Announcements

Retention tips for a successful semester

The first day of class may be one of the most important days of the semester as it is your time to set the stage for a positive and rewarding experience for your students. Here are some tips for a good start from the Tips on Teaching section of the University of Oklahoma Program for Instructional Innovation website:

Involve students quickly

Let your students know right from the get-go that active participation is the name of the game. This can be done in a variety of ways:

  • Have everybody introduce themselves
  • Create some individual thinking and writing time
  • Conduct class and/or small-group discussions

Identify the value and importance of the subject

Not all students come to class with a clear idea of the significance of your subject. You may need to help them grasp its importance. The quicker this is done, the quicker students will begin investing time and energy into the learning process.

Set expectations regarding:

  • The amount of study time required to do well in the course
  • Homework deadlines and the consequences for not meeting them
  • In-class behavior rules and the consequences for not observing them
  • Parameters of student/teacher interaction
  • Anything else you consider important

The first day also offers an opportunity to explore the expectations of your students.

Establish rapport

You will enjoy your teaching experience a great deal more if you communicate effectively with your students. This applies to your students as well. They will enjoy learning a great deal more if they know that communicating with you is going to be easy. Get to know each other a little bit.

Reveal something about yourself

Students often learn in proportion to how well they relate to their instructors; when they see them as more than just an authority figure or subject matter expert; when they see them as human beings with similar experiences. Share some personal stories with your students and learn to laugh at yourself. It will help establish rapport with your students and put them at ease while getting to know you as a person.

Establish your credibility

Your students deserve to know your professional background. Depending on the class you’re teaching, this may be assumed—your credibility a given—but not always: don't take it for granted. Inform your students about your prior experience: work, travel, research, publication credits, and anything else that might be important. You want to instill in them a sense of confidence in the idea that you know what you’re talking about.

Establish the "Class Climate"

Different teachers prefer different classroom climates: intense, relaxed, formal, personal, humorous, serious, etc. Whatever climate you prefer, you must establish it at the beginning. It sets the tone for the whole semester.

Provide administrative information

Go through your syllabus with your students. Make sure everybody knows what’s in it. Information they will need include:

  • List of textbooks and other required reading
  • The kind and quantity of homework involved
  • Your office hours, address, phone and email
  • Grade stipulations and the procedures by which they will be determined
  • Classroom policies: attendance, late papers, make-up exams, etc.

Present an overview of the subject

  • What is it?
  • What parts of the subject will be covered in the class you’re teaching?
  • How are those parts connected?
  • How are they connected to other subjects, courses and types of knowledge?

Final Note:

Remember this imperative: Whatever it is you want your students doing on a regular basis, have them do it on the first day of class as well.

If class or group discussions are going to be a regular activity, have a class or group discussion on the first day. If you want them working in small groups throughout the semester, put them in groups on the first day. If you want them writing regularly, have them write immediately.

For more retention tips and ideas, contact Tina or Nancy in CETL.

Sources

University of Oklahoma Program for Instructional Innovation. (n.d.). The first day of class: What can/should we do? In Ideas on teaching.  

Published January 11, 2016.

January Convocation schedule and app

The tentative January Convocation schedule is now available online.

Use the Convocation App on your smart device to check the schedule at your convenience. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, step-by-step instructions are included below.

Step 1: Download Yapp

Visit the app store on your device and search for Yapp. It is free to download. Yapp is required to load the Convocation app.

Step 2: Follow this link

Install the Convocation app on your smart device.

The Convocation app will then be installed inside Yapp.

Step 3: Stay connected

Schedules, session descriptions, room changes, photos, videos and more will be posted before and during the event.

Need more help? Check out the Yapp demonstration video.

Questions? Call CETL’s Office at (608) 246-6646.

Published January 7, 2016. Updated January 11, 2019.

Campaign e-flash: gift announcement

Diane Endres Ballweg, president of Endres Manufacturing Co. Foundation, dedicated philanthropist and Everywhere You Are Campaign Cabinet Member has made a personal gift of $500,000 this month to the Madison College Foundation to support initiatives within the Everywhere You Are, Madison College Matters comprehensive campaign.

A loyal supporter of Madison College and long-time educator, Diane has invested in numerous organizations that create pathways for upward mobility through education and services. Porchlight, the Safe House housing project, the Madison Children’s Museum and The Stream at Edgewood College are just a few of the organizations that have benefitted from Diane’s leadership and generosity.  Madison College is honored to be among these worthy causes.

This visionary investment will help decrease the scholarship gap for current students and be a lead gift in establishing funds for a new scholarship program, The Madison College Promise.  The college is in the early planning phase of this major initiative to expand full-tuition scholarship support for two consecutive years to low-income, academically qualified graduating high school seniors. The Madison College Promise continues the college and foundation’s unwavering commitment to ensure that no student in our community is denied the opportunity to attend college and earn a degree due to lack of financial resources. 

Diane’s passion for culinary and baking and to educate, nurture and nourish others will be alive and well in the new state-of-the-art culinary and baking teaching centers where we will honor her generosity through a personalized, named space.

Please join in giving thanks and celebrating the impact of this tremendous lead gift well beyond the New Year!

