Faculty Conversations 2017-2018

View Fall 2017 Conversations below

Spring 2018

Tuesday, May 1st. The Road to Affordable Course Content: Partnerships, Motivations,and Impacts

Kristi Jensen, University of Minnesota Libraries

The soaring cost of higher education, development of new open educational resources publishing models, and the changing market for traditional textbook publishers have prompted numerous institutions to undertake affordable content efforts in order to reduce the cost of and insure equitable access to course materials. for students. In this session, learn more about why the cost of course materials makes a difference to students today, a range of affordable content options, why faculty choose to investigate these options for their courses, the impacts of these efforts for faculty and students, and how campus partners can collaborate and contribute to affordable content in a variety of roles.
Louis Epstein (Music ,St. Olaf) will also speak about his work on the Open Access Musicology project.
Kristi Jensen is the Program Development Lead for the eLearning Support Initiative at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She co-manages the Libraries’ Partnership for Affordable Content grant program and works with partner institutions through the Unizin Teaching and Learning group to further affordable course content efforts. She is currently co-editing a book about affordable content efforts across the U.S., The Evolution of Affordable Content Efforts in the Higher Education Environment: Programs, Case Studies, and Examples, to be published in the summer of 2018.
Wednesday, April 25th. The Spectrum of ACE (Academic Civic Engagement)
Alyssa Melby, Asst Dir for Academic Civic Engagement; Jennifer Holbein, Exercise Science; DeAne Lagerquist, Religion/American Conversations; Jess Petok, Psychology

Academic Civic Engagement, or ACE, includes three loaded words that when strung together carry a powerful punch in the ways we approach teaching, the ways our students learn, and the ways we envision teaching and learning that works towards the common good.

Join Alyssa Herzog Melby, Assistant Director for Academic Civic Engagement, as we unpack ACE, its philosophical foundation, and the variety of ways it can manifest. Participants will discover the spectrum of ACE work happening here at St. Olaf. Three faculty members will share their experiences in integrating ACE components into their courses, and community partners from Northfield will share potential project ideas as participants think about their own courses and building future collaborations with community partners.

Current Northfield community partners include:
Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP), City of Northfield, Community Action Center, 50 North, HealthFinders Collaborative, League of Women Voters, Northfield Arts Guild, Northfield Community Services, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, Northfield Retirement Community, Northfield Union of Youth/The Key, Project Friendship
Wednesday, April 18th. Publishing Scholarly Multimedia: A Peer-Reviewed History and Pedagogical Future

Cheryl Ball, Director, Digital Publishing Collaborative, Wayne State University

Open-access, peer-reviewed scholarly publishing has been with us in the academy for nearly 25 years, since the advent of the Web and before. Focusing on the particular history of scholarly multimedia publishing, this talk showcases the kinds of multimedia-driven arguments made in some disciplines’ online, academic journals and connects that work to how multimodal composition is taught in the classroom and can be taught to both students and faculty in the future.
Cheryl E. Ball is Director of the Digital Publishing Collaborative at Wayne State University Library. Since 2006, Ball has been editor of the online peer-reviewed open-access journal Kairos: Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, which exclusively publishes digital media scholarship. Her recent research in editorial workflows and digital publishing infrastructures can be found in multiple journals and edited collections, as well as on her personal repository, http://ceball.com. She is the Project Director for Vega, an open-access multimedia academic publishing platform, and serves as the executive director of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals. 
This event is part of the Future of Publishing series, organized by the Carleton and St. Olaf libraries, generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Broadening the Bridge grant, and cosponsored by the Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) at St. Olaf and the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching (LTC) at Carleton.
Wednesday, April 11th. They said What??: Tools for Managing Microaggressions in the Classroom and Beyond

Ryan Sheppard, Sociology and Anthropology, with student researchers 

Microaggressions harm the well-being of students and other members of our campus community – and thus, one could argue, all of us – and they occur regularly inside and outside the classroom. How can we reduce their frequency and damage? How can we respond effectively, whether we are around or in charge when someone enacts a microaggression, or if we ourselves are the enactors? How do we “check in” with a student, friend, or employee who has been the target of a microaggression? 

The presenters will highlight specific tools and techniques for dealing with microaggressions in the moment (“Nobody gave me a script for this!”), in the short term aftermath, or in advance (using proactive discussions and policies), drawing on results from a recent survey of St. Olaf students as well as on prior research.Participants will examine cases and have the opportunity for decision-making and practice. The focus will be on racialized microaggressions, but most of these tools will also apply to addressing microaggressions based on gender, sexual identity, social class, and so on.
Ryan and her students are not experts in this area but are “works in progress” who have conducted campus research, culled the scholarly literature, and worked with many of the tools and techniques they will present.


