Category Archives: Faculty Focus & Workshps

2 NOVA Faculty Advising Workshops – Don’t Miss Out

Friday, October 14 – Faculty Advising Basics (1 hour)

Location: Pender/Fairfax Campus , 3922 Pender Drive,  Fairfax

Room: 150

Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am


– Roles & Expectations of Faculty Advisors @ NOVA

– Types of NOVA Students & What to Expect

– College Catalog & Advising Resources

– PeopleSoft Basics for Faculty Advising

– Student Success Planner Overview for Faculty Advising

Friday, October 21 – Transfer Advising for Faculty Advisors (1 hour)

Location: Pender/Fairfax Campus , 3922 Pender Drive,  Fairfax

Room: 150

Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am


Topics Covered:

– Roles & Expectations of Faculty Advisors in Transfer Planning

– Transfer Guides & Resources

– Guaranteed Admissions Agreements & Articulation Agreements

– Best Practices and Tips from Transfer Counselors

Faculty Focus-Personal Narratives: Perfect for Summer Reading

 May 4, 2016
Personal Narratives: Perfect for Summer Reading

By Maryellen Weimer, PhD

Right before the end of the academic year when the promise of summer stretches warmly ahead, many of us are making lists that anticipate other kinds of tasks. If you’re considering some pedagogical reading, I’ve got just the recommendation.

I am a huge fan of personal narratives—those first-person, experienced-based pieces of scholarship in which faculty explore what they’ve learned from an experience (or several of them). Narratives aren’t all that popular right now. We’re preoccupied with all things evidence-based. I do heartily endorse empirical explorations of various sorts, and I recognize that a lot of experience-based scholarship didn’t used to be all that scholarly.

But a good personal narrative has a lot going for it. It provides an in-depth analysis of an experience. In the best narratives the author looks deeply at what happened, with brutal honesty.  Personal narratives show how understanding why or how something happened, and what can be learned from it, has great value. Those who write them benefit tremendously, but personal narratives are equally beneficial to those of us who read them.

As readers, we get to see models of how experience can be analyzed—the questions that need to be asked, how answers must be subjected to logical analysis and verified with evidence. They encourage us by demonstrating that even negative experiences can be faced and learned from. If you’ve had a class that went poorly, discovered a policy resting on questionable assumptions, received a set of rank ratings, your personal narrative lets us as readers borrow the questions asked, the methods of analysis, and the ways of dealing with the results. We find ourselves using your methods to explore own our narratives.

Personal narratives fuse the personal and the professional, the emotional and the analytical. They touch us because emotions are a part of meaningful teaching experiences—we respond to them as humans and follow up as professors. It concerns me that the affective dimensions of teaching are so overshadowed by the rational and the intellectual. Both have a place in teaching, and the absence of one diminishes the power of the other.

While you’re putting together your post-semester to-do list, we do hope attending the 13th annual Teaching Professor Conference makes the cut. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or among the many who join us every year, it’s energizing to be together with a large group of faculty—all committed to teaching, all wanting new and better ideas to promote learning, and all willing to share freely. Learn More »

And finally, good personal narratives are fun to read, and that can’t be said of a lot of scholarship. Summer and personal narratives seem made for each other. Some of my favorite narratives you’ve seen in previous posts. I’m opting here to recommend ones mentioned less often, and I’ll let the authors introduce their own work.

Delgado, T. (2015). Metaphor for teaching: Good teaching is like good sex. Teaching Theology & Religion, 18 (3), 224–232.

“I know it is unconventional to equate teaching and sex, much less good teaching and good sex. However, this teaching metaphor emerged from a real experience in the classroom that became revelatory: about the incongruence of my teaching approach to the subject matter, the assumptions I made regarding my students, and the need to examine my pedagogy regularly as a matter of practice. Here’s the story of that experience” (p. 224).

Mulnix, A. B. (2016). What my cadaver dog taught me about teaching and learning. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 27 (1), 5­­­–21.

“College educators need to tell more stories about their own learning experiences, not just to their students but also to other faculty. Personal stories that describe learning are rare in my experience, yet I think they have real potential to help faculty intellectually grab hold of the new realities in teaching and learning” (p. 8).

Cohan, M. (2009). Bad apple: The social production and subsequent re-education of a bad teacher. Change Magazine, November-December, 32–36.

“I have a confession to make. I was a bad teacher. I was not mean or abusive to students, and I didn’t make capricious demands, ignore my syllabus, grade while under the influence, or test students on material I had not taught….” But a clear sign of bad teaching, Cohan says, was the way he thought about students. “They were enigmas to me, and I didn’t know how to deal with the varying levels of interest, commitment, and ability they brought to class. All I knew how to do was to expect of them what I had always expected of myself—not perfection, exactly, but something close to it” (p. 32).

Albers, C. (2009). Teaching: From disappointment to ecstasy. Teaching Sociology, 37 (July), 269–282.

“Unintended outcomes can derail the best of intentions in the classroom. Designing a new course for Honors students provided an opportunity to change my traditional teaching style. I envisioned a classroom where students enthusiastically became more self-directed learners. I was perplexed with mixed reactions from students; while some joined me and adopted the model of teaching and learning I proposed, far more than I expected resisted the change” (p. 269).

NISOD webinars free to NOVA faculty



Contact Robin Muse (  for the Password to Register!


May 11, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (CST)

An Entrepreneurial Mindset for Student Success

This webinar offers an inside look at a promising new approach to student success designed to harness the power of entrepreneurial thinking as a skill all students need to thrive in the 21st century, regardless of their chosen path.

May 12, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (CST)

The QUEST: The Completion Project for Males of Color in Community Colleges

This webinar highlights the design, development, and delivery of a quality educational program for males of color using a zero-dollar budget.

