Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning

Spring 2023 Reading Groups

  • Reading groups are capped at 12 participants.
  • Please make sure you can attend all of the meetings listed for the group you choose. 
  • The last day to enroll is Friday, February 3rd at noon.

CLICK HERE to register for any reading group.

Susan Blum, ed. (2020). Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead)
Fridays from 1-2pm on 2/17, 3/03, 3/24, & 4/07 in Rod 378
Facilitators: Jeremy Schraffenberger & Sarah Montgomery

Ungrading questions the role of grades in learning and offers alternative models to assess student learning. The book features fifteen educators from diverse fields sharing their experiences going gradeless. Potential outcomes of ungrading are explored, such as more open communication between instructors and students, as well as students feeling supported to take risks in their learning. Ungrading provides rich examples of the potential challenges and transformative possibilities of trying a new approach to assessment. Join the growing number of UNI faculty colleagues who are exploring the many alternatives to conventional grading.


Jean Twenge (2017). iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy
Weds. 2/22, Mon. 3/ 6, Weds. 3/29 & Weds. 4/12 from 10-11am in Rod Library 378
Facilitators: Lisa Jepsen (Economics) & Jenny Connolly (Advising, CoE)

“Born in the mid-1990s up to the mid-2000s, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person—perhaps contributing to their unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

But technology is not the only thing that makes iGen distinct from every generation before them; they are also different in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality.

With the first members of iGen just graduating from college, we all need to understand them: friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate and guide them. And members of iGen also need to understand themselves as they communicate with their elders and explain their views to their older peers. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation—and the world.” [from Amazon]


Alex Shevrin Venet (2021). Equity-Centered Trauma-Informed Education 
Tuesdays from 11am-12pm by Zoom - 2/21, 3/7, 3/21, 4/4
Facilitators: Kim Baker & Marybeth Stalp

Trauma-informed initiatives tend to focus on the challenging behaviors of individual students and ascribe them to circumstances that students are facing outside of school. This approach ignores the reality that inequity itself causes trauma, and that schools often heighten inequities when implementing individually based trauma-informed practices that are not based in educational equity. 

In this fresh look at trauma-informed practice, Alex Shevrin Venet urges educators to shift equity to the center as they consider policies and professional development at the structural level. Using a framework of six principles for equity-centered trauma-informed education, Venet offers practical action steps that teachers and school leaders can take from any starting point, using the resources and influence at their disposal to make shifts in practice, pedagogy, and policy. 

In addition to discussion of the book, this group intends to engage with student-focused representatives across campus (e.g. Dean of Students, Student Accessibility Services, etc.) to ensure that faculty are familiar with and know how to access the resources available to us, to think about equity rather than individuals, to recognize systemic problems, and to develop system level solutions. 

Participants will exit this book group with general and specific strategies, localized knowledge about campus resources, and a nuanced understanding of the complex/complicated social world that contemporary students face.

CLICK HERE to register for any reading group.


The Discussion Project – Interactive Workshop

(limited to 30 faculty participants)

Lynn Glueck, University of Wisconsin
Monday, February 27 | 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. | Scholar Space
Co-sponsored by CETL & a National Endowment for the Humanities Planning Grant
(NEH Planning Grant – secured by department heads Scott Peters, Jennifer McNabb, Susan Hill, & Jim O'Loughlin – to support faculty in creating a UNIFI certificate in Civic Literacy and Engagement)

The Discussion Project teaches college instructors how to design and facilitate high quality discussions that improve students’ learning of course content while also teaching them how to discuss. It is a unique professional development course that focuses entirely on designing, implementing, and facilitating small and large group classroom discussion. Both a professional development course and a research program, The Discussion Project is housed in the Wisconsin Center for Education Research in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The goal of The Discussion Project is to create equitable and inclusive classroom environments in which students learn to discuss and discuss to learn. 

The University of Northern Iowa has invited The Discussion Project to provide an interactive two-hour workshop in which instructors will learn and practice concrete strategies to engage students in high quality classroom discussion of their course content. Participants will leave with an understanding of what discussion is in contrast to other types of student talk and two discussion protocols that they may implement immediately in classrooms. 

Lynn Glueck is the Program Director for The Discussion Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She serves as project manager, curriculum designer, and instructor. In her 30 years as an educator, Glueck has taught at every level from elementary school to college. In addition, she has served as a professional development coordinator, instructional coach, and school improvement administrator for the Madison Metropolitan School District. Trained in Authentic Intellectual Work, Glueck maintains a focus on high quality instruction for all students and over decades has written and collaborated on curriculum and professional learning materials.

(Registration required. Limited to 30 faculty participants.)

CLICK HERE to register.


ICYMI: Some artificial intelligence (A.I.) resources and conversations

Since its release on November 30, 2022, the new artificial intelligence chatbot “ChatGPT” has commanded a lot of attention for its productive and disruptive potential, underlining the fluid realities of A.I. in education, now and in the future. A group of campus representatives are assembling to attempt an institutional response to these challenges, but until that response is sorted and articulated we hope this "A.I. Tools & Learning" resource page from CETL will be of some value and use. It is headlined by a recording of a panel session from 1/12/23 featuring UNI colleagues from four different departments.

Please contact me if you would like to suggest additions to this collection, and we’ll do our best to keep the document current and organized. Also, if you have developed and implemented a pedagogical response to A.I. that you would like to share with your colleagues in a panel or presentation format, I’d love to hear from you!

Click on On-Demand Resources below to browse timely links,
scroll down to Event Resources to access archived video,
or contact us directly about your needs and ideas: