Author: Jean DeClerck

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.

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February and Early March

The following events are scheduled for the upcoming weeks:
  • Coffee Chat — Everyday Examples in Engineering (2/18)
  • Coffee Chat — Assessment at Tech: Composition Revealed (2/20)
  • Coffee Chat — Scientific Teaching (3/4)

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Coffee Chat — ENGAGE: Gretchen Hein, Amber Kemppainen, and Nilufer Onder have received grants through two different branches of the National Science Foundation’s ENGAGE program. Gretchen and Amber have been working to create and implement “Everyday Examples in Engineering” (E3’s) in their instruction, and Nilufer has explored several ways to promote Faculty-Student Interaction (FSI). In this coffee chat, we’ll work through several E3’s and discuss how bringing your practical interests (and ducks!) into the classroom can provide motivation for and connection with your students. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday February 14. Join us for this event on Tuesday, February 18 from 3:30-4:30pm. Click here to register.

Coffee Chat – Assessment at Tech: Composition Revealed — This year, all degree programs are working on University Student Learning Goal #5: Communication. UN1015, Composition, is a required general education course taken by all Michigan Tech undergraduates. Join Dr. Karla Kitalong, Director of the Composition Program, for an overview of UN1015 Composition. What do students learn in the course? What kinds of papers do they write? How can disciplinary courses build on the foundational knowledge of UN1015? Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Tuesday February 18. Join us for this event on Thursday, February 20 from 3:30-4:30pm. Click here to register.

Coffee Chat – Scientific Teaching –Last summer, Mike Meyer (CTL), Brigitte Morin (Bio) and Nancy Auer (Bio) attended a week-long National Academics Institute at the University of Minnesota.  The workshop focused on teaching science in a way that is “more faithful to the true nature of science by capturing the process of discovery in the classroom.” (Handelsman et al., 2004) The method focuses on constructivism, active learning, and unique methods of assessment, and could be applied in almost any discipline.  In late March, Mark Decker, one of the institute leaders, will visit Michigan Tech for a general presentation.  This Coffee Chat will give preliminary exposure to the principles and methods.   Those that find the approach interesting will be invited to a reading group and special meeting with Mark during his visit. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Tuesday February 28. Join us for this event on Tuesday, March 4 from 3:30-4:30pm. Click here to register.

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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.

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January and Early Feb

  • Coffee Chat — The Move to Online Evaluations (1/21)
  • Lunch and Learn — Academic Integrity (1/30)
  • Guest Speaker Luncheon — Ethics & Compliance with Tim Mazur (2/17)
  • Coffee Chat — ENGAGE: E3 as a means to improving FSI (2/18)

Coffee Chat — The Move to Online Evaluations: During fall semester, a new online teaching evaluation system was piloted at Michigan Tech. Students submitted more than 6000 teaching evaluations for more than 100 instructors – who got their results about one week after the end of the semester. In this Coffee Chat, we will discuss the move to a fully online system for spring semester, considering both what went well and what issues may need to be addressed in this change. Pilot participants are encouraged to attend to share their experiences. Pilot non-participants are also encouraged to join this discussion about the new evaluation process. Join us for this event on Tuesday, January 21 from 3:30-5pm. Click here to register.

Lunch and Learn — Academic Integrity: Recent events on many campuses, including Michigan Tech, highlight the importance of proactive systems to ensure academic integrity. Systems are needed to prevent cheating, evaluate questionable behaviors, and provide consequences/incentives that build a culture of integrity. Prior to this blended seminar, you’ll watch video interviews with several faculty and administrators working to build such systems. Then, you’ll select those you find most relevant for lunchtime discussion. This event will take place on Thursday, January 30 from 12 noon to 1pm. Click here to register.

— February Events —

Guest Speaker Luncheon — Ethics & Compliance: Tim Mazur is the Chief Operating Officer of the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association (ECOA), the world’s leading professional association for ethics and compliance officers. Tim will share his expertise with the campus at large in a luncheon session from noon-1pm Monday February 17. Tim’s more than 26 years of experience in business ethics includes serving as an officer at two Fortune 500 companies, implementing ethics/compliance programs, teaching business ethics at six universities, and delivering hundreds of speeches and training sessions. Lunch will be available for those who register by Wednesday, February 12, 2014. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a true Ethics and Compliance Expert! Click here to register.

Coffee Chat — ENGAGE: Gretchen Hein, Amber Kemppainen, and Nilufer Onder have received grants through two different branches of the National Science Foundation’s ENGAGE program. Gretchen and Amber have been working to create and implement “Everyday Examples in Engineering” (E3’s) in their instruction, and Nilufer has explored several ways to promote Faculty-Student Interaction (FSI). In this coffee chat, we’ll work through several E3’s and discuss how bringing your practical interests (and ducks!) into the classroom can provide motivation for and connection with your students. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday February 14. Join us for this event on Tuesday, February 18 from 3:30-4:30pm. Click here to register.

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New Testing Center and Facility

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce the opening of the Michigan Tech Testing Center (MTTC).  The new center, located on the second floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library in room 226, offers testing services including proctored, computerized and accommodated testing.  The MTTC coordinates facilities at two locations: the 40-seat computerized testing lab (Rekhi 215) as well as a 10-seat facility in the new center (Library 226).

With two testing facilities, the MTTC is able to offer expanded testing services. The MTTC coordinates the use of the 40-seat computerized testing lab in Rehki 215 that many professors use to give exams in Canvas or other computerized systems. The new specially designed, 10-seat facility in the library is ideal for accommodated exams for students who require extra time or a quieter space. The MTTC location can also be scheduled for makeup and overflow exams that are either computerized or pencil and paper. Proctoring is available for on-campus courses (and for OTHER universities’ online courses for a fee). Sponsored exams, like the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE), will be scheduled in this space soon.

The MTTC will maintain the following office hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9:00AM – 3:00PM
Wednesday 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM – 1:00PM

Additional hours may be arranged to accommodate evening exams, and additional facilities can be reserved for a larger number of computerized examinees. To learn more about the MTTC and schedule exam times and accommodations online visit the MTTC website. Instructors are encouraged to contact the MTTC (906) 487-1001, techtesting-l@mtu.edu) to schedule additional time or with questions about any of your exam needs.

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William G. Jackson Gift Funds Blended Learning Grants

The recent generous gift from William G. Jackson gives the Center for Teaching and Learning the ability to solicit proposals for blended learning project grants. Academic departments or teams of instructors are invited to propose projects that support course/program reform or expansion and use blended and online learning techniques. Grants will be awarded at the following levels:

$1000 grants: individual conference travel to learn blended/online techniques and share with our instructors OR  a small scale course development or outreach project

$5000 grants: development of a moderate course/program or portion of a large course in a blended/online format (predicted impact >60 students per term)

$10,000 grants: development of a large course or program in a blended/online format (predicted impact >200 students/term)

Selected projects can also request/expect substantial support from the eLearning staff and students, both in terms of design consultation and course implementation.   Total award amounts are expected to be $50,000 each year for two years (2013-14, 2014-15). For additional information, refer toBlended Learning Grant Program

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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