January - Week 2

Hello Everyone-
Welcome to the spring semester. Below you’ll find information about activities at the Faculty Center and beyond. Attached is a memo from Provost Whittaker about a new faculty cluster hiring initiative. Please note that an information session about this effort will be held at 3 p.m. this Wednesday, January 14, in Teaching Academy Room 117.

As you know, you must document students’ academic activity in all classes in WebCourses@UCF during the first week of each semester. Please include an initial deadline of Friday, January 16, for that activity in your spring classes. If you have questions about how to implement this process in your course, please contact our office or the Center for Distributed Learning for assistance. For detailed instructions, a helpful timeline, and other important information, please refer to: http://teach.ucf.edu/financialaid. Call or stop by this week if you need help with this or any aspect of getting your semester started.

Have a great first week back in classes,

Tuesday, January 13
Workshop: Preparing GTAs to Assist in Implementing Innovative Teaching Methods 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Implementing innovative teaching methods, like guided-inquiry or flipping the classroom, can be a great experience for graduate teaching assistants and faculty alike. Come to this session to discuss ways to prepare graduate teaching assistants for this type of assignment and the benefits that can result from GTA professional development.

Thursday, January 15th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Friday, January 16th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Workshop: Interactive Teaching and Active Learning Strategies 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Engage your students and ensure that they are learning the conceptual skills they need. You will learn several, easy-to-adopt, classroom activities appropriate for most teaching situations, especially lectures.

Bring Your Own Device(BYOD)
The ubiquity of mobile wireless devices has made the BYOD concept a viable option for education. Students use their current mobile devices to participate in class activities. In this workshop, we will discuss how to integrate BYOD activities into your course. We’ll cover best practices, ideas for activities, and university policies to consider.
Wednesday, January 21, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Case Studies in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Classroom
Case studies can be a powerful tool to add relevance and rigor to   and  way  This session will introduce the concept of case-based teaching and discuss its benefits to students.  We will explore cases from various STEM disciplines and discuss logistics related to participants’ individual courses.  
Friday, January 23, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

How Learning Works
This workshop is based on the book How Learning Works: Seven Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan Ambrose, et al.  Participants will learn about the seven principles and apply them to their own teaching.  The principles address students’ prior learning and motivation, course organization and climate, mastery learning, providing feedback, and encouraging self-directed learning.
Monday, January 26, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Assessing Service-Learning
Service-learning is a teaching method that teaches course content through civic engagement.  Once a service-learning project is implemented, however, how do you know if your students are really learning?  Also,  can you give a student a grade for doing service?  Come to this session and discuss how to assess student learning as a result of service-learning.
Friday, January 30, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Faculty Center is pleased to offer faculty development cohorts for the spring semester. You can register for any of the below cohorts at http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_eQjKK35nGAAi4VT. Please see http://fctl.ucf.edu/Events/FacultyDevelopmentCohorts/ for full details, including dates and times of each session.

Improving Student Learning by Design
When course-level learning objectives or outcomes are clearly integrated with learning activities and assessments, students can better

  • differentiate among types of knowledge,
  • engage in sustained, goal-directed practice,
  • take greater responsibility for their learning,
  • transfer learning to new contexts, and
  • develop metacognitive skills associated with deep learning.

During these workshops, participants will discuss recent findings from cognitive research on learning and create a detailed course map of new or revised course-level and sequence-level learning objectives aligned with goal-oriented learning activities and targeted feedback.
Proposals due January 15th, 5:00 p.m.

Large Lecture Courses
Large lecture courses, which are common at UCF, create some particular challenges for professors and students alike.  Students can feel lost and anonymous.  Professors can struggle to remain engaging and interactive when facing the sea of faces staring back at them.  For instructors, managing the logistics of assessment and providing individual help for the students can be overwhelming as well.  Many UCF faculty members have found strategies to help them cope with their large classes, both in lecture and beyond.  Any faculty member interested in sharing and hearing ideas on how to better manage their large classes is encouraged to join a Spring 2015 Large Lecture Learning Community. We will be meeting monthly for four sessions to talk informally about our ideas and to hear from guest speakers from campus resources that can help with our large classes.
Proposals due January 15, 5:00 p.m.

