Workshops offer faculty fresh skills, approaches to teaching

From blogs to visual narratives, faculty have a host of new media and methods with which to enhance their teaching and meet the needs of today’s students.

A series offered by the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology is designed to help them take advantage not only of new technology, but also of innovative teaching techniques.

“Rethink, Retool and Recharge Your Communication for Learners” offers workshops on topics such as facilitating learner discussions, becoming a better presenter, assessing student learning and growth, and choosing the appropriate tools to complement teaching.

“People tend to focus on the technology itself, but it’s really about teaching and learning,” said Bonnie Fink, CTLT interim director. For example, Fink said, “One of our workshops is on extending the classroom experience.” That session will ask faculty how they might change their expectations and teaching if they were no longer constrained by the classroom setting, and will look at some of the new networks, both technological and communal, that can help extend the student learning experience.

“We want to help faculty and graduate students become familiar with the technological tools we have. We’ll guide them to use those tools wisely and decide how they would work best for their classrooms,” Fink said.

Students are already used to getting information in new ways, she said, and “we have to get on the same page as they are.”

To make it easier for instructors to attend, CTLT is holding both day and evening sessions for the first time this semester. The staff also offers consultations for individual areas.

The workshops will be held in the center, 201 University Hall. This week’s sessions are:

• “Matching the Media to the Audience and the Message,” from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 15), which focuses on consideration of the sender, the medium and message. Faculty members will discuss the structure, clarity, consistency, medium and relevancy of their messages to students. Pizza will be served. The session will be repeated March 20 from 1-2:30 p.m.

• “Organizing and Communicating Knowledge Visually,” from 9-11 a.m. Friday (Feb. 17), which will look at conveying complex messages through such visual modes as mind maps, graphic organizers and concept maps. The workshop will share current research on the concept map as a cognitive tool and demonstrate software to create maps or graphic organizers. The session will be repeated March 14 from 5:30-7 p.m.

• “Using Epsilen e-Portfolio in Your Classroom,” from noon-1:30 p.m. Monday (Feb. 20). Dr. Milt Hakel, Ohio Eminent Scholar in psychology, will show how to integrate the application in order to develop increased student interaction, reflection and evaluation in courses.

Another set of workshops on “tech tools” is scheduled for those who already know how they will use the technologies in their classrooms. The workshops include podcasting, film and slide scanning, and photo manipulation.

To see a complete list of workshops, visit
February 13, 2006