Announcing the 2018 CNDLS TEL Colloquium

CNDLS is pleased to announce the 2018 CNDLS TEL Colloquium cohort.  The theme of this year’s Colloquium is Designing for Context: Approaches to Blended Learning. Fourteen faculty from 10 departments and five different schools (College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, McDonough School of Business, School of Continuing Studies, and School of Medicine) will join the cohort. The Colloquium participants will begin meeting at the end of January to explore topics in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) while designing and implementing an individual TEL project. Congratulations to this impressive group of faculty! 2018 CNDLS TEL Colloquium Cohort: 

CNDLS is pleased to announce the 2018 CNDLS TEL Colloquium cohort.  The theme of this year’s Colloquium is Designing for Context: Approaches to Blended Learning. Fourteen faculty from 10 departments and five different schools (College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, McDonough School of Business, School of Continuing Studies, and School of Medicine) will join the cohort. The Colloquium participants will begin meeting at the end of January to explore topics in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) while designing and implementing an individual TEL project. Congratulations to this impressive group of faculty!

2018 CNDLS TEL Colloquium Cohort: 

Spirited Conversations: When Faculty Learn Together

For the most part, teachers at colleges and universities work in parallel, engaged with their students but not necessarily with one another. And yet, as we keep discovering at CNDLS, amazing things happen when you create spaces where faculty can come together to grow.   We see this again and again in our work in the Engelhard Project; this project was launched in 2005 with a student focus, aiming to infuse issues of student well-being throughout the curriculum at Georgetown University, but it’s also had the effect of fostering connections among faculty and staff along the way. This year we received a gift to enable us to extend the impact of the Engelhard Project in a number of ways. Among those expansions, in fall 2017 we launched a vibrant new Faculty Conversation Series that creates opportunities for faculty to deeply engage with each other around their teaching. For the first conversation theme for fall 2017, we partnered with Georgetown’s Office of Mission and Ministry to pilot a Teaching to Mission faculty conversation series. This first semester, the series focused on what it means to teach at Georgetown, and the ways in which Georgetown’s Jesuit values and mission motivate and energize our work, making their way into our classrooms and affecting our relationships with students and colleagues. Eight professors gathered with four facilitators for informal dinners to discuss James Martin’s book The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything as well as a few supplemental readings, all selected to draw out connections between participants’ teaching and Ignatian values and practices. The value of these conversations quickly became self-evident. As Diana Owen (Communication, Culture, and Technology) reflected, “It was affirming to hear others speak about the power of the Spiritual Exercises”—a formal Jesuit process of self-exploration and contemplation—“to influence their lives, and especially their approach to teaching….The discussion has me thinking of ways of reawakening the virtues of the Exercises in my teaching.” As the semester went on, these conversations ranged beyond teaching practices and engaging with students to participants thinking more broadly and holistically about themselves and their relationship to our Catholic and Jesuit university. Biology professor Anne Rosenwald noted that the “conversations were open, frank, and loving, so I felt very supported to say things that don’t normally get revealed in an academic, professional setting.” And community developed in the room itself. In the words of Sociology professor Sarah Stiles, “What a joy to look around the table and see so many spirited conversations among interesting colleagues!” Going forward, we’ll be launching more such spirited conversations. In addition to teaching to mission, we hope to bring groups together around other new topics, such as mentorship and inclusive pedagogy. The Engelhard Project will continue to build connections and foster community not only among students but among their teachers, too.

For the most part, teachers at colleges and universities work in parallel, engaged with their students but not necessarily with one another. And yet, as we keep discovering at CNDLS, amazing things happen when you create spaces where faculty can come together to grow.

 

We see this again and again in our work in the Engelhard Project; this project was launched in 2005 with a student focus, aiming to infuse issues of student well-being throughout the curriculum at Georgetown University, but it’s also had the effect of fostering connections among faculty and staff along the way. This year we received a gift to enable us to extend the impact of the Engelhard Project in a number of ways. Among those expansions, in fall 2017 we launched a vibrant new Faculty Conversation Series that creates opportunities for faculty to deeply engage with each other around their teaching. For the first conversation theme for fall 2017, we partnered with Georgetown’s Office of Mission and Ministry to pilot a Teaching to Mission faculty conversation series.

This first semester, the series focused on what it means to teach at Georgetown, and the ways in which Georgetown’s Jesuit values and mission motivate and energize our work, making their way into our classrooms and affecting our relationships with students and colleagues. Eight professors gathered with four facilitators for informal dinners to discuss James Martin’s book The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything as well as a few supplemental readings, all selected to draw out connections between participants’ teaching and Ignatian values and practices.

The value of these conversations quickly became self-evident. As Diana Owen (Communication, Culture, and Technology) reflected, “It was affirming to hear others speak about the power of the Spiritual Exercises”—a formal Jesuit process of self-exploration and contemplation—“to influence their lives, and especially their approach to teaching….The discussion has me thinking of ways of reawakening the virtues of the Exercises in my teaching.”

As the semester went on, these conversations ranged beyond teaching practices and engaging with students to participants thinking more broadly and holistically about themselves and their relationship to our Catholic and Jesuit university. Biology professor Anne Rosenwald noted that the “conversations were open, frank, and loving, so I felt very supported to say things that don’t normally get revealed in an academic, professional setting.” And community developed in the room itself. In the words of Sociology professor Sarah Stiles, “What a joy to look around the table and see so many spirited conversations among interesting colleagues!”

