Because We are All Stars, Whether We Realize It or Not

11/06/2016 11:55

Zach Justus of Faculty Development recently circulated an email about a recent CELT presentation, “Digital Storytelling.”  Celeste Jones and Seema Sehrawat have been promoting this tool; if you don’t know much about it, I highly recommend becoming familiar with it.  As Zach says, “The technology tools (to create digital stories) are simple and free, and the payoff is tremendous… Digital Storytelling gives you a controlled environment to introduce yourself and a topic to your students with the aid of visuals.”

Begin by getting to know Adobe Spark.  After attending Celeste and Seema’s presentations, I immediately started to play with various programs to create digital stories, and the Adobe Spark option is ideal for anyone who prefers not to face the learning curve of, say Camtasia or Filmora.

In fact, I have a dream (bear with me).  I am going to try to do one myself when I have time to do it well. I would love for this blog to link to mini-stories about each of us in the College of Business. Here’s a super digital story that not only IS a good example of the craft, but illustrates HOW to approach the challenge of creating your own story. 

And for those whose interest has been thoroughly piqued, Celeste and Seema have kindly provided us the materials offered to CELT attendees. 

Here are those items; also included are their aids if you would like to incorporate digital storytelling into your course setting:

CELT 2016DigitalStories.pptx (2597739)   ~  Digital Storytelling Rubric .pdf (341063)  ~  Script Writing Handout.docx (29786)  ~  Story Feedback Sheet (Clark-Borre, Linda).pdf (320480)

I also found this link that will help.

 I can’t say enough about this powerful method of impressing students with a story…discover it if you haven’t already. 

I also attended this CELT workshop: 

Debate Across the Curriculum: The Art of Respectful Discussion

Conflicts can help anyone grow, but handling them in relation to others is an art.  Presenter Deb McCabe from Butte College offered the tools by which educators teaching any topic might engage students across a spectrum of ideas and opinions.

I took the proceeds from this workshop right to one of my classes. Sometimes we might notice that students group themselves in “cliquish” ways. Whether such groups cause problems in learning sessions is a discussion for another time, but for instructors the situation presents an opportunity to illustrate how to engage equitably across social groups.

This past Friday, an almost-full class engaged in a discussion based on along the lines of this resource Deb presented and shares with us here -- CELT F16.docx (17034) . Every student willingly stayed five minutes after class (on a Friday!) so everyone who wanted to could contribute and be heard. Perhaps you have already found ways to engage students so that “time” is no longer the master of the classroom. If so, please share your techniques. For those interested in more ideas about debate across the curriculum, here’s a copy of Deb’s syllabus. CMST 14 Syllabus McCabe (3).pdf (604539)

“Connectivity is the New Capital of the 21st Century” ~ Parag Khanna

Suzanne Zivnuska and David Rahn supported this idea via their CELT presentation, Lessons Learned in an Online Course Redesign Effort. They addressed the possibility of providing students the experience of the regular classroom, but with more flexibility. “Videos allow us to offer the ‘best’ of a series of lectures,” they noted.

Their experience offers insights to address the challenges of this new way of connecting with busy students, who value the flexibility our colleagues’ tested approach offers.

Challenges that they have identified include students who lack the self-discipline to adhere to a reasonable schedule of learning via the video course, and a skewed sense of the scope of ideas presented. David mentions that online options may well result in an influx of assignments delivered at 11:59 p.m. when due at midnight, with accompanying information about the horrendous event that has just occurred in the student’s life. “Work due over the weekend will require support all weekend, as if faculty (doesn’t have a) life,” he says.

What’s interesting to me about Suzanne and David’s presentation is that it fits so neatly into other workshops about e-Learning and video-making.  Questions about the topic can be addressed to David or Suzanne, who can supply numerous helpful tips along with copies of their presentation.

