Joan Riley Named D.C.’s Professor of the Year

Congratulations to Joan Burggraf Riley (NHS), who was chosen by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) as D.C.’s Professor of the Year. Riley has collaborated extensively with CNDLS through her leadership role with the Engelhard Project.   (The D.C. Professor of the Year for 2009, Jim Sandefur (Mathematics), is also an Engelhard Faculty Fellow.)

Riley explains: “I teach because I find fulfillment in being part of an academic community dedicated to students’ development in a climate marked by intellectual curiosity, openness, diversity, respect and support.” For more on Riley and her approach to teaching, see this article from the Blue & Gray.

Workshop on Wednesday: Getting Started with Blogs

On Wednesday, November 18th, CNDLS’ Marie Selvanadin and Rob Pongsajapan will present a hands-on workshop on “Getting Started with Blogs at Georgetown.” The workshop, which is open to faculty, staff, and students, will take place from 10am to 12pm in the Picchi Room (Lauinger 104).  See the workshop description for more information and to register for this workshop.

Engaging Students through Curriculum Enrichment

With the support of a Georgetown Learning Initiatives Curriculum Enrichment Grant, Professor Sarah McNamer’s Medieval Literature students were able to experience a thrilling night at the Kennedy Center watching the Washington Ballet perform Don Quixote.  After the performance, McNamer devoted one class period to a discussion of the interplay between the ballet and the text, which the students had been studying. In their discussion, the students explored such questions as the performative nature of medieval literature, the depiction of chivalric codes of conduct in the ballet, and the portrayal of the figure of Don Quixote.

McNamer describes the experience as “a triumph,” adding that “the students greatly enjoyed the performance, and several commented on how grateful they were to be able to attend such a high-class performance and to take advantage of Washington D.C.’s cultural richness.”  Her students are no less enthusiastic; one student reports that “the ballet was a joy to watch; it was nice to get a chance to travel off campus for such a treat.” Another student explains that “the whole event helped me to understand the relationship between the written tradition we encounter in class and the re-framing of those traditions in modern contexts and different art forms.”

Other events funded through GLI Curriculum Enrichment Grants this semester include a History class’s visit to Monticello, an English Gateway course’s trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library, and a Biology class’s excursion to the forests of West Virginia.  To learn more about GLI Curriculum Enrichment grants, which are administered by CNDLS, see this page. Applications for Spring 2010 funding will be accepted until February 15th.

New U.S.-China Archive Site Launched

CNDLS is pleased to announce the launch of a new multimedia online archive, Celebrating 30 Years of Sino-American Relations at Georgetown University. The archive collects oral history interviews, photos, and other artifacts, and encourages contributions from readers who wish to share their own experiences of Chinese-American exchange.  Content will continue to be added over the coming weeks.

Georgetown is hosting a conference, “Celebrating The 30th Anniversary of Sino-American Relations,” on Tuesday, November 10th.

Student Learning Assessment: Challenges and Resources

In the following post, CNDLS Graduate Associate Lindsay Pettingill reports on a recent assessment workshop she attended at American University.

How do we know what our students are learning? How do we know if our department is producing graduates with sufficient disciplinary understanding? How do we know that the courses we teach are providing students with the skills to compete in a globalized economy? These questions are asked by educators quite frequently, but few have the tools, support, or resources to respond rigorously to such questions. On Friday, October 30th, faculty, staff and administrators from across the DC metro region gathered at American University to discuss the challenges and opportunities of assessment at the university level. The workshop was organized by the Washington Area Student Learning Assessment Network (WASLAN).

After an introductory history, participants discussed the obstacles they have faced in implementing and carrying out rigorous assessment, including recalcitrant faculty, lack of resources, and distrust of administration. These obstacles may seem immense at times, but there are many steps that institutions, departments, and programs can take to promote assessment. While strong leadership is key for change at any level, participants discussed options such as restructuring faculty awards, and identifying an empowered resource with both the skills to assist faculty in assessment and the stature to ensure university support.

With the obstacles covered, moving the assessment process forward is crucial. This is where CNDLS and WASLAN can be of assistance. Mindy McWilliams and Daryl Nardick of CNDLS can help you and your department to:

  • design a mission and identify your strengths,
  • articulate goals and objectives,
  • identify expected curricular and other outcomes,
  • and design means of measurement

Georgetown’s Assessment Portal provides a variety of resources, including data, reports, articles, and examples.

Stop by CNDLS for more information, or contact us with questions!

Students Apply for Engelhard-Themed House on Magis Row

This year, a group of students inspired by the ideals of the Engelhard Project successfully applied for housing in Magis Row, a series of row houses for third- and fourth-year students who want to pursue social justice causes outside of the classroom.  Johanna Caldwell, Emmie Furino, Stephanie Hannah, Lauren Scherr, and student coordinator Katie Cronen will be living in “The Cura Personalis House” for the 2010-2011 school year.  In their application, the students explained: “we are passionate enthusiasts for the Engelhard Infusion Project, the growth and goals of which we would like to cultivate at the student level.”

While residing in this living and learning community, the students aim to “create a continuous dialogue that maintains the spirit of Engelhard discussion within our home, both when guests are present and after they leave.” Engelhard faculty fellow Jennifer Woolard (Psychology) volunteered to be the faculty supervisor of the Cura Personalis House.  She will oversee the students as they continue to take the spirit of the Engelhard Project into the community.

More information on Magis Row can be found here.

“Reimagining Tradition” Video Shown at Fall Faculty Convocation

At this year’s Fall Faculty Convocation on October 28th, President DeGioia and guest speaker Diana Chapman Walsh, President Emerita of Wellesley College, explored the theme of teaching practice.  After viewing a video entitled “Reimagining Tradition: The Spirit of Teaching and Learning at Georgetown,” the audience was invited to participate in a conversation with DeGioia and Chapman Walsh.  You can view the video above, and we welcome your comments.

Georgetown’s Blue and Gray published an article about the convocation that includes quotes from Chapman Walsh, DeGioia, and CNDLS’ Randy Bass.

Ballou Students Partner with GU Students on Civic Engagement Projects

In partnership with students from Professor Heather Voke’s Civic Engagement and Education course at Georgetown, Ballou High School students have collaborated to develop projects including a student government, a course catalogue, a senior class fund, and an activities fair. The Civic Engagement and Education course is part of CNDLS’ Engelhard Project and Doyle Initiative.  On Thursday, October 29th, these students will present their projects to the public in Ballou’s library.

For more information about this project, contact Masako Chen.

Randy Bass Speaks at ISSOTL Conference

This weekend, 650 people gathered at Indiana University for a meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). CNDLS’ Randy Bass, a founding member of ISSOTL, spoke at panels and workshops on the following topics: In Search of the Humanities in (IS)SOTL, SOTL 2.0: The Next Ten Years of Technology, and Social Pedagogies: Exploring a Design Framework Through the Evidence of Learning.

Georgetown faculty Michael Coventry (CCT) and Heidi Elmendorf (Biology), both frequent collaborators with CNDLS, also participated in the conference.

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education describes some of the questions explored at the conference, and quotes Randy Bass on the need for “middle spaces” in the scholarship of teaching and learning. The article also mentions CNDLS’ Digital Story Multimedia Archive.

For more information on the conference, visit the ISSOTL ’09 website.