Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars
As Coffman chair, Saucier will spend the next year researching how teachers' experiences of engagement and enjoyment in the classroom predict those same experiences in their students. He wants to understand if an instructor's autonomy in choosing which classes he or she teaches and the content discussed will affect engagement.
The time-honored lecture format, more than any other teaching format, remains the signature pedagogy of so many large introductory courses in so many disciplines just exactly because it has been the most efficient means by which to deliver foundational material. And yet, it has been roundly condemned for teaching students what to learn but not how to learn. Therein lays the rub.
Simulations, games, and role-playing exercises involve the creation of simulated or hypothetical scenarios that provide participants with life-like problem solving experiences. These activities promote the application of knowledge, sharpen critical thinking skills, and develop in students a deeper understanding of complex decision making processes. Active learning assignments also fit nicely into the K-State 2025 plan objectives to enhance the undergraduate learning experience by providing an engaged, participatory culture of learning.
To develop a deeper understanding of the science of learning, Rebello has collaborated with faculty across departments and institutions to continue his scholarship of how people learn and how they transfer their learning from one context to another to solve problems. Under the auspices of the campus-wide efforts related to the Year of the Brain, he is co-facilitating a study group to discuss the issue of memory and how it pertains to our learning and teaching. He will continue to participate in ongoing efforts to foster discipline-based educational research and evidence-based teaching at K-State.
Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
To develop new teaching methods that inspire and nurture new media literacy, Wesch led six faculty members in the creation and application of new media tools and activities in their teaching. All fellows in the program shared their progress, successes, and failures through an open blog (edparkour.com) and other new media methods (tweets, videos, wikis, etc.) in such a way as to invite other teaching scholars across the campus and around the world to help us achieve our goal of improving new media literacy.
Horticulture, Forestry, and Recreation Resources
Conducting the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is an excellent way for teaching faculty in any discipline to evaluate the effectiveness of their teaching activities on student learning and to elevate their classroom innovations to scholarship. Williams conducted a university-wide survey to assess how SoTL is valued across the various cultures of K-State's Colleges; this effort contributed to understanding of how to motivate wider practice of teaching scholarship across disciplines. She also presented eleven programs to a variety of university and graduate student groups entitled 'How to Implement SoTL in Your Classroom,' which she continues to this day.
The project supported the undergraduate diversity curriculum at K-State by redesigning and enhancing the Tilford Web Site with teaching resources and other materials, to be used by faculty and staff in their courses and in other contexts. A team of technological experts and diversity experts worked with me to address issues such as the educational benefits of a diverse learning environment, educational strategies that are inclusive of different cultural perspectives, and suggestions for multicultural course transformation. The site is available at tilford.ksu.edu.
To help new students with the transition to college-level learning, Eiselein is developing a First-Year Seminar program. With their small size and co-curricular activities, these seminars emphasize active learning and the critical thinking and communication skills needed to succeed in college. Outstanding faculty members from across the University teach these special freshman-only versions of regular academic classes.
To stem the ever increasing specialization of knowledge, Sorensen will develop interdisciplinary courses necessary for successful careers in science and engineering. He will also attempt to create courses that will bridge the great divide between the “two cultures”, science and the liberal arts.
The 2006-7 Coffman project focuses on the colletion of distance learning techniques used across campus and the compilation of online educational resources to make the transition to distance learning easier for faculty. The project will facilitate communication within the K-State distance learning community and advance undergraduate teaching and distance learning.
Many universities offer a program such as Preparing Future Faculty or a certificate in college teaching which enable graduate students to take several courses in college teaching and participate in other teaching experiences. Boland studied these programs and made a recommendation to implement a certificate program at K-State.
Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work
Dr. Prins developed an experimental field methods course in digital ethnography, explored how to apply theoretical and practical media knowledge to classroom teaching strategies, and how to assist students in developing critical skills of visual analysis essential in the age of globalization.
Dr. Barkley organizaed a university-wide retreat and recognition banquet held in January 2004 at Rock Springs Conference Center. About 130 K-State faculty members registered for the day's events. More than fifty faculty and staff presented and discussed strategies for innovative and successful teaching.
With the cooperation of many fellow faculty members, Dr. Fallin created a DVD, Engaging the Learner. Now available to new teaching faculty, the DVD presents helpful hints and example vignettes. She also initiated action-oriented gatherings of the University Distinguished Teaching Scholars.
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Believing that distance learning offers great potential to improve access to and enhance the quality of academic instruction, Dr. Morcos organized ten university-wide lectures on related topics and made the presentation slides available on a website.
Thien, Steve J. 2003. A Teaching-Learning Trinity: Foundation to My Teaching Philosophy. J. Nat. Resour. Life Sci. Educ., Vol. 32, pp 87-92. (journal’s site: http://www.JNRLSE.org article's site: http://www.jnrlse.org/view/2003/e02-27.pdf
This work represents a soil scientist’s reflection (40 years of teaching) on the connections between teaching and learning and portrays the foundation to my teaching philosophy on how an understanding of teaching and learning processes can increase teaching effectiveness and student learning. From working definitions of teaching and learning, I describe their interaction, not as a duality, but a trinity; three processes linked as one: learning to learn, learning to teach, and teaching to learn. I describe how lifelong learners can be developed through understanding and successfully applying the processes within each segment of the teaching-learning trinity. I offer these comments in hopes they will inspire readers to develop their own journey toward mastering the teaching and learning processes in ways that improve teaching and learning outcomes.
Dr. Schurle organized three university-wide forums and workshops in the area of distance education and technology. His intent was to stimulate thought and debate, to "move the debate past 'it is not going to work/it is going to work' to 'where will it work best?'"
Seven Swap Sessions and a major workshop gave faculty members opportunities to share and discover ideas on teaching and learning, and to form informal networks of support with faculty across campus. The Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence, a direct outgrowth of Dr. Stalheim-Smith's efforts, continues to promote these activities.