This Week at ATLE

------------------------THIS WEEK'S TEACHING TIP------------------------

Blender:  Students silently write a definition or brainstorm an idea for several minutes on paper. Then they form into groups, and two of them read their ideas and integrate elements from each. A third student reads his, and again integration occurs with the previous two, until finally everyone in the group has been integrated (or has attempted integration).

See the larger collection of tips here: 

If you'd like to share tips with the listserv, let us know (!

------------------------NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS------------------------

------------------------THIS WEEK----------------------- 

Workshop: Back to Basics: What Really Matters in Teaching
Some pedagogies come in and out of vogue in publications about teaching, and yet there are a few core areas under the teacher's control that matter more than others. We'll explore those areas and provide a few tricks for keeping them in mind as you teach.
Tues., September 2, 2:00-3:00

Workshop: Using Technology to Enhance Learner Motivation
In today's classroom, technology has the potential to be a distractor for students. Find out how you can use technology to increase learner motivation using various tools, media, and strategies.
Wed., September 3, 2:00-3:00

Workshop: Maximizing Assessment in Canvas
This workshop is designed to show you how to get the most out of Canvas's assessment tools. We will take a more in-depth look at the Speedgrader and explore giving students substantive feedback using media comments.
Thurs., September 4, 11:00-12:00

Unless otherwise noted, all workshops take place in SOC-025. Register online for all workshops:


                                                   ------------------------OLDER ANNOUNCEMENTS------------------------

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:  Workshop room has changed!
ATLE has been fortunate to use the workspace space owned by Innovative Education in the SVC building, but this space has unexpectedly needed to undergo sudden renovation, and we have to move all workshops effective immediately.  For the summer 2014 (and the remainder of this semester), we will be in SOC-025 (basement level of Social Science).

Announcement: Registration now open for fall/spring Peer Observation Groups
Peer Observation Groups provide an informal opportunity for USF faculty to observe each other's classes in small teams, both giving and receiving useful feedback on their teaching practices. Groups are constructed to be deliberately interdisciplinary, in order to maximize the chances that fellow teammates are not involved in each other's annual or tenure evaluations. This enables  a more free-flowing exchange of ideas and strategies in a safe environment. Or, participants can make a special request to be placed with others in similar disciplines if content-related feedback is requested.
Participants are free to visit each other's classes with no written report, or to use this purpose-created visitation form. Peer observers are discouraged from providing criticism or suggestions for improvement (unless specifically requested by the instructor being observed). Instead, the focus is meant to be on the observers' own reflections concerning the witnessed best practices and effective techniques that the observers can then adopt in their own teaching.
Peer Observation Groups are reformed each academic year and usually kept to three or four members. Ideally, each member would observe a class from each of the other members at least once over that academic year. Groups are encouraged to meet casually once or twice during the year, to discuss visitations so far and to debrief particularly effective strategies.
ATLE plays several roles in the process: Assemble the Peer Observation Groups from individual registrations; Coordinate a kickoff event and a concluding event (hosted lunch provided at both); Create annual certificates of participation; Provide an optional visitation form.
Participation in the Peer Observation Groups is open to full-time faculty (9 or 12 month appointments) and adjuncts. Graduate students are encouraged to register for the PCT course, which will provide opportunities to build informal networks for similar purposes.
Please use the following link to register to join a 2014-2015 Peer Observation Group (single registrations only):

Announcement:  Faculty Learning Communities for Fall 2014 registrations now open
USF's Faculty Learning Communities will be made up of about ten faculty each and will meet several times during the academic year (see descriptions below for dates).

Creativity in the Classroom
Meeting Dates: 9/18, 10/9, 10/30, 11/20 (All dates are Thursdays, from 9:00 – 11:00am).
Faculty Champion: Angela Stuesse, Anthropology
The Creativity in the Classroom Faculty Learning Community will be focused on exploring ways to be more creative with our teaching methods, styles, and strategies.
Click here to register online:

12 Week Faculty Writing Group
Meeting Dates:  Every Tuesday from September 2nd through November 18th (10:00-11:30am)
Faculty Champion: Nicole West, ATLE
Receive the free book "Writing a Journal Article in Twelve Weeks" and work through the program WITH fellow faculty members--by the end of the process, you'll have an article ready to submit to a journal!
Click here to register online:

The Flipped Classroom
Meeting Dates: 8/28, 9/11, 9/25, 10/09, 10/23, 11/06, and 11/13  (All dates are Thursdays, from 10:00am – 12:00pm).
Faculty Champion:  Gerald Woods, Physics
This Flipped Classroom Faculty Learning Community will be focused on researching and developing various Flipped Classrooms to try out on either a small scale or a larger scale, depending on the Faculty's interest.  Faculty will have an opportunity to test the effectiveness of a flipped classroom in one of their courses for the fall semester.  The goal is that the Flipped Classroom experience will positively impact student success and bring about a high degree of Faculty satisfaction.
Click here to register online:

Download Your eXplorance PDFs from Fall before they disappear! – Click on Dashboard (left side) then View Report (right side) for the PDFs.
These include helpful comparisons to department and college averages.

New Section of ATLE Web Site on Policies

ATLE's Web site has added a new section on "policies and procedures" to provide links to faculty all in one place.
Have a look:

New ATLE page for ePortfolios
Learn how to use Google Sites to house your own teaching portfolio, or to ask students to create electronic portfolios for your class:

New ATLE page for Higher Education Glossary
Joining our recent glossary of USF-specific terms ( we now have a glossary of terms for Higher Education in general. This is sure to be of use to instructors from outside the United States!

Canvas Help Files

There are several help files to get you going with Canvas:

Canvas Listserv
We've created a faculty-to-faculty listserv so that you can email each other with ideas, news, announcements, tricks, tips and workarounds about using Canvas (or ask questions of other subscribers). Several support staff will also be part of the list. To subscribe, visit and locate "Canvas" in the alphabetical list, then click it to find the link to JOIN CANVAS.

"Teaching Essentials" Online Guide to Teaching
This free online "course" on how to teach was developed by national leaders in the field of education, and includes many videos and interactive features. There is no sign-up date, as enrollment is ongoing. Open to faculty member, adjuncts, and teaching assistants. Visit to learn more and self-enroll.

Instructional Resource Guide
A fully-online guide to the policies, procedures, resources, and services available to instructional staff at USF.
Open to faculty member, adjuncts, and teaching assistants.
No registration needed:

------------------------ATLE ONLINE------------------------

To join (or leave) the ATLE listserv, please visit and locate "ATLE" in the alphabetical list, then click it to find the link to JOIN ATLE.

You may also follow ATLE events via several online options.
These also provide daily links of interest to teaching and learning: