January - Week 2

Hello Everyone-

Welcome back! I hope you had a good winter break. As you are finalizing your syllabi and other materials for your students, please take a moment to think about your own professional development and the kinds of related activities you’d like to pursue this semester. Below you’ll find a number of opportunities to learn with and from colleagues and to contribute to campus conversations about teaching and learning. This semester a large portion of our programming will focus on incorporating effective active learning in courses across modalities. We hope you’ll join us for workshops, book clubs, brown bag luncheons, and more as we explore this subject together. Please add the events that interest you to your calendar now and keep watching for additional ones throughout the semester. Call, email, or stop by our office if you have questions.

As you know, academic activity must be documented in WebCourses@UCF in every course during the first week of classes each semester. Spring 2016 course materials should include an initial deadline of Friday, January 15. For detailed instructions, a helpful timeline, and other important information, please refer to: http://online.ucf.edu/teach-online/resources/financial-aid/. See below for info about in-person assistance with this requirement available at the Faculty Center.

Have a great week!

Stop in at any time during these hours to get assistance with the Academic Activity Requirement:

  • January 11 from 10:00 – 4:00
  • January 12 from 10:00 – 4:00

The Faculty Center will focus our spring 2016 programming on the general theme of active learning. We will be offering open workshops and individual consultations on active learning strategies, as well as a funded program for faculty members who wish to make significant revisions to a course and can commit to attending a series of sessions and submitting required deliverables.

Open Workshops
We will announce the workshops throughout the semester on our events calendar http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/site/Calendar/ and through our weekly listserv. Topics will include an overview of active learning, team-based learning, case-based learning, in-class writing and problem-solving, interactive lectures, debates, discussions, Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) strategies, flipping the classroom, gamification, role immersion, authentic assessment, rubric design, peer assessment, and more.  We will ask for RSVPs for attendance. 

Funded Course Innovation Project
We plan to recruit 15-20 faculty members from across the university to participate in a formal course innovation project. Interested faculty should develop and propose a course revision that relates to at least one of the following broad research/practice areas: 

  1. Impacts of learning spaces (physical and/or virtual) on student learning and faculty agency
  2. Inquiry-/problem-/team-based learning; connecting active learning and course content
  3. Course mapping of learning objectives to activities and assessments; strategic balancing of deep and broad learning objectives; course scaffolding and pacing
  4. Making connections between active learning and current topics in higher education such as diversity and inclusion, adaptive learning, role immersion, competency-based learning, and experiential learning.

In order to receive the $500 grant, faculty members must:

  • attend two required cohort meetings and at least three active-learning workshops (offered throughout the semester)
  • implement an active-learning strategy during the spring semester
  • produce a final report

Cohort meetings will be scheduled based on participant availability. Faculty members who complete the spring program will be invited to pilot innovations during the fall 2016 semester and will be eligible for an additional grant. To apply to the funded program, please complete the Qualtrics survey at http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_1MMgAKqNboaqd8N by January 20th.

Do you have trouble finding the time to work on your writing? Do you have the beginnings of an article that you would like to develop for publication? If so, you are invited to apply for the spring 2016 FCTL Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to enable faculty to produce an article manuscript for submission to an academic journal. It is designed to help participants to make time for research and writing in the midst of their other various professional and personal obligations. It is also designed to help participants make and meet weekly goals. Faculty writers will work over twelve weeks during the spring term to revise an existing piece of writing (conference paper, chapter, unpublished draft, etc.), to identify publishing venues, and to submit the finished product for publication. The workshops will be held on January 29, February 19 and 26, March 18 and 25, and April 8. Participants should be prepared to attend all six face-to-face meetings, to have regular online “check ins” with the workshop group, and, most importantly, to talk about their work with colleagues. Each participant will receive a copy of the Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks book prior to the beginning of the workshop. To apply, please fill out the Qualtrics survey at this URL http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_06DI229Ef7lHup7 by January 25th.

The UCF School of Visual Arts and Design and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning are co-hosting a digital storytelling workshop as a pilot project for the 2016 Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP),“What's Next: Integrative Learning for Professional and Civic Preparation.” We have five spots available for faculty participants. The Center for Digital Storytelling will conduct the workshop here at UCF on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 22, 23 and 24, 2016. The sessions will run  from 9:00am until 5:00pm all three days.

