Course in College Teaching Part II

Spring 2013 brought lots of opportunities for faculty professional development on campus. One special request was for a follow-up to the initial CCT that we did a few years back now.

Seven interested folks signed up and we are off to the races! One faculty member calls it “Revenge of the CCT” which made me laugh!

When we ran the CCT (part I) I added an action research component, because we were ramping up our interest in SoTL on campus, and I was hoping to have something for mid-career and seasoned faculty to chew on. That worked so well, that I thought we could do mainly action research for CCT II – or a deeper exploration of one aspect of teaching and learning.

Session 1: We gathered and I gave them a reflection tool to think through possible topics/areas for them to explore in more depth. We set the calendar and talked about individual goals for their participation. We decided to use a private Yammer group as our online space in -between sessions.

Session 2: Everyone came ready with a seed of an idea – an area of interest… and we have a good diverse group of ideas! Motivation, gaming, creativity, performance anxiety, using videos effectively, learning communities. My role besides participant is to provide resources – so I used the tool Scoop it! to gather resources around each of their ideas

Motivation – http://www.scoop.it/t/college-motivation
Performance Anxiety – http://www.scoop.it/t/performance-anxiety
Blended Learning – http://www.scoop.it/t/blended-learning-resources
Using Video – http://www.scoop.it/t/using-video-in-the-college-classroom

Session 3: Everyone should come to the session having read up on their topic – ready to share some nuggets with everyone and in the session, we can talk through possible in-class manifestations of the ideas.

Session 4: Fred led an interesting activity for his art classes – goal to get students to enter into the iterative-ness of creating art – the willingness to let go – to not hold everything as so precious and to take chances – to explore… We each got several magazines, and our job was to find a picture of a face and then text from the magazines (or created on the computer) to go with it …as an “in your face” answer to typical public service announcements – to make a point by doing the opposite of “don’t do this or that”… instead…”The 12-Step Program of Public Service”… the art should finish the statement… “Why don’t you do us all a favor and ___________” smoke 20 packs of cigarettes a day… etc… and find a face to match or vice versa – find an interesting face and try to create a statement that it engenders… We had a set amount of time to create as many as we could – and then we laid them all out on the table – talked about them – and then we could each choose one that we liked to take along… interesting….

Session 5: Kerry posted an update on her Plan B activity from Kinesiology to Yammer for comments and Noel will have a poetry activity for us to start – 25 minutes this session – 25 minutes the next session.. We talked about the nature of poetry as condensed and focused thought and did some reading of different poems..Then we were each given an object to describe  and looked at the elements of our descriptions…then looked at how the actual physical form of the writing can add another dimension to the meaning. Homework – to think of an object from our teaching that is very meaningful and to write a poem about it – trying to use form as well as the poem itself…

Session 6: Noel did part II of the poetry activity where we read our poems and discussed the process/meaning. He gave us a series of questions to answer about the experience of doing the activity. Very interesting for all of us! Kerry talked in detail about her project.

Session 7: I am doing a toolbox activity from my fall 2012 paired reading course on curiosity. This should help me prepare for the Lilly Conference presentation activity that I want to do with folks during that session. Jorge is doing an activity on motivation and his course design.

Perks of this group lie in the variety of things we are exploring and can share with each other – seeing how someone else would do things – using the newness as an opportunity for surprise and insight.

Challenges – sessions on Wed (due to their schedules) are only 1 hour – it’s not enough time for everyone to get to try/talk/share

Insights.. Kerry and I were talking yesterday about the power of being in these small groups to talk about our teaching – the term Circles of Inquiry came to mind as a model for on-going faculty interaction – groups of 3 or 4 meet regularly to talk about questions re; teaching and share activities that they are doing in class..with actual hands-on experience by group members. – The groups share out what they have been working on with the larger faculty community.

I started the summer special edition of the newsletter for folks who want to write up their inquiry process from the CCT II – I opened it up to the campus and anyone who wants to add a classroom innovation they want to talk about. Good responses so far!

More to come…

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