Basketball Teams at Home Tonight, Tomorrow

Michigan Tech Men's and Women's basketball entertain teams from Minnesota today and tomorrow to open the home portion of the schedule for both squads.

The Women will host Minnesota-Crookston today at 5:30 p.m. in the SDC Gym. They'll take on Concordia St. Paul at 4 p.m. tomorrow. 

The Tech women opened their season last weekend with another team from the Gopher State, downing Minnesota Duluth 60-47. Today's contest is the season opener for the Golden Eagles. This is the second all-time meeting between the two squads with the Huskies winning last year's inaugural contest 85-62.

Tomorrow, the Huskies take on a Concordia St. Paul team that is 1-1 on the young season with a win over Central Missouri and a loss to #12 Pittsburgh (Kan). Tech leads the all-time series with the Golden Bears 5-3 but lost on the road last year 86-77.

The men will open their home schedule with two more teams from the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Tonight the Huskies (1-1) take on undefeated Southwest Minnesota State (3-0). Tip off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Tech leads the all-time series with the Mustangs 21-7, including the last meeting nearly two years ago, Nov. 28, 2014 when the Huskies prevailed 74-59.

Tomorrow Tech hosts Minnesota State Moorehead. The Dragons will come into Houghton having played Northern Michigan tonight. MS-M leads the all-team series, which dates back to 1949, 34-23, but the Huskies have won nine in a row including their last encounter Nov. 20, 2009, 62-56.

All four games can be heard on local radio 93.5 FM, as well as video stream and audio stream.

For more on Michigan Tech sports visit

SURF Applications Open

Applications for 2017 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships are now open. Fellowship recipients will spend the summer on an individual research project under the guidance of a Michigan Tech faculty mentor. SURFs are open to all Tech undergraduates who have at least one semester remaining after the summer term. Awards are up to $4,000. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Jan. 27.

A workshop on writing effective SURF proposals is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 5 in Fisher 132.

For more information, access to the application materials and instructions, visit the webpage or contact the SURF coordinator, Will Cantrell.

Pietila Called up to NHL

Former Michigan Tech hockey player Blake Pietila was called up to the NHL's New Jersey Devils Wednesday and will join the team in Anaheim for its current road trip. He is in his second pro season after playing 58 games for Albany last year and seven games for New Jersey.

Pietila played 153 games for the Huskies from 2011-15 and was a two-time captain. 

ICC Seminar: Jenny Zheng

The ICC will host a seminar talk from 3 to 4 p.m. today (Nov. 18) in Rekhi 214. ICC Visiting Associate Professor, Zhi "Jenny" Zheng, will present her talk entitled "Socially Assistive Robotics for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Novel Platforms for Early Detection and Intervention."

The abstract can be found online. Refreshments will be served.


C-Cubed Week 12

C-Cubed lunches are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. 

A fall pasta menu:
Fusilli with Butternut Squash and Bacon (GF)
Fusilli with Butternut Squash (V)
Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad with Almonds and Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette (V, GF)

V—Vegetarian, VE—Vegan, GF—Gluten Free

Send any suggestions to Christina Fabian or fill out a feed-back form online.

Note: There will not be any C-Cubed lunches next week during Thanksgiving Break.


Upcoming Annual Security Training for Employees

Michigan Tech is required by federal and state regulations to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of sensitive information, as well as conduct annual information security awareness training. As part of an effort to comply with these requirements, the University has created an online Information Security and Awareness Training Program to assist you in understanding the importance of information security and privacy and your role in keeping the University's sensitive information safe.

For more information, read previous Tech Today article.


Wilderness First Responder Course Offered Through OAP

Interested in enhancing your skills in the outdoors? Become a Wilderness First Responder(WFR). The Outdoor Adventure Program will be hosting a five-day WFR course with Wilderness Medical Associates Jan. 2-6. 

For more information, read this Tech Today post.


Integrated Field Practicum Final Presentations

Undergraduates in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences will be presenting their final projects from Integrated Field Practicum starting at 10 a.m. today (Nov. 18) in Forestry G002.


Important Changes to Teacher Professional Development Programs

The Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences (CLS) made important changes that will impact departments and faculty who have offered Teacher Professional Development courses or State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) for teachers attending workshops or events.

