ADVISORY COUNCIL ON INSTRUCTIONAL EXCELLENCE
 Andrew R. Blair, Chair
 Tuesday, November 16, 1999
 4:00-5:00 p.m., 826 C.L.

 Minutes

 


Present:   Andrew Blair (Chair), Susan Albrecht, Rita Bean, Eric Beckman, Lisa Bell-Loncella, Harry Flechtner, Janelle Greenberg, Beverly Harris-Schenz, Vernell Lillie, Diane Marsh, Tom Metzger, Richard Scaglion, Nina Schor, David Wilkins, and Diane Davis (Staff Resource)

Handouts: RFP: Innovation in Education Awards; Proposed CIDDE Teaching Excellence Programs, Summer 2000; Report on Meetings with Academic Deans: Summary

Dr. Blair opened the meeting by briefly recapping for the members present who were unable to attend the October meeting the actions taken, and copies of the finalized RFP were distributed.  Council was informed that the RFP was sent to all full- and part-time faculty, administrators, deans, directors, and department chairs at all five campuses; and it was expected to be in mailboxes by the end of the week.  Dr. Blair reminded members that the members of the curriculum grant subcommittee would be the primary reviewers of the proposals and that questions regarding proposal submissions may be forthcoming from interested faculty members.  The meeting was then turned over to Prof.  Harry Flechtner for the discussion of the summer program.

(1)  Summer Institute Proposal for 2000

 A description of the Summer Institute proposed by the Instructional Development Programs subcommittee was distributed and presented by Prof. Flechtner.  He noted that last year's summer program worked well and recommended that similar courses be offered again next year.  After discussion within the subcommittee of ways to enhance last year's program, it was decided to offer the 2-day CourseInfo training session on-site to regional campus  faculty this summer.  The Johnstown Campus was selected based on the size of its conference facilities, as well as its location.   Although preference will be given to regional campus faculty members, it was felt that this might be a good opportunity for Pittsburgh faculty to become acquainted with other regional campus faculty and the Johnstown Campus in general.  The session will be offered in May 2000.

A second session, "Course Development and Redesign Consultation," will again be offered but changed somewhat from last year's offering.  Prof. Flechtner noted that this program was successful but not as heavily attended as the others.  The focus of this session is to provide faculty members with the opportunity to consult with CIDDE technical staff.  Faculty members may re-engineer a current course or design a new one.  The subcommittee realized that faculty commitment to this session is considerable (part-time sessions over 8 weeks beginning in early June), but is extremely valuable to attendees.  Council members were inclined to agree that the time commitment may be burdensome, but following some discussion, the description will be rewritten to indicate that individual consultations with CIDDE staff will be available over an 8-week period and can be scheduled at the faculty member's convenience.

With regard to the third summer session, "Pedagogical Methods," the subcommittee discussed various methods that could be applied over a broad range of disciplines, such as collaborative learning/active learning.  The use of outside speakers seemed particularly suited to the format they were considering: an interactive, intensive workshop for a small group, to be held over one or two days. After much discussion, which included the cost of using external speakers, the number of faculty to be accommodated, and length of the program, Council members advised that a one-day program would be preferable, and based on speaker's availability, a second day/program might be offered.

There was consensus among Council members that new faculty members should be routinely invited, even though the Summer Institute is offered in early summer when most are not yet on campus officially.

Prof. Flechtner thanked Council for their input and indicated that his subcommittee will put together a revised proposal for the December meeting.

(2) Summary of Meetings with Deans

 Diane Davis briefly gave Council members the background on these meetings, which began two years ago during the summer months.  In the meetings with Deans and Regional Campus Presidents this year,  Dr. Davis felt that the focus should be faculty development; and her goal was to identify curriculum and instructional priorities in the individual academic units.  Deans/RCPs were also interested in talking about ways to improve teaching. The emerging themes in these meetings were: (1) curriculum review and development, (2) active learning, (3) faculty development, (4) instructional technologies, (5) continuing education; (6) programs for Teaching Assistants, and (7) awareness of CIDDE capabilities and services.  Dr. Davis informed Council that CIDDE has already begun addressing many of these themes.  They have begun efforts to have schools designate a contact person with whom CIDDE can directly work to identify individual units' needs and services and subsequently offer assistance.  A copy of the unit's individual report will go to each dean/regional campus present with whom Dr. Davis met.

A discussion of systematic curriculum review followed Dr. Davis' report.  Council was in agreement that curriculum review should be an ongoing process, rather than one dictated by outside groups, such as accreditation bodies. Members also noted that in addition to the School of Medicine, both the Greensburg and Bradford Campuses recently revamped their curricula and that the processes used might be reviewed with the object of preparing a general model that could be adapted by individual schools/departments.

Finally, Council members were pleased to note that CIDDE is contacting individual schools/campuses/units to make them aware of the range of services that are available and encouraged CIDDE to continue these outreach efforts.  Council also requested a report on school-based faculty development efforts, and Dr. Davis agreed to make a report at a future meeting.

(3) Adjournment

 After some discussion regarding the date of the December meeting and the Chair's agreement that it should be rescheduled, if feasible, for earlier in the month, Dr. Blair indicated that the agenda for the December meeting would be:  (1) a revised draft of the proposal for the Summer Instructional Development Program 2000; and if Prof. Lesgold is available (2) a report from the Faculty Development Subcommittee.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.