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Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President

University Teaching Scholars Chair
Summary of Activities

Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith
Chair, 1997-98

To: Provost James Coffman
From: Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith
Date: July 16, 1999


The priorities for my year as University Distinguished Teaching Scholar Chair for 1997-98 were to develop opportunities for the K-State faculty to: 1) share ideas on teaching and learning, 2) be exposed to new ideas on those topics, and 3) be able to form informal networks of support with other faculty from across campus.

I chose a Swap Session format because I wanted each attending faculty member to be able to contribute to the discussion as well as to listen and learn from it. The format consisted of a short introduction to a chosen topic which was given by faculty members from K-State or other universities. Questions for discussion were presented and the audience then broke up into small groups to discuss them. Subsequently, each group was asked to contribute their ideas on the questions to the entire group. All of us learned from that. The attendance at the Swap Sessions was good (about 30 - 80 people). To ensure that each faculty member could feel free to discuss the topic and not be tied to taking notes, we sent out a Swap Session Newsletter (4 pages) which contained the main ideas from a Session. Each Swap Session was recorded on audio tape, and was used in writing the Newsletter and continues to be available to faculty members. The Newsletter was sent to every person who attended and also to faculty members and administrators who asked that they receive all Newsletters.

I selected an Advisory Committee to work with me as I developed these Swap Sessions and Workshops on teaching and learning. The contributions they made to the development of the latter were immeasurable and they have my heartfelt thanks. The Committee consisted of faculty members from across campus: Mick Charney, Department of Architecture; Stephen Kiefer, Department of Psychology; Linda Martin, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry; Larry Scharmann, Department of Secondary Education; M. Gail Shroyer, Department of Elementary Education, Ann Smit, School of Family Studies and Human Services; and Steven Thien, Department of Agronomy.


1. "Active Learning in Lecture" Presented by Dr. Larry Scharmann (K-State, Department of Secondary Education); Dr. Janice Swanson (K-State, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry), and Dr. Larry Weaver (K-State, Department of Physics). October 20, 1997 at 3:30 PM.

In using instructional strategies, it works well to organize a course going from 'Familiar -->Unfamiliar' and 'Less Active Learning --> More Active Learning'. Important points are to: 1) incorporate active learning into lecture from the beginning so that students are used to participation, 2) use a variety of teaching methods, and 3)consider four important aspects of the instructional environment: a) needs of the learner, b) needs of the teacher, c) subject matter, and d) social interactions.

2. "Active Learning in Small Classes, Studios, Labs, Seminars, and Recitations" Presented by Dr. Buddy Gray (K-State, Department of History) and Dr. Steve Trautwein (Southeast Missouri State University, Department of Biology). November 17, 1997 at 3:30 PM.

Five key elements of using cooperative learning in small groups: 1) Interdependence between the success of individuals in the groups, 2) Interaction between individuals in terms of encouragement, 3) Each student is responsible for his/her own preparation and is accountable to the group for the success of the group, 4) Have expectations of social skills among group members, and 5) Periodically stop to ask "How well are we doing"?

3. "Levels of Learning: Memorization and Beyond" Presented by Dr. M. Gail Shroyer (K-State, Department of Education) and Dr. Steven Thien (Department of Agronomy). February 16, 1998 at 3:30 PM.

The six levels of learning in Bloom's Taxonomy are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. As one moves up Bloom's hierarchy, one is addressing more meaningful learning, deeper learning, and higher level thinking. In the learning process, it is not only important to start out at the knowledge level, but one also has to make sure to start at the correct knowledge level. This requires finding out what students already know.

4. "Assessment and Evaluation of Learning" Presented by Dr. Victoria Clegg, (K-State, Educational Advancement) and Mr. Allan Goodman (K-State, Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science). March 17, 1998 at 3:30 PM.

The most important thing we want to know is whether or not our students have learned what we want them to learn. The first decision we have to make is what do we want students to learn and then almost immediately, we ask ourselves, "How am I going to know when they have learned it?"

