Vol. 2, Issue 1, August 25, 2020

The Belonging Issue

Welcome to CEETL CIRCLES—a newsletter by the Center for Equity & Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CEETL) to foster and support Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence (we call these PIE) at SF State and beyond. 

Welcome Message 
"Humanizing pedagogy is not for the faint of heart, because it is all about the heart.

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales, Professor of Asian American Studies 
"Teachers must give creative wings to their imaginations, obviously in disciplined fashion.  From the very first day of class, they must demonstrate to students the importance of imagination for life.  Imagination helps curiosity and inventiveness, just as it enhances adventure, without which we cannot create...The imagination that takes us to possible and impossible dreams is always necessary.” 

–Freire, Teachers as Cultural Workers:  Letters to Those Who Dare Teach, pg 93
Dear SF State Colleagues,

I return to Paulo Freire at the beginning of every semester.  For us all, this beginning of this semester looks like no other.
  Teaching in a Time of Crisis 

Teaching in a time of a global pandemic means that we are teaching in a time of crisis. Teaching in a time where Black and Brown lives are at the mercy of government sanctioned violence, where Indigenous peoples face erasure, where immigrants are criminalized, where women, queer, and trans bodies are consistently under attack, where we have a president who grossly blames COVID-19 on Chinese people––calling the virus “Kung Flu,” we are teaching in a time of crisis.  

Freire’s call for imagination is even more urgent as we enter into a school year where the unknown is all that is known. Humanizing pedagogy is the only pedagogy that will work for our current situation. But because human contact is prohibited for our safety, this requires us to reimagine how we will humanize our students and ourselves with our pedagogy. 

Pedagogy is my life. It is what I believe and how I express what I believe. It is who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming––all in one. Pedagogy is the art of teaching and learning, whether or not it is in a traditional classroom or virtual, or in our living rooms, kitchens, or garages. Pedagogy is about relationships, about connecting, and about belonging. Pedagogy is always present. Pedagogy is rooted in one’s philosophy of education and informed by one’s epistemologies, positionalities, ideologies, and standpoints. Pedagogy is what we imagine it to be. To fully understand your pedagogy, it is essential to explore the following elements:

Pedagogy is how you imagine the critical relationships between the: 
  1. PURPOSE of education, 

  2. CONTEXT of education, 

  3. CONTENT of what is being taught, 

  4. and the METHODS of how it is being taught. 

  5. It also includes who is being taught, who is teaching, their relationship to each other, and their relationship to systems and to POWER.

Despite how different Fall 2020 looks and feels, pedagogy is still present and even more so, it requires you to “give creative wings to your imagination.” Humanizing pedagogy is not for the faint of heart, because it is all about the heart. To truly practice teaching that ensures all students feel a sense of belonging in this time of crisis, it is essential to reimagine our pedagogies with our hearts. 

With Love,

Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales
Professor of Asian American Studies and
Affiliated Faculty in the Ed.D. Leadership Program
San Francisco Sate University

CEETL Opportunities
"CEETL will continue—and expand—our faculty support for equitable, inclusive and anti-racist online pedagogies this fall semester." 
CEETL has expanded its faculty support and opportunities for the fall semester, supported by a CARES-2 allocation and additional grant funding from the CSU, NASH and ACUE. In addition to personalized, one-on-one virtual consults with instructional designers, videographers, and faculty fellows to help develop equitable and inclusive online courses and affordable instructional materials, faculty may also join a series of faculty development programs offered throughout the fall semester. Upon completion of one or more of these programs, faculty will receive a stipend funded through a CARES-2 allocation to support the transition to remote instruction:
  • QLT Online Teaching Lab:  a fully online, asynchronous course about quality online teaching and learning that explores inclusive pedagogies to humanize the online experience for students and instructors. Fall cohort: August 25-December 4, 2020.
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Institute: a fully online, asynchronous course developed and facilitated by SF State faculty members, focuses on developing anti-racist pedagogies, centering student voice and experience and universal design for learning. Fall cohort: August 21-October 23, 2020.
  • Online Teaching Squares: groups of four or more faculty members share inclusive teaching practices and learn from each other throughout the fall semester in supportive, non-evaluative “teaching squares.” Ongoing until December 20, 2020.

