Faculty Resources Update

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October Update from the CFC



Greetings and salutations! We’re about six weeks into the semester, we’ve welcomed a new class of students to WCU, and we’ve had most things settle down a bit. In the last few months, we’ve had some changes to the CFC and wanted to be sure that you knew you could expect continuing, superior, faculty-oriented service from the CFC.

As part of our mission to serve you even better and to support WCU faculty as we all transition into a system of new metrics, we’re encouraging all faculty to engage in three specific ways.

·       This newsletter includes a link to an important assessment of your needs that will provide important data to help the CFC focus its efforts in providing faculty the services that they will find most helpful and supportive in the coming months and years. Please take a few moments now to complete it.

·       The Academic Space Advisory Board carefully considers how spaces are used across campus and needs input about what you need and want for the best possible teaching and learning experiences in your classes. At their request, we have included an animation that illustrates some of our new table features below and an invitation to come to an open meeting to give feedback about future space use.

·       As you may be aware, the UNC System is exploring the possibility transitioning to a system of new metrics for the system.  The Faculty Senate has asked that we remind you that your input is very important in this process.  Please work with your faculty senator to provide input and offer suggestions.  For more info go to the UNC GA site describing the process or find the name of your senator at WCU.

We'd like to make you aware of a number of changes that we've made to support your work.  In the section below you can learn more about upcoming workshops about applying the rigorous standards of Quality Matters, an international program of excellence identified by the Faculty Senate several years ago as a world-class standard by which we can measure WCU's hybrid and online offerings. 

Also below you'll find news about our staff and position changes, our improvement in service in instructional design, the state of our improved and continuing support of Qualtrics and other research software, some more clarification about the Professional Development Grants.  You'll also find that we've included more links to the good work to related projects and opportunities for faculty and their students to grow professionally.

Qualtrics remains part of the research support that we offer at the CFC. Faculty can direct their questions about qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research to Yanju Li, particularly by email at yanjuli@wcu.edu. She can assist with programs such as SPSS, SAS, NVIVO, and others in addition to Qualtrics.

We’ve also had some staff changes. Martha Diede is now the Director of the Coulter Faculty Commons. She earned a PhD from Baylor University and is a former full professor and Chair of English at Northwest University where she also led faculty development. Many in the campus community already know Martha from the work she’s been doing on the Educational Development team at WCU.  Additionally, Johnny Penley was recruited away from WCU, and his position is yet unfilled. While we are sorry to see these long-time folks depart, we’re excited to bring new folks onto our team such as Yanju Li. She has joined us as the Faculty Research Support Specialist. Also, Jack Caldwell has joined our staff on the Blackboard Team. We’re certain that you’ll enjoy working with both these fine folks and other members of our wonderful staff.

Last, we’re working on ways to partner with faculty in innovative ways to promote the amazing faculty who’ve chosen WCU. The excellent CFC team looks forward to working with you throughout this year and beyond.

Together, we’ll have a great year!


The CFC is in the process of gathering faculty input about our services and strategic direction.  We need your input!! Please take the time to take our survey by clicking the button below.


Your Chance to Give Input for New Learning Spaces

Open Forum for Classrooms

The Academic Space Advisory Board requests faculty input at an open forum on Classrooms.  Please make arrangements to attend.

When: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 3:30-4:45 pm

Where:  Forsythe 329

Jack Caldwell

Help the CFC Welcome a New Member of Our Blackboard Team

 JACK CALDWELL has joined the Coulter Faculty Commons Learning Management System Team as a Tier 2 Technology Support Analyst. He started work with the LMS Team this past Monday, 8/26/2016 after working for almost 3 years at the WCU Help Desk.

Although originally from Sylva, Jack spent 30 years away from western NC.  He retired from the United States Air Force after 21 years and remained within the Department of Defense as a government civilian and contract employee until early 2014.  Jack has more than 30 years of experience as an IT/Communications professional and looks forward to bringing his capabilities and experience to the CFC.

Jack, his wife Amanda, and their toddler live in Waynesville.  They love the beauty and serenity of being in “God’s country” every day.

The CFC hopes that you will join us in welcoming Jack to this new position.

Join a Faculty Community of Practice (CoP)

It is not too late to join your colleagues in a Community of Practice (CoP).  All of the groups below are open to all WCU faculty/staff.  Interested individuals are encouraged to attend the meetings listed below, no reservation required.  If the day and time is not convenient individuals should contact Steve (salebeau@wcu.edu) at the CFC for more information.

