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CATE Newsletter   Issue #005   |   August 17, 2021   |   teaching.uic.edu

Students return to campus

Welcome back to campus!


The CATE team has been working diligently throughout the summer to create and compile resources to support you in your teaching this fall. We acknowledge that there is still some uncertainty associated with the transition back to campus as the pandemic continues to throw obstacles in our path to return to some form of normalcy. But we can be assured that our campus leadership is doing everything possible to make our teaching and learning spaces safe and thriving with student activity once again. 

The one message that we’d like you to consider as you’re revising your lessons and planning your courses is to strive to embrace what we call a “Flames Flex” mindset — that is, try to be flexible and compassionate, both with students and also yourselves. Leverage the technology online and in the classroom to welcome and engage your students in a campus learning community where inclusion, innovation, and inspiration are top priority. 

In this issue of the CATE newsletter, we highlight a number of teaching resources and professional learning programs designed to help with instruction no matter the modality. We also share several new supports available for UIC students that we hope you’ll utilize and share with those taking your classes this fall.

Thank you for engaging with CATE. Please stay tuned to our monthly newsletter to learn more about CATE workshops and other professional learning opportunities launching this fall!

Sincerely yours,

Erin O’Leary
Executive Director, Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE)




Flames Flex Instruction


CATE is committed to helping instructors design equitable learning experiences for all students by developing resources and programming that help engage students actively during class time. CATE is calling the range of instructional modes, Flames Flex, in order to emphasize UIC’s commitment to flexible learning options for students. See the Flames Flex website for additional resources, tools, and tips!
Learn More:


Flames THRIVE Technology Orientation


LAS has launched a new course called Flames THRIVE Orientation to Blackboard and Learning with Technology. The purpose of the orientation is to provide first-year students with a clear sense of how Blackboard connects with their courses and how they can effectively use Blackboard tools and UIC’s technology resources to become agents in their learning and academic success.
Learn more: teaching.uic.edu/news-stories/uic-flames-thrive


Partner with the UIC Library to Support Student Learning


UIC librarians aim to support student research skills across the disciplines by collaborating with faculty to integrate targeted library instruction, develop online learning materials, and create research guides that provide online access to course-related content and library collections. As you finalize your courses, consider UIC Library your partner in providing access to key resources to meet students’ research and learning needs.
Learn more:


COVID-19 Long Term Equipment Loan


UIC has made available a number of University-owned laptops and cellular hotspots for temporary loan through CATE-LTS. Current UIC students enrolled in the Fall 2021 semester who do not have reliable access to a computer and/or internet are eligible for this program. There is no cost for this service. On-campus pickup will be required.
Learn more:


iClicker Cloud Enterprise License now available


CATE has added an iClicker site license to UIC’s EdTech resources. As long as instructors create their iClicker courses with “University of Illinois at Chicago” as the institution, there will be no charge. iClicker is a classroom response system that allows faculty to take attendance, poll and quiz students, grade and push grades to Blackboard, and see retention analytics to help their students achieve more.
Learn more:


Blackboard Gets Easier with Eesysoft


We are excited to announce the deployment of EesySoft for Blackboard. Eesysoft is an interactive layer of communication and support that enables instructors and students to learn about relevant information while they navigate Blackboard. The new application has a personalized data-drive in-line messaging component and reports student activity in UIC’s learning management system (LMS) course visible to instructors.
Learn more:




CATE Summer Institute | Preparing for Flames Flex Instruction in Fall 2021


CATE invites all UIC instructors and teaching assistants to participate in the Summer Institute, which has re-launched this month with all 5 asynchronous, on-demand Blackboard learning modules immediately available. The Summer Institute learning modules are designed to help UIC instructors in preparing to teach this coming fall. As this Blackboard course is now open, also consider joining the CATE staff for the August 18 synchronous Zoom session.
 Location: Zoom links will be made available through Blackboard for those who register
More Information and RSVP:


Gradescope Summit available online


Explore presentations from the Gradescope 2021 User Summit that brought together members of the teaching and learning community to share innovative approaches and best practices for accelerating grading and feedback. There were seven sessions, each covering different themes and topics, and summit materials are now available online.
· More Information: today.uic.edu/gradescope-summit-available-online


Get Started with Gradescope Workshop


Learn how instructors use Gradescope to deliver and grade existing assignments, whether online or in person. The workshop will offer guidance on remote/online delivery of assignments that are paper-based, fully online, and a combination of the two. They will also cover the instructor workflow of using Gradescope integrated with Blackboard.
· Date and Time: Wednesday, August 18 | 12:30 - 1:30 PM, CT
· Location:
· More Information and RSVP:


Engaging Large Classes Using Acadly with Zoom Integration


Teaching large classes has unique requirements with regards to student engagement and automation of classroom tasks. This session demonstrates how Acadly with Zoom integration can help instructors infuse active learning into classes of any size and any modality. The Acadly platform has been used by thousands of UIC students and has now adds Blackboard gradebook integration and automatic enrollment syncing to the basic version.
· Date and Time: Thursday, August 19 | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM CT
· Location:
· More Information and RSVP: 