Going forward, we’ll be launching more such spirited conversations. In addition to teaching to mission, we hope to bring groups together around other new topics, such as mentorship and inclusive pedagogy. The Engelhard Project will continue to build connections and foster community not only among students but among their teachers, too.

Live from the Classroom: Reflections on Podcasts, Pedagogy, and Platforms

If you missed the 2017 Teaching, Learning and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) or would like to revisit a TLISI topic, follow along with us as as we feature various sessions on the Prospect blog over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. We’ll be sharing posts on the following themes: Teaching in the Jesuit Tradition, Incorporating Difficult and Timely Topics, Innovative Teaching Practices, Technology Enhanced Learning, Evidence-based Teaching and Learning, Inclusive Pedagogies, and Cross-Institutional & Cross-Departmental Collaborations. Many of the sessions were recorded and are viewable on Digital Georgetown (accessible by anyone with a Georgetown NetID). You can also find a links to all of our recorded sessions on the TLISI Resources page. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on posts and more! How can you incorporate podcasts into your classroom, and why should you? In the TLISI “Live from the Classroom” session on May, 23, 2017,  Nikoo Yahyazadeh, a Multimedia Specialist at Georgetown University’s Gelardin New Media Center, discussed how teachers might begin to think about incorporating podcasts into their classrooms. One important take-away she stressed was the concept that professors should not feel limited by their own technical proficiencies when it comes to incorporating technology into the classroom. The Gelardin New Media Center can help faculty implement podcasts assignments and guide their students through the technical processes of creating podcasts Yahyazadeh encouraged those who are thinking about creating podcasts to think critically about the media and why they want to work in that form, and also encouraged educators to consider the amount of planning time necessary for classroom integration. A podcast assignment can be time consuming for students and can take just as much effort to grade as a traditional essay. Implementing a podcast in one course may not be as successful or effective as implementing it every semester again and again and improving the process. Faculty who are interested in implementing podcasts into their courses can follow the below helpful steps, and can reach out to Gelardin for additional support.

The first step is inspiration, which can also be the most stressful step. A good podcast for a classroom is one that connects to the learning goals and helps the class to understand the content of the course in a deeper and more engaging way, rather than just having the assignment be the equivalent of an audio book report. It is also important to consider the structure of the podcast and narrative presented. An effective  podcast builds upon itself every week not only requires a coherent narrative, but also demands the engagement of the listener from beginning to end. A more traditional radio show , however, allows for a listener to drop in and out of different episodes. The second step is preparation. To develop the assignment, it is necessary for professors to develop a rubric for what they would like to see reflected in the final projects, and to consider such things as whether the students are allowed to use copyrighted material or whether they should work independently or with partners. A breakdown of deadlines is also helpful in keeping students stay on track (such as a timeline for a finalized script, interviews, and edits to the podcast) , and it is often helpful to incorporate time for peer feedback. The last stage of launching a podcast is implementation. This is the exciting, hands-on part of the process, and the stage where it might be helpful to have students come into Gelardin for the initial equipment and software training and to learn about the process of using mics, set-ups, and programs like GarageBand. Gelardin can also offer follow-up lab time and follow-up one-on-one consultations. No matter what form the final podcast may take, however, as a platform for scholarship and creating a dissemination of knowledge outside of academic formats, many professors at Georgetown have found podcasts useful in expanding the impact of a course outside of the classroom and helping their students to engage more fully with the course material. Adam Rothman (History) spoke about his experience in implementing a podcast assignment in his undergraduate course, American Studies 272: Facing Georgetown’s History. Rothman explained that this class came out of a pre-existing curriculum in the American Studies department focusing on Georgetown’s history of slavery and spoke on the importance of the podcast to the learning goals of the course, which was socially engaged and aimed to produce knowledge that would benefit the public. He explained how he wanted students to produce knowledge that would actively advance the goals of Georgetown’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. He thought that the potential of the podcast to become public would encourage students to take their projects more seriously and commit more fully - as the stakes were raised and the students knew that people other than their professor might end up listening. Rothman played clips of the various projects students had chosen, which included interviewing descendants, discussing the privileging of acceptance for descendants of slaves, an exploration of the history of families who had sued for their freedom in the 19th century, and another podcast based around a photograph. Marcia Chatelain (History) discussed a podcast she created called “Office Hours: The Podcast,” which she developed after realizing there was a critical mass of students whose personal lives and individual struggles went virtually unknown by their professors. In this she saw a divide between access and quality of experience of students in universities, and hoped that a podcast could shed light on these students and help to form a model for other professors of ways to engage their students and get to know them while still maintaining professional boundaries. On her podcast, Chatelain interviews one student a week around a general theme. She played a variety of clips from her show and then spoke about h the specific ways she approached recording difficult conversations with students, such as making sure they felt comfortable with the process by having them review the final edit before it was made public, and asking students to wait and think about it for a week before releasing the podcasts online.  She also noted that most students are very familiar with the notion of how things on the internet will last forever, and that many have already experienced things like trolling and cyberbullying and know what they are getting into. With that said, many of the students revealed very personal things on her podcast and so she remained constant and vigilant about students’ comfort. She often asked: have you spoken about these personal matters publicly before? Chatelain emphasized that the point of this podcast was to be a conversation between the student and the community, not an exposé. Of course, despite their unique benefits, podcasts also pose challenges for faculty in terms of determining how to grade these nontraditional assignments and measure their outcomes. Panelists mentioned that it is possible to grade students holistically based on how dedicated they are to the podcast, independent of the quality of editing or even of writing (since many conversations on podcasts are extemporaneous), but that a more exact rubric, evaluating the podcast specifically for certain goals in terms of content, analysis, and editing (whether the podcast incorporated sound effects, for example), could also be used. Other complicating factors of Podcast use that should be taken into consideration are  students’ comfort with hearing their own voices, the possibility of a podcast to extend to a wider audience, who might be listening outside of the understood context of the class, and the appropriateness of the monetization of podcasts and use of ads. However, despite the technical, conceptual, and ideological considerations and imaginings that often accompany the creation of a podcast, all panelists agreed that the conversations they have inspired in their courses and for their students have been meaningful.

