The Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center serves as a catalyst for promoting a culture of teaching excellence at Grand Valley State University.  Rooted in a liberal education tradition and informed by the scholarship of teaching and learning, we advocate innovative teaching and student-centered pedagogies.  We partner with faculty as they prepare students to contribute meaningfully to their professions and societies.

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Storytelling and the first days of class

Thinking ahead to next semester, how might you use stories to introduce your course and engage students in the content? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Your journey to your discipline 
  • What student success has looked like in past course offerings
  • The programmatic context of your course
  • The connections between the course content and societal issues 
  • The alignment of the assignments and learning experiences you have designed with the course student learning objectives

To learn more about incorporating storytelling into your teaching, we invite you to explore resources that we have found helpful:

NEW Series: "Twenty Minutes to Better Teaching"

How do we define academic integrity?  How do we talk about it with our students?  How can we best design assignments to promote academic integrity?

The next installment in the Twenty Minutes to Better Teaching Series addresses academic integrity in three separate but related conversations, based on video programming from the 20-Minute Mentor Commons.

The Pew FTLC offers faculty 24-7 access to video-based professional development through our subscription to the 20-Minute Mentor Commons.  We invite you to a session (or two!) in our new series called "Twenty Minutes to Better Teaching."  For each of the topics (listed to the right), we will spend the first 20 minutes of the session watching the video and then engage in a 30-minute discussion.  Registrants will also be provided with a link to the video and supporting materials in advance of the session.

These sessions are offered at a time convenient for part-time faculty teaching evening classes, but all faculty are welcome to participate.  You can register in Sprout for only the topics of interest to you.  There is no requirement to attend all topics in the series.

To browse the digital library content of the 20-Minute Mentor Commons yourself, contact us at for an access code and instructions.

How can I minimize cheating in the classroom?
Tuesday, December 11th
12pm–12:50pm—Allendale Campus (JHZ 3068)
4pm–4:50pm—Pew Grand Rapids Campus (DEV 302E)
Register in Sprout.


How can course design prevent online cheating?
Wednesday, December 12th
12pm–12:50pm—Allendale Campus (JHZ 3068)
4pm–4:50pm—Pew Grand Rapids Campus (DEV 302E)
Register in Sprout.

How do I discuss academic integrity during the first class?
Thursday, December 13th
11am–11:50am—Allendale Campus (JHZ 3068)
3pm–3:50pm—Pew Grand Rapids Campus (302E)
Register in Sprout.


How can promoting academic integrity improve learning outcomes for students?
Friday, December 14th
11am–11:50am—Allendale Campus (JHZ 3068)
3pm–3:50pm—Pew Grand Rapids Campus (DEV 302E)
Register in Sprout.


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Promoting a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, supporting reflection on professional practice, encouraging growth at all career stages, and rewarding innovation in teaching.

Page last modified December 12, 2018