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Using First Day Stories for Faculty Development Blog Archive

Looking for the right length workshop

The first time I conducted my First Day of Class workshop online, I scheduled it for four weeks so that faculty would have time to view digital case stories, participate in pairs discussing the first day goals, create their own template of first day activities, and view and comment on the plans of a fellow participant.

Having some attrition over that duration of time, I opted next to experiment with shortening it to three weeks with a structure of activities so faculty would participate each half week. By half way through, it became evident to the three-week group that the pace of meeting twice a week was not working so well. We extended back to four weeks, and I concluded that it was better for me to structure an online workshop that allows faculty participation on a once, rather than twice, a week basis. It may reduce the extent of interaction, but could make completion more achievable. I would not omit discussion, as faculty seem to value that component.

I have also found that the first week has needed a bit of time and effort devoted to helping some participants get their tcomputers ready to view the videos (updating Quicktime or browser plug-ins, for instance.) So I just need to expect that and encourage those delayed by that so they don’t feel like they are falling too far behind just as they are starting.

I still like the online format for our workshops, especially because we are a small campus and this delivery mode allows us to invite faculty from other campuses to join ours.

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Using Case Stories in Faculty Development

Wondering how you can use ELIXR Digital Case Stories in your faculty development efforts? Discover how ELIXR case stories can be used in workshops, consultation, program promotion, discussion board prompts, brown bags, etc. by reading this comprehensive list of ideas, compiled by Tasha Souza, ELIXR’s Faculty Development Lead.

Posted in Resources, Tips, Workshop Design. 1 Comment »

Kathy Ross Says:

Tasha, thanks for compiling this list! It shows the broad flexibility of the use of digital case stories. The stories give us a very engaging way to follow the statement, “Let me tell you a story about that.”

Workshop Design and Use of Examples

Discussing Syllabus: One strategy that seemed to work well during the workshop was a discussion of the felt need to “cover the syllabus.” I told the participants that I never go over the syllabus; instead I do an activity/assignment that “uncovers the syllabus.” I asked them how students might get the information on the syllabus in another way. Participants brought up a quiz, game, or group activity on the syllabus. I followed up with sending them an electronic copy of a syllabus small group exercise that I have had my students do in the past. Several participants made the group assignment their own, used it, and loved the outcomes. Doing such an exercise met several first day of class goals.

Offering Assessment Examples: It helped to have concrete examples from the videos, materials, and my own personal experience on how to meet the goals. For example, in order to give them a sense of how to get at the assessment goal, I gave various classroom assessment technique examples (specific to on-the-spot assessment). I followed up the workshop with sending the participants an e-copy of a student information sheet that I use as an assessment tool. We discussed how such information gathering strategies can be done in a LMS to make the data collection and synthesis process easier for large classes.

Small Group Exercise Questions: The participants did not find the small group exercise questions very useful. They responded with “When is this goal NOT a priority?” The more useful discussion came from discussing how to meet the particular goal and how to deal with barriers to achieving the goal. I will use different group questions next time.

Posted in Suggested Improvements, Tips. Tags: Humboldt State University. 1 Comment »

Tom Carey Says:

Thanks, Tasha, for the good ideas. I have seen participants have a good discussion about lower priorities on some goals, seeded by some comments from me about particular video cases (e.g., “she already knows the students well, so she did not have the same need for assessment…”). However, I liked the suggestion from Kathy Ross in her post below, about emphasizing how one activity can incorporate several goals – this should help relieve any sense of having to incorporate too many activities into a first day session.

Evaluation Feedback

I love the fact that faculty engage in a pre/post-test design. The post test was a bit hard for new faculty new to the institution to fill out since they had little basis for comparison.

I wonder if the pre-test might be better off asking if they do “a-o” versus if it is important. I have the impression that faculty think all these things are important but just aren’t feasible in their course. The workshop allows dialogue regarding how one might meet these goals and they suddenly seem more attainable.

Participants didn’t know what the difference was between video and video case stories on the workshop eval.

The guide link on the evaluation page seems wrong…Where can I find the evaluation the Faculty Developer is to fill out?

