Faculty Conversations: 2004-2005

Fall 2004

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: Digital Portfolios at St. Olaf College. Wednesday September 22. Maggie Odell and 2004-05 CILA Associates, with David Booth, CIS and Religion; Eric Cole, Biology; Phyllis Larson, Asian Studies; Diana Postlethwaite, English.

General Education at St. Olaf College: Burden or Opportunity? Wednesday, Septermber 29. Members of the 2004 General Education Task Force.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: Mapping Information Literacy Skills onto Department Curricula. Tuesday, October 5. Mary Walczak, Chemistry 2004-04 ClLA Associate, with Beth Christensen, Library; Alice Hanson, Music, Kris MacPherson, Library.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: The Scholarship and Teaching and Learning. Richard Gale, Senior Scholar, The Carnegie foundation for Advancement of Teaching.

Provost’s Sabbatical Series Luncheon. Wednesday, October 20. Mary Titus, Mark Pernecky, Economics.

The First Year Experience at St. Olaf: What we have learned in our first year? Wednesday, November 3. Members of the ACM First Year Experience Group.

I Video. Do You?: Using digital video in instruction and assessment. Tuesday, November 9. Nancy Aarsvold, Norwegian, with others.

Technology and Teaching: Video interviews with St. Olaf faculty. Wednesday, November 17.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: Using Visual Images to Enhance Learning. Tuesday, November 30. Eric Lund, Religion and 2004-05 CILA Associate, with John Giannini, Biology; Matt Rohn, Art and Art History.

Spring 2005

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: From Believing to Seeing and Knowing: The scholarship of teaching and learning in the liberal arts. Tuesday, February 15. Richard Gale, Senior Scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Library to Lecture to Lab: Intro to Biology on a Mass Scale. Wednesday, February 23. John Giannini, Biology, and Charles Priore, Science Library.

Using Moodle: Reports from the classroom. Tuesday, March 1. Paul Roback, MSCS; Mary Titus, English, Women’s Studies, and American Conversations; and Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak, Political Science and Asian Studies.

Provost’s Sabbatical Series Luncheon. Wednesday, March 9. Bob Jacobel, Professor of Physics, and Karen Peterson Wilson, Associate Professor of Theatre.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: Teaching Introductory Students. Tuesday, March 15. Mary Walczak, Chemistry and 2004-05 CILA Associate; with Jim Farrell, History and American Studies, and Gary Muir, Psychology.

Teaching Off-Campus Courses. Wednesday, April 6. Eric Lund, Director of International and Off-Campus Studies; and others.

Making the Connections: Using web portfolios in introductory classes. Wednesday, April 13. Maggie Odell, Religion and 2004-05 CILA Associate.

Engaging Students for Active Learning: Using simulations in the classroom. Tuesday, April 19. Stephen Dyson, Political Science.

Conversations with Parker Palmer. Wednesday, April 27. Parker Palmer, Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor in Educational Studies, Carleton College.

Open-Access Journals: The Future of Academic Publishing? Tuesday, May 3. Gary Muir, Psychology, St. Olaf; Nelson Christensen, Physics, Sam Demas, Librarian, Carleton; others.

Top of page

Fall

“Digital Portfolios at St. Olaf College”

Maggie Odell, Religion and 2004-05 CILA Associate, with David Booth, CIS and Religion; Eric Cole, Biology; Phyllis Larson, Asian Studies: and Diana Postlethwaite, English

Co-sponsored by the Center for Integrative Studies

What are some of the emerging trends in the use of electronic portfolios on college campuses, and in what sense is St. Olaf a trend-setter? One feature of the “St. Olaf model” of digital portfolios is its emphasis on developing students’ critical awareness of how they learn. Following a brief report from Maggie Odell on current issues in the use of digital portfolios, several St. Olaf faculty will describe the ways in which they have adapted digital portfolios for use in a variety of settings, from teaching research methods and the acquisition of foreign language skills to the integration of student-designed majors.

Top of page

“General Education at St. Olaf College: Burden or Opportunity?”

Members of the 2004 GE Task Force: Mary Cisar (convenor), Jo Beld, David Booth (chair of CEPC), Gerry Hoekstra

Come and acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with the underlying assumptions and philosophy of our general education curriculum, which has now been in effect for ten years. The 2004 General Education Task Force has come away from their inquiry into the curriculum convinced of the soundness of the opportunity it affords to students and faculty, while suggesting some areas where the curriculum is showing its age. This CILA luncheon will be an opportunity to explore in more detail some of the recommendations of the task force’s August 2004 report.

Top of page

“Mapping Information Literacy Skills onto Department Curricula”

Mary Walczak, Chemistry and 2004-05 CILA Associate, with Beth Christensen, Library; Alice Hanson, Music; Karil Kucera, Art and Art History; and Kris MacPherson, Library

We all want our graduating majors to be well versed in sources and structure of information relevant to their field and adept at using technology to find and evaluate resources. How do we intentionally integrate these skills into our majors? At this session, we will describe how each of our departments (chemistry, music and Asian studies) identified the information literacy skills we wanted our graduates to possess and the ways in which we taught these skills as students progressed through our programs.

