Better Explanations in the Classroom

How many explanations do you think you offer during a full week of teaching? Explanations are one of teaching’s most central activities and yet something we rarely think about, in general, or how we do them, specifically.

Faculty Focus just posted an interesting article on considering some features of clear explanations.  Check out the article:


Poll Everywhere for Google Slides

gsblogbannerIn addition to the free PowerPoint add-in for Poll Everywhere, you can now easily add Poll Everywhere polls to Google Slides with the free extension to Google Chrome. This just went out of beta this week! Download the free Chrome extension and start using Poll Everywhere with Google Slides today! More information is available on the Poll Everywhere blog at

Red Rock Great Teaching Retreat, Feb. 25-27, 2016

Dear DSU Faculty,

For those who may be interested, we received the email below from Dr. Tom Cunningham regarding the upcoming Red Rock Great Teaching Retreat on Feb. 25-27, 2016.  Please contact Tom Cunningham directly if you are interested.
Center for Teaching & Learning


red rock image

Dear Colleagues:
If you are a teacher in a college or university, the annual Red Rock Great Teaching Retreat will provide you with an opportunity to…

  • engage in highly interactive, facilitated discussions with peers from different disciplines and institutions in order to stimulate a cross-fertilization of ideas to improve your own teaching;
  • actively share your own successful teaching strategies and innovations;
    reflect on and seek solutions to your own persistent, unresolved teaching problems and challenges;
  • discuss topics that you and the other participants decide are the most important and relevant for your needs at that moment;
  • re-energize yourself in YOUR quest for great teaching.

The time-tested model of the Great Teachers Movement (founded in 1969) is based on the philosophy that well facilitated “shoptalk” is one of the highest forms of professional development. No individual “expert” can match the participating teachers’ collective knowledge, experience, wisdom, creativity, and genius. Participants themselves are the experts, helping and supporting each other in their quest for great teaching.

Dr. Gary Parnell, the Retreat Director, has 25 years of experience leading workshops, retreats, and seminars based on the GTM model.

Gary Parnell, PhD

Gary is an excellent facilitator, using his sense of humor to “break the ice” in a group, getting people to engage in useful “shoptalk,” and effectively drawing all participants into a productive exchange of ideas.

Visit the Red Rock Great Teaching Retreat web site for more details and online registration; and please feel free to contact me if you have any retreat questions.

Gary and I look forward to meeting you at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge on the banks of the Colorado River!



Tom Cunningham, PhD
Retreat Coordinator
Phone: 435-590-6066 (if no answer, please leave a message)
Web: Highroad Professional Development, LLC

Caring About Students Matters

Instructor working with a student

Do you show that you care about your students? How much does this matter? This Faculty Focus article reflects on two recent studies that conclude that the interactions and relationships that teachers have with students strongly affect student learning and provides some practical suggestions and questions from this research. See the full article at the link below:

Caring About Students Matters

Evaluating Student Media

Many faculty members know a great deal about writing. They feel confident giving students detailed grammar and composition feedback on an essay or other text-based activity. But what about media? How would you feel if you had to evaluate a video?

Go to the website below for a rubric on technical criteria for Evaluating Student-Created Media:

CTL Staff at POD Conference Nov 4-8

2015 POD Conference

Bruce Harris and Scott Allen are headed to the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education Conference Nov. 4-8th in San Francisco. We will be out of the office during that time, but will be learning lots of good things to bring back to DSU for faculty and staff development.

The annual conference typically attracts between 650 and 800 people, and primarily targets practitioners in the fields of educational and organizational development, both novice and experienced. The conference appeals to administrators, faculty, educational developers, graduate and professional student developers, graduate students, independent consultants, members of higher education organizations, and publishers for these communities.

We are looking forward to a great conference and will see you back at DSU next week!