity, the vast amount of economic gains go to a smaller and smaller few. At the same time, the sacrifices required to make this upward wealth transfer possible are to public education, public health care, and public resources. The public is sold a bill of goods about the boundlessness of upward mobility in this country, while the shrinking of public resources needed to support such mobility make it less and less likely. All investments in the public good are cast as socialistic handouts to the lazy, while the holders of wealth need only to keep the policy-setting system rigged in their favor to keep the subsidies, negative actual tax rates, and other forms of corporate welfare flowing their way.

We needn't look further than our own communities to see the damaging effects of years and years of such neoliberal policies. The homeless people on our streets are permanent communities within communities, structurally forever shut out of integration. Our poorest neighbors are crammed into the least funded schools, almost ensuring by design their failure. Entire neighborhoods bear the marks of years of redlining, employment discrimination, and racist law enforcement policy, from the war on drugs to stop-and-frisk. Professor Dolgon traces these situations back to the public discourse and propagandized ideologies that shaped the policies that created them.

No matter what aspect of social injustice our service-learning course seeks to address, it's worth remembering that no form of injustice is naturally occurring. Our society was made by us, and can be changed by us as well.

keep calm and let's recap

This week’s “Keep Students Engaged Between Class Meetings” training focused on how faculty can communicate and collaborate with their students outside of the classroom in order to enhance the instructional environment.

in case you missed it

In case you missed this week’s training sessions or if you attended one of the training sessions and want to recap what was covered, you can review these resources:

Our Brightspace training continues through the end of the semester.

Next week's training sessions will focus on collecting and grading student work using the Assignment Tool in Brightspace. Please visit our events page for workshop details and to RSVP for upcoming Brightspace training sessions.

Want more information?

View all the Brightspace training recaps
Brightspace Migration FAQs
Request a sandbox course
Sign-up for Brightspace training sessions
You can find Brightspace help at D2L's website.
Join the Brightspace Community.
Try these Brightspace How-To documents.
Visit our Brightspace FAQs for additional Brightspace information
or schedule a one-on-one session, email, or
call Janice Florent: (504) 520-7418.

By now, Xavier faculty have received an email from ITC asking them to identify the courses they have in Blackboard that they want to have migrated over to Brightspace. Brightspace's parent company, D2L, will be doing the actual migration for us, but we need to tell them which classes we wanted migrated. The email from ITC links to a form that asks for some very specific information for each course you want migrated (if you want to have more than one course migrated, you'll need to refill and resubmit the form for each course). This post will show you how you can quickly find all the information you need. ...continue reading "How to Find the Information to Request a Course Migration"

Download Conversation #63


A conversation with Randy Stoecker of University of Wisconsin-Madison on liberating service learning.

Randy Stoecker is a Professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, with a joint appointment in the Center for Community and Economic Development. This position has taken him into expanded work in academy-community partnerships and community leadership development. He has been involved in work trying to amplify the community voice in service learning, and provide strong information technology support for nonprofit organizations, and build community power. Most recently, Dr. Stoecker and his students have worked with Community Shares of Wisconsin, SouthWest Madison Community Organizers, and The Natural Step Monona.

Links for this episode:

...continue reading "Conversation #63: Randy Stoecker on Liberating Service Learning"