Photo from OpenCon 2017

A Summer of Learning: Reflections from OTNSI, OpenEd, and OpenCon

Hi! My name is David Rose, and I am the new Faculty Innovation Technologist at American University’s Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (CTRL). One of my main responsibilities is running the Open American program which provides faculty with stipends and instructional design and technology support to facilitate the adoption of open educational resources (OER). Since joining AU in February 2017, I have had the opportunity to meet many new faces around campus; I hope to meet many more in the near future, and hope this post will serve as a jumping off point for our work together.

I recently completed a Summer of Learning, attending three conferences on open education and open educational practices that will help me grow the Open American program here at AU.

In August, I was at the University of Minnesota for the 2017 Open Textbook Network Summit & Institute (OTNSI). American University recently joined the Open Textbook Network (OTN), an active community of over 600 campuses across the country (that’s about 15% of higher education!) that promote access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks.

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Then in October, I headed west to Anaheim, California for OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference. This is probably the biggest open education conference there is, and is often called the open ed “family reunion.” It’s a big family now with over 750 people in attendance.

Finally, in November, I was one of roughly 150 lucky ones selected from among more than ten thousand applicants to attend the invitation-only OpenCon 2017 in Berlin, Germany. OpenCon is unique in that brings together early career professionals in three key fields — Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data — in an effort to “catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital research data.” From my experience, I can say they have already been successful.

I was able to attend OpenCon because of a scholarship I received from the Open Textbook Network. Part of my scholarship was reporting back to the Network about my experience, which I did a few weeks ago:

I’ll try my best to be brief, so I’ve distilled my takeaways from the Summer of Learning into three buckets: open pedagogy, diversity & inclusion, and growing the Open American program.

Open Pedagogy

“I don’t want to be part of a movement that is focused on replacing static, over-priced textbooks with static, free textbooks.”
Robin DeRosa, Professor at Plymouth State University and open education researcher

The open education movement has reached its teenage years. When we were first learning to walk and talk, the concerns we addressed were affordability and reducing the rising costs of education. This is still a huge concern, but if the only goal is to reduce the cost of education, open educational resources aren’t the only option. OER becomes the golden ticket when we start talking about open pedagogy.

The key here is that “open” ≠ free. The internet is already free (just going to skirt past this #netneutrality rabbit hole here). What “open” really means is free + permissions. That is, permission from the copyright holder to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute — The 5 Rs, as frequently referred to. So when we talk about “open pedagogy,” we’re really talking about OER-enabled pedagogy. Once we have that permission to engage in 5R activities, what can we now do as educators that was previously not possible?

We can create renewable assignments like editing Wikipedia pages, building new websites, or turning our students into textbook authors. It’s moving from students as content consumers to content creators. Or, again calling on Robin’s words, engaging “learners in contributing to their learning materials so that knowledge becomes a community endeavor.”

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Inherent in the open movement is changing mindsets — of traditional power structures in publishing, of who we’re allowing to have access, and ultimately, of what people are capable of. Instructors are capable of moving beyond disseminating content via textbooks and powerpoints. Students are capable of producing scientifically valuable work, or work that impacts public policy. Open or OER-enabled pedagogy was a theme central to every conference in my Summer of Learning.

Data to Policy Project (D2P)

One such example I explored in great depth at OpenCon was the Data to Policy Project (D2P), an initiative to connect student research across multiple disciplines through course-based assignments to meet a local community need which culminates into data-driven policy proposals to local governments and agencies. The project is being piloting in Denver this spring when participants will explore issues in Denver policing — its policies, practices, and most importantly, its data.

Such a project can have powerful impacts in our AU community as well. Racial targeting has become a massive issue at AU, and seemingly our most pressing challenge since I started here. I didn’t go to OpenCon with the aim of addressing this problem, but when I heard about the D2P project, an idea hit me like a ton of bricks:

This can be a way students actively work to solve the problem. I won’t presume to know what students of color (and anyone else who was directly targeted by these acts) are feeling, but I would imagine that having a way to feel empowered to take action and fight back would be a liberating thing. This might already being going on at AU. I know Professor Dick Bennett does really cool community based data and research projects. AU’s new Antiracist Research and Policy Center led by Professor Ibram Kendi seems likely to be on the cutting edge of initiatives like this. My first step will be connecting with someone from the Antiracist Research and Policy Center to see if they think a project like this would indeed be beneficial at AU.

