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Agenda and Workshop Content Description

May 22-24, 2012 at Sage Hall, Room 1216

Morning Activities

10 a.m.- noon

QUEST I Course Dialogue

(Comm 111 and WBIS instructors also welcome)

  • The University Studies Program
  • The First Year Student and Academic Success
  • Learning Communities and other High Impact Practices
  • Practical Matters (course names, coding, curricular review process, expectations/dates, etc.)
  • Integrating First Year Experience into Course Content and Process
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Information Literacy Librarian
  • Campus Resources
  • ePortfolio Process
  • USP Advising
  • Ongoing Program Support for USP Teaching Community


Afternoon Activities

12:15- 1:15 p.m.

Lunch for QUEST I Teaching Community

(Comm 111, WBIS, and Quest I disciplinary courses): 
Structured Community Building and Clarification Activities

1:30-4 p.m.

Afternoons: SQ Workshop

(See descriptions below.)

Participants will divided into three groups based on their Signature Question content.


Afternoon Quest I Workshops: Signature Question Content

Civic Engagement Signature Question: Quest I Workshop
The University Studies Program invites you to be among the first to offer our incoming students a disciplinary course that includes a First Year Experience (FYE) and content related to civic knowledge and engagement. These Quest I courses will address the Signature Question: How do people understand and engage in community life? Accordingly, we are offering a three day workshop to discuss course ideas, share desirable practices, and meet others who will make up a core group of scholars who are interested in teaching courses that impart civic knowledge and an appreciation for civic engagement. We hope that you will join us as we endeavor to offer our students a 21st century education infused with meaning, value, and inspiration.

We expect a broad range of courses, reflecting the diverse ways in which civic knowledge and engagement is taught at the University. A rough definition of civic knowledge is that it consists of an understanding of the various political and non-political processes that impact the quality of life in local, state, national, or global communities. In addition it encompasses the cultivation of skills which may be useful in public life, like effective communication and ethical reasoning. Civic engagement consists of having an appreciation for and applying the values gained from civic knowledge in real world settings, directed at improving the quality of life in communities of which one is a part. This includes but is by no means exclusive to one’s profession. Far from a mere “academic” exercise, civic knowledge and engagement emphasizes learning first, then reflection, and finally action. It is rooted in an optimistic world view, that an educated, caring populace can, through concerted effort, make a positive difference in the world.


Intercultural Knowledge and Competence Signature Question: Quest I Workshop
This workshop focuses on engaging instructors in developing course materials for a Quest I course on the Signature Question (SQ): How do people understand and bridge cultural differences? The workshop will be highly collaborative and interactive, providing a forum for participants to share their own ideas and strategies. Experts from across campus on Ethnic Studies, Non-Western cultures, and teaching multiculturalism will present at the workshop. They will introduce instructors to curriculum and pedagogical strategies which develop the following knowledge and capacities in students:

  1. understanding of their own culture and the particular beliefs, values, and habits emergent out of it;
  2. empathy for people from a wide range of cultures and worldviews;
  3. awareness of the ways that location, history, and cultural values intersect to shape the language, traditions, and social institutions of a group of people;
  4. ways of thinking, acting, and feeling that allow students to bridge cultural differences and widen their perspective; and
  5. recognition of the meaning and importance of differing worldviews. These goals for students are founded on AAC&U’s standards for achieving Intercultural Knowledge and Competence.

Overall, the workshop will present a wide variety of models for curriculum infusion and pedagogical change. The emphasis will be on inspiring instructors to forge their own unique approach in a Quest I course teaching Intercultural Knowledge and Competence.


Sustainability Signature Question: Quest I Workshop
Sustainability is about working towards a future in which all human beings can enjoy decent quality of life, while ensuring that we do not endanger the natural resources and ecosystems upon which we depend. Sustainability emphasizes the deep interconnections between society, economy, and nature, making it relevant to all sorts of disciplines and topics. Furthermore, thinking about sustainability as a lens of inquiry–as a way of analyzing issues and problems–makes its relevance to a liberal arts education clear. Sustainability becomes a pedagogical “big idea” that is widely relevant and even inspiring.

UW Oshkosh recognizes that one of our responsibilities as an institution of higher learning is to educate our students, the next generation of leaders and citizens, about the meaning and potential applications of sustainability. However, many instructors wonder how sustainability is relevant to their discipline, and how they can bring sustainability into their classes.

This dynamic workshop will guide instructors in redesigning or creating a Quest 1 course focused on the Signature Question, “How do people understand and create a more sustainable world?” Participants will be introduced to the concept of sustainability, its relevance to a liberal arts education, and to diverse pedagogical strategies and resources that will assist them in bringing sustainability into their classroom. This workshop will offer instructors ample opportunity to engage with examples of teaching sustainability from a variety of disciplines, to explore how different strategies and practices might work in their own classrooms, and to share ideas, discuss concerns and challenges, and build connections with colleagues. The emphasis will be on assisting instructors in developing their own unique and disciplinary-appropriate approach to sustainability. Instructors from all disciplines are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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