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Tuesday, March 13th. 'Popcorn Pedagogy': A Crowd-Sourced Teaching Workshop

As faculty committed to excellent teaching, we are constantly engaged in thinking about how we can best educate our students in meaningful and creative ways. but do not often have the opportunity to share the interesting things we are doing in our courses with other faculty, even within our departments. This CILA Lunch provides a time and space for faculty to share experiences from the semester and engage in conversation around teaching ideas and practices.

There will be no formal presentation. Instead, please come ready to share in under 5 minutes one thing you have been doing, or will be doing, in your teaching this semester, or something you have tried previously that worked (or didn’t) – for example, a particular assignment, a classroom technique, a way to manage a discussion, or something else that has enhanced the student learning experience – or even just the kernel of an idea that you are excited about trying in the future, and we can all learn from the lively conversation that “pops” up as a result.
Thursday, March 8. Necessary Quantities: The Proficiency with Numbers Oles Really Need

Nathan Grawe, Professor of Economics,  Carleton College

This community forum – cosponsored by CILA and the GE task force – will explore the role of quantitative reasoning (QR) in general education.  After a brief presentation on the state of practice under the current GE for AQR, we will hear about alternative frameworks for developing QR across the curriculum.  We will discuss desirable outcomes for QR rooted in broader conceptions of what students may need most today: the ability to recognize when evidence can be usefully quantified, and the abilities to analyze, interpret, and present that evidence in useful ways.

Everyone is welcome.  Besides the MSCS Department, QR may show up in the social sciences, the natural sciences, perhaps even the humanities and the arts.  Please come if you have a stake in helping students make good arguments with numbers.

Nathan Grawe, a member of the Economics Department at Carleton College will join us. Nathan is part of the team at Carleton who created and led their QuIRK project which has created curriculum and best practices around the teaching of quantitative reasoning.

Wednesday, February 28th. Ramp Up Impact with Academic Civic Engagement

Alyssa Melby, Academic Civic Engagement; Julie Plaut, Executive Director, MN Campus Compact

Like internships, study abroad, and learning communities, academic civic engagement (ACE) is a high impact practice, one that invites students and faculty to learn with and contribute to the community around them through what they are already doing–their classes! In recent years, an average of 30-35 courses annually have included an ACE component, with an impact on more than 600 students a year, but there are many ways for even more students to engage in this high impact practice.

Julie Plaut from MN Campus Compact will share information and lead a conversation about providing meaningful opportunities for civic engagement for your students through the courses you are already teaching. Explore the breadth of academic civic engagement work and pedagogy, develop a deeper understanding for how this work meets the goals and mission of higher education in general and St. Olaf in particular, and discuss with colleagues how to align real-world learning with your course learning objectives and then communicate the goals of ACE work with your students. Participants will leave with national and regional resources to use to implement academic civic engagement in their courses.

Tuesday, February 20th. Strategies for Inclusive Classroom Practice

Maggie Broner, Romance Languages and CILA Associate, To Include is To Excel

National higher education conferences and publications have been chock full of ideas (learning activities, terminology, practices) for understanding and developing an inclusive classroom. In this CILA Faculty Lunch, small groups will take on one of these “ideas,” break it down together, and then present it to the group as a whole, exploring how it might be of use here at St. Olaf.


Fall 2017

Wednesday, November 29th. Promoting Inclusivity in the Classroom Using Student Groups

Gwen Barnes-Karol, Romance Languages; Ryan Sheppard, Sociology and Anthropology; Rick Goedde, Economics/Management Studies

As St. Olaf’s student body becomes increasingly diverse, instructors seek creative ways to encourage full engagement from all of our students. Barriers to achieving this goal include the societal inequalities that penetrate the classroom and contribute to patterns of unequal participation in discussions and other forms of engagement. Yet classroom use of student groups can facilitate engagement across diversity. Join three St. Olaf professors in a discussion of tools for promoting inclusivity using student groups. Topics include different ways to use groups for daily classroom activities, “linguistic diversity,” team charters, and Team-Based Learning, a teaching/learning strategy that focuses on individual and team accountability.

Thursday, November 16th. Integrative vs Distributive General Education: Who, What, and How?

Co-sponsored with the General Education Task Force

What do people mean when they say “an integrative model of education”? What is happening at other institutions?  How are we already integrative here at St Olaf? What might we do if we implemented an integrative General Education?
In preparation for this discussion and workshop, facilitated by members of the GE Task Force, participants should think about one General Education course they teach and list its learning goals.