5. "Blurring Boundaries between Academics and Student Life outside the Classroom" Presented by Dr. Pat Terenzini (Pennsylvania State University, Professor and interim director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education). April 27, 1998 at 3:30 PM.

Student learning is maximized when students are active participants. An example of blurring the boundaries is when a survey class practiced its skills by participating in a community survey of its public parks.

6. "Faculty Support for Teaching and Learning" Presented by Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith (K-State, Division of Biology and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar Chair). May 11, 1998 at 3:30 PM.

The faculty indicated that they would like the Swap Sessions and Workshops continued because 1) there is definitely a need to continue activities to enhance teaching and learning, 2) these sessions promote cross-disciplinary discussion, 3) faculty can talk to each other on a mutual respect basis, 4) the sessions provide opportunities to keep current and informed on issues related to teaching and learning, and 5) it is effective to have Swap Session panelist who are peers.


"Active Learning - Creating Excitement in the Classroom" Presented by Dr. Charles Bonwell (Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, Saint Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis) January 14, 1998 at 8:30 - 11:30 AM.

The Workshop was videotaped and made available for faculty use. Attendance was good - 170 faculty and administrators attended. Dr. Bonwell stated that active learning is having students doing things and thinking about what they are doing. Bonwell's Risk Model includes students risks and faculty risks - refer to "ACTIVE LEARNING - Creating Excitement in the Classroom by Charles C. Bonwell and James A. Eison, 1991 ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report. One can maximize his or her likelihood of success with active learning by selecting only those activities which are at a personally comfortable risk level. Low risk strategies are short, structured, and well planned.


Lecture on "The Focus is Learning" Presented by Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith January 23, 1998 at 3:30 PM.

Life in a university is centered around learning. We faculty learn continually as we teach and carry out scholarly activities. We strive to improve the learning environment for our students, so they can learn more. As a learning community, we continue to grow in our understanding of what constitutes good learning environments and how our teaching can facilitate learning for our students. My goals are to 1) acquaint students with new knowledge, 2) facilitate their learning of new knowledge and help them integrate new knowledge with their previous knowledge, 3) present information within a meaningful framework, 4) acquaint students with new ways to think and learn, and 5) by doing all this, help prepare them for a lifetime of learning.


"Perspectives on Faculty Development" Presented by Dr. Brian Spooner (K-State, Division of Biology), Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy (K-State Department of Entomology) and Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith (K-State University Distinguished Teaching Scholar Chair) Dr. Stalheim-Smith spoke on "Swap Sessions - Exchanging Ideas on Teaching and Learning") January 26, 1998 at 3:00 PM.


Member of : 1) Task Force for Distance Learning, 2) Blue Key National Honor Fraternity's Committee to Select 1997-1998 Recipients of Blue Key Scholarships, 3) Committee to Advise the Provost on the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and 4) Search Committee for Assistant to the Provost.


"Focusing On Active, Meaningful Learning", IDEA Paper No. 34, by Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith. Published by the IDEA CENTER, Manhattan, KS and distributed nationally to universities that request it (examples are Boston University, MA and Indiana University of PA). The paper is one in a series in which each paper is on one of "The Seven Principles In Action", edited by Susan Rickey Hatfield. This paper related to "Principle 3: Good Practice Encourages Active Learning". February, 1998.


"Exploring Higher Education Diversity Pathways" Talk presented by Dr. Ann Stalheim-Smith: "Teaching and Learning" February 7, 1998 at 8:30 AM, Ramada Inn, Manhattan


"Peer Consultation" Presented by Dr. Daniel Bernstein (University of Nebraska - Lincoln) Professor of Psychology, developer of the Peer Consultation process, and Pew Scholar, Carnegie National Teaching Academy) April 16. 1998 at 2:30 PM


"Taking Learning Seriously", National Conference on Higher Education, American Association of Higher Education. I was selected to be in the "Forum on Exemplary Teaching" given by Dr. Pat Hutchings (Senior Scholar, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching), March 21-24, 1998


The long-term impact of the Swap Sessions, the Bonwell Workshop, and the Special Presentation on K-State undergraduate teaching and learning can be seen at two levels: A. Continuation of Swap Sessions, Workshops and Initiation of Peer Consultation and Participation in Extramural Grants and B) Written Feedback From Faculty Members To Me On the Impact Of Our Sessions On Their Teaching and On the Facilitation of Student Learning.

