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Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence Meeting

January 14, 2010


826 Cathedral of Learning




Present:A. Blair (Chair), P. Brusilovsky, S. Engberg, A. Godley, M. Gubar, J. McGrath, P. Manning, C. Newhill, C. Wilcox, and C. Golden (Staff Liaison)



Approval of the Minutes (A. Blair):


Dr. Blair asked for a motion from Council members for approval of the December 8, 2009 meeting minutes, which was offered, seconded, and accepted as written. The minutes will be posted to the ACIE website.


Report of the Chair (A. Blair):  


Dr. Blair briefly noted that the February meeting agenda will consist mainly of a discussion of the proposal review process for the Innovation in Education awards program, and Advisory Council members should make a concerted effort to attend. Proposals are due in the Office of the Provost by Friday, January 29, 2010. Ms. Golden noted that the last of four Proposal Planning Days is today, and CIDDE staff are busy scheduling appointments for interested faculty. Dr. Blair indicated that he will send an email reminder of the proposal deadline to deans and chairs, asking them to forward it to faculty; he also requested that CIDDE do the same to their department liaisons (Ms. Golden will do), and Council members should encourage and remind their faculty colleagues to submit proposals.


Reports of the Committee Chairs

  a.       Best Practices (C. Wilcox):  Prof. Wilcox reported that Dr. Nicoll has contacted Dr. Mathew Ouellet at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, who is an expert in diversity education, as part of the effort to improve the impact of the Faculty Diversity Seminar. He gave her a lot of ideas that were generated for the UMass program that the committee may consider. Alternative ways for presenting the seminar include, for example, using internal faculty as lecturers, changing the current seminar by breaking sessions into smaller units and offering them throughout the academic year (the time commitment will be the same but less of a burden on faculty if spread out). In addition, several committee members are working on looking at the cost of the current seminar, and CIDDE will contact past seminar fellows to ascertain the impact on the department and larger community (this is also part of the larger evaluation of the program being conducted). At the conclusion of this phase, CIDDE will prepare a brief report—in draft form—of the ideas for alternative approaches for delivering the seminar. Overall, this process has generated potentially usable ideas. Prof. Wilcox asked how the committee could determine the wider impact of the program across campus. Council discussion centered on how this can be undertaken, with a possibility that an anonymous web-based questionnaire could be sent to former seminar participants, department chairs, and/or or senior colleagues to determine impact. In conclusion, it was determined that additional committee discussion is needed. Ms. Golden noted that the Faculty Development Seminar Advisory Committee met recently and is looking forward to the Committee’s final report.

b.       Faculty Development (C. Golden for N.  Day):  The Faculty Development Committee met on January 5, 2010. Committee discussion focused on the Summer Instructional Development Institutes, which offers three initiatives: a one-day workshop on an instructional topic of broad interest; course design sessions scheduled with an instructional designer; and technology training workshops. The committee discussed potential teaching-related topics that would benefit faculty across the University for the workshop. “How Students Learn” was a topic on which the committee focused. This topic would include presentations on the relevant research and how it could be applied in the classroom using our faculty as presenters. The committee noted that last year “Course Development Using Blackboard,” was the topic of a four-day workshop, which had lower attendance and was very labor intensive. The committee talked about alternatives to this seminar and suggested that it should be shortened. Members recommended looking at different modules to determine how these could be set up without requiring a four-day commitment.


Report of the Staff Liaison (C. Golden):


Ms. Golden distributed a copy of the CIDDE brochure, “Learning Opportunities for Faculty, Spring 2010,” for members’ information. She also reported that the new CIDDE website is still “in progress” and it is expected that it will be available in the spring. In the area of new technology, Ms. Golden referenced a recent report and a hand-out was distributed from EDUCAUSE on Twitter in the classroom, “7 things you should know about…Twitter,” which describes the technology and how it can be used to support learning. She will also provide Council with a link to the longer article for additional information. As a final item, Ms. Golden informed the group that the restructuring of CIDDE is still being discussed, and she will continue to provide updates as necessary.




With no further business, the Advisory Council adjourned at 11:00 am. The next Council meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 19, 2:00 pm, 826 CL.



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