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Some Thanks, Glimmers of Hope, and CITL's Five Year Celebration & Convocation

As I don’t need to tell anyone reading this, the campus shut down a year ago this week. Indeed, a year ago from the moment I am writing these words, at 4:30 pm on the last Friday of Winter quarter instruction, I was packing a few things into a bag and heading off campus to a local beer hall to meet up with the emerging remote instruction team, hastily pulled together in the days prior to try to chart a course into the unknown, for what we called “The End of the World Party.” It seemed funny at the time. 

Rather than trying to make any glib summary of the year we have lived, separately and collectively, I’ll simply register some words of heartfelt thanks, and gesture at some glimmers of hope on the near-term horizon–a celebration, even, to come. First, thanks beyond words to the entire remote instruction support team, comprising (not a comprehensive list by any means) CITL, Online Education, FITC, ITS, the library, classroom technologies, and our partners in advising, Student Success, Orientation, LSS, ACE, and other student facing units. I particularly want to single out our colleagues at Online Education, who have rendered the bulk of hands-on support to instructors throughout this time, while CITL has played a more “behind the scenes” role in coordinating support and creating web-based resources. The expertise in instructional design and teaching with technology at Online Ed has quite literally made us possible this year, and the campus owes Michael Tassio and his small team a huge debt of gratitude. While keeping going with the development of new online courses, OE has provided the support needed to design and deliver all those courses we now know to call “remote.” I also want to commend CITL Associate Director for Graduate Programs Kendra Dority, who has single-handedly developed abundant resources to support Teaching Assistants and GSIs with the transition to remote instruction, and CITL Managing Director Sam Foster, for more than I can convey here, but especially for designing and continually updating the indispensable resource of the keep teaching website

In the next month, CITL will be celebrating our fifth anniversary in existence. While we would have loved to hold a large gathering where we could feed and personally thank all the many people who have supported our development over the past five years, we are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with the HSI Initiatives team and the Division of Student Affairs and Success to bring renowned scholar and educational equity activist Estela Bensimon to speak to the campus. Dr. Bensimon is author, most recently, of From Equity Talk to Equity Walk, co-authored with Dr. Tia Brown McNair and Dr. Lindsey Malcolm-Piqueux. 

On April 14th at 5:30 pm, Dr. Bensimon will be giving the fifth annual CITL Convocation (well, technically the fourth, since we didn’t hold one last Spring), speaking on the topic, “Practicing Equity with Fidelity to Racial Justice.” All are welcome to attend

For those who may want to familiarize themselves with her work in advance, or who are interested in learning more about the work of racial equity in higher education, Dr. Bensimon recently partnered in a series of four extremely informative presentations through the California Education Learning Lab Conversations Series. Dr. Bensimon offers an initial overview of The Meaning of Racial Equity. Dr Malcolm-Piqueux then gives an outstanding non-specialist presentation on Understanding Data as an Equity Practice. The last two presentations are aimed directly at instructors, including a roundtable on Faculty Perspectives on Race and Gender Equity and, by way of conclusion, Dr. Bensimon’s fascinating and enlightening talk on The Syllabus as an Equity Practice. We highly recommend checking out these pragmatic and inspiring resources. 

We hope to see you at the Convocation, and we wish you all in the meantime some much-needed moments of respite over the brief Spring break.
– Jody Greene, CITL Director and AVP for Teaching & Learning
Practicing Equity with Fidelity to Racial Justice
with Dr. Estela Bensimon

CITL 2021 Convocation & Five-Year Celebration
Wednesday, April 14 • 5:30 - 8:00 pm

In celebration of CITL's 5th Annual Convocation, CITL and the HSI Initiatives are honored to present a talk by renowned equity pioneer Estela Bensimon. Professor Bensimon will speak about engaging in everyday practices guided by racial equity as corrective justice, anti-racist action, and decentering of whiteness.

Gear Up for Spring Teaching

Spring Cleaning 2021 • THIS WEEK! 

