TALE - Teaching and Learning Enhancement Center


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Director Hours: Fall 2021 9:00-11:00 AM and by appointment

Student Assistant Hours t.b.a.

Bloomsburg University's TALE Center facilitates dialogue among faculty on the art and science of university teaching; it provides support of teaching through center resources and programs.

Programs and services are designed to encourage discussion and exchange of ideas, disseminate information, develop projects and conduct inquiries that enhance knowledge and practice of university instruction, stimulate and enable the development of effective strategies and technologies, provide new faculty with information and support, respond to faculty needs and promote a commitment to teaching excellence.

TALE has numerous teaching resources available to all faculty as an organization in BOLT; we offer readings, videos, URL links, etc on a variety of teaching topics. As a faculty member, you have been enrolled in the TALE organization; just search for TALE on your home page, pin it, and start exploring. You can search the content for keywords.

How can you contribute?

  • Participate in TALE events. TALE holds book clubs, faculty and staff conduct seminars on topics related to teaching, and we periodically offer workshops.
  • Become a resource person who shares his/her expertise. Bloomsburg University faculty have a wealth of experience to share: using PowerPoint creatively; engaging discussion methods; meaningful lecture techniques; practical ideas about teaching under-prepared students; active learning strategies; writing effective exam question; making group work effective; and the list goes on. Are you particularly adept at managing large classes? Do you engage in learner-centered teaching techniques that you can share? Do you have experience on using particular software, e.g. student response systems? Can you share expertise in distance education? You can share your expertise and be part of the dialogue by posting to BOLT, creating a video or podcast, holding online discussions, and face-to-face seminars.
  • Make recommendations to TALE. Are there books, articles, websites or blogs that TALE might share with faculty?
  • Serve as TALE Ambassador. Represent your department as TALE Ambassador which includes not only brainstorming with other faculty about the needs of our community, but also sharing what you learn at TALE with your department.
  • Serve on a TALE Committee. If a TALE Committee gets formed, would you be willing to serve?


Faculty Teaching Resources

Adding Interactivity in Asynchronous Lecture Recordings
BOLT Basics
BOLT: Course Set Up and Management
BOLT: How to Set Up Lectures in Zoom: Advanced Sharing
BOLT: Quizzes I - Creating a Quiz
BOLT: Working with Content in BOLT
BOLT: Wrangling Large Classes with Intelligent Agents in BOLT
Creating Presence in Online Teaching with BOLT (and other tools mentioned)
Gallery Walk
Gamification in the Classroom

Get Organized for Yearly Evaluations
(7-part series listed in order of preferred viewing)

    Know Your Audience (4:48)
    Record Keeping (6:32)
    Teaching (9:44)
    Scholarly Growth (8:44)
    Service (4:11)
    SharePoint: Getting Started, Yearly Evals, Tenure, Promotion (8:06)
    SharePoint: Organizing Supporting Documents (9:35)
HuskySuccess in the Classroom, July 15, 3 p.m.
Immediate Feedback: In-Class Assessment Technique (IF-AT)
Office Hours – MyHusky Query
Peak Performance Practices of Faculty (by Susan Robison)
Recording PowerPoint Lectures (using Zoom Screen Capture to demonstrate, 12 min)
Recording a PowerPoint Lecture (using only PPT and Screen Shots, 9 min)

(4-part series listed in order of preferred viewing)

    Rubrics for Efficient Grading and Transparency (6 min, 22 sec)
    Rubric Types (13 min, 42 sec)
    Rubrics: Building a Performance or Criteria-Based (13 min, 10 sec)
    Best Practices: Rubrics in Use (2 min, 7 sec)
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (by Beth Dietz and Cathy Bishop-Clark)
Surviving Field Trips

Tech Tools and Apps
(10-12 Minute Videos)

    Blogger, Christina Francis
    Creating and Sharing Google Forms for a Zoom Session
    Creating and Sharing Office 365-Doc for a Zoom Session
    Flipgrid, Craig Young
    Go React, Jessica Bentley-Sassaman
    Gradescope, Dan McCurry
    GroupMe, Christina Francis
    Inclusive Access/McGraw-Hill Connect, Cheryl Howlett
    Kahoot, Rebecca Willoughby
    Kahoot Quiz Game, Christina Force
    MicrosoftTeams, Dan McCurry
    Padlet, Steph Gardner
    Piazza, Dan McCurry
    Polleverywhere, Arjun Sondhi
    VoiceThread, Julie Ambrose
    TechSmith’s Capture (formerly Jing), Lisa Stallbaumer
    Vialogue, Skye Chernichky-Karcher
    Wacom Graphics Drawing Tablet

