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

CILA Events Google Calendar

SPRING 2019 CILA Faculty Conversations and WORKSHOPS:

Join faculty and staff colleagues for lunch discussions around interesting topics in teaching and learning. Unless otherwise noted, all CILA Faculty Lunch Conversations are in the Valhalla Dining Room, 11:45-1:15. Lunch participants go through the soup and salad line of the Kings’ Room buffet.

SAVE THESE DATES! Conversation descriptions and presenters/facilitators, as well as workshop invitations, are announced by email and will include a request for RSVPs.

Descriptions of Spring 2019 Conversations are linked below. See Conversations from past semesters here.

 

Tuesday, April 30, 11:45-1:15, Valhalla Dining Room  Intersectionality Book Group
Thursday, April 25, 3:30-5:00 Holland 523 CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop - Designing an Inclusive Classroom Series: 'Focus on Feedback: Designing Inclusive Evaluation Practices for Classes with Writing' - Please note date change!

CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop series “Designing an Inclusive Classroom” – Focus on Feedback: Designing Inclusive Evaluation Practices for Classes with Writing

Facilitator: Bridget Draxler

In our final workshop of the series, we will discuss strategies for giving more inclusive feedback on student work. Drawing on best practices from Writing Center pedagogy, we will talk about ways of listening and responding to students in ways that acknowledge the deeply personal and political nature of writing and speaking. Framing feedback as conversation rather than correction, and exploring multimodal tools for responding to student work, this workshop will offer strategies for creating accessible and meaningful dialog with students about their written, spoken, and multimedia work.

In advance of this workshop, please read “Social Justice in the Writing Center” (The Peer Review, Volume 1, Issue 2, Fall 2017).

Tuesday, April 9, 11:45-1:15, Valhalla Dining Room Inclusion, Equity, and STEM

Co-sponsored by To Include is to Excel

Come and hear faculty colleagues share their STEM projects funded by To Include is to Excel. In this participatory session, Kim Kandl, Olaf Hall-Holt, and David Walmsley will engage us in a conversation about inclusion, equity, and STEM by sharing their TIitE-funded projects: how they imagined the projects, the grant application process, implementation, lessons learned, verypreliminary results, and next steps. We will then have a chance to talk about projects other faculty might be interested in pursuing (or are currently carrying out).

The projects:

David Walmsley, MSCS-Mathematics

“Inclusive Teaching and Active Learning in Calculus”

Kim Kandl, Biology; Laura Listenberger, Biology and Chemistry

“Research for All: Integrating Research Across Multiple Courses to Engage All Biology Students”

Olaf Hall-Holt, MSCS-Computer Science

“CodeCamp”

Wednesday, March 20, 11:45-1:15, Valhalla Dining Room Get Them Talking!

Looking for tips and new techniques to encourage discussion in your classroom? This highly participatory, teaching focused CILA Lunch will provide you with a bucket-full of ideas. Drawing from Brookfield and Preskill’s popular and accessible manual, The Discussion Book: 50 Great Ways to Get People Talking, the lunch program will begin with a brief introduction to general principles of good discussion and then move into experimentation with a range of activities designed to make that good discussion happen.

Tuesday, March 12, 11:45-1:15, Valhalla Dining Room No More Same Old: Developing Our Teaching with Informed Change

Facilitators: Steve McKelvey, Mathematics and Director of Educational Research and Assessment; Kelsey Thompson, Assistant Director of Educational Research and Assessment

In this second CILA Lunch featuring significant program and/or pedagogical changes happening on campus, we will hear from and converse with colleagues across disciplines about how inquiry in support of student learning has helped them, and their students, transform and advance their mutual educational endeavor. Learn about and be inspired by colleagues who have drawn on their research into student learning to initiate informed change.

