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Advisory Council Instructional Excellence
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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting
Date: May 12, 2006

826 Cathedral of Learning




A. Blair (Chair), P. Card, S. Drescher, J. Grabowski, C. Hinderliter, K. Kearns, K. Linduff, G. Stoehr, and D. Davis (Staff Liaison)


Approval of the Minutes (A. Blair):


A motion for the approval of the April 13, 2006, minutes was made, seconded and accepted unanimously by the members present. The minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.

2. Report of the Chair (A. Blair, Council Chair; and Chair, Instructional Grants Committee):

Dr. Blair distributed a handout, “Innovation in Education Awards Funded by School, 2000-Present,” as requested by Council at last month’s meeting. This breakdown showed the amounts funded by academic unit over the past seven years (2000-2006). It was noted that two schools currently have not received funding through this program, although proposals had been submitted. For some schools where the number of proposals funded has been quite small, it was suggested that there may be internal funding for these efforts already available to faculty.

In concluding his report, Dr. Blair noted that the next Council meeting is scheduled for June 7 at 10:00 am. He suggested that the time of this meeting be changed to 12:00 noon (with lunch provided); an e-mail will be sent to all members to confirm this change in the meeting schedule.


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

Dr. Davis informed Council that she and her colleagues are working on comparing the evaluations from the “Transfer and Retention of Knowledge” workshop from the Summer Institute at which approximately 40 faculty members were in attendance. While attendance was on the low side (60-70 has been the norm), she felt that the scheduling of the workshop (the week following final examinations) may have been a factor and that next year it will be moved back by one week.

Dr. Davis then reported on the Provost’s Faculty Diversity Seminar, which was currently in progress, with eight faculty participants. A highlight of the event so far was the luncheon during which Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kathy Humphrey presented some background information on diversity and invited six students to talk about their own experiences and encounters with diversity issues. Dr. Davis suggested that this type of presentation might be considered for a broader audience.

Dr. Davis then updated Council on the e-portfolio capabilities effort that has been ongoing. CSSD is working on technical issues as well as on feasibility and assessment questions. They are looking at Blackboard’s e-portfolio system, as well as others, but nothing definite will be decided before the Fall term.

The next topic Dr. Davis introduced was a project to compile a list of examples from the funded Innovation in Education projects’ “outcomes.” As the awards program’s evaluation report did not capture impact in terms of actual instructional products, she would like to put together a list of projects with specific course outcomes (e.g., “technology implementations or courses that exist now as a result of the project which were not available before”). Council members suggested that such a project would require contacting funded project directors for an update on additional outcomes from their project, and examples could be included as an appendix to the RFP; or could be used as a basis for preparing short videos (similar to those created for the Bellet Award winners) for viewing on a website; as well as to promote the grants program in general (via the CIDDE and Council websites, in-house articles, etc.).

In concluding her report, Dr. Davis provided an overview of the recent Learning Technology Consortium meeting that was held at Virginia Tech; representatives of the nine member institutions were in attendance. Participants heard a presentation from Virginia Tech’s Graduate Education Development Institute (GEDI) about its graduate student certificate in teaching program. Participants also reported on and discussed the various course management systems (such as SAKAI, WebCT, Blackboard, etc.) and reported also on the course management systems training currently in place and/or under consideration at member institutions. Interest was expressed among the member schools in pod-casting and developing the possibility for a collaboration of efforts in this area. Dr. Davis had proposed a weekly ITm-Cast that would include LTC members, as well as the sharing of Pitt-developed software and other technologies managed by CIDDE. The next LTC meeting is scheduled for September 2006 and will be held at the University of Notre Dame.

4. Other Business:

Professor Hinderliter expressed enthusiasm for the Faculty Book Discussions and asked if it would be possible to offer this program to faculty on the Johnstown Campus, which he would be willing to facilitate. Dr. Davis and Dr. Blair agreed that this was a promising idea and that such an effort could be launched on some basis.

5. Adjournment:

With no other business to conduct, the meeting was adjourned at 4:00 pm. The next (rescheduled) meeting of the Advisory Council is Wednesday, June 7, 12:00-1:00 p.m., Room 826 CL.



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