Tips for Those Who are New to Being an Online Learner
Tips for Those Who are New to Online Teaching
Twitter Assignments and Building Community (24 September 2020)
Where Should I Publish my Article?
Zoom: Lively and Engaging Sessions (17 April 2020)
Zoom: It’s all about bite-sized pieces (30 March 2020)
Zoom Breakout Rooms - Pre-assigning students to groups (Dan McCurry)
Zoom LTI (Learning Tools Integration) and Mediasite Integration
Zoom: Side-by-Side and Pinning Videos
Zoom: What's New In Zoom (25 January 2021)

There are two models that you can follow: content coverage and backward design. The content coverage model will sound familiar. Determine what content must be covered, oftentimes the choices are shaped by discipline standards and textbooks, then decide how many assignments or exams will be given and fit the details into the school calendar. Backward design begins at the end. Contemplate what outcomes (significant learning experiences) you desire your students to achieve; decide what assessments the students will complete to demonstrate they have achieved the outcomes; develop learning (what the students do) and teaching (what the teacher does) activities; and determine the calendar of what will be completed in and outside of class. This TALE Teaching Tip: Backward Design: a Powerful Course Design Method with Worksheet Template (word document), Worksheet Stage 1 (word document), Worksheet Stage 2 (word document), and Worksheet Stage 3 (word document) are a good place to start.

In addition, you might read the short essay advocating a backward design approach entitled, "Integrated Course Design," Idea Paper No. 42, and written by L. Dee Fink. Another essay worth reading is Barbara Millis' explanation of deep learning and how it can be promoted in the classroom and in course design, "Promoting Deep Learning," IDEA Paper 47. Seeking additional inspiration? The open access, online journal, Syllabus, includes discussion and sample of syllabi in all disciplines. James Lang, a professor of English at Assumption College, identifies "The 3 Essential Functions of your Syllabus, Part 1, Part 2," which is worth the time to read. Upon completing your syllabus, analyze it to determine if it is student-centered. Susan Sangler offers some suggestions in this Faculty Focus article (10 September 2021). You may also want to review your syllabus to evaluate if it is equity-minded. USC's Center for Urban Education offers a guide.

Teaching online?

First, you should design your course according to the principles of backward design, then make decisions about technology. Will the course be hybrid (blended), synchronous, or asynchronous? The Learning Management System at BU is D2L which we call BOLT. What tools can your students make use of through BOLT? How should you set up your BOLT content to make it as user-friendly as possible? For more support, begin a conversation with the IMDC (Instructional Media and Design Center) Staff, who can guide you to resources and people with expertise.

The academic calendar for each semester should be consulted for essential dates.

The schedule of courses for final exams differs from the regular semester.

Student-Friendly Syllabus

During the first week of classes, students may become easily overwhelmed with the variety of syllabi. Consider providing them with a quick reference infographic that offers an overview of the course goals and requirements. Share more details in the syllabus and calendar presented to your students as separate documents or as content items in our learning management system, BOLT.

Suggested Checklist of Topics that You Might Include in your Syllabi

Information about you:

  • Office Location;
  • Office Hours;
  • Home Page URL;
  • Your Philosophy about Teaching and Learning;
  • Contact Information;
  • Your Response Time to e-mails;

Information about the Course:

  • Course Goals (e.g. student learning objectives, outcomes, competencies);
  • Course Description;
    How the Course will Fulfill General Education and Program Goals;
  • Explain Relevancy of Course Goals to Life-Long Learning;
    Required Prerequisites;
  • Required Laboratories;

Information about Course Materials:

  • Required Text(s);
  • Additional Required Materials;
  • Explanation of how the course material will be used;
  • Titles and Location of any Online Materials;

Grading Expectations and Assignment Guidelines:

  • Grading Expectations;
  • Grading Scale;
  • Grading Criteria;
  • Point Values for all Graded Assignments
  • List and Explanation of Assignments, Exams, Quizzes;

Information on the Schedule of In- and Out-of-Class Activities:

  • Weekly or Class-by-Class Course Schedule (i.e. Calendar of the Semester);
  • Explanation of How Changes in the Syllabus Will be Announced;

Guiding Students to Academic Support Services on Campus:

University Learning Center

Here is some potential language that you may use:

Academic Support

If you feel you need help to improve your academic performance in this course or any of your courses, please consider requesting a tutor through the University Learning Center. The Learning Center offers peer tutoring at no charge to Bloomsburg University students. The Learning Center office is located in Warren Student Services Center, Room 119 (NOTE: This is a new location as of Fall 2021). Information on scheduling  tutoring and other services can be found on their website

Writing and Literacy Engagement Studio (WALES)