These programs are optional and need not be taken sequentially or as a pre-requisite to each other, though they have been designed to build upon each other in meaningful ways and can lead to a PIE Certificate in Online Quality Learning & Teaching. To learn more and register, visit the CEETL Website. To schedule a consultation, email

New Lecturer Faculty Foundations (LFF) iLearn Course.  CEETL has developed an asynchronous, self-paced iLearn course with resources and opportunities for new lecturer faculty to orient themselves to the SF State community.  This iLearn site supports new lecturer faculty as you build community within your fellow cohort of colleagues; develop and expand your pedagogies for inclusive excellence in support of student success; orient yourself to the campus support services, resources and partners for teaching, learning, service and scholarship; and engage in continued personal and professional development related to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in support of the individual and collective success of all members of our campus community.  This LFF iLearn site is open for all new and continuing lecturer faculty and will be updated often. We welcome your suggestions on how to improve this resource. To self-enroll, follow this LFF self-enrollment link, which will prompt you to login to iLearn with you SF State credentials. 
CEETL has posted the following full-time temporary staff positions, funded through a CARES-2 allocation, to further extend our support for faculty teaching online.  These positions will assist the campus community in the design and development of learning experiences that apply inclusive, anti-racist, and liberatory pedagogies in support of student success. 

CEETL is committed to the daily action of unity that supports justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. We welcome persons of all races, ethnicities, religions, colors, ancestries, ages, disabilities, genetic information statuses, genders, gender identities, gender expressions, marital statuses, medical conditions, national origins, sexes, sexual orientations, covered veteran statuses, formerly incarcerated statuses, or any other protected statuses. For more information and to apply, please visit the SF State Careers page.

Are you interested in earning a nationally recognized certificate in online teaching practices?  As part of the CSU-wide initiative in support of student success, faculty at eight CSU campuses, including SF State, have been invited to complete a 25-week course in Effective Online Teaching Practices to learn and further develop instructional skills shown to improve student achievement and close equity gaps. This opportunity has been made available by a National Association of System Heads (NASH) grant that the Chancellor's Office secured, and is part of a research study which investigates the impact of adopting scaled faculty development programming at a system-wide level. Two cohorts of 30 faculty each will be co-faciltiated locally by SF State faculty and CEETL instructional designers. Upon completion, faculty will receive a stipend and a nationally recognized Certificate in Effective College Instruction that is co-endorsed by the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) and the American Council on Education (ACE).
  • Applications close on August 31st, and two cohorts of 30 faculty each will launch on September 14th.
  • To learn more and apply, visit the CEETL website.

Our Partners in Teaching

Academic Technology

"Working directly with our faculty and academic departments reminds us we are all in it together."

Andrew Roderick, Assistant VP for Academic Technology 

Academic Technology has announced multiple new service offerings and extended hours to further support remote instruction this semester. 

iLearn Fundamentals Course: Faculty are invited to sign up for the iLearn Fundamentals course developed by Academic Technology. This self-paced course will take instructors through the fundamentals of iLearn, from accessing courses and posting materials, to giving assignments and online assessments. Designed for new users and those looking to improve their proficiency, the course is open access and asynchronous, with no set time commitments or required activities. This course is optional and no stipends are associated with completion. Interested faculty and staff can access this course by following this iLearn Fundamentals self-enrollment link

SF State Syllabus Tool: Academic Technology has released new features for the SF State Syllabus Tool (designed and built for SF State by AT) making it a more seamless and user-friendly experience! Instructors can more easily adapt an existing syllabus or develop a new one, all with pre-built content from SF State. Use Syllabus to incorporate campus resources and policies (including the new Academic Senate syllabus statement to enhance COVID-19 communications), and easily integrate your new syllabus with your courses in iLearn.  For more information on the Syllabus tool and its capabilities, review our Syllabus Overview document or visit the Syllabus website to get started.

Extended Academic Technology Support Hours: Beginning August 24, Academic Technology will extend its service and support hours to span 8am to 7pm Monday-Thursday, and 8am to 5pm on Fridays. AT support is available by phone, email, or chat for instructors, students, and staff on help with iLearn, Zoom, other technologies, or for computer and general IT questions.  
  • Phone:  415-405-5555
  • Email:
  • Chat:  embedded in iLearn and Instructional Continuity websites
Faculty Technology Needs Requests: Faculty who have technology needs related to remote instruction can make requests using the following forms, which will prompt you to login with your SF State credentials:

J. Paul Leonard Library

"I'm excited for the new semester and I'm enjoying helping faculty prepare for it."