Goal: $11,000,000 | Raised: $7,699,823 (70%) | Balance: $3,300,177

Published January 6, 2016.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day campus closures

All Madison College services, campuses and district buildings will be closed Saturday, Jan. 16, to Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. All buildings will re-open on Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Visit the Service Hours web page to confirm individual office hours before visiting campus.

Published January 6, 2016. Updated January 20, 2016.

Virtual desktop maintenance

Technology Services will be completing upgrades to the virtual desktop environment on Saturday, Jan. 16, starting at 5 p.m. and ending by 2 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 17, - the standard third Saturday, monthly VDI maintenance window.

You will not be able to access any virtual desktops until the maintenance is complete.

If you have a persistent Employee Virtual Desktop, please be sure you have no unsaved work open as it may be lost. Technology Services recommends you log off your virtual desktop before you leave on Fridays.

According to Technology Services data, no running courses are using the virtual desktop environment during this period. If you believe their work will negatively impact you, a course, or your students; and you are unable to work around it; please contact the Help Desk as soon as possible. 

Please note that access to other services will remain available.

Technology Services, Desktop Engineering Team thanks you for your cooperation.

Published January 6, 2016.

Extended service hours for students

Most Madison College service offices will be open Saturday, Jan. 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to assist students prior to the start of the spring term.

Service hours are also extended until 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, throughThursday,
Jan. 21.

Please let students know to visit the service hours web page to confirm hours for individual offices prior to calling or visiting campus.

Published January 6, 2016.

Education Abroad Leaders Workshop offered on Wednesday, Jan. 13

Madison College is looking for faculty who are interested in leading student study abroad programs. The first step to get involved as a study abroad leader is participating in the mandatory training for health, safety and risk management.

The Center for International Education will facilitate the Education Abroad Leaders Workshop during convocation on Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., Truax Room C2449. No prior registration is needed.

Participation in this half-day training is required (every two years) for all faculty or staff serving as a college leader on a study abroad program. The program will discuss safety and emergency response planning and review college policies and procedures for study abroad program leadership.

Individuals who are already planning programs abroad and those who are interested in leading programs in the future are encouraged to attend.

Published January 6, 2016.

Register for SoftChalk training

SoftChalk is offering a variety of workshops in January to help you get started with using this powerful tool.

Registration for SoftChalk is now open.

An Overview of SoftChalk Cloud

This Short Course will show the many features of SoftChalk Cloud. You will see how to create a folder, share the contents of a folder, create a poll and create a rating. You will also see how to save a Desktop lesson to the Cloud, place an activity into the Cloud, place objects into the My Files area of the Cloud and insert objects stored in the Cloud into a lesson.
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 11 a.m.

An Overview of SoftChalk Create

This Short Course will show the many features of SoftChalk Create. In the overview, you will see how to take a Word document and easily make it into an interactive web lesson, how to save your lesson, add a design style, and create interactive activities and text annotations. Lastly, you’ll see how to package your lesson for delivery in a Learning Management System or on a web server.

The key takeaways for this lesson are:

  • How to copy from Word
  • How to apply a style
  • How to save a lesson
  • How to preview a lesson
    Friday, Jan. 8, 11 a.m.

TextPoppers, Images and Hyperlinks

In this one-hour Short Course you will learn how to insert and modify pop-up text annotations. You will also learn how to insert, optimize and modify images within a lesson page and within a TextPopper. You will also learn how to create and modify hyperlinks within a lesson page and within a TextPopper. You will see how easy it is to use the Media Search tool to look for and insert graphics.
Wednesday, Jan. 13, 11 a.m.

Navigation Features and Sidebars

In this one-hour Short Course you will learn how the navigation works within SoftChalk Create, including how to make a topic part of the navigation, how to change the appearance of the on-page navigation, create a table of contents and create new pages. You will also learn how to create a sidebar and place internal navigation within the sidebar.
Thursday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m.

Embedded Media

In this one-hour Short Course you will learn how to embed media into a lesson and a TextPopper. You will learn how to use the Media Search tool to place video files into a lesson and you will learn how to place local media into a lesson.
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 11 a.m.

Interactive Learning Activities: The Presentation Group

In this one-hour Short Course you will learn how to create and modify the presentation learning activities in SoftChalk Create. You will see how to use the Slideshow activity to incorporate PowerPoint slides and much more.
Thursday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m.

Interactive Learning Activities: The Scoring Group

In this one-hour Short Course you will learn how to create and modify the scoring learning activities in SoftChalk Create. Crossword, DragNDrop and Identify are only a few of the activities that will be covered.
Friday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m.

Quizzes, Quiz Groups and SoftChalk ScoreCenter

In this one-hour Short Course you will learn how to create and modify single and multiple question quizzes in SoftChalk Create and learn how to use the SoftChalk Cloud ScoreCenter.
Monday, Jan. 25, 11 a.m.

StyleBuilder, eBook Builder and Google Analytics

Learn how to use the SoftChalk Create StyleBuilder tool to create your own personal “style” including how to import and export your style and apply it to your lesson. You will also learn how to create an eBook using the SoftChalk Create eBook Builder tool. Finally you will be shown how to add Google Analytics to a lesson.
Wednesday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m.

Register today!

Published January 4, 2016.

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