Fall 2012 Events

 How Can We Help First Year Students Get Off to a Good Start?

            We all know that some students struggle in their first semester or year as they transition from high school to college.  Some of respond by grumbling about "today's students," while others think about ways to clarify their disciplinary material.  There is, however, a possible third way.  We can, without taking much time away from content, include bits of guidance to ease the transition.  We can help students understand how to approach our discipline or find ways to move them away from the fallacies that hamper their learning.  We can send clear messages about expectations, study strategies, and opportunities for assistance. Some studies also suggest that we can even do things to encourage the practice of deferred gratification in a climate that celebrates the opposite.  For a good conversation and concrete, low cost ways to help your students, please join us on either Thursday, August 30, at 4:10 in Gorecki 204C, or Friday, August 31, at 8:10 in Sexton 200. 

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Good Practice Encourages Contacts between Students and Faculty

            Enhancing student-faculty contact is the first of the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education laid out in Zelda Gamson and Arthur Chickering's path-breaking 1985 work.  Join this session to talk about why it matters, and to learn a number of simple, low cost techniques you can use to build greater connections and foster student engagement.  One session will be on September 5 at 4:10 in Peter Engel 269.  The other will be on September 6 at 8:10 in Gorecki 120.

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"Why Don't They Do the Reading," and Other Mysteries of Motivating Students

            Since we find our subjects fascinating, we often expect students to have an intrinsic interest in them.  As a result, when they don't finish the reading or homework, we shake our heads about their commitment to learning instead of thinking about ways to change the dynamic.   This session won't necessarily turn your students into ardent mathematicians, historians, or theologians, but it will offer some relatively easy-to- implement approaches that will improve the likelihood that your students will come to class prepared.   Join us on September 12 at 4:10 in Gorecki 2014C, or on September 13, at 8:10 in Sexton 200.

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How Can We Use the Lecture Format to Improve Student Learning?

            Pedagogical research consistently shows that most people learn more and better if they are actively involved in the process, yet the need to cover content causes many faculty to rely primarily on the passive learning format of lectures.  "Coverage" versus "engagement" is a tough problem for most of us, but the solution doesn't have to be one or the other.   Over the last several decades, teachers have developed lots of approaches that improve student learning with minimal reduction of time for content delivery.  If you would like to talk about some of the possibilities, please join us on September 24 at 4:10 in the Alumni Lounge at SJU, or on September 26 at 8:10 in Gorecki 120.    

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How Should We Respond to Plagiarism and Other Forms of Academic Misconduct?

This session will include a discussion of the new Academic Misconduct Policy approved

by the Joint Faculty Assembly in January 2012, and what it means in terms of how faculty should handle various forms of Academic Misconduct.  We'll also talk about pro-active ways we can decrease the opportunities for cheating and/or plagiarism.  If you are interested, this session will be on October 10 at 4:10 in Gorecki 204C, and October 11 at 8:10 in Sexton 200.

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Advising Smarter

            In this session sponsored jointly by LES and Academic Advising, we'll talk about ways to use maximize the advising capabilities of Banner, and point out some of the particularly helpful features of Degree Works.  Of course, we would also be happy to respond to more traditional questions about academic advising.  This session will be on October 16, at 4:10 in Gorecki 120B, and on October 17 at 8:10 in Sexton 200.

Students and Social Media: How Can We both Leverage and Manage the New Technology

        From laptops to smart phones and I Pads, emerging technology can disrupt the kind of classroom community that facilitates learning.  But at the same time, more and more faculty are finding ways to make use of this phenomena to enhance their work with students, in and out of the classroom.  Join us for a discussion of how constrain the negative impacts, and find creative ways to use tools students are already addicted to in ways that promote our ends.  This session will be held on October 23 at 4;10 in Quad 264, and repeated on October 24 at 8:10 in Gorecki 120.

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The Wisdom of Celebrated Teachers

         Each year we honor one colleague from each campus with our most prestigious teaching award: the S. Mary Grell at CSB, and the Robert Spaeth at SJU.  We get to hear the wisdom of these award winners at the convocation on their respective campuses in the Fall, but we don't get to hear them talk more specifically about their teaching.  In early November, we will rectify that by having several recent recipients engage in a panel discussion on questions like "the most important thing I have learned about teaching."   The exact time and place will be announced later.