Category Archives: Beyond the Center

Goals for the First Day of Class

Michigan Tech instructors need to make the most of every minute.   The good news is that a tremendous number of free teaching resources are available to us, so that –  increasingly – we don’t have to “reinvent the wheel.”  Each week of this fall semester, I’ll showcase one of my favorite online (free!) teaching resources, in hopes that you’ll find some things that increase learning and save you time.  If you have favorite resources, I encourage you to bring them to my attention so I can share them with the instructional community as well.

This week’s resource is Merlot Elixr’s “Goals for the First Day of Class”.

This “case story” is a series of short videos showcasing essential practices for the first day of class and a plethora of ideas to really get the semester started right.   Snippets from a wide variety of disciplines are included, but the general themes (Motivation, Framing, Expectations, Assessment, Climate, and Administration) are generically useful as you plan your first day.

If you’d like to talk more about your first day, or about any aspect of your teaching, feel free to stop by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning in the Van Pelt and Opie Library, Suite 219!

Engage/Inspire/Retain Your Students

The College of Science & Technology at Central Michigan University is holding the Creating Environments that Engage, Inspire, & Retain STEM Students conference on Saturday, March 22, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. The conference will feature several experts on topics such as how to transform traditional courses to active learning courses and how to utilize active learning spaces. In addition to speakers, there will also be open discussions about active learning pedagogy and presentations on subjects related to active learning during the afternoon poster session. Although not mandatory, conference attendees are encouraged to present a poster; click here if you are interested in participating in the poster session. Space is limited so register today!  Visit cst.cmich.edu/CEEIRSS for more information.

Leadership Institute to Support STEM Education

The Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institute, offered in partnership with the Association of American Colleges & Universities, is “designed for both early- and mid-career STEM faculty engaged in leading projects aimed at transforming undergraduate STEM education in their classrooms, departments, and institutions. The Institute curriculum is grounded in a carefully coordinated blend of theory and practice related to the politics of institutional transformation, and aims to empower STEM faculty to act as agents of change in their home institutions and/or professional societies.”

The institute will be held in July, and applications are due March 24.  Click on the link above for additional information.

Boost Student Engagement, Progress and Persistence

Consider attending this Engaging Students in Engineering (ENGAGE) webinar on faculty-student interaction:

Webinar: Research-Based, Time-Effective Ways Faculty Can Boost Student Progress and Persistence

Positive student interactions with faculty make a BIG difference. They build student engagement, confidence and retention. For this webinar, two experts will discuss four strategies you can use to interact effectively with students. Invite a group of colleagues to view the webinar together!

Date/Time: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 at 4:30pm EST

To Register: Click here.

“Flipped” Approaches for Hands-On Labs

Join Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association (ECEDHA) and Quanser for the following, complimentary Webinar:

Webinar: Making sense out of the “flipped” campus with new approaches to hands-on labs

The so-called “flipped” campus prescribes that mechanical details of engineering concepts be learned independently while classroom experience be focused on application of core concepts.  This webinar presents the case that modern interpretations of traditional undergraduate labs offer a great opportunity for schools to efficiently flip their classrooms and trigger improvements in education and research. Register today for Making sense out of the “flipped’ campus with new approaches to hands-on labs to gain a better understanding of the following:

  • New technologies that are helping institutions to make on-campus labs more relevant and engaging
  • How the flipped classroom offers opportunities to reconcile traditional concepts such as modeling and analysis with practical hands-on experiences
  • How “lab-thinking” can extend into the dorm room further enriching the flipped experience for students

Date/Time: November 12, 2013 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

To Register: Registration is required. Click here to register.

Blended Learning Grant Program – Applications Due Soon

Michigan Tech’s Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning is soliciting proposals from instructional teams (instructors and staff) for $1k, $5k and $10k blended learning grants. These grants are available through the Blended Learning Grant Program, established through the generous gift of William G. Jackson, a Michigan Tech alum.

The due dates to apply are quickly approaching:

  • Oct 31, 2013 Intent to apply entry is due:  Fill out this form to be added to a Canvas course where materials will be collected.
  • Nov 3, 2013 Grant applications are due at 11:59 pm.

Refer to Blended Learning Grant Program for details. Questions about proposals can be directed to Mike Meyer at mrmeyer@mtu.edu.

Teaching Innovation Anyone? Funding to Attend AAC&U Events

AAC&U, an organization that is a strong proponent of liberal learning and teaching innovation, is sponsoring three upcoming meetings for faculty. AAC&U (who brought us LEAP, essential learning outcomes, VALUE rubrics, etc.) hosts conferences that are consistently excellent and provide great opportunities for faculty to learn what other colleges and universities are doing.

For STEM faculty:
Transforming STEM Education – Oct 31-Nov2 in San Diego

For HASS faculty:
AAC&U Annual Meeting - January 22-24 in Washington DC
General Education and Assessment - Feb 27-March 1 in Portland

Funding is available for one or two faculty per conference, preferably faculty who are serving on university councils (Gen Ed, Assessment), departmental curriculum or assessment committees, or other leadership positions. Faculty, who attend, are expected to report back to the General Education and/or Assessment Councils as well as their departments regarding what they learned and could be considered for discussion or implementation at Michigan Tech.

Interested faculty should contact Christa Walck directly at cwalck@mtu.edu. Registration will be arranged through the Provost’s office to take advantage of our AAC&U membership.