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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

November 16, 2005




826 Cathedral of Learning




A. Blair (Chair), P. Card, V. Copeland, S. Drescher, J. Erlen, C. Hinderliter, J. Johnston, P. Kameen, K. Linduff, G. Stoehr, D. Davis (Staff Liaison)

Approval of the Minutes (A. Blair):

A motion was made for the approval of the October 24, 2005, minutes, which was seconded and adopted unanimously by the members present. The minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.


Report on the 2005 Teaching Excellence Fair (D. Davis):

Dr. Davis distributed a copy of the “ACIE Teaching Excellence Fair 2005 Report.” This report indicated that the total attendance was 104 persons, excluding CIDDE staff, ACIE grant presenters and ACIE members. Participants are asked to complete an evaluation form of the Fair; and this year, only a small number were returned. CIDDE is consequently considering another method for collecting this data, such as an electronic, online evaluation form to be distributed to all attendees.

Dr. Davis informed Council of several new initiatives for the Fair this year.  The first was a touch-sensitive SmartBoard that provided access to instructional multimedia projects that were completed collaboratively by faculty and CIDDE staff.  The second new initiative was live webcasts, using MediaSite, of some of the Fair’s sessions that were presented by CIDDE staff.  These included the demonstrations of software programs (e.g., Turnitin, Tegrity, Janus, PowerPoint), and a session on the Student Response System.  The webcasts, in addition to taking the Fair to the regional campuses and to others who were unable to attend in person, offered the ability to track usage for these sessions.  CIDDE also offered free digital photographs to participants for use on their personal or departmental

Council members were enthusiastic in learning about this effort, and also made suggestions for promoting next year’s Fair to attract more faculty, such as contacting school-wide curriculum committees to get the word out and more targeted mailings, such as those to previous awardees.

Dr. Blair thanked Dr. Davis and the CIDDE staff for providing information in the faculty instruction development sessions and in managing and implementing the Fair once again this year.


Report of the Committee Chairs (D. Davis):

Dr. Davis reported for Dr. Bidanda, Best Practices Committee Chair, who was unable to attend this meeting. She reported that the Committee reviewed its activities for the 2004-05 academic year. These included convening focus groups of faculty who were appointed over the previous three years to determine the needs of newly-hired faculty, which resulted in informing Deans with regard to specific topics that schools/departments should include in individual orientation sessions. The Committee is also proposing as a future Council agenda topic the offering of another series of faculty focus groups for new faculty.

Dr. Bidanda shared with the Best Practices Committee the School of Engineering’s outcomes assessment model, which may be helpful to other schools. Dr. Davis noted that this is a common approach among professional schools. It was suggested that Dr. Bidanda and another Council member from a professional school could possibly make a presentation on this topic to Council in the future.

Dr. Davis also distributed a copy of the minutes from the recent Faculty Development Committee meeting, and gave a brief synopsis in the absence of the Committee Chair, Dr. Grabowski. The main topic of the meeting was the success of the fall term book discussions and future directions for this initiative. It was recommended that the Committee move forward and schedule similar sessions in the spring, using the same book. This initiative may also require some funding from Council. It was suggested that Council discussion of this initiative should be deferred until Dr. Grabowski can be present.

Dr. Davis noted that topics were being considered by the Committee for the Summer Instructional Development Institutes (SIDI), conducted in May. Last year, the topic was Critical Thinking, and this year Outcomes may be a good one to consider, along with retention and transfer of learning, and/or assessment of learning. The Committee will discuss this further and present it for Council’s recommendation at a later meeting.

Dr. Blair reported on the recent meeting of the Instructional Grants Committee, which discussed how to review the continuing increments of data and results (from award winners) as presented in the recent report to the Provost. Committee members agreed that the tables should be updated annually and shared with Council members. Dr. Blair also noted that some units are not active in pursuing funding through this program, and this should be kept under review. The tables on the funded project directors should also be updated, as well as the tenure status of funded project directors. The Committee might do periodic snapshots of awards, asking key questions, many of which are included in the web-based instrument used in the report. The Committee felt that a full evaluation of selected projects should be conducted every five years or so and reported to the Provost.

Discussion among Council members of the awards program followed, with a suggestion that the RFP might identify themes for eliciting proposals. One Council member raised also the issue of requesting proposals that are “innovative,” including technologically innovative, versus stressing “excellence.” This might change the perception that projects must be technology-based. Dr. Blair indicated that this is another topic for possible discussion prior to the review of this year’s proposals.



With no other business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 am. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 13, at 2:00 pm.




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