On March 18 & 19, Online Education is offering workshops to help you make the most of both new and familiar tech tools for remote teaching.

Spruce up your remote courses & discover new teaching tools that spark joy!

Topics include:
  • large lecture engagement,
  • equity and inclusion,
  • tech talks
  • and more!
You are welcome to attend only those topics that are relevant to your teaching. Get all the details here.
One Change Challenge

Online Education invites all faculty to commit to making one small change to your Spring teaching.
  1. Choose your own adventure from a list of easy-to-adopt mini-challenges.
  2. Fill out this quick sign-up survey. We’ll track the change you’ve committed to and add it to our accomplishments jam board. You’ll be able to see the changes your colleagues are committing to!
Click here to see the list of changes to choose from and get additional details.

Support Student Learning with Self-Efficacy Strategies

Using Self Efficacy Strategies to Promote Student Success and Build Community
A workshop for instructors of discussion-based, distance learning courses

Facilitated by Lindsay Knisely, Continuing Lecturer in the Writing Program and at Oakes College

Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 9:00 to 10:00 am

Distance learners struggle with motivation, time management, and engagement, all of which can be improved by implementing activities that promote self-efficacy. This workshop will explore student self-efficacy and in-class exercises you can integrate into your remote courses to build self-efficacy. The self-efficacy exercises you will learn in this workshop can help create inclusive spaces by providing opportunities for engagement and connection, which research tells us are critically important for students to succeed as distance learners. During the workshop, Lindsay will share teaching materials that she has been using successfully to build community and promote student self-efficacy in remote learning environments this year. Attendees will leave with a folder of in-class activities that they can put to use right away.
Register here!

Upcoming Events on Evidence of Teaching Excellence & Gender, Caregiving, and COVID in Academic Life

Documenting Teaching for the Academic Personnel Process–COVID Edition
with Jody Greene, Associate Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning

Monday April 5, 2021 at 3:00 - 4:00 pm
Thursday, May 6 at 9:00 - 10:00 am

This workshop supports faculty to develop their evidence of excellence in teaching to provide a holistic and representative picture of themselves as educators, both for the personnel review process and for formative self-reflection. Acknowledging the research on limitations of Student Experience of Teaching (SET) data, the workshop provides guidance both for using SET data and for developing additional methods of documenting teaching.
Gender, Caregiving, and COVID in Academic Life: A Review of Current Research
a talk by UCSC Anthropology Professor Megan Moodie

Friday, May 21, 2021 at Noon - 1:30 pm

Since spring 2020, research on the gendered impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic has shown that caregivers, mothers in particular, have faced burdens at home and at work that are impossible to balance.  Focusing on the emerging literature on caregivers, especially mothers, in academia, this talk will provide a review of salient research from a variety of fields, including STEM, humanities, and social sciences as well as examine some of the measures that have been proposed–most of which have not been implemented–to lessen the immense pressures on working caregivers in the era of Covid-19.

New Drop-in Equity Discussions & a Book Club

Peer-Led Equity Discussions for Faculty Across Disciplines
Join UCSC instructors from across all disciplines for peer-led discussions about fostering equity in undergraduate teaching.

Share what’s working for you in your courses, find inspiration from others’ practices, and problem-solve collaboratively with fellow instructors.

Drop in to any or all discussions: 11:00am - Noon on April 2, April 16, May 7, and May 21.

Click here more more details. 

Distracted Book Club: Holding Students' Attention Amidst Tech Distractions

Join Caitlin Binder and Megan McNamara for an engaging three-session discussion of renowned pedagogy writer James Lang’s latest book on distraction and attention in the classroom.

The group meets every 3rd Wednesday of Spring quarter at 4:00 to 5:30pm on April 14, May 5, and May 26.

Click here for more details or reach out to hosts at or

Planning for Fall 2021

Check out the new page on the Keep Teaching website with up-to-date information about the plans for Fall 2021 instruction. 

