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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

May 5, 2005




826 Cathedral of Learning




A. Blair (Chair), J. Burkoff, P. Card, J. Grabowski, S. Husted, P. Kameen, M. McNeil, P. Rogers, N. Schor, G. Stoehr, and D. Davis


Approval of the Minutes:


A motion was made for the approval of the April 11, 2005 minutes, seconded, and approved as written.


2. Report of the Chair (A. Blair):

Dr. Blair reported that he is working on a draft of the Innovation in Education awards program evaluation report based, in part, on the web survey conducted over the academic year. After an initial review by the Instructional Grants Committee, the draft will be forwarded to Council for further feedback prior to finalizing the report. At its completion, it will then be sent to the Provost.

3. Learning Technology Consortium Meeting (D. Davis):

Dr. Davis reported on the April meeting of the LTC, which both she and Dr. Blair attended at the University of Georgia. The LTC meetings are a good opportunity to meet with member institutions who work in the area of instructional technology and to share ideas, problems, etc. A major part of the agenda for these meetings is the “Campus Updates,” and Dr. Davis informed Council of the items she reported on from the Pittburgh campus. These are: Faculty Development (SIDI and New Faculty Focus Groups, and Instructional Technology Requests); E-Portfolio Investigation; Innovation in Education Awards Program; Instructional Technology Trends (SRSs, CATS, Tegrity, etc.) and Assessments (web-conferencing, Blackboard Content System, Mediasite, etc.); Classroom Design and Renovation; Blackboard Update; Student Administration System; and EDUCOM Conference Participation in June 2005.

Dr. Davis noted that other member institutions have similar programs and all are experiencing a growth in “classroom capture technologies” (an effort to post lectures and/or components of lectures on the web), student response systems (SRSs); and computer-assisted testing (CATS), which was originally created for distance education. Other highlights of the meeting included a tour of Georgia’s Student Orientation Center (a unique combination of library and instruction space), classroom, computing, and instructional support for faculty, and their in-house television studio, which broadcasts a student-produced evening news program for the campus community.

The next LTC meeting will be held in the fall term at the University of Maryland, which is the newest Consortium member.


4. New Faculty Focus Groups: Summary (D. Davis for B. Bidanda):

At last month’s meeting, Dr. Davis gave a preliminary report on the four meetings of New Faculty Focus Groups, which were comprised of newer faculty identified by deans and department chairs, with Council members serving as facilitators. Following that meeting, the Best Practices Committee prepared a summary of themes and opportunities for expansion of the information provided at the New Faculty Orientation that arose during the sessions. Briefly, some of the possibilities are: (1) provide a list of central University services with website addresses; (2) conduct a tour of the campus (may be an optional component); (3) provide school and departmental course information, faculty mentors, statements on value of teaching, faculty meetings, etc.; (4) provide information on classroom availability, maintenance of technical equipment, class rosters with student photos, special student situations, such as physical accommodations, student mental health counseling, and how to handle classroom incivilities; and (5) provide information on research support, specifically grant and proposal writing workshops.

Dr. Davis suggested that it would be useful for Council to prioritize the above issues for action. Members agreed that these issues should be addressed, and some are already being done through current initiatives. Dr. Davis stated that CIDDE could generate a list of school/departmental issues for possible distribution to the departments/schools, and several members offered to send information about what is currently provided in their own units as examples of good practice. When finalized, Dr. Blair will send these out to deans and department chairs. It was also suggested that the Counseling Center might provide information regarding student mental health issues and classroom incivilities, as well as referral services. The Classroom Management Team has been addressing structural and equipment issues, and Dr. Davis will explore the photo rosters initiative with the Registrar’s Office/ID Center.


5. Adjournment:

With no other items for discussion, the meeting adjourned at 3:25 pm.




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