Faculty Conversations: 2007-2008

Fall 2007

What I Learned in the Dean of Students Office and How It Changed My Teaching
September 18. Ted Johnson, Biology; Clare Mather, Romance Languages-French; Steve McKelvey, MSCS

Who is CHAD and does he know GEORGIA?
September 26. Using geographical literacy to improve learning outcomes Tony Lott, Political Science and 2007-08 CILA Associate

Got Art? How to find and present digitized images in the classroom
October 2. Karil Kucera, Art and Art History, Asian Studies and 2007-08 CILA Teaching & Technology Associate; Patty Cohn, Visual Resource Curator; Ken Johnson, Reference and Instruction Librarian

Is the St. Olaf Curriculum Sustainable? Could it be? Should it be?
October 10. Jim Farrell, History, American Studies and 2007-08 CILA Associate; members of the CILA Associate learning community on curriculum and sustainability

Provost Sabbatical Series Luncheon
October 23. Each semester, the Provost invites two faculty members returning from sabbatical leave to talk about planning and carrying out their sabbatical projects and about how their sabbatical work is connected with their teaching Chris Chiappari, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Kim Kandl, Associate Professor of Biology

President’s Colloquy on Higher Education
October 31. President Anderson will lead discussion on an important topic in higher education. David R. Anderson, President of the College

Teaching With Technology Poster Fair
November 6. Faculty Showcase Poster Session: Teaching with Technology

Learning to Look
November 14. Film in the classroom Diana Postlethwaite, English and Boldt Chair in the Humanities; Mary Titus, English, director of the Center for Integrative Studies (CIS); Mary Trull, English

Experiential Learning that Counts
November 28. Internships and Academic Outcomes Sandy Malecha and Pat Smith, Center for Experiential Learning (CEL); Jan Hill, English; Anne Walter, Biology

Spring 2008

Designing Departmental Learning Objectives for Effective Curricular Change
February 19. Mary E. Savina, McBride Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies, Carleton College

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: “Teaching and Learning Sustainability”
February 27. Jim Farrell, History and American Studies, and 2007-08 CILA Associate

Civic Engagement and the Liberal Arts
February 28. William Galston, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute, and founding director of CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

Using Mapping Software in the Classroom: Google Earth and other Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
March 04. Todd Nichol (History), Charles Umbanhower Jr. (Biology and Environmental Studies), Brian Welch (Environmental Studies and Physics)

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: “What is a global perspective in the St. Olaf classroom?: reflections on this component of the mission statement”
March 12. Tony Lott, Political Science, Environmental Studies, and 2007-08 CILA Associate, with members of the Global Perspective Learning Community (Wendy Allen, Tom Williamson, Susan Bauer, and Eric Lund)

A Moodle Conversation
March 18. Faculty currently using Moodle; Faculty considering adopting Moodle; IIT staff

A Conversation between ‘Conversations': The Science Conversation and the Asian Conversation
April 2. Shelly Dickinson, Psychology; Brian Borovsky, Physics; Geoff Gorham, Philosophy; Kathy Tegtmeyer-Pak, Political Science and Asian Studies

Provost Sabbatical Series Luncheon
April 8. Each semester, the Provost invites two faculty members returning from sabbatical leave to talk about planning and carrying out their sabbatical projects and about how their sabbatical work is connected with their teaching. Cindy Book, Professor of Exercise Science; Bob Hanson, Professor of Chemistry

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Descriptions

Fall

What I Learned in the Dean of Students Office and How It Changed My Teaching

Tuesday, September 18

Ted Johnson, Biology; Clare Mather, Romance Languages-French; Steve McKelvey, MSCS

(co-sponsor: Dean of Students Office)

Ted Johnson, Clare Mather, and Steve McKelvey have each served in the Dean of Students office through a program that allows a faculty member to work for several years as an Associate Dean of Students. Now that all have returned to the classroom, they find that what they learned working with students in the Dean of Students Office has influenced the ways they work with students as teachers. In this session, they will share with us some of what they have learned and talk about how that experience has influenced their work as faculty members both in and out of the classroom.

