"The Nutty Professor," Jerry Lewis

The Importance of Research on Campus

The Importance of URSCA on Campus

While the term “URSCA” might not be a familiar term, many faculty know the importance of undergraduate research in their teaching and learning (and often scholarship!) endeavors.  The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) recognizes this as well.  CUR is a national organization based in Washington D.C., that has a mission to support and promote high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Continue reading

Simpsons, Spring Break

Spring OPID Meeting

While the weather outside did not feel like Spring, the recent Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID) Council meeting focused on exciting Spring programming that is available to faculty across the UW System.  I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a little background on OPID, as well as share with you some of the programs OPID offers that, perhaps, you might this year (or in the near future) like to get involved in. Continue reading

Are You My Mother?

Are you my Mentor?

For most of my life, I was the one being mentored – by my parents, friends, faculty. It all began to change when I entered the job market. I had two monumental transitions in my life – getting my first university job and becoming a parent. As I gave my research presentation during the on-campus interview, I could feel my son kicking, but my journey of teaching self-examination and change has only just began. In retrospect, as I was learning to be a parent, I was also learning to be a teacher, and, ultimately a mentor. Continue reading

AChristmasStory

Focus on the Positive

I just finished my first semester as an assistant professor here at UWGB. I’ve been told that the first year in an academic position is the most challenging. There are so many demands—new course preps, getting familiar with students, meetings, maintaining an active research agenda…the list goes on and on. One of the things that I think is a primary concern for many new faculty members like myself is the question of what students think of you and your courses. One of things that I was most looking forward to during winter break (of course, the chance to catch my breath from the hectic first semester was at the top of my list) was the opportunity to see what students thought of me on my teaching evaluations. Did students find me to be an effective teacher? Did they like my teaching style? Were the group activities that I planned useful to students? Continue reading

Chimney

Pulling Off the Multiplier Effect

As I was preparing my first First Year Seminar, Denise Bartell offered me a bit of advice: she said, “the only difference between a high school senior and a college freshman is a summer.” I think her point was that I should set realistic expectations, both for the students and myself, but her advice also made me realize that I really have no idea what my students expect. Are they taking my class just to fill some University requirement? Are they actually interested in the topic? And what on Earth do they hope do with all of this knowledge? Continue reading

katie von holzen3

A Former UWGB Student’s Reflection

Teaching inside and learning outside the classroom

I am still new to teaching, but I already understand that although teaching is the goal, ensuring that students are learning is the more difficult task. When I think back to my time at UWGB, I remember having a successful classroom career. I faithfully took notes during lecture, reviewed them, and answered questions efficiently on exams. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell. Wilhelm Wundt was the first to conduct psychological experiments. I can still bring a pretty good argument to the table as to why jazz developed in New Orleans and not somewhere else like, say, Paris. Continue reading

Standardized Test, biologycorner

My Relationship with Multiple-Choice Exams

I have a complicated relationship with multiple-choice (MC) questions. Their main failing is that they are fundamentally limited in their ability to assess a student’s understanding of the material. I have often found myself writing questions with answers “A and C,” “All but D,” and “None of the above,” in an attempt to make MC questions that aren’t obvious, despite being awkward or overly complicated.

 But…MC questions are easy to grade. This is the crux of it. For a large class, they are almost a necessity. This gives me a guilty conscience. Continue reading