2016–17 Teaching Circle Mini-Grant Award Winners

  • Classroom Roaming with Recordex Simplicity Slate

    John Chrispell, Francisco Alarcon, Shelly Bouchat, Tim Flowers, Yu-Ju Kuo, Dan Radelet, Gary Stoudt

    The Recordex iMMPadd SE is a portable wireless tablet for interacting with a PC that boasts a user “can move around, sit down next to your students, pass the pad around, and explore the freedom of wireless interactive solutions.” Through the mini-grant our teaching circle acquired two of the devices and has been testing them. The devices have proven to be a useful tool for annotating and highlighting projected content from anywhere in a classroom. They show potential for enhancing student interaction with smart-board technology in our courses.

    Cross-Disciplinary Teaching Methodologies for New Faculty Development

    Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, Melanie Duncan, Rachel Porter, Stephanie Davis

    This project was structured around identifying teaching methodology across four disciplines through selected texts supporting pedagogical growth: The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal, and Facilitating Intergroup Dialogues: Bridging Differences, Catalyzing Change. This reading list was selected to provide our teaching circle with a breadth of material that addresses why we formed this group: to share our knowledge and experiences and to expand that knowledge beyond our respective disciplines and colleges. Each teaching circle member introduced a text related to their focus and effectively facilitated an interdisciplinary discussion on applications of pedagogical tools and strategies. As members of this group come from a variety of teaching backgrounds, an outcome of these discussions has been feedback and problem-solving for teaching related challenges and implementing new approaches such as effective ways to incorporate online discussion boards into course content. Thus far, we have worked through the recommendations of half of the reading material, with our efforts continuing throughout the remainder of the Spring semester and into the Summer. Our goal is to continue such efforts into the 2017-2018 academic year.

    Newer Faculty Teaching Circle

    Mimi Benjamin, Sadie Mummert, Rachel Sternfeld, Maria Barefoot, Bryna Siegel Finer, Nancy Pipkin Hutchinson, Veronica Paz, Vicky Ortiz, Jacqueline McGinty, Valerie Long, Amber Racchini, Jen Perillo, Julie Ankrum, Rachel Porter, Melanie Duncan, Riah Hoffman, Jenna Hennessey, Stephanie Davis, Alicia Pence, Kaylee Wynkoop

    The purpose of our Teaching Circle Mini-Grant was to provide copies of the book Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus by Robert Boice to newer faculty (tenure-track faculty) for their participation in our monthly book discussion. We were able to purchase six additional copies of the book and distributed them to Teaching Circle participants. This grant made active participation in our Teaching Circle possible for an additional group of newer faculty members. In order to accommodate the schedules of so many participants, we offered three meeting times each month to discuss that month’s chapters, with a member of the APSCUF Newer Faculty Committee serving as the discussion facilitator for each meeting. Our book discussions have resulted in excellent conversation about the topics of teaching, research and service. Faculty have shared different teaching and writing strategies as well as thoughts on balancing professional responsibilities, all of which were prompted by reading the book. The Teaching Circle also has served as a source of support for newer faculty members, many of whom are first-year faculty members.

    Cross-Disciplinary Teaching Methodologies for New Faculty Development

    Rachel DeSoto-Jackson, Melanie Duncan, Rachel Porter, Stephanie Davis

    This project was structured around identifying teaching methodology across four disciplines through selected texts supporting pedagogical growth: The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal, and Facilitating Intergroup Dialogues: Bridging Differences, Catalyzing Change. This reading list was selected to provide our teaching circle with a breadth of material that addresses why we formed this group: to share our knowledge and experiences and to expand that knowledge beyond our respective disciplines and colleges. Each teaching circle member introduced a text related to their focus and effectively facilitated an interdisciplinary discussion on applications of pedagogical tools and strategies. As members of this group come from a variety of teaching backgrounds, an outcome of these discussions has been feedback and problem-solving for teaching related challenges and implementing new approaches such as effective ways to incorporate online discussion boards into course content. Thus far, we have worked through the recommendations of half of the reading material, with our efforts continuing throughout the remainder of the Spring semester and into the Summer. Our goal is to continue such efforts into the 2017-2018 academic year.

    Technology to Support Interdisciplinary and International Collaborations

    Awarded to: Crystal Machado, Yao Fu, Xiaolue Jiang, Yanqiao Liu

    This teaching circle used grant money to buy two Google Chromebooks and explored the possibilities of using this technology to foster interdisciplinary and international collaborations. Compared to other tablet devices, Chromebooks are unique and completely operated by cloud-technologies. To take full advantage of the device, circle members began by studying the operating system of Chromebook and experimenting with different Google Applications and extensions, such as Google dictionary, Easy Bib, Edpuzzle, TimeMaps, and goo.gl URL Shortener. In addition, the members utilized the features of Chromebook and various Web 2.0 technologies to improve teaching and learning in different subject areas. Based on the knowledge, experience and expertise acquired through this project, circle members planned to use Go Animate, Powtoon, and Story Bird as digital storytelling tools to enrich undergraduate students’ learning experience in Children’s Literature class. Finally, circle members identified meaningful and effective ways of using these technologies to interact with professors in China and co-author a pedagogical paper titled Using Technology to Unleash College Student Creativity in the United States and China.

    Racial Justice Coalition for Change Teaching Circle for Diversity and Inclusion

    Awarded to: Melanie Hildebrandt, Mary MacLeod, Lisa Price, John Ramsey, John Mueller, Cathy Dugan, Melanie Duncan

    The RJCC Teaching Circle met once monthly to read works on anti-racist critical pedagogy. We began with a book by a leading critical race theorist, Dr. George Yancy, Look, a White!, (Temple UP, 2012). We then turned to reading chapters from Bell Hook’s, Teaching Community (Routledge, 2003). Goals included: enhanced understanding of racially and ethnically heterogeneous classroom cultures and dynamics; articulation of strategies for anti-racist critical pedagogy; articulation of strategies for improving classroom discussions of racism, and of racial and ethnic diversity; and, articulation of strategies for inclusive course design. With the Office of Social Equity, RJCC members will share in planning and facilitating a workshop on diversity and inclusiveness in the fall of 2017. We planned and facilitated a Reflective Practice workshop in the fall of 2016.