Information Update - Spring 2012

Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence News

The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence had a very busy fall semester. We offered services to students in the areas of peer tutoring, supplemental instruction, reading services, writing services, accommodations for students with disabilities and learning technology support services. For faculty, we scheduled professional development opportunities, workshops on classroom issues, two different series on teaching effectiveness, assistance with learning technologies, assistance with the learning management system (ANGEL) and one-on-one support sessions. We also offered a first-year faculty mentorship program in which every new full-time faculty member was paired with an experienced faculty member from another department who acted as a mentor.
 CTLE Associate Director/Instructional Designer
Brian Snapp
Brian Snapp
The CTLE has hired Brian Snapp as its new associate director/instructional designer. Brian began on November 15. Snapp has been at Lehigh Carbon Community College since 2007 as instructional technologist. In that position, Snapp collaborated with faculty to design and develop new and updated online courses. He also provided individualized instruction and mentoring of faculty for the pedagogically-driven integration of technology into teaching. Brian holds an M.S. in Instructional Technology from Bloomsburg University and a B.S. in Telecommunications/Networking form Rochester Institute of Technology. Faculty ServicesThe Center is mandated to keep faculty engaged in discussions about teaching and to provide workshops on teaching pedagogy and effectiveness.
 Faculty Advancement SeriesThis semester, the Center offered two programs as part of this series. In September, Dr. Maureen Carroll (Mathematics) showcased her classroom use of a tablet; in November, Dr. Jennifer Frank Vasquez (Mathematics) presented a novel take on journaling as models in student writing. Both sessions were well attended and the feedback received from the attendees had been positive. Faculty-to-Faculty ExchangeDr. Margarete Zalon conducted a seminar in November and presented information on and examples of how to set up and manage a bibliographic database, import references, and prepare a bibliography. A constructive discussion followed the presentation. First-Year Mentorship Program Thanks to the concerted efforts of the CTLE Faculty Liaisons, Dr. Anthony Ferzola and Dr. Marian Farrell, the CTLE once more organized and delivered a First-Year Faculty Mentorship Program to 13 new faculty hires and their mentors. The purpose of the program is to make it easier for new faculty to integrate into the campus life and become familiar with the culture and day-to-day protocols at The University of Scranton. The fall semester incorporated four presentations and a social gathering. New Curriculum DiscussionsThe CTLE hosted two lunch meetings for the faculty teaching the new 3-credit freshman seminar. The discussions were dynamic and productive. We plan on having several similar meetings during spring. One-on-one ConsultationsDuring the fall semester, the CTLE provided numerous consultations for faculty on pedagogical uses of technology in education. Aileen McHale and I met with 35-40 faculty members, including several who submitted proposals for the development stipend for online courses. iPad LendingThe CTLE lent iPad tablets (for up to seven days) to 20 faculty in the fall semester. Faculty were able to explore tablet navigation and apps technology and used the tablet and included adapters in the classroom by connecting it to the video projector. Grants The CTLE accepted proposals for two full-time faculty grants in the fall semester. The Teaching Enhancement Grant was awarded to 14 proposals. This grant provides up to $1,500 to be used for a variety of pedagogical purposes, and covers conference registration and travel, teaching materials, and equipment. The development stipend for online courses was awarded to seven proposals. This stipend of $5,000 is available for full-time faculty interested in obtaining funding to assist with the initial development of a 3-credit online course created on the ANGEL Learning Management System. A $3,000 stipend is available for full-time faculty interested in obtaining funding to assist with the revision of a 3-credit online course currently offered on the Angel Learning Management System. Student ServicesThis area of our services had the largest demands on the resources of the Center. Close to 1,200 requests for tutors at all levels were accommodated during the last semester. Those requests were made by 800 distinct students (20% of the undergraduate population). While the largest number of requests came from freshmen, the requests from sophomores, juniors, seniors and even graduate students represent almost half of the total requests. The unit employed about 180 tutors to accommodate the requests the Center received. The Writing Center held its annual open house on November 8. We had fruitful discussions with the faculty members who visited us. The number of students seeking help from the Writing Center has remained at a high level this semester – about 450 students attended more than 750 consultations. A well-qualified and dedicated group of writing consultants greatly contributed to the success reflected not only by the increase in consultations but also by the positive comments students provided in end-of-semester surveys. James Muniz, our reading specialist, has met with numerous students this semester to provide close to 200 hours of one-on-one assistance with reading techniques and test-taking strategies; he has worked with nursing students at the junior and senior level to provide guidance as they prepare for the NCLEX examinations. We have invigilated close to 500 exams for students with disabilities by the end of this semester, with about 200 scheduled for the week of finals. CTLE – Library CollaborationOur collaboration with the library staff is ongoing. We plan to continue presenting workshops on various topics pertaining to using technology in an educational setting during the coming year. Technology on Your Own Terms schedule has been set for spring 2012. Collaborative work extends to presentations to new faculty members. Recently, the CTLE and WML have held an instructional technology session for full-time and part-time faculty members new to campus. Fall 2011 was a successful semester for the CTLE and we look forward to a rewarding spring semester.
Eugeniu Grigorescu
Director, CTLE