Academic Affairs Fall Convocation


 Academic Affairs Fall Convocation:
Student-Centered Supports,
Course Design, and Delivery


August 20, 2020
9 am to 10:00 am (Mandatory for Academic Affairs employees)
10:00 am – noon (Voluntary)


Remotely Via Zoom


Because despite the challenges we have faced, we want you to continue to grow professionally!

Diverse group of instructors during a planning session

We’re kicking off the academic year focusing on Student-Centered Supports, Course Design, and Delivery.

This past spring semester, the College was challenged to come together in an unprecedented way to move all of our course offerings and student supports to a virtual environment. Through just-in-time training, faculty and staff made this shift in short order. While it wasn’t perfect, it’s what we had to do. Now we must focus on what we need to do moving forward to ensure we are authentically and fully living up to our mission of putting students at the center of everything we do and delivering high quality educational experiences in a primarily distance learning environment. What did we learn through all of this that will help us grow?

Choice Board

Below you will find the schedule of sessions arranged by time and title. To learn more about each session, click on the plus “+” symbol to expand.

participants icon

9:00 to 10:00 - Opening Keynotes: Mandatory For All Academic Affairs Employees

Presenters: Dr. Mark Brainard and Ms. Justina Sapna

Category: Mandatory for AA Employees

Zoom Link:

Or iPhone one-tap : US: +13126266799,,93742552496# or +19294362866,,93742552496#

Description: Please join Dr. Mark Brainard and Ms. Justina Sapna as they kick-off the 2020-2021 academic year for Academic Affairs and provide encouragement and vision for our work this year.

10:00 to 11:00 - Helping Struggling College Writers

Presenters: Eric Nefferdorf, Lauren Canady, and Cathleen Mulrooney

Category: Helping Struggling Writers

View the Recording:

Description: The goal of the PD is to teach Delaware Tech faculty specific evidence-based strategies they can use to help students improve their writing abilities and increase self-efficacy.

10:00 to 11:00 - Math Pilot Planning Session

Presenter: Dana Center

Category: Math: Closed Session

View Recording:

Description: This is a closed session for only those faculty involved in the Quantitative Reasoning Pilot this fall and spring. This will be a final opportunity to work with the Dana Center to prepare for the fall semester.

10:00 to 10:45 - Best Practices for Online Synchronous Courses

Presenter: Adrian Peterson

Category: Faculty Supporting Student Success in an Online Environment

View Recording:

View Presentation:…

Description: By examining articles and publications related to distance education, faculty will discuss the differences between the synchronous and asynchronous. The group will consider different types of learning activities and discuss which modality lends itself best to which types of activities. Faculty will then start planning how to make the most of their synchronous teaching sessions.

10:00 to 10:45 - Creating Dynamic & Interactive Content

Presenters: Al Unrath

Category: Content – Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

View Recording:

Description: Interactive content increases student motivation by giving learners the opportunity to develop their skills through authentic simulations and real-world scenarios. In this session, participants will explore a wide array of e-learning interactive objects that make learning fun while fostering critical-thinking and decision-making skills. These e-learning objects help students to tackle challenging course objectives that will prepare them for success during the course and in their future career.

10:00 to 10:45 - Etiquette for your online classroom

Presenters: Deepa Komdepudi and Celeste Mozeik

Category: Digital Etiquette

View Presentation:…

Description: The focus of this presentation will be to showcase techniques that instructors can use to set their online classroom standards. Teach students the much needed digital etiquette for the online classroom. The presentation will include tools that instructors can quickly implement in their online classrooms.

10:00 to 10:45 - Helping ESL Students Engage with Course Content

Presenters: Nicole Truitt and Carey McDaniel

Category: Digital Divide (Equity)

View Recording:

Description: Non-native English speakers often struggle to engage with course content once they’ve graduated from the ESL program and have moved into degree programs, and this is especially true in an online course environment . This presentation will offer suggestions for increasing their engagement, providing equitable support, and helping them be successful – on ground or online.

10:00 to 10:45 - Humanizing Online Teaching & Learning

Presenter: Kelly Davis

Category: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

View Recording:

Description: Quality interpersonal interactions are a key component in exemplary online teaching and learning. Students and faculty benefit from connections that humanize the online experience. Key strategies covered in this interactive session will include: importance of course design, how to personalize course sections, leveraging D2L tools, providing meaningful feedback, and ways to be available to students.