A. Continuation of Swap Sessions, Workshops, and Initiation of Peer Consultation and Participation in Extramural Grants.

The presentations on teaching and learning in '97-'98 created an interest among the faculty to have the Swap Sessions and Workshops continued. I and my Advisory Committee looked into this possibility and in June, 1998 we requested and received support from the Provost's office to visit three universities which have centers for teaching and learning. 1) Dr. Stephen Kiefer and I visited the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Program at the University of Missouri, Columbia. 2) Dr. Ann Smit and I visited the Teaching and Faculty Support Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. 3) Dr. Larry Scharmann and I visited with Dr. Dan Bernstein on the Peer Consultation Program at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

My Advisory Committee and I wrote a proposal to the Provost asking for support to continue these discussions on teaching and learning. Due to the Provost's funding and strong support, we were able to form the Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence. During the academic year of 1998-99, we sponsored 1) Swap Sessions, 2) Workshops, 3) a University Distinguished Lecture, 4) a Peer Consultation program at K-State and 5) we are partners in two big extramural grants which are pending

The Swap Sessions presented during 1998-'99 were: 1) "Taking Advantage of Peer Consultation on Teaching" given on October 22, 1999 by Dr. Daniel Bernstein, (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), 2) "Classroom Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Dialogues" given on February 22, 1999 by Dr. Edgar Beckham (Association of American Colleges and Universities) and Dr. Larry Scharmann (K-State, Department of Secondary Education) and 3) "Do Students Learn When We Teach?" given on April 19, 1999 by Dr. Talat Rahman (K-State Department of Physics) and Dr. Dean Zollman (K-State Department of Physics).

The Workshops presented during '98-'99 were: 1) "Learning Styles and Active Learning: Making the Connection" given by Dr. Charles Bonwell (Instructional Consultant) on January 13, 1999, 8:30 - 11:30 AM. He presented the VARK inventory which indicates a person's preferable style, or styles, of learning - visual, auditory, read-write or kinesthetic. 2) "Peer Consultation" given by Dr. Daniel Bernstein (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) on June 3, 1999, 8:30 - 11:30 AM. His Peer Consultation program is described below.

The Peer Consultation program at K-State had six faculty participants in it throughout Spring '99 and the program will be continued through '99-'00. In Peer Consultation, a faculty member chooses to work in a team with two to four members. Three types of peer interaction occur during the sequence of a course: 1) examination of intellectual content (for example, sharing a syllabus and your objectives with a teammate), 2) using class time to achieve your objectives (for example, you ask a teammate to visit your class at a time of your choosing and have her/him write a commentary on how you have accomplished your own objectives) and 3) student performance and feedback (for example, provide evidence of what the students learned in terms of your own objectives).

A University Distinguished Lecture presented: "Teaching for the 21st Century: Are you a Boonfellow or a Snirtler?" was presented by Dr. Charles Bonwell on January 15, 1999, 3:00 PM. The Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence is a participant in the submission of two extramural grants which are pending (notification of funding is expected Sept '99: 1) "Partnership Grant for Improving Teacher Education" (partners are the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Public Schools) from the Department of Education, a five-year grant for about $5 million - the Faculty Exchange for Teaching Excellence will assist faculty members in the grant who wish to participate in Peer Consultation for the courses taken by education majors and 2) "Peer Consultation" ("Peer Review") from the Pew Charitable Trust, a four-year grant for about $200,000. In the latter, K-State will be a partner with 3 other universities and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which will be the mentoring university. K-State will expand participation in the Peer Consultation program we started in S '99.

