Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts

A campus locus for conversations about learning and teaching in the liberal arts.

Recent decades have brought dramatic changes in the ways we structure knowledge, in what we have come to understand about effective teaching and learning, and in the possibilities afforded by new technologies for improving teaching and learning. The Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) was founded in 2000 to provide support for St. Olaf College faculty working to meet the challenges posed by these changes. On the premise that the liberal arts colleges are ideal laboratories for pedagogical innovation and reform, CILA provides time and space for conversations and collaboration among faculty about learning, teaching, and scholarship.

Coming up in CILA
FALL 2018 CILA Faculty Conversations and WORKSHOPS:

Join faculty and staff colleagues for lunch discussions around interesting topics in teaching and learning. Unless otherwise noted, all lunches are in the Valhalla Dining Room, 11:45-1:15, with the presentation and discussion from noon-1:00. SAVE THESE DATES! Conversation descriptions and presenters, as well as workshop invitations, are announced by email, along with a request for RSVPs.

See Conversations from past semesters here.

Tuesday Sept 18   Building a Culture of Classroom Observation

Thursday Sept 27, 3:45-5:15, HH 502 CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop - Designing an Inclusive Classroom Series: Engaging All Students through Universal Design

CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop series “Designing an Inclusive Classroom” – Engaging All Students through Universal Design

Facilitators: Anne Berry, Multilingual Student Support Specialist, CAAS; Jill Watson, Education

Our campus is full of unique individuals — each with a unique set of abilities, needs, preferences, and background experiences. Inclusive, effective instruction recognizes our diversity and proactively enables engagement by all. This workshop explores equity in higher education, and presents strategies, such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), that are helpful in planning for and enacting equitable pedagogy for all students. Participants will see examples of various teaching strategies, learn how they can promote equity and inclusivity, and have the opportunity to create inclusive teaching tools for use in their own courses.

Wednesday Oct 3   To Include is to Excel: One Year On

Tuesday Oct 9   Life on Campus: Histories and Futures of Higher Education

Tuesday Oct 30, 3:45-5:15, HH 502 CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop - Designing an Inclusive Classroom Series: Designing Assignments

CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop series “Designing an Inclusive Classroom” – Designing Assignments

Facilitator: Diane LeBlanc, Interdisciplinary Studies, Director of the Writing Program

This workshop, led by Dr. Michele Eodice, Associate Provost for Academic Engagement and director of the writing center at the University of Oklahoma, will focus on designing meaningful, accessible writing assignments. You will appraise a writing assignment you have offered to students and be guided to redesign with a focus on access and agency. The goal of developing our inclusive pedagogies requires us to examine closely the assumptions, values, and practices that might be preventing students from engaging with the assignment to the fullest.  We will critique our writing assignments and redesign them based on Universal Design Principles and features of meaningful writing projects []. Together, we can construct a more expansive frame for students to work within, offering multiple entry points to approach the writing tasks and activating student agency to engage with the project.

Wednesday Oct 31 Teaching Research and Writing: Inclusive Practices for All Disciplines

FACULTY LUNCH CONVERSATION – “Teaching Research and Writing: Inclusive Practices for All Disciplines”

Facilitators: Maggie Epstein, Research & Instruction, Libraries; Bridget Draxler, Writing and Speaking Specialist, CAAS; Jason Paul, Research & Instruction, Libraries

Diversity consultant Dr. Nimisha Barton will lead a discussion on inclusive writing and research practices. Participants will explore ways that identity and experience shape students as writers and researchers, from how they choose a research topic to how they express their linguistic diversity in a final draft. Dr. Barton will provide a pedagogical toolkit for ensuring that students from all backgrounds can thrive. Barton’s visit to campus is funded by a To Include is to Excel grant.

Tuesday Nov 6 Inquiry in Support of Student Learning: Success Stories from the Battlefield

FACULTY LUNCH CONVERSATION – “Inquiry in Support of Student Learning: Success Stories From the Battlefield”

Kelsey Thompson, Educational Research & Assessment; Steve McKelvey, Mathematics, Director of Educational Research & Assessment

In teaching, how do we discover what works? How do we know that our pedagogical intuition reflects the reality of our students’ experiences? If we make changes, how do we know we’ve improved things? During this lunch we will hear from and converse with several colleagues across disciplines about how inquiry in support of student learning has helped them, and their students, in their mutual educational endeavor.”

Wednesday Nov 14, Sun Room Teaching, Fast and Slow

FACULTY LUNCH CONVERSATION – “Teaching, Fast and Slow”

Donna McMillan, Psychology; Neil Lutsky, Psychology, Carleton College; Janet Muth, Director of Health Promotion, Carleton College.

How does the pace of academic life affect teaching and learning (and vice versa)? Experience of an academic term can range from an opportunity to enjoy a deep encounter with a subject to a mad dash through a barrage of readings and assignments. In this session we will consider suggestions derived from the “Slow Movement” (in teaching and other domains, including cooking) and from feedback gathered from students and faculty about means of slowing down our classes to enhance student learning.

Friday Dec 14 E-Portfolios - Some St. Olaf Examples

FACULTY LUNCH CONVERSATION – “E-Portfolios – Some St. Olaf Examples”

Facilitator: Mary Titus, English, Director of the Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts

St Olaf faculty members will present and discuss examples of creative, ambitious, and effective e-portfolios ranging from individual student projects to program wide platforms.

Fall 2018 Office Hours
Mary Titus, Director of CILA

Monday and Friday    10:00-12:00, Wednesday 10:00-11:00, or by appointment