For the conversation Slide Presentation and Handout, please click on the respective links.

Additional information for the discussion:
1) Attached below and linked here, Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty, by Paul Hanstedt (Jossey-Bass, 2012).
2) The General Education Task Force web page
3) Paul Hanstedt’s September 28 presentation at St. Olaf, “Current Trends in Liberal Education Curricular Design: Exploring the Options and the Implications,” on the GE Task Force web page under “Other Presentations,” or viewable here (video of the presentation) and here (slides from the presentation).

Tuesday, November 7th. Critical Mass: Centering Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Marc David, Sociology and Anthropology

Critical thinking: often mentioned, invoked as crucial, lauded as the most prized outcome of a liberal arts education. Yet to what concretely does it refer, and how can it be taught? Like many of us, my instruction has stressed the need to assess evidence, and deployed critical theories to challenge common-sense notions. But several years ago – as I graded yet another set of essays where I found myself wanting a sharper “edge” in students’ analyses – it occurred to me that there might be more to critical thinking than I imagined. Inspired by Stephen Brookfield’s Teaching for Critical Thinking, I recently defined such skills and placed their acquisition at the heart of a course, an effort I’ll review in this presentation and offer up for conversation.

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Tuesday, October 31st. (Publishing and Scholarship Series) Weighing Digital Pedagogy & Publishing for Tenure and Promotion

Chris Wells, Professor of Environmental Studies, Macalester College

Chris Wells is Professor of Environmental Studies at Macalester College, where he also serves as Associate Director of the Jan Serie Center for Scholarship and Teaching and directs the Digital Liberal Arts Initiative.

Resources for Digital Scholarship in Tenure and Promotion Decisions

Thursday, October 19th. On Teaching Race, Whiteness, and Modernism

Ken Gonzales-Day, Scripps College, visiting artist Fall 2017

Ken Gonzales-Day is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice considers the historical construction of race. He supplements his photographs with research and writing that engage critically with history, art history, and Western conventions of race, blending historical tragedies with current events. Drawing on examples from his work as an artist and educator, Gonzales-Day will discuss strategies for integrating conversations about race in America into the college curriculum. He will address the limits of representational systems ranging from the lynching photograph to the museum display, and propose ideas for acknowledging absence and erasure in archives and collections.

Ken Gonzales-Day received a Painting (Art History minor) BFA at Pratt Institute and an MFA in photography at University California, Irvine. Gonzales-Day is a Professor of Art and Humanities at Scripps College. He has received many prestigious awards and museums fellowships, including the Terra Senior Fellow, Terra Foundation, Giverney, France; COLA Individual Artist Award, Los Angeles; Art Mattes Grant, New York City; Visiting Scholar/Artist-in-Residence, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Senior Fellow, American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; Fellow, Rockefeller Foundation Study and Conference Center, Bellagio, Italy; Van Lier Fellow, ISP, Whitney Museum of American Art.

His work also is in numerous permanent collections, including Smithsonian American Art Museum; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Getty Research Institute; L’Ecole des beaux-arts, Paris; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Art Commission; Eileen Harris Norton Foundation; and Norton Museum of Art.

If you would like to participate in next Thursday‘s Faculty Lunch Conversation, please RSVP using the Google form by the end of this Friday, October 13.

Additional information:
Flaten Art Museum exhibit, “Shadowlands,” through October 29
Wednesday, October 18th. (Publishing and Scholarship Series) Blogging as Public Scholarship

Visiting speaker John Fea, Messiah College

John Fea, Professor of American History and Chair of the History Department at Messiah College, will discuss the possibilities, challenges, and pitfalls of blogging as scholarship and as a mode of public engagement. Fea blogs daily at The Way of Improvement Leads Home. His publications include The Way of Improvement Leads Home: Philip Vickers Fithian and the Rural Enlightenment in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008), Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2011), Why Study History?: Reflecting on the Importance of the Past (Baker Academic, 2013), and The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society (Oxford, 2016).

Please RSVP for this event. | Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, October 10th. (Inclusive Classroom Series) Rising to the Challenge of Diversifying STEM fields

David Kung, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Women and under-represented minorities are more likely to fall out of the STEM pipeline at every stage from middle school on. A recent study of STEM courses and majors at St. Olaf shows that our campus reflects this national trend. How in response might we change what we do in our classrooms, departments, and institution to better ensure that everyone has an opportunity to succeed? Research suggests that interactive teaching methods, in contrast to passive lectures, improve classroom inclusivity and thereby the success and retention of under-represented students. Why do these methods work? And what else must we do to make the STEM world more equitable?