Above, Chair of the Department of Management Mike Rehg listens as Communications professor David McCoy reviews a poster session he produced with Jim Downing and fellow contributors across the campus entitled “Developing Independent Learners: Questing and Making Thinking Visible.” This project, funded via a CELT Learning Enhancement Grant, drew on resources that included suggestions from two highly regarded books, Make Just One Change and Making Thinking Visible.  Check with Jim for information on the outcomes and other findings related to this intriguing applied research.


The Courage to Teach – Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life


David Agoff and I presented The Courage to Teach, for which David produced a short summary of the thoughts and impressions of attendees.

We thank those who attended, including the many College of Business faculty who took time to join us. Written comments from our attendees encouraged us immensely! Here’s one of my favorites (sincere thanks to whoever wrote it):

Drawing on the work of scholars in education and positive psychology, the central thesis of our discussion was based on the idea that strong teaching can’t be reduced to technique, but is rooted in the identity, integrity, and “groundedness” of the instructor. From that view, it takes courage to teach, to stand in our knowledge about a subject knowing that we too will always be learning; and there’s benefit to understanding that it also takes courage to learn, as our students stand with their instructors at the intersection of public and personal life.  This dynamic between educator and student is powerful and affects lives, and deserves to be explored. There’s much more to be said, and anyone interested is encouraged to contact David or me regarding any aspects of the topic, or for copies of our slides.

But Wait, There’s More FOR LECTURERS From the Faculty Development Team

You may think the words “lecturer” and "tenure track" have no relation to one another, but…they do! No way would the CELT team present fine programs and workshops if they were not intended to benefit all faculty to the fullest extent possible. And so, here’s a  quick reminder about a Faculty Development Program invitation sent by Zach Justus last week:

The Faculty Development Program has developed a workshop series specifically for adjunct faculty. The first workshop is on 10/28, 12-1pm in Kendall 207/209 and is on the topic of professional development. Research and professional development can be critical to professional satisfaction, range elevation/reclassification, tenure-track positions, and can even provide funded research opportunities through the research foundation.  We hope to see you on Friday. 

Still More News and a Big Congratulations

The Management Club and Delta Sigma Pi invite all our students to an event sure to help them now and after graduation.

Speed Interviewing on Wed, October 26 6:45 PM · Colusa Hall 100B

Experienced interviewers will help students master the crucial first two minutes of an interview.  Let your students know about this event, as it’s sure to help them as they tread anxiously into the world of possibility.

Also, huge congratulations to our Accounting Department. As Nicholas Lynch informed us in a recent email:

The accounting department is proud to announce that according to a recent report by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, 51.4 percent of Chico State students passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam in 2015.

Not only is this one of the highest pass rates for an “access university” in the state of California, but also it places our students’ accounting knowledge base within a group of reputable Universities including UC Davis (50.7 percent pass rate) and the University of San Diego (52 percent pass rate).

Another reason to be proud of what we do. Accounting Faculty: THANK YOU. Moving on to more treats of the season....


David Aaaarghoff Presents…

…us all with a unique and creepy opportunity you won’t want to miss! He and his lovely wife, Balinda, open their home to share Halloween Happiness with friends and neighbors. That photo in my cover email is his, as are these from the inside and outside of the Agoff castle/ship/home. Here’s David’s note to us:

We will be "open" for walking and drive by visits next week - see also the inside "witches area" and the Halloween miniature town in our garage!  2234 Hutchinson St. Near 20th and Bruce Road in the Doe Mill neighborhood. The streets are blocked off for more enjoyment! Lots of fun for all ages (Disney rated)!


Indeed We Are all Stars


For example, here’s a photo taken Saturday at a combination birthday/Halloween party our Board President and Chico corporate office staff coordinated and attended to celebrate – well, life and community. Our “werewolf” made us all happy, and an opportunity to see me with my “Tim the Enchanter” headgear managed to confuse most everyone.  Don’t know who Tim the Enchanter is? You, a star yourself?! Men and women of valor, ye who seek your own holy grail, may enter here: