Outstanding graduate TAs sought for awards

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Graduate Students

NIU’s Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is seeking nominations for the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards.

These awards acknowledge outstanding graduate teaching assistants for their contributions to the teaching mission of NIU.

Each recipient of the award will be presented with a plaque and recognized at the Graduate Students Reception sponsored by the Graduate School at the end of the spring semester.

At least one of the awards will be presented to an outstanding teaching assistant pursuing a master’s degree.

To be eligible for this award, each candidate must:

  • be enrolled as a graduate student in good standing at NIU during the semester the award nominations are due;
  • have been employed as a graduate teaching assistant for one or more semesters (excluding the semester of nomination) during the past 2 years at NIU;
  • have been responsible for teaching a course fully as the primary instructor of record or teaching-related support (example: leading discussions, grading, tutoring, recitation, etc.) which involved student contact as part of the graduate teaching assistant employment;
  • have contributed above and beyond the general expectations of the position; and
  • have not previously received this award at NIU.

Nomination Process and Deadline

Each academic or academic support unit that employs graduate TAs for teaching and related activities is invited to nominate two (2) outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistants, one at the master’s level and the other at the doctoral level, from its department/school for the awards. Nominations should be submitted by the head of the academic department/school or designee.

Nominators must complete the nomination form for each nominee and email it with any supporting documents by Friday, March 3, 2017 to tadev@niu.edu with the subject line “Nomination for 2017 Outstanding TA Awards.”

Additional Information

For additional information, check the Frequently Asked Questions section or contact Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center at (815) 753-0595 or tadev@niu.edu.

Blackboard-related Reminders for the Beginning of the Semester

posted in: Best Practices, News | 0

closeup of woman's hands using a laptopAs many new faculty, teaching staff, and TAs are requesting course space on Blackboard this week and get ready to begin the semester teaching their courses using Blackboard, here are a few useful links as reminders for some of the “beginning of the semester” frequently asked questions:

1. Requesting a new course on Blackboard – After logging into http://webcourses.niu.edu click the “Services” tab at the top of the page and then “Blackboard Faculty Tools”. Click “My Courses” and then follow the links on the displayed window. Instructions and step-by-step tutorials can be found at: http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/manage/request.shtml. In order to request a Blackboard course, individuals must be the “instructor of record” for the course in the MyNIU system.

Course space requests take 1 working day to be processed by the automated process in DoIT. It takes an additional day for someone newly assigned as instructor of record in MyNIU to have permission to request the course in Blackboard.

2. Combining course sections – Those teaching dual level courses (e.g. 400 and 500 or cross-listed courses) or multiple sections may want to combine their sections into one master course. Information about doing that can also be found at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/manage/multiplesections.shtml.

“Course combine requests” also take 1 working day to be processed. Individuals requesting master courses must be instructor of record in both sections to be combined.

3. Making courses “available” to students – After creating and posting documents on a Blackboard courses, faculty should make those courses “available” to students. Otherwise, students will not be able to see the courses. The instructions for making courses “available” to students can be found at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/manage/availability.shtml.

4. Blackboard workshops – Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center regularly schedules workshops on using Blackboard for teaching purposes, and the monthly program schedules can be found at http://www.niu.edu/facdev.

For those who are not able to attend a workshop, there is also now a Self-Paced Introduction to Blackboard online workshop consisting of short video demonstrations, available at http://facdev.niu.edu/selfpacedbb1.

Answers to other Frequently Asked Blackboard-related questions can be found at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/faq and Blackboard-related help information can be found at http://www.niu.edu/blackboard/atoz.

For login and password-related questions, please refer faculty to the DoIT service desk at 815-753-8100 or servicedesk@niu.edu and for other teaching-related Blackboard questions, faculty can submit the questions at https://ssl.niu.edu/blackboard/ask/index.asp.

2014-2015 Annual Report Now Available

posted in: News, Newsletter | 0

The Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center is pleased to announce the completion of our annual report for the 2014-15 academic year. This latest report is available at go.niu.edu/facdevreport14-15. Below are a few highlights.

During 2014-2015, the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center contributed to the university’s mission …to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service by collaborating with various academic and support units to meet the ongoing and emerging needs of NIU faculty, staff, administrators, and graduate teaching assistants in their teaching, technology integration, professional development, and related needs. This was the sixteenth full academic year of operation for the center since we were reorganized in August 1998. Some of our significant accomplishments this year include:

  • Offering 157 programs for 1,609 participants, which totaled 4,980 hours of professional development
  • Conducting 1,206 consultations with 416 unique faculty, instructors, staff, and graduate teaching assistants from 77 academic and support units
  • Serving on 11 committees, councils, and organizations within NIU and the broader Faculty Development community
  • Recognized 4 recipients of Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, issued 11 Graduate Teaching Certificates, and was honored with 3 individual and department recognitions

14-15 Activities at a Glance

We hope you enjoy this new digital format for our annual report. Feel free to explore and learn more about our activities and accomplishments from the past year.

