Director's Update

Director's Update for July 27, 2020

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

In his most recent communication to the university, Chancellor Green wrote of 'the incredible challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic' and the way 'the UNL community has delivered' on the 'herculean task' of rising to those challenges. All of us at the Center for Transformative Teaching are proud to have had the opportunity to support the hundreds of instructors we have interacted with in workshops, the summer institutes, and one-to-one consultations since the move online in the spring.

The entire UNL community has wrestled with the many challenges of a hybrid face-to-face and online mode of delivery as we have been forced to imagine scenarios for the fall semester that have simply not been encountered in higher education previously. As though this was not sufficient to increase our anxieties and workload, we face uncertainty about how the current situation might develop and how it affects us outside our working lives. In all this, though, what has struck us most powerfully at the CTT is how fortunate UNL is to have such a resilient, adaptable, and creative group of educators. Read more...

Director's Update for June 25, 2020

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

All of us at the Center for Transformative Teaching were saddened and angered by the senseless death of George Floyd in May. We remember, too, the many other black lives unnecessarily and unjustly lost in this country. Therefore, the CTT believes that we should make a statement that echoes and supports those made by Chancellor Green and Vice-Chancellor Marco Barker earlier in the month.

I admit as a citizen of a country other than the U.S., I have been hesitant to comment publicly on this issue in my professional capacity and on behalf of my U.S. colleagues at the CTT. Having reflected though, I come from a place with an appalling record of colonial abuse of other races, a country that is guilty of the shameful operation of the Atlantic slave trade, and one which has a more recent domestic record littered with racial injustice and hatred, and I feel I should add my voice to those already heard. As a Briton, I must own the role of my country in the abuse of people of color on a titanic scale. Britain didn’t just furnish the U.S. with its language and religion, it also made a significant contribution to the systemic racism we see today. Read more...

Director's Update for June 2, 2020

Whatever the challenges we face at UNL, the CTT is committed to supporting all instructors at UNL in their teaching. We seek to identify and share best practice across a range of pedagogies. In all our programming and interactions, therefore, we recommend approaches to teaching and learning that are active, collaborative, inclusive, and engaging. Our approach is non-prescriptive, however, and we consider instructors to be the experts on their material, and the relationship between that material and their teaching. We want to create a space in which the co-creation of knowledge can thrive.

Director's Update for May 15, 2020

Hello again, and welcome to the CTT! I’m Nick Monk, Director, and I want to update you on some of the things we’re involved with at present beyond helping the University plan its teaching and learning for the fall.

Director's Update for April 24, 2020

Hello again, and welcome to the CTT! I’m Nick Monk, Director of the CTT, and I’m in the privileged position of leading a team of dedicated and creative individuals who continue to generate a range of materials designed to support all our instructors in every college and school in the University. I want to share with you some of the things the CTT is doing at the moment, and also write a little about communication and connection.

Director's Update for April 3, 2020

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.

Director's Update for March 20, 2020

Hello everyone in our teaching and learning community! Taking a university the size of UNL to 100% remote teaching and learning is an extraordinary challenge, not just for us, but for the many other tireless teams of individuals across the institution. We have, however, made a start. We began with Keep Teaching, a quick start guide for remote teaching, and Keep Learning, a quick start guide for students. We soon found that one of the most significant concerns for instructors and students was assessment, so we produced both a general assessment guide and also a guide to hands-on learning for those wanting to assess lab work, or performance, or music.