Webinar Archives

All webinars are recorded and available for later viewing on the members-only section of our website.

Lilly Conference- June 2-5, 2016

International Spring Lilly Conference – Bethesda, MD
June 2 – 5

The call for proposals is open through February 16th.  Plenary presenters include:  Saundra Yancy McGuire, Louisiana State University; Carl S. Moore, University of the District of Columbia and Christy Price, Dalton State College.

Publication Updates:

Journal Update:
Journal on Excellence in College Teaching –
Still available as a free download: The acclaimed Journal on Excellence in College Teaching special focus issue: Small-Group Learning in Higher Education—Cooperative, Collaborative, Problem-Based, and Team-Based Learning

To submit a manuscript, read the Journal, or subscribe, go to:

Scholarly Teacher Blog 
The blog reminds us all to stop, think critically, and reflect about teaching and learning. New blogs are posted twice monthly:  Stay connected – subscribe to the blog mailing list to receive a notification when each new blog posts.

Easy Panopto Directions by popular demand.

From Manassas faculty,Mary Ellen Ryan and Laura Bhadra, and included in their 2015-16 “We’ve Flipped, Have You” series: Easy directions to use and embed Panopto recordings in your courses:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

PUP on Parade: A New Way of Educating!

Don’t miss this PUP on Parade Session!
A New Way of Educating through Customer Service in the Classroom

Register here!

DeQuan Smith is the presenter!

This session, a popular one at PUP,  will be of great interest to you:

In higher education today, educators are forced to be more creative and innovative than ever. This session discusses and provides strategies to help faculty members use service to build and capture student interest, student engagement, and increase faculty ratings.



Hands-on Syllabus Developmental Session to Create Syllabi for Flipped Classrooms

Registration for this event is still open!


We Flipped!  Will You?

Interactive strategies for an inverted classroom


CETL cordially invites you to join Manassas Faculty members

Laura Jean Bhadra and Maryellen Ryan
for a the last session of the Faculty Focus series on the Flipped Classroom
April 10th , 11:30 to 1 pm  ·  Alexandria Campus   AA 158  ·  Bring your own laptop

Hands-on Syllabus Developmental Session to Create Syllabi for Flipped Classrooms 

Do you want to create a viable syllabus for your course using the flipped classroom methodology?

Come to this highly interactive hands on session and leave with a syllabus and other materials to start flipping out!


“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Most of us are probably familiar with this famous quote from Benjamin Franklin. But how many of us have actually applied this in the classroom?

For Further Information:


Faculty Focus November 21st: The World Comes to Us!

The  Global Studies Committee and The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)
Important Professional Development Events are Registering NOW!

The World Comes to Us
International perspectives as experienced by persons from abroad.

Faculty Focus Series :    NOVA and the World 2014-15
Friday, November 21st.  11 AM to 2 PM
Annandale Campus, CG 218
Register Here.


CETL and the Global Studies Committee  have combined their forces to present a particularly strong Faculty Focus Workshop Series during 2014-2015.  This series will help you insert appropriate global issues into the course curriculum of any discipline and focus on appropriate classroom teaching techniques that help incorporate examples of such global linkages.   The First Workshop in the Series, We Are the World,  was on Friday, September 12, 2014 from 11am to 2 pm.  Read about it here.

The other workshops in the series are  The World Comes to Us, We are Out in the World, Our Changing World and Respecting World Perspectives.


For more information, click:  NOVA and the World 2014-15
For questions, contact: Barbara Crain.
Register here.

NISOD’s Innovation Abstacts and upcoming webinar


This Week’s Issue

Enhancing Learning Inside and Outside the Classroom

describes how different classroom learning environments can be when students come prepared for class.


Access the article here.Username: | Password: nisod799



Increase Your Completion Rate Using Stackable Certificates

Failure to complete academic credentials is a nationwide problem. Presenters from two National Science Foundation-funded ATE Centers show how they developed a stackable certificate plan that allows students to gain entry-level skills with as few as 6 to 16 units of IT courses and finish credentials in stages. This model is applicable to other workforce programs, as well. During the webinar, participants learn about a stackable certificate model they can adapt to fit different fields of specialty and career pathways, leave the session with strategies to implement this program on their home campuses, and learn how to develop metrics to measure the success of this initiative.


Ann Beheler, Principal Investigator, National Convergence Technology Center, Collin College; Deborah Boisvert, Executive Director, Broadening Advanced Technological Education Connections (BATEC), University of Massachusetts-Boston


This webinar is free to NISOD members. Sign up here.

NISOD October Webinar: Using Paired Courses to Accelerate Students Through Developmental Education

NISODaOCTOBER 16 WEBINAR     (free to NISOD member colleges)

Using Paired Courses to Accelerate Students Through Developmental Education

Two-year colleges across the country face significant challenges retaining their diverse population of students and helping them progress to graduation. A key barrier is the developmental coursework in reading, writing, and/or mathematics to which a majority of entering students are referred. These lengthy sequences, often required before beginning college-level work, can be daunting, and many students leave college before completing their developmental requirements. Developmental math, in particular, is a substantial stumbling block to college completion. Acceleration is an increasingly popular strategy at two-year colleges for improving the outcomes of developmental education students. Presenters will discuss how they designed and implemented paired courses to accelerate students to college-level math. Learn how the Mathematics faculty at Texas State Technical College combine course material from developmental math and college-level math into the same learning experience for developmental students, bolstered through co-teaching by two instructors and the inclusion of peer tutors. Student success data are presented to demonstrate the positive outcomes of this acceleration effort.


Garry Sigler, Chair, Mathematics, Texas State Technical College; Kyle Massey, Coordinator, Curriculum, Texas State Technical College