For practitioners and scholars of teaching and learning at The University of Iowa
Volume 1 | Issue 4
May 2015

Canvas to Cover Campus
Honors at Iowa
TILE Accelerator -- Getting the Most from TILE
Friday, May 8 12:00-1:00pm
214 Blank Honors Center

The Extraordinary Teaching Project: Teaching award winner sparks student academic conversations beyond classroom.


Recognition for TA teaching excellence. 
Center for Teaching

Canvas to Cover Campus


Technology evolves and changes around us every day. What is here now becomes past tense overnight. This is true for systems both large and small.


To explore one of these changes this summer, ten UI instructors will be piloting a new course management system called Canvas.


With support from the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology (OTLT), instructors from Biomedical Engineering, Dance, Management and Organizations, Nursing and Political Science will implement this new technology to teach their courses and test and evaluate features, usability, and system reliability.


Like the current Desire2Learn system, Canvas could become the "engine" of ICON, providing instructors with familiar tools such as gradebooks, discussions, and content management and assessment tools.



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Elements of Success: Supporting Student Learning in General Chemistry I

   Photo by Bill Adams/ The University of Iowa.

The Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology is actively investigating and testing ways to provide learner-centered feedback through interventions grounded in the science of learning. 


The "Elements of Success" project began as a collaboration with Russell Larsen, Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, to provide customized feedback to students in his section of General Chemistry I, a large introductory chemistry course that can be a particularly challenging course for many first-year students. 


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Short, but Sweet

Photo by Bill Adams/ The University of Iowa.

Summer is a time for teaching in short, intense bursts in four, six and eight week courses. 


UI Journalism faculty Frank Durham teaches frequently in the summer and has learned a few things along the way.


"Converting a syllabus from a long-semester 16-week format  to a compressed summer schedule can be challenging," he says.


An instructor preparing a shorter length course may have to address many questions before the first session.


Does content need to be cut or compressed? How does assessment take shape in such a short time? Can students produce fully realized projects that quickly? How does the pace of individual class sessions differ when class times are longer and more frequent?


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Honors at Iowa

  Photo by Mike Jenn/ The University of Iowa.

If you have ever wondered what constitutes "honors education," you would not be alone. Even though framing courses specifically for high-achieving-"honors"-students began in the United States in the 1920s, the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) did not craft a formal definition until 2013.  


"Honors education has become a distinct field of study," says Art Spisak, Professor of Classics and Director of Honors at Iowa. "Methods of honors teaching and learning that have formerly been hit-or-miss are now becoming more conscious, refined, and effective." 

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