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A conversation with Moustapha Diack of Southern University on open educational resources.

Professor Moustapha Diack is the Assistant Vice President for Online Services of the Southern University System as well as Chair of the Doctoral Program in Science/Mathematics Education (SMED) and interim Director of Online Learning and Professional Development for Southern University Baton Rouge. His research interests at Southern University are in the areas of Instructional Design, cognitive theory of multimedia learning and the strategic planning and deployment of online learning systems to enhance student learning outcomes. Dr. Diack has extensive experience in the areas of online learning design and delivery and has played a global leadership role in the areas of Open Education and Open Access. He was the recipient of the International MERLOT eLearning Innovation Award in 2009. He is a member of the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching) Faculty Development Editorial Board and Co-Founding Director of the MERLOT Africa Network (MAN), a network of African higher education institutions and digital scholars engaged in the research, development and implementation of open education. At the Southern University System, Dr. Diack oversees the development and implementation of integrated digital library services, the Southern University Online Library for Education (SUOL4ed), to facilitate quality online programs development and college affordability through the adoption of open education resources and open textbook. Dr. Diack is a member of the Louisiana Board of Regents Task Force On Electronic Learning and Past President 2003-2006 of the Louisiana Academy of Science.

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Many teachers have been using YouTube to share videos with their classes, and for good reason. YouTube offers a lot of conveniences that make it a very attractive platform for delivering video content.

However, most teachers with whom I've spoken do not want to be YouTube superstars. In fact, most of them don't want anyone watching their videos — except, of course, their students.

For this reason, I've recommended setting the privacy of such videos to "unlisted." An unlisted video is essentially invisible to anyone who doesn't have that gnarly and convoluted direct YouTube link. The only other options are "public" and "private," neither of which would seem to do the job — at least, not at first glance.

But there is another way, which may be better, at least sometimes. Let's take a second look at that "private" setting. A private video can normally be seen only by you.

[screenshot]

Click on that "share" button, though, and you open up a new dialog. Here you could enter individual email addresses to allow specific people to view. That's kind of a pain, but (now that Xavier is a Google campus) you also have the option to enable viewing by "everyone at xula.edu."

[screenshot]

You'll still have to share the link with your students, of course. Additionally, your students must be logged into YouTube using their xula.edu account. If they are logged in with a personal account, they won't be able to view the video.

In most cases, the "unlisted" setting is sufficient, perhaps even preferable. But if you are especially sensitive about who might view your video, this option is worth considering.

(As always, I urge teachers to consider doing the extra work to make your content fully and legally public.)

A tip of the hat to Asem Abdulahad of the Department of Chemistry for this pointer.

Meditation Room

The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Faculty Development invites you to join us for a regular group meditation. We'll meet each Wednesday afternoon throughout the 2017-2018 academic year. Drop in when you can.

What to expect?

As the meditation room is located directly beneath the bell tower, we are using the bells in our meditation. They chime quarterly, so our period of silence begins at 12:30 and ends at 12:45.

But I've never done this before!

You needn't have any experience with meditating; just stop by and give it a try. There's no commitment and no pressure.

Why meditate?

Meditation has numerous well-documented benefits, including stress management, improved emotional balance, increased focus and awareness and increased responsiveness to student needs.

  • Date: August 23, 2017 - May 8, 2018 (when classes are in session)
  • Time: 12:30 - 12:45 PM
  • Location: Meditation Room, St. Katharine Drexel Chapel
  • Sponsor: CAT+FD

Photo credit: Bart Everson

Download Conversation #61


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A conversation with Joan Middendorf of Indiana University on student learning bottlenecks.

Joan’s specialty lies in leading faculty groups to make disciplinary ways of thinking available to students. With David Pace she developed the “Decoding the Disciplines” approach to define crucial bottlenecks to learning, dissect and model expert thinking, and assess student performance. Joan and the History Learning Project (Pace and Professors Arlene Diaz and Leah Shopkow) were awarded the Menges Research Award from the Professional Development Network in Higher Education and the Maryellen Weimer Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning Award.

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Download Conversation #60



A conversation with Joli Jensen of University of Tulsa on scholarly writing.

Throughout my academic career I have struggled to combine my academic writing with other commitments. What I’ve learned about overcoming obstacles to my own academic writing has led to my current focus — offering academic writing support to colleagues in the humanities, social sciences and sciences.

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XCIT 2017

We invite you to join the Xavier Contemplative Inquiry Team for the 2017-2018 school year. We meet monthly over the course of the year and provide support for each member’s personal practice, contemplative pedagogy, and related research. This year, we'll be adopting an explicit focus on STEM disciplines to examine some of the exciting scientific research in this area. The team is open to all faculty, staff and students.