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Who is CHAD and does he know GEORGIA? Using geographical literacy to improve learning outcomes

Wednesday, September 26

Tony Lott, Political Science and 2007-08 CILA Associate

(co-sponsor: International and Off-Campus Studies)

A recent National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs study (2006) of 18-24 year olds found that only 37% of this age group can find Iraq on a map of the Middle East, even though U.S. troops have been there since 2003, and only half can identify the state of New York on a map of the U.S. When asked in which of four countries a majority of the population is Muslim, 48% believed it was India (whose majority population is Hindu – at approximately 80%), while only 25% correctly identified Indonesia. Only 31% can put the U.S. population in the correct range of 150-350 million, and only 39% know that China’s population is more than four times that of the U.S. And while 73% know that the U.S. is the world’s largest consumer of oil, only 29% correctly identify it as the largest exporter (by dollar value) of goods and services.

While St. Olaf students may have a more sophisticated understanding of geography than those surveyed, they may still know much less than we assume. We do know that for effective teaching, we need to know what our students know (and don’t know) and to build on that knowledge. In this Conversation, Tony Lott will help us explore the use of geographical lessons across the disciplines to improve teaching and learning. He will discuss some of the methods he has used to enhance learning opportunities in the classroom, and will invite participants to share their approaches to using geography in the classroom.

If you are interested in learning more about the “Survey of Geographic Literacy,” here is the link:http://www.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/

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Got Art? How to find and present digitized images in the classroom

Tuesday, October 2

Karil Kucera, Art & Art History, Asian Studies and 2007-08 CILA Teaching & Technology Associate; Patty Cohn, Visual Resource Curator; Ken Johnson, Reference and Instruction Librarian

(co-sponsor: Information and Instructional Technologies (IIT), St. Olaf Libraries)

A 2006 study conducted at liberal arts institutions* asked faculty about their use of digital images in their courses, including whether they felt their teaching had changed because of using digital images. Three-quarters thought it had: 29% “very much” and 47% “somewhat.” The strongest response was in the sciences, with 40% in the physical sciences and 39% in the life sciences registering that their teaching had changed “very much.” In the arts/humanities, faculty in history, art history, and area studies registered the most significant change, at 32%. In both areas, an additional 46% of faculty considered that their teaching had changed at least “somewhat.”

Many faculty in all fields have turned to using art and other images in their classrooms, yet still struggle with how and where to find good quality images and how to use them well. If you are looking for ways to illustrate an idea or theme, or to clarify for students a concept or a topic, please join Karil Kucera and her library colleagues for this Conversation. She will lead discussion intended to help faculty at all levels of expertise learn more about the resources available to them, and present some best practice tips on how to put those resources to work in the classroom.

*Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning: Perspectives from Liberal Arts Institutions
http://www.academiccommons.org/files/image-report.pdf

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Is the St. Olaf Curriculum Sustainable? Could it be? Should it be?

Wednesday, October 10

Jim Farrell, History, American Studies and 2007-08 CILA Associate; members of the CILA Associate Learning Community on curriculum and sustainability

(co-sponsor: Environmental Studies)

In the 1960s, Paul Goodman advised students to “Think about the kind of world you want to live and work in. What do you need to know to help build that world? Demand that your teachers teach you that.” Increasingly, it seems that students (and not just Environmental Studies majors) will need to know how to build a sustainable world in the 2010s and beyond. Does the St. Olaf curriculum equip them to do that? When they graduate, do they know enough about environmental issues, private and public possibilities, ethical and aesthetic choices, global citizenship and civic engagement? If not, what should the faculty and staff of the college do to encourage (or require) some form of ecological literacy and/or engagement? In this session, Jim Farrell and a group of ecologicians in one of this year’s CILA learning communities will offer a few ideas (some contrarian) and facilitate a discussion.

For something to think about in the meantime, considering reading David Orr’s Earth in Mind: On Education, the Environment and the Human Prospect (Washington: Island Press, 2004).