Sincerely,

Jason Rhode, Ph.D.
Director

Latest Trends in Educational Technology Use Identified in 2016 Horizon Report

2016 Horizon ReportThe New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) have jointly released the NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition. This 13th edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education.

The report identifies six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology across three adoption horizons spanning over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders, educational technologists, and faculty a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report provides higher education leaders with in-depth insight into how trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.

“The release of this report kicks off the 15th year of the NMC Horizon Project, which has sparked crucial conversations and progressive strategies in institutions all over the world,”says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “We are so appreciative of ELI’s continued support and collaboration. Together we have been able to regularly provide timely analysis to universities and colleges.”

“This year’s report addresses a number of positive trends that are taking root in higher education,” notes ELI Director Malcolm Brown. “More institutions are developing programs that enable students and faculty to create and contribute innovations that advance national economies, and they are also reimagining the spaces and resources accessible to them to spur this kind of creativity.”


Watch the video summary

Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

The NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition identifies “Advancing Cultures of Innovation” and “Rethinking How Institutions Work” as long-term impact trends that for years affected decision-making and will continue to accelerate the adoption of educational technology in higher education over the next five years. “Redesigning Learning Spaces” and the “Shift to Deeper Learning Approaches” are mid-term impact trends expected to drive technology use in the next three to five years; meanwhile, “Growing Focus on Measuring Learning” and “Increasing Use of Blended Learning” are short-term impact trends, anticipated to impact institutions for the next one to two years before becoming commonplace.

Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in higher education. “Blending Formal and Informal Learning” and “Improving Digital Literacy” are perceived as solvable challenges, meaning they are well-understood and solutions have been identified. “Competing Models of Education” and “Personalizing Learning” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined and well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Balancing Our Connected and Unconnected Lives” and “Keeping Education Relevant.” Challenges in this category are complex to define, making them more difficult to address.

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Additionally, the report identifies bring your own device (BYOD) and learning analytics and adaptive learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the near-term horizon of one year or less. Augmented and virtual reality technologies and makerspaces are seen in the mid-term horizon of two to three years; affective computing and robotics are seen emerging in the far-term horizon of four to five years.

Topics from the NMC Horizon Report

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed by the NMC and collaboratively conducted by the NMC and ELI that engaged an international body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in higher education. The report details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

Download the Report

Call for Presentations for 2015 SLATE Conference, Oct. 21-23 — Proposal Deadline June 30th

posted in: Conferences, News | 0

SLATE15 Logo

The 13th Annual SLATE Conference will be held on October 21-23, 201 at the Northern Illinois University regional campus/conference center in Naperville, IL, which is along the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor (thirty minutes from downtown Chicago).

Staff from NIU Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center will once again provide logistical support for the conference and look forward to participating in the conference, having already submitted several presentation proposals.

This conference has become a premier event in the Midwest and has attracted participants interested in supporting learning and technology in education from around the world in higher-ed, K-12, government, and the corporate sector. Over the past twelve years more than 3,200 people representing almost 200 unique institutions from the Midwest, across the country, and around the world have attended this conference. Recognizing that deployment issues, support concerns, teaching strategies, learning styles, best practices, etc. are common among the varied CMS/LMS clients (Blackboard, Moodle, Sakai, etc.), this conference invites all faculty, system administrators, CIO’s, Web developers, instructional designers, librarians, students, and user support staff from institutions that are deploying and/or currently using any Web-based tools, applications or programs, in their teaching and learning.

Call for Presentations

Submissions are invited for presentations, panel discussions, or working group activities (now through June 30, 2015) which can cover a broad range of topics that relate to best practices, innovative, engaging, and pedagogically sound uses of technology in teaching and learning, etc. Speakers are encouraged to submit proposals whose general focus is the use of technology in teaching and learning regardless of the platform or tools being used. Other topics and ideas will also be considered. If you have an idea for a panel discussion and need some help in getting people together, contact the conference coordinator, Ken Sadowski, and he can help to connect you to others who may have already expressed similar ideas.

Some of the topics presented in past conferences included:

  • Using Podcasting to Meet the Needs of Millennial Students
  • Platform-Independent Course Design
  • Teaching Writing Using Blogs and Wikis
  • Student GPA and Course Delivery Methods
  • Using Technology Tools to Ensure Faculty Success
  • Online Assessment Strategies
  • Using Your CMS as a Retention Tool

More detailed information can be found at the following:

We hope to see you @SLATEConference #slate15! If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:

Ken Sadowski
SLATE Conference Coordinator
email: ken@slategroup.org
cell: 708.744.9448

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