Welcome to the Fall semester to all our instructors and staff! CCAPS Academic Technology and Design is very happy to start a new academic year and continue our efforts to provide technological, media enriched, and pedagogical assistance for CCAPS courses. 

Important Reminders

  • 1XXX Level Course Midterm Grade Notifications: Instructors are required to provide in-progress notifications for all 1XXX courses to students who, on the basis of performance to date in the course, appear to be in danger of receiving a grade of D, F, or N. More information on these notifications and on how to submit them can be found on the Academic Support Resources Mid-term grades site.
  • Second 7-week Courses Open: Online and Blended 7-week courses start on October 24.  We recommend opening online/blended courses one week before the start of the semester to allow students to acclimate to the online environment.
  • Final Date for New ATD Work Requests: The final day to request new ATD work -- including consultations -- for Spring courses is November 17, 2023. After this date, all requests require special approval from the ATD Associate Director.
  • Academic Calendar: The official OneStop Dates and Deadlines site lists all important dates for the Twin Cities campuses.

Teaching Tips

Group Management and Recording Presentations

Online Educational Resources

U.S. PIRG has released a new study titled Fixing the Broken Textbook Market, Second Edition which found that 65% of students skip buying textbooks because of their high cost. The new study, which is based on a survey of over 4,000 students across 83  college campuses, shows that despite the supposedly lower cost of access codes versus hard copy textbooks, students still report skipping buying textbooks at the same rate as 2014. In addition, nearly 1 in 5 students reports having skipped buying an access code. The University has charged all units with using OERs when possible. 

Considering moving to OERs rather than a traditional text? There are several repositories and many resources published under Creative Commons to explore. Both the 
Center for Open Education and Open Textbook Library are great places to start, but an Instructional Designer is happy to consult with you to explore more options. 

Student Growth through Robust Assessment

Traditionally, courses use a combination of both formative and summative feedback to boost student engagement with course materials and encourage learning. Formative assessments generally take the form of low-stakes, participatory, or low/no grade assignments. While student engagement in these assignments may be lower, they can serve to get the ball rolling or test early skills in an extended project. On the other hand, summative assessments evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing against a set of standards (generally a predefined rubric). These are generally higher stakes assignments. 

Ideally, your course will balance both formative and summative assessments to help students prepare for foundational tasks, then assess their progress through those tasks against a rubric and with substantive instructor feedback. Using the two types of evaluation in tandem and with transparent learning goals both motivates learners and provides ample opportunity for redirection over the course of a semester. 

If you’d like assistance evaluating or rebalancing some of your course assessments or tips for providing substantive, summative feedback to your students, reach out via the 
CCAPS-ATD Learning Management Assistance form to schedule a consultation!

ATD Highlight

As part of our Digital Accessibility series, in this Highlight we are showcasing Color Contrast and Accessibility! Our content is enhanced by color, but it is important to consider when making our content how others are able to see color. The article will overview what you need to consider when formatting text with color or adding certain images to your course.