B. Written Feedback To Me From Faculty Members On The Impact Of Our Sessions On Their Teaching And Facilitation of Student Learning.

I've organized this input into five major categories:

1. Impact on the Classroom and Students

Dr. Eric Maatta, Department of Chemistry, following Dr. Charles Bonwell's Workshop "Active Learning - Creating Excitement in the Classroom", given 1-14-'98. "Honestly, I was not expecting to come away with much because I've been disappointed by other sessions on 'classroom education' which were filled with jargon and devoid of substance, but yesterday was quite the opposite. On my way home, I stopped at Claflin Books, bought a copy of Bonwell & Eison's book, and I devoured it last evening. I learned a lot of things yesterday and I am looking forward to trying out a few things this semester in my 220-student Chemistry 2 class." Later from Dr. Eric Maatta: "Professor Bonwell made several excellent points regarding the level of student interest in following and absorbing information throughout a fifty-minute lecture - how their attention wanes after about fifteen minutes, and then picks up again near the end. I've implemented a couple of techniques designed to avoid this natural 'rhythm' such as using one or more CD-based presentations which either show actual chemical reactions, or display molecular-level animations of reactions, etc. Each of my 45 lectures per semester are now typically 'broken up' with one or two devices which allow the students to think about what we are covering: rather than always simply presenting examples of problem-solving by going through calculations step-by-step."

Professor Stan Weir, Aerospace Studies, College of Arts and Sciences: "We . . . are big supporters of your program and use the content of the sessions to drive discussions and experimentation in the classrooms."

Dr. Judy Provo, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine: In referring to Dr. Bonwell's Workshop "Learning Styles and Active Learning: Making the Connection", ". . .what probably had the most impact on my teaching was to give the (VARK) questionnaire to the students, and to appreciate that most of them are not "wired" like me to be visual learners! . . . So, I was able to use that information to "tone down" my visual material a notch, and "bump up" the amount of hands-on activity in my presentations (sketching, drawing structures in, etc.). I think the students really appreciated the fact that I was making an effort to accommodate their preferences." ". . . I began last semester trying out one particular classroom assessment technique, the one-minute paper . . . and got back a wealth of feedback that I was able to use to improve my lectures over the semester." "As a direct result of that workshop (Bonwell's '98), I instituted a 2-minute break in the middle of my lecture sessions and have continued it to the present in all of my lectures. This has been appreciated by the students and has, from my perspective, resulted in better attention and participation in the class. I would not have considered doing this had it not been discussed as an idea at that workshop."

Professor Jana Fallin, Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences, in reference to Dr. Dan Bernstein's Workshop on "Peer Consultation": "His comments always make me want to do more, to try new ways to increase the learning for my students, and to push myself to keep my own scholarship high. Within my dept. three or four of us are becoming a team to help each other with our teaching. I believe that my own dept. colleagues and our students will benefit from this. From the Swap Sessions done by our own faculty (K-State) I also learned a great deal. I have taken ideas from those and applied them directly to my own teaching. I use the idea of having students turn to each other and discuss a concept from the lecture a lot. I believe that it encourages my students to become active participants in the learning, not passive observers. . . .and I believe that the emphasis on teaching and learning that you and that early committee have brought to K-State has helped us think in new ways."

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Department of Management, College of Business Administration stated: ". . . I have implemented even more 'check for understanding' experiences in my undergraduate Organizational Behavior class."

Assistant Professor Elizabeth Cauble, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work, College of Arts and Sciences: "There are 6 faculty in our program (Social Work) and we meet at least twice a month. Your Swap Sessions and Workshops have been beneficial to us. Although each of us can not attend all sessions, someone from our program has been able to attend most. We then report back to the rest of the program faculty at our regularly scheduled meetings. We have used the learning style material to evaluate both our students and ourselves. The students reported that the information on learning styles and study techniques associated with each learning style have been among the most useful things they have learned at K-State.