If you missed the 2017 Teaching, Learning and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) or would like to revisit a TLISI topic, follow along with us as as we feature various sessions on the Prospect blog over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. We’ll be sharing posts on the following themes: Teaching in the Jesuit Tradition, Incorporating Difficult and Timely Topics, Innovative Teaching Practices, Technology Enhanced Learning, Evidence-based Teaching and Learning, Inclusive Pedagogies, and Cross-Institutional & Cross-Departmental Collaborations. Many of the sessions were recorded and are viewable on Digital Georgetown (accessible by anyone with a Georgetown NetID). You can also find a links to all of our recorded sessions on the TLISI Resources page. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on posts and more!

How can you incorporate podcasts into your classroom, and why should you?

In the TLISI “Live from the Classroom” session on May, 23, 2017,  Nikoo Yahyazadeh, a Multimedia Specialist at Georgetown University’s Gelardin New Media Center, discussed how teachers might begin to think about incorporating podcasts into their classrooms. One important take-away she stressed was the concept that professors should not feel limited by their own technical proficiencies when it comes to incorporating technology into the classroom. The Gelardin New Media Center can help faculty implement podcasts assignments and guide their students through the technical processes of creating podcasts

Yahyazadeh encouraged those who are thinking about creating podcasts to think critically about the media and why they want to work in that form, and also encouraged educators to consider the amount of planning time necessary for classroom integration. A podcast assignment can be time consuming for students and can take just as much effort to grade as a traditional essay. Implementing a podcast in one course may not be as successful or effective as implementing it every semester again and again and improving the process.

Faculty who are interested in implementing podcasts into their courses can follow the below helpful steps, and can reach out to Gelardin for additional support.

The first step is inspiration, which can also be the most stressful step. A good podcast for a classroom is one that connects to the learning goals and helps the class to understand the content of the course in a deeper and more engaging way, rather than just having the assignment be the equivalent of an audio book report. It is also important to consider the structure of the podcast and narrative presented. An effective  podcast builds upon itself every week not only requires a coherent narrative, but also demands the engagement of the listener from beginning to end. A more traditional radio show , however, allows for a listener to drop in and out of different episodes.

The second step is preparation. To develop the assignment, it is necessary for professors to develop a rubric for what they would like to see reflected in the final projects, and to consider such things as whether the students are allowed to use copyrighted material or whether they should work independently or with partners. A breakdown of deadlines is also helpful in keeping students stay on track (such as a timeline for a finalized script, interviews, and edits to the podcast) , and it is often helpful to incorporate time for peer feedback.

The last stage of launching a podcast is implementation. This is the exciting, hands-on part of the process, and the stage where it might be helpful to have students come into Gelardin for the initial equipment and software training and to learn about the process of using mics, set-ups, and programs like GarageBand. Gelardin can also offer follow-up lab time and follow-up one-on-one consultations.

No matter what form the final podcast may take, however, as a platform for scholarship and creating a dissemination of knowledge outside of academic formats, many professors at Georgetown have found podcasts useful in expanding the impact of a course outside of the classroom and helping their students to engage more fully with the course material.

Adam Rothman (History) spoke about his experience in implementing a podcast assignment in his undergraduate course, American Studies 272: Facing Georgetown’s History. Rothman explained that this class came out of a pre-existing curriculum in the American Studies department focusing on Georgetown’s history of slavery and spoke on the importance of the podcast to the learning goals of the course, which was socially engaged and aimed to produce knowledge that would benefit the public. He explained how he wanted students to produce knowledge that would actively advance the goals of Georgetown’s Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. He thought that the potential of the podcast to become public would encourage students to take their projects more seriously and commit more fully – as the stakes were raised and the students knew that people other than their professor might end up listening.

Rothman played clips of the various projects students had chosen, which included interviewing descendants, discussing the privileging of acceptance for descendants of slaves, an exploration of the history of families who had sued for their freedom in the 19th century, and another podcast based around a photograph.

Marcia Chatelain (History) discussed a podcast she created called “Office Hours: The Podcast,” which she developed after realizing there was a critical mass of students whose personal lives and individual struggles went virtually unknown by their professors. In this she saw a divide between access and quality of experience of students in universities, and hoped that a podcast could shed light on these students and help to form a model for other professors of ways to engage their students and get to know them while still maintaining professional boundaries.

