I trust that you have survived the mid-term season and are now on the home stretch for completing the rest of the semester. I would like to extend a special “thank you” to all of the faculty members who are participating in our first full implementation of the Faculty Learning Community (FLC) program. This program was first mentioned to faculty as the Learning Community Project (or student-faculty FLC) in Fall 2013 and used for our successful entry into Evergreen’s prestigious National Summer Institute for Learning Communities in 2014. In Spring 2015 Prof. Jacqueline Johnson and Dr. Liza Mohanty conducted the pilot of this FLC in their classrooms. This FLC was renamed “Integrative Learning Across Disciplines” and became one of the five FLCs proposed for Fall 2015. See the update below on the active FLCs for this semester. Our other Fall programming includes the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program, STEM Club and After School Academy at Julian High School. New this Fall is our Saturday STEM Academy for ACT preparation.
Inside this issue you will be updated on these and other activities sponsored by the STEM CTL. Technology trainings, workshops, presentations and webinars will continue to be provided, and we welcome you to share your expertise with your colleagues. Please stop in to see one of our technology staff if you have questions or wish to update your skills on various techniques. We appreciate your continued support!
Faculty Learning Communities Update
- Topic or theme-based – has a curriculum designed to address a special campus issue, teaching strategy or need. We are currently supporting two topic or them-based FLCs. They are on the topics of Assessment and Integrated Learning.
- Cohort-based – address the teaching, learning and developmental needs of an important group of faculty or staff. We have one cohort-based FLC with STEM faculty.
There are 17 faculty from art, music, biology, physics, chemistry, math, political science, economics, English, Spanish, African-American studies, psychology and social science disciplines who are a part of this new initiative. Prof. Jacqueline Johnson is the facilitator for the Assessment FLC with Prof. Shadi Assaf, Prof. Luis Delgado, Prof. Cornelia Forrester, Prof. Sudipta Roy, Prof. M. Carla Carr and Prof. Curtis Johnson serving as participants. Prof. John Jackson is the facilitator for the Effective Teaching in the STEM Disciplines FLC, with Dr. David Zoller, Prof. Sylvester Roebuck, Prof. Kara Neely, Prof. Paul Buckner and Prof. Gilbert Frye serving as participants. Dr. Liza Mohanty is the facilitator for the Integrative Learning FLC with Prof. Barbara Brown, Dr. Kristee Davis, Prof. Austin Ferguson and Prof. Curtis Keyes serving as participants.
These facilitators and participants will become the first inaugural group of OHC Faculty Scholars and will be recognized at the end of this academic year. This group will present their work to their peers and other college stake-holders and will become mentors for the second group of OHC Faculty Scholars for the 2016 – 2017 academic year. If you are interested in joining one of the FLCs, please contact the facilitators. If you would like to recommend other topics or cohorts for participation in the FLC program, please contact Dr. Fullard.
On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, Dr. Liza Mohanty presented for the STEM CTL Food, Mood, and Eating Behaviors. This presentation discussed how food affects our state of mind and how our emotional state affects our food choices. The overall message was to create an awareness of the connection between the foods we eat and how our brain functions.
Much of the information presented came from a book called: "Food and Mood" by Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.
On Monday, October 26, 2015 Dr. Khaldoun Sweis presented for the STEM CTL The Blind Spots of Science: 10 things Science Cannot Teach us and Why they are Important. Science (derived from Latin scientia, or ‘knowledge’) is a way of researching the world. It is a wonderful gift to make sense of creation and that we have used and are using to make our world a better place. But it has its limits. There are many things science cannot do or help us with, in this seminar Dr. Sweiss addressed 10 of them! For instance, we cannot use science alone to make moral judgements, we cannot use science alone to give us meaning and hope in life. We cannot use science alone to understand science itself. Sweis argued that although science can point us to evidence of God and the supernatural, it alone cannot explain them. Sweis argued that religion and science are not at odds, rather it is scientism or naturalism that is at odds with religion. Participants in many fields engaged in open discourse as they explored the various concepts of this topic.
A summary of the talk is located here http://www.logicallyfaithful.com/7-things-science-tell/
Loyola University Chicago Presentation
Dr. Fink’s presentation “Transformative Teaching for Transformative Learning” focused on 5 high impact teaching practices and how Loyola University is addressing these areas through their holistic approach to education:
- Change Students’ Views of Learning
- Learning-centered Course Design
- Team-based Learning
- Engage Students in Service – with Reflection
- Be a Leader with your students
STEM CTL Staff - Presents During 2015 Faculty Development Week
Presented by: Michelle Ferguson, Elissa Tobin, Kevin Truong, Keith Werosh, and Vincent Wiggins
Presented by: Michelle Ferguson
PowerPoint just got interesting! With the powerful tool, Office Mix you can create interactive lessons that your students can access anywhere, anytime and on any device. Research has shown that using video lectures as supplemental instruction can enhance learning, increase retention, and improve course success (Brecht, 2012; Gorissen, P., van Bruggen, J., & Jochems, W., 2012).
So how can you use Office Mix to transform a PowerPoint presentation into an interactive lesson? You can add interactive questions to gauge your students understanding. You can use digital inking to annotate and draw attention to specific details in your presentation. You can insert audio and/or video recordings to add your personal touch. You can create screen recordings to demonstrate how to navigate course websites or provide digital feedback. In addition with Office Mix you can use the data analytics components to see data about the slide, visitors, and exercises. This workshop was for participants who wanted to transform their existing PowerPoint presentations into an interactive lesson.
