Center for Transformative Teaching

Promoting inclusive, innovative, research-informed & effective teaching Center for Transformative Teaching

"Keep Teaching" Quickstart Guide "Keep Learning" Quickstart Guide Teacher Connect
  • Faculty presenting lessons learned in online teaching at the 2018 Summer Institute for Online Teaching
    Faculty presenting lessons learned in online teaching at the 2018 Summer Institute for Online Teaching
  • Room full of faculty learning about teaching online during the Summer Institute of Online Teaching
    Room full of faculty learning about teaching online during the Summer Institute of Online Teaching

Director's Comms

Friday, April 3, 2020

Nick Monk: Smiling man with brown hair and tailored blue jacket.
Nick Monk, CTT Director

Hello again to everyone, and welcome to the second in an occasional series of Director’s Communications from the CTT aimed at supporting our teaching and learning community!

Last time I wrote we were on the point, as an institution, of moving to 100% remote teaching and learning. Everyone was apprehensive, none of us were sure what might happen. But here we are, we’re doing it! So, congratulations to all the instructors involved in this, and every member of every support team that facilitated the move! It’s not perfect, and we’re busy responding to all sorts of challenges, but functioning as a university we are!

The big news this week is, of course, that the summer courses will all move online. Just as we were for the remainder of the Spring Term, all the members of the CTT team are poised to help with the transition. Questions can be sent directly to the IDs in your Schools and Colleges, and we’re updating Keep Teaching regularly with new material on assessment, and particularly practical and hands-on assessment.

Similarly, Keep Learning, a quick start guide for students, is available for you to share with your classes. And our week-long Keep Teaching mini-course, in which instructors learned about communication, organization, delivering content, fostering engagement, and assessing learning in a remote environment, ran last week. 75 instructors registered, and we’ll be creating something similar for Summer teaching. Watch this space!

The moderated forums for faculty to share ideas in Teaching at UNL are still running and, if you are an instructor, will be available to you on Canvas. There’s lots of great stuff here, and it’s a terrific place to share ideas. There is a terrific video from Cal Garbin, who was generous enough to share his perspective from the faculty end of things. Enjoy that here! Finally, we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to produce the Inclusive Excellence Guide. Thanks to Nkenge Friday, Gwen Combs, and Amy Ort for generating this great resource.

Again, thanks to the CTT team and all those who work with us in creating and sharing teaching and learning materials. We couldn’t have succeeded in generating and distributing these resources without the colleges and departments and all the other units who have been brilliant in partnering on workshops, supplementing our activity, and sharing the materials and messages we have available. Our collaborations, too, with IT services have been essential, and have helped us to act quickly and efficiently.

Remember, do contact me or any of our instructional designers should you require any support. We’ll try to help, and of we can’t we’ll send you to someone who can. Good luck and thanks to everyone involved in making what we’re all doing a success for our students!

April 21-May 1: OLC Ideate offers open salon series

Engaging with others

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In partnership with NU Online, the Center for Transformative Teaching invites you to participate in OLC Ideate. The Online Learning Consortium aims to create new points of engagement amongst educators across the field of online, digital and blended learning.

Over the course of two weeks (April 21 – May 1), the OLC will be holding a series of open salons (a casual and inclusive space with discussions organized and facilitated by a salon leader) that will offer educators of all levels the opportunity to listen to emerging ideas and effective practices from their peers. These casual discussions will be designed to specifically encourage reflection, co-creation, and synthesis, with connections to future OLC events for further collaboration.

There is no cost to participate and many ways to be involved -- learn more and register.

We're all "stick-footing" it now

"Keep Teaching" March 25, 2020

We'd like to share this video that Cal Garbin, John Weaver Professor of Psychology, made as it expresses how many of us may be feeling right now as we move to remote teaching. Cal makes some great points we all should keep in mind during this time and points out some opportunities we may have moving forward. Join the conversation in the Teaching at UNL discussion forums.


The events below include both those wholly sponsored by the CTT as well as other events on campus related to improving teaching and learning at UNL.

Using Canvas analytics to help support students

Keep teaching quick tip

With the move to remote teaching, the cancellation of classes during the week preceding spring break, and then spring break, students may feel somewhat disconnected from their courses. To find out which students have not logged into the course Canvas shell for a designated week and message them, follow these instructions (PDF).

"Keep Teaching" Mini-Course: ongoing chats and archived info

This 5-day mini course was held March 23-27 and helped faculty shift to remote teaching. The sessions addressed the most common points and investigated solutions for more unique challenges. To make use of the resources and join in the ongoing twice weekly coffee chats contact Steven Cain at

Apply for an OER Seed Grant

OER Seed Grants (formerly Kelly Grants) fund the pedagogical innovations and course redesigns resulting from the adoption, adaptation, or authoring of open educational resources (OER). Applications to be part of the 2020-21 cohort are due April 13. Learn more...