Category Archives: CATL Stuff

goodbye

Saying goodbye

Just over two years ago I began as the Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) at UW-Green Bay.  I inherited an amazing Instructional Design Coordinator (Joanne Dolan), excellent Program Assistants (Sandy Folsom, then LTE Ashley Damp, and currently Dana Mallett), and a number of solid programs.   For example:

  • We had an Online Teaching Fellows Program – both a Starter Track and an Advanced Track – to help faculty and instructional staff improve their online teaching course design and delivery methods. This has been an important part of our HLC Quality Initiative (QI) project and for many instructors led to Quality Matters course certification for their courses.
  • We had a Teaching Scholars Program that was designed to give faculty the opportunity to enhance their teaching and learning endeavors through the participation of a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project.
  • We offered several thousand dollars in Teaching Enhancement Grants (TEGs) to support professional development activities or projects that lead to the improvement of teaching skills or the development of innovative teaching strategies.
  • We had a Faculty Development Conference (FDC) each January that included a nationally known keynote speaker (i.e., Peter Felton, Barbara Waalvord) and numerous breakout sessions with UW and non-UW faculty and instructional staff.
  • We had Faculty Consultants who were available to conduct formative evaluations of classroom teaching for all faculty and instructional staff on campus, and spent much of their time working with the new faculty in their first year at UW-Green Bay.

Unfortunately, due to the UW System budget situation, each of these programs has been suspended.  Faculty consultants were allowed to finish their Spring semester work with the first-year faculty, but all other programs have been either placed on hold or eliminated.  So, that means:

  • Despite our role in the HLC QI project, all Online Teaching Fellows programs were suspended.
  • No new Teaching Scholars were recruited for this upcoming Fall semester.
  • We had budgeted approximately $12,000 for TEGs this past Spring that we were unable to award.
  • We had an excellent speaker idea for the January 2016 FDC that we were unable to schedule.
  • We have not hired new Faculty Consultants for the 2015-2016 academic year.

All was not lost this Spring, however, as we were able to conduct book discussions and offer the Student Nominated Teaching Awards.  Compared to previous semesters in CATL, however, this was not an efficient or effective semester for CATL.  In addition, we heard numerous times that the future of professional development for faculty and instructional staff remains unclear at UW-Green Bay.

This uncertainty likely played a part in the departure of our Instructional Design Coordinator – Joanne left last month and began last week as the Manager for Online Learning and Instructional Technology at Clark University .  She is going to do amazing things there and I can’t wait to see how her department flourishes with her added expertise!  Plus, they gained an all-around fantastic individual.  Dana is leaving this month to begin a full-time Master’s Program in Social Work at UWGB.  I am confident her excellent people skills will serve her well in this new life endeavor!  And, me, well, I’m leaving this month to begin as the Dean of General and International Education at Moraine Park Technical College.

I’m not sure what the future of CATL will be at UW-Green Bay.  Thus, we are suspending the blog.  I do hope at some point professional development for faculty and instructional staff will get back up and running and I hope that it will do so sooner rather than later.

For me, though, I won’t be a part of professional development any longer at UW-Green Bay.  So, I’m signing off with a very sincere “thank you” to all the faculty and instructional staff I have had the privilege to work with over the past two years as the Director of CATL and over the past eight years as an Assistant/Associate Professor at UW-Green Bay.

Joanne DolanJennifer Lanter, Ph. D
Human Development & Psychology,
CATL Director

cattle

The Impact of CATL

Now I might be a tiny bit biased, but I think UWGB’s CATL is probably the best in the country, and possibly even the world (or at least, we’re on our way.) We’re a space that faculty can rely on for professional development, pedagogical support and facilitation of community. And you can hang out with Jen, Dana and me!

Us

But, unsurprisingly, people won’t just take my word for it.

With the current cuts being proposed, CATL was given an opportunity to talk about our impact on teaching and learning. Queue a fun-filled weekend of surveys, statistics and budgets! While we may have been tearing our hair out for a couple of days, we did compile some pretty amazing quantitative and qualitative evidence of how important our services are to what happens in the classroom.

Below we have a quick snapshot of some of the most important  and interesting numbers that came from our work. If you’re interested in seeing more in-depth results, let us know.

Impact

However, beyond the head-counts, one of the most important things CATL does is ensure that the conversation on campus is centered on teaching and learning. It creates an environment where faculty can innovate with support, inspire and collaborate with their peers from all disciplines and make the teaching across campus exceptional.

We’re hopeful and excited to continue providing many opportunities in the future, and hope to see you all there.

