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The Center for theAdvancement of Teaching & Learning

Newsletter - Fall 2012

Notes from the Director

Aeron Hanie

Aeron Haynie, Director of CATL

Welcome back, everyone! We have some exciting new opportunities for faculty and instructional staff planned for this academic year.

First of all, we will be offering more Online Teaching Fellowships: Advanced Online Teaching Fellows for experienced online instructors and, in the spring, a new workshop for beginners. Watch your email for a detailed call for applicants.

We are pleased to co-sponsor Cathy Davidson, author of Now You See It, who will speak on campus October 9th. Several faculty will have participated in a discussion of her book - see Tara DaPra's review in this newsletter. Extra copies of her book are available for loan from the CATL library.

This fall we'd like to encourage instructors to take advantage of CATL's consultation services. Make an appointment to talk to one of us about your course design, online course, class discussions, grading, student evaluations, or any other teaching issue! We provide confidential, formative observations of your teaching, consultations about best practices, or interviews of students.

Let us know if you have a suggestion for a book discussion, or a topic for a workshop. And, as always, feel free to stop in and browse the CATL library or chat with one of us.

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Meet Joanne Dolan - Instructional Design Coordinator

Joanne Dolan

Joanne joined the CATL office over the summer and has already proved herself a valuable member of our team. She is ready to assist instructors in developing online courses, using technology in the classroom, developing better assessment practices, and all aspects of syllabus design.

Joanne received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Trinity College in Ireland and her Master's in Curriculum and Instruction from St. Xavier in Chicago.

Stop by IS 1010 or email Joanne for an appointment:

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Meet the 2012-2013 Instructional Development Council

Kathleen Burns
Kathleen Burns
Mike Hencheck
Mike Hencheck
Catherine Henze
Catherine Henze
JP Leary
JP Leary
John Lyon
John Lyon
Sampath Ranganathan
Sampath Ranganathan, Co-Chair
Christine Vandenhouten
Christine Vandenhouten, Co-Chair
Aeron Haynie
Aeron Haynie (ex-officio)
Regan Gurung
Regan Gurung (exofficio)

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Meet the 2012-2013 Teaching Scholars

UW-Green Bay Teaching Scholars

Dallas Blaney
Dallas Blaney
Sarah Himmelheber
Sarah Himmelheber
Yunsun Huh
Yunsun Huh
Vince Lowery
Vince Lowery
Vicki Medland
Vicki Medland
Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz
Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz

UW System Teaching Scholars/Fellows

Christopher Martin
Christopher Martin
Ekaterina Levintova
Ekaterina Levintova

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Cathy Davidson's Now You See It: Event

Cathy Davidson

The CATL in partnership with Student Life is excited to invite you hear Cathy Davidson, author of Now You See It, present on October 9th, 2012 at 8pm in the Phoenix Rooms

When Cathy Davidson and Duke University gave free iPods to the freshman class in 2003, critics said they were wasting their money. Yet when students in practically every discipline invented academic uses for their music players, suddenly the idea could be seen in a new light-as an innovative way to turn learning on its head. This radical experiment is at the heart of Davidson's inspiring new book.

Cathy Davidson's Now You See It: Book Review

Tara DaPra

Reviewed by Tara DaPra, associate lecturer, English Composition

I was simultaneously terrified and exhilarated while reading Cathy N. Davidson's new book Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn. Davidson explains the historical development of our education and work environments, both products of the shift from an agrarian-based society to an industrial one. But as our society continues to transform as an information economy, most schools and workplaces haven't evolved their physical or philosophical structures to fit this new challenge. Davidson asks her readers to consider, "Are we teaching [our students] in a way that will prepare them for a world of learning and for human relationships in which they interweave their interests into the vast, decentralized, yet entirely interconnected content online?"

Davidson's book is chocked full of innovations in education. She was the vice provost for interdisciplinary studies at Duke, where in 2003 during the now-famous iPod experiment, podcasting was born. Every incoming freshman was given an iPod and then asked to investigate how it could be useful in education. Duke received a lot raised eyebrows for this (" 'rich, privileged institution' " she recalls) but Davidson contends it was "an investment in student-led curiosity whose object was not a hunk of white plastic, but the very nature of interactivity, crowdsourcing, customizing, and inspired inquiry-driven problem solving."


The key to these innovations is play and lateral thinking. Rather than fretting about the shallow and limited attention the Internet cultivates, Davidson argues that "distraction is one of the best tools for innovation we have at our disposal-for changing out of one pattern of attention and beginning the process of learning new patterns." At first glance her book may be met with reluctance from professors in the liberal arts, who value deep, concentrated reading and research as the means to developing critical thinking skills. However, her book is evidence that she's capable-and advocates-for both. And environment is not the only source of our distraction. She writes, "44 percent of workplace interruptions come not from external sources but from internal ones-meaning that almost half the time what's distracting us is our own minds." But where she disagrees with many traditional academics-not to mention poets and yoga instructors-is in insisting that our perpetual state of distraction is something to be cultivated rather than eradicated.

