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News, Events, Annual Report


Instructional Minigrant Recipients AY 2022-2023 

We congratulate our faculty colleagues - CLAS: P. Bernhardt, Mathematics & Statistics; A. Levin & T. Ksiazek, Communication; E-J. McGuire; J. Stuart Myers & K. Minbiole; K. Shakya, Geography & the Environment; and R. Weldzius, Political Science; COE: D. Seth, Mechanical Engineering; FCN: M. A. Cantrell, B.-B. Qi & J. Parkinson; and J. Ross & A. Scheve
We wish them the best as they work on their innovative teaching projects this summer.

See VITALITY for details of awarded grant projects (PDF)


Problem-based Learning (PBL) Workshop, University of Delaware - Virtual:  6/27-7/1

VITAL is offering fellowship opportunities for full-time faculty to learn about Problem-Based Learning (PBL) at the PBL 2022 Summer workshop at the University of Delaware. The workshop will be held virtually with synchronous sessions running from 9 am-Noon on Mon, 6/27 through Fri, 7/1.  The program explores how to integrate PBL into your classroom by working with expert practitioners across disciplines.  

VITAL is pleased to support a team of up to five (5) faculty across disciplines to attend the PBL workshop. Sponsored faculty members are asked to (1) join a VITAL virtual post-workshop discussion; and (2) share with Villanova teaching community aspects of PBL course integration.

Application: Complete the online application form by Tue, 5/10 at the latest
Link to preliminary schedule and link to PBL workshop site 


Open Educational Resources (OER) Faculty Adoption Grant

The Office of the Provost in partnership with the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) is happy to announce the Open Educational Resources (OER) Faculty Adoption Grant, which is designed to encourage faculty to select free, openly licensed textbooks (OER) as primary course materials. This grant program will award up to five grants in the amount of $1,000 to faculty members who adopt an OER textbook as the primary learning material for a new/existing course taught in the 2022-23 academic year. 
Program details

temple T

Self-Paced, Online Program: Making Your Course Accessible in LMS

As you are aware, accessibility is a critical factor in students' success. How can you check and ensure that your course materials are accessible? What do you need to consider? We invite you to take this online self-paced program, Making Your Course Accessible in LMS. Co-developed by VITAL and LSS, the program establishes the legal framework for accessibility in education, articulates why we need to address accessibility issues proactively in our courses, and demonstrates how to create ADA-compliant courses in LMS. Please click on course enrollment to enroll in this online program offered in Bridge. 
Link to more details


Course and Teacher Surveys (CATS): Enhanced Reporting Format 

With input and approval from The Academic Policy Committee, VITAL, OSPIE, and the Counsel of Deans, the enhanced report groups questions into five aspects of effective teaching: (1) Clarity and Organization; (2)  Interaction and Rapport; (3) Grading Fairness; (4) Student Engagement; and (5)  Online Classroom Management (for online, hybrid, and simulcast courses).

These categories have been created for formative purposes; i.e., to help faculty identify areas that are working well, identify possible areas for improvement, and offer a framework for conversations about aspects of effective teaching as perceived by students.
Link to sample report  
Link to video, OSPIE: How to read the report
Link to video, VITAL: How to use the report for formative feedback.
VITAL staff are happy to consult with you on the CATS results; email to schedule appointment.


Personal Narratives: After innovating teaching during the pandemic, what will stick?

The COVID-19 pandemic and heightened social awareness of 2020-2021 changed how we conducted our teaching. It was more than just a technology shift; it was a confrontation of sometimes unquestioned assumptions about what it was to teach and learn. This special issue of Journal for Research & Practice in College Teaching collected approaches that teachers will keep as they emerge from the exigencies of the past year. Dr. Seth Fishman,  Associate Teaching Professor of Education & Counseling, contributed an article on the benefits of recorded presentations.


