TLISI 2013 Recap

More than 100 faculty and staff participated this year in CNDLS’s annual Teaching, Learning, and Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI). From May 20-23, participants were invited to attend one of three different programs: Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT), Writing in the Disciplines Symposium, and Doyle Faculty Fellowships. Each of these programs provided faculty with particular tools and approaches for developing and achieving their teaching and learning goals. Participants in the three tracks came together for two plenary sessions: “The Role of Analytics” by Oded Meyer and “Learning, Innovation, and the Possible Futures of Georgetown” by Randy Bass.

Teaching and Learning with Technology
In the TLT program, eighty participants dove into three days of preparing for Georgetown’s technology-enhanced learning efforts. In the first half of each day, ITEL awardees and other interested faculty members contemplated issues such as evaluating learning goals, deploying technology, and gathering evidence of learning. These conceptual discussions, facilitated by CNDLS staff and experienced faculty members, gave participants the groundwork for choosing specific technologies to explore in the second half of each day. In the afternoons, hands-on sessions offered participants the opportunity to practice using specific new learning technologies in small groups. This mix of large and small sessions gave participants both the conceptual framework and the practical experience to better design technology-enhanced learning projects. 

“It was great to get an overview of the new technologies out there and to see a little of how to use them,” said Mike Hull, Research Associate in the Department of Physics. “Seeing the different technologies contrasted with each other helped me think about what might work with our project.”

Writing in the Disciplines Symposium
In the Writing in the Disciplines program, eighteen faculty members from five different departments worked together for four days, developing plans to integrate writing into their departmental curricula. Coordinated by the Writing Program, teams discussed how their departments will address the recently approved Integrated Writing (IW) requirement, intended to strengthen the attention given to the specialized forms and situations of writing within academic fields.

“I really liked that it was action-oriented – we did not just sit around blowing hot air but we created plans for improving writing in our departments,” explained Maggie Baker, Assistant Professor of International Health. “Doing this together with other departments provided a rich environment within which to create such a plan, providing us with instant peer review and other ideas that we could incorporate into our planning.”

Doyle Faculty Fellowships
In the Doyle Faculty Fellows program, twelve faculty fellows from eight different departments kicked off their yearlong Doyle fellowships with four days of workshops. The central goal of the Doyle Program is to support Georgetown professors as they redesign courses to explicitly engage themes of difference and diversity in the classroom. TLISI workshops included reflections from a panel of former Doyle fellows on their experiences in the program, a session on using quantitative data on student learning to improve teaching practices, and a discussion about ways to engage issues of socio-economic class in coursework. The varied experiences and disciplinary backgrounds of the faculty cohort made the week’s activities a productive forum for discussing strategies through which to engage difference in the classroom. 

For the first time this year, the cohort includes returning Doyle fellows who are taking part in the program once again. Some will build on the Doyle work they started during a prior fellowship year, while others are using their earlier Doyle experiences to try something new. Also new this year is a subset of faculty fellows who will be teaching Writing and Culture seminars, pilot courses in Georgetown’s Writing Initiatives that aim to incorporate engagement with difference as part of the writing curriculum. The TLISI experience left fellows excited about what one participant deemed to be “lasting tools for course design and teaching” and “useful building blocks for my future professional development.”