The Wisconsin Women in Higher Education Leadership group, hosted by Dean Sue Mattison, met on campus recently to discuss the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
As an introvert myself, the book spoke to me with its portrayals of awkward small talk, nerve-wreaking meetings and the constant professionalfocus on brain-storming and group-work. The book restrains itself from devolving into stereotypes and instead offers introverts and extroverts alike, an important insight into how people process and share information. Cain shares her own experience from the workplace, marriage and as a parent, and provides useful and concrete advice for readers from both camps. To get a glimpse into the book, check out Cain’s immensely popular TED talk on the same topic.
With participants from across campus, the discussion mostly focused on the importance of valuing introverted traits in colleagues, supervisors and employees. However, as there were a number of faculty members present, some of the discussion focused on how to best accommodate both introverted and extroverted students in the classroom. Many faculty stated that the sophisticated facilitation of discussion in class was important to make everyone feel comfortable. The book also suggested that splitting larger classes into smaller groups that were consistent for the whole semester may help. Finally, participants in the book club reminded faculty to consider offering all students the option to offer their opinion in other ways beyond group discussions.
Interested in reading more about the power of introverts? Check out Susan Cain’s book at the CATL library.
Instructional Design Coordinator, CATL
The end of another academic year, sigh. For those students graduating it is the end of a chapter in life; for faculty it is a mix of relief, exhaustion, and freedom (at least for a few months); and for the staff of the Cofrin Library it is time to gear up because it is project time! Continue reading
D2L is going to be upgraded June 4 and June 5, 2014. But no need to be a sad panda! The changes in this upgrade are minimal and will entail some changes to the look and feel, as well as new features and improvements. Continue reading
I was given the opportunity to attend and participate in the Baccalaureate Program Directors (BPD) Conference in Louisville, KY in March 2014 under the auspices of a teaching enhancement grant. My goal was to learn innovative strategies that could be implemented in the general education course I teach (American Social Welfare, soon to be called Foundation of Social Policy) both in the face-to-face offering and in the development of an on-line version of the course to be taught in summer. Continue reading
Last Fall the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning welcomed a new director. Professor Jennifer Lanter hit the ground running and quickly commissioned a faculty survey to assess the perception of the Center and to identify future areas of growth. The survey received a very healthy turnout with over 40 faculty responding from a broad range of academic units. Continue reading
One “assignment” in the Teaching Scholars program is to conduct a formative peer observation with a Teaching Scholar colleague. My initial reaction to this process was one of insecurity, i.e., questioning my own teaching style and concern over selecting the “right” class session to be observed. I was determined to select a class session with significant theoretical content, with an obvious beginning and end to allow for a complete assessment, and a session that was presented primarily by me (versus the students). That plan put me in a quandary. Continue reading
Over 25 staff, faculty and students met recently to talk about the Rebekah Nathan’s ethnographical book My Freshman Year, the CATL Book Club selection for Spring 2014. With discussions led by Professor Denise Bartell of the GPS program, participants talked about Nathan’s insights into the Freshman experience. While the discussion and the reading led to many considerations, here are were my top takeaways! Continue reading
WiSCUR: The Wisconsin Council on Undergraduate Research
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I would be attending a Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Summit in Washington, D. C. to learn with individuals from several other State Systems and Consortia about how best to institutionalize undergraduate research. I, along with the representatives of the other UW System schools, was delighted to meet with individuals from campuses across the following Systems/Consortia: the California State University System, the City University of New York, the Council on Pubic Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), as well as from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. As you can see, there were a variety of types of schools (large, small, public, private, etc.) that joined in the discussion about how to strategically foster undergraduate research on our campuses. Continue reading
By the time you are standing in front of a classroom of students, ready to teach for the first time, you have probably spent at least 20 years on the other side of the lectern. You have sat through years of wonderful, inspired teaching, and probably an equal amount of less than exhilarating lectures. You have taken hundreds of tests, submitted literally tons of homework and skipped months of classes. You stand there with the benefit of an ‘Apprenticeship of Observation’ having become an expert in teaching through exposure.
Did you feel as prepared the first time you taught an online class?
As a part of my responsibilities as Faculty Consultant for CATL, I was required to observe and conduct a peer evaluation of our new faculty members. Truly this was the best experience of this position! For the uninitiated, the instructor fills out a detailed pre-observation form detailing class objectives and the activities to attain those objectives. Space for the goals of the course as well as current concerns is also provided. Continue reading