Get ready for Fall with Blackboard at UIC


If you are new to UIC or need a refresher course on Blackboard Learn, this webinar hosted by CATE Instructional Designers will help point you to resources and training that will get your semester started off right. In this webinar you will learn about the CATE Blackboard template, on demand training resources, ways to reduce your Blackboard storage, accessible course material solutions, the CATE Summer Institute, and Flames Flex teaching guides.
· Date and Time: Tuesday, August 24 | 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM CT
· Location:
· More Information and RSVP:




Cultural Responsiveness for the Classroom in Online Courses


This new course is designed to assist instructors in finding ways to implement cultural responsiveness in an online learning environment. Content and conversations will explore ways to empower students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using cultural exercises and explore ways to establish inclusion, authentic assessment and assess bias. The next course offering starts August 23, 2021. CATE will cover the course registration costs ($150) for the first 10 registrants from UIC.
· Sponsoring Organization: ION Professional Learning Programs, Univ. of Illinois Springfield
Date: Monday, August 23 through Saturday, October 16
To set up your account and register: www.uis.edu/ion/uic


EDUCAUSE Annual Conference 2021


The EDUCAUSE Annual Conference brings together professionals and technology providers from around the world to discuss their discoveries, grow professionally, and explore solutions to continuing challenges. The conference will feature premium programming, numerous networking opportunities, and access to innovative technology solutions.
⋅ Sponsoring Organization: EDUCAUSE
Date: Tuesday, October 26 through Friday, October 29
Location: Philadelphia, PA & Virtual
More Information and RSVP:


Transforming STEM Higher Education Conference


Re-imagine and re-engineer what is at the core of undergraduate STEM reform and its potential for impact with AAC&U at this year’s virtual conference. Join AAC&U to be a part of co-creating reform strategies that can accelerate the reform of undergraduate STEM education practice, research, and policy in ways that advantage all.
· Sponsoring Organization:  Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
· Date:
Thursday, November 4 through Saturday, November 6 
· Location: Virtual
· More Information and RSVP: go.uic.edu/aacu-2021-virtual-conference


Promoting Racial Equity in Student Mental Health


Mental health remains a significant concern for students of color in higher education. As campuses prepare to welcome them back, recognizing, attending to, and ameliorating the effects of accumulated racial trauma will be critical to support and promote student thriving and healing. This session offers practical and culturally sensitive recommendations on how instructors can foster mental well-being for students of color in their courses.
· Sponsor: University of Southern California, Racial & Equity Center
· Date and Time:
Thursday, August 19 | 2:00 - 3:00 PM, CT
· Location:
Zoom link will be made available upon registration
· More Information and RSVP:




2021 Blackboard Catalyst Award


CATE Senior Director, Dr. Elizabeth Romero, and her team here at UIC created a culture of data-informed decisions and faculty self-governance of the LMS. A strategy of building collegiate relationships, pilot programs, and self-service empowerment resulted in faculty reporting comfort level with the LMS at 73%. The strategy paid off during the quarantine. With 548% increase in the LMS usage students ranked instructor expertise within the LMS at 81%. Dr. Romero led with optimism in times of uncertainty. UIC is the largest university in the Chicago area and the largest medical school in the US.
For more information
: community.blackboard.com/catalystwinners2021


COVID-19 Safety Measures for Fall Semester


As we prepare to begin the fall semester and people across the country head back to school, now is a critical time for those who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Delta variant has caused an increased number of COVID-19 cases across the United States and vaccination is the most effective way to prevent severe illness. UIC’s goal is to have a fully vaccinated campus this fall to allow us to resume a more normal learning and working environment. Please stay updated on campus communications regarding UIC's safety guidelines and policies related to UIC instruction.
For more information: today.uic.edu/covid-19-safety-measures-for-fall-semester


Burnout Symptoms Increasing Among College Students


More students are experiencing burnout, anxiety, depression and unhealthy coping mechanisms, studies find. We should be prepared to address the emotional nature of the transition back to campus this fall, working together to support the well-being of our students and our colleagues, and ourselves.
For more information: tinyurl.com/yf3wp5a3


Only Half of Students with Disabilities Ask for Accommodations, Verbit Says


When aiming to craft inclusive classrooms and learning environments, institutions need to proactively address or offer accommodations to a larger student population.
For more information: edscoop.com/only-half-of-students-with-disabilities-ask-schools-for-accommodations-verbit-says




Associate Director for Instructional & Professional Development in Inclusive Teaching


Close date: September 15, 2021
Learn more: go.uic.edu/associate-director-instructional-professional-development-inclusive-teaching 


Extended Campus Instructional Designer (Extra Help)


Close date: Open until filled.
Learn more: teaching.uic.edu/news-stories/instructional-development-specialist-extra-help


Associate Instructional Designer (Extra Help)


Close date: Open until filled.
Learn more: teaching.uic.edu/news-stories/associate-instructional-designer-extra-help


Graphic Designer Assistant (Extra Help)


Close date: Open until filled.
Learn More: teaching.uic.edu/news-stories/graphic-designer-assistant-extra-help

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