The last day of OpenCon was dedicated “do-athon” time, and I choose to spend my time working on creating an outline of active steps to take to get this project off the ground.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion was likewise talked about very extensively at all three conferences. When you have a subject that touches on access and affordability, naturally you’ll find yourself talking about who has a seat at the table, whose voices are being heard, and who’s stuck on the margins.

Just before I left for OpenCon, the AU Library hosted a Colloquium on Scholarly Communication titled, “Scholarly Communication and Social Justice: Pushing to Subvert Traditional Publishing Power Structures.” The speaker at this event, Charlotte Roh, a Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of San Francisco, showed some amazing data that perfectly highlighted the power inequalities in academia. All her slides are available on her Bepress site, but some of the highlights include:

  • 73% of full-time faculty are White/Caucasian
  • 79% of published authors in “mainstream” journals are White/Caucasian
  • 91% of published authors in scholarly publishing are White/Caucasian
  • 87% of librarians are White/Caucasian

Image courtesy of Charlotte Roh

With this fresh in my mind, I walked into a session at OpenCon about creating open textbooks. One of the other attendees had an interesting observation: almost every single one of the 20+ people in the room was from a western country.

Power structures come in many forms. In academia, ethnicity clearly plays a role. Even in a subset of academia like open education where we’re all about inclusivity and access, this power dynamic is still evident.

Was that room so western-country dominated because of some egotistical thinking that we have all the answers? Or perhaps just well-intentioned savior-syndrome? i.e. We are the content creators with all the answers and We need to deliver this accessible content to those who don’t have it. Perhaps that was a cynical way of looking at the issue, but it’s a question worth asking.

The point is: “open” is needed in different ways by different communities. It is not our right, our duty, or our responsibility to assume we know what others need. We are not saviors; we are collaborators. We need to make a better effort to support cross-cultural content creation with a diverse group of authors. The Rebus Community is a great organization working on issues like this.

I’ll leave this topic with a quote from writer/activist/educator/poet Walidah Imarisha’s opening keynote address at The Liberated Archive:

“And that’s the other piece, about making sure it’s accessible to people. It’s not just about saying, ‘Come, come into archives!’ Even if it’s open and it’s free and you can just walk in, ‘You don’t even need ID!’… That’s not enough because these institutions for centuries have been telling oppressed peoples ‘You do not belong here.’ You can’t change that just by sending out an e-mail and saying ‘Hey it’s open!’ and then sitting there and saying ‘Why aren’t people of color coming?’ It’s important to say: how do we make [sure] that this information is accessible, how do we take this knowledge that people actually want– not what we assume they want– out into the community where folks can use it and engage with it.”

Growing Open American

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The Open American program started in 2014. Over the past 3 years, we’ve saved AU students over $500,000 in textbook costs. By “we” I mean the 19 faculty members who have already adopted open textbooks, and CTRL. But this can’t just be a CTRL issue. Since taking over the program, I’ve made it my top priority to broaden Open American beyond our walls in Hurst.

The library launching an open access publishing fund has been a convenient avenue to build camaraderie and mutual goals with a small group of librarians. We’re currently working on creating an open libguide that will include useful resources for open educational resources, open access journals, and open data repositories. We also did a joint presentation in Kogod about open initiatives at AU earlier this month.

Creative Commons, the organization that provides the open licenses which support OER, split into regional chapters within the past few years. Their U.S. chapter, Creative Commons USA, is conveniently run out of the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at AU’s Washington College of Law. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much collaboration in years past to capitalize on this wonderfully convenient connection, but I was fortunate enough to meet Meredith Jacob and Ethan Senack this summer, and we’re making plans to change that. A small first step: a blog post about Open American from CC USA!

I have also started working with U.S. PIRG, a student-run and funded public interest group that has made textbook affordability one of their top initiatives. You might have come across them on the quad one Wednesday afternoon this fall semester, collecting hundreds of signatures from students and faculty alike who all made commitments to lower the cost of textbooks and other course materials. Through their efforts, 42 faculty members have signed a pledge to:

  • Seek and consider open textbooks and other open resources when choosing course materials.
  • Give preference to a low or no-cost material such as an open textbook over a more expensive, single use access code if it makes sense for the class.
  • Encourage institutions to develop support for the use of open textbooks.

