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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting
Date:

Monday, February 9, 2004

Time:

3:00-4:00 pm

Location:

Room 826 Cathedral of learning

Minutes

 

Present:

Present: A. Blair (Chair), E. Cohn, S. Drescher, K. Etzel, J. Grabowski, J. Harris, S. Husted, R. O’Connor, P. Rogers, N. Schor, P. Siska, S. Smith, R. Wasserman, D. Wilkins, and D. Davis (Staff Liaison)

Handouts:

Handouts: Innovation in Education 2004 Proposals Received; ACIE Proposal Review Process 2004; Proposal Review Sheet; ACIE Best Practices Committee Meeting (Summary); Committee on Electronic Portfolios (Membership List)

 
1.

Approval of the Minutes:

 

Dr. Blair commented on the helpful feedback provided to Dr. Davis at last month’s meeting on her project idea, and thanked Council for their interest. One Council member added that a course buy-out is a good way to give faculty some time for this type of effort, and Dr. Blair agreed but noted that a strong argument would be needed to justify special circumstances.

2.

Report of the Chair:

 

Dr. Blair commented on the helpful feedback provided to Dr. Davis at last month’s meeting on her project idea, and thanked Council for their interest. One Council member added that a course buy-out is a good way to give faculty some time for this type of effort, and Dr. Blair agreed but noted that a strong argument would be needed to justify special circumstances.

Dr. Blair then raised the topic of the recent e-mail that was sent to members seeking their opinion on rescheduling the proposal review sessions (initially scheduled for March 13 and 17) due to Spring break and the closure of the University on Friday, March 12. He also noted that this was raised earlier in the year that this might create a drop in attendance at the Saturday session. Members were subsequently asked if they would support a change in meeting dates to one week later (March 20 and 24). The outcome of this poll resulted in most members being in favor of moving the dates, and all members would be notified of this change.


3.

Review Process for Innovation in Education 2004 Projects:

 

Dr. Blair distributed the list of proposals received this year (31) as well as an outline of the review process that will be used to determine which proposals will be funded. Proposals have been sent to CIDDE for technical review--not an evaluation of the proposal—which should be completed for reviewers’ information by Friday, February 20. Dr. Davis commented that many of this year’s submissions focused on the use of technology, and proposal writers also contacted CIDDE for assistance in planning their projects. As soon as the technical reviews are complete, members will receive these electronically, although proposals will be distributed within the week so that members can begin to read them. Members will receive a package of proposals, along with a copy of the RFP and a copy of the evaluation form.

Dr. Blair noted that the review sessions this year would use the same process as last year, and briefly described the process as detailed on the handout, ACIE Proposal Review Process 2004. In brief, there will be three detailed reviews with numerical scores for each proposal, with each Council member reviewing 4-5 proposals each. At the Saturday session (March 20), members will be divided into two panels, one to be chaired by Dr. Davis and the other by Dr. Siska. A booklet will be prepared and distributed that contains--for each proposal--the cover sheet, the Executive Summary, budget, and the three reviews completed by Council members. Each panel will discuss half of the proposals, using the submitted review forms as a basis for discussion. Proposals receiving low numerical scores at the outset are the least likely to be funded; those with the highest numerical score are in the probable group; and those in the middle will require the most discussion on Saturday. Final decisions on funded proposals will be made during the Wednesday, March 24 session. This meeting will also look at the amount of funds requested and the amount of money available and may entail budget reviews if there are more funds requested than are provided to the program. Winners are expected to receive funding notification by April 1.

 

4.

Report of the Committee Chairs:

 

Dr. Wilkins distributed a summary report of the recent Best Practices Committee meeting. A presentation on the portal system was given by CSSD so that the committee could see how the portal can be used for the sharing of materials and interaction of faculty interest groups that the committee is considering. Presenters explained how the portal works and the services it can provide to faculty. Questions were raised about the feasibility of using this system for faculty interest groups; main among them were the server and the amount of storage space available and the possibility of virus infection with the sharing of documents among group members. A Council member asked about the difference(s) between the portal and Blackboard. Dr. Blair noted that these have similar capabilities, but Blackboard, as a course management tool, is largely focused on specific courses; he also suggested a discussion of what is needed for these interest groups. Dr. Davis reported that her unit is going to begin working with CSSD to find out what the capabilities are and what limitations there may be; another Council member suggested more user input or a feedback mechanism. Another suggestion for inclusion in the system was distribution of class rosters with photos of students registered for the course. Dr. Blair commented that these were good suggestions that might be investigated further in discussions with CSSD and other units.

Dr. Etzel, chair of the Faculty Development Committee, reported that his committee met to review the agenda established at its first meeting. There were three activities identified at that time. One of these was a survey to find out which schools of the University have groups in place that deal with faculty development, although it was noted that most schools have a curriculum committee that serves this function. A major part of the committee meeting was spent talking about developing a brochure of services. Dr. Joanne Nicoll provided examples for the committee’s review. In conclusion, they agreed to keep it simple, but attractive, and should include telephone numbers, academic calendar, and CIDDE programs. Lastly, Dr. Nicoll informed committee members that SIDI summer programs have been planned for May 2004.

 

5.

Report of the CIDDE Staff Liaison (D. Davis):

 

Dr. Davis provided an update on electronic portfolios and what has been done to facilitate this activity at the University. After briefly describing what is contained in an electronic portfolio for both faculty and students, she reported that CIDDE has coordinated a volunteer, or self-selected, committee of faculty members who are interested in this project. She shared a white paper published by e-Port Consortium that provides very good information on this topic and is available on the Web (http://eportconsortium.org). Various uses of electronic portfolios include job recruitment and job applications, teaching, assessment, and career development. Professional schools are beginning to use portfolios in their accreditation efforts, and a Council member noted that these would be particularly useful in promotion and/or tenure reviews. Dr. Davis does not expect a University-wide system to be available yet, but noted that the value of such a project is drawing more attention nation-wide as well as at Pitt. For example, one Council member added that the General Medical Education Office is in the process of putting together a standard format for electronic portfolios in the School of Medicine. In conclusion, Dr. Davis invited Council members and their colleagues to join the volunteer committee if they are interested in these topics.

6. Adjournment:
  The meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.

 

 


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