Posted in Evaluation, New Faculty. Tags: Humboldt State University. No Comments »

Helping faculty keep their first day manageable

If faculty hear that there are five worthy goals for the first day of class, the idea of planning and implementing five activities to achieve those goals may seem overwhelming.

As my faculty workshop participants were preparing to create their own template for how they would address their first day goals, I suggested to them that five goals did not have to equal five activities. Sometimes a single activity can address multiple goals. In Lorraine Donnegan’s Graphic Communications course, she asked students to write down something they heard about the class. Then her class swapped question cards a few times so that the questions were asked by someone different than the person who wrote it. That one activity of asking for and responding to class questions is an example that could address multiple goals: course expectations, motivation, framing content, and class climate, depending on questions asked.

So working on five goals does not need to equate to five different activities. Because they were now familiar with the goals, they could look for an activity that could be applied in a way to meet multiple goals.

Posted in Tips. Tags: Indiana University Kokomo. 1 Comment » 

Tom Carey Says:

Thanks for the tip, Kathy. I have told participants to select a limited set from the five goals, but I much prefer your idea of emphasizing how one activity can serve multiple goals.

Lesson learned along the way

I found when facilitating my online First Day of Class workshop that as part of analyzing the first day goals, faculty often liked reporting what they already did that fit the stated goals. In order to make sure they had that opportunity, but were still challenged to expand what they planned for their first day of class, I learned to ask both the following questions:

  • What are some ways that you currently apply these goals?
  • What are some ways you can stretch to reach new goals in new ways?
Posted in Tips. Tags: Indiana University Kokomo. 2 Comments »
  1.   Tom Carey Says:October 7, 2008 at 9:58 am e

    I appreciated your point in making this explicit – I think in my First Day workshops this has happened during the small group discussion but I need to be more clear about the value of this kind of contribution. I can see how it would fit very well with the idea of an online workshop, and the framing you cited in the last post looked like it provided a fun aspect. Did you get a sense about how much work the participants put in online in comparison to face-to-face workshops?

  2. Kathy Ross Says:

    My sense of the comparison of time invested by faculty online to face-to-face is about double the time in my online workshop. I anticipate that they may average about a hour each half week for 3 weeks in the online session. I tried a 2.5 hour face-to-face workshop. In the face-to-face, they did not have the time to view as many videos. I was not confident that pre-viewing would have worked into all their schedules, so I did not want to depend on that. Also, with more time devoted in the online session, they were able to achieve a more developed plan and gain some feedback about it.

Trying a theme to emphasize tasks

After facilitating a face-to-face First Day of Class faculty development workshop here at Indiana University Kokomo, I next tried it as an online workshop delivered in our Course Management System and lasting 4 weeks. I decided to use a “stage” theme to organize and emphasize tasks, plus add a little fun. My workshop title was “Set the Stage for Learning on Your First Day of Class.” I then continued the theme for the different elements of the workshop as shown here:

Introducing the Storyline–answer the pre-survey and start with an overview of the workshop objectives and tasks

Movie Preview–take an early look at First Day of Class goals by viewing the introductory First Day of Class video

Meeting the Cast–introduce yourselves, including which courses you will work on and important factors about students in those courses

Auditioning Goals–with partners and using the Guide to Video Vignette resource, view two assigned goal videos, analyze them, and report back to the group on those two First Day goals; read the reports other pairs post (with the option to also view the other goal videos)

Spotlighting Your Goals–select the goals you want to work on for your own First Day

Improvisation–after viewing one or two Classroom Visit videos, create your First Day plan using the template resource

Rehearsal–show your plan and identify an aspect that you want peer comments about

Audience Response–view the plans of the other participants and use the discussion forum to ask question, make suggestions, and give feedback to them on the aspect requested; read their comments to you about your plan; view the last First Day video called Evolution

Critic’s Column–evaluate this workshop

Posted in Workshop Design. Tags: Indiana University Kokomo. No Comments »

Enhanced 1st Day of Class planning template

In the First Day of Class workshop at Fullerton, we found that faculty wanted a summary of the Goals bundled into the Class Planning Template. You can get a copy of the enhanced 1st Day of Class planning template here in Word format and here in PDF.