Information you may Include in your Syllabus and BOLT:

BU’s Writing and Literacy Engagement Studio (WALES) Support for Writing and Reading

The Writing and Literacy Engagement Studio (WALES), supports students’ growth as writers and readers.  We enjoy easing the writing process for all students from any background working in any major.  We also enjoy helping students develop strategies for reading and making sense of research and course material. Students set the agenda for each appointment—whether they’re concerned about their reading material, about getting started on a writing project, about improving clarity, grammar, organization, or citations, or about any other aspect of reading, writing, or the English language.  Our diverse group of WALES Consultants represent a variety of majors and share the common goal of working with students to develop skills and strategies that help them grow as readers and writers. 

WALES will be open in BAKELESS 206 and also available online via ZOOM.During the COVID pandemic, it will still be possible to come to WALES in the Bakeless Center for the Humanities (room 206), but you must be able to share your document on a screen. WALES will also maintain a virtual space in Zoom during our regular hours.

We ask that students wear masks inside WALES at all times.

To make a WALES appointment, either come to BCH 206 or use your Huskies email to contact wales@bloomu.edu.  You can also just drop in to WALES and work with the first available consultant, often immediately.

Please see the WALES website for more information.

Accommodations for Students is managed through University Disability Services. They suggest the following language for your syllabus:

Bloomsburg University values inclusion and seeks to create a climate of respect and the full participation and access for all students. It is the University’s policy and practice to provide reasonable accommodations for students with properly documented disabilities according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Students who have questions about these university services or have a disability are encouraged to visit the University Disability Services in the Warren Student Services Center, Room 043 or by contacting the department staff at 570-389-4491.

Library Research Help Information

The Andruss Library faculty and staff provide many useful links and library research tutorials. Here is a section of the Library’s webpage intended for faculty

Relevant Policies and Procedures:

You should contemplate and articulate policies on the following topics:

  • Instructional Technology Requirements;
    Policies on Cell Phone and Laptop Usage;
  • Civility in the Classroom
  • Tardiness Policies;
    Policies on Late or Missed Assignments and Exams;
    Syllabus Copyright Statement;
  • Some faculty participate in Safe Zone or Military Green Zone Training and you might include language suggested by them;
  • Legal Caveat or Disclaimer Indicating the Syllabus is Subject to Change;
  • Privacy Rights (FERPA)

To learn more about the university’s policies and procedures, consult the complete list at: https://www.bloomu.edu/about/administration-and-governance/policies

Some essential policies to know that have been adopted by the University that directly impact the classroom:

Copyright Your Syllabus

If you have concerns about commercial note-taking and its impact on student learning, or if you want to protect the intellectual property rights of your course content, then you should consider making a policy statement and copyrighting your syllabus. The university does not have a policy prohibiting students selling notes, yet the "Acceptable Use of Technology Policy" (PRP 2550) does prohibit the use of the university network (e.g. eMail, BOLT, etc) for personal financial gain. Kansas State University suggests the following language: "Copyright 20xx ([your name here]) as to this syllabus and all lectures. During this course students are prohibited from selling notes to or being paid for taking notes by any person or commercial firm without the express written permission of the professor teaching this course." By the way, exceptions should be made for Students with Disabilities Center and other note-taking assistance provided to students by the university.

Tale Awards

The TALE Teacher-Scholar Grants Call for Proposals has been made. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of their value to the enhancement of teaching and learning in the classroom at Bloomsburg University. Six awards are being offered as a component of the Faculty Professional Development Program opportunities. The maximum funding for each is $2,000 and must be spent in the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Three awards are dedicated to tenure-track faculty; three are open competition to all tenured faculty. The funding will be granted to support the following categories: Workshop related to teaching; Faculty endeavors in developing and implementing new classroom strategies; Pedagogy-related research; and Service learning classroom components. Applications are submitted through InfoReady:

For more details and application for tenure track faculty: https://bloomu.infoready4.com/CompetitionSpace/#competitionDetail/1826365

For more details and application for tenured faculty: https://bloomu.infoready4.com/CompetitionSpace/#competitionDetail/1826358

The faculty are nominated by graduating seniors and selected by a committee of the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Center Tenure-track and tenured faculty are eligible for the awards; faculty who have won the award in the last ten years are not eligible. The awards are announced near the end of each spring semester.

