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- Faculty Study Seminars
- On Teaching Lunch Seminars
- Reflecting on Teaching Colloquium
- Faculty Writing Groups
Faculty Study Seminars
Faculty Study Seminars provide a means for faculty with common interests to learn more about a teaching-related topic. Each group meets four times a semester, at times mutually agreed to by participants, to read and discuss a teaching-related book (books provided by OID). Your only obligation is to read and to show up for discussion.
To sign up for a group, e-mail the facilitator noted below with your contact information (e-mail and phone) and a copy of your semester schedule (noting the times you cannot meet). You will be contacted once an initial meeting date is set. For more information about Faculty Study Seminars, contact Anne Kelsch , 777-4233.
Writing in the Senior Capstone: Theory and Practice (National Resource Center, 2013) by Lea Masiello and Tracy Skipper.
Capstones or senior-level “culminating experiences” are usually designed to help students integrate and synthesize learning they’ve gained across a major or the entire curriculum. Many of those capstones feature writing assignments as a convenient means of asking students to both practice and demonstrate high-level intellectual skills they’ll need upon graduation: the ability to reflect, conceptualize, plan, research, problem-solve, integrate, and evaluate. In a new book, Writing in the Senior Capstone: Theory and Practice, Lea Masiello and Tracy Skipper examine writing assignments used in capstone from two key perspectives.
First, the book draws on the literature to examine what’s known about the ways that writing can help students achieve a number of desired outcomes including improved “critical thinking, mastery of disciplinary content, and oral and written communication.” They also describe evidence that writing assignments can promote development of other traits and skills likely to be valuable once students leave college, including collaboration, independence, and innovation.
Second, the book provides ideas for “maximizing the usefulness of writing in the capstone.” It’s easy to add a writing assignment to a course, but it can be considerably more difficult to identify strategies for ensuring that the assignment fulfills its intended purpose. Bringing extensive experience with both capstone courses and writing across the curriculum, Masiello and Skipper draw on their years of experience combined with a rich and deep knowledge of the literature to offer “detailed strategies” and “practical suggestions” for using writing more effectively within the capstone. In the second half of the book, they provide ideas for enhancing the usefulness of various kinds of assignments ranging from the informal and unrevised through portfolios and research projects.
In this Faculty Study Seminar, facilitated by Joan Hawthorne, participants will read and discuss the Masiello and Skipper book, while also bringing in their own experiences and ideas. Since the book is short and unintimidating (Masiello and Skipper are very readable writers), group members will also have an opportunity to extend the discussion beyond the text itself in response to topics and issues of shared interest.
If you are interested in participating, contact Joan Hawthorne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 7-4684.
Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice, 2nd ed. (Jossey-Bass, 2013) by Maryellen Weimer .
As faculty we strive each semester to improve our teaching. Maryellen Weimar, a noted researcher on effectiveness in the college classroom, would argue that teaching should not be our primary focus -- student learning should be. And while the two seems obviously linked, for the most part we function on the assumption that if there is teaching, there is learning. Weimar asks that we test that premise and design our courses in a way that ensure the kind of learning we want for our students really is occurring. Ultimately she reminds us that our courses should be designed to facilitate more and better learning for our students, and that research has established methods that work in accomplishing that goal.
This is a thoroughly updated edition of a classic, well respected text. Weimar offers a comprehensive introduction to learner- centered teaching, including a review of current practice in a variety of disciplines. There is also a good overview of research in support of learner-centered practice and in-depth discussion of the impact of student developmental issue on the effectiveness of this approach. The book is practical as well with concrete examples, handouts, and sample assignments dealing with very real concerns such as overcoming student resistance, developing self-motivated learners, and effective evaluation and assessment of learning.
In the words of one reviewer, ”If you’re discouraged by the task of teaching poorly prepared passive learners who seem to resist deep learning and prefer surface approaches, you will gain much from this book. “
If you are interesting in joining this Faculty Study Seminar, contact Anne Kelsch at email@example.com or 777-4233.
Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013) by James M. Lang
When we discover students cheating in our classrooms the initial impulse is often to either internalize the blame (“If I had only done something differently”) or attribute the blame to the student’s moral or motivation deficiencies. In the new book, Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty , author James Lang proposes that cheating is the result of both teaching methods and student choices and he provides clear and specific suggestions for how instructors can essentially eliminate cheating before it starts.
Lang’s book is divided into three sections. The first section provides a history of student cheating in higher education and proposes that cheating is not a new phenomenon, instead its history is at least as long as the history of the American university system, itself. Lang briefly describes who is cheating but he quickly shifts his focus to try to answer the question of why students cheat in the first place. Lang’s case studies provide concrete examples of the type of classroom environments and teaching methods that, according to Lang, unintentionally foster an environment that encourages student cheating.
T he remaining sections provide practical applications of his findings that allow instructors to learn how to become better teachers. Lang shows teachers that by identifying the types of cheating they encounter in their classes and reevaluating their teaching methods, teachers can ultimately develop a culture of academic honesty extends beyond individual classrooms to the larger university.
In this Faculty Study Seminar, facilitated by Kimberly Stewart, participants will read and discuss Lang’s book, while also sharing their own experiences and interpretations of the text and its suggestions. The book is very clearly and accessibly written while examining controversial issues. As a result, group members will have an opportunity to discuss the applicability of his findings in the context or their own classroom and teaching experiences.
If you are interested in participating, contact Kimberly Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 7-6381.