Faculty Resource Bulletin

The Faculty Resource Bulletin is one of many steps we’re taking to improve communication about local and statewide faculty professional development information and opportunities. Please visit our Faculty Resources sites (see links in the header of this blog) for more information as well as past Bulletins.

Highlights of this week’s Bulletin include:

  • Tech Tip: Manage Exemptions in Brightspace
  • From Your Colleagues: Universal Design for Learning
  • STEM Matters: The Formula for Driving Innovation
  • WeTeach: Online/Blended Design and Delivery
  • STAR Symposium Registration and Call for Proposals Open
  • Broken Media Conference, Exhibition, and Workshop
  • Events and Development Opportunities
  • Webinar Recordings

Tech Tip

Manage Exemptions in Brightspace

We’ve made a new tool available in our instance of D2L Brightspace that allows faculty to excuse students from activities and have it be visually noticeable to a student. This document explains how to use the Manage Exemptions feature to exempt a student(s) from having to complete activities within your courses.

You can exempt students from items within the following:

  • Assignments
  • Checklists
  • Discussion Topics
  • External Learning Tools
  • Quizzes
  • Self-Assessments
  • Surveys
  • Grade Items

Learning activities that have a Grade Item associated with them (such as Assignments, Discussion Topics, and Quizzes) will also automatically exempt the student from the associated Grade Item when they are exempted from the activity.

See many more Brightspace tutorials on our D2L Resources page!

From Your Colleagues

In our first-ever podcast on teaching and learning issues, IHCC English faculty member Mary Petrie talks with Randi Goettl and Martin Springborg about her application of Universal Design for Learning principles. Access the audio AND short (17-minute) video here, or open in a new window for a larger viewing. We’ll be releasing audio-only files on the Faculty Resources site very soon.

STEM Matters: The Formula for Driving Innovation


December 11

1:00-2:15 p.m.

To succeed, innovative efforts to broaden participation in STEM and to make equity an immutable factor in quality STEM teaching require critical reflection and active engagement from the entire range of stakeholders. This webinar will bring together key institutional leaders, funding agency officers, and professional society representatives for an open and frank discussion of the structural and systemic barriers to quality and equity in undergraduate STEM education. Participants will focus on challenges faced, struggles overcome, lessons learned, and potential threats.

See the STEM Matters Webinar page for registration and more information.

WeTeach: Online/Blended Design and Delivery

WeTeach is an interactive, collaborative course intended for instructors who teach online or blended courses. Instructors will become an online student in the course to develop their own online teaching and design skills. This course also allows instructors to share online teaching experiences and best practices. This course is for instructors who are new to online teaching. It is also for instructors looking to expand their skills, explore new ways to engage students, and use technology more effectively to save time. Quality Matters standards, technology tools, D2L training, best practices, and research will be woven throughout all modules.

COST: $400.00

The next WeTeach offering starts February 3, 2020 – April 2, 2020 (Week of March 9th off for Spring Break) The weekly virtual meetings will be offered:

  • Mondays at 12: 00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CST
  • Thursdays at 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. CST

Participants are expected to attend ONE of the 1-hour virtual meetings each week.

See the WeTeach System page for registration and more information.

STAR Symposium Registration and Call for Proposals Open


February 28, 2020


The STAR Symposium celebrates excellence in teaching and learning by providing an avenue for individuals to share best practices, ideas and resources with colleagues. This FREE, virtual one-day conference will consist of presentations that focus on post-secondary pedagogical approaches including delivery via face-to-face, blended, flipped, and online classrooms.

Presentation tracks include:

  • Teaching and learning
  • Faculty Development and support
  • Course design and delivery
  • Grading, assessment, and feedback
  • Student engagement
  • Technology integration
  • Other innovations…

Call for proposals and registration are now open!

Broken Media Conference, Exhibition, and Workshop

Winona State University

June 26-28, 2020

Interested in digital media and experimental art? There are several ways to participate in the “Broken Media” Conference, Exhibition, and Workshop:

  • Attend the conference and exhibition (June 26-28). Sponsored by the International Digital Media Arts Association (iDMAa), the conference will attract an eclectic mix of artists, scholars, and professionals from around the globe to talk about emerging media in a friendly and down-to-earth setting.
  • Present your work (June 26-28). Feel free to submit a paper for our peer-reviewed conference program or send a proposal to have your work included in the juried exhibition.
  • Enroll in the game design workshop (June 22-26). In this year’s workshop, taught by Stephanie Boluk and Patrick LeMieux (authors of Metagaming), participants will hack video games interfaces to explore new ways of playing. No prior programming experience needed. Undergraduate, graduate, continuing education and non-credit options are available.
  • Bring (or send) a group of students to participate in the workshop or conference. This year’s conference features special sessions focused on student interests, special pricing options, and on-campus housing to make the conference accessible to student artists and media-makers.

The cost for the conference is $200 for first time attendees, $150 for previous iDMAa attendees, and $50 for students. Housing will be available for $25/night.

To learn more about iDMAa, the conference theme, submissions, the exhibition, workshop, student sessions, housing, and registration, please follow the link:

Events and Development Opportunities

Coming up on campus:

Course Design: Using Basic Web Coding

In this hands-on session, you will learn course design and HTML basics and apply them to your online courses. After a brief introduction to best practices in online course design, we will demonstrate how to make the most of your course content area and help you create custom homepages. We will also demonstrate how to access and use custom HTML templates within Brightspace to give your courses a unified visual theme. We’ll end the workshop by helping you use basic HTML code to create further visual enhancements. These foundational skills can be used in posting announcements, creating content and web documents, and so much more. Take your course design skills to the next level by using basic web coding!


See posts under college categories (above and in right navigation) for information on campus Brightspace and course design sessions. View our Events Calendar to see details on these and other campus professional development opportunities.

Descriptions for events are presented on this blog as they appear on organizations’ websites. Please contact me if you have any questions about these opportunities, or if you have information about an opportunity you’d like to share with your faculty colleagues. Search more Minnesota State system events at

We will host most online opportunities/webinars in our space (Fine Arts 270 at IHCC and 2-141C at DCTC). Consider participating with your faculty colleagues and join a discussion afterwards. Watch for announcements of these opportunities in your campus email.

Webinar Recordings

Unable to participate in webinars we host on campus? We’re sad you can’t join us, but you can also RSVP from the Events Calendar and participate on your own. Recordings for most webinars can be accessed from the Minnesota State D2L Support SharePoint site. Use your credentials to login. Contact Martin Springborg if you can’t find a recording you’re looking for.


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