Institute for Teaching and Learning

Supporting Student Success Series

The Office of Academic Affairs/Institute for Teaching and Learning is offering a year-long Supporting Student Success Series for faculty, staff, contract professionals, and teaching assistants to explore what we can do to better support the success of our students.  Nine topics will be explored throughout the academic year and each topic will have In the Classroom and Outside the Classroom strategies.

All are welcome at all sessions.  

Please click the Seminars, Workshops, and Presentations link on the left to register to attend.  

“Provide meaningful feedback to students”

“Along with setting high standards, it is important to use various methods to assess students’ academic performance . . . timely, formative assessment and feedback are vital to helping students maximize their learning, especially when accompanied by clearly specified criteria that set forth descriptions of proficiency levels of performance . . . When appropriately timed, constructive and encouraging feedback supports student learning, can motivate students to do their best, and helps to instill an ethic of continuous improvement.  At the course level, feedback is especially important in the early weeks so that students learn where they need to concentrate to perform at the expected level.”         

John Savery, Director, Instructional Services

Wed, September 25, 2013 ~ 11:00am to 11:50am ~ Leigh Hall 414

In the Classroom:  Instructional Conversations – the Importance of Feedback on Performance

Nancy Roadruck, Assistant VP, Student Success and Greg Dieringer, Executive Director, Student Initiatives, Student Success Center

Thurs, October 3, 2013 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~Leigh Hall 414

Outside the Classroom:   Using Feedback to Support Student Learning


“Weave diversity into the curriculum including out-of-class assignments”

“Students benefit in several desirable ways from experiences with diversity . . . those who report more exposure to diverse perspectives in their classes are also more likely to report higher levels of academic challenge, greater opportunities for active and collaborative learning, and a more supportive campus environment.  They also learn valuable things about themselves and other cultures.  For example, short-term cultural experiences . . . [can be] designed for students who cannot be away from work or family for extended periods of time and might occur during spring break or include service learning opportunities.  These trips offer valuable learning experiences for students who might not otherwise experience another culture.”

Linda Subich, Associate Dean, Buchtel College of Arts & Sciences and Sheldon Wrice, Associate Dean, Buchtel College of Arts & Sciences

Tues, October 22, 2013 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ Leigh Hall 414

In the Classroom:  Diversity in the Curriculum


Lee Gill, Associate VP, Inclusion & Equity/CDO

Wed, October 29, 2013 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ Leigh Hall 414

Outside the Classroom:  Cultural Intelligence:  Supporting Student Learning


“Embrace undergraduates and their learning”

“Senior faculty members send strong messages to their colleagues and others when they teach lower division and introductory undergraduate courses and experiment with engaging pedagogies such as student-led seminars and group presentations, community-based projects, and applied learning . . . Another powerful statement about valuing undergraduate education is when faculty members adopt a talent development philosophy and use pedagogical approaches that address the learning needs of students who are less prepared to succeed . . .  They use a variety of active and collaborative learning approaches, such as group projects and presentations, to engage students and . . . course clustering – to ensure that their mostly commuter population see some of their peers regularly, which also makes it easier for them to find times to study together.”

Theresa Beyerle, Associate Director, ITL and Aimee de Chambeau, University Libraries, Head of Electronic Services

Wed, December 4, 2013 ~ 11:00am to 11:50am ~ LH 414

In the Classroom:  Hands-on Learning in Science


Julie Burdick, Associate VP, Office of Academic Affairs

Wed, November 20, 2013 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ Leigh Hall 414

Outside the Classroom:   Student-Friendly Scheduling


"Set and maintain high expectations for student performance"

“Academic challenge does not simply mean piling on academic work.  Rather, standards for achievement should be consistent with students’ academic preparation, and designed to stretch students to go beyond what they think they can accomplish.  Appropriately calibrated to student ability, intensive reading and writing assignments accompanied by feedback are indispensable in helping students reach their potential, attain desired levels of performance, and recognize the value of spending time on academic work . . . Equally important, holding students to high standards is a source of both motivation and accomplishment when those standards are met . . . Findings from the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE) show that at institutions where faculty members have higher-than-average expectations for student engagement, students report being involved at higher levels in educational practices and report greater gains from their collegiate experience.”

