Vol. 1, Issue 3, May 15, 2020

Closing the Circle: Rituals & Ceremonies 
President Mahoney at home
SF State President Lynn Mahoney provides a virtual greeting from home.
"I have been inspired by the stories of faculty reinventing their classes, demonstrating great compassion for students and finding time to help their families and communities."

It goes without saying that the last several weeks have been hard ones for us all. We miss being together. We miss the energy that a busy campus provides. We miss the big celebratory events that spring brings, especially Commencement. We miss small things like quick trips to the grocery store or movies with friends. And, we worry. We worry about the economy and financial loss. We worry about sick friends and family. And, tragically, some of us are mourning the loss of some close to us.

Amidst all this, though, I have been inspired by the stories of faculty reinventing their classes, demonstrating great compassion for students and finding time to help their families and communities. CEETL Circles has quickly become a highlight for me. I look forward to learning about faculty innovations and to seeing what we are providing to support faculty success. And I love the photos! It brings us all a bit closer, something we all need right now.

Thanks to support from the CARES Act, we will be able to provide even more support for remote teaching. Just as we are committed as a university to student success, we are committed to faculty excellence and success. One does not happen without the other. And the university is here to help as faculty continue to do what they have always done well—teach our students.

As we conclude the semester, I encourage you to find new ways to celebrate the end of the term. I look to my faculty colleagues as always for advice. Among the many wonderful things I have heard, I was struck by a virtual potluck that a faculty member hosted with her class. Sharing a table and food are the bedrock of celebrations for many cultures. For me, personally, there has never been anything that I value more than gathering people over a meal. I will certainly host one of these to celebrate the end of the term. And, please join me on June 18th when we celebrate our graduating students virtually.

Thank you again for the hard work to support our students. I am honored to work with such an incredible group of talented and dedicated people!

CEETL Events & Opportunities
Bitmoji of Maggie Beers in a field of poppies

"CEETL offers untethered, anytime, anywhere access to faculty development offerings!" 
Faculty can access a variety of faculty development offerings --at anytime and from anywhere-- to help prepare for an online summer and (mostly) online fall.The 2019-2020 academic year may be coming to a close, but CEETL is already preparing for summer and fall 2020.

We have received the results of our faculty development needs survey (749 responses, thank you!) and are in the process of finalizing our offerings to best meet your needs. Please check our CEETL website often to discover new resources and opportunities to support you through this extended period of remote and online instruction. In the meantime, here are some that may interest you right away:

One-on-One Consultations Not sure where to start with online teaching?  Do you learn best with a one-on-one conversation where you can ask specific questions?  Schedule a consultation.

Self-service Resources, Open Access

Do you know everything iLearn and Zoom can do for you?  Looking for information to get started with iLearn, Zoom, and basic organization of your course for remote learning?  

CEETL Keep Teaching Archived Webinar Series Self-service collection of 7 one-hour recorded webinars with downloadable resources.

Academic Technology & CEETL Support Documents Self-service collection of AT help documents to support iLearn, Zoom, CourseStream, and other SF State educational technologies.

ACUE Online Teaching Toolkit Self-service collection of 6 one-hour recorded webinars with downloadable resources (some of the videos include screenshots of the Canvas learning management system, but the strategies can used in the SF State Moodle iLearn system).

Linked-in Learning (formerly Lynda.com) online tutorials Self-service collection of hundreds of online tutorials to build technical and professional skills (log in with your sfsu email address).

Campus Instructional Continuity Website Self-service site with general information and resources to support instructional continuity.

Trending - Free miscellaneous iconsPopular! The CEETL Quality Learning & Teaching (QLT) Online Teaching Lab

Do you want to see best practices in iLearn and learn how to bring your teaching online in ways that are effective for your students?  Interested in experiencing an online course in iLearn as a student? The Online Teaching Lab is a fully (asynchronous) online course about online teaching, and our community norms emphasize curiosity, kindness and compassion with oneself and with each other as we navigate together this unusual time in history.  The OTL is designed to model best practices for online course design and takes about 20-25 hours of effort to complete. Faculty will receive a stipend upon completing the required activities for the Lab.

While the OTL is fully asynchronous and self-paced, we offer learning communities to provide opportunities for deeper engagement amongst instructional designers and peers.  Many faculty find that having the structure of the learning community helps them continue through the course in a timely way.  Our QLT Flexible Summer Learning Community is a 6-week course: June 26 to August 6 with a focus on supporting faculty who are preparing to teach online this fall. This session will be the same course and the same material as our May Learning Community, but with a longer timeline offering greater flexibility for participants. If you are already enrolled in the Online Teaching Lab, there’s nothing you need to do and no one you need to notify -- we will email you the week the course begins.

