As we prepare for the new year and a new semester, it may be helpful to consult the many campus resources that support teaching and learning success. The Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation has assembled a wide range of resources and best practices for educators. Please share specific information with others in your unit who might find one of these resources valuable.
Fall Semester 2023 Guidance for Educators Following the Feb. 13 Tragedy
Trauma-informed experts here at MSU have assembled fall semester 2023 guidance for educators following the Feb. 13 tragedy, to provide resources for you and your support of our students. All educators are strongly encouraged to read, review, and revisit this guidance now and throughout the semester.
Conduct class as you normally would. It is not necessary to acknowledge or name the Feb. 13 tragedy. Should a student or set of students express concerns related to stress, trauma, or Feb. 13 directly, validate that there are various reactions and different trajectories over time following traumatic events – and that it is OK to have whatever reactions they are having.
It is not necessary to review safety and security updates with your classes, but you can reference or share the campus safety and security update Vice President and Chief Safety Officer Marlon Lynch shared with the MSU community in late August, which provided information about actions completed over the summer and continuing work to enhance campus safety, including information on door lock installations and other safety tips.
Provide links to MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) for students and the MSU Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees. The EAP is available for consultation with faculty and academic staff who are having concerns related to any emotional, mental health, or substance abuse issues being experienced by a student, colleague, or employee.
- Share resources that provide common reactions and healthy habits to do/keep doing, leaning on ways one typically copes in positive ways (e.g., being with friends and loved ones, social engagement, exercise, regular meals, prayer).
Consult Resources for Teaching After a Crisis, compiled by MSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation, to build comfort and confidence in supporting your students and your own journey following Feb. 13.
More Tips to help you get started
Consistent with the resources previously shared by the Office of the Provost in past semesters, here are some suggestions that will help you as you plan for the spring semester:
- Adhere to the official course schedule as published by the Registrar
- Especially when scheduling any required synchronous sessions with students
- Communicate with your class ASAP and make sure they know how to get started
- Make sure students know where to find your syllabus
- Make sure students know where to “show up” and “start,” be that in-person and/or online
- Consider using the “email your class” tool provided by the Registrar’s Office
- Make introductions and set expectations
- Provide a clear introduction to the course, including the course’s learning objectives
- Set the context for any initial activities, assignments and readings early
- Remind students of expectations you set in your syllabus
- Clearly state attendance policies
- For digital experiences, use MSU’s core teaching tools
- These tools are robust and best supported on campus
- Students are already familiar with these tools
- Consider using D2L course templates and post a copy of your syllabus in D2L
- For digital experiences, enhance your instructional presence by posting a welcome video or writing a welcome letter
- Digitally post all early readings and documents students will need, or create stable sharing links via the MSU Libraries electronic resources collection. Work closely with your unit’s librarians
- Communicate requirements and your flexibility
- Communicate clearly about any required materials and tools students will need to be successful. Consider how you might accommodate students with different abilities or with limited access
- Be appropriately flexible in your approach, transparent about your plans and expectations, and generous in response to individual student circumstances
- Work with RCPD and other academic support units to help students find accommodations
- Response to Teaching After Crisis
In response to the tragedy at MSU, the MSU Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation has compiled the following information and resources for educators as the campus community heals. We will do our best to keep these shared resources as updated as possible and they will remain archived here. Visit Resources for Teaching After Crisis.
- Guidance on Generative AI in an Instructional setting
Visit our page Interim Guidance on Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Instructional Settings to learn more. These AI materials were assembled using existing MSU policy documents and include framing questions developed by an interdisciplinary team of campus experts.
Work with the Center for Teaching and Learning Innovation
CTLI provides a spectrum of support for MSU's educators to conceptualize learning, teaching, and programmatic opportunities and develop solutions. Instructors and educators may receive support and consultation, professional development opportunities, learning experience design collaborations, and support for online and blended programs. Work with us
- to participate in a workshop or seminar, or propose one you’d like to offer,
- for instructional consultation,
- when you are working on curriculum and course design,
- to develop your online and blended programs and academic entrepreneurship,
- to seek connection to a relevant colleague across our network or self-identify as an affiliate.
Other places to look for help
Instructors with acute needs for support, guidance and advice about the start of the semester might best engage first with colleagues and support people in their academic unit. Many of our instructors and staff have contributed to starting the semester tips. I encourage you to review these and share ideas, questions, and connect with educators across MSU. MSU is fortunate to have many exceptional instructors at all levels and across all disciplines who are typically very willing to share strategies and help colleagues address questions and concerns.
Additional resources across campus
- Access tutorials, and ask questions in MSU's community for educators
- Learn about educational technology that supports teaching and learning
- For IT support, please call (517) 432-6200 or toll free (844) 678-6200, or complete the quick request form.
- For Desire2Learn (D2L) Learning Management System support
- For instructional technology consultation services leveraging MSU technology resources
- SpartansLearn is a place to find technology training and other professional development opportunities for the MSU community.
Professional development opportunities
I encourage anyone seeking further professional development in any area of remote teaching to consult the resources made available in MSU’s community for educators. On iteach.msu.edu there are several resources for educators that cover a broad array of instructional needs such as reflective practices, how to properly incorporate technology, and inclusive teaching approaches. Many academic units have developed discipline-specific resources that are applicable. Be sure to connect with your deans, directors and chairs to make appropriate accommodations for your students.
If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to request help.
I wish you the best for the start of the new year.
Chief Academic Digital Officer