Faculty Conversations 2018-2019

Spring 2019

Thursday, April 25, 3:30-5:00 Holland 523 Designing Feedback

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).

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 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

Friday Dec 14, Buntrock 142 CILA Faculty Lunch Conversation – 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.

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

This will be an opportunity to talk with some of the NTT faculty from other departments across campus and discuss the joys and challenges of being an NTT faculty member here at St. Olaf. Did you know there are 143 of us?! There will also be an opportunity to review and discuss recent changes and updated information affecting NTT faculty.
Wednesday Nov 14 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.

This current Broadening the Bridge project has been awarded additional funding to give mini-grants to faculty to experiment with incorporating Slow Teaching into a Spring 2019 course. There are eight $400 mini-grants available for St. Olaf faculty (and another eight for Carleton faculty) to experiment in coming semester with an idea or strategy designed to enhance student learning or well-being in keeping with considerations discussed in this session. You are invited to attend now to get some ideas of things you might want to try in your course, and then, to be considered for funding, submit a very brief description of your proposed experiment by December 7 to Donna McMilla
 
The funds will support faculty planning time and a spring meeting on Tues April 30 at 4:00 pm with other St. Olaf and Carleton grantees where we can reflect on and share our experiences.
Tuesday Nov 6 Inquiry in Support of Student Learning: Success Stories

Facilitators: 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. Faculty practitioners include Kim Kandl (Biology), Colin Wells (English), Wendy Allen (German), Heather Klopchin (Dance), and Bill Sonnega and Karen Wilson (Theater).

Wednesday Oct 31 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.

View slides from the presentation here.

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

Tom Williamson, Sociology and Anthropology; Tom Wolfe, History, University of Minnesota

This fall, Williamson and Wolfe are teaching linked courses exploring the historical structure of American higher education along with ethnographic insights into how students experience it. The course traces such things as the intersections in student life and faculty work, including the student-created “parallel curriculum” and intensified faculty specialization. We examine how American institutions take on responsibilities for social transformation less common elsewhere, along with the particular built environment of the American campus. Given the different places we teach, we will explore parallels between a research university and a liberal arts college, as well as key differences. We look forward to learning more from the expertise of faculty and staff colleagues on all of these issues.

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

Maggie Broner, Romance Languages-Spanish, CILA Mellon Grant Associate; Mary Carlsen, Social Work & Family Studies, TIitE Project Director

To Include is To Excel is a four year, $800,000 initiative funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In concourse with St. Olaf’s abiding conviction that access, excellence, and inclusion are inextricably intertwined, the Mellon funding supports the transformation of our curriculum and approaches to teaching for a new generation of students. In this session, we would like to update the community on the activities carried out in this first year of this grant and to showcase some of the innovative faculty and staff initiatives we have funded to date.

Tuesday Sept 18 Building a Culture of Classroom Observation

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

Classroom observation plays an important role in hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions, but can it have other purposes as well? Departments and programs at St Olaf differ in their observation practices: when, and why do you get observed or observe others? Could we reduce the stress associated with being observed? What are best practices for classroom observations? Can trained students serve as observers? In this lunch we will talk about our own experiences with classroom observation, survey some best practices from the scholarship on teaching, and consider the way some academic institutions integrate regular observation into their teaching community.

Related resources from the Provost’s page can be found here.