Dr. Brian Niehoff, Department of Management, College of Business Administration in referring to Dr. Bonwell's Workshop, "Learning Styles and Active Learning: Making the Connection", given 1-13-99: "I was teaching a course on Training & Development this spring, and found immediate use for his online VARK instrument (assessment of visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic learning styles). I had my students take the online assessment and we discussed it in class. The students referred back to this model often over the rest of the semester, so it must have been perceived as important. I also implemented a number of "dipstick" quizzes designed to gauge student learning and deal with problems on the spot."

2. Impact on Affirming Each Other

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Department of Management, College of Business Administration: "First of all, the most beneficial thing about the Swap Sessions and Charles Bonwell is that they have all reaffirmed what I'm doing in the classroom. I no longer feel like I'm a 'lone duck in a big pond.' It is so good to talk with professionals in academia that believe TEACHING is important.

Dr. Judy Provo, Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine: " At the first one (Bonwell's workshop) in January1998, several of my colleagues also in attendance and I engaged in vigorous discussion of what constituted active learning in the classroom. The workshop was invigorating and I was pleased to see so many faculty members participate.

Dr. Richard Gallagher, Associate Dean in the College of Engineering, stated that Dr. Bonwell, whom he learned about at Bonwell's Workshop 1-14-98, has been very supportive of their College's new Project LE/ARN program which provides sessions on teaching and learning for their faculty and graduate students.

Dr. Brian Niehoff, Department of Management, College of Business Administration: "... sessions (are) very reinforcing of our methodology and approach."

3. Connecting with Colleagues Across Campus

Professor Stan Weir, Aerospace Studies, written 7-9-99. In reference to the Swap Sessions and Workshops of '97-98: " . . .the biggest thing that has been accomplished is that there is now some cross college networking going on with regard to TEACHING." Also, the events are "causing discussions to take place at the session and back at the various groups around campus. This is good for teaching at K-State. This needs to be a focus of all of us."

Dr. Bill Pallett, Director, IDEA Center, stated after the first Swap Session on "Active Learning in Lecture", given 10-20-98: "There were more faculty here discussing teaching and learning than at any time in the history of K-State."

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Department of Management, College of Business Administration: ". . . a colleague in my department has become motivated enough (due to the impact of the Bonwell and Bernstein presentations) that we are trying to organize Peer Consultation in teaching among the two of us. We have shared information from the Swap Sessions with a third department member who has never attended any of the sessions and consequently he is interested in being a partner in a three-way exchange for a Peer Consultation."

4. Impact on Development of Other Workshops, Seminars, and Grants on Teaching and

Dr. Bill Pallett, Director, IDEA Center: ". . .the Jan. '98 workshop was what led me to ask Chuck (Bonwell) to coordinate our (IDEA) workshops."

Dr. Sue Maes, Senior Development Officer, Regents Education Communication Center, K-State, states that after hearing Dr. Charles Bonwell's Workshop, "Active Learning - Creating Excitement in the Classroom", given 1-14-98, she was so impressed that she contacted Dr. Bonwell and got him to give workshops on teaching and learning as part of an U.S. Department of Education FIPSE (Fund for Improvement of Secondary Education) Grant, "The Plains Academy Co-op" which was funded for '98-'00, $1,356,032.

Dr. Richard Gallagher, Associate Dean, College of Engineering, states that after hearing Dr. Charles Bonwell's Workshop, "Active Learning - Creating Excitement in the Classroom", given 1-14-98, he was motivated have the College of Engineering participate in Project LEA/RN (Learning Enhancement Action/Resource Network) with the Center for Teaching Excellence, Iowa State University. The College of Engineering has been actively participating in Project LEA/RN since 1998 and are continuing their sessions on teaching and learning each semester.

5. Impact of Swap Session Newsletter

Dr. Donita Whitney-Bammerlin, Department of Management, College of Business Administration states: ". . . the Newsletters have not only provided me with follow-up to the Swap Sessions, but they have filled me in on the ones that I couldn't attend. Additionally, the Newsletters have been nice documentation for me to provide teaching perspectives to my Department Head."