Center for Teaching, Learning and Design
A: In February 2019 we launched the CTLD Newsfeed where we post ideas, events, partnerships and everything else. You can interact with this in at least three ways:
- You can sign up for email notifications of any new posts by going to ctld.news and clicking the [+Follow] button in the bottom right. This is the most direct and immediate.
- You can add yourself to the CTLD Newsfeed email list by sending an empty email to the following address <email@example.com>. We send out a summary of recent posts once or twice each month.
- You can simply visit ctld.news at your convenience to read up!
Effective Teaching FAQ
Effective Teaching #1: I want to know what the best tool is for doing [some activity] with my students. How can I get help with that?
A: The best tool for teaching your students is the one you have access to and know how to use. While the list of possible tools is simply too long to post here, we encourage you to visit the ID Open Consultation Hours which occur weekly and can be found on the CTLD Events Calendar. There you can work one-on-one with an Instructional Designer to determine the right tool for the job at hand. We are happy to explore options, and train you on your tool of choice.
Effective Teaching #2: What are the latest technology tools in education ("ed tech"), and how should I use them?
A: The CTLD isn’t aiming to be your one-stop shop for all things related to teaching, learning, instructional design and technology. That said, we have a lot of tech-savvy, education-oriented folks on staff, so if you have specific questions you should come chat during the ID Open Consultation Hours which occur weekly and can be found on the CTLD Events Calendar. “How should I use them?” is a much more interesting question and I think you’ll find many of us are interested in discussing that.
Effective Teaching #3: I am an Affiliate Faculty at MSU Denver (a.k.a. adjunct). How does the CTLD support faculty like me?
A: The CTLD believes deeply in the key role Affiliate Faculty play at MSU Denver, and we wish to support those faculty however we can. The most important message is that we always hope Affiliate faculty will engage in CTLD. This includes times when we partner with faculty (to run a faculty learning community, for example). Those opportunities are also open to faculty of all categories.
For recent efforts at the CTLD to engage with Affiliate Faculty, please check out the CTLD Newsfeed and search the page for ‘affiliate’. Otherwise, please know that we welcome all kinds of faculty in our programs and events.
Faculty Portfolios & Digital Measures FAQ
Faculty Portfolios #1: I am looking for help with my faculty portfolio (for the tenure process, or a review). What resources does the CTLD have?
A: Meredith Flynn, Associate Director of Teaching & Learning at the CTLD, works with faculty on nearly all aspects of the faculty portfolio process. Meredith leads the work to maintain the Digital Measures faculty resources page which has a wealth of information. In addition, Meredith facilitates dozens of portfolio preparation workshops that take place throughout the year, aligned with the deadlines for each type and level of retention, tenure and promotions. The dates for these workshops can always be found on the CTLD’s Event Calendar, and the Procedural Calendar.
Instructional Accessibility FAQ
Instructional Accessibility #1: I have instructional materials (books, files, documents, videos, etc.) that may not be accessible. How do I find out?
A: To determine accessibility of materials, we encourage you to review your content using some simple questions. If you answer "no" to any of these questions (or aren’t sure), your content may be inaccessible. To get you started, here are some of the simplest questions you can use:
Is my textbook (or other physical book) accessible?
- If the textbook comes from an established publisher, they will be able to provide the text in an accessible format.
- Texts not from established publishers (such as many Open Educational Resources), must be checked by the user (instructor). Check out the next section regarding digital documents.
Is my digital document accessible?
- Can the document text be selected, copied, and pasted with full accuracy? (learn more)
- Does the document have appropriate Titles, Headers, etc.?
- Do all images have appropriate alternative text? (learn more)
Is my video or multimedia content accessible?
A: Accessibility deals with the ability of a user to retrieve, engage with and benefit from something independently, without needing to ask for a modification or alternative format. Accessibility proactive, happening before any specific person is involved.
Accommodation is a reactive approach to provide access to a specific individual based on an request to adjust or modify a product or environment.
- Accessibility: Making sure a blind person can fully navigate a website without the help of a sighted person.
- Accommodation: Hiring someone to help a blind person navigate a website that isn’t accessible to them otherwise.
