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Teaching Forum - UW Stout

A Journal of the the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Sunday October 26, 2008 Edition

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UW Stout
Campus Report

By Dan Riordan

This fall semester the work of the spring and summer is beginning to show on campus. As part of a university realignment, our Teaching and Learning Center became the Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center. The impact is that with the name change came access to the Nakatani endowment fund, which is now being funneled into our TL development programs.


This summer NTLC and Title III hosted an institute on collaborative teaching for instructors of our Living Learning Communities and a three-day workshop for all new instructors on campus. In the fall we will begin a series of 4-meeting 'Sharing Communities,' groups if instructors who meet to explore a particular issue. We also have a Development Series, with a session for faculty each Wednesday and Thursday; these sessions range from use of D2L, through audio grading of PDFs and the Counciling Center's description of our students. We will begin with focuses on on-line teaching and pedagogical use of Second Life (we have leased half an island from New Media Consortium). We will continue work with our Academic Transformation project, focused this year on Freshman English, and our Engagement study, focused on whether deliberate use of engagement techniques facilitates better learning. Our original SOTL project continues to bloom. This year six Stout instructors will make presentations at the ISSOTL conference in Edmonton. We are also connected, once again, with the UW-System Lesson Study project.


In addition, we will now fund Communities of Practice (one-year research ventures, like SOTL), a small grant program, and 'travelships,' stipends we use to support travel to conferences for those who have worked in our programs.  We have begun work with the colleges to create models for linked courses and team-taught courses, both wonderful ideas but bureaucratic snarls. All of this has been greatly facilitated by the support of the Provost who has enlarged the Director's position to full-time, calendar year.


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