I made a serious resolution for 2020 to drink less caffeine, even going so far as to announce my resolution to friends and colleagues. And, I'm happy to report that I made it an entire day (January 1, to be exact) without caffeine, before succumbing to the siren call of Starbucks. Note: An integral part of any New Year's resolution is, of course, rationalizing why you fail to keep it, so consider this public proclamation of failure as my caffeine-induced mea culpa.
Fortunately, not all New Year's resolutions are as difficult to keep as throwing out the Keurig. In fact, there are actually some resolutions that are not only easy to keep but can also yield immediate, positive results.
I'm referring here to resolutions to learn more about opportunities available to you as a member of the IU teaching community. Here are a few to consider, either now or at any time of the year:
- I want to develop my teaching philosophy: Teaching for Student Success (learn more from our lead feature) is a self-paced online course that provides a framework for teaching and learning grounded in empirical research. Whether you're a new or seasoned instructor, and regardless of your teaching modality (face-to-face, hybrid, or online) and discipline, the modules in this course can help you better understand—and document—your teaching philosophy.
- I want to reduce the cost of my course materials: In fall 2019, 50% of all IU students used an eText and/or digital courseware ordered through the IU eTexts Initiative. Faculty can select from 35+ publishers and over 100,000 titles (including open educational resources), with prices discounted up to 90% off retail. Ordering opens February 2 for the upcoming terms.
- I want my classes to be more inclusive: Ever wish there was an easy way to let others know how to pronounce your name, or which gender pronoun you use, and to be confident in referring others? If so, then NameCoach is for you. Record your name and select your pronoun for sharing within Canvas (you can also use your name badge in email and on social media).
- I want to be prepared to take my classes online (learn more from this newsletter's Keep Teaching column): No one likes to think about emergency situations that could result in a campus closure, but preparing for such a contingency doesn't have to be overwhelming (unless you put it off until the last minute)! KeepTeaching.IU provides a variety of resources you can use to help keep your class running smoothly in the event of a campus closure.
- I want to stay safe online (learn more from the column, Think before you click): If you use technology on a daily basis (and who doesn't), it's critical that you know how to avoid scams. IT Security Basics at IU is a self-paced course. It's designed to be fun and informative, as you learn to outsmart "Wolfrid" (a wolf in sheep's clothing) by discovering strategies and tips for thwarting phishing emails, guarding your personal information online, and other essential IT security topics.
The above list represents just a few available resources. Check out Teaching.IU to discover even more resources to help you build your courses, enhance your instruction, and engage in conversation with other IU faculty.
And, no need to fear reproach or condemnation if you happen to be struggling with your own caffeine-free New Year's resolution: Grab your coffee mug, and visit your campus center for teaching and learning to learn more about faculty-focused events (like our new watercooler based on topics from this newsletter!), workshops and other available resources, as well as available pedagogical and instructional technology consulting.