Read more on our wiki, then download the call for participation and apply today.

CAT+FD is pleased to welcome Dr. Florastina Payton-Stewart for a three-year term as our new Faculty in Residence.

Payton-Stewart

Dr. Payton-Stewart is an Associate Professor in Chemistry, and is very passionate about teaching, mentoring and advising students. She has served as Associate Director for Center of Undergraduate Research and is a member of the American Chemical Society and the National Organization for the Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. She is a 2017 Keystone Fellow and recipient of the HERS Institute Leadership Academy STEM scholarship.

She will work with our new faculty, planning and implementing support throughout their first year.

In addition to supporting CAT+FD activities and initiatives, the CAT+FD Faculty in Residence has primary responsibility for enhancing and leading programming for first year faculty. Duties include: assisting in the planning and implementation of new faculty orientation; facilitating new faculty mentoring; organizing and implementing the new faculty "brown bag" series; organizing and implementing a coherent set of workshop open to all faculty but focused on new faculty; assisting in grant writing for CAT+FD initiatives related to first year faculty development; and assisting in the assessment of CAT+FD's programs related to first year faculty development.


We are also glad to announce that Mr. Jeremy Tuman is renewing his role as Faculty in Residence for Service Learning for a two-year term.

Megan Osterbur, 2017 FaCTS coordinator

We were honored and thrilled to read this account of our FaCTS summer seminar from Wiki Ed:

For the ninth year, faculty at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) have come together to experiment with new pedagogy in their classrooms. Their group, the Faculty Community of Teaching Scholars (FaCTS), is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation and provides a stipend for participants to explore that year’s theme. The theme for academic year 2017–18 is “Making knowledge public using educational technology.” Dr. Megan Osterbur, who participates in Wiki Ed’s Classroom Program, helped organize this year’s group of selected applicants and saw a clear alignment with Wikipedia assignments. After all, Wikipedia serves as educational technology for student editors and is as public as knowledge gets in 2017.

Continue reading on the Wiki Education Foundation website.

encrypt

We have been taking steps to make the CAT+FD site more secure. Most recently, we started serving all our content over a secure connection. From this point on, anytime you're visiting our site (including this blog) you may see "https://" at the beginning of the web address in your browser's location field. You may even see a little padlock symbol.

This varies from browser to browser, but here's how it looks on Chrome:

Secure connection (Chrome)

This means that all the content that flows back and forth between your browser and our site is encrypted, encoded, making it harder for anyone else to snoop.

Of course (unless you're CAT+FD staff) you probably aren't exchanging any sensitive data with our site. Still, it's a good idea, with increasing concern in recent years over civil liberties in an age of ubiquitous surveillance.

It might also be the wave of the future. More and more sites are supporting encryption. Google already favors secure sites in its search results.

Some browsers make it easy for you to examine a site's digital certificate. Here's how that looks in Safari:

Certificate in Safari

This shows you that we are who we claim to be. DigiCert is a third party that verifies Xavier's identity.

Sounds pretty good, right? In fact, you may wonder why all your web transactions aren't secure. Well, it's the same reason why we don't all engage in good password behavior. We know it's good in theory, but in practice we defer and delay. Some sites you visit undoubtedly do support secure transactions — but only if you ask for it. You can encrypt as much as possible by using a browser extension like the Electronic Frontier Foundations's HTTPS Everywhere, available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Android.

Thanks to ITC for helping us to implement HTTPS.

Download Conversation #59

Leyte WinfieldA conversation with Leyte Winfield of Spelman College on mentoring students.

A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Dr. Leyte Winfield is a teacher, scholar, and mentor. She strives to expose everyone to the beauty and versatility of chemistry and to nurture the potential of women of color interested in pursuing degrees in the field. In 1997, she received a commission in the United States Army Reserve where she obtained the rank of captain and was assigned to the Army Medical Institute of Chemical Defense before resigning her commission in September of 2009. Academically, she pursued the study of chemistry with the hope of becoming a cosmetic scientist. Her aspirations led her to obtain a B.S. in Chemistry from Dillard University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of New Orleans. She is a synthetic organic chemist with experience in academic, industrial, and military laboratories. From these combined experiences she has gained expertise in the various aspects of medicinal drug design, instrumental methods, and synthetic techniques. Her current research interest is to understand the relationship of the structure of a molecule, particularly benzimidazoles, to its activity as a chemotherapeutic for cancers that disproportionately impact the African American community. Her efforts have been recognized by the American Association of Cancer Research and the Council for Undergraduate Research and have been funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. She holds six patents covering more than 500 unique small molecules. Her emerging interest in chemical education and broadening participation has produced two textbooks, several publications, and funding from the national science foundation.

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