Book signing by WLCS Professor Mark Bates

On Thursday, January 22 at 4 p.m., WLCS Spanish professor Mark Bates will be in the Simpson College Bookstore (inside Kent) to sign copies and discuss his 2014 book With Arms Wide Open: Stories of Nicaragua.”

Come meet the author and learn a little about this fascinating Central American country!


Required Syllabus Elements

All Simpson syllabi are supposed to include information about contact hours and learning time, academic integrity, the course continuity plan, and information about all general education designations associated with the course. Don’t forget that the objectives associated with the gen ed designations were updated over the summer and may not be the same as they were the last time you taught the course.

You’ll find sample text of these elements here:

There is a much nicer version the general education designation outcomes here:

Don’t forget that the learning objectives aren’t the only things that you need to think about when integrating gen ed designations into a course. You also need to make sure to meet the course characteristics associated with the designation; you just don’t need to include the list of course characteristics in your syllabus. To see the course characteristics, go here: Then click on either Areas of Engagement or Embedded Skills to find the appropriate designation.

Syllabus Review Game with Kahoot!

I just learned about a free online tool you could use to create a syllabus review game for your students to play on the first day of class: Kahoot! Distribute the syllabus, and then instead of going over it with your students, ask them multiple choice questions over the content of the syllabus. Kahoot will display the questions on your computer for you to project. Students can use their smart phones or any internet-connected device to answer the questions. Points earned in the game are a function of both accuracy and speed. You set the maximum amount of time students can spend on each item. That helps keep the game moving.

The game is not anonymous. Students are asked to enter their name when they first log in, and then a leaderboard is shown after each item showing the scores of students in the lead. To avoid embarrassing students and to reduce the number of laptops/tablets/phones needed, have students work in groups.

To create a Kahoot quiz, go to To view of video introduction to kahoot, go to

Faculty Development Day: Jan 12

Whether or not your submitted your RSVP, please come to the January Faculty Development Day in the Kent Campus Center.

8:30 a.m. Breakfast in Hubbell I (north)
9:00 – 10:15 Choose one of the following

  • A Great Idea I Read about Recently (Hubbell I)
    Over break, seven faculty members read seven different books. In this session, you’ll get to discover what these seven faculty members learned and how they are going to use it in one of their upcoming courses. This session will be done in a speed-dating format, so you’ll have a few minutes to talk to each faculty presenter. Come get new ideas for your classes and help select a book for a spring semester reading group.
  • Making Instructors’ Lives Easier: Offerings from the Research Assistance and Writing Centers (Senate Room)
    Do you assign students to do library research and/or write papers? Whether or not your course has an IL or WC designation, the librarians (Mary Peterson, Liz Grimsbo and Steve Duffy) and Beth Beggs, the director of the writing center, can help your students do a better job with their assignments. In this session, there will be brainstorming and discussion of ways of collaborating with the library and/or writing center so that your students submit higher quality work. In addition, the librarians will demonstrate Encore Duet, the newly updated discovery system for library materials and highlight relevant IL features of the Dunn Library website, including the new LibCal for students to schedule research appointments.

10:30 – 11:45 Choose one of the following

  • Grading Class Participation (Hubbell I)
    Many faculty include class participation as one component of students’ overall course grade. In this panel discussion, you’ll discover a variety of different ways of not only grading class participation, but helping students improve the quality of their class participation. Panelists include CoryAnne Harrigan, Judy Walden, and Camille Sutton. Heather Groben will moderate the panel.
  • Creating Assignments for the Engaged Citizenship Curriculum (Senate Room)
    All courses with ECC designations include assignments that provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of specific learning objectives. This session is designed to help you as an instructor improve the quality of one of your assignments. Each attendee should bring three copies of one assignment. We will engage in a peer review session in which we help each other increase the chances that students really do successfully demonstrate the objectives. Tracy Dinesen and Sal Meyers will co-facilitate this session.

