TMM 14: Review and Reflect

June 28, 2021

What have we learned over the course of this Monday Minute series?


This is the last episode of The Monday Minute video series (my job got extended, but the series has ended for now). Thank you to everyone who interacted with the Open Space document, emailed questions/comments, dropped into my Zoom sessions, etc. I appreciate you all and wish you the best in your teaching endeavors.

TMM 13: Synchronous Teaching – Student Engagement

How do you engage students in a Zoom session when everyone has their cameras off?


Seven ideas: 

  1. Pre-class music, prompt, and/or puzzle: Share your screen (and your sound) to play music as students enter, and put up a prompt or a puzzle on the screen. It can be as silly as “Is a taco a sandwich?” 
  2. Zoom polls: Set these up on your account prior to class. 
  3. Zoom chat: Make sure to set guidelines. What can students use the chat for? 
  4. 321Go! or Zoom Waterfall: Ask a question. Have students type their answers in the chat, but DON’T press enter until you say “321Go!” 
  5. Chat check-ins: Ask students to give one-word responses
  6. Zoom reactions: Teach students how to use Zoom reactions and then use them to signify specific things 
  7. Digital whiteboard/document: Have an editable Google document/slide/jamboard, or another free online option like Padlet or Miro accessible for students to engage with during class. 

TMM 12: End-of-Semester Ideas

June 7, 2021

Due to nonstop noise outside Carolyn’s apartment for the past four days, this episode of TMM is a 60-second activity with no video.

Five Fast Ideas:

  1. Give students an opportunity to check grades on Blackboard before you submit to the registrar. Ideally, give them a few days to check their grade and contact you if there is a mistake; this will hopefully avoid you having to make changes after submitting. 
  1. If you’re using end-of-semester reflection prompts, what can you do to make them fun? Consider using to create a randomizer. Here’s one I made as an example:
  1. Have learners write a letter or offer advice to future students, either anonymously or with their names. Their advice can sometimes be quite revealing. 
  1. This is a great time for feedback! Refer to previous TMM episodes on collecting feedback.

Please add any additional tips/ideas to our Open Space document here: You could offer a similar open document for students to share feedback or advice to future learners.

TMM 11: Trauma-Informed Pedagogy

May 24, 2021

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. Students, staff, and faculty may be affected by this and other traumatic events of the past year and beyond. This episode of TMM will explore how to shape your teaching around such effects through the lens of trauma-informed pedagogy.


Special thanks this week to Miranda Fedock and the Teaching and Learning Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY. 

Miranda’s blog post on trauma-informed pedagogy: 

TMM 9: Bring What’s Broken!

May 3, 2021

We are now past the halfway point of the semester. You’ve hopefully collected student feedback and learned what’s not working in your course. Now what? 

Mentioned In This Video: 

“Bring What’s Broken” by the CUNY Games Network
Friday, May 7, 2021, 12:30-2 PM EDT
More info. here: 

Feel free to share ways you are altering classes based on feedback on the Open Space document.

TMM 8: Feedback Again

April 26, 2021

Reflect on your response to requests for feedback. What motivates you, and how can you motivate your students? 


Add feedback to All Our Ideas by clicking the choices you agree with and/or adding new options to the survey. Spend as little or as much time as you’d like clicking through choices: 

If you prefer a traditional survey format, add comments to the survey on the Open Space doc (labeled “Instructional Designer Feedback Request”). 

Other Considerations: 

  • Feedback format
    • Formal feedback: Google form, crowdsourcing tool like All Our Ideas, private comments, Blackboard survey, external survey software like SurveyMonkey
    • Informal feedback: Quick “temperature check” options such as using an emoji to signify a feeling, holding up cards on Zoom, sharing a gif, etc. 
  • Intrinsic/extrinsic motivation
  • Navigating to survey (less clicks is better)
  • If you use a Likert scale (rate from 1-5), note that studies show that participants are unlikely to choose the two extremes. Consider a seven-point scale instead. 

