Teaching center sets fall sessions

The Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of the Incarnate Word has scheduled eight workshops aimed at faculty development this fall.

They include:

“Are We Academically Adrift?,” Sept. 12 and 14. “Academically Adrift” is one of the most widely discussed books on university teaching in recent years, said Dr. Susan Hall, director of the center.  In it, sociologists Richard Arum and Josiah Roksa argue that the contemporary American university is a place of little academic rigor where undergraduates may receive credentials but rarely improve in critical thinking, writing, and complex reasoning. In a short video presentation, Arum notes some key findings of their study. Dr. Roger C. Barnes, a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, will moderate a discussion. The Sept. 12 session will be noon-1 p.m. in the Tilton Room. It includes a light lunch. The Sept. 14 session will be 4-5 p.m. in the Special Collections Room on the second floor of J.E. and L.E. Mabee Library. It includes a wine-and-cheese reception.

“Making the Shift to the Blend,” 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 30, Library 230. Blended learning is used by approximately 80 percent of universities in the nation and has been proven to engage learners, have positive effects on grades, and result in accelerated learning, said Hall, who is also a professor in the Dreeben School of Education. The guest presenter will be Patricia McGee of the University of Texas-San Antonio. McGee will provide an overview of what works and what doesn’t in blended course design, especially blended course best practices and the design process, and the technological tools needed. Lunch will follow. The cosponsors for this workshop are the Office of Instructional Technology and Walmart through a grant.

“Tools and Resources for Collaborative Learning,” noon-1:15 p.m. Oct. 10, Library 230. In this interactive session, Dr. Stephanie Grote-Garcia, an assistant professor in the Dreeben School of Education, will demonstrate the use of Facebook, Google Documents, www.livebinders.com, and www.crocodocs.com as resources for collaborative learning. Participants will have the opportunity to explore these resources and to collaborate with other faculty members.

“Today’s Students Really are Different: A Return Engagement,” 11:45 a.m., Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing. This session in the auditorium will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the data on how generations differ (based on a sample of 11 million young people) spiced with plenty of pop culture and humor. The generational changes include increases in self-esteem, narcissism, and expectations, and declines in mental health. Jean Twenge, author of “Generation Me,” will discuss how these changes impact teaching and how the generations can work together inside the classroom. The nursing school is a cosponsor.

“Managing Small Groups Effectively,” 4-5 p.m. Nov. 2. Used effectively, small groups can build student engagement and foster deeper knowledge of course content; however, working in groups often stretches students’ social and communicative abilities. In this session, Tisha Harding, an English instructor, will present strategies for helping students work productively in small groups. The workshop, whose room will be announced, includes cold drinks and a dessert.

“Learning from Successful Students: Research on Hispanic Students,” noon Nov. 8, Administration Building 212. Dr. Julie Nadeau, of the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions, will discuss research on Hispanic students who have succeeded in the courses that precede admission to a nursing program, and discuss implications for faculty who teach in other disciplines. A light lunch is included.

“Blended Learning Reunion,” dates to be announced. This is a follow-up workshop for faculty who participated in “Making the Shift to the Blend.” In this hands-on session, Dr. Norm St. Clair, director of graduate studies for the Dreeben School of Education, and Ana Gonzales, UIW’s director of instructional training, will provide assistance in using one or two specific tools to promote interaction in a blended environment. Participants will select the topic or topics for the reunion workshop.

“How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching” book club, time and place to be announced. “How Learning Works” summarizes important findings in cognitive psychology and applies them to college teaching in many disciplines, Hall said. Authors Susan Ambrose, Michael Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha Lovett and Marie Norman have kept their volume practical and accessible to non-specialists, Hall said. Dr.  Pat Lonchar, an English professor who also serves as assistant dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and Professor Shishu Zhang of the HEB School of Business and Administration will moderate the book club, which is open to all faculty members. Participants will set the exact meeting times, probably four Fridays, beginning in October for breakfast or lunch. Participants will get a copy of the book and refreshments. Interested but not sure you can attend? Sign up at CTL’s online reservation site to be included in the planning e-mails.


For Center for Teaching reservations, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CTLregistrationfall11.

Or contact Dr. Susan Hall (283-5030 or hall@uiwtx.edu).

Forgot to make a reservation? Come anyway, Hall said.

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