Lizzy Borges, Education Librarian, J. Paul Leonard Library, San Francisco State University
Library faculty member Lizzy Borges has partnered with CEETL to develop a virtual LibGuide to support faculty in creating effective and engaging online learning experiences for their students.  The Library Resources for Remote Teaching LibGuide features a curated collection of faculty development eBooks and journal articles on the topic of online teaching, including the recent Library acquisitions: Small Teaching Online and 99 Tips for Creating Simple and Sustainable Educational Videos.

For your convenience, the LibGuide includes a list of quicklinks that lead to the Library’s multiple media streaming services and eBook collections that faculty can use in their online courses. For additional support and recommendations, please follow up with Lizzy directly!

Tutoring & Academic Success Center 

"This course aims to boost students' confidence in learning online & equip them with the tools to be positive community members."
TASC has launched a self-paced course for students called Learning Online 101: How to Be an Effective Online Learner. To support our students as they develop the study skills they need to be successful in remote learning modalities, TASC has launched a fully online course for students: Learning Online 101. Students can work at their own pace through four modules, which aim to boost students’ confidence in learning online, equip them with the tools necessary to be positive community members, and give them the opportunity to use the technology they will encounter in their courses. First and second year students have been automatically enrolled in this course and can find it under “workshops” when they login to iLearn. Other students, and even faculty, may self-enroll at this Learning Online 101 iLearn link, where they will be prompted to login with their SF State credentials.

"Working to support, connect and amplify the work of the CSU Faculty Development Centers."

The CSU Institute for Teaching & Learning and our sister campuses offer a number of resources and opportunities to support inclusive and anti-racist pedagogies. 

Webcast Series on Engagement & Equity in the Remote Classroom

Join your CSU colleagues in a series of 30-minute interactive Zoom workshops about creating an environment in a virtual setting in which first year students can become self-confident learners, comfortably interacting with students, faculty, and staff, in and out of the classroom. Fridays from 1:00 to 1:30 pm. Topics include:
  • Asset-Based Icebreakers
  • Reflections on Zoom-proctored vs. Non-proctored Exams Across a Multi-section College Algebra Course
  • An introduction to mastery Grading in a Remote Instruction Environment
View archived webcasts on the CSU ITL professional development calendar archive. To receive weekly invitations to this series, sign up on our mailing list.

PIE Bites: Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence in Bite-Size!

PIE Bite Spotlight: Honoring our Academic Ancestries  

PIE Bite Spotlight: Sharing our Academic Ancestries
Every academic has a heritage––an academic ancestry––that helps us feel as though we belong in our field and continues to shape how we grow. Recognition of ancestors enters into academia through many cultures, and particularly through the practice of ancestor acknowledgement by African Diaspora peoples as a form of Sankofa. Beginning a new semester is a perfect time to think back on the teachers who laid the ground in which we have grown to be the teachers we are today. As we welcome new students into our fields, let us give thanks to those whose wisdom continues to guide us.
In the contributions below, faculty honor their Academic Ancestries:

"Minh-ha has an affinity for SFSU because she taught in our Women Studies [nowWGS] Department before joining UCB's faculty..."

Vivian Chavez, Associate Professor, Department of Public Health, San Francisco State University

I was very lucky Trinh Minh-Ha agreed to be on my qualifying examination committee.   When I was a  doctoral student at UC Berkeley, I added a Designated Emphasis (DE) in Women, Gender, and Sexuality (DEWGS) to my Public Health degree. The designated emphasis program was developed to accommodate students who conduct graduate-level research in gender and/or sexuality-related topics within an interdisciplinary context for the exchange of ideas and development of research.

Given that my undergraduate degree was in La Raza Studies and I was strongly identified with the School of Ethnic Studies community-based multidisciplinary framework, it was fabulous to find mentorship in someone as wise and open hearted as Trinh Minh-Ha. I love her poise and power in a soft, subtle voice that carries challenging ideas across difference.  She taught me to say YES! and then to evaluate and see what's next. Such a fierce person, I'm smiling thinking of her impact in my life. 