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And most recently, the AU interns at U.S. PIRG and myself reached out to the Center for Diversity & Inclusion to plan an event for the spring about how we can help first generation students adjust to college life, in part, with the help of free and affordable course materials. Ample studies have shown that high textbook costs cause students stress and lead to unwanted behavior changes. If we can do our part to minimize this, we should.

It was very clear at the Open Textbook Network Summit & Institute that this is a program I cannot run alone. Nor do I want to go it alone. Affordability, access, and improved teaching and learning practices are issues that touch every corner of this campus. These are issues we should all be concerned with.

There’s lot of work ahead! In 2018, I expect to be working with 21 more faculty who indicated they plan on adopting an open textbook following our Open Textbook Workshop in September.

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To get even more faculty engagement, I also plan on creating a proposal for the inclusion of language recognizing open educational resources in AU’s promotion and tenure guidelines. At OpenEd, I learned about such a success at the University of British Columbia. An excerpt from the UBC Guide to Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure Procedures (RPT) reads:

“Evidence of educational leadership is required for tenure/promotion in the Educational Leadership stream… It can include, but is not limited to…Contributions to the practice and theory of teaching and learning literature, including publications in peer-reviewed and professional journals, conference publications, book chapters, textbooks and open education repositories / resources.”

Wouldn’t it be great if AU recognized such work as well?

I’m pushing 2,500 words, so I’ll stop here for now. I’m grateful to the organizers of all these events, CTRL for allowing me to attend and spend my summer learning and growing, and most of all to my community of open education advocates.

I love the community we have here at AU as well. I am excited about the potential we have to grow together in openness. Faculty, staff, and students alike have all shown tremendous interest in helping change the status quo in higher education, and I hope to be around for a long time helping to facilitate that change.

I’d love your help! Come find me in CTRL, call me at x1089, email me at rose@american.edu, you can even tweet me even @davidrosegoes… I’m available!

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Pedagogy’s Digital Swiss Army Knife: Explain Everything

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Explain Everything draws from a range of educational technologies to be, as its name suggests, the best possible tool for explaining anything

Written by: Sarah Grace

Many of the technologies out there work on two levels: a quick functionality that often leaves you wanting more, and a more complex (often less visible) layer of options that are time-intensive to learn but offer better results.

Explain Everything is designed to offer all of the advanced options of a program like PowerPoint at a glance. It’s intuitive, interdisciplinary, intensely customizable, and in most regards only as limited as your imagination.

This app’s mission is to empower you with all the tools you could need to explain your subject material. You can type, use tables, insert pictures, sound, or video, and do pretty much all of the things you can do in PowerPoint. However, Explain Everything will record like a screen-capture program, can be saved as a video, and is designed for use on tablets, which opens up a lot of doors.

To take one example, you can press record and use a stylus to solve a math problem by hand in the program. Now you have a video of that process, which you can play within your class presentation if you don’t feel like writing it out. This is extremely useful for online courses. You can also quickly create a video demonstrating how to solve a problem, upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, or Blackboard, and send it to a struggling student.

Another great feature is the app’s ability to import a live web browser directly into your presentation. You can record yourself annotating an online article, or write notes on what makes a website an unacceptable source… on the actual website. The app will record whatever you do online in the inserted web browser. If there is a complex registration process that your students have to do on their own to access sources, or a certain website you want them to use, you can create a presentation explaining the steps, with a video showing how to do it on the actual site. This tool enables you to ‘explain everything,’ but you will only have to explain it once with the resources you’ll be able to create.

Best of all, you will not have to start from scratch. Explain Everything lets you import existing PowerPoints or other presentation formats directly into the app, to be customized and personalized in dynamic new ways.

There are many other great tools in this incredible application, and they are all easily accessible and easy to integrate into the toolkit that every educator deploys to explain their subject matter. I’ll be introducing more of these exciting possibilities during the Explain Everything session at the upcoming Ann Ferren conference on January 13th. Teaching with me will be chemistry professor and diehard Explain Everything fan Michele Lansigan, who has been using the app for her past two semesters at AU. Come to our session to hear how this tool has changed her classroom and to explore what it can do for yours.

Sarah Grace in a Video + Advanced Learning Technologies Consultant in CTRL.

