Teaching Excellence Symposium Fall 2020 Session Resources

Making Teaching Visable

Schedule at a Glance

Click on a time to be directed to the links available during that time slot.

Teaching & Learning Lobby

Teaching & Learning Lobby

Center for Teaching & Learning Staff will be present all day throughout the event to answer questions, guide participants to the appropriate links and resources, and to host both public and private conversations, both in the Main Lobby and through Breakout Rooms. If you're lost and you don't know where to go, this is the place to start.

9:00a - Keynote Address

Adjusting the Lens: Bringing Teaching and Learning Into Focus During a Pandemic

Nora Wynne, Lecturer, Humboldt School of Education & 2021 California Teacher of the Year

What does it mean to teach and learn in a pandemic? What changes can we take with us into the future? As K-12 schools and universities have pivoted to distance learning in the COVID-19 Pandemic, it is a moment to look carefully at how education has and has not changed and how we might harness the moment. Zoom in to examine the details of instruction and opportunities to learn. Zoom out to see the possibilities of larger systemic changes in education.  Regardless of the lens, keeping the student in focus will help educators meet the needs of the individual learner and will lead to positive outcomes for students.

Watch Keynote Recording Now!

10:00a - Interactive Sessions

Roundtable Discussion 1

Session Resources

Topic #1
Student-led Water Development in the Peruvian Andes

Jasper Oshun, Ph.D., Geology
Margaret Lang, ERE Rutgers U. Newark
Kristina Keating, Rutgers U. Newark

We completed a two-year project funded by Geoscientists Without Borders (GWB) that leveraged undergraduate and graduate geology and engineering students and community members from the rural village of Zurite, Perú to design and construct 1.3 km of irrigation canals. Over two years, 30 students from Humboldt and engaged in a yearlong course centered on a 4 week field experience in Zurite. In the spring preparatory semester, students were introduced to the project goals - water development in Zurite, determining water resources draining from high elevation, seasonally dry grasslands known as puna, and training students to be multidisciplinary community minded researchers. Class activities explored the steps of multidisciplinary research from the development of a research question to oral and written presentations while building students’ ability to communicate across disciplines and learning new cultures. Students graduated from this experience empowered to be leaders in multidisciplinary research for the benefit of local communities.


Topic #2
How Do You Zoom? Teaching and Learning Zoom Interview Skills

Armeda Reitzel, Ph.D., Communication
Querida Medina, Student, Communication
Rachael Thacker, Student, Communication

This interactive session will engage participants in a fast-paced activity to experience a practice Zoom interview experience from both an instructor's standpoint and a student's viewpoint. The Zoom interview experience is one of the learning opportunities in the senior capstone class in Communication that Armeda Reitzel has developed and used during the past 3 years. Since we are living in a largely digital world at the moment, instructing our graduating seniors in the best practices of online interviewing is something that we might consider doing. Students from Dr. Reitzel's current senior capstone class lend their experiences and expertise to the conference presentation.


Roundtable Discussion 2


Topic #1
Using Structured Conversations to Promote Individual Accountabiliy and Positive Interdependence

David Adams, Ph.D., Kinesiology and Recreational Studies
Enoch Hale, Ph.D., Director, Center for Teaching & Learning

Structured conversations allow for a classroom environment where individual accountability and positive interdependence become the norm. Benefits of structured conversations include an increase in individual and group knowledge through procedural learning as well as an increased opportunity to speak, analyze, and critically respond to their peers.


Topic #2
Banality of Evil: Sexism and Online Teaching During the Pandemic

Rouhollah Aghasaleh, Ph.D., School of Education
Jennifer Bishop, Student, Secondary Education Credential Program
Yukika Atsumi, Student, Secondary Education Credential Program

Working from home is not merely a matter of modality but it is rather entangled with every other aspect of life. Living through a public-health crisis, which is also an economic, social, political, and ethical one makes it unethical to pretend that we are living a new normal life. Job losses, school closures, and household isolation are moving the work of caring from the paid economy to the unpaid one which has fallen more heavily on women, not only because of the social norms of women performing care roles, but also because of the existing structure of the workforce. Acknowledging “the personal is political” obligates university instructors to address this as a problematic and encourage women to share their stories unapologetically to raise awareness and to make a difference in both women’s and men's lives. I will discuss some approaches and practices to address this problem in my university teaching.

Infographic & Presentation 

Interactive Poster Presentation


Better Labs Through CUREs: Course Based Undergraduate Research Experiences

Jenny Cappuccio, Ph.D., Chemistry
Matt Escobar, Ph.D., CSU San Marcos

Undergraduate research is a high-impact educational practice. However, only a limited number of students are able to access in depth research experiences due to limited faculty time and funding. By incorporating undergraduate research experiences into course design, more students can access this high-impact practice. Here we employed course based undergraduate research (CURE) in the biochemistry I laboratory. We partnered with CSU San Marcos, the Joint Genome Institute and University of California, Davis. Students investigated potential cellulase enzymes for their ability to break down cellulose, in order to develop better biofuel production methods and ultimately reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Students reported a higher sense of personal achievement, and confidence in their ability to contribute to solving a real world problem. 