[Editor's Note: All subjects in the photo were part of the UCB Women Gender & Sexuality Designated Emphasis (1997).]

Courtney Fellion
"Dr. Rabaka...created an atmosphere of optimism and even laughter..."

Courtney Fellion, Lecturer Faculty, School of Cinema, San Francisco State University

I was a quiet student ... and it was often hard for me to speak up in classes. I teach part time in the School of Cinema. I was a quiet student in my undergraduate years at University of Colorado at Boulder and it was often hard for me to speak up in classes. One of my professors of Africana Studies in the Ethnic Studies Department––Dr. Reiland Rabaka–– was the first teacher who made it clear that speaking in class was not only required but an essential part of working through difficult concepts in critical race theory, especially as a group of predominantly white students in an ethnic studies course. 

Instead of letting this feel like a confrontation, Dr. Rabaka also created an atmosphere of optimism and even laughter where it was safe to make mistakes together, while also emphasizing the seriousness of the topics we discussed. He was a captivating speaker who moved swiftly from humor to seriousness. 

In his courses, Dr. Rabaka reflected on his own life experience to help make the topics feel more urgent and contemporary. He also was not afraid to speak about scholars and people who influenced his work with the full disclosure of problematic aspects of their lives, such as sexism in the Black Power movement. 

I always appreciated his ability to uphold the work of these complicated scholars while also being transparent about their lives. In my other courses, there was no nuance, and we were given texts without any context or interrogation. His courses not only informed us about African American history but also gave us tools for interrogating ideas and developing critical thought.

"Her vulnerability and her sincerity made her one of the most memorable teachers..." 

Aiko Yoshino, Associate Professor, Recreation, Parks, Tourism & Holistic Health, San Francisco State University
Ms. Nishio, my 5th grade teacher, was a great example of a teacher who is open and willing to show vulnerability. When she didn't have an answer, she told us so, and she said that "it's okay to say 'I don't know' and I will look into the answer." It's interesting that her vulnerability and sincerity made her one of the most memorable teachers that I have ever had and also probably she is the teacher who I trusted the most.

[Editor’s Note: View a recent video presentation from Dr. Yoshino: “Soaking in the Benefits of Nature During the Pandemic."]

PIE Bite Spotlight: Create a welcome message for your students

PIE Bite Spotlight: Welcoming our students to foster belonging
Writing a Welcome Message is part of humanizing yourself in relation to your students and helping them feel like they belong in your course. Here is an example that models transparency and vulnerability while setting clear expectations. CEETL recommends sending this welcome message through iLearn Quickmail, which allows you to insert a link to the course iLearn and even customize the message with a signature and students’ first and last names.

In the contribution below, a faculty member shares her welcome message:
"Hello all! I'm Kira (she/her/hers) and I'll be journeying with you through this semester."

Kira Donnell, Lecturer Faculty, Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University
There will be inevitable bumps in the road, but I hope it will contribute to a positive growth, learning, and change.

Hello all!

I'm Kira (she/her/hers), and I'll be journeying with you through this Asian American Studies course this semester, which holds a number of firsts for this course: this is the first time I'll be leading the course in fully remote modalities and using new tools and technologies to help us connect with one another (Zoom,, etc.). This semester I've also transitioned the course to use zero-cost materials in order to make higher education more affordable and accessible for everyone. Thus, we'll be using new texts and materials that I haven't taught with before. I'm excited (and a little nervous) to work through these new materials and platforms with you. 

Because we won't be meeting face-to-face this semester, keeping communication lines open will be even more important than ever. However, I want to make sure I don't overload you with information and clog up your inbox. So I will send a weekly update/reminder email to you at the beginning of the week that will introduce the topics we'll cover in the course that week, due dates, and other pertinent information.

If you have questions about the class, first post them in the course's Question Café forum on iLearn. Chances are that if you have a question, others in the class have the same question and/or have the answer to your question. If you still need help, feel free to reach out to me through email ( As are many of you, I am juggling working from home with family and personal responsibilities. So while I may not be able to respond immediately, I promise I'll reply within a day. 

I will also try and grade assignments and get feedback to you in a timely manner. For weekly assignments, my turnaround will be a week. Larger assignments (midterm, final) will probably take more time for me to get through because I want to make sure I am able to give each of you relevant and personalized feedback.

