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Lehigh Carbon Community College

White Papers & Curated Articles

Teaching the Whole Person through a Pedagogy of Compassion

CITEL’s inaugural white paper, written by CITEL’s Assistant Director, Lydia Ellen Laucella, explores the importance of enacting a pedagogy of compassion. Compassionate teaching is the cornerstone of Reinhardt’s mission, which is “to educate the whole person by developing the intellectual, social, personal, vocational, spiritual and physical dimensions of its students”. The purpose of this paper is to explore what is at the heart of innovative teaching and engaged learning- compassion. 

Course-Based Undergraduate Research

This white paper edition, authored by CITEL’s Assistant Director, Lydia Ellen Laucella, explores course-based undergraduate research experiences (CURE) in application at Reinhardt University (RU). It offers a brief synapsis of the benefits of undergraduate research (which is an integral part of RU’s QEP plan). Then, it will provide the basics of CURE, tips to getting a research conversation started, and will end with a highlight on a successful CURE at RU.

CITEL’s Badging System

In this brief white paper, authored by CITEL’s Director, Dr. Mason Conklin, RU’s CITEL badging system is explained along with an introduction to micro-credentials with the intent of inspiring Reinhardt faculty to investigate micro-credentialing in programs and courses. CITEL badges are not just fun graphics distributed for grins; they are markers of activity in professional development that are recognized by the Reinhardt University Provost and Deans. Further, they are an assessment vehicle for CITEL itself, as the number and level of CITEL badges awarded each year will be a measure of CITEL’s effectiveness. As Reinhardt continues to innovate in the face of the changing higher education landscape, micro-credentials could be one way to document student successes up to and beyond graduation.

Conversations in Course Design

This CITEL white paper, authored by Dr. Lydia Ellen Laucella (Assistant Director of CITEL), will cover relevant course design principles including, designing courses with the Backward Design model, distinguishing between instructional objectives and learning outcomes, writing effective learning outcomes with the ABCD method, and achieving proper course alignment. The purpose of this white paper is to create a dialogue about these course design topics so that we can begin to think about course design in innovative ways. Additional resources have been hyperlinked throughout the paper for independent exploration of these topics.

The Final Frontier

In this CITEL white paper, Dr. Lydia Ellen Laucella explores the advantages and disadvantages of AI technology and Chat GPT.  By continuing a conversation started by the Reinhardt faculty, the goal of this whitepaper is to encourage us to forge new, innovative curricular approaches.

Curated MagnaPub Video Suggestions

RU CITEL has provided a curated, topical list of MagnaPub 20-Minute Mentor VideoSuggestions for professional development. This list encompasses a broad of current and popular topics. Each video also includes an instructional guide and additional resources. 

Classroom Management

  • How Can I Resolve Difficult Situations in the Classroom?
    • It is important to recognize the importance of setting a good tone for successful classroom management throughout the entire semester. This week’s video is geared toward recognizing microaggression and bullying (in and out of the classroom) that can be applied to both FTF and online courses.
  • What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?
    • Have you graded your first assignments yet? Have you graded fairly and objectively? Here is a great video on helping you think through some ethical issues that might arise when grading that you might not have thought about.

Teaching Strategies

  • How Can I Increase Student Completion Rates in Online Learning?
    • This video explores a design framework for increasing rigor and retention in online courses. The presenter discusses learning at high levels in an equitable way by improving student readiness, course design, and incorporating equity-based practices such as Time to Learn, Universal Design, and Quality Matters. This is a great video to consider now and later in the semester if you are planning/designing/redesigning online courses.

  • How Can Online Instructors Manage Their Workload? 
    • This video offers advice on managing your workload in an online course. Suggestions include strategies for course preparation, managing discussion posts, and fielding student questions.

  • What is the best way to grade participation? 
    • Wondering how to grade participation? This is a great video that discusses how we grapple with what participation is and what it looks like in the classroom. It also provides some suggested practices in grading participation.  

  • How Can You Help Online Students Be More Successful In Your Course?
    • Putting your assumptions of teaching online courses aside, this video will walk you through what online learning looks like, will provides some tips for setting up a successful course, and provides additional suggestions in helping your online students become more successful.  
  • How Can I Create a Platform for Difficult Conversations in the Online Classroom?
    • More of us are teaching online or  insome hybrid capacity. Sometimes the time arise to have difficult conversations but communicating online can be difficult, this video reminds us of keeping power dynamics in mind when having difficult conversations and provides tips on how to have these difficult conversations. 
  • What Ethical Issues Lurk in My Grading Policy?
    • Have you graded your first assignments yet? Have you graded fairly and objectively? Here is a great video on helping you think through some ethical issues that might arise when grading that you might not have thought about.
  • What Activities and Assignments Promote Critical Thinking?
    • Do you want your students to be critical thinkers? Are you looking for ways to actively teach critical thinking to your students? Do you want to know the most effective way to teach critical thinking and the science of learning behind it? If so, this is the video for you!
  • What is Gamification and How Can it Promote a Growth Mindset?
    • Games to promote growth mindset? Really, Lydia? Yes! Check out this video to find out how!
  • How Do I Create and Implement Micro lectures?
    • Need to capture your students’ attention quickly? Have you thought about micro lectures? Here is an overview of this video:  Micro lecture Tips  
      • Keep it short  
      • Front-load content  
      • Include directives  
      • Use the best quality available  
      • Make it meaningful 