If you are not yet enrolled, click here to join the Online Teaching Lab.
If you'd like to learn more about Quality Learning & Teaching at SF State, visit the QLT Website.  

Shared Governance in Action
Senate Chair Nancy Gerber at home
"We were able to pass a range of policies and resolutions to help students and faculty."
Nancy Counts Gerber, Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Chair, SFSU Academic Senate
The Senate found itself having to switch gears near the middle of this semester when the campus suddenly moved to emergency remote instruction. It quickly became apparent that immediate action would need to be taken to reduce the negative impacts on students and faculty.

By working with campus partners across the University, we were able to pass a range of policies and resolutions to help students and faculty deal with the ramifications of the emergency, some of which are described below.
  • “F” and “WU” grades were eliminated for courses taken this semester.

  • Students in all courses are allowed to choose between Credit/No Credit (CR/NC), A/B/C/NC, A/B/C/D/NC grading options up until May 26. 

  • Students with incomplete contracts expiring got an additional semester to complete their work and criteria were relaxed for incomplete grades to be assigned.

  • No student was academically disqualified in spring 2020 and we made the processes for students on probation easier. 

  • We called for the approval of all withdrawal petitions this semester without the need for a justification or documentation. 

  • Faculty are not required to include this semester’s Student Evaluations of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) in their personnel files.

  • Faculty will have increased flexibility in evaluations for retention, tenure and promotion.

  • Lecturer faculty will not have to be evaluated this semester to continue working next year. 

As Senate Chair, I’ve been working on a committee to organize a virtual graduation ceremony to be held on June 18, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.to celebrate and recognize our graduating students accomplishments. I hope you can join us! 

In the coming year, we look forward to launching two task forces, one focussed on equitable assignment of work for tenure-track faculty and the other on Teaching Effectiveness Assessment (TEA), the latter of which will be led by CEETL. It is the hope of the Senate that changes to TEA policies will improve instruction of our students and  faculty willingness to take a chance on new and innovative pedagogies. 

The Academic Senate is the primary shared governance body on the SF State campus, and is composed of faculty, staff, students and administrators. If you’d like to know about the work of the Senate, please visit our website at http://senate.sfsu.edu or contact us at senate@sfsu.edu.

Social Distancing Diversion
Housing, Dining, and Conferences Services cookbook cover

"Cooking together,
while we're apart."

Employee Engagement Committee, SF State Housing, Dining and Conference Services
Although we are quarantining, isolating and physically distancing ourselves from each other, the HDCS pulled together to share something we all have in common –good food & beverages.The delicious recipes are indicative of their diverse backgrounds, tastes and talents in the kitchen.Thank you to all who contributed in giving us your recipes. Let’s get cooking and we look forward to seeing you all soon! The SF State 2020 Housing Dining and Conference Services Cookbook

Our Partners in Teaching
Tutoring and Academic Support Center image

"Tutoring is a little less formal online...I have made connections with students really quickly :)"  -Student Tutor 
TASC Student tutors before their virtual meeting
TASC student tutors, as captured before & after their virtual meeting.
TASC student tutors after their virtual meeting
Karen Wiederholdt, meeting facilitator, co-director of the TASC Writing Unit & CEETL Fellow for Life.

If you’re craving good news, here it is from the Tutoring and Academic Support Center (TASC).

Students are saying…

(in emails to the TASC Reception)

"Good afternoon, I was curious how can I send a letter of acknowledgement and thanks to let TASC know how awesome my tutor […] was while helping me with my analysis paper this semester… If you could please send me a contact person that would be GREAT!"  

"My session was good." "My session was good." "My session was good." [3 separate emails 

Tutors are saying…(in the chat on Zoom)

“I have noticed that tutoring is a little less formal online but I think that that makes it a bit more relaxed and I have made connections with students really quickly :)"

"[W]hen I have the student's SFSU email, I can reach out to them, and ask if they can send me the prompt/related readings so I can prepare ahead of time for the tutoring session… I feel more prepared when working with the student, and we have more time talking about the assignment, too."

"Through online tutoring I developed a good relationship with one tutee and she requested me for two more sessions. It feels good to know that someone else perceives me as reliable and trustworthy."