I also have a few (reasonable) asks of you which will help us grow together as a learning community:
  1. Check your SFSU email and iLearn regularly for updates and direction.
  2. Keep me in the loop! Let me know if links on iLearn are broken, if you're struggling with something, if there are ways that I can better accommodate your learning.
  3. Engage in the course and with your fellow students using ROPES:
The “R” for RESPECT includes being kind and helpful to one another.
The “O” for OPENNESS stands for being open to the course learning outcomes as well as fellow class members’ diverse life experiences.
The “P” stands for PARTICIPATION and it means, “JUST TRY IT!” That is, you may be asked to discuss complicated topics or read difficult material or experiment with new technologies. Try to be open to trying these new or complicated activities to optimize learning opportunities.
The “E” stands for ENTHUSIASM and that relates to maintaining a positive or optimistic outlook in class. Learning and social transformation can be fun! This idea also relates to being solutions-centered rather than focusing on only the problems.
The “S” for SENSITIVITY includes being able to work cooperatively in groups as well as being sensitive to the diverse life experiences represented by fellow students.
(ROPES credit: Dr. Dawn Fischer, Anthropology, JEDI PIE Institute Developer and Facilitator)

I am looking forward to getting to know each of you and what you will contribute to our learning community this semester. Each of us will be approaching the course's content from unique perspectives, histories, and positionalities. When we engage together through ROPES, this will enhance our learning experience as we build a multi-dimensional understanding of how histories, systems, and institutions are connected to not only Korean America, but our own communities and personal experiences. 

PIE Bite Spotlight:
Get to know your students

PIE Bite Spotlight: Knowing our students to foster belonging
Many faculty are starting this semester with a survey to better get to know their students. These surveys may cover topics from students’ online learning resources and getting to know students personally, as well as their interests in your specific course. CEETL recommends pairing these surveys (via Qualtrics, Zoom polls, or iLearn polls) with resources (SFSU Bulletin Resources and Support Services, LCA Advising Helpful Student Resources | Advising Resource, Dean of Students Resources & Services), as well as the support you can personally offer to students who may not already have to succeed well in an online or remote learning environment. Unlike other times when students may choose and thus be prepared to learn remotely, this year many students will be learning remotely without the resources they need. 

In the contributions below, faculty share how they get to know their students:

"What were your first impressions of the campus?" 

Meredith Morgan EliassenLibrary Faculty, Curator Frank V. de Bellis Collection | University Archives & Historic Collections.
Did you visit the campus before you applied? 
Your First Day at SF State

On May Day 2020, I came to campus to record a video recounting my first visit to SF State before applying to the Broadcasting Department (then BCA). You can watch it here. After you watch it, please answer these questions:
  • Did you visit the campus before you applied?
  • What were your first impressions of the campus?
  • Are you a first-generation college student?
  • Did you attend a community college before coming to SF State?
  • Do you know how we became the only University to have a College of Ethnic Studies?
"What four adjectives would you like someone to describe you with?..."

Cristina Azocar (Upper Mattaponi), Associate Professor & Chair, Journalism, San Francisco State University
Many students decide to be journalists because they don't see their families, communities or friends reflected in the mainstream news media. 
What Drives Your Purpose?

So I can get to know you better, please respond to this poll:

1. Are you an immigrant, or the child of immigrant(s)?
2. Did you grow up in, or do you currently live in, a multi-generational household?
3. What four adjectives would you like someone to describe you with?

"What is something a stranger might not guess about you?..."

Matthew Heid, Graduate Teaching Associate, Mathematics, San Francisco State University
I developed these student survey questions during the Summer Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) PIE Institute. 
Why Am I Asking?

1. Do you have consistent access to WiFi?
This question is important feedback for me as I identify how best to structure my course on iLearn. If I learn that many of my students are concerned about inconsistent access, I can find ways to incorporate more asynchronous activities and participation into my iLearn page.
2. What kind(s) of devices will you connect to our class Zoom sessions from? Does your device have a microphone? A camera?
I want to get a sense of what ways students will be able to participate in class activities during Zoom sessions. If students are mainly connecting on their phones, that will be a different scenario than if most students are connecting on a laptop or computer.

