L. Dee Fink’s Guide to Course Design

Fink Alignment Diagram

This self directed guide for course design by L. Dee Fink is excerpted from his  his book “Creating Significant Learning Experiences,” which you can read online. The guide has a fair amount of background that makes a case for backwards design. Toward the back of the guide there are worksheets to help you plan your course in a way that keeps your learning goals, teaching and learning activities, and your assessment aligned.


Scholarly Writing Retreat for Hampshire Staff and Faculty

Join the CTL for a Scholarly Writing Retreat for Hampshire College Faculty and Staff on Monday, June 3 – Thursday, June 6, 2019, 9:30am to 12:30 pm in the FPH Lounge.

Facilitated by local writing coach, Cathy Luna, each three-hour writing session will begin with goal setting and end with a short debriefing and a look ahead. Participants are invited to sign up for a 30-minute individual consultation with Cathy, to take place during one of the morning sessions. Consultations can focus on writing process and/or time management questions, or on your scholarly writing, fellowship applications, reappointment and promotion materials, or any other writing you would like to discuss.  Please sign up at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0B4CABA62CA5F85-scholarly

Please direct questions to Kristen Luschen at kluschen@hampshire.edu.

3 Tips for the Minute Before Class

A brief  video from the Chronicle of Higher Education for the minutes before class:

1) Chat with students

2) Post the agenda

3) Create wonder

These tips are taken from “Small Changes in Teaching” by James Lang. There are more tips and info here.

CTL Teaching Workshops in August

Inclusive Pedagogy:
Digging into Full Participation and Holding Space for Different Viewpoints

Thursday, August 30, Kern 202, 10am-12pm


A Balanced Approach to Accommodations

Thursday, August 30, Kern 202, 2pm-4PM


Lunch will be provided at noon

To register for one or both workshops, email Shannon Thorin, Assistant Dean of Faculty.

Inclusive Pedagogy:
Digging into Full Participation and Holding Space for Different Viewpoints

The first month of class is a critical time to set the tone for the semester and foster student participation in critical discussions. In this session, we will review key inclusive practices that assist with this. Then, we will take a closer look at what it means for students to be full participants in the course, with an eye toward how we hold space for different viewpoints. In this session, we will reflect on our own syllabi and projects, with a full participation lens, and work through particular dynamics that may arise in whole class and small group discussions, from both our vantage points as faculty and from the viewpoints of students.

This workshop will be facilitated by Becky Wai-Ling Packard, professor of psychology and education at Mt. Holyoke College and author of Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented Students: A research-based guide for faculty and administrators. Packard has served as the Director of the Teaching and Learning Initiative program, Associate Dean of Faculty, and Director of the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mt. Holyoke College.

A Balanced Approach to Accommodations

Before the fall semester begins, come explore the issues involved in negotiating and holding clear expectations and requirements around student accommodations. Be prepared with a system that meets student need without compromising your course or overly taxing your time. We’ll have a general discussion and include uncovering your concerns, articulating your standards, writing a syllabus statement, and developing strategies/using the OARS Holistic Learning Program toolbox for contingency planning with students.

The  workshop will be facilitated by:

Milo Bezark, Holistic Learning Project Alumni Fellow

Aaron Ferguson, Director of Accessibility Resources and Services, Office of Accessibility Resources and Services

Kristen Luschen, Dean of Multicultural Education and Inclusion and Co-Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning.



Ideas for Class Activities

This column from Chronicle Vitae includes some great classroom activities that help you find out what students already know and what they understand from the reading. These activities also help students make connections across readings and to be prepared for class discussions.


Five College Digital Humanities Speaker Series

The Five College Digital Humanities Program is pleased to announce that Dr. Jeffrey R Vadala, one of our Postdoctoral Fellows in Blended Learning and Digital Humanities, will be continuing our Five College Digital Humanities speaker series.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Vadala’s talk, “Virtual Reality, the Ancient Maya, and Astronomy” will be given on February 1, 5:30 PM at Hampshire College in Franklin Patterson Hall in the Staff Lounge (upstairs). This event is open to the public.

Among New and Old World ancient societies, the ancient Maya are known to have one of the most complex and precise systems of understanding, tracking, and observing the flow of time. Using maps and mathematical calculations, archaeologists, art historians, and epigraphers have found that these temporal systems were developed through the use of architectural calendars. Over time, these constructions developed into monumental observatories that were used to track celestial phenomena and host political ritual events.

Primarily focused on functional elements of architecture, previous studies produced highly generalized interpretations without considering how ancient Maya people experienced and interacted with both the natural and built landscape’s that contextualized the locations of these observatories. Focusing on the human experience of both the built and natural landscape, this study uses computer modeled virtual reality (VR) 3D interactive simulations to explore how the Maya interacted with their local environment and produced local astronomical knowledge at the Preclassic site of Cerro Maya (formerly known as Cerros). Researchers used fully interactive virtual reality simulations of Cerro Maya to identify two previously unknown early Maya architectural solar alignments. Additionally, by considering how these architectural alignments were transformed as Cerro Maya grew from a small seaside village into a monumental trading center, VR simulations made it possible to explore how local history and astronomical knowledge were produced and experienced differently by the various competing social orders at the time. As astronomical knowledge developed alongside society at Cerro Maya, it would come to play an important role in the development of hierarchy and social organization. Beyond archaeology, this research demonstrates that virtual reality simulations can be a powerful analytical tool for digital humanities scholars that study or explore human landscapes both built and natural.

Contact Jeffrey Vadala at jvadala@hampshire.edu or learn more at www.jeffreyvadala.com


Five College Digital Humanities Speaker Series

The Five College Digital Humanities Program is pleased to announce that Dr. Heather Richards-Rissetto from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be the first speaker to kick-off our Five College Digital Humanities speaker series.

Dr. Richards-Rissetto’s talk, “Are We in the Present, Past, or Future? 3D GIS Explorations of Vision, Sound, and Movement in Ancient Maya Cities,” will be given on December 12th 5:00 pm in N255 at the Integrative Learning Center at UMass in Amherst MA.

Ancient Maya architecture worked in concert with the natural landscape to convey messages of political power, social differences, and cosmological beliefs. Temples, ball courts, palaces, and plazas offered sights and sounds to create synesthetic experiences that influenced daily life and shaped society.  Geographic Information Systems (GIS) offer tools and methods to derive quantified and geovisualized data. Digital technologies such as photogrammetry, laser scanning and airborne LiDAR allow us to create 3D models of extant architecture within contemporary landscapes. But how do we simulate ancient cities rather than simply visualize present archaeological landscapes? 3D Modeling software affords us possibilities to reconstruct non-extant architecture but typically requires time-consuming manual modeling. An alternative—procedural modeling—applies “standardized” rules to rapidly generate 3D architectural models allowing simulations of ancient cities based on GIS data. Recent advances in immersive Virtual Reality (VR) allow us to bring these GIS and 3D data into VR environments for cross-disciplinary humanistic and scientific analysis. In this talk, I discuss how the MayaCityBuilder Project is using GIS and 3D data to explore sight, sound, and movement in eighth century Copan—today a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Honduras.

Find out more about Dr. Heather Richards-Rissetto’s work at https://www.unl.edu/anthropology/heather-richards-rissetto