Teaching Podcasts

Dead Ideas in Teaching and Learning: Guests share discoveries of “dead ideas”—ideas that are not true but that are often widely believed and embedded in the pedagogical choices we make. Hosted by Catherine Ross, CTL, Columbia University

Faculty Focus Live: Offers research-based teaching tips to boost your creativity and motivation hosted by Magna Publications. Current episode: Exploring Online Best Practices to Implement into Your Own Course

Tea for Teaching: Series of discussions of innovative and effective practices in teaching and learning hosted by State University of New York at Oswego.

Teaching in Higher Ed: Explores the art and science of being more effective at facilitating learning and is hosted by B. Stachowiak, Vangard University, CA.

On Cultivating Student Engagement in Higher Ed: Features faculty and course designers using creative approaches to enhance students' learning experiences and turn engagement "ON". Villanova's own Dr. Michael Posner, Mathematics & Statistics, discusses "Motivation from Meaning." Hosted by Dr. Kathryn Berkow, University of Delaware.


Innovative Teaching at Villanova 

Link to Innovative Teaching site
Link to Creative Online Teaching Approaches during the Pandemic

academic success

Planning for Students' Success: Academic Support Services-Informational Videos

Villanova offers a multitude of academic services to support students in their academic success, wellbeing, and post-graduate careers. Use/link to these personalized, brief videos to bring these services to your students' attention and encourage them to engage with them.
Link to videos


QPR Training

Villanova University offers QPR Training – Question, Persuade, Refer. QPR is a Suicide Prevention Tool that anyone can learn and use. Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught Gatekeeper Training in the world. 

Training Opportunities: Villanova has many trainers available to provide a 60- to 90-minute QPR training for you or your department or group of staff and/or students.
to detailed training information


How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive, Chronicle of Higher Education

Want to reach all of your students? This guide considers how faculty can provide a learning environment and engage in communication that reaches all of their students. The teaching resource introduces key principles of Inclusive Teaching, offers ways to interact inclusively with students, provides approaches to Inclusive Course Design, and suggests ways to evaluate your inclusive teaching methods. Link to article.

view of textbooks

Affordable Materials Project (AMP)  

Due to the high and rising costs of course materials, students face academic consequences and financial challenges. Part of the mission of Villanova’s Affordable Materials Project (AMP) is to provide faculty with resources and options for selecting high quality course materials while reducing the cost for students. Learn how you can help students by visiting the faculty page of the AMP website and view the AMP video, presenting student and faculty experiences.

The Monday Morning Mentor series is on summer break 
The Fall 2022 Schedule begins on Monday, August 22, 2022.

Race & Justice Dialogue Institute (RJDI)
Mon, May 16 - Fri, May 20, 9:00am-4:15pm daily, plus Fri, August 26. 
Sponsored by ODEI, IGR Program and the Lorenzini Family Foundation
Link to program details

Course Redesign Institute - Virtual
Final in-person lunch and presentations of aspect of re-designed course
Wed., June 1 – Wed., June 15
with Dr. Phyllis Blumberg, author, Making Learning-Centered Teaching Work, 2019
Link to program details and link to colleagues’ examples of course redesign
Link to VITALITY faculty stories

New Faculty Program
Wed., August 17 – Thurs., August 18
Link to program details and link to 2020 agenda for reference.
Draft agenda will be posted mid-June.


Annual Reports

The annual reports detail the services and programs that VITAL provided to the Villanova academic community to support high quality teaching and learning environments. The central goal of all VITAL services is to facilitate dialogue and interaction among faculty who share common curricular and/or pedagogical interests.

VITAL works to ensure that services are aligned with Villanova’s mission, academic priorities, interests and needs of the academic community: e.g., University and Colleges’ strategic plans, formal feedback data, and discussions with the faculty advisory board. We welcome your suggestions and program ideas; please stop by the VITAL office at 106 Vasey Hall or send e-mail to:

* annualreportvitalweb1718.pdf
Annual Report 2017-2018