Category: Teaching Tips

Sep 10 2015

Harvesting The Commons: Finding & Using Open Images for Teaching

CTL recently hosted a lunch and learn workshop, called Harvesting the Commons: Finding and Using Open Images for Teaching (slides). In the session, we discussed open images: what they are, what Creative Commons licenses are, how to locate openly licensed images, and the importance of continuing to contribute to the pool of open resources. For those who missed it, here's a link to the 60-minute recording from the session. 

One of the key takeaways was the ease with which you can limit searches on Google Images or Flickr by license type, so that you can locate openly licensed images. Here's a handout on to do this, as well as the Open Image Resources handout from the Johns Hopkins Open Education Lab, which lists a great number of other possible places to find open images. 

To participate in upcoming workshops, please visit the CTL Events and Workshops page, and follow @courseplus and @jhsphctl on Twitter for all the latest news and updates.



0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:45 AM - Categories: Course Tools | General | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | OpenCourseWare | Teaching Tips | Tech Tools

Jan 12 2015

Two Things to Help Prepare for Teaching During Inclement Weather

Are you looking for ideas to maintain the continuity of your classes during winter snowstorms? Here are a few things you can do to help stay prepared:

1.             Join us on Wednesday, January 14 from noon-1p.m. for the Teaching During Inclement Weather workshop. (RSVP link) In an eight-week term, losing a day or two to bad weather can be a big hindrance. Will you be prepared to continue your classes in the event of big snowstorms and school closures? In this session, we'll cover some of the major technologies and strategies you can use to help keep your classes going, including tools in-and-out of CoursePlus. Join us to explore how you can quickly create recordings, online discussions and host live remote class sessions. 

2.            Visit the Teach During Inclement Weather webpage to review information about the various ways you can record and create lecture presentations or hold live virtual class sessions. 

Stay warm!

0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 2:30 PM - Categories: Course Tools | CoursePlus | General | Teaching Tips

Dec 23 2014

VoiceThread Gets an Upgrade

A new version of Voicethread has been released, and is now the official active version in use by JHU. This version has some notable new features and a greatly updated user interface. (Catch a good glimpse of what it looks like in this short video.)


0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 7:30 AM - Categories: Course Tools | Distance Learning | General | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | Teaching Tips | Tech Tools

Sep 9 2014

CTL Teaching Assistant (TA) Short Courses and Resources

The JHSPH Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) offers some comprehensive resources and courses for preparing to TA:

1.  The first is the Teaching Toolkit web site, which contains an area for TA's: including specific TA information for each JHSPH department, an FAQ, and information on our two mostly self-paced TA training offerings.

2.  The second part of the training program is a self-paced, fully online short course, Teaching Assistantships 1: Essential Elements (TA1), which orients Teaching Assistants to the roles and responsibilities of their position, relevant policies and regulations, technical tools, teaching tips, and other important information. This short course is offered every term and must be completed within an academic year. Facilitators will be available to answer questions, but the course is specifically designed so that a student can complete activities at their convenience.  Students will be required to interact with others at the school (i.e. faculty, academic coordinators, other TA's) in order to complete the brief assignments.  Register here!

3. Finally, there is Teaching Assistantships 2: Interactive Methods (TA2), a cohort-based practicum for those who have completed TA1: Essential Elements, in which TA's put their skills and knowledge into practice by facilitating discussions, resolving potential issues, brainstorming management techniques, and interacting with each other and their course facilitators.  This course is scheduled 2-3 times per academic year and runs for 3 weeks, with the first 2 weeks completed online, but requiring interaction with other students taking the course.  The third week will involve either two 1-hour on-campus sessions or two 1-hour LiveTalks.  Students can decide if the online or on-campus session in the final week is appropriate, based on their planned TA assignment (online or on campus course).  If desired, a student can attend both the on campus and online LiveTalk sessions. 

We offer a certificate of completion for those who complete both TA1 and TA2. 

We look forward to your participation!

