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CTE Spotlight

The Center for Teaching Excellence Spotlight showcases evidence-based practices, insights, and stories centered around teaching, learning, and innovation at The Catholic University of America.
  • Catholic U Students

    Holistic Education: Fueling Bodies and Minds in an Academic Setting

    In this review, graduate assistant James Dolley discusses an article written by Cathy A. Pohan for Faculty Focus. Pohan’s article provides examples to educators regarding how to nurture students’ physiological and emotional needs, and how doing so increases academic success. James identifies other strategies to maintain students’ well-being, including through some of Catholic U’s resources.

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  • Students use laptops in class

    Tech in Class: Enhancing Engagement or Fueling Distraction?

    Have you ever spotted a student lost in an Amazon shopping spree or engrossed in a football game during your class? The key to technology integration lies in a balanced approach involving clear policies, active student participation, and innovative teaching strategies. Engaging students in setting technology norms, adapting teaching methods to maintain engagement, and using technology as a tool for active learning can enhance the educational experience. Additionally, ethical considerations and ensuring accessibility for all students are paramount. Ultimately, the decision to ban devices lies with the educator. Consider your students, your teaching practices, and how technology use may or may not align with your learning goals.

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  • Julianne Stuart with Her New Book

    God's Box of Doughnuts: An Interview with a Catholic University Alumna

    In this article, James Dolley interviewed Catholic U alumna Julianne Stuart, who recently published a children’s book entitled God’s Box of Doughnuts. She discussed her inspiration for writing the book, which included taking a course on children’s literature with one of our own, Dr. Angela McRae. Julianne also offers advice to current undergraduate students at Catholic.

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  • A student gets a B grade

    How Ungrading Altered (and Did Not Alter) My Classroom

    This article describes the pedagogical shifts in my classroom that resulted from a Theology and Religious Study student-led summer study of Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (Blum, 2020). While I was not able to leave grading completely behind, these are the first steps I am taking towards providing students with agency in the classroom and the tools to reflect on their own learning experiences.

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  • Faculty engage in a brainstorming exercise, exploring how digitization is shaping students

    Faculty Event Recap: Mitigation and Enrichment of Artificial Intelligence in Higher Ed

    With representation from several departments including Nursing, Architecture, Education, English, Marketing, Early Christian Studies, Politics, Library and Information Science, Business, History, Philosophy, and Greek and Latin Studies, faculty gathered in Great Room C of the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center on November 8th, 2023, for “Mitigation and Enrichment: What do we now?” The workshop serves as the third installment of the Artificial Intelligence Workshops facilitated by CTE Faculty Fellows Dr. Jonathan Askonas and Dr. Justin Litke from the Department of Politics.

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  • Student receiving an F grade

    Approaching Ungrading

    Five Teaching Fellows in the School of Theology and Religious Studies reflect on their summer study of the book Ungrading. Their report offers an example of teacher-driven professional development as they draw out some of the big ideas and difficult aspects of Ungrading. In the end, more than recommending that particular book, the authors recommend general engagement with the scholarship on teaching and learning (SOTL) within a community of peers.

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  • After Trigger Warnings: Adding a Trauma-Informed Lens to Your Classroom

    After Trigger Warnings: Adding a Trauma-Informed Lens to Your Classroom

    Traumas are negative experiences that have harmful effects on emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, as well as academic performance. Traumas that are commonly experienced by children are abuse and violence. To best create positive learning experiences for our students, we must be aware that many of them will have experienced multiple traumatic incidents by the time they reach college. This article includes responses to those traumas when those signs arise in our classrooms.

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  • CTE Faculty Fellows Dr. Jonathan Askonas and Dr. Justin Litke

    Faculty Event Recap: Plagiarism Prevention, Prompt Engineering, and the Catholic Tradition

    Fifteen faculty engaged in a workshop led by Drs. Askonas and Litke, discussing AI-assisted plagiarism prevention, prompt engineering, and the Catholic tradition in education. The session explored digital-era learning dynamics, student integrity, and how to craft assignments, illuminating the intersection of AI and Catholic educational principles.

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  • Marketing students in the classroom

    Reducing Anxiety and Increasing Curiosity in The Classroom

    Tough business problems today call for a virtuous, polymathic approach, or one in which an individual applies expertise in two or more different disciplines simultaneously to create an innovative, respectful solution. This cannot be learned in a classroom when students exhibit high anxiety and low curiosity levels. Certain kinds of scaffolding and the QFT (Question Formulation Technique) may help lower anxiety and increase curiosity. This article explains how.

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  • Solar Panels at Gibbons

    Campus Sustainability Month at Catholic University: Go Green, Cardinals!

    October is Campus Sustainability Month! Check out some ways to incorporate sustainability into your courses and daily life at Catholic University. Whether it is encouraging your students to consider sustainability during class, spending time together doing service and learning in the community garden, joining CTE's Connect & Collaborate sustainability sessions, or scheduling a sustainability tour of campus for your students, there is something for everyone.

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  • Professors at a workshop

    Faculty Event Recap: Exploring ChatGPT and Catholic Education

    On September 6, 2023, faculty members from diverse departments gathered for a workshop exploring the intersection of Catholic Education and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in education. The session participants discussed key AI terminology, the philosophical underpinnings of technology in education, and the need to recalibrate teaching methods in an AI-driven era. This event marks the beginning of a series aimed at bridging AI technologies with educational paradigms.

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  • Loom Logo

    EdTech Reviews: Loom

    Loom is an asynchronous communication tool utilized by more than 21 million individuals across 200,000 companies. It offers educators free access to premium features and unlimited recordings. With Loom, you can create and share brief videos of your screen, webcam, or both. It enables you to convert complicated explanations into easily digestible videos and provide verbal context to documents or personalized feedback on assignments, thus eliminating the need for lengthy emails or additional meetings.

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  • Angela McRae

    A Warm Welcome from our Director


    The beginning of a new semester is a time filled with opportunities and challenges, and the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) is here to support you every step of the way. We are thrilled to welcome all instructors back to campus, particularly those who have recently joined our community. Let’s embrace a growth mindset in teaching and explore impactful strategies together!

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