Institutional Membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity

We are pleased to announce that UC Santa Cruz has joined the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) as an Institutional Member. The NCFDD is a nationally-recognized, independent organization that provides online career development and mentoring resources for faculty, post-docs, and graduate students.

NCFDD provides a variety of virtual programs and resources including: multi-week courses to help with project development and completion and maintaining work-life balance; access to dissertation success curriculum for graduate students; private discussion forums; access to a moderated 14-day writing challenge; and more.

To claim your free Institutional Membership, complete the following steps: 
1) Go to
2) Choose University of California, Santa Cruz from the drop-down menu. 
3) Select “Activate my Membership.” 
4) Complete the registration form using your institutional email address (i.e.
5) Go to your institution email to find a confirmation/welcome email. Click “Activate Account” in the email.

Canvas Updates & Resources

Canvas Winter 2021 End of Term

The winter term will end on Saturday March 20 @ 6am. After that date, students will have read-only access to courses. TAs access will end on Thursday March 25 @ 6AM. If you need to extend access, visit this Canvas Community Guide for directions or email for help.

Updated Introduction Module and Course Design Template

The UCSC Introduction Module and Course Design Template for Canvas have been updated for spring quarter. Both have useful standard information for your students about campus resources, technology, and learning strategies. The Course Design Template also has a modular framework for a 10-week course. You can import from Canvas Commons or request that the module or template be added to your course with an email to

Let’s Get This Canvas Started!

New to working in Canvas, or just need a place to practice some basic skills? Online Education now offers a self-paced, asynchronous, Canvas Basics course called Let's Get This Canvas Started. You can use Let's Get This Canvas Started as reference guide or take it as a course, completing the homework assignments at the end of each Module. A Canvas expert will give you feedback on your submissions. Get started by joining the ongoing course in Canvas.
New features in Canvas coming on March 20 (full release notes here).

Some of the new features include:
  • submission reassignment,
  • students can now upload webcam videos for Assignment submissions, and
  • course availability date enhancements.

Two New Tools are coming to Canvas to Improve Accessibility
  1. SensusAccess converts digital files into accessible formats (such as PDFs, audio MP3 files, or e-pub files) for individuals with visual, physical, or information processing disabilities who experience barriers with print materials.
  2. Microsoft Immersive Reader allows anyone with dyslexia, low vision, visual processing disorders or ADHD to customize how they read text. The end user can customize the font-size, background color, font-spacing, present text using line focus, adjust font spacing, and read aloud without a screen reader.
More details coming soon! In the meantime, visit the DRC’s 5 tips for inclusive design.


New! Tablets, iPads, & Surfaces (Oh my!)

This new page on the Keep Teaching website highlights the versatility of a tablet as a colorful, engaging presentation tool.

Instructors, bring your slides and notes to life with live annotation and on-the-fly animations!

Find detailed setup instructions, demos, and software recommendations for tablets, including iPads and Windows Surfaces.

Hypothesis Course & Resources

New Self-Paced Course

Make reading active, visible and social!

This course teaches you about
Hypothesis, a social annotation tool that is integrated with Canvas. Hypothesis allows students to annotate and mark up digital text such as webpages and PDFs.

Enroll in this course to learn more
Check out the resources below for additional help with Hypothesis!

Daily Open Office Hours & Instructional Design Help

We love answering your questions about Canvas, YuJa, Zoom, Hypothesis, or any other tools or topics on your mind.

Join us for
drop-in office hours here, 2 pm – 3 pm every day
(passcode is ‘help’).
Are you teaching a course for the first time (or the first time remotely) in the spring?  We’d like to help you!

Contact Online Education via email or Slack to work with an instructional designer on planning, design, and technology for your course.
Center for Innovations for Teaching and Learning (CITL) •
Online Education •
Faculty Instructional Technology Center (FITC) •
University of California Santa Cruz

Copyright © 2021 Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning, All rights reserved.

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