Faculty Development Newsletter

2015-2016: issue #3 - Oct. 13, 2015

Fac Dev Website

Connecting with Our Students, Connecting Ourselves with Academia: Two Recent Essays on Pedagogy

As we go about our daily teaching lives and trudge along through predictable and mundane micro-crises, we should not lose sight of how solidly we find ourselves on the leading edge of issues roiling academia. Not only are we part of a national dialogue, frequently we are confronting issues that have not arrived at other schools. These two recent essays from the Chronicle should have resonance for us all.

If you read these essays and find solace in the knowledge of shared struggles, that's great. If you read them and think, "Hey, I'm already doing that!", then even better. Take some credit for the work you do by joining the national conversation on these issues. Please apply to join the SoTL Initiative (the first news item on the right).

(Both essays require a Chronicle subscription which can be accessed free while on campus.)

Those mobile devices are not going away anytime soon: Sherry Turkle, "How to Teach in an Age of Distraction," CHE, October 02, 2015.

How to "teach transparently:" Dan Berrett, "The Unwritten Rules of College," CHE September 21, 2015.

New Grant Opportunity: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Initiative - Apply to Join the Working Group by October 21

We know a great deal about teaching. Let's tell people about it. The Mellon FaCE Grant supports a new initiative this year in the field of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, aka "SoTL." Faculty with interest in engaging in research on the teaching process and student learning are encouraged to join the working group. Mary Armon, Mathematics, and Claudia Fernandez, Modern Languages, will lead eight faculty in a collaborative research team, exploring the current literature on SoTL research and assisting participants in executing and presenting their individual research projects. The SoTL Working Group will meet periodically throughout the year to sustain all members' work. Participants receive a stipend; additional resources to support research will be available.

Learn more about the SoTL Initiative and how to apply here.


Mellon Pedagogy Workshop: The 100 Level Course - Apply by October 19

An invitation has been circulated to department and program chairs regarding the next Mellon FaCE Grant-funded pedagogy workshop: "The 100 Level Course." Drawing on the recent literature of the science of learning--including the value of high-impact practices at the 100 level and throughout our major programs--this workshop will explore, question, and potentially re-imagine these courses. We are inviting departments/programs to participate as teams of about 4 people each, but individuals without departmental participation will also be considered. Each department / program will complete a plan of action to guide the program's work for the future.  This work will also guide the Task Force on the Knox Educational Experience in its deliberations on the future of a Knox education. Participants receive a stipend, and additional resources to support departments will be available.

Read more about the Mellon Pedagogy Workshop and apply here. Contact your department or program chair if you are interested in participating.


Faculty Diversity Workshop: December 10-11 -- Sign up Now --

We have just received confirmation that the next "Faculty Diversity Workshop" will be Thursday-Friday, December 10-December 11. This two-day workshop will be led by Charles Behling and Roger Fisher of the University of Michigan's Program on Intergroup Relations. The workshop will explore intergroup dialogue techniques and strategies to assist faculty in cultivating inclusive classroom and interpersonal relationships.

The Michigan IGD pedagogy is both experiential and cognitive. Therefore, the workshops require that participants commit to the entire two-day program. The workshop will run from approximately 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. Lunches and refreshments will be provided. About three weeks before the workshop, the workshop conveners will circulate required readings and preparatory exercises.

The Faculty Diversity Workshop Sign-up Form is active. Space is limited and will be reserved on a rolling basis until the the workshop is full.

Call for Pre- Proposals: ACM FaCE "Cognitive Science and the Liberal Arts" - Apply by October 21

ACM faculty interested in collaborating with their ACM peers can pursue innovative projects under the ACM's Faculty Career Enhancement Project (distinct from Knox's FaCE Grant). Each year the ACM FaCE Grant has a theme. This year, that theme is "Cognitive Science and the Liberal Arts." Collaborative projects designed to enhance teaching and research in a variety of ways are fundable. Grant awards typically range from $5,000 to $30,000, but particularly ambitious projects can apply to a maximum of $50,000.

The Call for Pre-Proposals is here.

Sharon Clayton attended the pre-application workshop and can offer more insight into the types of proposals that are forming.


ACM Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL): 2016 Silicon Valley - Apply by Dec. 1

Silicon Valley as an Innovation Ecosystem is the fifth in a series of Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL) organized by the ACM colleges and funded through a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This two-year seminar will include a 10-day onsite portion in California's Silicon Valley in July 2016, bringing ACM faculty together as a small learning community to explore issues related to the connection between innovation and the liberal arts. Applicants must apply as part of a three-person team with faculty members from the same institution, but each from a different disciplinary division.

The full seminar announcement is here. General information about the SAIL Program is here.

More than one Knox team can apply, but only one will be selected. If you are interested in applying or joining a team, please contact Mike Schneider at: facultydevelopment@knox.edu.