ADVISORY COUNCIL ON INSTRUCTIONAL EXCELLENCE

Andrew R. Blair, Chair
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
 2:00-3:00 pm, Room 826 CL

Minutes

Present: A. Blair (Chair), S. Albrecht, E. Beckman, J. Greenberg, J. Manfredi, D. Marsh, T. Metzger, N. Schor, K. Van Lehn, S. Whitney, D. Wilkins, and D. Davis (Staff Resource).

Handouts: Innovation in Education Awards Program 2000: Proposal Statistics; Report of Faculty Development Subcommittee Meeting of 18 April 2000

1.                  Approval of Minutes from February Meeting

Dr. Blair inquired of the Council members present whether the minutes of the February meeting were correct as written.  As there were no corrections or comments, the minutes of the February 16, 2000 meeting of the ACIE will stand as circulated and posted on the website.  (The Saturday, March 18, all-day Instructional Innovation proposal review session was held in lieu of a March Advisory Council Meeting.)

2.                  Report of the Chair

Dr. Blair reported on the annual meeting of the Instructional Technology Consortium that he and Dr. Diane Davis recently attended at the University of North Carolina, and asked Dr. Davis to provide some background information to Council.  She indicated that this consortium is composed of nine universities which have been meeting since Spring 1998.  One of the topics for this year=s meeting was AInternet 2: Capabilities for Instruction.@  In general, this group is seeking ways to collaborate on faculty development projects using technology  through the submission of proposals, papers and presentations at conferences, etc.  One of their efforts has resulted in a forthcoming book on how faculty are using technology.  A number of Pitt faculty have contributed to this book.  It is important to note that the LTC universities are constantly looking at areas of collaboration and that they are available to faculty seeking ways to improve teaching through, for example, database sharing, classroom design, curricular design and development, and assessments of the impact of learning technologies.  Dr. Davis invited Council members to submit ideas or refer other faculty to her as appropriate.

3,         Subcommittee Reports

a.  Instructional Development Programs Subcommittee: Dr. Davis, reporting in Professor Harry Flechtner=s absence, reported on  the number of faculty who have enrolled for each of the Summer Institute sessions to date.  Generally, these early registrations are good indicators for attendance, but it is too soon to determine the impact of the scheduling changes implemented this year.  Professor Susan Albrecht suggested additional ways of calling the summer sessions to the attention of faculty, such as notices in the University Times and through the CIDDE liaisons within each school or regional campus.

b.  Faculty Development Subcommittee: Professor Alan Lesgold was unable to attend but provided a written report that was distributed to Council members; Professor Juan Manfredi elaborated as necessary.  At its last meeting, Subcommittee members, along with Sam Conte (Registrar) and Margaret Potter (GSPH/CIDDE Advisory Board), brainstormed the issue of support for faculty development related to distance education and learning technology.  The following ideas were discussed in depth: support for the Institute of Higher Education=s AFaculty Support Benchmarks,@ a report focused on benchmarking in distance education; the possibility of CIDDE working with University schools/department to recommend graduate students who might undertake an evaluation of the usage trends in CourseInfo (this evaluation could be the basis for a master=s thesis, as well); support for CIDDE plans for producing a AFaculty Development Portal@ on the web that would include links to faculty training opportunities available elsewhere on the internet; encourage CIDDE, CGS and other potential sources to develop tools to assist faculty in preparing students for the increased self-management that learning from online resources typically requires; and explore how the University=s Capital Campaign  might be able to support graduate student assistantships to provide CIDDE with extended faculty development support.  Dr. Davis indicated that she is very interested and enthusiastic regarding the possibility of using graduate student assistants as noted above and would like to explore this in more detail.  It was also suggested that a staff member from Institutional Advancement might be invited to a future Council meeting to discuss the Capital Campaign and the possible solicitation of funds earmarked for faculty development initiatives.

c.  Instructional Grant Subcommittee: Professor Beckman, as Chair of the Subcommittee and facilitator of the review process for the Innovation in Education 2000 grants program, conducted the debriefing as follows (Agenda Item 4).

4.                  Debriefing of Proposal Review Meeting, March 18

Professor Beckman was impressed by how expeditiously the review of proposals was conducted on the 18th.  He felt that separating Council members into two panels worked well.  He suggested that this part of the process be retained for next year.  It was agreed that several areas need improvement; primarily, the RFP needs to be more explicit in requesting, for example,  a standard cover page; a proposal abstract; better budget justification, as well as a reconsideration of what is acceptable and what is not; letters of support; and administrative sign-off.  It was also suggested that workshops for proposal writing might be offered, possibly co-sponsored with the Office of Research.  Presentations on funded projects might be changed from individual presentations to Council (which ws the initial inclination) to a more visible way of sharing results and stimulating interest among faculty, such as faculty seminars, websites, or poster sessions, which could be more easily accessible to the University community.

Several additional suggestions were offered to expedite the review process, including an earlier submission deadline, more specific instructions for reviewers, detailed review reforms, etc.  Professor Beckman will review all of the feedback he has received and draft suggestions for incorporation into the review process for next year.

Professor Marsh asked Council members to recognize formally Professor Beckman=s efforts in leading the process to a successful outcome this year and the valuable assistance CIDDE extended to proposal submitters, as well as the guidance  it provided for the Council members= reviews.  All present agreed with this assessment and congratulated Professor Beckman and CIDDE for their leadership.

5.                  Other Business

As there was no other business brought before Council, Professor Blair thanked members present and reminded the group of the next ACIE meeting on Tuesday, May 16.

6.                  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:07 p.m.