10:00 to 10:45 - Planning for Thoughtful Online Instruction

Presenters: Kim Bates and Jason Silverstein

Category: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

View Recording:

Description: The Spring and Summer sessions thrust us into online instruction, however do you know how to develop thoughtful online instructional materials? This session will walk you through Del Tech’s new Course Design Process. We will start with the syllabus and transform it into a cohesive course, complete with a narrative, authentic assessments, and engaging learning materials to provide students an equitable experience to the classroom.

10:00 to 10:45 - Question and Answer About the 10-Point Grading Scale

Presenter: Melissa Rakes

Category: Policy Update

View Recording:

Description: The College’s grading policy has been changed to a 10-point scale effective Fall 2020. Join this session if you have questions about implementing this new policy in your course or department.

10:00 to 10:45 - Student Life! Engaging Students in a Virtual World

Presenters: Erin Schutt, Jennifer Blackwell, Mike McCloskey, and Matthew Rubincam

Category: How can students find their voice in a technology world? (Good for staff!)

View Recording:

Description: Come engage with the collegewide Student Life team to learn what’s in store for the fall semester.   Attendees will participate in a simulated virtual student event and explore opportunities to connect students.

10:00 to 10:45 - Understanding Personal Technological Literacy, Technology Fatigue and a Path to Equity

Presenters: Amber King and Jennifer Blackwell

Category: Digital Divide (Equity)

View Presentation:…

Description: Technological literacy is the ability of an individual, working independently or with others, to responsibly, appropriately and effectively use technology tools to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, create and communicate information. We’ve ZOOMed-in recently and enhanced our online communications in response to a global situation. We know that ZOOM has been a great resource to allow collaboration between campuses over the past few years. Many meetings that used to require faculty to travel to another campus moved to ZOOM; however, since the COVID-19 pandemic the amount of time on ZOOM has expanded. Some faculty are now spending 7.5 hours a day on ZOOM between meetings, advising, and teaching. While ZOOM has allowed us to continue our jobs, it can be exhausting. Why does it feel exhausting to do our job on ZOOM compared to doing it on campus? What emotional capital do we invest in our technologies? What is ZOOM fatigue? How can we combat ZOOM fatigue and take care of ourselves? How can we leverage ZOOM and other technology to lead a path to equity in our classes and spaces?

If faculty are struggling with ZOOM fatigue, many of our students may also be struggling. In this digital age, we don’t want students to not be successful because of this. After this presentation, participants will be able to share their knowledge of symptoms of ZOOM fatigue and understand ways to take care of ourselves and our students so that we can all be successful.

11:00 to 11:45 - Adamas Project (Wrap-around support)

Presenters: Kerri Harmon, Brian Keister, and Rachel Knotts (tentative)

Category: Digital Divide (Equity)

Description:The Adamas Project is a cohort of 60 students who will be teamed up with specialized supports consisting of technology and people. (instruction, counselors, financial aid, and mentors). The goal is to help students build relationships and create an environment designed to enhance student persistence and success for students in need.

11:00 to 11:45 - Cultivating the Culture of Caring in Virtual Spaces & Beyond

Presenters: Kia Baker and Dani Brunet

Category: Digital Divide (Equity)

View Recording:

Description: With the sudden shift to virtual learning, community college students nationally were impacted by significant digital equity gaps. Delaware Tech responded swiftly with virtual supports and resources to assist students with the quick transition. The focus of this presentation will connect the audience with best practices, college wide resources and supports to cultivate mission connected spaces for students by incorporating cultural responsive strategies to stimulate learner engagement, empowerment and connection.

11:00 to 11:45 - Developing alternative assessments in the online environment

Presenter: April Higgins

Category: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

View Recording:

Description: To best prepare our students for success in their careers, our assessments should mirror the types of tasks our students would face in the workplace. These types of assessments are called “alternative assessments” because they are an alternative to the traditional assessment formats of multiple-choice and essays. Alternative assessments allow the instructor to offer choices to the students in how they demonstrate what they have learned, a principle of Universal Design for Learning. With clear objectives and expectations, these choices will allow the learner to have control over what they are creating while still meeting the desired learning outcomes.

11:00 to 11:45 - Digital Accessibility

Presenter: Carrie Curry

Category: Digital Divide (Equity)

View Presentation:…

Description: Creating accessible courses makes sure we put ALL students at the center of teaching and learning. We will review the basic concepts of accessibility and go over the Faculty Five – 5 quick things you can do to increase accessibility in your courses.

11:00 to 11:45 -Don't Recreate the Wheel...D2L Templates for the Win!

