FLCs for 2012-2013

Career Track Faculty

Dr. Melissa Kozak
This FLC will offer Career Track Faculty (such as lecturers, academic professionals, public service representatives, research professionals, clinical faculty, etc.) a community to discuss issues unique to our roles across the university. Topics of discussion might include: appointment and promotion guidelines, balancing multiple departmental roles, actively engaging students and other teaching issues, as well as topics of interest to the community. We will learn from each other to improve our teaching and service to the university.  

Reflective Writing

Drs. Elizabeth Davis and David Noah
Reflection is increasingly being valued as an integral part of thinking and learning.  The "Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing" describes meta-cognition as "the ability to reflect on one's own thinking as well as on the individual and cultural processes used to structure knowledge".  It is one of the eight key habits of mind essential for successful college-level writing (Council of Writing Program Administrators).  The concepts of reflective writing practice and experiential learning have been adopted by professionals in a wide variety of fields (education, health, public administration, etc.) as part of the on-going process of understanding and improving the way knowledge is mobilized and put to use.

Reflection can help us instill habits necessary for self-directed and lifelong learning in our students.  As part of our own professional practice, reflection can also help us analyze our teaching, research, professional, and/or clinical practices in order to become better practitioners ourselves.  This FLC will explore how written reflection might be integrated into our classrooms and assignments in ways that are connected to course goals and objectives.

We will discuss different methods for prompting reflection, and explore how it can help students articulate what they know and what they need to learn.  We will also apply reflective practice to our own courses in order to identify areas for change and improvement.

Research Mentoring Strategies

Prof. Brian Cummings
This learning community focuses on faculty approaches for mentoring students in research.  Discussions will center on how didactic training in the classroom can be re-enforced by research and how to design research experiences to help students become life-long learners?  The group will place special emphasis on having faculty share their own mentoring approaches and styles.  Our goal is to have core-group of 8-12 faculty made up of all ranks that deal with mentoring in several disciplines.

Presentation Visualization

Prof. Mark E. Johnson
Sometimes it feels like teaching needs to be reduced to "Short Attention Span Theater" segments. How do we keep our students engaged? How do we prevent them from tuning out as we click to PowerPoint slide number 37, the 23 most important bullet points of this segment of the lecture?

 This FLC will explore the different methods of visual presentations used in classrooms and attempt to develop a set of best practices and examples to be shared across the campus. We'll look at the most successful presentations each member has in their repertoire, critique them and help them build better ones. From formatting to content to presentation style to software options, we'll look at how we direct the student's attention to the material and keep them engaged.

Green Leaves:  Ecocrit Conversations

Drs. Ron Balthazor and Paul Quick
Ecocriticism is the study of the confluence of nature, literature and culture, and the insights inspired by such study seem more important than ever. The best ecocritcial conversations span academic disciplines in complex ways.

This FLC quite simply will function as a forum for ecocritical thinking that we hope will attract the entomologists and the political scientist, the evolutionary biologist and the literary critic, for conversations that range from compost to Whitman's "This Compost," from sustainable agriculture to Wendell Berry's  "Home Economics," from E. O. Wilson to Barbara Kingsolver, from Frankenstein to factory farming.  The conversation will be a relaxed exchange prompted by short ecocritical writings, and the conversation will by design be free-ranging.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Teaching But Were Afraid to Ask, Cont.:  Exploring teaching topics in higher education

Prof. Tom Reichert and Paul Quick
This FLC is designed for faculty interested in  improving their teaching and student learning through discussion with other faculty.  Using short readings from the rich well of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) to prompt discussion, the Teaching FLC will provide a relaxed and informal forum for participants to explore their teaching practice and will encourage participants to consider and implement changes—large or small—in their teaching with the support and feedback of other participants. Topics could include course design, alternative pedagogies (e.g. team-based learning), innovative teaching and learning activities, active learning, improving assignments and more. 

Learning to Assess Learning

Dr. Leslie Gordon
Learning outcomes assessment has received increased institutional and scholarly focus in recent years. Have you grappled with assessing student learning outcomes in your classes?  Has your department or program struggled with the process? Join other faculty members to explore just what learning outcomes assessment is and how it can be done in order to benefit the teacher, the learner, and the program alike. In this FLC we will consider best practices and explore ways to link assessment practices at the course, program, department and institutional levels.  Members will work through their own assessment goals and help others do the same over the course of several meetings.

The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in food, agricultural, and environmental sciences

Profs. Jean Bertrand and Maria Navarro
This FLC is designed for faculty interested in collaborative projects to improve teaching and learning in food, agricultural, and environmental sciences. Faculty from any college and discipline are welcome.

Our FLC meetings will initially consist of discussions and guest speaker presentations about topics of common interest, to further enhance our practice of and knowledge about excellence in teaching *. After the FLC has established a foundation of knowledge, we will discuss how to best meet the needs of the group. One possibility would be to move toward the development of interdisciplinary curricula; exploration, development, and implementation of SoTL projects; or submission of collaborative grant proposals relevant to teaching and learning in agriculture and related sciences.  Some topics of discussion might include: Recruiting millennial students into agriculture and related sciences; examples of outstanding SoTL projects in applied sciences; integrating hunger issues and agriculture across the higher education curriculum; integrating social sciences and humanities into the agricultural and environmental sciences curriculum; developing agriculture case studies; creative ways to evaluate student learning.

 Globalizing the Curriculum: Trends, Driving Forces, Cross-Cultural Exchanges

Dr. Uttiyo Raychaudhuri
The latest statistic offered to us is that only 7% of Americans currently hold passports (the estimated figure is less than that for our elected officials in Congress).  A common response to this is that “Americans don’t travel outside the United States – we don’t need to – we have Disney World and Hollywood right here.” With all due respect to Mickey Mouse and Marilyn Monroe, Americans do not need to travel outside of the U.S. to encounter the world.  In fact, the world UGA students will encounter in their own backyard is changing – immigration and the development of technology has brought diversity of culture and history to even the most rural of towns in Georgia.  Within 50 miles of Athens there are three Islamic Centers.  There are over 30 international student clubs, fraternities, sororities, and associations on campus.  The numbers of international students and faculty at UGA are also on the rise, increasing the chances of cultural exchange throughout the university, Athens and surrounding communities.  Are UGA students prepared to interact and thrive in this new community of diversity?

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) for Graduate Students

Dr. Denise Domizi
The Scholarship of Teaching and Leaning is the "systematic study of teaching and/or learning and the public sharing and review of such work through presentations, publications, or performances" (McKinney, 2004). This learning community is for graduate students who are interested in designing and implementing a SoTL project. While this FLC is specifically targeted toward graduate students who are pursuing the Interdisciplinary Certificate in University Teaching (who are required to have such a project), other interested graduate students are also invited to join. Graduate students with all levels of experience and at all stages of their projects (from vague ideas to data analysis to writing it up) are welcome.