Top of page

“From Believing to Seeing and Knowing: The scholarship of teaching and learning in the liberal arts”

Richard Gale, Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Stanford, California For this Conversation,

Richard Gale will talk about national developments in the scholarship of teaching and learning, discuss the relevance of this kind of scholarship for the liberal arts, and provide examples of interesting work being done by faculty across the country. There will be time for questions and discussion. Richard Gale is a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he serves as director for The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) Higher Education Program. He also works with Carnegie’s Initiatives in Liberal Education (ILE), including the Integrative Learning Project, and the Knowledge Media Lab (KML). He is an associate professor of theatre and interdisciplinary arts for the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, a former board member of the international organization Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO), and Chair of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Pedagogy Subcommittee. As a 2000-2001 Carnegie scholar, he examined the use of program portfolios in support of student empowerment.

Top of page

“The First Year Experience at St. Olaf: What we have learned in our first year”

Members of the ACM First Year Experience Group: Cindy Book, Mary Cisar, Linne Jensen, Bill Poehlmann, Pat Smith, Mike Swift

Members of the First Year Experience Group, established through a small grant through the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, will update participants in this CILA luncheon on their inquiry into the experience of first year students at St. Olaf. The ACM-FYE Group has been studying all aspects of students’ first year experience, including curriculum, residence life, support services, advising, and other aspects of this important first year. They have also met with focus groups of students and faculty. Come hear what they have learned.

Top of page

“I Video. Do You?: Using digital video in instruction and assessment”

Nancy Aarsvold (Norwegian) with Anthony Roberts (Dance), Bill Sonnega (Media Studies), and Howard Thorsheim (Psychology)

Nancy Aarsvold will facilitate a panel presentation about the pedagogical implications of using digital video for instruction and assessment at St. Olaf. Panelists will show examples of digital video projects they have incorporated into their courses. Discussion will follow the presentations.

If you have questions about how and where to film projects, Susan Jorgensen (World Language Center) and Jim Stanoch and Steve Rholl (IIT) will be available to respond.

Top of page

“Not the Oscars but the Olafs: Digital Video Interviews with Faculty about Teaching”

Director and Producer: Anthony Roberts (Dance)

Cast: Sheri Breen (Political Science), Beth Christensen (Library), Eric Cole (Biology), John Giannini (Biology), Karil Kucera (Art and Art History/Asian Studies), Eric Lund (Religion), and Dolores Peters (History)

A while ago, we began to think about how we could effectively document the use of technology for teaching at St. Olaf. To this end, Anthony Roberts conducted a series of digital video interviews with faculty members. However, we quickly realized that these interviews were not really about technology. Rather, they were extremely thoughtful discussions about teaching. Please join us for award-winning performances by seven of your colleagues, with discussion to follow a screening of excerpts from the DVD.

Top of page

“Using Visual Images to Enhance Learning”

Eric Lund, Religion and 2004-05 CILA Associate, with John Giannini, Biology, and Matt Rohn, Art and Art History

Some faculty members who make extensive use of visual imagery in their teaching will demonstrate some of what they do and facilitate discussion of what might be gained by the use of imagery in the classroom. John Giannini will talk about his use of animation in teaching biology, Eric Lund will show how he utilizes visual images in teaching medieval and early modern history of Christianity, and Matt Rohn will describe his efforts to foster better visual thinking.

Top of page

Spring

“From Believing to Seeing and Knowing: The scholarship of teaching and learning in the liberal arts”

Richard Gale, Senior Scholar, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Stanford, California

For this Conversation, Richard Gale will talk about national developments in the scholarship of teaching and learning, discuss the relevance of this kind of scholarship for the liberal arts, and provide examples of interesting work being done by faculty across the country. There will be time for questions and discussion.

Richard Gale is a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where he serves as director for The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) Higher Education Program. He also works with Carnegie’s Initiatives in Liberal Education (ILE), including the Integrative Learning Project, and the Knowledge Media Lab (KML). He is an associate professor of theatre and interdisciplinary arts for the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University, a former board member of the international organization Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO), and Chair of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) Pedagogy Subcommittee. As a 2000-2001 Carnegie scholar, he examined the use of program portfolios in support of student empowerment.

Top of page

“Library to Lecture to Lab: Intro to Biology on a Mass Scale”

John Giannini, Biology, and Charles Priore, Science Library

In a large Biology 125 course, 250 students were introduced to molecular modelling, database searching, and bibliographic management software, all tied into a series of actual lab experiences and class presentations. In addition, students produced a mock research report before being put into a real-time research environment. John Giannini and Charles Priore will talk about their plan to fully integrate all these elements, and how that integration served the students’ learning in the course.