Digital storytelling is the creation of a brief narrative, using digital technologies to combine voice, videos, images, music, interviews, graphics, and other electronic content to tell a story. Digital narratives allow the creator to reflect upon and analyze something of true importance to the filmmaker. Digital storytelling is also a way to develop integrative learning across curricula, which is critical to the new QEP. During the weekend, faculty participants will learn to tell a digital story by making their own personal essay films. Faculty then can integrate digital storytelling assignments into their curricula, and, ideally, can help teach colleagues about how to use this tool in their courses. Digital Storytelling is a potent tool for students that capitalizes on their creative talents as they begin to research and tell their own stories, while analyzing and synthesizing their work for presentation to the world.  If you are interested and able to attend all sessions, please email fctl@ucf.edu ASAP!

The Division of Teaching and Learning at UCF will be adopting a new unifying theme for 2016, and is seeking your input on the selection. The unifying theme is an initiative that combines curricular and co-curricular activities to help undergraduate students experience connections across disciplines while building relationships within a scholarly community. A good unifying theme has the potential to develop students’ awareness of current global interests and engage several dimensions of inquiry: scientific, social, historical, philosophical, and ethical. The readings, research, and learning projects should help prepare students for their future professional and civic lives. This initiative may also include a common reader that will enable creative conversations across campus and give direction to UCF programming.

In the past, the unifying theme has explored the implications of Brown vs. Board of Education and more global issues of concern such as sustainability. Please take a moment to consider possible topics that have the potential to engage a large number of diverse students, faculty members, and staff members in meaningful discussions about their interests and issues they may currently face. Please offer your suggestions for the new UCF Unifying Theme and ideas for a common reader at http://ucf.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_e5xSdVlep0OzoMt. We need your input as soon as possible.

Claude M. Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (2010) remains a seminal work in the area of stereotype threat. Join us for a discussion on how identity and stereotype threat affect students’ college experiences. The book club will run for six consecutive Wednesdays, beginning January 27 and ending March 2, the week before Spring Break. We will meet in the Faculty Center conference room (CB1-207) from 1:00 – 2:00. The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book. To register, please email anna.turner@ucf.edu.

Saundra McGuire is a nationally-recognized advocate for student success in higher education and will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Summer Faculty Development Conference. Her 2015 book offers a range of strategies and methods for teaching students about metacognition and for promoting their development as effective learners. The book club will meet four times during the semester, from noon to 1:00 p.m. January 19th, February 16th, March 15th, and April 12th  in the Faculty Center and will discuss three chapters of the book in each session. The author has offered to participate in at least one of our discussion sessions during the semester. The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book. To register, please email melody@ucf.edu.

During the spring 2016 semester, the Burnett Honors College will collaborate with the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning to host a book club.  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 12:00-1:00 every other Thursday beginning January 21 and ending April 28.  The first ten respondents will receive a free copy of the book. To register, please email eric.main@ucf.edu.

The Faculty Center will host workshops to help faculty members learn about and develop their applications for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award. The sessions will be held on Wednesday, January 20, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday, February 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Both sessions will be held in CB1 205.

On Tuesday, February 9, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., there will be a webinar for faculty related to Educational Advisory Board’s Student Success Collaborative, a predictive analytics system that will be launching at UCF in the coming months. The session will include information, discussion, and collaborative exploration.

The 2016 Summer Faculty Development Conference will be held May 9-12. The theme will be aligned with our new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), which is “What's Next: Integrative Learning for Professional and Civic Preparation”. The keynote speaker will be Saundra McGuire from Louisiana State University. The RFP will be released soon. For more information on the event and all tracks, go to: http://sites01.lsu.edu/faculty/smcgui1/ .

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning will be piloting a new program in Spring 2016. The Student Consultants on Teaching (SCoT) program will employ carefully selected undergraduate and graduate students who are trained to objectively observe class sessions and provide feedback from a student perspective. When the pilot is launched in March, instructors will have the opportunity to invite a student consultant into their class to observe activities and provide targeted feedback. More information about the program will be available in March.