Read this Tech Today article for more information on these changes.

On the Road

Latha Poonamallee (SBE), founding director of the Center for Social Innovation, (co-authored with CenSi Research Associates) presented two papers at the Social Entrepreneurship Research Conference hosted by the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and Brittingham Social Enterprise Institute. The paper titles are "Forms of Incorporation of Social Enterprises—Balancing Profits and Goals" and "Intra-Stakeholder Heterogeneity Strategy to Prevent Mission Drift in Social Enterprise."

In Print

Jennifer Lind-Riehl '15, Audrey L. Mayer (SS), Adam Wellstead (SS) and Oliver Gailing (SFRES) published a paper entitled "Hybridization, agency discretion, and implementation of the U.S. Endangered Species Act" in Conservation Biology. You can find the paper here.

CTL Tip of the Week

Canvas Gradebook: Ungraded or Zeros?

It's important for faculty to understand how the Canvas grade book treats ungraded assignments. By default, ungraded assignments are not included in any assignment total calculations.

This means that when assignments are left as "ungraded" (shown with a ‘-‘ dash), they are treated as if they never happened. At first glance, this may seem problematic, but Canvas is really designed to allow faculty to enter assignments well ahead of when grades exist. Many faculty members enter assignments for the whole semester right at the start, which builds a nice calendar and set of reminders for students as due dates approach.

Not including upcoming ungraded assignments is done by design, but Canvas assumes that for any past assignments some score will be entered—even if that score is zero.

Some of you may have noticed an option called "Treat ungraded as zeros" on the Gradebook Options menu (gear tool) in your gradebook. It should be emphasized that while choosing this option does show the instructor how things would look if all ungraded assignments were zeros, it does not "stick" when you leave the gradebook, or affect what is seen by students.

It's therefore important to actually enter a zero grade when a student doesn't complete an assignment, rather than to leave it ungraded.

For large classes where missed assignments are common, there is a short cut. In the dropdown list of any gradebook column, you can use the "Set Default Grade" option to enter zeros for any ungraded assignments. (See How do I set a default grade for an Assignment?) Best practice, then, is to make sure that zeros get entered along with other scores, leaving no "ungraded" dashes once an assignment is complete in your course. You can watch an eLearning screencast for a video demonstration, link to directions for setting a default grade, and see where to access your Gradebook Options Menu on this page.

The CTL Tip of the Week is brought to you by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). For more general information or help with Canvas at Michigan Tech, be sure to visit Canvas One Stop.

A Metacognitive Moment

A novice instructor I was talking with recently had worked very hard at what would seem to be valuable teaching behaviors: polishing PowerPoint slides, selecting readings and identifying other materials to support effective communication of course content.  

After giving an exam on which students performed far worse than expectations, the instructor conducted a review activity in which students got together in groups and re-worked the exam problems. 

As the groups talked through the problems, the instructor listened carefully and was astonished by some of the misconceptions, missing definitions and wrong assumptions. The instructor came away inspired with lots of ways to improve lectures for next time around.

That’s a nice benefit, but I think there’s an even bigger lesson. The next group of students MIGHT have many of the same struggles, but in my experience they could be very different. In any case, it would be better to focus on ways to help the current group of students BEFORE the exam.

Instructors often focus efforts on what they say to students.     But there’s good evidence to indicate that learning is also heavily influenced by the ways an instructor LISTENS to students. 

Formally, this can be done using the Think Aloud Assessment Technique. Informally, it can be done in many ways.  In larger classes, it could just mean having students work together in pairs or small groups on a problem, review exam or case study and responding.

Students could be also be asked to provide a written response to a question before, during or after class. Listening during a walk through the room, using a variety of high or low tech response systems and/or reading student responses BEFORE explanations allows a time focus on existing misconceptions or missed concepts.

Getting students thinking, writing or responding “out loud” also provides metacognitive benefits. A colleague at a recent conference shared this story: A learning center which required students to explain their question to a stuffed animal (the university mascot) before meeting with a “real” coach found almost 30 percent of students solved their own problem during their explanation. It’s clear that pushing students to articulate questions helps them analyze and improve their own thinking as well.

Have a great break week. Come back refreshed and ready for the end-of-semester sprint. If we can be of help in anyway, stop into or contact the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.