Top of page

“Using Moodle: Reports from the classroom”

Paul Roback, MSCS; Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak, Political Science and Asian Studies; and Mary Titus, English, Women’s Studies, and American Conversations

Moodle, a new course management system, was introduced at St. Olaf this past fall. We now have approximately 130 courses using Moodle in the current semester, and that number is growing rapidly. Student response has also been enthusiastic.

If you are interested in learning about instructional uses of Moodle, or if you are a Moodle user and would like to share your ideas and discoveries, please join us for lunch and some good conversation. Our presenters will get us started with a short demonstration of some of the ways they have used Moodle in their classes.

Top of page

“Teaching Introductory Students”

Mary Walczak, Chemistry and 2004-05 CILA Associate; Jim Farrell, History and American Studies; and Gary Muir, Psychology/Neuroscience

Research on learning has shown that there are fundamental differences in the ways that experts and novices classify and interpret information. This CILA Faculty Conversation will focus on how we approach teaching introductory students in order to move them from novices towards experts. We will describe examples from our introductory courses in American Conversations, American Studies, Chemistry, History and Psychology with an emphasis on helping introductory students “unlearn and relearn” approaches to education, make connections between these disciplines and their lives, and see the wonder of the questions that these disciplines can help answer.

Top of page

“Teaching Off-Campus Courses”

Eric Lund, Director of International Studies; Wenday Allen, French; Eric Cole, Biology; Joseph McClanahan, Spanish

This session will consider the special features of teaching courses off-campus: what are the special challenges and opportunities. The panel members, who have extensive experience teaching interims and semester-long programs abroad, related to both the humanities and the sciences, will share their perspectives and invite discussion with others who have also taught off-campus or may be interested in doing so in the future.

Top of page

“Making the Connections: Using web portfolios in introductory classes”

Maggie Odell, Religion and 2004-05 CILA Associate

What can be gained from using web portfolios in an introductory class? In other college settings, web portfolios have been used to encourage students to reflect on their learning, on the assumption that such reflection enhances student mastery. This CILA Associate project was launched in order to see what kind of impact web portfolios would have on student learning in Religion 121. This presentation is an interim report on an experiment still in progress.

Some of the questions I will address include:

What kinds of reflection come easily to students?

What are some of the pitfalls?

How does the introduction of a web portfolio change the focus of the class? Is that change in focus a good or bad thing?

Top of page

“Engaging Students for Active Learning: Using simulations in the classroom”

Stephen Dyson, Political Science

“Not only did I learn more substantive law than in any other course I’ve taken,” declared an “alumnus” of a legal simulation course, “but I learned why I needed to learn all of those things.”*

There is a growing interest in using simulations for teaching undergraduates in the liberal arts context. Stephen Dyson, who has been using simulations in his political science classes, will lead a discussion on the benefits and pitfalls of using teaching simulations as tools for advancing student learning. He suggests that, although simulations come in all different shapes and sizes, they have common costs and benefits. An instructor introducing simulations must keep certain things in mind to ensure that their use both contributes to course learning objectives and engages students. As with all teaching tools, simulations are good for some things and less valuable for others but, used judiciously, can be a strong addition to an active-learning based class.

*John P. Hertel and Barbara J Millis, Using Simulations to Promote Learning in Higher Education, 2002.

Top of page

“A Conversation with Parker Palmer”

Parker J. Palmer is a writer, teacher, and activist who works independently on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality, and social change. His work spans a wide range of institutions: colleges and universities, public schools, community organizations, church and retreat centers, corporations, and foundations. In 1998, The Leadership Project, a national survey of 11,000 administrators and faculty, named Dr. Palmer as one of the thirty “most influential senior leaders” in higher education and one of the ten key “agenda-setters” of the past decade.

Dr. Palmer received a B.A. in philosophy and sociology cum laude from Carleton College (MN), where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded a Danforth Graduate Fellowship. After a year at Union Theological Seminary (NY), he studied sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving a Ph.D. with honors. He has taught at Berea College (KY), Georgetown University (DC), Beloit College (WI), Pacific School of Religion (CA), George Washington University (DC), and the Union Institute Graduate School.

His publications include ten poems, over one hundred essays, and six widely used books, one of the best known of which is The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1998).

Top of page

“Open-Access Journals: The future of academic publishing?”

Gary Muir, Psychology; Nelson Christensen, Physics, Carleton; Sam Demas, College Librarian, Carleton

Co-sponsor: Faculty Development Committee

How will faculty disseminate research five years from now? Are professional journals pricing themselves out of existence? Are open access journals a good place to publish? What might be the implications for tenure and promotion? For accessibility of scholarly research? Would this affect all disciplines in the same way? How should colleges respond? What about college libraries? Gary Muir and Nelson Christensen are knowledgeable about open access and will address these issues from a faculty scholar perspective. Sam Demas will raise questions about the need for institutional repositories and the potential effects of open-access on library collections.

Top of page