"Yesterday, [my student] said that the tutoring is the only motivation that compels her to work on her project. And that her peers have been very demotivated and have not touched their credentialing project at all since the shelter-at-home started.  She told me that she was telling her peers to get tutors." [a tutor in the email to me


"I’ve only had one student so far, but it was a much needed moment of positivity. It is a current graduate student who is applying for a diversity scholarship. She is awe-inspiring in her goals and what she has overcome. She came in very worried but by the end of the session she was all fired [up] and excited. It was gratifying to be a part of."

Let your students know…

Wei Ming Dariotis and Grace Yoo collaborating
"We are hoping to give first year students a vital experience."

Wei Ming Dariotis and Grace Yoo, Faculty Directors of CEETL and FYE

Remote summer internship opportunity for students who have finished their first year. The First-Year Experience Program, in collaboration with CEETL and Institutional Research, is offering a remote summer 2020 internship for students who have completed their first year.

The internship is unpaid, is from June 8, 2020 to August 7, 2020, and will focus on researching first-year student responses as a result of COVID-19. We are hoping to give first year students a vital experience with performing guided research while also gathering data that will help us improve the experience of first year students in remote learning modalities. 

Interested students should apply here by June 1, 2020.

Health & Wellness 
Three images of Erik Peper demonstrating ergonomic computing
Erik Peper, Professor in the Institute for Holistic Health Studies, shares his advice on how to promote healthy computing.
Zoom fatigue, stiff muscle, pain, vision challenges, and exhaustion?Implement the following:

Take many, many breaks. 
  • Movement breaks will reduce the covert static tension that builds up as we sit in static positions. 
  • Every few minutes take a small break (e.g., stand up and wiggle or roll your shoulders).
  • Every 30 minutes get up (e.g., walk around and move your body).
Improve vision
  • Every few minutes look away from the screen and into the far distance.
  • Blink each time you click on a new link or typing a paragraph.
  • Close your eyes and relax your jaw. Imagine a hook on top of your head that is pulling your head upward and at the same time drop your shoulders.
  • When stressed, breathe.
  • Stop watching negative news
  • Take a walk
  • Reconnect with friends and share positive experiences
Arrange the laptop
  • Use an external keyboard and mouse. Raise the laptop so that the top of the screen is at eye level with a laptop stand or a stack of books.
  • Use an external monitor and use the laptop as your keyboard. 
For additional information, see the full article here: Reduce TechStress at Home
Erik Peper, PhD
Institute for Holistic Health Studies

PIE Bites
Rainbow pie drawing by Wei Ming Dariotis
Victoria Quijano, Lecturer Faculty in Health Education, demonstrates how to express gratitude to student interns.
Ceremonies are an important part of Pedagogies for Inclusive Excellence (PIE) because they recognize students’ completion of significant and transformational life stages.

Here are some suggestions for end of the semester ceremonies that can be used for courses, programs, and other closures:

From Mona Sagapolutele, SF State Academic Affairs Chief of Staff
(with credit to Joseph Antunez, CSU Northridge Office of Student Success)
  • Make a virtual toast to your students, asking each to share a few words of gratitude. 
  • Invite a select number of individuals to each take a turn sharing their appreciation.
  • Musically inclined students might be invited to perform a song or a student can read a poem to recognize the class or a group of graduating students. 
  • Create a live word cloud where participants enter words of appreciation via a web link or by text (this can be done beforehand) and then share the results during the celebration (and then generate a copy for each of the honorees as a memento).
  • Create a photo montage (in a powerpoint) and share the slides while some upbeat music plays in the background.
  • Those who cannot attend the synchronous event can submit a video message to be shared in the presentation.

From Crystal Wong, SF State English Department

"I taught English 216, which is the culmination of a first-year experience sequence, during the COVID-19 campus shutdown.  Since we transitioned to remote learning from f2f, I was unable to throw a big party at the end of the semester to honor our community.  So, I used this opportunity to create a group collaborative (optional) project in which students shared their COVID-19-shelter-in-place experience in one sentence. After students posted their sentences, we came together on Zoom (again, optional) to design and arrange the slide show – we negotiated color, images, music, and categories.  View the slideshow to get a glimpse of students' quarantine life. 

I launched this project because sharing our experiences gives us some sense of belonging and lets us know we are not alone. Plus, it was creative, engaging, and nondisposable--my guiding principles for learning.

