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In an ideal world, none of our students would feel uncomfortable because of their race, cultural background, or gender in our classrooms. In reality cultural taxation, implicit stereotypes, and most importantly indifference, are subtle and not so subtle impediments to building and promoting inclusive excellence in the classroom.
Watching Myself Teach
I am not typically impressed by new gadgets. Although I do still love my first-generation Kindle, I have only had a smartphone for a few months, and I do not own an i-Pod or i-Pad or any device with a lower case “i” in front of it.
But I am impressed by Swivl.
Library Content on the Go
Welcome to the “Did You Know @ UST Libraries” feature: where we’ll highlight a feature of UST Libraries of particular interest to faculty.
We at UST Libraries talk a lot about ebooks these days, but did you know that it's also possible to hear audio recording of articles from many library-subscribed journals?
Productive Online Discussions
I recently came across an interesting paper by Gao, Zhang, and Franklin (2013) which analyzes the limitations of 'threaded' discussion boards (that's what we have with the Blackboard system) along with how different types of online discussion tools support or hinder learning goals. The paper was particularly interesting not only because the discussion board is one of the most commonly used Blackboard tools at UST but also because online discussion is a staple of blended and online pedagogy.
Found Wisdom: Contemplative Practices in Higher Education
Recently UST faculty have been gathering in various ways to talk about integrating meditation or contemplative practices into their teaching. What does this mean? This book is a great introduction: Contemplative Practices in Higher Education.
Midterm Student Feedback
Midterm break offers an opportunity to gather student feedback and make minor course corrections before the end of the semester. Dr. Ann Johnson (Psychology) likes to hand out this short survey in class as a way to gather information about her teaching effectiveness. Blackboard's survey tool is an efficient way to anonymously gather feedback from your students. And to help save you time we have created a version that you can import into your Blackboard course and tailor to your specific learning objectives. Download the Bb Midterm Survey File.
Announcing the Adjunct Professional Development Grant
This program supports Adjunct faculty who would like to participate in a conference or workshop, or receive funding to improve their teaching. All proposed travel or teaching enhancement projects must be reviewed by the applicant’s department chair and dean (or in the case of Engineering, Social Work, Law, and School of Divinity faculty, only the dean).
Funding is available for travel related to professional development (travel to a local, regional, or national conference to present research or complete an intensive teaching workshop) or to carry out a teaching enhancement project. Maximum award for travel is $1200 and maximum award for a teaching enhancement grant is $1000.
Information about and application forms for the Adjunct Professional Development Grant is available on the Internal Grants section of the Faculty Development web site.
Accountability Groups: A great way to connect and stay on track
When productivity guru Tara Gray was on campus last year, one thing she emphasized was the value of accountability groups – groups of faculty who meet regularly to set goals and then encourage each other along the way toward completing projects. I recently learned about two new groups – formed independently in the last several months. I was curious about how they had formed and how they work, so I asked if I could crash a meeting and gather some information, with the hope of inspiring others.
UST course wins Blackboard award!
Congratulations to Dr. Lynn Stansberry Brusnahan (Gifted & Special Education, CELC) and Lynn Murdoch (IRT) on receiving a 2014 Blackboard Exemplary Course Award for SPED 716: Fundamentals of Mild to Moderate Disabilities.
How the NEH grant application process helped clarify my scholarly agenda
“What’s the worst that can happen? They say no?” With these typically blunt words of encouragement from a graduate school mentor as motivation, I decided to apply for a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) approximately a year ago. Both the application and the conversation that produced it stemmed from nagging doubts that I had carried with me since completing my dissertation and joining the faculty at St. Thomas.