0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:02 AM - Categories: CoursePlus | Distance Learning | General | Online Courses | Teaching Tips

Jul 11 2014

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning (PDF) is a new resource just added to the Flipped Classrooms page in the CTL Teaching Toolkit. It is a detailed special report from Faculty Focus, which is comprised of many individual articles on integrating online and face-to-face activities, course design, reflection, flippable moments, and more! 


0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 3:30 PM - Categories: Distance Learning | Innovation & Inspiration | Online Courses | Teaching Tips

Apr 17 2014

The Flipped Classroom

You may have heard of flipping the classroom as a model for active learning that works well in graduate level courses. It is not new, and some instructors are already practicing it here at JHSPH, but I often get questions about how to more effectively add these techniques into a course. Instructors want to know how much time it takes and if it is worth the effort. 

The flipped classroom is really just a way of making the most of face-to-face class time. Particularly with an eight week term, efficacy in short amounts of time is really important. When students leave your classroom, what is it that you want them to be able to do? Recite a few key points that they picked up from the readings and lectures? Or do you want them to have a deeper level of understanding and the confidence that comes from having applied their learning and worked through complicated problems? Flipping the classroom can help achieve this second outcome. Usually it works like this: there is some homework assigned, maybe even before the first day of class. It can be reading, watching a lecture, or listening to a podcast, something passive where students are getting the background information they need to be able to be an active participant in class. This prepares students to engage in class, and also gives them some confidence that they have some basis for participating when the time comes. Once in class, there are various activities that range from discussion, to group work, to case studies and problem solving, or even letting students teach a section, all of these help students to get a more memorable experience out of the course.

A key to success in the flipped classroom is setting student expectations up front. Letting students know what is expected of them and why you are doing what you are doing. This allows students to take a more active role in their education, and ultimately, get more out of the course. 

My colleagues and I are happy to talk in more detail about your specific courses and questions about implementing a similar model in your classroom. Drop by E5620, Wednesdays from 10-12 or Thursdays from 1:30-3:30, or come by any time and pick up a handout from our office door. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Findlay-Thompson, S., & Mombourquette, P. (2013). EVALUATION OF A FLIPPED CLASSROOM IN AN UNDERGRADUATE BUSINESS COURSE. Global Conference On Business & Finance Proceedings8(2), 138-145.

Bergmann, J., Overmyer, J., Wilie, B. (Aprils, 2012). The flipped class: What it is and what it is not. Retrieved from


For even more information on the topic:

Additional Flipped Classroom Resources Including an Infographic

May 8th Inside Higher Ed The Flipped Classroom Webinar

0 comments - Posted by Amy Kitchens at 3:12 PM - Categories: Teaching Tips

Apr 10 2014

The Innovative Instructor: Peer Learning, Formative Assessment and Poster Projects

For those who haven't yet subscribed to The Innovative Instructor, a blog by our colleagues in the Johns Hopkins Center for Educational Resources, you should! Aside from the very recent posts on our SPH symposium on Peer Learning and Assessment, and ideas on the social media keynote by Howard Rheingold, here are a a couple other recent posts you should definitely check out:

The Characteristics of High Quality Formative Assessments
Formative assessment still tends to lag behind summative assessment in terms of adoption in the classroom. This post provides background, research, loads of references, and will help get things started for incoroporating more. Not sure about the differences between formative and summative assessment? Here's a refresher from Carnegie Mellon.

Creative Student Assignments:  Poster Projects
"For STEM career-path students, poster sessions are certain to be a part of their futures. Increasingly, those in Humanities and Social Sciences are finding that poster sessions are being seen in their professional/academic conferences. Posters and similar presentation approaches are becoming part of business (including non-profit) practice as well."

On some floors of the School of Public Health you can see poster presentations on the walls. Were these created by faculty or by students? Whoever does the work, does the learning.

0 comments - Posted by Clark Shah-Nelson at 8:47 AM - Categories: General | Innovation & Inspiration | Teaching Tips

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