UTC Faculty Development Grants Awarded

Congratulations to faculty who have submitted successful Faculty Development grants for the July 2014 round.

  •  Nur Sisworahardjo, Electrical Engineering:  Impact of Plug-In Electric Vehicle Battery Charging on a Distribution System
  • Cathie Smith, Physical Therapy:  Clinical Reasoning in PT short course
  • Loren Hayes, Biological and Environmental Sciences: GROUP grant  – Departmental Presentations, etc.
  • Will Stern, Health & Human Performance: Flipped Classroom for Improved Student Engagement, Motivation, and Retention
  • Boris Belinskiy, Mathematics:  GROUP grant  – Departmental Presentations, etc.

Watch for the next call for proposals due in September, 2014. (See http://www.utc.edu/faculty-senate/forms.php for information and the forms).

Students’ and Instructors’ Views of Effective Teaching…..

Research and articles on Students’ and Instructors’ Views of Effective Teaching in the most recent issue of the Journal of Excellence in College Teaching (Volume 24, Number 4 at http://celt.muohio.edu.proxy.lib.utc.edu/ject/issue.php?v=24&n=4)  (utcID login required, if off campus).

Brain-based research to promote learning….

Link to this article in the recent Journal on Excellence in College Teaching (login required):  http://celt.muohio.edu.proxy.lib.utc.edu/ject/fetch.php?id=562

Also:  Service Learning to Promote Learning (login required):  http://celt.muohio.edu.proxy.lib.utc.edu/ject/fetch.php?id=564


Lots of good ideas to promote learning:  http://celt.muohio.edu.proxy.lib.utc.edu/ject/issue.php?v=24&n=3

Structuring group work

Most students (and many faculty) do not like group work. I have maintained for a while that one of the reasons is that faculty assume that by putting students into groups, they learn how to do group work.  To think that students learn how to be a contributing group member when we never teach them how to may be a bit naive.

Here is a link to a good discussion on structuring group work and helping students actually learn how to work in groups.  http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/five-things-students-can-learn-through-group-work/

Great ideas for the first day of classes

Several activities for the first days of classes.  Great ideas!

Ask students what faculty do to help/hinder their learning.  Ask students to discuss syllabus in small groups, etc.


permission to fail?

I love the concept expressed here… http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/08/21/essay-importance-teaching-failure…  That we can help students learn from failure.  Trying to figure out how to incorporate this concept into my classes.

What people do….

I love the insight here….

“While there is still plenty of information I will ask my students to learn, I know that my instruction will primarily focus not on what writers know, but what they do.” [emphasis mine] (Warner, J. What we do, not what we know.  Inside HigherEd, July 18, 2012.  Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/education-oronte-churm/what-we-do-not-what-we-know#ixzz214qkPQ6A

Difference between MOOC and online courses?

…”MOOCs and online courses may share a delivery platform (web based learning), but they differ in fundamental ways. How is a traditional online course different from a MOOC?

The critical difference is that a well-designed online course is built around the co-construction of knowledge amongst the students and the instructor. This knowledge construction requires active and personal engagement between students and faculty.  Conversation.  Dialogue. Collaboration.  Give and take.  Back and forth.

A well constructed traditional online course is not a vessel to deliver content from the brains of the professor to brains of the students, but rather an opportunity for faculty to guide, shape, reinforce, and support student learning.   Good teaching, both online and face-to-face, requires both a subject matter mastery and the ability to create and nurture environments that facilitate active learning.  This work requires that the faculty have the opportunity to interact with the students.

Online (and blended) learning may help us scale up these interactions, and we have gone a long way in understanding how re-engineer traditional lecture courses to act and feel more like small seminars.   Better utilizing the expensive and scarce talent of our faculty with online and blended learning will be a key element of increasing higher ed productivity, an important element of bending the higher ed tuition cost curve.

There is a limit, however,  to how much online and blended learning can scale while remaining true to an authentic course experience.   No matter how well the multimedia, assessments, and peer learning opportunities are designed into a MOOC, the experience with 160,000 fellow learners (as in Stanford’s AI course) will never be comparable to a well designed traditional online, blended or face-to-face course.”

Kim, J. (2012).  Parsing the NYTimes Coverage of the Growth of MOOCs. Inside Higher Ed, July 18, 2012.  Retrieved from http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/technology-and-learning/parsing-nytimes-coverage-growth-moocs#ixzz214og5nvm.


A look at academic “rigor” What do faculty mean by it?

See a reprint of an article (Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor) at:  http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=1058 and http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=1059

Practice what we preach?

As I have been working on the ThinkAchieve Quality Assessment Plan, I have pondered long on if I even think that I know how to think critically.  If so, how is that exhibited?  Can my students “see” it?  Can I explain how I “do” it?  How do faculty express their critical thinking skills?  See http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/12/22/essay-whether-writing-instructors-need-assess-themselves for a perspective on this…  What would happen if we took our own tests?