Presenter: Jason Silverstein

Category: Universal Design for Learning(UDL)

View Recording:

Description: Are you familiar with HTML templates in D2L? This session will introduce you to over 20 HTML templates, as well as share some newly released resource templates for the novice and expert.

11:00 to 11:45 - Empowering Students as Learners

Presenters: Jerry Kavanagh, Marc Cooke, and Rhonda Sharman

Category: Student Success

View Recording:

View Presentation:…

Description:After participating in online professional development through the Charles A. Dana Center (University of Texas), faculty members will summarize key elements in creating an environment that will increase student learning and success. The session will look at the following elements: Psychosocial Factors, Neuroscience of Learning, Growth Mindset, Motivation, Belonging, and Productive Persistence. Being mindful of practical application, the presenters will focus on how to best incorporate ideas into the curriculum and the classroom (online and traditional).

11:00 to 11:45 - Inspiring Productive Struggle in Your Students

Presenter: Amie King

Category: Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

View Presentation:…

Description:Significant learning benefits can result when students are allowed to productively struggle with ideas they don’t quite understand yet. This focus on student struggle is a necessary component of teaching that supports students’ learning…with understanding (Hiebert and Grouws 2007). Productive struggle is most useful when it helps students grasp and retain key ideas, the ones that aid in comprehension and understanding. Teaching that embraces and uses productive struggle leads to long-term benefits, with students more able to apply their learning to new problem situations (Kapur 2010).

11:00 to 11:45 - Question and Answer About the 10-Point Grading Scale

Presenter: Melissa Rakes

Category: Policy Update

View Recording:

Description: The College’s grading policy has been changed to a 10-point scale effective Fall 2020. Join this session if you have questions about implementing this new policy in your course or department.

11:00 to 11:45 - SLOA - How can we help?

Presenters: Denise DeVary,  Tina Bernat, and Robin Sirkis

Category: How can programs navigate SLOA more efficiently through D2L

View Recording:

Description: As there is a large number of new department chairs and instructional coordinators as well as staff that are involved in the assessment process, the focus of this presentation will be on the understanding of what the SLOA process is, why it is necessary, and how it is completed. The presentation will describe the three year assessment cycle and will break down the cycle year to year for participants. A large focus of the presentation will be on choosing the appropriate assignment from courses (through curriculum mapping that has been completed) and how to collect the assignments (artifacts) in a digital way (through D2L) as the current COVID -19 pandemic has necessitated remote learning.

11:00 to 11:45 - Student Engagement After a Global Pandemic

Presenters: Jennifer Blackwell, Dr. Malinda Hudson, and Dr. Sherri Niblett-Johnson

Category: How can students find their voice in a technology world? (Good for staff!)

View Recording:

View Presentation:…

Description: One of the most powerful ways to impact students’ achievement is to engage our students. There is sometimes a false equivalency associated between engagement and entertainment when first hearing the term. Engagement is active learning, meaningful interactions, authentic communication, and assignments / activities that allow students to connect academic work to personal experiences and goals. After a global pandemic that required a change in human behavior, we can anticipate to navigate life differently. How do we prepare for the psychological impact of our “first” day on-campus when we’re all back together? What might our classrooms look like with social distancing expectations in place? How do we incorporate meaningful social interactions in digital spaces? Where might we need to be flexible to meet students where they are – acknowledging grief at changes in the world, transitioning into new expectations of behavior, redefining interactions and re-imagining what it means to be socially present?

During this interactive session, participants will become aware of the type of trauma associated with a global pandemic and have the opportunity to re-imagine a definition of engagement that includes leveraging technology to help our students to find their voice and be socially present during a time that may require all of us to navigate new challenges, frame hurdles as opportunities, and authentically connect while being geographically disconnected. There are strategies all of us can use to elevate students’ voices to strengthen relationships, foster a sense of belonging, and increase engagement. To maximize our time together, the session will leverage agency and feature breakout circles focused on: engagement in the classroom, engagement across distances, and engagement strategies for student success. After a shared presentation to set context, each circle will be challenged to share personal experiences and brainstorm solutions that can be applied to enhance student engagement and empower student voices during this academic year. All ideas will be collected and presented in an electronic tool for future reference, reflection and use.

11:00 to 11:45 - Virtual Internship Opportunities for Students

Presenter: Taryn Tangpricha

Category: New global opportunities in our digital world

View Presentation:…

Description: As a result of COVID-19, international education providers have transitioned from on-ground programs to offer exciting and flexible field-related virtual internship opportunities for students at companies both abroad and in the United States. Come learn about virtual internships, how they are structured, and how you can leverage them to fulfill practicum hours for your students.