The latest news in higher education and around ACUE
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NOVEMBER 10, 2016

Good morning,

Teaching higher order thinking skills and making course material relevant to real-world problems is more important than ever, Vanderbilt University's Derek Bruff tells the ACUE Community this week.

Bruff, a subject matter expert for ACUE's Course in Effective Teaching Practices, also offers sage advice for new directors of centers for teaching and learning. Check out our full interview with Bruff on The 'Q' Blog or read an excerpt below. If you're attending the POD Network Conference this week, be sure to also check out Bruff's session, sponsored by ACUE.

Derek Bruff –

News in brief

The latest news and opinions in higher education.

Connecting the dots. Vanderbilt University’s Derek Bruff says teaching center directors should focus on individual faculty members while also prioritizing more systematic work. (The ‘Q’ Blog)

Making the reader. Inspired by her students’ questions about police shootings, a Montclair State University professor created her own course reader and is encouraging educators and students to openly discuss issues across campus. (Chronicle of Higher Education – Paywall)

Gaming grades. Technology in the classroom can be a distraction, to the detriment of student learning, but a professor in California says videos games that incorporate meditation and exercise could improve focus. (nprEd)

No strings attached. A new grant program in California is making $25 million available for schools to test new approaches to improve student outcomes. (EdSurge)

APLU Annual Meeting. ACUE is a proud sponsor of the 2016 APLU Annual Meeting, where more than 1,400 public university leaders meet and exchange ideas with colleagues from across North America. Attending? Let us know. (APLU)

Hope in leadership. With higher education facing new challenges and serving new demographics, some colleges are hoping newly appointed presidents can guide their institutions through stormy weather. (Diverse Issues in Higher Education)

Plight of the public U. With state higher education funding still $10 billion below prerecession levels, universities in hard-hit states are coping by experimenting with new income-sharing programs and increasing class sizes. (New York Times)

Open-source textbooks. Tara Lifland, an instructional designer at George Washington University, offers three arguments for using open-source digital textbooks over print. (EdTech)

GOTV. These fifth graders can't vote, so they took their civic enthusiasm to a nearby campus and urged college students to get to the polls. (nprEd)

Digital literacy. Providing students with timely feedback should be a priority for all instructors, and greater attention to digital literacy could help faculty meet this goal. (Teaching in Higher Ed)

Derek Bruff: Connecting the Dots
Visualization Tools —
Derek Bruff is one of the country's leading experts on visualization tools, and you can preview his work on ACUE's Course in Effective Teaching Practices here. As longtime director of Vanderbilt University's Center for Teaching, Bruff also has sage advice for people who are new to educational development. Here are two tips from our recent interview with Bruff at the ACUE Community.  
  1. Working one-on-one with instructors. "Really try to understand what teaching looks like for each instructor. What are their goals? What’s easy? What’s challenging? I think that needs to be a big piece of what you do as a teaching center."
  2. Working with individual departments. "Work with individual departments to try to figure out how you can be helpful to their instructors. You may find that in one department there are a lot of instructors who are struggling to get students talking in class and in another department there is a need for more inclusive teaching in the classroom." 
To learn more, sign up for a free tour of a module from ACUE's Course in Effective Teaching Practices to learn more! 
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