3. What's something that a stranger might not guess about you?
I find this to be an interesting twist on the "What's a fun fact about you" icebreaker question. It elicits slightly different responses, and I think it can help me start to get to know more about the students in my class.

"This can be either to everyone or privately to me..."

Mandy-Tanita Brinkman, Graduate Teaching Associate, Chemistry and German, San Francisco State University
Students are invited to answer some questions publicly and others privately. 
Synchronous Zoom Poll
  1. Do you have access to the following resources? Choose: Yes; No; Yes, but it is not consistent.
    • a computer/laptop
    • stable internet connection
  2. Would you be open in sharing your video during live zoom classes?
    • Answer choices: a. yes, of course b. I prefer not to c. yes, but not all the time d. online in breakout rooms and smaller groups
  3. What is your major? Please answer in the chat (this can be either to everyone or privately to me).
  4. Where are you currently living, what is your time zone? Please answer in the chat (this can be either to everyone or privately to me).
  5. Would you like to do group work? 
  6. Answer choices: a. yes of course  b. I prefer to work on my own c. yes, but only with one other person d. yes in small groups 2-4 students e. yes, but only if the groups will be always the same. 
  7. Where are you from? Please answer in the chat (this can be either to everyone or privately to me). 

"23% reported having to share their computer with others."

San Francisco State University - Summer 2020 Remote Internship Collaborative Examining First-Year Student Retention During COVID-19
The Summer 2020 Remote Internship, a collaboration between First-Year Experience (FYE), Institutional Research (IR), and the Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CEETL), was another opportunity to get to know our students.

Towards the end of Spring 2020, Grace J. Yoo, First Year Experience (FYE) Faculty Director, approached Wei Ming Dariotis, CEETL Faculty Director, about the problem of students not having summer internships. At the same time, we were concerned that first-year students, who are the most vulnerable during times of extreme stress as we have been experiencing, might need extra support to persist into the fall semester. Merging these two concerns, a collaboration developed between FYE, CEETL and our Institutional Research office (Emily Shindledecker) to develop a summer internship for students to conduct a survey of first-year students and their Spring 2020 experiences and their resources and needs for success in remote learning. 

The survey allowed for an opportunity to check-in with first-year students and show them that SF State cares while gathering information about their experience during the COVID-19 disruption. Immediate support was offered and the results of the survey are being and assessed to better determine needs

Fifty-two student interns collected data on 35% of the first year class of 3,694 students. They found that, as a result of COVID-19, our first-year student respondents have experienced many difficulties, including: family members/romantic partners losing their job (59%), job loss themselves (45%), and increased difficulty meeting their basic needs (40%). Student respondents indicated multiple areas of worry about the upcoming fall 2020 semester. The top three areas of concern were: being academically successful in their online classes, juggling family expectations, school, work, and other responsibilities, and being directly affected by COVID-19.
  • Nearly one in two student respondents (48%) reported needing to share their quiet study space with others.
  • Over one in three student respondents (36%) indicated needing to share their study chair with others.
  • Nearly one in four student respondents (23%) reported needing to share their laptop/computer with others - one of the most crucial tools for online learning
You can read the full report here.

PIE Bite Spotlight: Develop a resilient teaching plan

PIE Bite Spotlight: Creating resilient teaching plans
Resilient Teaching plans help faculty and students be prepared for unexpected shifts for everyone. Both students and teachers have experienced power outtages, unstable wifi, and even loss of cell service. Living situations, health, and natural disasters are also unpredictable, making it more critical than ever to support flexibility and alternatives for achieving learning outcomes. 

In the contribution below, a faculty member shares her resilient teaching plan:
"Bonus: I want to focus on humanizing my course so students feel they're in a learning community ...not just consuming information..."

