Blog Archives

Faculty Highlights – Dr. Jennifer Boyd

Dr. Boyd is currently working in her 12th semester at UTC. She teaches ecology and climate change biology. We selected Dr. Boyd for this month’s faculty highlight because of the grant she was awarded in Fall of 2013. Dr. Boyd’s ecology class is coupled with a lab that traditionally required students to conduct experiments on the local flora and fauna. Unfortunately, the experiments were so local they were primarily

Faculty Highlights – Dr. Amye Warren

In the time Dr. Amye Warren has been with UTC she’s developed some unique approaches to foster critical thinking in her classes. This August will mark her 30th year at the university. This faculty highlight article will outline a few of the innovative methods Dr. Warren has developed to get her students deeply involved in her course material. One theme that is pervasive throughout all of her classes is

Team-Based Learning

Over the past year and a half, we’ve hosted two campus workshops on team-based learning, also called TBL.  Bill Roberson of the University at Albany does a great job on getting your buy-in on the method, and many folks, including one entire department, have implemented it extensively at UTC.  TBL is much more than “group work”; it is a strategy on which you plan your entire course.  There are

Where do we start?

For the last month, I’ve been analyzing survey data collected as feedback to our student orientation on critical thinking. The qualitative answers vary greatly, but one theme emerges through a majority of the responses. These students are excited about active learning. They frequently say that they are looking forward to college because it’s so different from their high school classes. Every time I read comments like these I feel

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Faculty embrace experiential learning and critical reflection in a general education science course

Brad Reynolds and Tom Wilson received a Beyond the Classroom ThinkAchieve grant to fund an experiential learning activity in a general education non-laboratory science course.  During fall 2012, students in Bio/ESC 1100 (Conservation of Biodiversity) were given the option to participate in a hands-on field experience and reflection activity in lieu of taking the final exam in the course.  Instead of just listening to a professor talk about conservation,

The Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education

The Seven Principles By: Dawn M. Ford It was in 1987 when Chickering and Gamson wrote about the seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education.  Years later, those principles still hold up, so it’s good to review them every now and again to keep us fresh. Principle one is that contact between students and faculty should be encouraged.  It’s important that students know that faculty care about them. 

What is critical reflection?

If you attended the Instructional Excellence Retreat in May, you heard about – and hopefully learned something about – the concept of critical reflection.  Patti Clayton, a Senior Scholar with the Center for Service and Learning at IUPUI, ushered us through the process of critical reflection before, during, and after an experiential learning opportunity to generate, deepen, and document our learning about the experience.   Critical reflection was the focus

Create a Community of Learning on the First Day of Class

It’s almost that time again – the first day of class.   I have sometimes struggled with what to do the first day; do I dive right in or just cover the syllabus and let the students go?  The literature tells us that the first day of class is important, if not critical, to the success of a course and the students.  The first day sets the tone because students