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The President’s Colloquy on Higher Education

Wednesday, October 31

President David R. Anderson

The Future Environment for Liberal Arts Colleges: Changing Student Demographics, Rising Costs, and Stiffer Competition

The Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) is pleased to announce the inaugural session of the “President’s Colloquy on Higher Education.” As President Anderson describes this series, “it is intended to be an occasional series of conversations about issues facing higher education in America and their impact on St. Olaf.” He plans to lead one faculty lunch conversation each semester, and to invite occasional speakers to campus to address important issues in higher education.

For this first session, David plans to lead a discussion based on a recent article by Robert Sevier (Senior Vice President at Stamats, a higher education consulting firm). The article, “Still Dreading the Perfect Storm: Looming on the Horizon: A Triple Threat of Changing Student Demographics, Rising Costs, and Stiffer Competition,” is not available on-line, but we will make sure everyone registered for this CILA Lunch Conversation receives a paper copy in advance. Thank you to Trusteeship magazine for permission to reproduce this article from their July/August 2007 issue.

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CILA Faculty Showcase Poster Session: “Teaching with Technology”

Tuesday, November 6

(Co-sponsor: Information and Instructional Technologies (IIT))

IIT and CILA invite you to our first “Faculty Showcase Poster Session: Teaching with Technology.” This is a great opportunity to see some of the innovative approaches to using technology for instructional purposes that have been developed by our colleagues. Most of these “posters” will be digital to give you the opportunity to experience the technologies firsthand. Representatives from IIT and the Libraries will also be available to demonstrate and to answer questions about technologies ranging from Sympodium, to iChat, to Endnote and more! A browsing lunch, consisting of hearty appetizers, will be available for you to enjoy as you move about from poster to poster.

Featured Posters:

Brian Borovsky (Physics): Engaging Your Students with Wireless Classroom Polling Technology

Janet Collrin (IIT): Printing Large Format Posters

Bob Hanson (Chemistry): Using Visualizations for Better Student Learning

Michael Kidd (Spanish): Using Moodle to Achieve the Paperless Classroom

Todd Nichol (History): Google Earth in the Classroom: More Than a Way to Find a Picture of Your House

Margaret O’Leary (Norwegian): Using Wimba for oral tests, audio forums, web-based exercises, voice emails and more

Charles Priore and Sarah Johnston (Library): Endnote 10 and Library Resources: Personal Full-Text Libraries and Pedagogical Tools

Anthony Roberts (Dance): Using the Internet to Document the Iterative Process of Dance Creation

Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak (Political Science): Using the Wiki feature in Moodle for journals and for integrative essays

Dana Thompson (IIT): Classroom Technologies for Teaching the Net Generation

Mary Trull (English): Using iMovie for student film production in Media Studies 270

Charles Umbanhowar (Biology/Environmental Science): Using of GPS and GIS for mapping in a Winter Ecology course

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Learning to Look: Film in the Classroom

Wednesday, November 14

Diana Postlethwaite, English and Boldt Chair in the Humanities; Brian Borovsky, Physics; Steve Hahn, History; Kris Thalhammer, Political Science; Mary Titus, English and Director, Center for Integrative Studies; Mary Trull, English

(co-sponsors: Boldt Chair in the Humanities, Task Force on the Study of Film)

If you are using film or images in the classroom, or would like to get some ideas for how to do this — or how to do it more effectively — please join us for this session. Faculty at St. Olaf currently are teaching scientific concepts through 3D visualizations, using film to teach about human rights, teaching film as historiography, and creating filmmaking assignments to teach writing and critical analysis skills. Faculty from across the disciplines are invited to discuss their experiences, plans, hopes, and questions about integrating film and images into their teaching.