On her podcast, Chatelain interviews one student a week around a general theme. She played a variety of clips from her show and then spoke about h the specific ways she approached recording difficult conversations with students, such as making sure they felt comfortable with the process by having them review the final edit before it was made public, and asking students to wait and think about it for a week before releasing the podcasts online.  She also noted that most students are very familiar with the notion of how things on the internet will last forever, and that many have already experienced things like trolling and cyberbullying and know what they are getting into. With that said, many of the students revealed very personal things on her podcast and so she remained constant and vigilant about students’ comfort. She often asked: have you spoken about these personal matters publicly before? Chatelain emphasized that the point of this podcast was to be a conversation between the student and the community, not an exposé.

Of course, despite their unique benefits, podcasts also pose challenges for faculty in terms of determining how to grade these nontraditional assignments and measure their outcomes. Panelists mentioned that it is possible to grade students holistically based on how dedicated they are to the podcast, independent of the quality of editing or even of writing (since many conversations on podcasts are extemporaneous), but that a more exact rubric, evaluating the podcast specifically for certain goals in terms of content, analysis, and editing (whether the podcast incorporated sound effects, for example), could also be used. Other complicating factors of Podcast use that should be taken into consideration are  students’ comfort with hearing their own voices, the possibility of a podcast to extend to a wider audience, who might be listening outside of the understood context of the class, and the appropriateness of the monetization of podcasts and use of ads. However, despite the technical, conceptual, and ideological considerations and imaginings that often accompany the creation of a podcast, all panelists agreed that the conversations they have inspired in their courses and for their students have been meaningful.

On Being a Mentor: A Presentation and Discussion Featuring Dr. Brad Johnson

On December 14, 2017, W. Brad Johnson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy and author of On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty and Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women, came to Georgetown to discuss the landscape around mentoring in academic environments.

Johnson began by noting that mentoring often gets presented as a panacea. He noted that despite the fact that there is able research to support that undergraduates with mentors perform better both academically and professionally, and report feeling more confident, competent, more comfortable with their work-life balance, and achieve more imminent things in their professions, simply setting up an administrative “mentoring” program is not enough to achieve these results. Rather, Johnson emphasized that mentoring is a time-intensive activity, and only about 25% of undergraduate students reported that they felt as though they had a mentor - or even a professor who cared about them - during their entire college career. What is a mentor, and how do these relationships take off? Johnson prompted those at the tables around the room to discuss a scenario: Imagine two students come to your door and ask if you can be their mentor. How do you respond? How do you select the people to work with? Would you respond to these students in the same way? What is the best strategy for navigating this situation? The situation sparked a number of conversations as many participants realized that they did have preferences for the kind of students they prefer to mentor. Continuing, Johnson explained that different methods of matching students to mentors come with their own unique pros and cons. In an institution that has a formal program to match people with mentors (as opposed to having students find their mentors organically), more students tend to find a mentor. In these formal relationships, there are clear goals and endpoints for the relationship, defined boundaries, and informed consent between the parties. Allowing relationship to form naturally can lead to stronger partnerships and fonder feelings—however, sometimes at the cost of a clear definition of the relationship. He noted that in these kinds of relationships mentors may not even be aware that their mentees regard them as mentors until they hear about the impact they had on that student years after their graduation. On a similar note, Johnson also cautioned the room against labelling themselves as a “mentor” in these more natural relationships, and instead encouraged participants to wait for their students to assign them this title. After all, he noted, mentorship is a continuum. Many mentorships begin as more formal relationships—such as that of a research supervisor or an advisor—but as trust develops, a mentorship becomes more reciprocal.   How can you become a mentor, and who should you mentor? Johnson noted that research indicates that spending time listening to your mentees is a top element of developing a successful relationship, and that carefully considering how you arrange your meetings is crucial to making students comfortable. For example, do you meet in your office, in a coffee shop, or in a bar? Do you meet at a time that is convenient for people with families, or in a place that alienates a certain type of student? He encourages faculty to consider the students that they already mentor, and ask themselves who might be missing. Do they mentor exclusively men? Exclusively people who mirror themselves?
What makes for a truly meaningful mentorship? Johnson also spoke about other important elements of being a good mentor, such as encouraging mentees. He noted that imposter syndrome is prevalent among students, so telling your students that they belong and practicing affirmation in your comments is an important part of being a mentor. Especially when mentoring undergraduates, Johnson emphasized the importance of being conscious of these students’ ongoing developmental psychology and student development - recognizing and having sensitivity to the fact that they are in a stage of emerging adulthood. Rather than pressuring decisions, a good mentor unearths “the dream” - a vision of what an ideal world would look like. A good mentor practices the “Michelangelo phenomenon”—a term in psychology to describe how the best partners work with each other. How do you draw out the best in your partner? Mentors have to approach their mentees with the same humility and unassuming nature as Michelangelo took to the block - he was surprised when Moses or David would emerge, claiming that he didn’t always know what he was going to create. Ask your students Socratic questions in moments of crisis - asking them what they think a solution to a problem might be or what they would like to do, rather than telling them or handing them advice. Being unconditionally, non-judgmentally supportive and approaching relationships with humility and a learning disposition is essential, as is validating a student’s own style, rather than cloning oneself. Although mentors are not therapists, it’s also important to recognize that some students students come with unresolved issues - either rockstar students with a lack of confidence, perfectionist mentees with fears of failure, or students who approach the mentoring relationship as in some way reparative for another, more fraught relationship. Again, Johnson emphasized the importance of affirmation in these relationships. Be a champion for your students and affirm for your students that your investment in them and your assessment of their worth is not based on their performance, but on their effort. Ferret out the difference for your students between striving for excellence and striving for perfection, and be conscious in deliberately modeling healthy behaviors and mindsets. Giving advice is not enough Finally, Johnson explained that a truly meaningful mentorship is a combination of psychosocial support and career support. Sponsorship is an essential part of aiding your students, and helping them to network is essential. He also noted some implicit gender biases that sometimes comes into play, and noted that women tend get too much mentoring, and not enough sponsorship. He encouraged mentors to coach their students for interviews and help them polish their vitas. He noted that great mentors will create a constellation of mentors for their mentees and refer them to others that they don’t know. Johnson ended by noting that when you do great mentoring, you’re creating mental maps for your mentees about what great relationships look like. You’re creating a roadmap for what professional mentoring relationships look like. By mentoring, you are creating a shift in your own culture, as your mentees will eventually go on to mentor others. You are doing more than you think.

