CELT Notes


This page features weekly CELT Notes sent out to Luther College faculty members.


11, October 2022

Good afternoon - We have a long CELT Notes today as we try to get back on track here at CELT after a very busy couple of weeks hosting Curriculum Implementation workshops.

If you have ideas how CELT can best support you as you redesign your courses -- please send them my way! I'm building out winter and spring programming as we speak.

Happy almost fall break!





Midterm Grades

As a reminder your midterm grades are due on Friday, October 21 at noon. 

What do you do with this data, knowing it is only a snapshot of a student’s grade at a single moment. Well, a lot actually. 

Last semester, I had a student who was SHOCKED to know he was failing my course at midterm. I wasn’t shocked at all because he hadn’t turned in any homework since the third week of classes. Turns out he was failing to push the final button to submit his homework, which he had indeed been doing. We got it sorted out, but without that midterm check, he and I might not have sat down for a conversation until it was too late. 

If a student receives a midterm grade that they are unsatisfied with they might do any of the following:

  • Come talk to their instructor during office hours, obtain help, and clarify issues of concern. 
  • Talk with the staff at the Center for Academic Enrichment to develop strategies to improve academically or to be matched with a tutor.
  • Talk with their advisors about withdrawing from a course


KATIE Gradebook Help

On that note -- CELT is hosting two KATIE Gradebook drop-in sessions. Come by Valders 242 for a cup of coffee and a snack, and expert help from Erin!

  • Thursday, October 1312:00 – 1:30pm
  • Thursday, October 202:00 – 3:30pm


COVID Protocols and Absences 

I'm starting to see a few more absences due to COVID in my course, which prompted me to issue a reminder on our policies and suggestions as we deal with year three of the pandemic. 


COVID, like other illnesses and impairments, seems likely to be with us for a while. But what we do know is that we've always had students who have extended absences due to mono, surgeries, or concussions. 


Our goal as instructors is to help keep those students up as they recover. What that looks like in your classroom is certainly different than what it looks like in my classroom. I am just starting a Zoom meeting and very badly recording the class activities of the day. Students who are quarantined have access to my powerpoint so they can follow along later when they watch the recording. If they have any questions or concerns, we are meeting via Zoom during my office hours. If they happen to be gone for a test, I give them an online version (or we reschedule). You do not need to Zoom students into your class. That is not the expectation, nor is it necessarily best practice, pedagogically. 

If a student discloses a COVID diagnosis to you, please point them to this website https://www.luther.edu/current-students/covid The Office of Student Engagement will help support them. 


Inclusive Pedagogy Workshops

I’m highlighting two workshops hosted by my faculty development colleagues at the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Stony Brook University. These are free, synchronous webinars that will help us further our inclusive pedagogy work. 


Rethinking Office Hours: Weds. Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. ET on Zoom

The research shows that both students and instructors benefit greatly from interactions outside of the classroom. Yet instructors report that students are not showing up to office hours. In this panel discussion we hear from a faculty member, two teaching assistants and one undergraduate as we explore the topic of office hours as an inclusive teaching practice.

Register: https://stonybrook.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYqceGtqzwqGN06H2GkNgQA2nS3EL5FVdFm


Addressing Impostor Phenomenon Through Your Teaching Practice: Weds. Nov. 16 at 11 a.m. ET on Zoom

Impostor phenomenon (IP) is defined as a feeling of being unprepared or undeserving of one’s job title or work duties. It causes highly skilled people to feel that they are somehow faking their talents and causes them to live in fear of being outed. Studies show that students of color may be at a higher risk of experiencing IP because of microaggressions, bullying, or systemic bias. How does IP impact students and what should instructors know to address it in their teaching practice?

Register: https://stonybrook.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0qde-qrjkpHtIo6AeSNPE9MTphBKccxzvA


Inclusive Teaching Tip

When we help students connect course content to their personal experience and prior knowledge, it deepens their learning and helps build connection and community. 

Here’s an example from my Global Art class. We were talking about the Inca Empire, specifically the Incan practice of designing architectural spaces to draw attention to huacas, spiritually significant places in the landscape. This is a difficult concept for some students -- but one that is fundamental to understanding the relationship of Incan architecture and spiritual practice.


I opened with a 5 minute free write followed by small group discussion. I simply asked them to think of a time when you felt you were in the presence of something larger than yourself. What did that feel like? Describe it. 


Here’s a sample of what I got: 

At Holden Village there is a lovely, hidden creek jump spot off the side of the trail. Submerging into pure, cold glacier water, in the bowl of two towering mountatist, that feels like more than myself. Like I am a piece that fits into a much larger community. 


I was hiking in the Utah desert with some mates and it was very hot and I was dehydrated. At one point we sat down for a rest and I was just looking at the landscape thinking there must be something that created all of this because it is pure beauty. I felt an overwhelming feeling of joy, peace, and oneness with the universe. 


A time in my life when I found myself in the presence of something greater than myself would probably be at live music venues/concerts, particularly when I saw the Foo Fighters or Harry Styles. The overwhelming culmination of energy and unity left me feeling like I could do anything. It also showed the inherent good in people. I was surrounded by it, as we all enjoyed the music together. 


When I went to the Redwoods National Park, I was just speechless to see how big those trees were. I felt so significantly small, and weirdly a flood of emotion hit me. I think it was because I truly was amazed by the beauty of nature and how amazingly complicated it is. 


Playing a part of an ensemble can be a powerful experience. I remember [email protected] last year was something that struck me because of the sheer size and effort put into the performance.


We had a really good discussion of Inkan art after this 10 minute activity. 


The benefits of content connections are vast -- and it doesn’t take much time.

  • Students may appreciate content more and perform better
  • It allows students to become a resource in their own classroom communities
  • It enables students to share their own experiences. 
  • It increases excitement about learning course material
  • It promotes intrinsic motivation
  • It creates a more inclusive classroom environment
  • It increases the perceived value of the learning that happens in the classroom
  • It enhances a sense of belonging and academic identity
  • It helps students persist with difficult concepts

I'd love to hear about ways that you are helping students make content connections in your courses. Send those ideas my way!