From SF State Health Education Department

Victoria Quijano: I teach the HED 480 internship and capstone course in Health Education. After internships were cancelled and my class moved remote, my students and I decided to use Google Sites to create a COVID 19 Health Promotion and Wellness website in place of their internship practice. Groups developed webpages on COVID-19 news updates, along with original content with advice, profiles, ideas for giving back, learning from home, and more. Students were incredibly engaged because they felt like they created something useful. It will launch this week and my summer and fall internship students will continue working on it as a remote, no-contact internship experience.
To celebrate, honor, and surprise my HED 480 students, I collected pictures and videos from their internship preceptors with messages of congratulations and encouragement. I used iMovie to create a video montage of these heartfelt pictures and videos to music and shared it with them during our last class—there was not a dry eye on Zoom! They felt honored, inspired, and proud of themselves. They felt less sad about how the semester turned out, and motivated to enter the field of public health. 
Atina Delfino: I am producing a synchronous, virtual recognition ceremony to celebrate our HED graduates using Zoom, while streaming to their friends and family from anywhere in the world on YouTube Live. Students created a “graduation yearbook page” using Google Slides and we will show their grad page when their name is called during the graduation ceremony. SF State Emeritus Professor and President Elect of the American Public Health Association, Dr. José Ramón Fernández Peña, will join us live on Zoom as our keynote speaker. **TIP-- When using the “Share Screen” function on Zoom always remember to click the “share computer sound” and “optimize for full-screen video clip” for best shared viewing results!
Jessica Wolin: I teach and coordinate the MPH practice experience in Health Education. After the practice experience was cancelled, my students and I created a case study of the COVID 19 response. Using Zoom to hold synchronous class and planning sessions, students analyzed public health structures, then used Google Sites to develop webpages to explain the components of the public health system and its activities and responsibilities during COVID 19. The website serves as a resource and teaching tool for undergrad HED students.

Published in Medium, April 22, 2020

How Do We Wish Our Students a Good Summer During a Pandemic? Thinking about ways to say goodbye.  Written by Shannon Orr, Professor at Bowling Green University.

Tiny Stories of Love and Loss on [Remote] Teaching
Anonymous child's drawings
True story, submitted by Anonymous.
Meredith Eliassen working from home
"It was one of the best teaching experiences I've had...kind of University Archivist unplugged."

Meredith Eliassen, Senior Assistant Librarian, Curator Frank V. de Bellis Collection
As a librarian, I had one information instruction session remaining after in-class teaching stopped.I worked with an instructor to do a session in Zoom related to campus history projects for FYE students. I prepared a pre-Zoom assignment for students to explore search terms in the SFSU Photographic Timeline Project in DIVA. This is a student-centered resource I developed with the Associated Students and DIVA so students could find relevant images of campus history to their cultural backgrounds.

A few weeks before the session, I uploaded the assignment into iLearn and a few students started forums for their topics. The forums were great because they enabled me to jump into a Zoom conversation with the students while the professor-host did the searches online to demonstrate sources. Once the initial topics were discussed, I went one-by-one to the other students and helped them identify topics and search terms with the professor there. The class had about 16 students and most stayed a little beyond the set time to get their personal time.

It was one of the best teaching experiences I've had––kind of “University Archivist” unplugged––because I did not have to juggle talking with students while searching and navigating databases, and the students had created their own search term lists. I have always had sessions dominated by show and tell with rare objects from the special collections with a lot of storytelling. This prof was great in helping me to grow."
Ernita Joaquin working from home
"Thank you for keeping the expectations high and an extended thank you to my classmates for staying engaged..."

Ernita Joaquin, Associate Professor, Public Administration
Around midnight, bleary-eyed, I saw a forum post from a student."Thank you for the patience and grace by which you are teaching and leading our class. Thank you for keeping the expectations high and an extended thank you to my classmates for staying engaged when there is every opportunity (many of them reasonable) to not. I hope we have done our part as emergent Public Administrators in demonstrating and extending the same flexibility and effort to you."

Tech Bytes
Grace Yoo being eaten by Pikachu
"One of my goals is always to make sure students leave class feeling connected with each other."  

Grace Yoo, Director, First Year Experience Program & Professor, Asian American Studies
I have been finding virtue in the technology of remote modalities for teaching.

Thinking about how to engage students online, especially using Zoom, I’ve started asking check-in questions to help my first year students connect with each other.  When we met face to face, my students thought my check-in questions were a little dorky, but now that we are meeting online, these questions have become part of my engaging pedagogy. Something about the computer interface allows for more freedom from judgement. 