Ashley D. Aaron, Lecturer Faculty, African Studies & Race and Resistance Studies
I developed my Plan A and Plan B for resilient teaching in CEETL's Summer Online Teaching Lab. 
Resilient Teaching

Plan A 
  • As I have already begun to plan for teaching online in the Fall, I plan to record short mini-lectures on my phone with a tripod about complex topics that students in the past have had some difficulty understanding.
  • I plan to organize my course to be primarily asynchronous, and have consistent deadlines that supports a student's ability to plan their lives around school––and not plan their lives around Zoom.
  • I will focus on my assessments on weekly student written interaction/engagement with each other. I
  • plan to reorganize my Final Project to make it less high stakes, so that students are not scrambling at the end of the semester to attempt to salvage their grades if need be.
  • I plan to have more concrete rubrics incorporated into my assignment, and encourage student interaction by incentivizing more student responses to each other with additional points.
  • Lastly, I plan to scan more items and ask the library to purchase more digital resources, so that students do not have to buy multiple textbooks. 
Plan B
  • In case students have challenges with internet access, I will also create Google Slides lectures with the same content in written form.
  • I also plan to shift from longer documentaries to shorter video clips, in case students have limited high speed internet.
  • I plan to hold at least two surveys per class (at beginning, and during mid-semester) to be proactive about student needs and provide a list of resources.
  • I plan to drop the two lowest scores of the written assignments as well.
  • If students miss deadlines, I plan to offer a hard and soft deadline for assignments, and the ability to make up two late assignments per semester.
  • I plan to utilize a majority of online resources, so that students can be successful even if they have less access to resources. 

Tech Bytes: Pedagogies for inclusive excellence with technology
"I actually love doing this waayyy more than giving typed feedback. It feels more personal and connected..."

Sherria Taylor, Assistant Professor, Family Studies, FINA, San Francisco State University
For me grading can feel quite cumbersome.  TurnItIn Audio Feedback & More
Although I love to see students' work, read their stories, and get a feel for where they are in the class, there is something just about the word “grading” and getting into the process that brings up a little anxiety for me. I think it truly centers around "giving a grade" and how I feel overall about grading practices and how that can sometimes conflict with my beliefs and values regarding social justice education.

I have found a few things that now work for me and feel more aligned with my personal pedagogy:
  1. Guided peer feedback on scaffolded parts of large assignments- students don't "grade" or a give a score, but, rather answer specific questions about a peer's assignment via handouts and also use that time to reflect on their own writing, 
  2. Self-assessment using a rubric––this is for final drafts of high-stake writing assignments. I ask students to assess their own writing and submit the rubric along with their assignment. Then we compare notes before final grades are given. 
  3. I utilize audio feedback in TurnItIn for other writing assignments submitted. I actually love doing this waaayyyy more than giving typed feedback. It feels more personal and connected. 
  4. I divide up large writing assignments (scaffold) over the semester, so that by the time the final product is submitted, they've done a significant amount on work on it and received a ton of feedback. Finished products are amazing and darn-near perfect most of the time. 
  5. I use a contract grading-like rubric for large assignments as well. Checked boxes create the final grade and eases up the grading process for me. Students also use this rubric in their self-assessment so there are no surprises. 
  6. I provide collective feedback in class about quizzes, homework assignments, and other formative assessments. I address themes that I noticed and clarify any content that many students may have missed. 
" a lot about who is able to safely use their voices online and who aren't afforded those same opportunities..."

Bridget Gelms, Assistant Professor, English Department, Interim Co-Director,
 College Undergraduate Research Experience
In my class on Professional Writing for Digital Audiences, we learn about the rhetorical dimensions of social media. Filter BubblesAlgorithm Biases
And while there's a bent to the class on giving students practical experience with "professional" uses of social media (i.e. social media management for brands or businesses), there are also research components and plenty of time and activities devoted to understanding the ecologies of social media and how they're influenced by platform design, governance, and user-generated community norms. 

One assignment asks students analyze the various reaches and audiences of a viral event, oftentimes a social issue/hashtag (they collect social media data surrounding a particular hashtag or account and try to understand what kinds of audiences it's reaching and what rhetorical features further a message's spread). The assignment is designed to spur conversations about participatory culture, what "catches," what doesn't, and why––how social media can be used as a powerful tool for consciousness raising and direct action organizing.  

We also triangulate these discussions with the topic of filter bubbles and algorithmic interventions/discrimination (we listen to this episode of 99% Invisible and we read Safiya Noble who analyzes how Black girls and women are further oppressed in online spaces because of biases in how algorithms are coded––her TED Talk is a good starting point). My expertise is in social media harassment, so we also talk a lot about who is able to safely use their voices online and who aren't afforded those same opportunities.

