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.

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.

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.

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


Blended Learning Grant Program: Please see the associated website for important information and (the fast approaching!) deadlines (Oct 31 & Nov 3) regarding this new grant opportunity.

New Module: Incorporating Information Literacy into Instruction: The Van Pelt and Opie Library and the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) invite faculty and graduate students to attend a new module that is part of the CTL’s University Teaching and Learning (UTL) Seminars program (see here for full curriculum). “Incorporating Information Literacy into Instruction” consists of three one-hour workshops on sequential Mondays (starting Nov. 4) presented by Instruction and Learning Librarian Sarah Lucchesi. This module will explore the library’s information resources, digital tools for keeping current in a field of study, and assignment elements that allow students to practice information literacy skills. Click here to register.

Coffee Chat – Ownership and Authorship: The recent campus visit by Chuck Valauskas, a Blended Learning IP lawyer, raised awareness of the need to clarify ownership and authorship rights and obligations at Michigan Tech. The University Senate Academic Policies committee, charged with writing a clear copyright policy, seeks faculty input through this coffee chat. For this coffee chat event on Tuesday, Nov 5, from 3:30-5pm, faculty will be asked to review several policies that might serve as a model, and come prepared for discussion. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided to those who register by Friday 11/1. Click here to register.

Coffee Chat — Communication Learning Goal: Are you addled by assessment? Rattled by rubrics? Confounded by communication? Join the Communication Learning Goal Task Force for a collaborative primer about applying the communication rubrics in your course and program. Reminder: The Communication University Student Learning Goal (USLG) is going to be assessed university wide this year. Join us for this timely workshop on Tuesday, November 12, from 3:30-5pm. Click here to register.

Lunch n’ Learn — Student Devices in the Classroom: Surveys show that more than 90% of students now carry an Internet connected “device” – a smartphone, tablet, or laptop – into classes.  During this session on Thursday, November 14, we’ll explore ways that these devices can be used for student/instructor interaction.  We’ll also discuss the challenges that accompany engaging or ignoring “devices”. Click here to register.

Faculty Orientation to the New Experimental Education Environment: Faculty, instructors and other interested educators are invited to learn about the features and uses of a new space dedicated to promoting innovation and testing of teaching strategies, technologies and creative learner-instructor arrangements. Sponsored, in part, by the Herman Miller Corporation, the overview sessions will be held throughout the day on Tuesday, Nov. 19. More information about the Experimental Education Environment (E3), as well as details regarding scheduling that space, can also be found on the same page with the registration links. Click here to register.

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.

More October Events

Coffee Chat – Blended Learning at Tech: Over the next two years, the Jackson grant will put $100,000 in the hands of departments and faculty to build classes that blend face to face and online formats in innovative and strategic ways. Come to discuss what “strategic” means for Tech, ask questions about your potential proposal, or learn more about how blended courses might work. Click here to register.

Lunch n Learn – Classroom Spaces: Many on campus have invested significant time and resources in designing unique learning environments. Watch pre-session videos that describe how some instructors are using unusual spaces and review plans for new spaces. Then, meet on October 21, with faculty of your choice at a luncheon to discuss what kinds of spaces we should be building in the future. Click here to register.