Here are some of the most successful prompts that are working in this moment:

  • Bring your mom to class
  • Bring your pet to class
  • What are some new rituals you are doing now that you’ve never done before?
  • What has made you chuckle this week?
  • What have you been doing to annoy people at home while sheltering in place?
  • What songs do you want to contribute to a playlist for the class? (posting links in Zoom chat)
  • Share your screens while playing video games so the class can watch two people battle each other.
To engage students and connect with them:
  • I have invited students to Zoom study halls; we play soft music in the background while we all work quietly
  • I use different fun backgrounds (from my walks by the beach in Pacifica, cute anime characters, etc.) and invite them to do the same
  • Finally, I’ve also been using breakout rooms in Zoom to connect students with each other.
One of my goals is to always make sure students leave the class feeling connected with each other in addition to learning skills and content. It’s what makes a class come alive. The bonus of being online is that it allows students who otherwise might not participate to be more proactive. 

Cal State University Shared Resources
CSU Logo

Resources from our faculty development colleagues across the
Cal State System.
Our sister campuses across the CSU are developing and sharing rich repositories of resources to support our faculty as we transition to remote and online instruction.

43 Just-in-time Faculty Videos for Faculty
A collection of 43 short videos created "by faculty for faculty" over the past few weeks in support of all aspects of remote instruction. Topics include setting up your home office for Zoom success,  equity and access in course materials, pros and cons of waiting rooms, and increasing student engagement and community.

Submitted by Bryan Berrett, Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence, California State University, Fresno

Maintaining Equity and Inclusion in Virtual Learning Environments

This is a webpage created at San Diego State University that provides practical pedagogical tips and resources for faculty to continue teaching in ways that are equitable and inclusive for ALL students.  There is an abundance of useful strategies, links, and resources on this site!

Submitted by Jennifer Imazeki, Associate Chief Diversity Officer for Faculty and Staff, San Diego State University

Closing the Loop
Wei Ming Dariotis working from home
"That sense of collective completion, that opportunity ...to say goodbye."

Wei Ming Dariotis, Faculty Director, Center for Equity & Excellence in Teaching & Learning & Professor, Asian American Studies

Closing the Circle Ceremonies.

When I first started teaching, my semesters usually ended with me proctoring an exam and feeling sad as each student quietly filed out of the room, sometimes with a whispered, “Goodbye” and occasionally a nice card. What was I missing? What were we collectively missing? 

That sense of collective completion, that opportunity to recognize that our shared community was coming to an end, and the chance to say goodbye.

Nourishment & Connection. After a few years, I learned what my heart was telling me: we needed to close the teaching and learning circle we had opened. First, I started with a simple potluck. Being queer, mixed race and teaching ethnic studies, rather than saying, “bring something that represents your culture,” I instead ask each student to learn to make a dish that represents a person they define as “family.” They are invited to share a photo and a story of how that person has nourished them. I remind them that the food we are eating is no longer merely delicious food, it is a representation of the care we have all received, and of us caring for our class community.

Collective Wisdom. I also wanted to recognize the impact each student’s intellectual work  made on the collective learning of the class, so I ask each student to find a piece of writing by a classmate ( students to post written work in iLearn Forums, visible to all). They excerpt a paragraph of their classmate’s work, write about the same length in appreciative response, and hand both to the original author. 

Gratitude Circle. Finally, it was clear that my students wanted to express gratitude. I made it a rule that none of them could thank me, and instead each is invited to thank one of their classmates. We do this a pair at a time, bearing collective witness. I explain that expressing gratitude takes practice, as does receiving it. The receiver is instructed to accept the gratitude graciously. I end by thanking my instructional aides and the class as a whole. 

This ritual ends the class on an incredible high, and almost every semester the students express their good fortune at having met the very best group of people on campus. At this point, I burst their bubble slightly and tell them I hear that every semester. I tell them that all these wonderful people are in every one of their classes; and I remind them that next semester, or as they leave for the workplace or other educational opportunities, they can use their skills to open up and get to know more beautiful circles.

If there is something you’d like to see in future issues, let me know at dariotis@sfsu.edu.

Yours in PIE,

Wei Ming Dariotis, Faculty Director 
Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning 

CEETL Beetle Gallery
CEETL Beetle colored by Angelina Melis
Angelina Melis, Age 14
CEETL Beetle colored in by Melayna Melis
Melayna Melis, Age 16 
Practice mindfulness and activate both parts of the cerebral hemisphere while coloring your own CEETL Beetle.Download the coloring page here and take a moment to design your own CEETL Beetle. Then snap a picture and send it to ceetl@sfsu.edu. We will feature your CEETL beetle in an upcoming issue of CEETL Circles. Invite your friends and family to participate, too!

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

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

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