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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

November 11, 2008


826 Cathedral of Learning




Present:A. Blair (Chair), R. Brand, P. Brusilovsky, N. Day, S. Engberg, K. Kearns, C. Newhill, C. Singh, C. Wilcox, and D. Davis (Staff Liaison)



Approval of Minutes (A.Blair):

  Blair welcomed Council members to the meeting.  He mentioned that the 2009 RFP was sent out and had been changed slightly to reflect a suggestion made by a Council member (subsequently approved by Council to invite faculty who have previously submitted grants to resubmit their proposals.  He then asked for a motion from Council members for approval of the October 13, 2008 meeting minutes, which was offered, seconded, and accepted, for posting to the ACIE website.

Report of the Committee Chairs


a.       Best Practices (C. Singh, Chair): Prof. Singh reported on the outcomes of the October 30, 2008 meeting that focused on CIDDE’s Testing Services.  A handout of the PowerPoint presentation was provided to Council members.  Dr. Davis provided additional information on the history of Testing Services and answered questions posed by the Council.  The committee meeting addressed the following areas: staffing issues, potential advertising to departments about services offered, obtaining tablet PCs for use outside of CIDDE’s testing area, possible need for expansion, revenue generated from non-Pitt students, and possible limitations to expansion.  Plans to tour the Testing facility are on the agenda for the Committee’s next meeting.

b.      Faculty Development (K. Kearns, Chair): The Faculty Development Committee met on November 6.  Dr. Kearns discussed the faculty book and article discussion series and provided copies of the draft of the three-year report prepared by CIDDE staff.  He touched on some of the key areas of the report including the goals of the program, types of books and articles that had been selected, use of funds from the original budget and how the program will need additional funding if it is to continue for another three years.  The Committee recommends that this series be expanded to include sessions at regional campuses.  Funds are requested for purchasing books and honoraria for the facilitators, but regional campuses will be expected to cover the cost of their own refreshments.  Dr. Blair suggested tracking unique attendees as well as overall attendance as the program moves forward.  The Council gave its recommendation to continue this program for the next three years, with Dr. Blair’s approval.  Additional discussion focused on what topic to feature at the 2009 Summer Instructional Development Institute (SIDI).  Three topics were suggested: Technology in Learning, Multiculturalism/Diversity, and Experiential Learning.  Council members agreed that all of the topics would be of interest, but no one topic was preferred so the Committee will select and propose one at its next meeting.  Dr. Blair suggested adding the discussion of the SIDI topic to the December agenda.

Teaching Excellence Fair (D. Davis):

  Dr. Davis provided copies of the preliminary draft of the 2008 Teaching Excellence Fair report.  A very brief summary of the report was given, including increased attendance of Pitt and non-Pitt faculty; feedback highlights from the evaluation forms; and Webcast viewing statistics.  Data for Mediasite viewing is still being collected and will be included in the final draft of the report.  The Council found the Webcast data interesting and look forward to hearing more on this aspect of the report.
  With no further business, the Advisory Council adjourned at 12:05 p.m.  The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 10, 4:00 p.m., 826 CL.

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