CETL Open House

This past Friday, January 25th, the CETL hosted the 2013 Open House. We had a great turnout  and the people that came enjoyed themselves and learned a lot about what the CETL has to offer. As an incentive to complete the Faculty Survey during the Open House, we offered door prizes. Special congratulations to Tamika Reynolds and Tom Smith, who completed the CETL survey and won a prize! At our open house, we unveiled the new CETL website. Here you can learn about our 2013 programs, register for workshops, or individual consultations, and connect with the latest news in teaching and learning and educational technology. If you weren’t able to attend […]

Learners Helping Learners

While preparing for my class this spring, I thought about which learning objectives could be easily assessed with some sort of collaborative exercise.  I ran across the article “Promoting Student Success Through Collaboration”in the January 21, 2013 issue of Faculty Focus by Dr. Oliver Dreon. It’s essentially an article discussing ways students can use Google Docs to collaborate.  Honestly, I’m quite familiar with Google Docs but continued to read because the background story got my attention and caused me to seriously consider my beliefs about the notion of learners learning from each other.  The article references a student taking the lead on collaboration in her course by inviting students to […]

Note Taking in 2012

I ran across this pic via twitter the other day, originally posted somewhere on Pinterest.  The general tenor of the comments on this pic were of the chuckling variety, as in “Ha.  Those kids today and their technology.  They think taking photos of something on the overhead is taking notes.  What a crazy world we live in!”  I think, however, this pic is provocative and useful in facilitating a discussion about technology in the classroom.  I’ve organized the observations and questions it provoked below in an attempt to spark further discussion. Look at all those kids with camera phones! I see seven, maybe eight high-school aged children here with phones that allow them to […]

Serving International Students

This past Thursday at the Texas Wesleyan University campus, faculty and staff were delighted to receive Dr. Monochehr Dorraj as a speaker discussing how to serve international students. Some of the main topics discussed included pedagogical challenges in working with international students, how to best communicate policies on attendance and academic dishonesty, cultural differences and their impact in an instructor’s teaching, and communicating advanced vocabulary and concepts. Born in Iran and being a former international student himself, Dr. Dorraj brought an unique perspective to faculty in our campus where a great number of middle eastern and other international students call home. This opportunity to immerse yourself in a completely different […]

The Post Course Era

I just read an excellent and challenging article by Randy Bass in the Educause Review. “Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education” was first published in the March/April 2012 issue. Bass’ central claim is that we’ve entered “the post-course era.” This era has the potential to be extraordinarily disruptive because it says the curriculum is no longer the center of learning. Specifically, Bass argues “we have reached the end of the era of assuming that the formal curriculum — composed of bounded, self-contained courses — is the primary place where the most significant learning takes place.” (24) Bass’ argument draws upon research into high-impact practices that produce meaningful […]

Letting Students Surprise You

I have a student in the class I’m now teaching that doesn’t talk much. By other indications, however, she’s reasonably engaged. Her body language is positive. She shows up for class. Her writing needs some work, granted, but shows evidence of thought prior to being handed in. Generally she struck me as a student who was doing what she could but perhaps had priorities elsewhere other than my class. And I was fine with that. I’m not a professor who feels my class ought to be my students’ first priority every minute of every day. For most of them, it’s an elective that fills a general education requirement, so I […]

Smartboard Resources via Pinterest

I know, I know.  You think Pinterest is just for recipies and craft ideas.  But I am beginning to find it’s an excellent place to find resources and ideas for the classroom.  I am drafting a post that discusses what Pinterest is and how it might be used in higher ed, but for now, check out these Pinterest Boards: I know folks are always searching for ways to better integrate the Smartboard into the classroom.  There’s a Pinterest Board for that!  It seems to be geared more toward K-12 teachers (so you School of Ed folks can find lots of resources to pass to your students here), but there are […]

Creativity Should Be Taught?

A report from Adobe came across my twitter feed today arguing that creativity should be taught just like “normal” academic subjects.  I haven’t had time to read the full report yet, but the idea that creativity needs to be an explicit classroom focus is an interesting one, especially given Wesleyan’s move toward a curriculum grounded in critical thinking.

The Importance of the Weekly Review

One of my big interests is faculty productivity. How can faculty be more productive with a limited amount of time? How can faculty keep a good balance, of just just the Big 3 requited for tenure and promotion, but also between work and life? I’m interested not because I am an expert, but because, well, I suck at it. I mean, I believe I have good work/life balance (my kids know who I am, at least) and I was tenured and promoted at my previous institution. But I know I could be more productive than I am; I could get more done. And if that were the case, then look […]

Winter is Just Around the Corner. So is Blackboard Service Pack 8 Upgrade!

You may have heard that the Blackboard team is preparing to upgrade Blackboard to Service Pack 8 (BB SP8) during the winter break. This upgrade will take place from December 17 thru December 20. It brings much needed feature enhancements to the learning management system. It’s quite comforting to know that the Blackboard functions you have come to know and love will essentially work the same. All existing courses will upgrade to BB SP8. Experience BB SP8 by logging on to our test server. As I think of possible ways I can assist you, I’ve summarized my thoughts into the following five tips aimed at getting you on your way […]

About the CETL

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Texas Wesleyan University (CETL) promotes a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills.

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