Best Practices from Education and Cognitive Science Research for Using Images and Vizualizations
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/visualization/ed_research.html

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Experiential Learning that Counts: Internships and Academic Outcomes

Wednesday, November 28

Anne Walter, Biology; Jan Hill, English; Pat Smith, Director CEL; Sandy Malecha, Assistant Director CEL for Internships

(co-sponsor: Center for Experiential Learning)

Since the 1999-2000 year, nearly 900 St. Olaf students have completed 955 academic internships, reflecting a growing student interest in experiential learning. The Center for Experiential Learning has recently undertaken a study of academic internships that seeks to answer a variety of questions, such as

Which students do internships? How they are supervised? Which programs make the most use of internships?

The presenters will use the information from this study to ground a discussion about best practices for setting up and supervising academic internships. Anne Walter and Jan Hill will speak to their experiences as faculty supervisors of internships, while Pat Smith and Sandy Malecha will talk about what they’ve learned about current practices, and about how the CEL works with students and faculty members to ensure high quality academic internships. They invite colleagues to share their own experiences with internships and to discuss what practices help make a successful academic internship.

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Spring

Designing Departmental Learning Objectives for Effective Curricular Change

Tuesday, February 19

Mary E. Savina, McBride Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies, Carleton College

(Co-sponsor: Institutional Research and Evaluation)

Mary Savina will lead a discussion about creating and using departmental learning objectives, drawing on the experiences of her own department. The Geology Department at Carleton, a national leader in producing PhD’s, has for many years been particularly thoughtful about what it thinks its students should learn, and how its curriculum should be designed to ensure this learning takes place. Perhaps somewhat counter-intuitively, Mary will argue that some of her department’s success is because “we don’t try to produce geoscience PhD’s” and “because we teach introductory geology as if it will be the students’ terminal geology course.”

Mary Savina is the most recent past director of the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching at Carleton College, and she is the current President of the Faculty. She is a recognized leader in science education.

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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: “Teaching and Learning Sustainability”

Wednesday, February 27

Jim Farrell, History and American Studies, and 2007-08 CILA Associate

As St. Olaf continues to maintain its commitment to sustainability in its operations and in the curriculum, it would be nice to know if students receive any benefits from this work — whether they acquire knowledge, skills, and/or perspectives that might help them live more sustainably and/or shape institutions (social, economic, educational, religious, and political) so that it will be easier for Americans to live their lives in harmony with the cycles of nature.

One course that tries to elicit such knowledge, skills and perspectives is Campus Ecology, so for starters 2007-08 CILA Associate Jim Farrell is trying to create a survey that he can give at the beginning and end of the semester to assess just what sorts of things happen in a course that often seems more magical and serendipitous than straightforward. Building on a CILA session on knowledge statements from last year, Jim will share ideas about teaching sustainability, measuring outcomes, and thinking about sustainability across the curriculum.

For information about knowledge surveys, see:

http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/assess/knowledgesurvey.html

http://www.macalester.edu/geology/wirth/WirthPerkinsKS.pdf

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Civic Engagement and the Liberal Arts

Thursday, February 28

William Galston, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute, and founding director of CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

William Galston is a political theorist who both studies and participates in American politics and domestic policy. This CILA breakfast will draw upon his work in civic education. A Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, Galston is also the founding director of CIRCLE, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

William Galston will also give a public lecture at 11:30 on Thursday the 28th in the Black and Gold Ballroom. He will discuss his book, Liberal Pluralism: The Implications of Value Pluralism for Political Theory and Practice, with specific reference to questions of civic engagement. His visit to St. Olaf is part of the semester II theme, Civic Engagement and the Liberal Arts, part of the 2006-08 theme of Global Citizenship.

Galston was Executive Director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal, and worked as a policy advisor in the Clinton administration. He was chief speech writer for John Anderson’s National Unity campaign, issues director for Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign, and senior advisor to Albert Gore Jr. during his run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1991-1992.

Professor Galston received his B.A. from Cornell University and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.

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Using Mapping Software in the Classroom: Google Earth and other Geographical Information Systems (GIS)

Tuesday, March 04

Todd Nichol (History), Charles Umbanhower Jr. (Biology and Environmental Studies), Brian Welch (Environmental Studies and Physics)

(co-sponsored by IIT)

One of the more exciting new instructional technologies is the development of software to collect, organize, analyze, and present spatial data. The presenters at this session will introduce GIS technologies, and show how these technologies can be used in the classroom.