In order to train the new student consultants, we’re asking for faculty volunteers to invite a consultant-in-training to observe your class and then provide feedback on the observation. Faculty volunteers will also receive objective feedback regarding their class. Our goal is to have at least one large class and several midsize or small classes for training purposes. The training observations will take place in February, after the student consultants have completed initial training sessions. All observations will be conducted at the convenience of the faculty member.

If you are interested in volunteering for a training observation or if you would like more information about the SCoT program, please email fctl@ucf.edu.

This semester, the Faculty Center will host a learning community for adjuncts on four Tuesday evenings (1/19, 2/16, 3/15, 4/12) from 6:00-7:30 in CB1-207 (Orlando campus).  There is a $100 grant for full attendance to help offset costs of attendance.  The meetings are informal discussions about teaching and learning issues, and you will have the chance to meet part-time faculty from other disciplines.  If you would like to attend, please email eric.main@ucf.edu. Please share this information with colleagues as appropriate.

UCF’s College of Arts & Humanities has been awarded one of 75 grants from the National Endowment for the Arts to participate in “The Big Read,” a nationwide program created to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.

Grant recipients around the country pick their own books to feature. To celebrate the 125th anniversary of author Zora Neale Hurston’s birth, beginning in January the college will partner with the Seminole County Public Library and the Public History Center to host six weeks of events focusing on her book Their Eyes Were Watching God. Events will include an art exhibit, lectures, film screenings, theatrical performances and other programs. For a full schedule of programs visit http://bigread.cah.ucf.edu/

The University of Central Florida’s Latino Faculty and Staff Association (LaFaSA) is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for the needs and goals of Latino faculty and staff at UCF. LaFaSA seeks to advance educational and work opportunities that would enhance the status of Latinos/as within the university community. LaFaSA’s mission is to promote a family environment that embraces and respects the various identities within the Latino/a culture through quality, bilingual programming, networking opportunities and guidance, to UCF’s Latino students, faculty and staff; and the greater UCF community.

We would especially like to encourage Faculty to become involved with our organization! Your voice is essential to our programming efforts! For membership information, please complete the interest form below:

If you have any questions, please contact LaFaSA President, Dr. Cyndia Muñiz at cyndia.muniz@ucf.edu or (407) 823-2718.

Join us!
Facebook: UCF Latino Faculty and Staff Association
Twitter: @LaFaSA_UCF
Instagram: LaFaSA_UCF

The Course Preview feature is available to advertise a tentative syllabus to potential students who are registering for classes. This information is not automatically available to all students. Faculty must opt-in to this feature. The tentative syllabus can only be seen by current UCF students and is not available via the public search for classes. For more information on how to construct a course preview, visit: http://fctl.ucf.edu/TeachingAndLearningResources/CourseDesign/Syllabus/coursepreview.php
For instructions on how to opt in to this feature, visit: http://online.ucf.edu/support/webcourses/other/course-preview/

Join a faculty writing club to start your spring semester off with a focus on productivity and camaraderie. Having trouble getting into a good writing rhythm? Need to get away from your office to get a change of perspective and a little privacy? Forget the coffee shop--join your colleagues on Thursday and Friday mornings from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. in FCTL for a loosely structured writing session. We'll take five or six minutes each week to go around the room and state a goal for the time block and then spend the rest of the time working on our individual projects. Bring your own laptop or use an FCTL computer. And of course there will be coffee. Everyone is welcome!


Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Humberto Lopez
College of Arts and Humanities Humberto   Lopez If I were to encapsulate the most important principle in my teaching philosophy it would be that one must enjoy being a teacher in order to be a good one. I am passionate about education because I am a learner myself who believes that learning should be curiosity driven, active, and enjoyable, and should emphasize...

Jeff Biddle
College of Education and Human Performance Jeff   Biddle My teaching philosophy is based on my desire to help my students be successful in the classroom, in the program, and most importantly, in life after graduation. I truly believe that "students do not care what you know until they know that you care." I try my best to learn the names of all of my stude...

Dennis Filler
College of Engineering & Computer Science Dennis Filler Since the Industrial Revolution U.S. universities have been producing assembly-line engineers, technically astute but weak in management skills. Traditionally, engineers have not been good managers and business owners. Then, in the late 1970s, academic decision makers decided that engineering schools should progre...