  • Online Instruction – Tuesday, October 11, 11 – 12 in HL 156
  • Project-Based – Tuesday, October 11, 12:30 – 1:30 in HL 156
  •  Innovative Technology – Wednesday, October 19, 12:30 - 1:30 in HL 156
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) – Monday, October 24, 1:30 – 2:30 in HL 156
  • Research – Tuesday, October 25, 8:30 – 9:30 in HL 156
  • Research Methods for Undergraduates – Tuesday, October 25, 12:30 – 1:30 in HL 156
  • Globalization – Wednesday, October 26, 12:45 – 1:45 in Belk 387

Blackboard Tips

Coming Soon to Blackboard:
Virtual Class Space in Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a new online collaborative learning solution that provides a simple and reliable means to engage students in an online environment.  It will be replacing GoToMeeting as the tool for providing web conferencing and virtual meetings here at Western Carolina University, and will become available at the end of December.  Blackboard Collaborate is conveniently accessible from within Blackboard Learn courses.  Some of the features of Collaborate are high definition audio and video, application sharing, and simple web conferencing with hand raising and polling capabilities, all designed with higher education in mind.  It makes creating breakout rooms within your Blackboard course an easy option. 

The Coulter Faculty Commons will be offering three seminars in the next several months to help faculty become familiar with all that Blackboard Collaborate can do to help stimulate and engage students and ultimately provide a simple and effective way to meet the challenges of online teaching.  If you have ever thought of using a virtual classroom or flipping your class, Blackboard Collaborate is the essential tool to help you re-envision your online teaching practices.  Keep checking the CFC Newsletter for the upcoming workshop dates.  Be ready to register and take advantage of the opportunity to learn this new and exciting collaborative learning solution!

If you want to get a preview of the features of Collaborate, Take a look at Blackboard's Website

Add a Tool Tip to Your Course in Blackboard

Adding a Tool Link to Your Course Menu

If you are using a tool in Blackboard such as Announcements, Email, or Discussion Boards, putting a tool link in the course menu bar on the left will help your students to more easily find the various items in the course which will in turn, help them to keep on track with their course work.

Download the step sheet here.

sign up for October/November 2016 Training

Quality Matters

The CFC has been working with faculty to meet Quality Matters’ rigorous standards, and many faculty have taken the first step by enrolling in and completing the Applying the Quality Matters Rubric course. The CFC staff is proud to celebrate our faculty partner Carlie Merritt, whose course was recognized as WCU’s first Quality Matters (QM) certified course. The Faculty Senate selected Quality Matters as the standard to which faculty can aspire in superior online and/or hybrid teaching and learning. The QM symbol of excellence highlights the strong student experience that WCU offers to students in online and hybrid courses. The great staff in the CFC stands ready to support faculty in seeking this mark of distinction for their own classes and programs.

Carlie Merritt

Quality Matters Workshop

We will be offering an “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” session at WCU on October 17, 2016 and would like to invite any faculty who would like to join us to attend. The information regarding the session is below and the instructions on how to register can be downloaded by clicking here.

Monday, October 17, 2016
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM (1 hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks)
WCU at Biltmore Park
Room 345
Participants should bring a laptop to use.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

CFC Instructional Design Services

As part of supporting the Faculty Senate’s decision for Quality Matters, the CFC now offers instructional design services. As part of this effort, the instructional design team has created some Blackboard course frameworks for faculty to use if they wish. Our frameworks, built on QM best practices, allow faculty to add their own content to structures already prepared for that content. Faculty who want to build their own courses from the ground can, as always, do so. Faculty who wish to consult with our design team are welcome to contact Steve LeBeau (salebeau@wcu.edu) or John Hawes (jhawes@wcu.edu). To take a look, or to request a framework, contact lmssupport@wcu.edu. The CFC Educational Development team can also assist as you put the finishing touches on your courses. Please contact Steve LeBeau for more information.

