News, Events, Annual Report


Vulnerability in the Classroom

Young or inexperenced teachers sometimes may feel pressure to earn students' respect and keep distance from students to "protect" their vulnerabilities. However, this article from Faculty Focus suggests openning up with students and showing them your passions, strengths, weaknesses, and resilience. In that way, you can better connect with students, promote their growth mindset, and impact their learning.
Link to article


Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast

This highly rated podcast provides a forum where faculty can explore and learn more about pertinent topics on teaching in support of students' learning and issues pertaining to faculty work life. With over 270 episodes, it familiarizes you with research, current thinking, and teaching innovation in higher education.
Link to all podcasts
Link to Episode 202: Supporting Students who are Veterans

temple conference pic

Call for Papers: 18th Annual Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence at Temple University
1/7-1/8, 2020

This regional conference on issues pertaining to learning-centered teaching in higher education provides a great forum to enrich your teaching practices and exchange ideas with colleagues. The conference is now calling for proposals with topics related to innovative and effective teaching practices and/or projects in the field of higher education. Please submit your proposal before Nov. 9 if you are interested in presenting at the conference.

Link to conference site


Book Adoptions and AMP

If you are teaching in Spring 2020, please submit your book adoptions by October 15.  Please contact Bernadette Mania or call 610-519-5019 if you have a question or need assistance.

A growing body of research points to the deleterious impact of costly course materials on student outcomes. Please consider Villanova’s Affordable Materials Project (AMP) to select high quality course materials while reducing the cost for students.

Link to Falvey Memorial Library's Best Practices for Course Materials Adoption


Early Term Student Feedback

Different from the end-of-term Course and Teacher Survey (CATS), early term student feedback is formative (diagnostic and improvement-based) in nature, helps faculty get a sense of students' learning experiences so far in the course, and helps faculty make appropriate adjustments. The process conveys faculty concern for the students and their learning, promotes students' learning responsibility, and supports ongoing communication and feedback. The feedback carries the expectation that faculty will share a feedback summary with the students, highlight what they have learned and how they will continue to support students’ learning.  VITAL staff will support you in this process:

Link to feedback form, and process details 


How to Make Your Teaching More Engaging

This guide introduces four key principles of student engagement and offers concrete suggestions on how to put each principle into pactice. Faculty from various disciplines provide examples of how they have implemented these principles to teach in creative ways. Link to article


Inclusive Teaching: Supporting All Students In Our Courses

The Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has launched a MOOC dedicated to the topic of inclusive teaching in higher education. The MOOC provides practical, accessible, and usable strategies that instructors can implement in their courses to create and maintain a supportive learning environment for all students. The self-paced course is open to all.  Link to MOOC

Please let us know via email - subject: Inclusive Teaching - when you register for the course; we are planning to extend the online experience with in-person discussions during the academic year.


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.

mental health

Guide on How to Make Your Teaching More Engaging

Want to stimulate curiosity and excitement for your course? This Chronicle’s guide discusses research-based practices in introducing energy and enthusiasm to your classroom. It explains why you should care about engagement, presents four key principles of student engagement, and offers creative suggestions on how to put those principles into practice.
Link to Guide

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Congratulations: 2019-2020 VITAL Minigrant Award Recipients

P. Chi, Mathematics & Statistics; T. Feeman, Mathematics & Statistics; S. Goldsmith, Geography & the Environment; M. Guron, Chemistry; K. Haymaker, Mathematics & Statistics; J. Hubler, Civil & Environmental Engineering; J. Koller, Mechanical Engineering; J. Lutes, English; S. Napier, Philosophy; R. Rivard, Biology and C. Brewer, M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing; C. Schmidt, Education & Counseling; D. Seth, Mechanical Engineering; J. Toscano, Pysychological & Brain Sciences. 

We congratulate our colleagues and wish them the best as they implement their innovative teaching projects.

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Using Bridge Questions to Teach Technical Content Online

How do we let students apply what they've learned? In this Faculty Focus article, two of our Villanova faculty introduced strategies of applying technical knowledge by using bridge questions. Faculty can use the questions to bridge the gap beteween technical content and practical situations in both synchronous and asynchronous online environments.
Link to Article

teach online

Faculty Video Provides Advice for Promoting Online Social Presence 

Want to know what social presence is and how to foster that in your online class? In the video entitled, "Promoting Social Presence in Online Courses," Villanova faculty share concrete experiences and recommendations for promoting social presence in online courses. 
The video was produced by VITAL. 

teach online

Faculty Video Provides Advice for Teaching Online  

In the video entitled, "Friendly Advice for Teaching Online," Villanova faculty share concrete experiences and recommendations for teaching online. Come and check it out!
The video was produced by VITAL and UNIT-IT.

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.

Morning Mentor: Conducting Difficult Conversations in the Online Classroom
Monday, 10/21 to Sunday, 10/27
Link to program; Password: platform263
Access 24/7 in your office, on your mobile device, or at home
Link to more details 

Food for Thought Discussions-Engaging and Supporting Student Veterans
Wed, Oct. 23 or Thu, Oct. 24
11:30 AM-12:45 PM, Falvey 206
More Discussions:
Tue, Nov. 19 or Wed, Nov. 20
Link to program

Workshops on Selecting Affordable Course Materials
Affordable Materials Project @ Villanova
Wed, October 2, 12 p.m., Falvey 205
Link to register
Open Educational Resources (OER) Workshop
Wed, October 23, 12 p.m., Falvey 205
Link to register

VITAL Faculty Mentor-Mentee Dinner
Thu, November 21, 5:00 -6:30 p.m.

VITAL Holiday Celebration
Wed, December 11, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
St. Rita's Community Room

New Faculty Program, Part 2
Thu, January 9, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

New Adjunct Faculty Program
Thu, January 9, 2020, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Faculty Dialogue Luncheons
Sponsor: Center for Faith and Learning
Wed. 10/2 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Tue. 10/29 12:00 - 1: 15 p.m.
Thur. 11/14 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.  

Faculty Fridays 
Sponsor: Faculty Congress
First Friday afternoon of the month, 2:30 - 4:30 p.m.
President’s Lounge, Connelly
9/6/19; 10/4/19; 11/1/19; 12/6/19; 2/7/20; 3/13/20; 4/3/20


Advancing Teaching and Learning
October 17-19, 2019
Traverse City, Michigan
Link to details

Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers: Crossing Borders and Boundaries
October 17-19, 2019
San Antonio, Texas
Link to details

Transforming STEM Higher Education
November 7-9, 2019
Chicago, Illinois
Link to details

Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning
November 21-23, 2019
Oxford, Ohio
Link to details

18th Annual Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence
January 7-8, 2020
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Link to details

Shaping the Future of Higher Education: An Invitation to Lead
January 22-25, 2020
Washington, DC
Link to details

Diversity, Equity, and Student Success
March 19-21, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana
Link to details

Designing Effective Teaching: Lilly Conference
May 30 - June 2, 2020
Bethesda, Maryland
Link to details

Annual Report 2013-2014

This Annual Report details the services that VITAL provided to the Villanova academic community to support quality pedagogical and learning environments during the programming year of August 2013 – July 2014. The core goal of all VITAL services is to facilitate dialogue and interaction among faculty who share common curricular and/or pedagogical interests.

VITAL continues to utilize various means 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 conversations 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:

* vitalannualreport0614.pdf
Annual Report 2013-2014