On December 14, 2017, W. Brad Johnson, Ph.D., a professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy and author of On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty and Athena Rising: How and Why Men Should Mentor Women, came to Georgetown to discuss the landscape around mentoring in academic environments.

Johnson began by noting that mentoring often gets presented as a panacea. He noted that despite the fact that there is able research to support that undergraduates with mentors perform better both academically and professionally, and report feeling more confident, competent, more comfortable with their work-life balance, and achieve more imminent things in their professions, simply setting up an administrative “mentoring” program is not enough to achieve these results. Rather, Johnson emphasized that mentoring is a time-intensive activity, and only about 25% of undergraduate students reported that they felt as though they had a mentor – or even a professor who cared about them – during their entire college career.

What is a mentor, and how do these relationships take off?

Johnson prompted those at the tables around the room to discuss a scenario: Imagine two students come to your door and ask if you can be their mentor. How do you respond? How do you select the people to work with? Would you respond to these students in the same way? What is the best strategy for navigating this situation?

The situation sparked a number of conversations as many participants realized that they did have preferences for the kind of students they prefer to mentor. Continuing, Johnson explained that different methods of matching students to mentors come with their own unique pros and cons. In an institution that has a formal program to match people with mentors (as opposed to having students find their mentors organically), more students tend to find a mentor. In these formal relationships, there are clear goals and endpoints for the relationship, defined boundaries, and informed consent between the parties. Allowing relationship to form naturally can lead to stronger partnerships and fonder feelings—however, sometimes at the cost of a clear definition of the relationship. He noted that in these kinds of relationships mentors may not even be aware that their mentees regard them as mentors until they hear about the impact they had on that student years after their graduation.

On a similar note, Johnson also cautioned the room against labelling themselves as a “mentor” in these more natural relationships, and instead encouraged participants to wait for their students to assign them this title. After all, he noted, mentorship is a continuum. Many mentorships begin as more formal relationships—such as that of a research supervisor or an advisor—but as trust develops, a mentorship becomes more reciprocal.  

How can you become a mentor, and who should you mentor?

Johnson noted that research indicates that spending time listening to your mentees is a top element of developing a successful relationship, and that carefully considering how you arrange your meetings is crucial to making students comfortable. For example, do you meet in your office, in a coffee shop, or in a bar? Do you meet at a time that is convenient for people with families, or in a place that alienates a certain type of student? He encourages faculty to consider the students that they already mentor, and ask themselves who might be missing. Do they mentor exclusively men? Exclusively people who mirror themselves?

What makes for a truly meaningful mentorship?

Johnson also spoke about other important elements of being a good mentor, such as encouraging mentees. He noted that imposter syndrome is prevalent among students, so telling your students that they belong and practicing affirmation in your comments is an important part of being a mentor. Especially when mentoring undergraduates, Johnson emphasized the importance of being conscious of these students’ ongoing developmental psychology and student development – recognizing and having sensitivity to the fact that they are in a stage of emerging adulthood. Rather than pressuring decisions, a good mentor unearths “the dream” – a vision of what an ideal world would look like. A good mentor practices the “Michelangelo phenomenon”—a term in psychology to describe how the best partners work with each other. How do you draw out the best in your partner? Mentors have to approach their mentees with the same humility and unassuming nature as Michelangelo took to the block – he was surprised when Moses or David would emerge, claiming that he didn’t always know what he was going to create. Ask your students Socratic questions in moments of crisis – asking them what they think a solution to a problem might be or what they would like to do, rather than telling them or handing them advice. Being unconditionally, non-judgmentally supportive and approaching relationships with humility and a learning disposition is essential, as is validating a student’s own style, rather than cloning oneself.

Although mentors are not therapists, it’s also important to recognize that some students students come with unresolved issues – either rockstar students with a lack of confidence, perfectionist mentees with fears of failure, or students who approach the mentoring relationship as in some way reparative for another, more fraught relationship. Again, Johnson emphasized the importance of affirmation in these relationships. Be a champion for your students and affirm for your students that your investment in them and your assessment of their worth is not based on their performance, but on their effort. Ferret out the difference for your students between striving for excellence and striving for perfection, and be conscious in deliberately modeling healthy behaviors and mindsets.

