Your colleagues at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) would like to welcome the instructional faculty back to a new term at Chapman. As the new Executive Director of CETL, I am thrilled to be working alongside Dr. Melissa Rowland-Goldsmith (Co-Director, Pedagogical Coach, and Faculty Member in Schmid College) and Dr. Melissa Samaniego (Assistant Director and Instructional Designer), both highly committed and competent in their areas of expertise.

We have just analyzed data from the Fall, 2022 Faculty Needs Assessment and are beginning to plan events in accordance with the expressed needs and interests of the respondents. Please watch for the announcement of these events on our CETL Website.

Monday Motivations

We also are very excited to announce that we will be publishing Monday Motivations each week via the Working@Chapman newsletter, where we will share three tips related to teaching and learning that we hope will help improve our students’ academic experience and success here at Chapman. Please feel free to contact us if you have a topic that you would like us to cover.


Cathy Pohan

Tips for the week of February 6, 2023

Supporting Student Wellness

While post-pandemic stress and anxiety continue to impede the academic performance of many undergraduates, instructors can mitigate the negative effects by a) knowing when and where to refer students to campus resources; b) learning names and connecting with students; c) avoiding microaggressions or language that introduces a stereotype threat; d) reducing test anxiety by offering more low-stakes assessments (versus a few high-stakes); and e) promoting a growth mindset.

Connecting with Students Outside the Classroom

Students often need more frequent interactions to stay engaged and motivated at the start of the spring term. Consider communicating with students between class meetings (e.g., emails, announcements posted in Canvas, and office hours). Providing students with a communication plan that indicates how they can reach you, when you’ll be available to them and by what means, and when they can expect to hear from you helps set boundaries and expectations for communication throughout the term. Looking for more ideas? Check out this episode of the Teaching in Higher Ed podcast, and this article about interacting with students outside of class.  

Rethinking Office Hours

Faculty often complain that students just do not come to office hours. According to students at Chapman, time conflicts remain the one of the largest barriers to their attendance at office hours (Hsu, Rowland-Goldsmith, & Schwartz, 2022). Instructors can mitigate such conflicts by including office hours outside the traditional workday and providing online options for quick drop-ins to ask a question. Others have suggested rebranding office hours to Student Hours, Happy Hours, Take 3, or something creatively linked to your course content.