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Students and Their Email Habits

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Written By: Nikki Lane

Over the past 4-5 years, popular news outlets have featured stories highlighting the communication challenges facing those of us educating the next generation — especially their ability (or lack thereof) to communicate appropriately using the currently accepted form of business and formal communication: email.

Commonly cited issues:

  • Students aren’t reading some of our emails.
  • Students are texting and otherwise social media-ing during class time.
  • To some students, school = email; and unfortunately, school = boring. Therefore, through the transitive property, email = boring.
  • Some students legitimately have never used email in the way that you expect them to. Some may not know how to write letters (therefore may be unclear about what to put in the subject line, or how to address you, and all of that makes it such that they don’t want to interact with email at all).

What the research says:

  • According to a 2016 study conducted at Bowling Green State University cited by InsideHigherEd.com, increased use of social media and text messaging are not the reason students aren’t reading your emails. In fact, students who are more active on social media are more likely to regularly check their email.
  • The same study indicates that students tend to fall into two different categories when it came to social media use: “instant communicators” and “content curators.” In other words, the first group tended to use platforms primarily to communicate instantly with one another, while the second group tended to use social media to create/collect content from a wide variety of sources.
  • Common sense rules of email for many students are that most email is junk, you can read it or not; respond to it or not; or simply delete it, rarely with consequence. The fact that email is not an instant means of communicating in a world with numerous possibilities for instant communication means that some students tend to favor forms of communication such as text messages and certain social media platforms where there is an expectation that you 1) know the person to whom you are sending the message, 2) are expected to reply, and 3) are expected to reply near instantly.
  • Faculty members often have unrealistic expectations for students concerning email. Students are not adept at using email just because they have some familiarity with using their smart phone to download an app that will then download all their music for them on their phone. “We have this perception that because students are fluent with things like smartphones and downloading music that they are born with chips embedded in them that make them technology wizards,” says Eric Stoller, a social media and communications consultant in education in the New York Times. “They are no better at managing e-mail than anyone else.”
  • According to a study conducted by Reynol Junco at Purdue on students’ computer use, the students he recruited for the experiment spent about 123 minutes a day on their computers, and the only thing they used less than their email was a search engine. While information may be at our students’ fingertips, they are not as adept as we assume they are at actually locating that information.
  • As Keith M. Parsons, professor of history and philosophy, says in a Huffington Post op-ed from 2015, “if Facebook is your favorite book, you have a problem.”
  • Most students appear to be getting messages from their professors. According to the study conducted at Bowling Green, 85% of students are highly likely to read emails coming from their professors. Those emails that they are less likely to read come from academic advisers, the university, and academic departments. The same study found:

More than one-third of students (39%) said they don’t always read emails from academic advisers.

More than half (54%) of students said the same about emails from the university or from academic departments.

72% of students said that they avoided emails from student organizations all together.

  • According to Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report 2015-2019, the average user sends/receives 99 emails per day. Further, according to a March 2016 report by Litmus, most emails (54%) are opened on mobile devices with desktop representing only 19%.

Here are our top 6 tips for sending “better” emails, emails that will cut through the noise to get to students and that take into account all of the above research:

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If you’d like to schedule a time to visit CTRL and learn about useful alternatives to email, then sign up today for a one-on-one consultation.

Nikki Lane in an Advanced Learning Technologies Consultant in CTRL.

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What Matters to Me… and why Speaker Series: The Virtue of Doubt

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The Virtue of Doubt

Rev.  Mark Schaefer
University Chaplain & Adjunct Professor in Department of Philosophy & Religion

About: A speaker series that provides opportunities for members of the AU community to reflect about values, beliefs and motivations that have shaped their personal and professional journeys. This event is sponsored in part by Kay Spiritual Life Center, Center for Teaching, Research & Learning, and the Office of Campus Life. Please RSVP to KSLC@american.edu.

Location: Kay Spiritual Life Center Lounge
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 16, 2016; 4:00-5:00PM
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Examining Classroom Dynamics: Responding to Students

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Written by: Lindsay Murphy

On Tuesday September 21, CTRL hosted the first of this academic year’s noontime conversations., “Examining Classroom Dynamics: Responding to Students.” Discussing student classroom behaviors that may be disruptive or indicative of a problem, panelists shared productive ways to de-escalate tense moments and how to access additional campus support for students who may be in crisis. The full presentation was recorded and can be viewed below. The panel’s PowerPoint presentation provides suggestions and key contacts as well.

 

Lindsay Murphy is the Coordinator of Faculty Technology Initiatives in CTRL.

3 Tools for Facilitating Discussion Outside of Class: Piazza, Basecamp, and Slack

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Written By: Emily Crawford

Getting students to participate in class discussions can be difficult. Encouraging discussion outside of the classroom can be even more challenging. Luckily, there are an increasing number of applications out there that can conveniently facilitate discussion outside of the classroom in a streamlined, easy to use way. Here are our three top picks and how they compare!

Piazza

Piazza is a “free online gathering place” offers excellent tools for both basic discussion and more complex collaboration, including  trackable edits from both students and instructors. It uses a wiki-style framework, which means that students and instructors can edit one another’s posts. This feature may or may not be relevant  for basic discussions, but it can be great for collaboration and providing group feedback on a specific project or document.

Students and instructors can post a “Note,” a “Question,” or a “Poll/In-Class Response,” all of which can be edited by classmates and instructors. A “note” is a simple post, like a comment on a forum. A “question” prompts a response, or “answer” post, which can come from any student or instructor. Anyone can post a “follow-up discussion” to any note, question, or poll. piazza

The former two tend to be used most frequently. For basic discussion, the edit function is not really necessary, but it’s good to keep in mind that it exists.

Overall, Piazza is easy to set-up – it lives in your browser, and doesn’t require a download. There are some extraneous features which add clutter to the interface, but overall if you’re looking for a forum-style discussion platform with additional editing features for collaboration, Piazza is generally a great option.

Overall grade: B+

Basecamp

Basecamp was originally created with professional teams in mind for managing project workflows, but teachers have found it incredibly helpful as well, and are eligible for free accounts (unlike for-profit users).  If you’re visually-minded, Basecamp has a lot of features that make for a pleasant and streamlined experience, like a timeline on the course homepage that tracks all activity since you created your “Basecamp,” or course homepage.basecamp

This web app is themed around a the metaphor of a mountain expedition, with the main discussion forum for a class labeled as the “campfire.” It also offers a  message board, which has the potential for multiple comment threads, unlike the main “Campfire” forum. Users can create a “To-Do List,” which lets you set goals and assign tasks, a schedule, “Automatic Check-ins,” and a “Docs and Files” section where people can upload documents or create new ones directly in Basecamp.

It’s aesthetically pleasing, but the cutesy icons and expedition-themed names for functions may not be for all tastes. Because of its diverse features, Basecamp can function as a substitute for Blackboard, but students may miss the ability to easily track grades.
Overall, Basecamp has a lot of great functionality and is ideal for a class with a more project- centric structure, and is great for group work because of  its orientation towards teams.

Overall grade: A-

Slack

Slack is a great all-purpose platform for discussion, collaboration, and general communication with students outside the of classroom.  While the app  has the framework and look of a instant messenger app, it has the potential to do so much more. With diverse features, this free application accessible from your computer, tablet, or phone gives users  the ability to easily attach all types of media to any message.slack

Slack has all of the functionality of any messenger app (like Gchat), plus the ability to attach images, files, links, long-form content that you type into Slack itself, or even snippets of web code, should that be your area. It offers a  great alternative to email between class members and professors alike, as you can easily set up mobile alerts to your phone, should you want respond to students on the go. Students can also message each other or create private group chats for team work. For discussions, you can create “Channels,” or content threads, to which multiple students and instructors can contribute. These comments can easily be tracked, if you require participation outside of class.

Slack is ideal for any class with a class participation component, especially for subject matter that may require sharing content like screenshots, other images, or even web code.

Overall grade: A

All three options are completely free for educators, but offer paid deluxe versions for large class sizes. Unfortunately, none of these applications can synchronize their functions with official grades. Slack, like Basecamp, can substitute for Blackboard in that it facilitates assignment submissions, discussion, and collaboration. Piazza offers much of the same functionality, but is less mobile-convenient and less team-oriented.

Slack is our current favorite, but all three of these applications are great options for facilitating discussion and collaboration outside of your classroom.

 

Emily Crawford in an Advanced Learning Technologies Consultant in CTRL.

