CNDLS would like to invite you to Forum on Haiti: From Relief to Recovery, a panel discussion focusing on the past, present, and future of Haiti. Susan Martin from the Institute of International Migration, in collaboration with the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network (JUHAN), the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching, and Service (CSJ), Georgetown Public Policy Institute (GPPI), Justice and Diversity in Action, and the Caribbean Culture Circle, has assembled a panel of respected speakers to discuss the crisis in Haiti.
Among the panelists are Georgetown’s Maurice Jackson (History) and Jose Teruel (NHS), U.S. Representative Kendrick Meek, Allan Jury of the World Food Program, Shaina Aber of the Jesuit Refugee Service, Daniel Lopez-Acuna of the World Health Organization, and Juan Manuel Sotelo of the Pan-American Health Organization.
This is an open event. If you would like to attend, please join us in Gaston Hall at 5:30pm on Thursday, January 27th.
David Pace, professor of History and co-director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University, spoke on Thursday in the third and final talk of this year’s Provost’s Seminar on Teaching and Learning. Teaching badly, Pace said, is no longer a moral alternative. The challenges facing students, our nation, and the world—coupled with the increasing difficulty of academic subjects—make it especially necessary to teach effectively. Resources for improving one’s teaching, moreover, are readily available, and instructors should take advantage of them.
Before trying to implement new pedagogical ideas or strategies, instructors should first identify problem areas in their own teaching. These problems, or “bottlenecks,” as Pace calls them, could be concepts or skills that have become automatic to professors well versed in their fields but are unclear to students—especially students who are taking classes in multiple academic disciplines. A bottleneck in History, for example, is that students often have difficulty understanding the significance of visual sources, such as the “Rosie the Riveter” poster from World War II. To address bottlenecks, Pace suggests that professors themselves model the skills or techniques they want their students to use, and provide students with opportunities to practice them and receive feedback. In the case of the visual-sources bottleneck, Pace continued, a History professor could have students imagine a committee that created the poster and then ask themselves what that committee discussed and what kind of decisions they made before producing the final product.
Periodically through his talk, Pace encouraged seminar participants to pair up with someone from a different academic department to identify bottlenecks in their own teaching and brainstorm ideas to mitigate them. Several professors shared their experiences with the larger group and received feedback from other instructors across various disciplines. Some bottlenecks, such students’ difficulty in interpreting charts and graphs, were common to professors in various fields.
Pace stresses the need for setting reasonable goals and creating series of small steps that students can visualize themselves accomplishing. Because university instructors are part of an academic community, sharing what they’ve learned and accomplished is a vital step in promoting learning within and across disciplines.
Check back soon for video of Pace’s talk and other resources from the Provost’s Seminar events.
Wednesday’s panel discussion on “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes,” led by CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell, featured a discussion of technology-related pedagogical approaches by Mark Rom, Matt Carnes, Matt Hamilton, Frank Ambrosio, and Heidi Elmendorf.
Mark Rom (Government) and Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) introduced methods of using blogs and discussion boards. Rom explained how his blog, which collected an astonishing 2,328 posts and 1,901 comments this semester, is part of a larger strategy to engage his 150 Government students as active participants in the class. Elmendorf views her class discussion board as a safe space for her 250 students to share questions and uncertainty. Matt Carnes (Government) and Matt Hamilton (Biology) explained different ways they incorporate i>clickers in their classrooms: for example, Carnes asks different types of questions ranging from true/false statements to open-ended “what do you think?” queries, while Hamilton has used clickers to demonstrate concepts of probability. Finally, Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) shared his thoughts on lecture capture software’s potential both as a means to catch up students who miss class and as a way to deliver content to students in advance of class discussions.
These interesting panel presentations raised many questions among the audience and panelists, ranging from the logistical (“Where do I get these materials and technologies?”) to the pedagogical (“How do you assess their efficacy in student learning and engagement?”) The discussions around these questions as well as the entire panel presentation will be available in video form soon.
If you are interested in finding out more about using or assessing technological tools in the classroom, please contact us.
The Provost’s Seminar continues Thursday with a presentation on “Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” by David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University. For more information, see this description.
Yesterday, Julie Reynolds (Duke University) gave a presentation on undergraduate thesis advising – watch for materials from that discussion to be posted soon.
Today, please join us for a faculty panel discussion on “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes.” The panel, led by CNDLS Assistant Director for Science Programs Janet Russell, will feature faculty from a number of disciplines:
Matt Carnes (Government) and Matt Hamilton (Biology) will discuss strategies for using clickers in large classes.
Frank Ambrosio (Philosophy) will share what he learned from using lecture capture software for the first time last fall.
Heidi Elmendorf (Biology) and Mark Rom (Government) will talk about how they incorporate online discussion into their courses.
Panelists and audience members will explore how small group work functions in large courses.
The discussion will be held in the Philosophy Department Conference Room (New North 204) from 1-3pm.
Tomorrow (Thursday) will feature a presentation entitled “Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” by David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project at Indiana University. For more information, see this description.
Each semester, CNDLS offers Blackboard training sessions on a variety of topics, including Blackboard basics, communication and collaboration tools, assignments, and assessment tools. The presenters cover not only the technical aspects of Blackboard use, but also pedagogical strategies and best practices. Faculty can also request customized training and individual consultations at any time through the Blackboard Help Request Form.
This year, the Provost’s Seminar on Teaching and Learning will offer three opportunities for faculty to participate in ongoing discussions about teaching, learning and the curriculum.
Tuesday, January 19th, 10-12
English Dept. Conference Room, New North 311
“A Systematic Approach to Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Theses”
Featuring: Julie Reynolds, Department of Biology, Duke University
Wednesday, January 20th, 1-3
Philosophy Dept. Conference Room, New North 204 “New Approaches for Improving Student Engagement in Large Enrollment Classes”
Thursday, January 21, 10:30-1:00
“Big Concepts and Instructional Bottlenecks: the ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ Approach” Featuring: David Pace, Professor of History and Co-Director of the Freshman Learning Project, University of Indiana
Please note that the dates for these workshops have changed since the original posting. These are the correct dates.
CNDLS is pleased to announce a new series of spring workshops focusing on Web2.0 tools. These Friday workshops, which will be presented in collaboration with the Gelardin New Media Center, will be open to Georgetown faculty, staff, and students. At each workshop, presenters will introduce a particular set of tools and lead a discussion on how these tools might be useful in educational contexts.
A recent article in the Washington Posthighlighted some of the issues surrounding students, technology, and contemplation explored at CNDLS’ December 2008 Symposium “Teaching to Connect the Heart and Mind” and by last semester’s guest speaker David Levy in his talk “No Time to Think.” The article quotes Symposium keynote speaker Arthur Zajonc, who refers to “the very hurried world of gadgets [students] normally live in.”