Giving advice is not enough

Finally, Johnson explained that a truly meaningful mentorship is a combination of psychosocial support and career support. Sponsorship is an essential part of aiding your students, and helping them to network is essential. He also noted some implicit gender biases that sometimes comes into play, and noted that women tend get too much mentoring, and not enough sponsorship. He encouraged mentors to coach their students for interviews and help them polish their vitas. He noted that great mentors will create a constellation of mentors for their mentees and refer them to others that they don’t know.

Johnson ended by noting that when you do great mentoring, you’re creating mental maps for your mentees about what great relationships look like. You’re creating a roadmap for what professional mentoring relationships look like. By mentoring, you are creating a shift in your own culture, as your mentees will eventually go on to mentor others. You are doing more than you think.

Shared Work: How Student Well-Being Can Bring Faculty and Staff Together

In an opinion piece published on Inside Higher Ed this week, CNDLS' David Ebenbach argues that academic institutions depend on the efforts of many people doing many kinds of work; faculty and staff, for starters, are both essential to our students' success. And yet at many colleges and universities there are few opportunities for faculty and staff to work together, despite the fact that we share an obvious point of connection: our students. Luckily, here at Georgetown, we have the Engelhard Project, which aims to infuse issues of student well-being throughout the curriculum. In this project, faculty bring topics of well-being into their courses, and staff from across campus—from CAPS, from the Academic Resource Center, from Health Education Services, and many more departments and centers at Georgetown—come to class to share their expertise on the topic.

Great things happen in Engelhard courses: students make connections between what they're learning and their lives beyond the classroom, and faculty and staff make connections to one another. As they work together again and again and gather for informal Engelhard group conversations outside the classroom, these faculty-staff relationships deepen. Now about to enter its 13th year of existence, the Engelhard Project continues to reinforce the importance—and the responsibility—of a shared approach to our students' learning and well-being. Read the entire article here to learn more.

In an opinion piece published on Inside Higher Ed this week, CNDLS’ David Ebenbach argues that academic institutions depend on the efforts of many people doing many kinds of work; faculty and staff, for starters, are both essential to our students’ success. And yet at many colleges and universities there are few opportunities for faculty and staff to work together, despite the fact that we share an obvious point of connection: our students.

Luckily, here at Georgetown, we have the Engelhard Project, which aims to infuse issues of student well-being throughout the curriculum. In this project, faculty bring topics of well-being into their courses, and staff from across campus—from CAPS, from the Academic Resource Center, from Health Education Services, and many more departments and centers at Georgetown—come to class to share their expertise on the topic.

Great things happen in Engelhard courses: students make connections between what they’re learning and their lives beyond the classroom, and faculty and staff make connections to one another. As they work together again and again and gather for informal Engelhard group conversations outside the classroom, these faculty-staff relationships deepen.

Now about to enter its 13th year of existence, the Engelhard Project continues to reinforce the importance—and the responsibility—of a shared approach to our students’ learning and well-being. Read the entire article here to learn more.

Reflections on Digital Learning Developments: CNDLS Executive Director Featured in “Inside Higher Ed”

It is hard to believe that 2017 is coming to a close. This year has been a promising one for the development of new technologies and initiatives in digital learning and scholarship in higher education. In the spirit of reflection, Inside Higher Ed asked a panel of experts questions regarding their thoughts on the most consequential developments in the field this year. Our very own Eddie Maloney, Executive Director of CNDLS, is featured in the article and shares his thoughts on the most exciting digital learning developments. Read the full article from Inside Higher Ed here.

It is hard to believe that 2017 is coming to a close. This year has been a promising one for the development of new technologies and initiatives in digital learning and scholarship in higher education. In the spirit of reflection, Inside Higher Ed asked a panel of experts questions regarding their thoughts on the most consequential developments in the field this year. Our very own Eddie Maloney, Executive Director of CNDLS, is featured in the article and shares his thoughts on the most exciting digital learning developments.

Read the full article from Inside Higher Ed here.

Think Hybrid: Conceptualize, Design, and Develop Your Hybrid Course

If you missed the 2017 Teaching, Learning and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) or would like to revisit a TLISI topic, follow along with us as as we feature various sessions on the Prospect blog over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. We’ll be sharing posts on the following themes: Teaching in the Jesuit Tradition, Incorporating Difficult and Timely Topics, Innovative Teaching Practices, Technology Enhanced Learning, Evidence-based Teaching and Learning, Inclusive Pedagogies, and Cross-Institutional & Cross-Departmental Collaborations. Many of the sessions were recorded and are viewable on Digital Georgetown (accessible by anyone with a Georgetown NetID). You can also find a links to all of our recorded sessions on the TLISI Resources page. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on posts and more!