Join a Faculty Writing Group

Do you need some structure in your writing process?  Let the CFC help.  We have 4 different writing groups looking for more new members.  Join us as we work together to improve the quantity and quality of our scholarly writing.  All groups meet every week and are open to all, no reservations required.
·        Mondays 12 n – 1 pm in HL 156
·        Wednesdays 8:30 – 9:30 in HL 156
·        Wednesdays 3:30 – 4:30 in HL 156
·        Fridays 12:30 – 1:30 in HL 156


3D Printed Lattice

3D Printing Workshops

3D printing is the process of making three dimensional objects from a digital design.  It is often referred to as “additive manufacturing” in which an object is created by the laying down of successive layers of material until the completed object is built.  Now is your chance to take advantage of this technology here at Western Carolina University! The School of Engineering has teamed up with the Technology Commons to provide two 3D workshops.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to not only learn how to use a 3D printer, but also how to design three dimensional objects and print them out!  Be sure to click the link below to register!

3D Printing Workshop

Thursday, October 13, 3-5 pm

@ the Technology Commons, Hunter Library

This session will take you through the fundamentals of using a 3D printer.  Bring your laptop and we will install the software and show you how to download models from the internet.  At the completion of this workshop, you will be able to run a Lulzbot Mini to make your own parts.  Discussions will include various materials and methods to increase build quality.

3D Design Workshop

Thursday, October 27, 3-5 pm

@ the Technology Commons, Hunter Library

Bring your laptop and we will install a free software package for Computer Aided Design (CAD).  Then we will use the software, called Sketchup, to design simple parts.  You will learn how to prepare the designs for 3D printing.  At the end of the workshop you will be able to design and print your own 3D parts.

Click here to register!


Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Education (C.A.S.E.) Events

The Coulter Faculty Commons will be reviewing and previewing the Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Education Events being offered by the WCU Office of Intercultural Affairs.  We hope this information will encourage faculty to incorporate CASE events into their curriculum when appropriate.   For more information faculty should visit: ica.wcu.edu.
Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Education (C.A.S.E.) programs are intentional sessions that were designed to increase awareness and develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of the student population around the concepts of Culture, Inclusiveness, Civic Engagement and Leadership in an increasingly diverse world. These sessions are aimed at providing introductory context to the concept of inclusion. All voices, experiences, and perspectives are appreciated and welcomed in these conversations.

Upcoming Program

“Belief in Action”
Dr. Michelle Sorensen and Dr. Jeffrey Vickery

This session will focus on developing an understanding about religions around the world. Dr. Michelle J. Sorensen will speak on the concepts of mutual respect for and compassion toward all people in Asian religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Dr. Jeffrey D. Vickery will address the importance of inter-religious relationships between Jews, Christians, and Muslims with an emphasis on the foundational virtue of cooperation within each faith.
Register for the 10/13/2016 session



Research Development Services at the CFC

We wanted to remind the faculty that Dr. Yanju Li is a part of the support team for faculty in the Coulter Faculty Commons.  Dr. Li is available for faculty to:

•Consult with individual faculty or groups regarding appropriate research design, research methods, and evaluation for faculty scholarship and proposal development;

•Provide training and assistance for qualitative and quantitative research projects;

•Assist faculty in the use of research software such as SPSS, SAS, R, Atlas.ti, NVivo, ArcGIS and others;

•Consult with survey design and survey tool Qualtrics;

•Facilitate opportunities for collaborative and peer-to-peer research support;

•Work with other campus stakeholders to develop policies, applications, and professional development opportunities to support research.


Professional Development Grant Update

Last month we were one of the channels that announced the current round of Professional Development Grants from the office of the Provost.  That announcement from the committee clarified how Professional Development Grants work.

Realizing that in the past the process was not as clear as it could be, the committee made clear their rubric for evaluating grant requests and developed documentation to which faculty can refer when making requests.

Many have expressed concern that increasing clarity in the guidelines represents erosion of support for faculty professional development activities at WCU. Such is not the case. The committee recognized that fuzziness in some of the guiding documents was leading to fuzziness in how they approached proposals and in how faculty understood the purpose of the Professional Development Grant program.

By clarifying purpose and process, the Professional Development Grant committee hopes to provide as many professional development opportunities as possible.