Wednesday, March 6, 11:45-1:15 Valhalla Dining Room Balancing Student Mental Health Issues and Faculty Self Care

Facilitators: Steve O’Neill, Psychologist, Director of Boe House; Jon Mergens, Asst Director for Wellness, Gender and Sexuality; Kari Hohn, Title IX Coordinator

At colleges and universities nationwide, faculty have been reporting a perceived increase in encounters with students suffering from mental health problems or experiences with sexual misconduct. This “emotional work,” particularly for newer faculty, creates unsurety (what is an appropriate response to a student’s needs?), exhaustion (how much should a faculty member serve as support?), anxiety (encounters can trigger personal experiences), and even burn out.

At this faculty-focused lunch, participants will respond to scenarios built from actual faculty/student interactions as a way to open up conversation about their own experiences with struggling students and any strategies they have developed for coping with challenging “emotional work,” balancing empathic listening with clear boundaries and self care.  Members of St Olaf’s staff who work closely with students suffering from mental health problems or experiences with sexual misconduct, will be at the lunch and will, after the discussion period, answer faculty questions. Participants will leave with a list of resources and some strategies for self care.

Thursday, Feb. 28, 3:30-5:00 Holland 201 - CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop - Designing an Inclusive Classroom Series: 'Designing a Just Classroom: Reframing 'Teaching with Technology'

CILA/CAAS Faculty Workshop series “Designing an Inclusive Classroom” – Designing a Just Classroom: Reframing “Teaching with Technology”

Facilitators: Ben Gottfried, IT; Joe Young, CAAS; and selected faculty

With the growing number of students disclosing disabilities and learning differences, how can faculty find ways to make the learning environment as inclusive as possible to meet the needs of our diverse populations? In this workshop, participants will learn about disability law and social model basics, but also about how to use available technologies like video capture, classroom management systems, and screen readers to achieve a more inclusive classroom environment. The session will include hands-on time when faculty will have support to explore and experiment with new approaches to syllabi and course materials.

Tuesday, February 26, 11:45-1:15, Valhalla Dining Room Our Ideal Classroom - Sharing Ideas, Thinking Creatively

Facilitators: Members of the Academic Space Committee (Dan Dressen, Kevin Larson, Laura Listenberger, Ericka Peterson)

In this CILA Lunch, participants will explore together ideas for effective learning spaces:  What works well on campus right now; what do wish we had available? and, when we imagine a future St Olaf classroom, what does it look like?

The discussion will be facilitated by members of the Academic Space Committee, which has been engaged in a review of the classroom analysis embedded in the 2016 St. Olaf Framework Plan.

Resource:  The Olaf College 2016 Frame Work Plan https://wp.stolaf.edu/facilities/space-needs-analysis/

Wednesday, February 20, 11:45-1:15, Valhalla Dining Room, Buntrock Commons Student Mental Health and Faculty Self Care #1 - Cancelled due to weather

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

At colleges and universities nationwide, faculty have been reporting a perceived increase in encounters with students suffering from mental health problems or experiences with sexual misconduct. This “emotional work,” particularly for newer faculty, creates unsurety (what is an appropriate response to a student’s needs?), exhaustion (how much should a faculty member serve as support?), anxiety (encounters can trigger personal experiences), and even burn out.

In this faculty only, open conversation lunch, participants will talk about their experiences with struggling students and share strategies for coping with challenging “emotional work,” exploring together how to balance empathic listening with clear boundaries and self care. They will also respond to scenarios built from actual faculty/student interactions. Newer faculty are encouraged to attend, and all participants are strongly encouraged to attend the follow up to this lunch on March 6, when representatives from a range of student services will respond to faculty questions and describe the resources available on our campus.


FALL 2018 CILA Faculty Conversations and WORKSHOPS:

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 [meaningfulwritingproject.net]. 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

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

Wednesday Nov 14   Teaching, Fast and Slow

Thursday Dec 6, Heritage Room    Annual Gathering of Non-Tenure Track (NTT) Faculty

Friday Dec 14, Buntrock 142    E-Portfolios: Some St. Olaf Examples

Fall 2018 Office Hours
Mary Titus, Director of CILA

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