Hybrid courses are designed to use traditional face-to-face aspects and online activities in order to compliment a class’s learning objectives. What does it mean to teach a hybrid course? What are the best ways to integrate online resources into the classroom? In the 2017 TLISI “Think Hybrid: Conceptualize, Design, and Develop Your Hybrid Course” session, CNDLS staff, including Yianna Vovides, Kim Lubreski, and Zhuqing Ding, highlighted features of hybrid courses and ways for faculty to make their own courses “hybrid.” Hybrid courses are named for the structural elements of the course and how students are working rather than the way in which they are learning. Vovides explained that for a class to be considered a hybrid course at Georgetown, 30-70% of classroom time is spent outside of the traditional learning environment.  Ways this time could be spent include online meetings via Zoom or a class trip. The subject of the course, whether it be humanities based or science based, will impact the methods.   Faculty broke into small groups to discuss advantages and disadvantages of hybrid classrooms and the benefits of a hybrid course. Most groups came to the consensus that some of the biggest challenges facing hybrid courses is developing high quality content and finding time to create genuine connections between the in-class and online parts of the course. All groups concluded that hybrid courses allow for students to spend more time actively learning course content and seeing how the information is applicable outside the scope of the classroom. This in turn can give students the opportunity to interact with the material on a deeper level rather than what they may have gained from solely studying it. One of the attendees brought up that there is a difference between science and humanities courses that is addressed by the hybrid class structure. Humanities, for the most part, have always had work that they could do outside of class. For language students, it is necessary to immerse themselves in the language and engage with it as often as possible. Literature students aren’t going to spend class time reading but rather in a discussion of what they have read beforehand. On the contrary, science students haven’t had those same opportunities as homework consisted of reading from a textbook or doing problem sets. The hands-on learning has been lacking. With hybrid courses, there are more possibilities for active learning outside of the classroom for students of all disciplines.

If you missed the 2017 Teaching, Learning and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) or would like to revisit a TLISI topic, follow along with us as as we feature various sessions on the Prospect blog over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. We’ll be sharing posts on the following themes: Teaching in the Jesuit Tradition, Incorporating Difficult and Timely Topics, Innovative Teaching Practices, Technology Enhanced Learning, Evidence-based Teaching and Learning, Inclusive Pedagogies, and Cross-Institutional & Cross-Departmental Collaborations. Many of the sessions were recorded and are viewable on Digital Georgetown (accessible by anyone with a Georgetown NetID). You can also find a links to all of our recorded sessions on the TLISI Resources page. Please follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter to stay updated on posts and more!


Hybrid courses are designed to use traditional face-to-face aspects and online activities in order to compliment a class’s learning objectives. What does it mean to teach a hybrid course? What are the best ways to integrate online resources into the classroom? In the 2017 TLISI “Think Hybrid: Conceptualize, Design, and Develop Your Hybrid Course” session, CNDLS staff, including Yianna Vovides, Kim Lubreski, and Zhuqing Ding, highlighted features of hybrid courses and ways for faculty to make their own courses “hybrid.”

Hybrid courses are named for the structural elements of the course and how students are working rather than the way in which they are learning. Vovides explained that for a class to be considered a hybrid course at Georgetown, 30-70% of classroom time is spent outside of the traditional learning environment.  Ways this time could be spent include online meetings via Zoom or a class trip. The subject of the course, whether it be humanities based or science based, will impact the methods.  

Faculty broke into small groups to discuss advantages and disadvantages of hybrid classrooms and the benefits of a hybrid course. Most groups came to the consensus that some of the biggest challenges facing hybrid courses is developing high quality content and finding time to create genuine connections between the in-class and online parts of the course. All groups concluded that hybrid courses allow for students to spend more time actively learning course content and seeing how the information is applicable outside the scope of the classroom. This in turn can give students the opportunity to interact with the material on a deeper level rather than what they may have gained from solely studying it.

One of the attendees brought up that there is a difference between science and humanities courses that is addressed by the hybrid class structure. Humanities, for the most part, have always had work that they could do outside of class. For language students, it is necessary to immerse themselves in the language and engage with it as often as possible. Literature students aren’t going to spend class time reading but rather in a discussion of what they have read beforehand. On the contrary, science students haven’t had those same opportunities as homework consisted of reading from a textbook or doing problem sets. The hands-on learning has been lacking. With hybrid courses, there are more possibilities for active learning outside of the classroom for students of all disciplines.

Recording Lectures Made Easy: Apple Releases New Screen Recording Feature

For many faculty, recording class lectures may seem like a challenging and daunting process. Thanks to the latest Apple operating system update, instructors are now able to capture screen recordings directly from their iPhone or iPad devices making it easier to record lectures and integrate them into traditional face-to-face courses, a hybrid or flipped course, or an online course. Read the full blog post to learn more about how this feature adds both mobility and versatility to teaching.

For many faculty, recording class lectures may seem like a challenging and daunting process. Thanks to the latest Apple operating system update, instructors are now able to capture screen recordings directly from their iPhone or iPad devices making it easier to record lectures and integrate them into traditional face-to-face courses, a hybrid or flipped course, or an online course.

Read the full blog post to learn more about how this feature adds both mobility and versatility to teaching.

Leaps and Bounds: CNDLS Continues to Collaborate with Partners on Georgetown Domains Community Site Project

At CNDLS, we believe digital technology can play a meaningful and powerful role in achieving learning goals. In 2015, we partnered with Georgetown University Information Services (UIS) and Reclaim Hosting to bring Georgetown Domains to campus, an effort to give Georgetown students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to claim a web hosting environment and personal domain free of cost. GU Domains is part of the larger Domain of One’s Own effort on campuses nationwide aimed at helping students understand, develop, and curate digital identities through their own website. To date, GU Domains has over 650 active users, with 60% student users and the remainder faculty and staff representing 54 different departments. In June 2017, a group of CNDLS staff members attended the 2017 Domains conference in Oklahoma City and presented their exciting vision for a Domains Community Site—a community space where users can create, collaborate, and discover with each other in an online environment. The presenters, who included CNDLS’ Yianna Vovides and Marie Selvanadin and Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington) and Tom Woodward (Virginia Commonwealth University), shared a three-layer model to support engagement with Domains at the campus, programmatic, and individual levels. We invite you to learn more about the model and the project by reading this detailed post we wrote this past summer.  More recently, Vovides and Selvanadin have continued work on Community Sites with Groom and others, and their work was featured in a blog post authored by Groom. In it, he discusses the process of conceptualizing Georgetown University Domain’s Community Directory site and the process of working with CNDLS staff members to create it from scratch. To read more about the research and technical steps of this project, read Groom’s full blog post here. We’re deeply grateful for our partnership with Groom and others, and are excited about the future of Domain’s Community Directory. For questions or additional information, please reach out to Yianna Vovides, yv11@georgetown.edu.