David Kung is Professor of Mathematics at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, with interests in harmonic analysis and math education. He earned the B.A. in Mathematics and Physics and the Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a well-known and passionate advocate for improving diversity in undergraduate STEM education, and has led efforts to establish Emerging Scholars programs at institutions across the country. His innovative math courses include Mathematics for Social Justice and Math, Music, and the Mind. A violinist from an early age, Dave has played with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and continues to play, both chamber music with students and as concertmaster of his community orchestra.

If you would like to participate in next Tuesday’s Faculty Lunch Conversation, please RSVP using the Google form by Monday morning, October 9. Lunch is provided; participants will go through the soup and salad line of the Kings’ Room buffet, and beverages and dessert will be available in the dining room. If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with Susan Carlson (carlsons, x3553) or Mary Titus (titus, 3436).

Additional information:
Keynote address from 2015 IBL (Inquiry-Based Learning) Conference, “Empowering with Inquiry-Based Learning”: Empowering Who? The Challenge of Diversifying the Mathematical Community

Wednesday, October 4th. (Publishing and Scholarship Series) Born-Digital Publishing Platforms

Charles Watkinson (Director of the University of Michigan Press), Susan Doerr (Assistant Director of the University of Minnesota Press), and Karil Kucera (Editorial Board Member, Lever Press).

Born-digital publishing platforms and initiatives underway at their presses will be discussed. Watkinson will introduce Lever Press, a publisher of open access, born-digital scholarly monographs, and Fulcrum, the digital platform in which Lever Press titles will be published. Doerr will introduce Manifold, a digital publishing environment developed by the University of Minnesota Press.

About the Future of Publishing series: The St. Olaf and Carleton libraries are organizing a series of events on the future of publishing. Faculty will have opportunities to learn about forces likely to shape publishing in the coming years. These include new venues for born-digital publishing, growing acceptance of open access and open educational resources, digital publishing as a pedagogical tool, the challenges of navigating copyright and reuse, and the ethical questions underlying information access and preservation.

The series is generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Broadening the Bridge Grant and co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation in the Liberal Arts (CILA) at St. Olaf and the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching (LTC) at Carleton.

RSVP for this event 

To read about this and other upcoming events, visit the Future of Publishing website. For questions, email Jason Paul at pauljn@stolaf.edu.

Friday, September 29th. Creating Wicked Students: Designing Courses that Improve Student Authority

Paul Hanstedt, Roanoke College

This conversation will begin by questioning the stale metaphor of the “whole student” as consisting of disparate parts that can be educated with a check-list curriculum or learning goals.  It seeks to redefine “wholeness” in qualitative, dispositional terms — more specifically, as a graduate’s sense of “authority,” that is, their ability to engage in meaningful change in the world.

Having made this turn, our conversation will explore day-to-day pedagogies and assignments (including signature projects, papers, exams, etc.) that help to develop this kind of thoughtful agency in our students — all of our students, not just those in the top tier.

Paul Hanstedt is Professor of English at Roanoke College, where he directed the revision of a campus-wide general education program, coordinates the college’s e-portfolio system, and is Director of the Roanoke Teaching Collaborative. He is the recipient of several teaching awards, including a 2013 State Council for Higher Education in Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award and the 2014 CASE-Carnegie Virginia Professor of the Year Award. He received a Fulbright to aid curricular revision in Hong Kong, and authored General Education Essentials, a faculty introduction to current trends in liberal education.  His next book, Creating Wicked Students, will be published in May 2018.

Additional information:
Reconsidering Our Definition of the Whole Student
Powerpoint from 2016 AAC&U

Tuesday, September 19th. (Inclusive Classroom Series) Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms: An Open Conversation

Maggie Broner, Spanish and Interim TItE Director/CILA Mellon Associate; Mary Titus, English and CILA Director
Co-sponsor: “To Include is to Excel” (Mellon-funded project 2017-2021)

What is an inclusive classroom? Here’s a useful definition from The Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning at Saint Louis University:

“The Reinert Center considers inclusive teaching to be the intentional use of course design and teaching methods to create equitable learning environments where all learners can be successful, regardless of differences in identity, background, and ability. It involves an explicit commitment to recognizing and minimizing the potential for exclusion, in everything from syllabus design to assessment methods, from instructional strategies to classroom layout. We believe the commitment to inclusive teaching is continuously enacted, in small and large ways.”

This CILA lunch will begin with a group activity to help us start thinking about the opportunities for exercising inclusivity in our classrooms, and then turn to a discussion of what we are already doing and what strategies we might develop to make our classrooms at St Olaf more inclusive.

Suggested resource:Inclusive Teaching” The Reinert Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning