Noontime Conversations

The Center for Teaching, Research & Learning sponsors two or three conversational lunches per semester focused on topics of special interest to Faculty. Past Noontime Conversations have included Navigating Diverse Political Ideologies in the Classroom and Beyond, Addressing Students’ Stress and Mental Health Issues, Active Learning: Why It Matters, and Building a Culturally Sustaining Classroom. If you have a particular issue you would like to share with faculty in this venue, please contact Anna Olsson, at x6077.

Fall 2018

Classroom Observations and the Evaluation of Teaching

Tuesday, September 25 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | MGC 3-5

Sarah Irvine Belson, School of Education, CTRL Faculty Fellow

In spite of the well-documented short-comings and biases of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET), the SET remains as the mainstay of how faculty are reviewed for merit, re-appointment, tenure, and promotion. Given that student evaluations are comparatively easy and inexpensive to collect, they are unlikely to be discarded anytime soon. As a counterweight to SETs, there is growing interest in employing classroom observation as a component of a broader approach to evaluating teaching. In this Noontime Conversation, we will discuss what this approach entails, what the best practices are, and when and how they should be deployed as part of a larger narrative of teaching by a faculty member.

Resources:

Observation of Teaching in Higher Ed

School of Education Observation Form

Video Analysis Questions

Trinity’s “Tigers as Partners” Program

City, E. A., Elmore, R. F., Fiarman, S. E., & Teitel, L. (2009). Instructional rounds in education: A network approach to improving teaching and learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Reducing Unconscious Bias in Teaching and Learning: Strategies for Inclusive Pedagogy

Wednesday, October 10 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | MGC 1st Floor, Rooms 3-4

Amanda Taylor, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Traci Dennis, School of Education
Lilian Baeza-Mendoza, CAS-World Languages & Cultures
Gorky Cruz, Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition & Research (CLEAR)

Despite our best intentions, our unconscious biases—and those of our students—often play a key role in shaping the quality of the learning environment in our classrooms.  This session will include but go beyond describing common manifestations of unconscious bias in teaching and learning, and will explore tools for inclusive pedagogy to recognize and address the impact of bias.

Resources

Faculty Incorporating Dialogue into Syllabi Examples

Reducing Unconscious Bias in Teaching and Learning PPT

All Due Respect: Speech, Inclusion and Academic Freedom in a Diverse & Politicized Environment

Wednesday, October 24 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | McDowell Formal Lounge

Lara Schwartz, School of Public Affairs, CTRL Faculty Fellow
Rose Shinko, School of International Service
Maya Vizvary, Health Promotion & Advocacy Center

Hardly a day goes by in which we don’t read about professors indoctrinating students, students protesting guest speakers, students demanding trigger warnings or safe spaces, or students being hostile to free speech.  This narrative persists in spite of the fact that data shows college students are more supportive of free speech than the general population; students who spend time with professors moderate their views.  This hostility, a polarized political environment, proliferation of opinion media, and student evaluation-driven contingent employment present challenges for faculty. At the same time, increasingly diverse student bodies require us to visit whether our learning spaces are truly inclusive. At American, we are engaged in efforts to address the fact that students of color report feeling less welcome and included. In this noontime conversation, we will talk about building learning environments that are equally respectful of intellectual and personal diversity. We will introduce concepts civil discourse, inclusively-designed curricula,  universal design for learning, trauma-informed discourse, and pedagogical strategies for balancing political neutrality with respect and inclusion.

Resources:

Slides and Lesson Plans

Building My Voice Tool 

Pen America Campus for All Report 

Colgate University Task Force on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Expression

Rigorous Inquiry and Respectful Debate

Previous Session Topics

AY 17-18

Canons Under Fire: Struggles in Decolonizing University Curriculum
(4/25/18) (watch the video-recording)

Faculty Development Leadership Cohort: Creating Inclusive Classrooms
(3/28/18)

Enhancing Community-Engaged Scholarship and Teaching
(3/22/18)

Navigating Diverse Political Ideologies in the Classroom and Beyond
(3/6/18) (watch the video-recording)

Financial Challenges Faced By Many of Our Students
(2/19/18) (watch the video-recording)

Racial Literacy in the Wake of Charlottesville
(10/4/17)

Building a Culturally Sustaining Classroom
(9/19/17) (watch the video-recording)

AY 16-17

Judging the Veracity of Sources of Information
(2/28/2017) (watch the video-recording)

Bringing DC to Your Classroom
(2/2/2017)

Strengthening Our Interactional Competence with Students
(11/15/2016)

Free Speech and the Classroom: What to Consider
(10/20/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Examining Classroom Dynamics: Responding to Students
(9/21/2016) (watch the video-recording)

AY 15-16

Teaching First Year Students: Challenges and Opportunities
(3/31/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Transforming Courses through Open Educational Resources
(3/22/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Dealing with Conflicting Political Ideologies in the Classroom
(2/23/2016)

Addressing Students’ Stress and Mental Health Issues: Strategies for Faculty
(1/28/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Internships as a Pathway from Liberal Arts to Careers
(10/21/2015)

Active Learning: Why It Matters
(9/24/2015)

Navigating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom
(8/26/15) (watch the video-recording)

AY 14-15

Reacting to the Past
(3/30/2015)

Problem Based Learning
(2/26/2015)

Combine Your iPad and iPhone To Teach, Present, Write, and Conduct Research
(1/27/2015)

Doing the Reading: Is the Cost of Textbooks a Factor?
(11/13/2014)

Student Voices: AU Undergraduate Curriculum
(10/15/2014)

Ways To Help Students Improve Their Writing Skills
(9/16/2014)

AY 13-14

eBooks in Higher Education: Reading Between the Lines
(3/27/2014)

Learning and the Brain: Cognitive Processes that Underlie Learning (with Daniel Willingham)
(2/25/2014)

“Out of Print” Film by Vivienne Roumani
(2/5/2014)

Where’s Professor Waldo in the Lands of MOOCs
(10/16/2013)

Connecting the Dots: Aligning Course Content in Undergraduate Curriculum
(9/17/2013)

AY 12-13

Teaching with Research
(3/25/2013)

Student Voices: Lessons from Student Survey Data
(2/27/2013)

Another Student Recommendation?
(1/28/2013)

Beyond SETs: Continuing the Conversation
(10/17/2012)

The Art of Teaching – Perils and Pleasures of Pedagogical Interdisciplinarity
(9/18/2012)

AY 11-12

Beyond SETs: Brainstorming the Possibilities
(3/21/2012)

Teaching with Research
(2/27/2012)

Can’t Get to Campus? How to Keep Your Class Going Anyway
(1/24/2012)

Food for Thought – Using Gastronomy as an Incentive to Learn
(10/19/2011)

Face time with the Teaching Coach: Tips and Tricks for Better Teaching
(9/20/2011)

AY 10-11

Measures of Good Teaching
(4/6/2011)

How to Quantify Great Ideas
(3/24/2011)

Facebook Startup – New Classroom Tools
(3/16/2011)

Valentine’s Luncheon: Researching Teaching and Teaching Research
(2/14/2011)

Learning from Our Students: How Research on Our Teaching Informs Practice and Policy
(11/18/2010)

Hybrid Courses: The Best of Both Worlds
(9/21/2010)

AY 09-10

Mobility Learning in Education: The Future is Now
(4/12/2010)

Reflections on What We Learned from the February Snow and Class Continuity
(3/18/2010)

Evaluating Capstones, Comps and Significant Research Papers
(3/3/2010)

Teaching with Research
(2/17/2010)

Reflections on “Inspired Teaching”
(10/21/2009)

Making Your Own Film As a Learning Tool
(9/23/2009)