Posted in New Faculty, Resources, Tips. No Comments »

Tony Rimmer on evaluation data from use of 1st Day module

Further to my previous post on our use of the ELIXR 1st Day of Class module at New Faculty Orientation:

We adapted the ELIXR First Day of Class Evaluation Form to suit our New Faculty Orientation context (e.g., omitted questions about “how many years of teaching”…)

On the Evaluation Form, the Value of the Case Stories was rated as 4.0 on a 1-6 scale, and the Value of Discussion with Colleagues was rated as 4.7. We received many favorable comments on the use of the case stories. The negative comments on the evaluation were almost all related to our decision to let the small groups establish their own agendas – as noted above, this worked for most of the attendees but for those not yet incorporated into a peer group we should have designed an alternate plan. The overall value of the workshop as a learning experience was rated as 4.2 on the 1-6 scale.

For the question evaluating the “likelihood that you will use what you have learned today in your own first day of class”, the average was 75% on a 11-point scale from 0% to 100%. For a similar question on “likelihood that you will share what you have learned with a colleague this term”, the rating was 67% – this may reflect the valuable discussion with colleagues in the workshop itself.

Tony Rimmer, Faculty Development Director, California State University Fullerton (via Tom Carey)

Posted in Evaluation, New Faculty. Tags: California State University Fullerton. No Comments »

Tony Rimmer on using 1st Day module for New Faculty Orientation

We used the ELIXR 1st Day of Class module in our New Faculty Orientation at Cal State Fullerton. This is a two day session packed with information with about 50 attendees, and the First Day of Class part came right at the end. We were a little worried about fatigue setting in, but in fact the case stories seemed to revive the group and they seemed glad to be getting down to work on their own classes after a lot of listening to others!

Here is the workshop plan we used for our 90 minute session:

0:00 Introductions & agenda

0:10 Stories from exemplary instructors

0:20 What are your goals for the first day of class?

  • Read the summary sheet
  • Discuss in large group (+videos)
  • Select your goals from summary sheet
  • Share in pairs (0:40)

0:45 Regroup and debrief

0:50 What activities will help you achieve your goals?

  • Fill in your class planning template
  • Watch videos (goal or class visit) as needed – elixr.merlot.org
  • Leaders will circulate
  • Share with group (1:10)

1:20 Regroup and debrief

1:25 Complete evaluation form

1:30     Adjourn

We had originally planned to form into groups by college, but most of the faculty had already found their colleagues so we did not take up more time for this. This worked well for most attendees as they had animated discussions within the groups. However, there were some people left somewhat isolated because they had not found a peer group, and for some of these folk we should have provide more structure for the group discussion to get them going.

We had encouraged the new faculty to bring along laptops to view selected videos in their small groups. However, many had not yet picked up their new laptop, and in the end we played video clips on selected goals or classroom visits in response to requests during the two main working times. Some people attended to these, many just went on with their discussions or individual work (which was our intent as we knew the group had a range of experience and needs).

Tony Rimmer, Faculty Development Director, California State University Fullerton (via Tom Carey)

Posted in New Faculty, Tips, Workshop Design. Tags: California State University Fullerton. No Comments »

Joe Grimes on Some tips from my experience using the ELIXR First Day of Class module

  1. For our faculty and the workshop design I used, it proved to be important to have faculty review the First Day of Class website before attending the workshop. This made our time together more efficient; it also modeled the way we want our faculty to design class time and out-of-class time more effectively.
  2. st Day of Class module…).
  3. Despite our best efforts to provide workshop designs, I feel sure that workshop leaders will want to select which case stories they want to show – and even which clips from the case stories. You also have to think about how to introduce the video clips, to provide context and a specific task which you want workshop participants to accomplish with the video clips as a resource.
  4. This hardly needs saying, but…the critical point about a workshop is to get your faculty working on their own instructional plans. We have found that 1st Day of Class is an ideal topic and size of task to be supported by a faculty development workshop, in which participants leave with something concrete accomplished.

