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News, Events, Annual Report

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Faculty Sponsorship to Attend Annual Virtual Conference on Teaching Excellence at Temple University
January 6 – 7, 2022

VITAL will support a team of up to twelve faculty members across disciplines to attend this regional conference titled “Teaching for Equity” focused on learning-centered teaching. Sponsored faculty members are asked to share with the Villanova teaching community a conference take-away; this may occur as part of a VITAL and/or departmental program during spring 2022. Faculty who were sponsored in the past two years are not eligible to apply.

To apply, please complete the online application form by Wed., 12/8 at the latest. 
Link to conference site
Link to past faculty participants


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, also contributed an article on the benefits of recorded presentations.


VITAL welcomes Ms. Kimberly Muldoon Ivenz as Senior Administrative Assistant

“I graduated from St. Joseph’s University and I am a transplant from Brooklyn, NY, specifically, Sheepshead Bay. Most recently I worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in the Office for Child and Youth Protection as a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Coordinator and Facilitator where I educated staff and volunteers about how to recognize and report the signs of child sexual abuse.

I am excited to join the team at VITAL to assist all faculty in their work as teacher-scholars and offer instructional professional development opportunities in support of enriched students’ learning experiences. I look forward to meeting you and hope you will stop by the VITAL Office.” 


Dr. Valentina DeNardis Serving as VITAL Microsoft for Higher Education Fellow

Dr. Valentina DeNardis, Director of Classical Studies, 7-year Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, will offer online sessions that demonstrate use cases for Microsoft tools in higher education. Sessions will focus on particular topics or tools or provide an overview of various tools: Microsoft Teams & OneNote for Student Collaboration and Digital Storytelling with Microsoft Sway. Dr. DeNardis will create an online community (using Microsoft Teams) where Villanova faculty and staff can share their ideas and experiences using Microsoft tools on campus. The learning community will also be apprised of the latest Microsoft tool resources and updates. 

Link to programs


VITALITY: The Last Day of Class: Reflecting Together on the Experience

The final class provides a time for both students and faculty to ponder the overall learning experiences, personal growth, and appreciation for learning together. Ideally, the goals for the final class will be reflective of students’ learning experience, demonstrative of growth, and celebratory of accomplishments. These goals lift the Augustinian tenant of each student’s and faculty’s journey of self-discovery: “Become what you are not yet.”

Explore some instructional approaches you can use to encourage a reflective, demonstrative, celebratory final class experience.

Link to article


Teaching Podcasts

Faculty Focus Live: Podcast offers research-based teaching tips to boost your creativity and motivation hosted by Magna Publications. Current episode: Live with David Sandler: Getting the butterflies to fly in formation while public speaking - access via Faculty Focus Live link

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: Podcast explores the art and science of being more effective at facilitating learning and is hosted by B. Stachowiak, Vangard University, CA.


From the Pitch to the Classroom: New Course Connects History and Data Analytics to Explore the World of Soccer

Offered through Villanova Integrated Academics, the course "Global Soccer from Historical and Data Analytical Perspectives" was recently launched by Dr. Bret Myers, teaching professor of Management and Operations, and Dr. Paul Steege, associate professor of History.  Both professors offer important perspectives on the sport and merge their disciplines together to form this unique course, with the goal for students to learn the historic and global significance of soccer. 
Link to details


ON Cultivating Student Engagement in Higher Ed - Podcast

Hosted by Dr. Kathryn Berkow, a faculty member at the University of Delaware, this podcast features Higher Ed 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."


How to Assist Quarantining/Isolating Students in Your Class

Per Fr. Peter’s message on September 3, masks are required in all classroom and laboratory spaces. You may also have students in your class who need to isolate or quarantine. These are considered excused absences. Students can make up the work, be given equivalent alternative assignments, be given make-up or online assessments. If students are unable to complete work on time due to illness they should be given reasonable extensions. You are to provide students in isolation or quarantine with the class content. This can be done in different ways and the option is yours as the faculty. Some options are: 

  • With permission of the chair and dean you can allow students to participate in your class by Zoom, but are not required to do so.  Please design your class activities to function well with this option. 
  • You can record your class via MediaSite in the classroom if available or use Zoom on your laptop and provide the recording to the students who can follow up with any questions they have. 
  • You can provide lecture slides, notes, or other course material. 
  • Other suitable options of your design.

Communication distributed by Dr. Randy Weinstein, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, September 3.


Innovative Teaching at Villanova 

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


Instructional Updates for Fall 2021

As you get ready for the fall semester, please refer to A Message from the President: COVID-19 Fall Semester Update for masking requirements and communication regarding teaching considerations by Dr. Randy Weistein, Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning. 

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.

Morning Mentor: Managing and Reducing Academic Job Stress
Link to program; Password: stress628
Access 24/7 in your office, on your mobile device, or at home from Mon, 12/6 to Sun, 12/12.
Program details and fall 2021 schedule
Past Morning Mentor topics on Online Teaching (Transcripts are available)

Faculty Sponsorship to Attend Annual Virtual Conference on Teaching Excellence at Temple University
Thu, January 6 and Fri, January 7, 9:00am-4:00pm
To apply, please complete the online application form by Wed, 12/8 at the latest.

Microsoft Sway for Digital Storytelling
with Valentina DeNardis, PhD, Director of Classical Studies and
VITAL Microsoft for Higher Education Fellow

Fri, December 10, 10:00-11:15am 
RSVP by December 9th. 
This program will be offered via Zoom

New Faculty Program, Part 2
Wed, January 5, 9:00am-4:00pm
Dougherty Hall, East Lounge
RSVP by Mon, December 13
Link to draft agenda.

Making Your Course Accessible in LMS
with Nicole Subik, Learning Support Services, and Andy Cui, VITAL
Thu, January 6, 11:00am–12:15pm - via Zoom

Food for Thought Discussions, Spring 2022
Dates and Topics forthcoming 


20th Annual Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence, Temple University
Thu, January 6 – Fri, January 7 - virtual via Zoom
Link to details

ITLC Lilly Online Conference
Call for proposals: September 1, 2021 - January 15, 2022
Synchronous sessions: April 6, 13, 20, and 27
Link to details

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