STEM Peer Observation
Please consider participating if you are:

  • A faculty member in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math) department or program
  • Teaching at least one undergraduate class in spring 2015
  • Interested in talking about innovative teaching methods and theories with other STEM faculty
  • Willing to observe two of your peers’ classes
  • Open to having others observe you teach

Discussions will focus on strategies for STEM teaching and learning, specifically the challenges, realities, and successes of innovative approaches. Peer observation of teaching will be used for the reciprocal benefit of participants, enabling them to exchange ideas and receive feedback in a supportive environment.
Proposals due January 21st, 5:00 p.m.

Inclusive Course Design and Teaching Strategies
This series of workshops is a collaboration among the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, Student Disability Services, and the Center for Distributed Learning and is intended to further the conversation at UCF on accessible and inclusive course design and teaching strategies. Participants will identify components of their course structure and teaching that can be modified to improve accessibility and learning for all students. In addition to revising course elements, each participant will create a short video for other faculty members that encourages and promotes this thinking in some way. FCTL, CDL, and SDS will incorporate the videos into their outreach initiatives to faculty.
Proposals due January 21st, 5:00 p.m.

This semester we will be reading Minds on Fire: How Role-Immersion Games Transform College by Mark C. Carnes (2014). This study is based on interviews with students and faculty who participated in the pedagogical innovation “Reacting to the Past,” which began at Barnard College (https://reacting.barnard.edu/). Our meetings will be held in the Faculty Center (CB1-207) from 10:30-11:30 on 1/29, 2/26, 3/19, 4/9. The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book. To register, please email eric.main@ucf.edu.

The Faculty Center is bringing together a group of faculty members across campus who study learning spaces and their impacts on classroom outcomes.  If you conduct this kind of research and/or are interested in doing so, please email melody@ucf.edu to learn more.

The Office of Undergraduate Research is looking for a UCF faculty member for the position of Editor, UCF Undergraduate Research Journal (www.URJ.ucf.edu). Faculty interested should have experience in editing, publishing, and academic research/scholarship. All ranks of faculty are encouraged to apply.  Several compensation packages may be available, including, but not limited to, a course release and/or summer salary. Faculty interested  should contact Kim Schneider (KRS@ucf.edu) for more details about the position and application. Applications are due on January 23, 2015.

The University of Central Florida Libraries and Gale Cengage Learning are pleased to announce a new service available to faculty.  Gale’s new Curriculum Alignment Service allows libraries to draw a clear path from the classroom straight into their library. Through a consultation with faculty and librarians, Gale will provide deep linking to search results or individual titles or articles that align directly with syllabi, course page, or research guide topics. This will allow students to link directly to existing Gale library resources when they are doing readings or research projects. Gale will create custom links based on feedback from the professor and/or librarian, to link to content that will support teaching and students’ needs.  The best part about this service is that students are directed to content already owned by UCF that is available 24/7, anytime, anywhere.  Questions about this service should be directed to Michael Arthur at michael.arthur@ucf.edu


Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Robert Cassanello
College of Arts and Humanities Robert   Cassanello I teach because I am drawn to the rewards and challenges of teaching. The classroom provides me the opportunity to mentor students, contribute to their intellectual growth, and collaborate with them in the production of original knowledge that shapes the field. I teach courses on state and local history, moder...

Lisa Mills
College of Arts and Humanities Lisa Mills When I arrived at UCF eleven years ago I believed my primary role as an educator was to prepare students for a profession. My teaching philosophy has greatly changed since then, and my classroom activities and assessments reflect a new and evolving belief that I should learn from my students and that I have a res...

Trae Stewart
College of Education Trae  Stewart My teaching philosophy is based on the recognition that education is a primary social institution. Educational achievement and attainment, more specifically, are often necessary for individuals to meet their basic needs. Through this process, accepted knowledge, skills, and dispositions are transmitted from th...