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HPC Seminar Series: The Subterranean Genome of the Devil Worm

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The Subterranean Genome of the Devil Worm

Professor John R. Bracht
Department of Biology (CAS)

Abstract: The subterranean worm H. mephisto, was first discovered in a gold mine in South Africa, living nearly a mile underground in water-filled cracks in the earth’s crust. Completely isolated from the terrestrial biosphere, this organism has managed to survive, and thrive, under conditions that had been considered lethal to complex life. In this talk I will present recent data from whole-genome sequencing and analysis, and discuss how this finding sheds light on adaptive change in evolution, the limits of complex life on earth, and even on the search for life on other planets.
This talk will be geared toward a non-specialist audience.

Location: Hurst Hall, Room 203
Date/Time: October 7, 2016 at 12:00 p.m.

AU’s Green Teaching Certificate Program on Track to Break Record

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Written by: Anna Olsson

When the Green Teaching Program first launched in the late summer of 2008, 35 AU professors answered a short list of questions about commitments they would make to teach sustainably that fall. Since then, the program has grown and changed significantly, but its core purpose remains the same: To provide incentives for faculty to teach sustainably, while creating a greater awareness of the effects of education on the environment among both professors and students.

This year, the Green Teaching Program is on track to break its all-time record of the number of faculty certified in a single year (151), and it will likely also pass the milestone of certifying its 500th individual Green Teacher. The concrete implications of the program for campus sustainability are significant. Take for example the one action of not printing your course syllabus, and providing it in electronic form only: Assuming that about 80% of the faculty who have earned 1,184 certificates over the last 8 years opted to make their syllabi electronic, and assuming that each faculty member taught an average of 3 courses in an academic year, with an average of 25 students per course, and with syllabi of an average length of 10 pages, this one action alone has saved over 710,000 sheets of paper. That’s a small forest (85 trees, to be precise, according to the calculations by the non-profit organization Conservatree.org). And this is only the estimated impact of one of the 54 actions faculty can opt to commit to in the current version of the Green Teaching Certificate application.

Faculty can collect points for a variety of actions reducing the use of paper by moving towards using course materials, assignments, and exams in an electronic format; reducing the use of energy and reducing pollution by using energy efficient equipment, making a habit of turning off equipment not in use, scheduling office hours on the day of class, and biking or carpooling to campus; as well as other measures such as allowing Green Teaching Program staff to post a Green Teaching score card on Blackboard course pages, listing the commitments made, for students to see, using reusable food and beverage containers, and talking to department staff about purchasing recycled materials and supplies.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Green Teaching Program has been recognized beyond AU, in the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll as one of the reasons for AU’s high score in sustainability ratings of colleges and universities. In addition, six universities across the United States have replicated the program on their own campuses. And so, what started as a small initiative by a few AU faculty and students who wanted to be more conscientious about their use of resources has multiplied into a movement transcending the AU campus, that gives the phrase “think globally, act locally” a whole new meaning.

You can learn more about AU’s Green Teaching Program at http://www.american.edu/ctrl/green.cfm.

 

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Term Faculty Role and Voice in Service and Governance

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2016 Ann Ferren Conference Session #408:

In this session, the Term Faculty Task Force presents the findings from its recent survey relating to CAS Term Faculty service and governance activities. The goal is to explore the level of inclusion and engagement among Term Faculty in service and department governance. In particular, the session is interested in assessing, (1) Are Term Faculty over or under burdened with service?; (2) Is the service of term faculty valued and/or recognized?; (3) Do Term Faculty have a voice in important department governance issues?; and (4) Are Term Faculty aware of the service and governance opportunities? Studying Term Faculty service roles and involvement in department governance can shed light on deficiencies and/or affirm areas where Term Faculty have a role or voice.

Ralph Sonenshine (CAS-ECON)
Christopher Tudge (University Honors & Scholars Program)
Edward Comstock (CAS-LIT)

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Teaching Environment and Sustainability across the Curriculum

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2016 Ann Ferren Conference Session #407:

This session seeks to engage and collaborate with faculty who want to learn about incorporating issues relating to conservation, climate change, and/or sustainability into their courses. These are key challenges of our times and teaching these issues enhances students’ knowledge and capacity to make a difference. Attendees learn strategies for including environmental examples, topics, speakers, projects, assignments, current events, and site visits in any course. Participants who have never taught these topics before but who are interested in interdisciplinary teaching are encouraged to attend. The session focuses upon sharing ideas and discussion of opportunities for including environmental topics across the curriculum.

Heather Heckel (SPExS)
Simon Nicholson (SIS)