Weaving Art into STEM

Meteorology students may not expect to spend a class session in an art museum — or that the rolling clouds in a painting would spark a rich discussion about their field of study — but that’s just what happened at Iowa State thanks to some creative thinking and collaboration by a professor and staff in University Museums.

Fall, Cumulus, 2006 by Ellen Wagener (American, b. 1964). Pastel on paper. Purchased by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with partial funding from Charles Persinger. In the Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. U2012.22

Dr. Bill Gallus, professor of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences and newly appointed University Museums CELT Faculty Affiliate, and University Museums Curator Adrienne Gennett will discuss that example and much more during a workshop, “Visual Literacy Tools for Curriculum in STEM Fields,” on February 21 at 10 a.m. in 2030 Morrill Hall.

Read more about how Gallus integrated art into his course here — and how doing so can promote student engagement, critical thinking, and communication skills.

Midpoint Evaluation

Tracking Progress and Enhancing Learning

At semester's midpoint is an essential opportunity for your students to examine their progress in a course and for you to do a check-in on teaching your course.

Midterm Grades

As an instructor, you can help students become aware of their standing through the midterm grade submission. Midterm grades are due Friday, March 8, by 2:15 p.m.

Plus/Delta: A Course Check-In 

The Plus/Delta tool, also known as the Midterm Assessment Technique, helps students reflect on their responsibility to your course, what they should continue doing to learn (PLUS), and what they need to change for the course to improve for them (DELTA) (Helminski & Koberna, 1995). It also gives feedback on what changes could help within the course by asking these four open-ended questions:


  • What is helping me to learn in this class?
  • What changes are needed in this course to improve learning?


  • What am I doing to improve my learning in the course?
  • What do I need to do to improve my learning in this course?

Students complete the plus delta using paper or online (Canvas Classic quizzes, TopHat, Qualtrics, etc.) during the fourth through the eighth week of the semester. Then, you summarize the results and share themes back with the class.

This feedback process sends a powerful message to students that they have responsibility for their learning. It also demonstrates that you, as the instructor, are willing to receive feedback and specify what modifications will (or will not) be implemented. To get started, review CELT's Use formative course feedback guide.

CELT Receives the Wellbeing Champion Award at Health & Wellbeing Symposium 2024

CELT worked with all of the Unit Directors on our ISU Annual Student-Centered Learning Workshop (AY23-24) this year, focusing on "Embedding Our Students' Well-Being in Learning Environments."

CELT presented the content to faculty and staff in 60 academic departments, seven times university-wide, and at the Health and Wellbeing Symposium last Friday.

We are honored to do the work we do – can't wait to get the AY24-25 focus that continues to embed well-being in learning environments!

The SoTL Scholars program is a community of faculty and a series of events throughout the year that guide participants through the major components of SoTL research. We bring faculty of all rans, all disciplines, and any level of SoTL knowledge together to better understand teaching and learning through research, collaboration, and resource gathering.


A hallmark of SoTL is taking new knowledge public. This session will share varying modalities to share your research and future opportunities to keep the ball rolling.

Unlock Efficiency and Equity in Grading

Instructors have now been using Gradescope at Iowa State for creating streamlined fairer grading since as early as Summer of 2022. For bubble sheet solutions, ISU sunset their Scantron services at the end of Summer 2023. For the Fall 2023 term, 159 instructors had created courses within Gradescope at Iowa State.


As an instructor, you may still be waiting and wondering if Gradescope is the best solution to meet your needs.


Do any of the following apply to you?

  • I teach large classes.
  • My class makes heavy use of charts, graphs or other handwritten papers.
  • I would like to give better, more specific feedback to students without adding time to the process.
  • I like the idea of grading handwritten papers question-by-question helping to ensure more consistent grading.
  • I teach a STEM course.
  • I would like the idea of flexible rubrics I can change while I am grading.
  • I would like to tag certain questions to gain deeper information on which questions students tend to miss through analytics.
  • I prefer using bubble sheets for some of my exams.
  • I would like to use an autograder that I can create to check similarity for student coding and grade student work.


If you are checking more than a couple boxes, you may want to check out Gradescope!


To find out if you think Gradescope is right for you, take a quick look at these Gradescope tutorials. Contact CELT support with questions!

Important Information


24/7 Canvas Support

As always, Canvas support is available 24/7 for assistance while our offices are closed. Follow the "? Help" icon in your left navigation bar in Canvas for all the support options available.


CELT’s Media Production team supports students and faculty with accessible course delivery and digital education technology providing professional multimedia content production services to instructors for online courses and media services for various projects beyond academic coursework, including marketing initiatives and grant proposals.

Media Production Information

Media Classroom Request Form


ISU Test Center now has a phone number for client support should you or your clients have questions related to the Test Center.

Clients are able to reach us during business hours or leave a voicemail during non-business hours, which will be followed up on the next business day.



View a print version of the CELT Teaching Tip as a pdf.

Stay connected by visiting our CELT website.

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