Taken to an extreme, perfect accessibility would make accommodation obsolete. However, that ideal is essentially unreachable. For example: Even an online quiz that meets all accessibility standards will still require extra time to complete with a screen reader, or without the use of a mouse. The accommodation of extended time is still important and necessary.
Instructional Accessibility #3: I’m not sure what kind of accessibility requirements there are for instructional materials. How can I learn more?
A: All instructional materials must be accessible. This means that anyone, regardless of their ability, can fully engage with the content without major alteration. Accessibility is distinct from accommodation, as discussed in another FAQ.
The best way to become familiar with accessibility requirements is to attend some (or all) of the workshops on accessibility offered by the CTLD Instructional Accessibility Group. Please explore the CTLD events calendar to see upcoming workshops.
For more formal reading about the specifics of Accessibility requirements please reference the following topics: Web Accessibility Content Guidelines 2.0; The Marrakesh Treaty; The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; Sections 504 & 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Instructional Accessibility #4: I have some instructional materials that need to be modified so that they are accessible (called “remediation”). How do I get that to happen?
A: There is no one on campus who has the job remediating inaccessible content for others, meaning all faculty and staff are responsible for correcting their own materials. Fortunately, the Instructional Accessibility Group in the CTLD provides training and guidance for anyone on campus. Please review the guides on the CTLD Instructional Accessibility website. If you have additional questions, please contact Gabe Christie, Instructional Accessibility Manager.
Instructional Design FAQ
Instructional Design #1: I heard that if a faculty member works with the Instructional Design Group to improve an online course, they can earn an extra salary supplement. How do I do that?
A: You heard correctly! On a regular basis, the Online, Teaching, Learning, and Access Committee reviews institutional priorities for course development and schedules courses within our two course development cycles. In addition to these identified courses, requests are welcome and can be submitted to Matt Griswold for consideration by the committee. Every faculty member that leads the process of course improvement qualifies for a significant stipend, and payments are made after the Peer Review of Online Course Excellence Subcommittee agrees the course meets MSU Denver Online Course Design Standards.
Instructional Design #2: How do instructors work with the Instructional Design Group? Is it the same process that you might find at other universities?
A: Unlike the model you might find at other institutions, MSU Denver’s Instructional Design Group only works in a collaborative process with faculty, who are fully in charge of the course development process. The faculty member gets the support of dedicated instructional experts who help them think carefully and systematically about the most effective ways to design, develop, and deliver instructional materials.
As a part of each project, faculty members receive support with the learning management system, creating instruction and assessment materials, multimedia development in a full media production studio (which includes green screen, sound booths, and more), adoption and/or creation of Open Educational Resources (OERs), and continuous improvement reviews of their courses using national and institutional standards.
As you can tell, this long-term, collaborative work is not something we can offer on a drop-in basis. The ID Group has two course development cycles per year. The fall cycle begins in August and the spring cycle begins in January. Which courses (and thus, which faculty) are included in each cycle is determined by the Online, Teaching, Learning, and Access Committee, which reviews institutional priorities for course development and schedules courses within our two course development cycles. In addition to these identified courses, requests are welcome and can be submitted to Matt Griswold for consideration by the committee.
Instructional Design #3: I want to record videos for my class. How can I use the Instructional Media Studio to do that?
A: The Instructional Media Team oversees and runs the Instructional Media Studio, which is a major tool in the course development process (described in FAQ Instructional Design #2). The studio includes a green screen video area and two sound booths and is used heavily throughout most parts of the course development cycles. It isn’t usable in a DIY fashion, nor do we have the resources to accept on-demand requests for studio time by faculty. If you would like to use the media studio to improve your course, requests are welcome and can be submitted to Matt Griswold for consideration by the relevant committee (see FAQ Instructional Design #2).
Instructional Design #4: I want to record videos for my class, using my own equipment (webcam, phone, etc.). Can the Instructional Design Group help me with that?
A: We sure can! MSU Denver uses a video hosting platform called YuJa. YuJa can itself be used to record videos, can accept videos created in other programs, and is directly compatible with our Learning Management System. With these tools you will be able to record introductions, assignment instructions, lectures, tutorials, etc.
We have a DIY (Do It Yourself) Media Recording Guide that we hope you will find useful. Keep in mind that there are also many other people around the world doing this kind of recording, so the internet is packed with good advice and neat ideas on this topic.