Grant Due Dates

More details about grants and proposal instructions are available at

Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Grants
Purpose: To help full-time faculty members to continue to grow in their expertise by regularly contributing to the development of their discipline.    (One RSC application per person per year.)
Applications due: Monday, January 12, 2015
If granted, funds are available: June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016

Principal Financial Group Faculty Development Grant
Purpose: The purpose of this grant is to provide resources and encouragement for the development of online courses in areas particularly relevant to Principal including actuarial sciences, computer science, accounting, marketing, management, economics, and more. See the call for proposals for the complete list of options.
Applications due: Sunday, February 1, 2015

Grant to Attend the Lilly Conference on College & University Teaching in the D.C. Area
Purpose: The faculty development committee would like to send 2 faculty members, preferably one tenured and one tenure-track, to the Lilly Conference on College & University Teaching in Bethesda, Maryland from May 28 through May 31, 2015.
Applications due: Monday, February 2, 2015

Course Development and Enhancement Grants
Purpose: To help faculty to develop new courses and redesign existing courses.   (One application for this grant per person per year.)
Maximum possible award: $500
Applications due: Monday, February 2, 2015
If granted, funds are available: June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016

Diversity Grants
Purpose:  To help faculty to include minority and multi-cultural perspectives into existing courses and also to support the development of new courses which include such perspectives.    (One application for this grant per person per year.)
Maximum possible award: $750 (up to $500 can be taken be taken as a stipend)
Applications due:  Monday, February 2, 2015
If granted, funds are available: June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016

May Term Enrichment Grants
Purpose: To take advantage of the special experiential opportunities available during May Term. Appropriate uses for these funds include but are not limited to guest speakers, travel by van to local museums, businesses, service agencies, and equipment to be used to increase the interactive nature of the class. May Term Enrichment Grants are not to take the place of appropriate course fees.  (One application for this grant per person per year.)
Maximum possible award: $200
Applications due: February 28, 2015

Online Learning Conference in Kansas City

The Online Learning Consortium (formally the Sloan Consortium) is offering their first ever regional conference about online teaching and learning. There will be lots of discussion of blended learning (which we use in virtually all of our Continuing and Graduate Program courses) as well as online-only courses. The conference is 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24.

The faculty development office is eager to provide funding for approximately four people to attend this conference. We’ll rent a car for the group to drive to Kansas City Monday evening. In addition, we will pay the conference registration and hotel (2 people per room). Lunch is provided by the conference. Faculty development will reimburse for breakfast and dinner either Monday or Tuesday. Faculty who have or are scheduled to teach in the Continuing and Graduate Program sometime during the 2014-2015 academic year are eligible to apply — this includes part-time faculty! If you are a full-time faculty member who is interested in offering an online or blended learning course, you are encouraged to apply — even if you have no experience teaching online.

If you want to attend this conference, please send an e-mail to Sal Meyers by Friday, January 16.

Personal Statement Writing Workshop

Are you apply to a summer research program?  If so, you will need to write a personal statement.

Beth Beggs, Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, will hold a Personal Statement Writing Workshop on Tuesday, January 20, 2014 at 1:00pm in Carver.

Bring your current draft of your personal statement (or your current ideas for your personal statement) to the workshop.

S.T.E.M. Career Fair – January 28, 2015

Then S.T.E.M. Career Fair will be held on Wednesday, January 28th from 12:00p.m. to 2:00p.m in Hubbell Hall.  See the STEM Career Fair website for a complete list of employers that plan to attend.

Contact Bobbi Meyer, Simpson College Internship Coordinator, for additional information.

Best Simpson Moments of 2014

How many Simpson College Mathematics and Actuarial Science students can you find in this video?  Hint: there are several in the parts about undergraduate research.

Link to the “Best Simpson Moments of 2014″ video:

Download and Play 2014 Fall Student Games

This Fall six teams finished their projects in the CIS 390 Unity Game Design class.

If you are running on Windows, download the installer for all six games here!

Each team had two or three people. Students did 3D modeling in Blender, programming in the C# and JavaScript languages, and used either git or mercurial version control systems.

Adrian and Louis:

Adrian and Louis



Spenser, Chase, and Zachary:




Alex and Robert:




Nick and Branden:





Tony, Thomas, and Chad:



Jacob, Eric, and Connor:



CMSC 150 (first semester programming) students also finished their games. You can see a playlist of videos showing some of them here.