Session Poster (.pptx)

11:00a - Interactive Sessions

Roundtable Discussion 3

Session Resources

Topic #1
"Which Note is the 7th?" Teaching with Interactive Videos Using H5P

Cindy Moyer, M.A., Music

Much of my face-to-face teaching involves asking the class questions and allowing them to call out answers. In that scenario, the students who think quickly answer, while the students who think more slowly are pulled along by the faster thinkers. I've long thought that flipped classroom pedagogy with questions embedded into videos would benefit students as they would all have to answer the questions. With COVID forcing my class online, and H5P as a tool, I've done that, and the results for student learning are promising. In this session, I'll share some of what I've done and learned about creating interactive videos.


Topic #2
MTV Cribs - The YES Edition: Virtual Team Building

Melea Smith, Coordinator, YES House

Since the shift to virtual learning, members of Youth Educational Services (Y.E.S.) have been challenged to create new ways to connect. Team building is an essential ingredient to the student-led programming at Y.E.S. Student leaders have experimented with innovative ice breakers over Zoom, translating the three levels of team building to the virtual realm. Y.E.S. student assistants work closely together and trialed a new Zoom series during staff meetings called, “MTV Cribs:

The Y.E.S. Edition.” MTV Cribs is a documentary television program that features tours of the private homes of celebrities. For Y.E.S. staff, a team with established trust and a close working relationship, guiding our own virtual house tours has opened new doors for sharing. Being invited (virtually) into lived spaces has allowed us to learn about each other through personal glimpses of plants, photos, artwork and cherished mementos.

Powerpoint Presentation (.pptx)

Roundtable Discussion 4


Topic #1
Socially Distanced, Intellectually Engaged: Remote Social Learning Strategies in a State of Pandemic

Gordon Ulmer, Ph.D., Anthropology

As the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic continues to upend higher education, little attention has been given to how active-learning pedagogies in the classroom have adapted. Here, I share my experiences with transforming the “attendance and participation” assessment category into “learning community contributions,” in which students are assessed for remotely participating in their peers’ learning habits. To be accommodating to individual circumstances in unprecedented times, I offer a “pick your own bandwidth” model of engagement, in which students choose how they participate in various social learning activities. Students can synchronously connect through Zoom roundtables, or asynchronously by participating in Canvas discussion threads or by contributing to our course Google document in which students collectively share notes, questions, and links related to course materials. This flexible social learning model can also be more equitable, especially given that COVID-19 unevenly impacts BIPOC communities and other minoritized groups.


Topic #2
Extending Online Asychronous Library Instruction and Assessment

Tim Miller, MLIS., Humboldt Library

Humboldt Library Online SkillShops have been offered as co-curricular learning opportunities since 2017 using the Canvas LMS. We have developed several 1.5-hour Library workshops over the years, making gradual improvements and adjustments over time. When the COVID crisis pushed library instruction online, we were able to adjust quickly by using these workshops and the models we developed in previous years to create more. With over twice the participation so far this year, we have collected a lot of assessment data that can help us improve our workshops and understand not only student learning, but students’ needs and perceptions. In this presentation I will share some of the insights we’ve gained as well as how I created data dashboards using the Canvas API that allow us to see and share automated real-time attendance and assessment data.


Interactive Session


'Hearing' Breakout Rooms in Google Sheets

Lonny Grafman, Lecturer, Environmental Resources Engineering

Leveraging google sheets and nominal voting technique to 'hear' the activity in your zoom breakout rooms, provide a framework for discussions, and catalyze responses.


12:00p - Interactive Sessions

Roundtable Discussion 5

Session Resources

Topic #1
Using H5P to Develop a Virtual Simulation for Rural Social Work Field Practice

Pam Bowers, Ph.D., Social Work
Debbie Gonzalez, MSW, Social Work
Terri Georgopoulos, MA, MS, Instructional Designer, CTL

Simulations have been documented as creating a wide range of teaching and learning opportunities. Integrating interactive technology into the education of tomorrow’s rural social work workforce has the potential of enhancing learning outcomes and most importantly, the potential for improving client and community organization care. There is a substantial body of evidence in the medical and other health-related fields that documents how technology is being used to create computer simulations and practice exercises offering opportunities for students to practice skills before entering the field. Humboldt's Social Work Department is currently developing an interactive field practice simulation using H5P technology. This Roundtable Discussion explores the inspiration, innovation, and the potential impact of a virtual simulation scenario for students enrolled in Humboldt's Social Work program.


