Fall Faculty Development Day

Three sets of concurrent sessions will be offered. FDD has two purposes: provide all faculty with ideas they can incorporate into their classes without having to make major changes to their syllabi, and to provide new faculty with teaching resources to help them get oriented to teaching at Simpson.

Please RSVP to Jodi Eubank at jodi.eubank@simpson.edu by Thursday, August 17th and let her know if you are attending Faculty Development Day, any food allergies or special requests you may have, and which sessions you are interested in.



8:30a.m.     Coffee and light breakfast items in the Carver Atrium


9:00a.m. – 10:15a.m.     Choose one of three sessions

Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking (Room 233)

Do you want your students to be critical thinkers but aren’t sure how to help them get there? Do you feel like you spend a lot of time teaching students what to know but want to spend more time teaching them how to think? Helping your students know what they need to know is one thing, but teaching them how to use what they know to think critically is something else entirely. Chad Timm will present strategies to help you rethink the relationship between knowing, thinking, and doing. Chad will model inductive teaching strategies meant to encourage analysis, problem solving, and critical inquiry. Some of the strategies include using incomplete information, raw data, and problematizing the familiar.

Toward an Inclusive Campus (Room 231)

Members of the Simpson community have pursued several initiatives in the last few years aimed at recognizing, celebrating, and empowering diverse populations across campus. One such initiative is the Faculty Inclusive Teaching Group, designed to help participants implement inclusive teaching strategies in their classrooms, regardless of discipline or subject matter. In this panel presentation, JJ Butts, Jan Everhart, and Ann Woldt will share insights from their discussions in the 2016-17 group. Presenters will briefly outline the work they did throughout the academic year, share best practices for inclusive teaching, and facilitate discussion and brainstorming so presenters can identify potential approaches to use in their own classes.

Enhancing Student Engagement (Room 205)

We hear the words “active learning” and “student engagement” a lot in higher education. We know that these are desired outcomes, but how can we achieve them no matter the class topic or the class size? Tracy Dinesen will provide some proven techniques that improve student learning and classroom engagement. Participants will use the techniques themselves and will share their own ideas and past experiences with colleagues.


10:30a.m.-11:45a.m.     Choose one of three sessions

Shared Lecturing and Avoiding “Death by PowerPoint” (Room 231)

Lecturing, a teaching mode that has been out of favor in recent years, may be making a comeback. In his forthcoming book, Dynamic Lecturing: Research-Based Strategies to Enhance Lecture Effectiveness, Prof. Todd Zakrajsek argues that students can benefit greatly from mixed-format courses which include some lecturing. Mimi Kammer will suggest easy methods of enhancing lectures, such as integrating question-and-answer sessions, short writing prompts, multimedia presentations, and group work that can help take the old-fashioned lecture to the next level. Participants will also review some easy, practical ways to use PowerPoint more effectively, from incorporating links and pictures to adding variety with text and incorporating moments for discussion.

Title IX Compliance (Room 205)

In the world of higher education and the work we do with students, one of the most challenging and often times misunderstood things we are all faced with is Title IX. What do I report? When do I report? How does it work? What is the process? In this session, Rich Ramos will dive a little deeper into the world of Title IX and the processes and procedures surrounding sexual misconduct at Simpson. Participants will review case studies with a Title IX lens in the hopes of getting a better understanding of the issues that come up when investigating such cases.

Writing a Caring Syllabus (Room 233)

Does your syllabus send the message you want to communicate to your students? Does it tell them about the things they will learn and the opportunities they will have, or does it read like a list of threats? Having a syllabus with the appropriate tone can help you get the semester started on the right foot. Furthermore, there are policies that can communicate to students that you care about who they are and what they are experiencing. In this session, Sal Meyers will lead participants in evaluating a couple of existing syllabi and discussing policies that communicate teacher empathy.


11:45a.m. - 12:45p.m.     Lunch in the Carver Atrium


12:45a.m. - 2:00p.m.      Choose one of three sessions

Mental Health Accommodations (Room 205)

This workshop, led by Ellie Olson and Marzia Corni-Benson, is designed to help faculty learn how to assist and respond to students who need accommodations, particularly conditions related to mental health. The presenters will begin with a quick overview of common reasons students are in need of accommodations, including depression, anxiety, ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. They will then focus on how to work with students who report these diagnoses, focusing specifically on how to respond in ways that are appropriate without making things worse or being more accommodating than is necessary. The session will end with a brief discussion of resources available on campus to assist with these issues.

Scholar Basics: Assignments, Discussion Forums, Sharing Files and Information (Room 233)

Simpson’s course management system, Scholar, makes it easy to share materials with students (e.g., syllabus, class handouts, PowerPoint presentations, reading assignments, videos, etc.). In addition, Scholar provides instructors with a way to collect assignments electronically and a way to have students discuss material online. Jule Thorsen will review how to use these basic resources. No previous experience with Scholar is assumed. Please bring your laptop to this session.

“Is This Your Main Point?”: Alternatives to Written Feedback (Room 231)

Did you ever wonder whether students read your written comments on their work? Research shows that students are more likely to utilize multimedia feedback (audio, screencasting, video), which tends to be more detailed and personal than traditional written comments. Multimedia feedback also adds to a sense of community, whether the class is face-to-face, hybrid, or online—and the best part for instructors is that it takes less time! In this session, Patricia Calkins and Sharon Wilkinson will share tips on how you and your students can create alternatives to written feedback using simple programs such as Audacity, TechSmith Relay, and Zoom.



Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 8:30am to 2:00pm

Carver Science Center, 205, 231, 233
200-298 W Clinton Ave, Indianola, IA 50125, USA