Information Update - Spring 2010

News from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence

     The Center for Teaching and Learning Experience has once again seen a very busy fall semester. There have been 1031 requests for tutoring services, and, during the same time, the Writing Center has seen in excess of 900 appointments, a 42% increase over the previous year, helping students with writing papers. 120 students with disabilities are registered at the Center, and 425 tests and examinations were administered at the Center. Twenty-nine students with disabilities receive regular counseling, as well as twenty-one others who are either referred by the Counseling Center or are in Summer Bridge or ADP programs. Thirty-nine residence accommodation and parking exemptions for students with disabilities were also processed by the Center.

     Approximately seven hundred students attended drop-in labs and 150 math students (70%) attended supplemental instruction sessions for their courses. Given our resources, these figures are indeed impressive.

     Our Reading Specialist has conducted numerous reading exams for freshmen and nursing students, as well as some 25 individual requests and, based on the result of these tests counseled those students on reading and learning strategies. He has also been working with nursing students on strategies to pass the Praxis Exam.

     The staff of the Center (Thomas Leong, Eugeniu Grigorescu, Mary Ellen Pichiarello, and André Oberlé) has given some 47 presentations on the services of the CTLE, study skills and time management to freshmen classes during the fall semester.

     We conducted an Orientation for new faculty in August. Under the inspiring management of the Faculty Liaisons, Dr. Marian Farrell and Dr. Anthony Ferzola, the CTLE has a very successful orientation program for first-year faculty in place. As part of the program, new tenure-track faculty members are paired with an experienced faculty member to help them feel at home at the University of Scranton and learn the way business is conducted at our University. This group, some forty-six members strong, also meets on a monthly basis to discuss issues related to teaching, and research. During the September meeting, Linda Nilson (Clemson University), the author of Teaching at its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors, gave a well-received workshop on "Learning Styles" to this group. She also gave a workshop on "Teaching with the Case Method and Problem Based Learning" for a general audience.

     As part of the construction of the new Science Building, the CTLE has lost space on the sixth floor and is restructuring some of its facilities on the fifth floor. The result will be increased space for tutoring and the testing and exam accommodations, and a small recording studio to enable instructors to record short videos for inclusion in their online teaching.

     For the spring semester 2010 a number of faculty advancement events have been planned. We are very pleased to welcome the eminent educator, Dr. Robert Duschl (Penn State) to conduct a workshop on teaching in the sciences and Dr. T. Mills Kelly (George Mason University) to conduct a workshop on connecting information technology to our pedagogical goals. As well, we will have workshops on interpreting course evaluations, working with students with learning disabilities, ANGEL, and more. We are looking forward to another productive semester. Please check our web site for details.

André Oberlé, Ph.D.
Director, CTLE