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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

May 6, 2009


826 Cathedral of Learning




Present:A. Blair (Chair), R. Brand, P, Brusilovsky, J. Camillus, T. Derricotte, N. Day, J. Erlen, C. Singh, M. Smith, C. Wilcox, and J. Nicoll (Staff Liaison)



Approval of Minutes (A.Blair):


Dr. Blair asked for a motion to approve the April 6, 2009 meeting minutes.  A motion was made and seconded, and approved; minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.


Report of the Chair (A.Blair):


No items to report.


Report of the Faculty Development Committee (J. Nicoll for K. Kearns, Chair): 


Dr. Nicoll provided a draft report on the New Faculty Focus Groups sessions that were held in late February and early March.  Twenty-nine faculty members attended four sessions.  Although there was a lower response from newly-hired faculty for this year’s sessions, those attending rated the sessions as a “meaningful process to gather information directly…about their teaching/learning needs.”  Advisory Council session facilitators agreed that new faculty need a lot of mentoring in the area of teaching and a possible solution may be support groups for teaching within a school/department.  General comments from facilitators included “new faculty might like a networking approach with colleagues to discuss these types of issues.”  Another facilitator suggested that the sessions “maintain a mixture of new faculty with other faculty who have already had the same experiences.”   In conclusion, the report made recommendations for next year’s sessions, including sharing appropriate information with deans/chairs and providing more information to new faculty invitees on the process and purpose for this activity.  In response to suggestions from faculty regarding areas that pertain specifically to schools/departments, Dr. Blair suggested that a letter to deans/chairs containing the faculty recommendations be drafted for discussion at the June Council meeting (Dr. Nicoll will provide this draft).   

The Summer Instructional Development Institute seminar was held on Friday, May 1.  The session, entitled “Bridging the Gap between Information Gathering and Critical Thinking,” drew approximately 50 faculty members representing schools across the University.  This was about the same number of attendees as last year.   Dr. Nicoll noted that the challenge for this activity is finding faculty members with the expertise on the selected topic and who are willing and able to share information with other faculty.  The committee was very helpful in putting together this program and several Council members are well versed in this year’s topic and recommended faculty colleagues who were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic and that resulted in a successful seminar.  Dr. Nicoll also noted that the student panel provided a useful perspective. The seminar was videotaped for subsequent use by others.

Report of the Best Practices Committee (C. Singh, Chair): 

The Best Practices Committee prepared and distributed a draft report on CIDDE’s testing services.  Dr. Nicoll indicated that the final report will be available in June.  Dr. Blair suggested that the recommendations on supervised exams vs. non-supervised exams for distance education efforts might be supported by giving examples of what other institutions are doing in this area. 


With no further business, the Advisory Council adjourned at 11:05 am.The final scheduled meeting is June 1, 12:00 pm and will include lunch.

2008 Advisory Council Instructional Excellence. University of Pittsburgh. All Rights Reserved.
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