News & Announcements


Our News & Announcements page is your one-stop shop for all the recent resources, events and news from CTL! This page will be updated periodically with contributions from CTL staff, Graduate Teaching Consultants, and Faculty. We invite your feedback and suggestions for topics – please reach out to us at ctl@bu.edu.

InClassLfA Student App

January 12th, 2021

With thanks to Christine Paal, University Registrar, for this information.

InClassLfA, an app that students can use to reserve seats in classes they wish to attend in person, will be available for faculty on the Charles River Campus this week (BUMC has been using its own version of the app since Summer 2020). It will be also be available to students from next week. Not all schools/colleges on CRC are using it, so check with your academic administrators to see if your program is using the app.

Benefits for students: For students, it will simplify the task of planning class attendance: rather than having to think about the rotation procedures for multiple classes, they will be able to arrange their schedules in a single app.

Benefits for faculty: For faculty, it will reduce the burden of managing rotations manually, and it will remove some of the uncertainty about which students will be attending in person on a given day – so, it will help with planning class time.

The app is “opt-out” for faculty: all courses will be entered into the app initially, and faculty who wish to manage their rotations themselves may remove a single course or all of their courses by going into the app and selecting opt-out in the action area of the app.

Log in for faculty: https://www.bu.edu/inclasslfa

How it works (you can also check out this short video for more information):

  • The app is integrated with university registration systems to ensure that classroom information and student registration data is accurate
  • Students may access the app Monday through Thursday for each upcoming two-week period and select seats for LfA hybrid or fully in-person classes
  • Students will not be able to sign up for classes that are designated as remote only
  • If, for a given class session, the number of students wishing to attend in person outnumbers available seats, the app’s algorithm equitably assigns those seats
  • The total seats available reflects the physically distanced capacity of the assigned classroom
  • Students are then notified by email on Fridays, and faculty may check their results in the app after 1pm on Fridays
  • Students on the waitlist will be added to the class automatically if a seat opens up and they will be notified by email.

Other useful information
On first use, faculty should verify that the classes assigned to them are correct. If not, they should work with their respective Associate Deans to make the necessary corrections. Faculty may also stipulate the number of seats they wish to set aside for non-students (for example, teaching assistants, teaching fellows or guest lecturers). If applicable, the classroom moderator initially assigned to a given class will be pre-populated to have a seat in the app.

Funding Opportunities from CTL

December 21st, 2020

With the intercession period coming up, please take some time to browse this announcement to see what funding opportunities are available to support your professional development or provide additional resources for your classes. We also list the recent DL&I-CTL “Creativity and Spirit” awards that will recognize members of the BU community for their “above and beyond” work in the Learn from Anywhere framework.

CTL is delighted to share these funding opportunities with you, listed in order of application deadline. Read More

Graduate Student Teaching Fund

December 18th, 2020

The Center for Teaching & Learning is delighted to announce the Graduate Student Teaching Fund to assist graduate student instructors with expenses associated with teaching their own course in Spring 2021. Please check here for more information about application details and the approved list of resources.

The End of an Extraordinary Semester

December 8th, 2020

Contributed by CTL staff

(2 minute read)

What does the last day of class look like in a remote or hybrid Learn from Anywhere class? Many of the strategies that instructors may have used in the past (see this useful, but more traditional, list from UC Berkeley’s Center for Teaching & Learning) don’t map exactly onto the LfA modalities – no chance for physical “gallery walks,” or rotating “elevator pitches,” or other strategies that work well in physical space.

That doesn’t mean the last day (or days) of class can’t be an extra meaningful ending to this extraordinary semester. Here are three ways to help your students, and you, navigate the often anti-climactic feel of the last week of class: Read More

The Power of the Special Guest on Zoom

November 24th, 2020

Film Director Isaac Cherem visits Prof. Amina Shabani's Spanish class as guest via Zoom
(Image courtesy of Amina Shabani)


Faculty Contributor:
Amina Shabani (Lecturer in Spanish, Romance Studies)

(2 minute read)

Thanks to the generous support of the CTL and the Hub Office, we were able to host last month the Mexican filmmaker Isaac Cherem for a special conversation and Q&A on his debut feature film Leona (2018). Cherem joined our Zoom classroom along with students enrolled in my Spanish Through Film and New Media (LS308) and other guests, including past students. Since it was a virtual event, attendees were able to join from all over the United States, from Caguas (Puerto Rico,) and Mexico City. Read More

Game-based Learning & Gamification

November 23rd, 2020

Between playing a game with friends and attending a lecture in Zoom, what would your student choose? What if the lecture itself is a game they can play with friends? Researchers have found that playing games and creating a game-like environment help increase learner engagement, promote peer-to-peer interaction, and sustain motivation.

On November 9th, LfA faculty coach and senior lecturer Mira Angrist (Senior Lecturer in Hebrew, World Languages and Literatures) gave her insights and creative ideas on how to maximize learning outcomes and pleasure through both game-based learning and gamification of learning (you can also hear Mira Angrist speak about game-based learning and gamification at the next Lightning Talks Speaker Series event on December 4). Read More

Learning from Anywhere for Everyone: Inclusion in a Digital World

November 10th, 2020

An inclusive conversation, open to all!

As the country transitioned to online learning in the spring of 2020, educators quickly learned that not everyone learns equally in a digital world. This conversation will explore how to promote inclusivity and equity in a remote teaching environment so that all students can learn.

Thursday, November 12, from 4.30-6.00pm. Hosted by Boston University’s School of Public Health (along with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health).

Find out more about the speakers and registration here.

Building Faculty and Student Resilience

November 6th, 2020

(2 minute read)

Laughter; tears; virtual hugs; expressions of gratitude; sharing of great ideas – these were the “teaching therapy” moments shared by the people who attended the Building Faculty and Student Resilience Hub & Pub gathering facilitated by CTL-Hub Teaching Excellence Faculty Fellows (HTEFFs) on October 21. (The HTEFFS are: Kaytlin Eldred, SAR-Health Sciences; Sophie Godley, SPH–Public Health; Joe Harris, CAS-Sociology; Irit Kleiman, CAS-Romance Studies; and Ben Siegel, CAS-History.)

It was a great opportunity to share time, ideas, and resources with colleagues. Below are some of those ideas and resources: Read More

Faculty Guide to Assessment Options in Remote & Hybrid Classes Part 1:Overview of Exams & Assignments

November 3rd, 2020

(12 minute read)

Creating and administering assessment tasks such as assignments, quizzes, and exams during this remote and hybrid teaching period is a challenge, but also an opportunity to evaluate how to meet the learning objectives in your class. The options outlined in these multi-part series guide on assignments and exams will help you think about your decisions for summative and formative assessment tasks throughout the semester.

Visit Part 1 of our Faculty Guide to Assessment Options Series to learn more.

Avoiding “Radio-Silence” in Remote Discussions

October 30th, 2020

(4 minute read)
 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many instructors are now teaching their courses in a remote or hybrid modality. Many instructors are also reporting that they have found maintaining the same level of interaction as in physical classrooms and keeping students engaged in these new modalities presents its challenges. In general, it seems instructors have been finding it more manageable to engage students in smaller break-out rooms, while using collaborative documents and platforms; however, when it comes to the all-class discussion sessions, conversation is often paused or becomes awkward. 

Recently, a group of CAS Writing Program instructors offered tips in a listserv discussion on what they have found useful for engaging students in an all-class discussion on Zoom. Below are some of their suggestions:  Read More