At CNDLS, we believe digital technology can play a meaningful and powerful role in achieving learning goals. In 2015, we partnered with Georgetown University Information Services (UIS) and Reclaim Hosting to bring Georgetown Domains to campus, an effort to give Georgetown students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to claim a web hosting environment and personal domain free of cost.

GU Domains is part of the larger Domain of One’s Own effort on campuses nationwide aimed at helping students understand, develop, and curate digital identities through their own website. To date, GU Domains has over 650 active users, with 60% student users and the remainder faculty and staff representing 54 different departments.

In June 2017, a group of CNDLS staff members attended the 2017 Domains conference in Oklahoma City and presented their exciting vision for a Domains Community Site—a community space where users can create, collaborate, and discover with each other in an online environment. The presenters, who included CNDLS’ Yianna Vovides and Marie Selvanadin and Jim Groom (University of Mary Washington) and Tom Woodward (Virginia Commonwealth University), shared a three-layer model to support engagement with Domains at the campus, programmatic, and individual levels. We invite you to learn more about the model and the project by reading this detailed post we wrote this past summer. 

More recently, Vovides and Selvanadin have continued work on Community Sites with Groom and others, and their work was featured in a blog post authored by Groom. In it, he discusses the process of conceptualizing Georgetown University Domain’s Community Directory site and the process of working with CNDLS staff members to create it from scratch. To read more about the research and technical steps of this project, read Groom’s full blog post here.

We’re deeply grateful for our partnership with Groom and others, and are excited about the future of Domain’s Community Directory. For questions or additional information, please reach out to Yianna Vovides, yv11@georgetown.edu.

Nervous About Technology in the Classroom? It’s Already There—and That’s Good News.

Even if you never touch the computer console that’s probably built into your room, even if you don’t know anything about blogs or have a policy against students working on laptops in class, you’re still working with technology—which is to say: practical, human-made tools that help you teach and that help your students learn. Seen through this definition, the pencils and pens in your students’ hands are technology, and so is the chalkboard or whiteboard that most teachers use for notes. Certainly email qualifies, and PowerPoint and Google Slides do, too. The point is that you and your students are already rallying tools to the cause of education, and you’re doing it the right way: first you identify a need or a goal (e.g., taking notes, communicating), and then you call on the relevant technology to help you get where you want to go. For some teachers, writing implements and writing surfaces can cover all the situation’s needs. But thinking openly might remind you of needs you hadn’t considered, needs that technology could help you meet. For example, maybe you want to encourage more class participation. Well, requiring students to contribute to an online discussion board before class could get them warmed up for in-class discussion. Or maybe the use of clickers or online polling would bring more people into the conversation. Do you wish you had more time in class to apply the concepts students are learning? Tools like lecture capture can free up in-class time by moving more material to the time between sessions. You want students to collect material that can ultimately help them advance in the field? An e-portfolio could be a useful tool. The main point is this: There are things you want to get done in your course, and the range of technologies is so enormous right now that there might just be a technology out there that can support you. The Teaching Commons’ Teaching with Technologies page offers examples of common teaching goals along with with an array of technological solutions. We hope you’ll find something you can use! As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions—and here’s hoping your semester is ending well!

Even if you never touch the computer console that’s probably built into your room, even if you don’t know anything about blogs or have a policy against students working on laptops in class, you’re still working with technology—which is to say: practical, human-made tools that help you teach and that help your students learn.

Seen through this definition, the pencils and pens in your students’ hands are technology, and so is the chalkboard or whiteboard that most teachers use for notes. Certainly email qualifies, and PowerPoint and Google Slides do, too. The point is that you and your students are already rallying tools to the cause of education, and you’re doing it the right way: first you identify a need or a goal (e.g., taking notes, communicating), and then you call on the relevant technology to help you get where you want to go.

For some teachers, writing implements and writing surfaces can cover all the situation’s needs. But thinking openly might remind you of needs you hadn’t considered, needs that technology could help you meet. For example, maybe you want to encourage more class participation. Well, requiring students to contribute to an online discussion board before class could get them warmed up for in-class discussion. Or maybe the use of clickers or online polling would bring more people into the conversation. Do you wish you had more time in class to apply the concepts students are learning? Tools like lecture capture can free up in-class time by moving more material to the time between sessions. You want students to collect material that can ultimately help them advance in the field? An e-portfolio could be a useful tool.

The main point is this: There are things you want to get done in your course, and the range of technologies is so enormous right now that there might just be a technology out there that can support you.

The Teaching Commons’ Teaching with Technologies page offers examples of common teaching goals along with with an array of technological solutions. We hope you’ll find something you can use!

As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions—and here’s hoping your semester is ending well!