“In addition to trying to get students to think about diversity and tolerance, I actually got them to learn more social psychology; the whole process of thinking about each of the topics in a personal and applied way led to better academic understanding as well as good ethical applications.”
-W. Gerrod Parrott, Psychology; Doyle Faculty Fellow, 2009-2010.
Through innovative teaching approaches, Doyle faculty fellows work to integrate ongoing discussions of diversity and inclusion with the intellectual themes of their courses. The fundamental goal of the Doyle Fellowships is to enable faculty to create inclusive teaching strategies and diversified course content that will transform the learning experience for all. To find out more about these efforts, visit the Doyle Initiative website.
This week’s well-attended lecture by University of Washington scholar David M. Levy on the subject of meditation and multitasking explored the intersection of scientific research and centuries-old contemplative techniques. During his lecture, Levy outlined his current National Science Foundation-funded study, in which he and his colleagues tested participants on their ability to manage a combination of scheduling tasks, surveys, and intermittent interruptions.
Levy and his team examined the different ways that participants who had undergone weeks of meditation training prior to the testing fared compared to those who had had no training. Although the study is still in its early stages, preliminary results from the study indicate that those participants with meditation experience were more successful and reported lower stress levels than those who had not received the training. Levy’s talk was followed by questions and discussion from the audience of faculty, students, and staff, who offered different perspectives on these issues.
In collaboration with CNDLS, Levy is also working on a new study exploring students’ relationships with technology. Watch for more information on that effort to be posted soon.
In conjunction with this year’s Fall Faculty Convocation, we interviewed 12 faculty on their views related to interdisciplinary knowledge, emerging fields, the power and limits of the Internet to advance teaching, learning, and research, and the growing imperative to create an integrative curriculum. You can watch the video montages and additional video clips on the Georgetown Learning Initiatives site.
President DeGioia recently interviewed author, scientist, and teacher John Seely Brown about how universities such as Georgetown can respond to the challenges of educating students in a technology-driven global society. During the conversation, President DeGioia pointed to CNDLS and our work as an example of how Georgetown is grappling with these challenges.
You can watch the video of the brief interview here.
Can training in meditation and relaxation improve people’s ability to work more effectively and healthfully in today’s information-intensive workplaces? David M. Levy will report on an ongoing NSF-funded study that is investigating the possibility of improving people’s multitasking skills by training their attentional capacities. This type of attention training may well constitute a crucial 21st-century literacy skill.
Levy, a professor in the University of Washington Information School, has been investigating the sources of, and possible responses to, the acceleration of everyday life. He is the author of the book Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age.
Levy’s talk will be held on Wednesday, October 27 from 11:00 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. in the Murray Room of Lauinger Library. Please RSVP to Leanne McWatters at CNDLS (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This semester, 18 faculty fellows are teaching 21 Engelhard courses. To see a list of faculty fellows and learn more about the Engelhard Project for Connecting Life and Learning, visit the Engelhard site.
Daryl Nardick, Director of Strategic Project Integration, shares the following thoughts on a recent conference she attended:
During the last week of September, I attended a gathering of 150 faculty members from campuses as far away as Doha at Amherst’s beautiful autumn-laden campus to discuss how to engage students in a way that will be more meaningful to their learning and their lives. This conversation was inspired by the Association of Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACMHE), the group responsible for convening the conference, the second annual gathering of this kind.
Faculty from all disciplines, including several from economics, discussed how through the use of reflection, silence, journaling, ritualized writing, yoga and other related methods, students were able to draw upon their emotional, psychological, physiological and spiritual sides to enhance their learning in and beyond the classroom. Many faculty expressed the struggles they face when trying to explain the (student learning) benefits of adopting these practices to their colleagues and how collegial resistance might be overcome. These discussions certainly reminded me of the trajectory our Engelhard Project for Connecting Life and Learning has taken and the impact that a few devoted believers can have on institutional change and student learning.
For more information on the ACMHE’s programs please visit this site.
As part of our work in the area of assessment, CNDLS offers Mid-Semester Teaching Feedback sessions. These sessions give faculty the opportunity to solicit students’ opinions on a class as it’s still going on, rather than waiting for end-of-semester evaluations or surveys. CNDLS staff members work closely with the instructor to formulate questions specific to their course, spend a class period facilitating the student sessions, and then discuss the results with the instructor.
If you’re interested in learning more about Mid-Semester Teaching Feedback sessions, or if you’d like to schedule one for your course, please contact CNDLS Program Coordinator Anna Kruse.
In this post on the Georgetown University Digital Commons Labs blog, Program Coordinator Anna Kruse shares some strategies for evaluating student work on course and research blogs. She points out some useful resources, including rubrics that you might adapt for your own teaching.
Check out this update on Fall 2010 from Digital Commons Project Assistant Yong Lee. In his post on the Digital Commons Labs blog, Yong shares some numbers on current course blog and wiki use along with a preview of some of this semester’s upcoming events.