Joe Grimes, Faculty Development Director, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (via Tom Carey)

Posted in Tips. Tags: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. No Comments »

Kathy Ross on use of 1st Day module at IU Kokomo

We used the ELIXR 1st Day of Class modules in a 2.5 hour long stand alone F2F workshop for faculty development. I used the faculty development resources from Cynthia Desrochers and Joe Grimes posted on the ELIXR site. Videos from the case stories were used to demonstrate a method and to stimulate discussion. Workshop participants examined the case stories during the workshop and completed learning exercises based on the “Guide to the Video Vignette” resources.

We used a laptop for each pair of participants, and when one participant left early I paired up with the remaining person to keep the paired discussions going.

The faculty rated the videos highly as adding value, and reported that viewing videos followed by discussion was particularly valuable.

We later did an online workshop using the ELIXR 1st Day of Class module and another post will follow to report on using that mode.

Kathy Ross, Instructional Technologist, Indiana University Kokomo

Posted in Workshop Design. Tags: Indiana University Kokomo. No Comments »

Eileen Barrett on the need for diversity in classroom examples

I found the web site extremely valuable. In my workshop design for our
Faculty Day at CSU East Bay, I relied heavily on the workshop resources in
the module created by Cynthia Desrochers and Joe Grimes.

I had planned to show the introductory clip to our faculty but since we only
had 45 minutes in the agenda for the “Making the Most of the First Day of
Class” – and 50 attendees – that proved impossible. I did recommend it in the
session and included it on my handouts.

My one reservation has to do with the very different population of students
that we have at East Bay–we are one of the most diverse campuses in the
system. I do hope we can add more case stories from institutions that reflect
the extraordinary diversity within many CSU student populations.

Eileen Barrett, Faculty Development Director, California State University East Bay (via Tom Carey)

Posted in Suggested Improvements, Workshop Design. Tags: California State University East Bay. No Comments »

Joe Grimes on A variety of ways to use the ELIXR 1st Day of Class module

My initial use of the 1st Day of Class module was in a typical workshop format as outlined in the supporting resources in the module: a two hour workshop open to all faculty.

I have also used the 1st Day of Class module as a 90 minute segment within a New Faculty orientation program held one week before classes started. We encouraged them to review the six goals beforehand on the website, and this helped them with their planning for their own 1st day of class before the workshop. The new faculty attendees reported that the use of the case stories raised important issues for them and improved the discussion in the workshop itself.

The final way I have used the 1st Day of Class module was as an instance of hybrid or blended learning, for faculty about to launch their own initial hybrid learning course. We asked them to view the website before the workshop, and to come prepared to discuss how they might change their former class designs for the 1st Day in order to more fully prepare and engage students in the new (to our campus) hybrid format. This whole experience was very effective in raising faculty awareness of the need to rethink their approach to the 1st Day for hybrid courses and of the importance of two-communication at startup and throughout the course. [Note that this workshop took place before the case story on a 1st Day for a hybrid class – Jeff Rooks at West Georgia – was added to the ELIXR 1st Day of Class module].

We also had some of the case story authors in attendance at these workshops, and they reported very positively on their experience with authoring the case stories as an opportunity for them to engage in reflective practice.

In a later post I will describe some of the lessons learned in our use of the ELIXR First Day module.

Joe Grimes, Faculty Development Director, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (via Tom Carey)

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Welcome to the community using ELIXR First Day of Class case stories in faculty development

In this blog we will be sharing ideas and experiences with the use of ELIXR’s First Day of Class module for faculty development. Feel free to add your comments to any of the posts. If you want to add a post, you can email Tasha Souza using the link on the left side to be registered as a user of the First Day of Class module and become a contributor to the blog.

By registering as a faculty development user, you will have access to the zip files to download the module for local use without having to depend on your Internet connection. You will also be updated as more case stories are added to the module over time. We will not contact you for any purposes not connected with this module and the ELIXR program, and we will not pass your information on to any 3rd parties.

If you have any questions or suggestion about the ELIXR First Day of Class module, you can email Tasha Souza, the ELIXR Faculty Development Lead, through the link on the left side of this page.

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