Jim Tressel, Executive Vice President for Student Success

Tues, January 21, 2014 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ LH 414

Outside the Classroom:  Motivating Students Through High Standards

Dr. Arthur L. Palacas, Linguist and Professor of English, Ms. Telsha Curry, graduate student in English, and Mr. Michael Davis, a senior honors English major

Thurs, January 30, 2014 ~ 12:00pm to 1:30pm ~ LH 414

In the Classroom:  Language Difference Matters in the Classroom:  African-American Language

Janet Bean, Associate Professor, English


Tues, February 11, 2014 ~ 3:30pm to 4:30pm ~ LH 414

In the Classroom:  Writing Assignments are Key to Student Success


"Using engaging pedagogical approaches appropriate for course objectives and students’ abilities and learning styles"

“Students learn more when they are intensely involved in their education and have opportunities to think about and apply what they are learning in different settings.  Students also benefit when they are engaged in the teaching and learning of their peers, such as through assigned group work, peer review, coordinated study groups, and peer teaching in-and-out-of class.  In addition, multiple styles of learning are accommodated by adopting varying teaching approaches.  Because many students prefer concrete, practical applications, faculty members should provide opportunities for students to apply what they are learning to their lives outside the classroom.  Service learning and community-based projects are good examples of structure approaches for application, reflection, and connecting learning to real world issues . . . Faculty members who take risks with their teaching, experiment with innovative pedagogical approaches, and make teaching and learning a collaborative activity are more likely to foster student success.”

Theresa S. Beyerle, Associate Director, ITL

Wed, February 12, 2014 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ LH 414

Outside the Classroom:  Service Learning


"Build on students’ knowledge, abilities, and talents"

“Students today are more diverse in virtually every way than their predecessors.  We empower students when we respect and celebrate their backgrounds, prior achievements, and talents.  Recognizing what students know and their perspectives, including asking for students’ opinions and taking their responses into account when making decisions, listening to students’ concerns getting to know students individually, and thanking students for their input, go a long way to foster student engagement in learning . . . Starting with what students know, or are good at, helps affirm students from historically underserved students who have doubts about their ability to do college-level work.”

Sucharita Ghosh, Associate Professor, Economics

Wed, February 26, 2014 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ LH 414

In the Classroom:  Crossing Cultures as an International Student:  What can we do to support them in our classroom?

Adam Smith, Assistant VP, Student Success

Thurs, February 20, 2014 ~ 11:00am to 11:50am ~ LH 414

Outside the Classroom:  Fostering Student Engagement Through Respect


"Clarify what students need to do to succeed"

“Students benefit when their teachers provide examples of what successful students do that enables them to perform well in their courses or for a given learning activity; it is best when this information is offered at the beginning of a class or activity and when additional information, advice, and guidance is provided at key points later . . . Do not leave students – especially newcomers – to discover on their own what it takes to be successful.  Become familiar with and promote the available academic and social support resources such as writing centers and tutoring support programs.  Equally important, make others aware of students in difficulty so that timely interventions can be made.”

Joelle Elicker, Associate Professor, Psychology

Wed, March 12, 2014 ~ 2:15pm to 3:05pm ~ LH 414

In the Classroom:  Providing Models for Success

Fedearia Nicholson, Assistant VP, Student Success

Thurs, March 13, 2014 ~ 11:00am to 11:50am ~ LH 414

Outside the Classroom:  Setting Clear Student Milestones


"Make time for students"

“Maintaining an unwavering focus on student learning is labor-intensive.  There is no substitute for human contact, whether face-to-face, or via e-mail.  For this reason, faculty members must “make time” for students.  Although serendipitous contact is more frequent at small residential colleges and universities, faculty members at large schools and those with commuter students also make time for students by being clear about the value of student-faculty interaction outside the classroom . . . By collecting student e-mail addresses, sending messages about important campus events, and inviting student to submit early drafts of assignments via e-mail, faculty members can make time to interact with students in educationally meaningful ways.”

Mary Verstraete, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Tues, April 15, 2014 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ LH 414

In the Classroom:  Faculty-Student Contacts that Matter Most


Stacey Moore, Associate VP, Student Success

Wed, April 16, 2014 ~ 9:55am to 10:45am ~ LH 414

Outside the Classroom:   Fostering Effective Contact with Students


"Hold students accountable for taking their share of the responsibility for their learning"

“As with other features of powerful learning environments, there are no shortcuts to excellence.  Faculty members in cooperation with their colleagues in other academic units must organize academic programs in ways that demand substantial student commitment and accountability.  Peer teaching and leadership help students hold one another accountable for learning . . . Department and program governance structures can be created that require student participation and leadership.  Students learn about decision-making and university issues through their participation in committees and campus governance . . . More importantly, being involved in meaningful ways with faculty members and peers helps connect students to the campus, thus increasing student satisfaction and the likelihood of persistence to graduation.”
Curtis Clemons, Professor, Mathematics
Thurs, April 24, 2014 ~ 11 to 11:50am ~ LH 414
In the Classroom:  Setting High Standards


Candace Campbell Jackson, Vice President and Chief of Staff
Wed, April 30 ~ 1:10 to 2 pm ~ LH 414

Outside the Classroom:  Developing Exceptional Student Leaders

 Please register to attend all sessions at the ITL On-Line Registration at:

* Kinzie, J. (2005). Promoting student success:  What faculty members can do (Occasional Paper No.6). Bloomington, Indiana:  Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

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