Welcome! Meet our new Tenure Track Faculty Members  
CEETL was honored to welcome and engage thirty-two new tenure-track faculty members in a five-day New Faculty Foundations program. Together, we immersed ourselves in the mission and values of SF State, and reaffirmed our commitment to equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, and liberatory pedagogies. The thoughts expressed by these new faculty in the wordclouds below are reminders of both the optimism and excitement we hope to see in our new and continuing students, despite the severe challenges they face, and the critical importance of community and pedagogies of care to ensure our students know that they belong and can be successful. To learn more about our New Faculty, visit the Convocation Slide Show here.
Opening Session, Day 1: New Faculty Foundations
Share one word that describes how you're feeling right now.  
Closing Session, Day 5: New Faculty Foundations
What ideas are you going to take with you after our week together? 

Closing the Circle: Conversations in JEDI PIE
"I am nearly speechless with regards to how the move to SF State and the College of Ethnic Studies will impact my work on Critical Black Pedagogy."

Dr. Abul Pitre, Chair of Africana Studies, College of Ethnic Studies
Dr. Abul Pitre, incoming Chair of Africana Studies and one of thirty-two new tenure track faculty joining our community this Fall, and Dr. Wei Ming Dariotis, CEETL Faculty Director, have a conversation about Critical Black Pedagogy. 

Dr. WMD: Can you describe Critical Black Pedagogy and its components?

Dr. Pitre: The term Critical Black Pedagogy is based on the educational theories of Carter Woodson and Elijah Muhammad and first appeared in the book, The Struggle for Black History: Foundations for a Critical Black Pedagogy in Education (Pitre, 2007). 
  1. Afrocentricity is defined by Molefi Asante as, “a frame of reference wherein phenomena are viewed from the perspective of the African person. The Afrocentric approach seeks in every situation the appropriate centrality of the African person. In education this means that teachers provide students the opportunity to study the world and its people, concepts, and history from an African world view” (1991, p.171). Afrocentricity means that we must include an examination of Black leaders, scholars, students, and activists and their critique of Black education. 
  2. Multicultural education challenges and rejects racism and other forms of discrimination in schools and society and accepts and affirms the pluralism (ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, economic, and gender among others) that students, their communities, and teachers reflect (Nieto & Bode, 2018). 
  3. Critical pedagogy asks how and why knowledge gets constructed the way it does, and how and why some constructions of reality are legitimated and celebrated by the dominant culture while others are clearly not (McLaren, 2015, p. 133). It asks a central question: What would schools and universities look like if Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X were in leadership roles such as superintendent, principal, university president, provost, or chancellor? 
  4. African American spirituality posits that the African concepts of life and education require that the sacred and the secular should be seen as one. The African worldview sees God as an inescapable component of human life (Akbar, 1998, p.50).
Dr. WMD: What would you like to say about the idea of "belonging" from a pedagogical perspective?

Dr. Pitre: With regards to belonging, Critical Black Pedagogy offers truths that those who are committed to social justice can use to eradicate oppression and inequity in the society. Many of these critical Black pedagogues were the most ostracized not only from the larger society but from those who were living under oppression. The book, A Critical Black Pedagogy Reader tries to include those powerful voices that offer a true path to a more socially just society. Freedom, Justice, and Equality are human rights that makes the work of these great thinkers inclusive of the whole of humanity.

Dr. WMD: How do you imagine your move to SF State and the College of Ethnic Studies as the new Chair of Africana Studies will impact your work on Black pedagogy?

Dr. Pitre: I am nearly speechless with regards to how the move to SF State and the College of Ethnic Studies will impact my work on Critical Black Pedagogy. SF State is the university that I have been seeking for over three decades. At SF State,  I think my scholarship will be more impactful; and, moreover, being a member of the College of Ethnic Studies will provide me with the freedom to study my life’s calling. Lastly, I am deeply humbled to be among colleagues in the Department of Africana Studies and across the campus who share the same spirit for improving the human condition.

Dr. WMD: What scholars or resources would you recommend for those interested in learning more?  

Dr. Pitre: I would begin with my books, A Critical Black Pedagogy Reader: The Brothers Speak and The Gloria Ladson-Billings Reader. There are classical works like Carter G. Woodson’s Mis-Education of the Negro, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and Elijah Muhammad’s Message to the Blackman in America, that can provide more information to readers.

CEETL Circles invites submissions from members of our SF State Teaching and Learning Communities. Send your suggestions
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