Month: August 2014

Goals for the First Day of Class

by Mike Meyer, Director of the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning

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!

September and Early October

The Center schedules events for faculty and instructional staff to provide opportunities to learn new instructional strategies and tools and meet faculty from other departments. 

Coffee Chat — Dr. Barbara Oakley (9/11): Dr. Oakley (Antarctic adventurer, Russian translator, engineering professor, and author) will be in Houghton for a series of lectures at both Finlandia University and Michigan Tech.  This event provides instructors a unique opportunity to learn about her recent research on learning math and science that is presented in her book “A Mind for Numbers”.  Discussion will focus initially on her “10 Rules of Good and Bad Studying” and how they might apply to class design, but topics are expected to range widely! Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, September 8.  Join us for this event on Thursday, September 11 from 3:30 to 4:30pm. Click here to register.

Lunch and Learn — Student Accommodations (9/16): A growing number of Michigan Tech students are eligible to receive extra time, quiet space, or other accommodations during class activities. This trend has raised concerns among instructors. In this event, we will explore the process through which student accommodations are granted and the resources available to help instructors appropriately, consistently, and fairly accommodate students. Prior to this blended seminar, participants will watch video interviews with several faculty and administrators involved in this process and then select those most relevant for lunchtime discussion. Lunch will be provided to those who register by Thursday, September 11. Join us for this event on Tuesday, September 16 from noon to 1pm. Click here to register.

Luncheon and Gamification Workshops — Todd Wilmore (9/23): Todd Wilmore is a dynamic speaker and organizational consultant, as well as an adjunct professor at both Central Michigan and Saint Leo Universities. During his visit to Michigan Tech on Tuesday, September 23, he’ll offer both a lunchtime session on the changing role of instructors in higher education and a 75-minute workshop on using game theory in class design (gamification). The gamification workshop will be offered twice (one morning session and one afternoon session), but enrollment will be limited to 40 for each workshop session. All are encouraged to attend the luncheon event. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore innovative techniques with an expert that you can use to motivate your students! To register for any of these events, please call 487-3000 or register online using the links above. Lunch will be available for those who register by Thursday, September 18.

Coffee Chat — Organizing STEM Education Research (10/2): A growing number of instructors on campus have expressed interest in measuring the effects of classroom reforms. The Pavlis Honors College, the Graduate School, the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences, the Engineering Fundamentals Department and others have begun working together to formalize programs and centralize resources in order to better support this kind of work. This discussion will include a summary of efforts to-date, a review of a potential campus-wide grant proposal, and opportunities for you to share your input on future directions. All with an interest in STEM Education research are encouraged to attend! This event is scheduled for Thursday, October 2, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Monday, September 29.  Click here to register.

Coffee Chat — Information Literacy Learning Goal (10/7): Join the Information Literacy Goal Committee for a collaborative primer about integrating information literacy instruction effectively and efficiently in your course or degree program. Reminder: The Information Literacy University Student Learning Goal (USLG) will be assessed university wide this year. This timely workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, October 7 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Thursday, October 2.  Click here to register.