TMM 7: Feedback

April 19, 2021

We are about to reach the halfway point of the semester, a perfect time to collect student feedback. This video serves as a reminder


***Request: Carolyn appreciates your feedback regarding The Monday Minute series. She has included seven questions on the Open Space Document. Please type directly into this doc or add comments on the side. Thank you.***

Feedback Ideas: 

  • Platforms: 
    • Blackboard: “Survey” or “tests” tool
    • Google: Google Forms, Docs, or Jamboard (Forms would allow you to see results in graph form, Docs would allow students to see each other’s anonymous feedback and build off one another, Jamboard would create a sort of class whiteboard)
    • Padlet
  • Question Ideas: 
    • Keep it simple. Some form of what’s working, what’s not, what they like, what they’d improve. 
    • One format: 
      • 1. What are the strongest features of this course and of my teaching? In other words, what contributes most to your learning? 
      • 2. What specific suggestions do you have for changes that I can make to improve the course or how it is taught?
      • 3. Is the pace of the course: too fast just right too slow?
    • Give options. Tell students to leave at least X number of comments, so they can choose which questions to answer. 

TMM 6: Interactive Lessons w/ Google Slides

April 12, 2021

This week’s TMM episode does not include a video, but rather a step-by-step presentation on using Google Slides to make your lesson content more engaging. 

Link to Google Slides: 

Please add your own ideas for lesson presentation on the Open Space doc.

Referenced In These Slides: 

Creating A Google Slides Room:

  1. Choose a background. Use the image search feature in Google slides, or upload your own image. Remember: You can’t add alt text to backgrounds, so don’t include anything pertinent to the lesson!
  2. Add transparent images. Use the term “transparent” or “png” in your searches to find images without backgrounds/borders, or use
  3. Insert hyperlinks. You’ve ideally decided on lesson material *before* this step. Now add necessary links to your “room.” Tip: For easier clicking, insert a transparent shape (& transparent border) over the area you want students to click, then embed your hyperlink on the shape.
  4. Launch the room! Click “Share,” change the parameters to “anyone with the link can view,” copy the URL, then replace the word “view” or “edit” with “preview” in the URL. This will automatically open the slide in presentation mode, making it more engaging.

Using Google Forms:

  1. Create a theme: Make a regular form more exciting by giving it a theme. Add images (with descriptions) and text that will support the narrative you create.
  2. Use sections: Use chunking by splitting the form into different sections
  3. Collect responses: You can download responses as a spreadsheet, or just read through them on the form itself. 

TMM 5: Chunking/Video Presentation

April 5, 2021

“Chunking” is a term coined by psychologist George Miller to describe our short-term memory’s ability to hold and process information. This video provides an introduction.


Please add your own ideas for chunking and/or video presentation to the Open Space doc.

Referenced in This Video: 

  • Miller, G. A. (1994). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 101(2), 343–352. 
  • Studies suggest our short-term memory can hold an average of four chunks of information at once. 
    • Rouder, J. N., Morey, R. D., Cowan, N., Zwilling, C. E., Morey, C. C., & Pratte, M. S. (2008). An assessment of fixed-capacity models of visual working memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(16), 5975-5979.

Ideas for video presentations: 

  • Include a rundown of topics at the start of the video
    • Add timestamps in the video description if possible
  • In addition to chunking your topics, consider chunking the video itself: 
    • Add digital transitions if you know how (if you have a Mac, iMovie makes this easy)
    • Break up the lecture-nature of the video with:
      • Stretch breaks
      • Hidden information
      • Scene changes
      • Moments where your face is not on screen
      • Audio/visual surprises/disruptions (change volume level or appearance, add a dramatic pause, emphasize words, task challenges, Easter eggs, etc.) 
  • Use hand gestures and facial expressions to make the visual aspect of your video more engaging
  • Shorter is better – if you have to make a long video, add disruptions.
  • Remember, you don’t need to fill all your class time with a video. Consider Open Educational Resources (pre-existing videos, podcasts, etc.), reflection questions, task challenges, discussion, etc.