  • How Can I Increase Student Completion Rates in Online Learning?
    • It is most certainly interesting to look at this video from the new perspective that we have gained from teaching online during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, much of what is discussed in this video holds true and is actually is even more important for us to consider now that we are (and probably will continue to be) teaching online long into the future. This video provides us with some good primers on the science of learning and provides a solid framework for us to follow to improve retention in our online courses.  This is a video you will want to come back to repeatedly when designing and redesigning your courses each semester.
    • *Note: You will want to access the supplemental files in this video while you are watching it because it is lacking in visual aids.   

Engagement Strategies

  • How Can I Spark Conversation in the Classroom?
    • Want to learn how to spark conversation in the classroom? Running out of ideas in your seminar courses? Here are some interesting ideas that can be used in language courses and beyond!
  • How Can I Use LMS Conditional Releases to Efficiently and Intentionally Engage My Students?
    • This video on course design explores how you can leverage the LMS to create conditional releases of material. For instance, you can create an action-based release wherein students must follow certain steps to access content. Or you can create an achievement-based release, like Mastery Paths in Canvas, wherein students cannot access material until they have shown proficiency in a certain task. Although this video discusses LMS’ in general, it is a great video to get you thinking about how to use Canvas to scaffold and differentiate instruction in online and face-to-face courses.
  • How Can I Gauge Online Learning Through Engaging Activities and Assignments?
    • Do you need some ideas for how to gauge online learning? This video provides you with some great activities and assignments that not only encourage engagement, but also help you assess how well you are teaching in your online courses.
  • What are the secrets to providing highly effective feedback to students?
    • Are you in the trenches of grading? This video reminds us to think like a coach when providing impactful feedback. Sneak peek:
      • How to maximize feedback
      • Three types of feedback: feed back, feed forward, feed up
      • How to provide immediate feedback
      • The importance of modeling as feedback
      • Expert v. novice learning
  • How Can I Guide Online Learning by Engaging with Students?
    • How can help our students engage with us, the content, and each other in our online classes? Let’s think about how we are teaching our online/ hybrid classes and what online teaching really should look like. Sneak Peek:
      • How to use the conditional release feature strategically in the LMS
      • How to breakdown complex tasks and provide meaningful feedback on incremental pieces of the whole assignment
      • How to note and respond to cues that signal confusion
      • How to interact with students in discussion forums
      • How to provide discussion highlights for each module/ discussion topic

Technology in Instruction


  • How Can I Make My Video Lectures Effective and Engaging?
    • Are your students not watching the videos that you have built into your courses? This Magna Pub video is a great follow up from Tammy Smith’s Appy Hour on Loom and Vizia from last week. This video discusses how to use videos to deliver content, clarify misunderstandings, and better connect with our students.  Some additional suggestions from this video are to front load the content in your videos, add quizzes and questions in the videos, and make your videos relevant, interesting, and efficient. 

Instructional Design

  • What Are 9 Practical Steps to Implement Mastery Learning?
    • Why should you consider implementing mastery learning in your Spring courses? Well, don’t take my word for it, watch the video! Ok, I will give you a hint… Thinking about mastery is thinking about the science of learning.

Professional Development

  • How Can I Teach Soft Skills to Better Prepare Students for the Workplace
    • This video discusses the importance of developing soft skills by providing activities and examples that can be incorporated into regular class time to develop some of the soft skills that employers are looking for, such as teamwork. This is an important video in light of our QEP plan for professional development.
  • How Can Disruptive Innovation Impact STEM Education? 
    • Have you heard of disruptive innovation? Yes, it is a buzzword, but in business theory it is an innovation that creates a new market and disrupts an existing one. Usually thought of in terms of products, this is a fascinating theory that can be leveraged to prepare STEM students for their future careers. This 20-mintue Magna Pub video explores how you can teach your STEM students to come up with simpler, cheaper, and more effective solutions to problems through disruptive innovation solutions. If you teach in the STEM fields, or even if you don’t, this is one video you don’t want to miss!