A lot of nonfiction books of this ilk are little more than overly long magazine articles. The opposite is true of Davidson's book. There are so many ideas between these covers that just as I was getting into one-Quest 2 Learn game-based schools, for example-she had moved on to the next. She describes her visit to a charter school in North Carolina and its success reaching academically "at risk" students as evidence for her argument that we should modify the environment rather than diagnose yet another case of ADHD. But I was left wondering about the roadblocks these teachers faced in the classroom. It's one thing to critique the shortcomings in the current education system; it's quite another to perfect an alternative. How do we change teacher training? How do teachers in innovative charter schools develop curriculum? And what should be done with students who do well in the current model?

And perhaps that's not the point that Davidson is seeking to make. She asks a lot of smart questions but doesn't provide all the answers because the information age and the creative class it's producing are all about the ability to "learn, unlearn, and relearn," as Alvin Toffler said in his now oft-quoted book Future Shock. That is precisely what Davidson hopes for students: "To be prepared for jobs that have a real future in the digital economy, one needs an emphasis on creative thinking, at all levels... This creative thinking requires attention to surprise, anomaly, difference, and disruption, and an ability to switch focus, depending on what individual, unpredictable problems might arise." She has seen the future, and it's both terrifying and exhilarating.

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Student Nominated Teaching Awards

Ekatrina Levintova Steven Meyer

Since Spring 2010, the Instructional Development Council has recognized excellent teaching from the perspective of students. Students are asked to nominate an instructor who has made a significant impact on their learning. Awards are offered in two categories: Early Career and Experienced Teacher.

This year's winners are: Prof. Ekaterina Levintova of Public and Environmental Administration, "early career" category; and Steven Meyer, Natural and Applied Sciences, "experienced teacher" category. Congratulations to Professors Levintova and Meyer --for their excellent work!

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Faculty Forum Events

Are you having the academic career you expected?

Politics, demographics, technology, competitive and collaborative institutions, accountabilities, and fiscal models are all putting pressures on higher education.

You may be so busy with the details of your work that you haven't had time to think about where higher education is going, much less the changing roles of the professoriate or your own career.

If so, we need to talk.

The SOFAS Office and CATL are sponsoring a series of forums and you're invited to come discuss current pressures and future visions. Each forum has a topic and two or three of your colleagues to start the discussion. Two have been scheduled for this semester with more in the future. There will be light refreshments.

Whose Course is This?

October 1, 2012
3:40 - 5:00p.m. MAC 105
with David Coury, Cliff Abbott & Greg Davis

How to Respond to the Increasing Popularity of Online Education
November 12, 2012
3:40-5:00 p.m., MAC 105
with Katia Levintova & Catherine Henze

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Faculty Development Conference

Gardner Campbell

Coming in January 2013, join us for our 17th Annual Faculty Development Conference with Keynote Speaker, Gardner Campbell

This year's theme considers how the technology impacts teaching and learning in higher education and we're excited to present Gardner Campbell as our Keynote speaker.

Campbell is director of Professional Development and Innovative Initiatives at Virginia Tech, where he also serves as an Associate Professor of English in the Department of English. Prior to his appointment at Virginia Tech, Gardner was founding Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at Baylor University, as well as Associate Professor of Literature, Media, and Learning in the Honors College. Before coming to Baylor, he was Professor of English at the University of Mary Washington, where from 2003-2006 he also served as Assistant Vice-President for Teaching and Learning Technologies.

The Faculty Development Conference is sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, the Instructional Design Council and the Academic Deans.

More information about the Faculty Conference including dates, workshop and registration details will be announced during the Fall Semester.

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2012 - 2013 Workshop Schedule and Grant Deadlines

Tenure and Merit Review Process with Cliff Abbott
September 21st, 3.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m., 1965 Room

Whose Course is This? with Faculty Forum
October 1st, 3.40 p.m. - 5.00 p.m., MAC 105

Cathy Davison, author of Now You See It, Common Theme Speaker
October 9th, 8.00 p.m., Phoenix Rooms

High impact practices and Inclusivity with Denise Bartell, Scott Ashmann & Alison Gates
October 12th, 3.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m., MAC 301

Teaching Enhancement Grant proposals due
October 19th, 5.00 p.m.

UW System Teaching Fellows/Scholars applications due
October 19th, 5.00 p.m.

How to Respond to the Increasing Popularity of Online Education with Faculty Forum
November 12th, 3.40 p.m. - 5.00 p.m., MAC 105

Course Design Workshop with Jill White
December 7th, 3.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m., 1965 Room

Faculty Development Conference: Teaching & Technology
January 24th

Research Council Deadlines

Application for the Grants in Aid of Research
October 22nd

Application for the Research Scholars Program
November 5th

Application and questions to Toni Damkoehler (

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