Faculty Conversations: 2001-2002

Fall 2001

“Global Problem Solving: A model for connecting on and off-campus study” Wednesday, September 26. Roy Grow, Department of Political Science, Carleton College; Al Montero, Department of Political Science, Carleton College

“I Covered That Material, But They Just Didn’t Get It…” Wednesday, October 10.Chuck Huff, Psychology; Maria Kelly, Education; Amy Kolan, Physics.

“The Mechanics of Cheating: How the New Technology Threatens Academic Integrity” Wednesday, November 14.
Steve McKelvey, Mathematics and Associate Dean of Students; Karen Cherewatuk, English; Terri Greenslade, Romance Languages (Spanish); David Lesniaski, Library; Karen Sawyer, English.

“Undergraduate Research: What is it; why do it?” Wednesday, December 5.

Spring 2002

“Using the EndNote bibliographic software program” Thursday, January 31. Sheri Breen, Political Science; Charlie Priore, Library.

“Doing Scholarship at St. Olaf: Issues and Strategies” Thursday, February 28. Dolores Peters, Associate Professor of History and 2001-02 CILA Associate.

“Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending 21st Century Technology with Time-Honored Pedagogy” Wednesday, March 13. Col. Rolf Enger (St Olaf ’72) Physics and Director of Education, US Air Force Academy.

“Who’s in Charge: The Professor or the Technology?” Tuesday, April 9. Panelists include Phyllis Larson (Asian Studies-Japanese), Dolores Peters (History) and Chuck Huff (Psychology).

“The Game of Life: Athletics and Acadmics at St. Olaf College” Wednesday, April 10. Cindy Book, Athletic Director, and Department Chair; Physical Education Gary Wicks, Director, Campus Recreation, Physical Education; President Chris Thomforde.

“Using Handhelds: Learning “Anytime, Anywhere” Thursday, April 25.Phyllis Larson, Asian Studies; Craig Rice, IIT.

“SITT 2001 Projects in Practice” Tuesday, May 7. Beth Christensen, Music Library; Eric Lund, Religion; Diana Postlethwaite, English.


“Working Between Classes: Strategies for Successful Scholarship at St. Olaf College”

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Global Problem Solving: A model for integrating on and off-campus study

Roy Grow, Department of Political Science, Carleton College
Al Montero, Department of Political Science, Carleton College

Co-sponsored by the St. Olaf Office of International and Off-campus Study

One of the continuing challenges for colleges with off-campus study programs is that of deepening and enriching the learning that takes place away from the institution through more effective integration with academic work on-campus. This session describes a course developed by Carleton College Political Science faculty that provides one model of such integration.

The course looks at the consequences of economic globalization in two very different societies-China and Mexico. It is intended to introduce students to emerging research on the impact of globalization, instruct them on research methodology, take them abroad for on-site work, bring them back to campus for an examination of the data they have discovered, and assist them in explicating their findings.

The course is spread across two terms (Fall and Winter), punctuated by a two week field trip in December. The Fall term (6 credits) is devoted to mastery of the new literature in this field, examination of the methodologies used by different analysts, and group discussions about the research the class will undertake. On the field trip (3 credits) in December , the class is split into two sections-one working in Mexico under the direction of Al Montero, the other working in China with Roy Grow. In the Winter term (3 credits) the two groups come back together to share results, write reports, and make formal presentations. The course is shaped by a “real-world problem.” Our class will constitute itself as a “consulting team” and take on a real world corporate “customer” such as Medtronic, 3M, or Honeywell. Students will learn to break the problem into manageable parts and figure out analytic techniques to solve each of the problems.

This discussion will be followed in the spring semester by a presentation from St. Olaf faculty who have pioneered another model for integrating on-campus and off-campus academic study. These faculty will teach interim courses during January 2002 that are divided between classroom work at St. Olaf and an immersion experience in the Twin Cities.

Resources for Internationalizing the Curriculum:
  1. Expanded description of Professors Roy Grow and Al Montero’s course
  2. Institute of International Education
  3. Kristi Hanratty, “Full Circle of Learning in Study Abroad,” in The International Educator (NAFSA) Summer 2001.
  4. Josef Mestenhauser, “Portraits of an International Curriculum,” in Reforming the Higher Education Curriculum, by Josef Mestenhauser and Brenda Ellingboe, American Council on Education, Oryx Press, 1998.

