Faculty Conversations: 2000-2001

Spring 2001

Electronic Portfolios Thursday, Feb. 21. David Booth, Director, Center for Integrative Studies. Student Participants: Brigid Franey, Laura Fillingame, Tad Hinnenkamp, Emily Wenzel.

“Cultivating Information Literacy: A Classroom-Library Partnership” Tuesday, March 6. Jo Beld, Political Science, Mary Carlsen, Family and Social Service, Elizabeth Hutchins, Library. Student Participants: Patti McKiernan, Jennifer Erickson, and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld.

“I can’t believe you gave me a B-: Discussion of Grading Problems and Practices” Wednesday, March 14. Mary Titus, English and Women’s Studies; Wendy Allen, Romance Languages; John Walters, Chemistry.

Making Writing Work for Your Teaching Goals: Thoughts for an Overworked Faculty” Thursday, April 5. Mark Allister, English and Writing Program Director, Chuck Huff, Psychology, David Schodt, Economics, and CILA director
Charles Umbanhower, Biology.

International Opportunities for Faculty: The Fulbright Grant ProgramThursday, April 19. Phyllis Larson, Asian Studies, Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb, Sociology; David Schodt, Economics and CILA director.

Scholarship of Teaching Workshop for 2001” May 31 through June 1, two day workshop led by Laurie Richlin.

Descriptions

Web-based student portfolios in the classroom

David Booth, Director, Center for Integrative Studies. Student Participants: Brigid Franey, Laura Fillingame, Tad Hinnenkamp, Emily Wenzel

David Booth and students from IS 204: Ethics and Embodiment will talk about the learning goals for the Web portfolio assignment that was incorporated into this class, and will show some examples of the portfolios that were created. The Center for Integrative Studies received funding from the Mellon Foundation to pilot the use of Web-based portfolios as a tool for St. Olaf students’ academic and intellectual development. Students completing individual majors in the CIS maintain Web portfolios as one of the requirements of the major; the CIS also supports the use of Web portfolios in its integrative topics seminars.

Resources for Electronic Portfolios

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Cultivating Information Literacy: A Classroom-Library Partnership

Jo Beld, Political Science; Mary Carlsen, Family and Social Service; Elizabeth Hutchins, Library. Student Participants: Patti McKiernan, Jennifer Erickson, and Sean Thomas-Breitfeld.

Information literacy is rapidly becoming a topic of national interest and concern. Learn what it means to have students “information literate” from the perspective of two social policy courses. What types of assignments encourage these intellectual competencies, in what way do these competencies differ from one discipline to another, and how do students demonstrate these skills?

Resources for Information Literacy:

“Information Literacy in a Nutshell: Basic Information for Academic Adminstrators and Faculty” http://www.ala.org/acrl/nili/whatis.html
Shapiro and Hughes, “Information Literacy as a Liberal Art” http://www.educause.edu/pub/er/review/reviewarticles/31231.html
Snavely and Cooper, “The Information Literacy Debate,” Journal of Academic Librarianship, January 1997

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I can’t believe you gave me a B-: Discussion of Grading Problems and Practices

Mary Titus, English and Women’s Studies, Wendy Allen, Romance Languages, John Walters, Chemistry.

Bill McKeachie, who has written extensively about learning and teaching for many years, suggests that if faculty want to spend a lot of time talking with their students about grades, they might consider these suggestions:

  • Never give students any idea of what their grades are before the final exam. The shock of seeing an F will so stun them they’ll be incapable of protest.
  • Tell students you really think they deserved a higher mark, but that you had to conform to department grading policies and hence had to grade them lower.
  • Tell students that grades are really arbitrary, and that you could have split the Bs from the Cs in many different places. They’ll appreciate the aesthetic value of your choice of a cutting point. (adapted from Wilbert J McKeachie, Teaching Tips (9th Edition), Lexington, MA: Heath, 1994, pp. 111-112)
  • How do you grade and what do you tell your students? Join this discussion led by three faculty about how they handle the grading questions.

Resources for Grading:

  • John Walters’ PowerPoint presentation
  • Chase, C. and L. Jacobs. (1992) Developing and Using Tests Effectively: A Guide for Faculty. Jossey-Bass.
  • McKeachie, W. J. (1994). “The A B C’s of Assigning Grades.” In W. J. McKeachie, Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (9th ed.) (pp. 101-114). Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath.
  • Walvoord, B., & Anderson, V. (1998). Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Wiggins, G. (1993) Assessing Student Performance: Exploring the Purpose and Limits of Testing. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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Making Writing Work for Your Teaching Goals: Thoughts for an Overworked Faculty

Mark Allister, English and Writing Program Director
Chuck Huff, Psychology
David Schodt, Economics, and CILA director
Charles Umbanhower, Biology

We plan to talk about writing and writing pedagogy, not by focusing on the “nuts and bolts,” the small things, how to write a better assignment, for example, but by dreaming of what we could do given world enough and time. We’ll entertain questions such as the following:

  • What classroom work are you trying to have writing do?
  • If there were no constraints, what would you like writing to do?
  • What are your constraints?

We’ll eventually move to more particular matters, in this workshop or in a later one, but we’ll begin by addressing meta-questions related to writing, students, and some course or courses we teach. No lectures given; note-taking optional.

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International Opportunities for Faculty: The Fulbright Scholar Program

Phyllis Larson, Asian Studies, Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb, Sociology, David Schodt, Economics and CILA director.

The Fulbright Scholar Program provides opportunities for U.S. scholars to lecture and do research in other countries for periods of time ranging from approximately 3 months to 1 year. At the present time, the Fulbright program actively encourages applications from faculty at liberal arts colleges. At this session, St. Olaf faculty who have held Fulbright awards will talk about their experiences, and will provide some tips from inside the review process for those who may be considering applying. The 2002-2003 application deadline for lecturing, lecturing/research, and research awards worldwide is August 1, 2001.

Phyllis Larson held a research Fulbright to Japan, Bruce Nordstrom-Loeb spent a year in Lithuania on a teaching award, and David Schodt held a research award to Ecuador and was recently appointed to a three-year term as a member of the Fulbright Senior Scholar Peer Review committee for the Andean Countries.

We will have materials about the Fulbright program available for participants. For additional information, see the Fulbright web site at http://www.iie.org/cies/us_scholars/.

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Scholarship of Teaching Workshop for 2001

From “Problem” to Publication: A Workshop On The Scholarship Of Teaching and Learning

Randy Bass, a faculty member in American Studies at Georgetown University, has written:

“In scholarship and research, having a “problem” is at the heart of the investigative process; it is the compound of the generative questions around which all creative and productive activity revolves. But in one’s teaching, a “problem” is something you don’t want to have, and if you have one, you probably want to fix it…How might we think of teaching practice, and the evidence of student learning, as problems to be investigated?”

The Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts invites you to a two-day workshop on the scholarship of teaching and learning on May 31 and June 1. The workshop is funded in part by a grant from the Bush Foundation.

The workshop will be led by Laurie Richlin, who is Director of the Regional Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching, Executive Editor of the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, and President of the International Alliance of Teacher Scholars. One of her recent publications is “Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching,” in The Scholarship of Teaching (New Directions in Teaching and Learning Series, Jossey Bass, 2000). Laurie will introduce participants to the latest work on the scholarship of teaching, and will help us think about how questions about teaching and learning can be constructed as problems to be investigated.

The workshop will open at 9:00 am on May 31 and will conclude at 3:00 pm on June 1. Workshop participants will receive a stipend of $300.

Click here for the 2001 Workshop Schedule.

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