Joanne DolanJoanne Dolan
Instructional Design Coordinator,
CATL

springbreak

Spring Break – A Time to Revitalize

Written by Dana Mallett, CATL Office Program Assistant

By March most, if not all, of us are very ready for a break.  The gap between winter break and spring break can feel like an eternity and being in a cold climate often makes the days leading up to summer feel even longer.  Whether you are planning a trip somewhere far away and warm, to curl up on your couch watching Netflix, or just enjoy a quieter work week on campus – here are a few ways to utilize this week off to prepare for the final months of the semester.

Don’t overschedule yourself

Using this break to catch up on all the things that have been put to the side as you are putting out the daily fires of the semester can seem like a great idea. But try to do it in moderation…as much as a week can allow.  If you stuff all the things that need to be done in this week there will be no time to stop and enjoy the quieter, more relaxed atmosphere on campus.

Try to sleep a little more

That might be easier said than done, but maybe one day this week sleep in a little later. If you are lucky enough to be at home this week, sneak in a 20-minute (or 2-hour – no judgment) nap. Our students have it right – naps are golden and can work miracles to reenergize you. Don’t have a lot of time to catch a nap? That’s ok, according to the Journal of Sleep Research, a 10-minute nap “improved subjective and objective alertness, decreased fatigue, increased vigor, and improved performance.”1

Step away from the screen

Most of us spend a good amount of time in front of our computer/laptop/iPad in order to perform our work duties.  Stepping away from the computer screens may seem counter-intuitive in our effort to have a productive work week, but maybe a break from your screen is exactly what you need to get some work done. Stepping away might allow for the time to really think deeply about your goals for the remainder of the semester.  Maybe there are some research articles or book that you have been setting aside since the beginning of the semester. Or maybe you just really want to catch up on the latest magazine of choice.  Whatever it is – take a day and step away from the screen. You might be surprised at how much time it frees up.

Connect with family or friends

At some point in adult life, getting away and spending time with a friend or loved one can seem like a task that needs to be carefully planned out as to not neglect one of the many responsibilities you may have on your plate. While the students are off campus there might be a little more time to take the lunch hour to connect with a colleague, or to stay out a little later enjoying dinner with your family, knowing you don’t have to be 100% on point in front of a class at 8:00 a.m. the next day.  The relaxed atmosphere of the campus during this week can allow a little more flexibility in how you spend time outside of the work hours.  We all aren’t able to head to Puerto Vallarta this week, but maybe head over to El Sarape and catch dinner and a margarita with a friend.

Prepare

Reflect on the semester so far and where you want the next couple of months to go. What have you addressed to date? What still needs to be covered? What are the overall learning objectives of your courses and do you feel that the students are going to meet those by May? The second half of the semester can go by pretty fast and keeping everyone focused can feel like herding cats at times – but May will be here before we know it!

Hopefully you have had a chance to take some time for yourself and enjoy the spirit of Spring Break.  Do you have any tried and true ways to make sure you return to school after break feeling refreshed and ready to face the end of the school year?

Sources:
1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2869.2008.00718.x/full

Dana MallettDana Mallett
Program Assistant
CATL Office

FrenchMacaroon

The engaging spirit of ISSOTL

Written by Alison Staudinger, Assistant Professor

The jetway was strewn with canes and walkers, my first indication that I would be one of the few on the flight to Quebec City without an AARP membership. I wondered if, perhaps, the meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) catered to an octogenarian crowd. But these passengers were tan and toting beach wear, not pedagogy journals, and when my seat mate asked me what cruise I would be embarking upon, I got it. Continue reading

FDC15

That’s So HIP! Part Two

Come join us in just over a week at our annual faculty development conference. We are excited for the opportunity to learn, grow, and share as we explore High Impact Practices (HIP) with our keynote speaker, Peter Felten. Anyone working with students is encouraged to attend and if you haven’t registered its not too late!

In preparation for the conference, we have created a two part blog series highlighting the upcoming presenters and their breakout sessions. This is part two and it will highlight study abroad HIP and course specific HIP presentations. Continue reading

FDC15

That’s So HIP! Part One

Come join us in just over a week at our annual faculty development conference. We are excited for the opportunity to learn, grow, and share as we explore High Impact Practices (HIP) with our keynote speaker, Peter Felton. Anyone working with students is encouraged to attend and if you haven’t registered its not too late!

In preparation for the conference, we will be sharing a two part blog series highlighting the upcoming presenters and their breakout sessions. Part one will cover general HIP presentations followed by part two which will highlight study abroad HIP and course specific HIP presentations.

We hope to see you there!

Continue reading

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Not Your Mother’s Course …

“You and your group are walking in the woods when you find a bloody, unconscious young woman. You look through the backpack, you discover a two-way radio and a gas-mask. Her arm is wounded and looks badly infected but from this distance you can’t tell if it’s a bite or not. She’s starting to wake up. Work with your group to decide what to do.”

Continue reading