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I Covered That Material, But They Just Didn’t Get It…

Chuck Huff, Psychology; Maria Kelly, Education; Amy Kolan, Physics

Most of us have had the experience of teaching material that we thought we presented in clear and engaging ways, only to discover later that our students never learned what we had taught. There are many reasons for this situation, but one of them has to do with what our students already know about the material.

Lee Shulman, President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has written, “…When I began teaching learning theory, our conception of learning was fairly simple. For any given learning situation, the “inside” of the learner was treated as more or less empty; learning was understood as a process of getting the knowledge that was outside the learner –in books, theories, the mind of the teacher–to move inside. We tested for the success of of learning by giving tests to look inside the heads of our students to see if what had previously been outside was now there.” He goes on to note that we now understand that “the first influence on learning is not what teachers do pedagogically, but the learning that’s already inside the learner.”

In this CILA conversation, we will watch a short video entitled A Private Universe (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics). It begins with interviews with Harvard seniors about why the earth is warmer in summer than in winter. Most get it wrong. The interesting question for the authors of the video is why. Chuck Huff, Maria Kelly and Amy Kolan will provide introductory comments from the perspectives of their respective disciplines.

  1. John D. Bransford (co-chair), How People Learn: Brain, Mind , Experience and School, National Research Council, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000.
  2. Robert E. Yager, “The Constructivist Learning Model,” The Science Teacher, 58(9), 1991, pp. 52-57.
  3. B. Y. White and J. R. Frederickson, “Inquiry, modeling and metacognition: Making science accessible to all students,” Cognition and Science, 16: 90-91, 1998.

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The Mechanics of Cheating: How the New Technology Threatens Academic Integrity

Steve McKelvey, Mathematics and Associate Dean of Students; Karen Cherewatuk, English; Terri Greenslade, Romance Languages (Spanish); David Lesniaski, Library; Karen Sawyer, English

Co-sponsored with the Dean of Students Office

Most of the time easy communication is a wonderful thing. However, recent changes in telecommunication technology pose serious threats to academic integrity on campuses across the nation. St. Olaf is not immune. It is an easy thing for a student to buy one or more research papers from internet paper mills and present them, either directly or after minimal editing, as personal work. It is even easier for a student to load textual information in a mathematical calculator, carrying it undetected into a classroom exam. Personal digital assistants (Palm Pilots, etc.) are now available with wireless communications capacity, allowing students in distant corners of a classroom, or even outside the room or building, to surreptitiously communicate during an exam–not to mention the text messaging capabilities of cellular telephones.

We will discuss these and other technologies in order to further our understanding of the means of cheating available to contemporary students. It is important for us to help our students understand what is permissible in this world of new technologies and what is not. It is also wise for us to find ways todetect and frustrate the cheating made possible by the new technology. A survey of some ideas will be presented.

  1. The Center for Academic Integrity

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Undergraduate Research- What is it? Why do it?

Gary DeKrey, History and College Archivist; Dave Van Wylen, Biology and Associate Dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Mary Walczak, Chemistry

Undergraduate research in the sciences has a long history on our campus and others. Given what appear to be significant benefits for both students and faculty, there is a growing interest, particularly among liberal arts colleges, in exploring ways to engage students in undergraduate research in other disciplines as well. This session will provide an opportunity to learn about undergraduate research, and to consider ways we might do more of it in the non-science disciplines at St. Olaf.

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“Using the EndNote bibliographic software program”

Sheri Breen, Political Science; Charlie Priore, Library

EndNote is a bibliographic software program that is now available to all faculty and students through the St. Olaf College network server. This program allows faculty members to (1) create their own personal library databases, (2) continually add to those library databases by searching and downloading bibliographic information from online indexes, and (3) quickly insert in-text citations and generate bibliographies from those libraries into their own writing projects.

EndNote’s personal libraries can include all kinds of reference types (from the books on your office shelves to online journal articles), provide expansive entry fields for notes, abstracts, keywords and other information and can be sorted and searched in a variety of ways. Citations inserted into article or book manuscripts through EndNot can be formatted (and easily reformatted) into hundreds of styles used by scholarly associations and journals in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. EndNote works with many word-processing programs but is especially attuned to work with Word.

Charlie Priore and Sheri Breen will lead our training session on January 31. Both have been teaching students how to use EndNote during fall semester and are looking forward to showing faculty members how bibliographic software can aid their research and scholarly writing projects. The session will include a demonstration of EndNote’s capabilities and hands-on training.

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“Doing Scholarship at St. Olaf: Issues and Strategies”

Panel leader: Dolores Peters, Associate Professor of History and 2001-02 CILA Associate.