Some of us may be familiar with handheld GPS units, while others may have explored Google Earth. Although science faculty have been among the first to incorporate GIS technologies into the classroom, faculty in many other disciplines, ranging from history to political science, English, and foreign languages, are also realizing the educational potential of these technologies. At St. Olaf, for example, we already have a multidisciplinary GIS users group (http://www.stolaf.edu/academics/gis/).

For those interested, the links below provide additional information about instructional uses of GIS technologies.

http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/visualize04/tool_examples/google_earth.html

http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/gis/index.html

http://www.google.com/educators/p_earth.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2148229/nav/tap1/

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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Series: “What is a global perspective in the St. Olaf classroom?: reflections on this component of the mission statement”

Wednesday, March 12

Tony Lott’s CILA Associate Learning Community has been working to develop an interdisciplinary understanding of what is meant by “incorporating a global perspective” in the classroom. Key elements in the group’s evolving approach to a global perspective include, but are not limited to, interconnections (systemic and institutional structures and the way that cultural meanings are constructed amid those constraints), literacies (knowledge, skills, and practices that are contingent and situated in interdisciplinary learning processes), and experiences (attention to the need to engage with the world while recognizing the ethical responsibilities that such engagement demands). Come join the conversation about how to provide students with opportunities to encounter and understand a “global perspective” inside a St. Olaf classroom.

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A Moodle Conversation

Tuesday, March 18

Faculty currently using Moodle; Faculty considering adopting Moodle; IIT staff

Please join us over lunch to share ideas about using Moodle in the classroom. This will be an open discussion without presentations, although representatives from IIT will be present to talk about future plans for Moodle, and to help with more technical questions. We invite any faculty members who have used Moodle to share their successes and frustrations, in addition to those who might yet be planning to adopt it. We would like to encourage faculty members who have developed innovative ideas for using Moodle as well as those who simply would like to get suggestions for how to use Moodle for particular teaching purposes. We also would like to hear about what topics would most useful to faculty if we were to offer another summer Moodle workshop.

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A Conversation between ‘Conversations’: The Science Conversation and the Asian Conversation

Wednesday, April 02

Shelly Dickinson, Psychology; Brian Borovsky, Physics; Geoff Gorham, Philosophy; Kathy Tegtmeyer-Pak, Political Science and Asian Studies

The Asian Conversations has recently restructured its program and a new Science Conversation will be launched in the fall of 2009. Both ‘Conversations’ are innovative models of what is known in the national literature as learning communities. Please join us for conversation about these two (new and revised) Conversations.

Asian Conversations “2.0″ will begin in Fall 2008. After a decade teaching students during their first three semesters on campus, the program will now target sophomores. The program follows a “2+3″ format, where students take two semesters of second-year (or higher) Chinese or Japanese language courses alongside a three-class sequence organized around the theme of “journeys.” Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak, Director of Asian Conversations, will describe the rationale for changing the program, outline the new program plan, and invite discussion about how the program fits into the St. Olaf experience. Three points hold particular interest: the efforts to tie together language and “content” courses, to be genuinely interdisciplinary, and to provide a first undergraduate research opportunity during Interim.

The new Science Conversation proposes a sophomore year sequence of three courses (fall, interim, spring) that integrates the history of science, the doing of science, the meaning of science and the role of science in society. Science Conversation goals are to help students to attain a critical understanding of science, to explore the relationship between reason and faith, and to examine the mutual influences of science, technology, and society. Building on the ‘Conversations’ model that has been so successful at St. Olaf, students in the Science Conversation will engage in interdisciplinary discussions of primary texts in a seminar setting. In addition, students will gain hands-on scientific experience by recreating and interpreting classic experiments during an Interim lab course. A pilot version of the fall course is being offered in Fall 2008 by Brian Borovsky and Geoff Gorham.

See http://www.evergreen.edu/washcenter/lcfaq.htm for further information about learning communities.

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