2021 BU Outstanding faculty award winners

2021: Brett McLaurin, Environmental, Geographical, and Geologic Sciences; Abby Hare-Harris, Biological and Allied Health Sciences; Michael Huben, Marketing and Professional Sales

2020: Carolyn LaMacchia, Information and Technology Management; Erin Brummett, Communication Studies
2019: Michael Hickey, History; Monica Favia, Marketing and Professional Sales; Jeff Brunskill, Meteorology and GIS
2018: David Fazzino, Anthropology; Victoria Geyfman, Finance; Claire Lawrence, English; Steven Welch, Management
2017: Jessy Defenderfer, Political Science; Biswajit Ray, Physics and Engineering, Craig Young; Teaching and Learning
2016: Kristie Byrum, Mass Communications; Mike Shapeero, Accounting
2015: Shiloh Erdley, Social Work; Darrin Kass, Management; Mary Katherine Waibel-Duncan, Psychology
2014: Jodi Ackerman, Instructor of Interpreting; Denise Klinger, Counseling & Student Affairs; Babak Mohassel, Criminal Justice
2013: Denise Davidson, Counseling & College Student Affairs; John Grandzol, Management; Jennifer Johnson, Psychology
2012: Thomas Starmack, Educational Studies & Secondary Education; Nathaniel Greene, Physics & Engineering
2011: Christian Grandzol, Management; Pamela Smith, Audiology & Speech Pathology
2010: Peter Bohling, Economics; Cynthia Surmacz, Biological & Allied Health
2009: Barbara A. Wilson, Exceptionality Programs; Michael J. Karpinski, Exceptionality Programs
2008: Margie Eckroth-Bucher, Nursing; Jennifer Scotter, Social Work
2007: Janet Reynolds Bodenman, Communication Studies; Frank D' Angelo, Early Childhood & Elementary Education
2006: Steven Hales, Philosophy; William Hudon, History
2005: Laura Davis, Finance & Legal Studies; Stephen Whitworth, English
2004: Darrin Kass, Management; Kevin Ferland, Mathematics
2003: Yvette Samson, Sociology; Michael Shapeero, Accounting
2001: Robert Gates, Educational Studies; John Grandzol, Management; Andrea Pearson, Art History
2000: Chuck Laudermilch, Sociology; Peter Bohling, Economics

Junior Grant Award Recipients
L to R: Jenn Haney, Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences;
Carolyn Reid-Brown, Exceptionalities; Abby Hare-Harris, Biological and Allied Health

Recipients of Teacher Scholar Grants
L to R: Jing Luo, Languages; Debra Minzola, Nursing; Dina Clark, Accounting;
David Fazzino, Anthropology. Not pictured: Shiloh Erdley, Social Work

Outstanding Teacher Awards
L to R: Michael Hickey, History; Monica Favia, Marketing and Professional Sales;
Jeff Brunskill, Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences


The Advisory Board and department liaisons, called Ambassadors, advise the TALE Director on programming ideas and budget. The Board is appointed by the TALE Director and departments elect their Ambassadors.

Erin Brummett, COLA
Robin Drogan, COE
Heather Feldhaus, Graduate Studies and Research
Dennis Frohlich, COLA
Kai Kuang, COLA
Paul Loomis COST
Ronda Mariani, ZCOB
Cassandra Sachar, Academic Enrichment
Rebecca Willoughby, Academic Advisement
Marianna Wood, Biological and Allied Health Sciences

Academic Enrichment, Regina Bobak

Accounting and Business Law, Dina Clark

Athletics, Syrena Hess

Anthropology, Damien Marken

Art and Art History, Chad Andrews

Biological and Allied Health Sciences, Lauri Green

Chemistry and Biochemistry, Dan McCurry

Communication Sciences and Disorders, Mohsin Shaikh and Aswhini Kanade

Communication Studies, Shuzhen Huang

Counseling and Human Development, Whitney Robenolt

Economics, Richard Paulsen

English, Mark Noon

Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences, Jennifer Haney

Exceptionality Programs, Angela Pang

Exercise Science, Noah Wasielewski

Finance, Lijuan Sun (alternate Chulhee Jun)

History, M. Safa Saracoglu

Information Technology, Analytics, and Business Education, Scott Mehall

Instructional Design, Technology, and Leadership, Jessica Briskin

Languages and Cultures, Jing Luo

Library-Reference Service, Kathryn Yelinek

Management and International Business, Jet Mboga (alternate Weichun Zhu)

Marketing and Professional Sales, Ronda Mariani

Media and Journalism, John-Erik Koslosky

Mathematical and Digital Sciences, Mahmoud Darwich

Music, Theatre, and Dance, David Miller

Nursing, Pam Cook

Philosophy, Kurt Smith

Physics and Engineering

Political Science, Sheng Ding

Psychology, Amy Covill

Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice, Viviana Lucabeche

Teaching and Learning, Denise Davidson


Supporting Student Well-Being

Contact Information