Topic #2
Facilitating Local Experiences in a Virtual World: Creating an Interactive Tidepool Lab with H5P

Sean Craig, Ph.D., Biology
Deborah Ketelsen, MA, Lead Media Production Specialist, CTL
Terri Georgopoulos, MA, MS, Instructional Designer, CTL

With the recent transition to virtual learning, many of Humboldt's students are learning from a distance. Known for our place-based learning experiences, it is critical to keep students connected to the local characteristics that make Humboldt unique. The interactive tide pool lab allows students the opportunity to explore, discover, and become inspired to study more about the rich biodiversity of the local coastal regions. The goal of this project is to introduce, expose, and educate Humboldt undergraduate students on the fragility of local coastal ecosystems while simultaneously understanding their effect/relationship to global warming and ocean acidification. Join us in a roundtable discussion as we share the inspiration for and the innovation used to create the interactive tidepool lab.


Roundtable Discussion 6


Topic #1
Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Stimulating Engagement and Perseverance in High-Enrollment Online STEM Courses

Kerry Byrne, Ph.D., Environmental Science and Management
Kim White, Ph.D., Chemistry

Maintaining engagement in the online environment can be challenging, yet the transition to online instruction has also provided some opportunities for faculty to experiment with new strategies to promote engagement and perseverance within our diverse student body in STEM courses, especially those with high enrollments. Did you try something new that worked particularly well in your course(s) this semester? We encourage participants to share a practice that worked well for their students this semester. To stimulate discussion, the faciIitators will present several evidence-based strategies for engaging students and fostering perseverance in the online environment. Attendees are encouraged to learn about strategies that their colleagues have found to be successful and to consider how these tactics may be implemented in their own courses. The goal will be for all attendees to leave with additional student-focused strategies for improving the student experience in Humboldt classes.

Session Notes

Topic #2
Strategies and Collaboration to Humanize the Online Course Experience - A Conversation

Jeffrey White, Ph.D., Biology
Kim Vincent-Layton, MBA, Education Developer, Center for Teaching & Learning

Online courses pose significant challenges for some of our students leading them to disengage. In this conversation, strategies to sustain engagement and to support those students that face challenges are explored. Specifically, highlights from the Humanizing Academy for online instruction are shared from the perspective of STEM faculty and their collaboration with faculty developers. Participants are invited to bring their questions and their own success stories to share.

Humanizing Online STEM Showcase

Humanizing Infographic

Roundtable Discussion 7


Topic #1
Equity of Voice: A Pedagogical Intervention

Eileen Cashman, Ph.D., Environmental Resources Engineering

The purpose of this study is to better understand the underlying reasons that contribute to a persistent equity gap in a senior-level engineering course. This equity gap exists despite the high probability that all students will pass and successfully move toward degree completion. Pedagogical interventions are aimed at facilitating equity of voice in the classroom so that all students have the opportunity to question and reflect on course content. Pedagogical interventions are framed to maximize the opportunity for students to be acknowledged and for them to process in groups and individually. The first pedagogical intervention focuses on quantitative calculations in homework and exams. The second pedagogical intervention focuses on conceptual questions in quizzes and exams. The third intervention focuses on in-class interactions between the instructor and students where the instructor systematically distributes attention to maximize the opportunities for all students to answer and ask questions. Preliminary analysis indicates mixed results with opportunity for discussion and further analysis.


Topic #2
Cross-discipline Collaboration for GE Content

Bori Mazzag, Ph.D., Mathematics
Sonja Manor, MS, Mathematics
Liza Boyle, Ph.D., Environmental Resources Engineering
Ruth Saunders, Ph.D., Physics

Our panel discussion is designed for faculty who aim to create engaging, cross-disciplinary content for GE courses. We will focus on a collaboration four faculty members (Liza Boyle, ERE, Sonja Manor & Bori Mazzag, Math and Ruth Saunders, Physics) have undertaken in the last year. The collaboration centers on creating new, discipline-linked content for two lower division GE Math courses. Our talk will describe the larger, national network (“SUMMIT-P network”) we connected with, our process in soliciting feedback from the Engineering and Physics departments, and a little bit about assignments the four of us developed collaboratively. We will touch on how work was shared, how much time we invested in this project, how we plan to assess this work and what highlights of the collaboration have been. Courses with the new content are underway now (Fall 2020).

Google Slides Presentation



Making Creative Assignments with H5P

Anne Paulet, Ph.D., History

How to use H5P to make escape rooms, "trips," and other interactive forms of assessment while having Canvas automatically record the results.


1:00p - Open Session

Open Session: Networking, Reflection, and Open Discussion

Enoch Hale, Ph.D., Director, Center for Teaching & Learning

Enoch Hale, Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning, will be in the Teaching Excellence Virtual Lobby from 1:00p to 1:50p. During that time, the lobby is available to all participants for questions, follow-up conservations, networking, reflections on events, and any other open disucssion.

Guided Interactive Tours of Faculty-Produced Content

ESCALA Faculty Projects Showcase

A collection of student inquiry projects by Humboldt faculty examining culturally responsive instructional shifts in the classroom.

Link to Showcase for
Asynchronous Browsing: 
ESCALA Poster/Presentation Showcase

Pivot to Online Teaching Showcase

A collection of over 80 assignments, assessments, designs, and artifacts from Humboldt colleagues pivoting to online.

Link to Showcase for
Asynchronous Browsing: 
Pivot Teaching Showcase