Does doing scholarship as a liberal arts faculty member raise distinctive issues? What does data provided by recent HERI faculty surveys suggest about the challenges and opportunities for doing scholarship at a liberal arts college? at St. Olaf? Is it possible to create a complementary relationship between one’s scholarship and one’s teaching? Is including students in your research an answer? Does commitment to active scholarship and to liberal arts teaching change the kind of scholarship that’s possible? How do such factors as gender, academic discipline/field, and departmental culture enter into the equation?

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“Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending 21st Century Technology with Time-Honored Pedagogy”

Col. Rolf Enger (St Olaf ’72), Physics and Director of Education, US Air Force Academy

This is a discussion that should be of interest to all faculty, not just those in the sciences! (Also, those of you who attended the session with Bill Condon on February 21 might find this an interesting follow-up.)

Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) is a strategy that uses state-of the-art electronic communications technologies to enhance the classroom experience by helping both teachers and students focus their efforts. Developed jointly by faculty at Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis (IUPUI), and the US Air Force Academy (USAFA), JiTT is now in use at more than 50 schools across the country, from Harvard University in the east to Glendale Community College in the west.

JiTT facilitates the best time-honored pedagogical strategies, helps create a community of learners, helps students structure their out-of-class time, and enhances the value of in-class experiences. In typical JiTT applications, students are given homework assignments, called warm ups, that they complete and deliver to their instructor prior to class. The instructor reviews the students’ work prior to class and uses it to tailor class time, building upon student success and addressing student weaknesses. Other JiTT strategies include on-line exercises, goodfors, and puzzles. This presentation will describe JiTT philosophy and strategies, provide examples, and discuss technical and budgetary considerations.

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“Who’s in Charge: The Professor or the Technology?”

CILA presents a panel discussion, moderated by Peter Hamlin (Music). Panelists will include Phyllis Larson (Asian Studies-Japanese), Dolores Peters (History) and Chuck Huff (Psychology).

Many of us are introducing technology into our teaching. How is technology helping us to teach more effectively? What are some of the things technology lets us do in our teaching that are impossible or difficult to do without it?

On the other hand, we can be seduced into using technology in ways that may make our teaching easier or more efficient, but not necessarily better. Have we heard that siren call, and what can we do to guard against it?

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“The Game of Life: Athletics and Academics at St. Olaf College”

Sponsored by CILA and the Physical Education Department

Cindy Book, Athletic Director, and Department Chair; Physical Education Gary Wicks, Director, Campus Recreation, Physical Education; President Chris Thomforde.

The recent book, The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, by James L. Shulman and William G. Bowen draws on the Mellon Foundation’s large database, “College and Beyond,” to make a number of observations about the changing role of sports at academically elite
colleges and universities. The authors document, for example, that athletes now enjoy a large advantage in admissions, more so than minority applicants and legacies. This is a significant change from 30-40 years ago. Furthermore, in these schools, athletes as a group underperform academically, yet graduate at high rates.

This session will discuss some of the major highlights of the study, and will explore whether or not St. Olaf College fits the patterns described there.

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Using Handhelds: Learning “Anytime, Anywhere”

Phyllis Larson, Asian Studies; Craig Rice, IIT

While the effort to incorporate technology into teaching and learning has focused on the use of computers, one overlooked technology that will likely play an increasing role in education is the handheld. Handhelds are extremely portable, and recent innovations in handheld technology have resulted in color, high resolution, and audio and video capabilities.

We will describe how, for three semesters beginning in Fall 2001, we used the Handspring Visor to teach Intermediate Japanese reading and writing skills. We will also describe how, thanks to a grant from the Freeman Foundation, we intend to use the Sony CLIE to expand our use of handhelds in teaching to include multimedia content. We will demonstrate some of the specific handheld applications we are using in teaching of Japanese, but will also talk about opportunities that handheld technology offers to all learners and teachers.

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SITT 2001 Projects in Practice

Beth Christensen, Music Library; Eric Lund, Religion; Diana Postlethwaite, English

Three of the participants in the June 2001 Summer Institute for Teaching and Technology will demonstrate the projects they developed during the Institute and implemented in their teaching this year.

SITT participants propose specific ways they plan to introduce the instructional technologies learned during the week into their courses. At the end of the following semester, participants report on how their plans worked in practice.

Beth, Eric, and Diane will also discuss their expectations about the effect that incorporating various technologies into their teaching would have, and to what degree those expectations were realized.

This lunch discussion will be of particular interest to faculty participants in the upcoming 2002 Summer Institute, as well as those who have created and implemented projects from past SITTs.

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