For more information about Office Mix visit: https://mix.office.com/
Supported by: Syed Abedi, Maureen Boland, Michelle Ferguson, Dashaun Hits, Delisa Ibrahima, Elissa Tobin, Kevin Truong, Vincent Wiggins
This is a walk-in opportunity to get one-on-one help on all things Blackboard (Bb). The hands-on clinic will be staffed by City Colleges Blackboard experts who can offer assistance on a variety of new and existing Blackboard features. This was the highest rated session at last year’s FDW event. Come see why!
Presented by: Dr. Vera Fullard
Faculty Learning Communities – This was a synopsis of the presentation provided to faculty at the FLC Retreat on August 7, 2015. The presentation began with a history of learning communities offered at OHC since 2008. From 2008 – 2010 the program led by Dean Kevin Smith focused on student learning communities (SLCs) with linked classes, primarily developmental education tied to occupational career courses. With the awardance of the PBI Competitive Grant (2011 – 2015), the focus shifted to SLCs tied to credit courses particularly in the STEM area. The strategic goals of the LC for STEM Program were to improve student learning and enhance teaching effectiveness through learning communities (SLCs) with collaborative and cooperative learning options supported by the establishment of a STEM Center for Teaching and Learning (STEM CTL). After the first few years of the grant, we began to encounter difficulties with the SLCs due to co-enrollment and class cancellation. In April, 2015, we requested and received permission to change the end date of this grant to 2016 in order to begin full implementation of Faculty Learning Communities. Five FLCs were proposed for Fall 2015. Research has shown that FLCs achieve the same goals as SLCs, namely improvement in student engagement and academic achievement.
After the discussion of the history of LCs at OHC, Dr. Fullard provided an overview of the STEM CTL Faculty Learning Community (FLC) Program which included a description of the FLCs offered, as well as general information pertaining to FLCs: mission and purpose, curriculum, facilitation (components and membership) and assessment. The next part of the presentation dealt with the scholarly process of FLCs which includes: the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), literature review, teaching projects, focus course, course mini-portfolios, and other activities related to FLCs (seminars, retreats and conferences).
Following the formal part of the presentation, participants split up into groups according the specific FLC which had been chosen, to discuss focus course, compare syllabi and determine meeting schedule. The groups also had an opportunity to begin discussions regarding goals, objectives, curriculum and assessment measures. It was emphasized that faculty participating in the FLCs must select a focus course and complete a teaching project or a mini-portfolio that analyzes and provides evidence of student and faculty learning.
Resources for Classroom Management (Part 1) –This was a repeat of the presentation delivered at the request of faculty in May, 2015. Classroom management was defined as a consistently established set of rules for managing student behavior and expectations in the classroom. Several lists of literature/resources which deal with disruptive behavior in college classrooms were distributed. Participants discussed some of the major reasons for disruptive behavior in colleges as referenced by Howard Seeman, 2010 in Preventing Disruptive Behavior in Colleges. These include
- Carried over from high school behavior
- Student unprepared for college rigor may tend to act out as a coping mechanism
- Student may be bored or frustrated
- Student not engaged in classroom activities
- Use your syllabus to define your expectations and policies.
- Before you respond to a conduct issue, be sure it is not a miscall.
- Create a classroom culture which encourages appropriate behavior.
- Do not embarrass a student in front of the class.
- Document the behavior appropriately.
At the request of attending faculty, Dr. Fullard has consented to presenting a part II on this topic, so that more strategies and best practices can be shared.
STEM CTL Programs Fall 2015
The After School Academy @ Julian HS began on Monday September 29, 2015. The program will run until mid-December 2015, and start again in Spring 2016. Academic coaching sessions will be at least 1.5 hours each day, on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm – 5:30pm.
The mission of the After School Academy is to provide students with academic support in the areas of English, Reading, Science and Math. Also, to improve the academic achievement of students through increasing their knowledge and skills, school attendance, and time devoted to their academic career by providing additional, instruction and guidance.
The After School Academy @ Julian High School will be an extension of the advanced placement and dual credit courses. Students enrolled in these courses will attend academic coaching sessions to improve test scores, complete missing assignments and homework, improve study skills, improve classroom attendance, and improve note-taking skills.
For more information about the program download a copy of the 2015 – 2016 After School Academy Handbook.
Supplement Instruction is:
- a program that assists students in historically difficult courses through peer-led review sessions by a student who has successfully completed the course.
- a way to grasp tough material and break it down into understandable concepts
- a place to share and gain study tips and tricks to help students succeed in future courses.
- a program that assists students in historically difficult courses through peer-led review sessions
This Fall the STEM CTL is supporting 7 courses with 6 SI Leaders:
On Friday, October 30th, we welcomed Terakesha Hammond, Wellness Center Director, to speak to the SI Leaders about the Wellness Center’s services and the support they provide to Olive-Harvey students, faculty, and staff. Since SI Leaders are trustworthy peers to the students, students may feel comfortable sharing personal problems with them. We want the SI Leaders to feel confident with what support resources are available so they may refer the students to the appropriate places.
The search for Spring 2016 SI Leaders has begun. The coordinators will be reaching out to faculty this month for recommendations for the targeted courses. Keep an eye out for our email!
The STEM CTL is sponsoring a Saturday STEM Academy for ACT preparation. The program was requested by Derrick Fleming, a coordinator at Percy L. Julian High School. The program is hosted at OHC in room 3319. Fifteen students from Julian and Fenger High Schools have signed up to participate. Julian and Fenger are two of our nine feeder high schools, and it is hoped that this program will improve placement scores for students alleviating the need for remedial courses. Students will receive academic assistance in English, math, reading and science. The program will run from 10 am – 1:30 pm for six Saturdays for the current semester and six Saturdays for next semester. Space is limited, but if you have students, family members or friends interested in participating contact Dr. Fullard.