To apply for the grant and to see the current processes, download this form.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Academic Project Grants
Continuous Cycle Deadlines: October 3, 2016, November 3, 2016, February 3, 2017, March 3, 2017
Undergraduate Academic Project Grants (up to $500) support undergraduate research and creative work at Western Carolina University.  Grants provide support in many ways, including travel, equipment, or supplies. Any full-time undergraduate student or group of students working with a sponsor is eligible to apply for a grant.  Project grants must be authored by the full-time WCU enrolled student while he or she is enrolled at WCU. Applicants should follow the grant guidelines to complete an application and obtain a letter of support from their faculty sponsor. A faculty sponsor may apply on behalf of a student group.  Proposals are reviewed on a continuous cycle by a faculty committee representing each college at the university. Funds will be distributed on an on-going basis, and therefore it is to your advantage to meet the soonest possible deadline with your proposal. For academic project guidelines and application, see http://www.wcu.edu/learn/academic-enrichment/the-honors-college/ugres/index.aspx

National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
Western Carolina will be supporting a limited number of student presenters at this year’s 31st annual NCUR.  The Honors College will be facilitating student registration and travel to the conference, which is being held at the University of Memphis from April 6-8, 2017.
Online Abstract Submissions Opens October 3, 2016
Abstract Submission Deadline December 2, 2016
Find out more at http://www.cur.org/ncur_2017/
WCU students interested in getting travel and registration support for the conference should list Jill Granger as the Undergraduate Research Office Coordinator (UROC) in their Abstract Submission.  Contact information: jngranger@wcu.edu and 828-227-7383.  WCU will only be able to support registration and travel expenses for first authors.  If departments would like to supplement the fund in order to take additional, co-author students, on a space available basis, department heads may contact Jill Granger to make arrangements.  Students attending NCUR, with travel and registration support from WCU, are expected to attend the ENTIRE conference (April 6-8).  Please keep this mind, as students will be away from campus and will be missing classes.
Research & Scholarship Celebration (RASC)
Save the dates!
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Undergraduate Expo, Undergraduate Oral Presentations, Keynote Address, Faculty Research Presentations, Undergraduate & Graduate Poster Sessions

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Graduate Research Symposium, Graduate Oral Presentations, Graduate Awards Undergraduate Featured Speaker Presentations, Undergraduate Expo Oral Presentations

2015-2016 Award Winner Carmen Huffman

Please Submit Your Nomination for The Board of Governors' Award for Excellence in Teaching

Nominations are being accepted until Friday, October 7th

Nomination Link:


Or click the button below:


Microsoft Training from IT for Faculty and Staff


Beginning this semester, the Division of IT will be offering a brand new training service in the core applications of the Microsoft Office 2016 suite: Word, Excel, Outlook, and OneDrive.  This is your opportunity to Increase your efficiency and productivity and save time by learning many of the features and functionalities of Microsoft Office.  Get the training you need to develop basic and advanced skills that can be applied immediately to your job. Expand your knowledge with these brand new courses!   Learn more…

Ramsey Center Stairs at Night

From the Liberal Studies Committee

Early Announcement Regarding Advising Students – Liberal Studies

Dear Faculty/Academic Advisors: in anticipation of Advising Day and the upcoming registration period, this semester’s Liberal Studies Advising Session is scheduled and will cover the basics of the Liberal Studies program. The hour-long session is designed especially for new advisors and others who need a refresher on the program before we begin advising students for spring semester, but all faculty and academic advisors who work with undergraduate students are invited to attend.
If you are interested in advising our students on the Liberal Studies Program, please select one of the two following sessions, both of which will be held in Killian Annex 136:
Wednesday, October 26, 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 27, 8:30 a.m.

Please confirm your plans to attend a session by emailing Alicia Cameron in the Advising Center, at ajcameron@wcu.edu (227-3883).
Resources about Liberal Studies are available at liberalstudies.wcu.edu under <faculty and staff resources>. Advising Day is Tuesday, November 1st.
Note: freshman enrollment in a first year seminar (FYS) is not restricted to the first semester at WCU; freshmen may enroll in a first year seminar during the fall or spring semester of their first year. Freshmen are enrolled in either a first year seminar (<prefix> 190-199 course), OR ENGL 101 during their first semester and then enrolled in the other course (FYS or ENGL 101) in the spring. Note: ENGL 202 (formerly 102) is a second year composition course.

Take a look at our Faculty Resources Blog

A reminder that CFC help content is available on the Internet and the Intranet

Browse our pages at:

The Main Page:  cfc.wcu.edu
The Faculty Resource Page: sandbox.wcu.edu

Internal Documents and Forms Can Be Found on the CFC Page after log-in of at intranet.wcu.edu