Learning Community – Conference

Learning Community – Conference

My co-facilitator and I will be presenting for our learning community at MSU’s Spring Teaching and Learning conference on incorporating equitable pedagogy into the classroom. We will cover practices from the readings we have done over the spring semester.

Abstract: Increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in higher education aim to cultivate learning spaces where all students have the ability to thrive and succeed. Our learning community, Equitable Pedagogy: Removing Barriers to Learning, has spent the year reviewing methods for making the classroom more inclusive. In this workshop, we want to share those practices with our participants. Many components of our course design can affect our students’ perceptions of belonging. This workshop will explore how we as instructors can choose to be more equitable in our classrooms towards the creation of more inclusive learning environments. Our focus will be on the course syllabus as a framework to discuss the many ways in which we as instructors can better address issues of equity. Topics will include language and tone of the syllabus, flexible course structure options, fair attendance and late work policies, providing opportunities for collaboration and social connectedness, instructor presence, and equitable grading policies.

Participants should bring their course syllabus to the workshop to annotate as we openly discuss practical ways to increase equity and inclusion within our courses. The workshop is relevant to in-person, online, and hybrid courses.

Learning Community – Spring

Learning Community – Spring

Over the spring semester, our equitable pedagogy learning community will be diving into educational research to examine the outcomes of different practices. The plan is to cover syllabus language, course structure, class activities, and assessments and grading.

Obsidian

Obsidian

Recently a friend and colleague told me about Obsidian, a “knowledge-base” application that uses markdown files and plain text to connect all your notes and thoughts and whatever else you create in there. There is a slight learning curve for mastering all of its features (I know I’m not there yet), but it can be as simple or robust as you want.

Since starting with Obsidian, I now use it for almost all of my individual professional work (it’s easier to stay in Microsoft for any shared docs). That includes class ideas, writing, notes, this blog. The Zotero-Obsidian connection is, quite frankly, beyond amazing. I can highlight and annotate my PDFs in Zotero, and then with a couple community plugins, collect all those annotations into Obsidian.

And there are so many community plugins that can do almost anything. Want to collect all your notes with the same tag? Plugin for that. Want to make nice tables? Plugin for that. Want to automate initiative and dice rolls in your TTRPG? Plugin for that.

And speaking of TTRPG, I have a separate vault (think separate notebook) with all the 5e D&D rules and am setting up more information so I can use Obsidian to DM my next campaign. There are many websites, examples, videos of folks that use Obsidian in this way, and they are great resources.

I think many people get into Obsidian for its map of the mind or zettelkasten capabilities. With its backlinking capabilities, it connects notes and creates a graphical representation of how your ideas connect. The big idea here is that this model helps people discover connections they hadn’t considered. Honestly, I haven’t really made it this far in my Obsidian journey yet, but I look forward to getting there!

I recommend that people should check out this free and brilliant app!

Twitter

Twitter

I’m staying on Twitter even as it becomes a dumpster fire.

I’ve tried out Mastodon, but I just don’t love the disjointed feel. I also have a Post account, but I haven’t had time to learn that app yet. I have a few Discord communities that are great, but again, completely disjointed. I love that my Twitter feed used to be filled with many diverse groups: MSU, science news, local news, accessibility and disability communities, higher ed pedagogy, comedians, cycling, etc, etc, etc…

Where are other people going at this time?

Learning Community

Learning Community

So excited to be co-facilitating a learning community called Equitable pedagogy: Removing barriers to learning. We will meet once a month throughout the academic year, and hopefully bring in a diverse group of faculty and staff to discuss inclusive classroom practices. For fall semester, we will be reading Kevin Gannon’s “Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto”

NatSci Digital Accessibility Coordinator

NatSci Digital Accessibility Coordinator

I am excited to share that I have taken on the role of Digital Accessibility Coordinator in the College of Natural Science. My responsibilities will include managing academic accessibility needs for NatSci courses, providing guidance on digital methods for teaching, providing professional development to faculty and staff, and networking with IT and other accessibility folks on campus. I look forward to promoting equitable and inclusive pedagogy practices in our STEM classes.