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Friday, February 19, 2010

Teaching and Learning Fair is venue for sharing experience

Learning Fair
Dr. Brett Holden (center) discusses his class on war in film.

Faculty members from across campus took time this morning to step back from their classroom duties for a few hours to focus on the art and science of teaching and learning. At the annual Teaching and Learning Fair hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning, they shared strategies and projects with one another.

They also heard about the possibilities presented by e-portfolios from one of the leading proponents of the new addition to the tools of the trade, Dr. Kathleen Yancey, a national expert on the topic.

In her talk, "Learning by Design: The Role of ePortfolios in Fostering Intentional Learning," Yancey discussed how the e-portfolio can make learning integrated, visible and designed. She outlined three important aspects of the e-portfolio: collection, selection and reflection.

The e-portfolio is especially well suited to showing integrative learning, in which a person makes the connections between what he has learned and his personal experience and then demonstrates that learning in a social context.

Noting that there are many types of e-portfolios available, from vendor-based products to open-source, "home-grown," and Web-based versions as well as blogs, she said it is important to determine what you want to accomplish at the beginning and then choose the appropriate model.

"There is no silver bullet," she said, no one version that will provide assessment and data as well as collaborative and social forums. Technology-rich campuses may also choose differently than others, she said.

"There's a lot of learning going on in blogs," she noted, citing the example of an English university where education majors continued to use their sites as a means of sharing as they transitioned into jobs. "Don't confuse these with portfolios, however," she cautioned.

Focusing on outcomes is important, she said, while noting that "not all e-portfolios need to look alike."

Dr. Kristie Foell, director of International Studies, asked about the usefulness of faculty e-portfolios, to which Yancey replied that there are many good examples here on campus, particularly that of Dr. Kristine Blair, chair of the English department. Their usefulness depends on one's goals, Yancey said.

"It sounds very promising," said Susan Cruea, General Studies Writing. Her colleague Lowe McManus added he is interested to see the difference in approach to e-portfolios between genders, and in their relative usefulness in various disciplines.

Popular student financial aid seminar has repeat performances

On Feb. 5, the Office of Student Financial Aid hosted more than 500 prospective students and families on campus for another Student Financial Aid Workshop. This was the third such program offered for the 2010-11 academic year, one more than in years past due to a 58 percent increase in participants.

The office will be co-hosting a "Financial Aid 101" program with the Wood County District Public Library at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22. This event is open to the public. The PDF of the PowerPoint from the workshop can be
downloaded here.


Provost Kenneth Borland shares his thoughts in 'Take 5'

Tune into the "Take 5" podcast this week as we catch up with Dr. Kenneth Borland Jr., provost and vice president for academic affairs.


Zoom News is provided as a service to BGSU faculty and staff.

February 19, 2010