Friday, April 26, 2013

Misunderstandings of Critical Reading

“One of the barriers students face in writing critically is their misunderstanding of exactly what this process entails. For example, if a student thinks a critical analysis of a major theorist in the field, a canonical text, or a widely accepted theorem involves showing how the theorist, author, or proof is wrong, this is an incredibly intimidating prospect. It would take an extremely confident, or extremely foolish, student to produce a demolition of a piece of work that was widely referenced, published in several languages, and generally regarded as authoritative.”  The article then presents five misunderstandings students have about critical reading.

Full Reading

Community Engagement in our Curriculum - Faculty Luncheon

Monday, April 29, 11:30 am, in UB 231/232

This year Doug Harms has been an Indiana Campus Compact (ICC) Faculty Fellow, and one of his projects involves investigating ways to appropriately incorporate community engagement into DePauw's curriculum.  Working with the Center for Student Engagement (CSE) staff, there was a well-attended luncheon for faculty in fall, and this spring  there have been two faculty focus groups where meaningful information about the current state and future potential of community engagement activities in our curriculum was gathered.  The next event will be the faculty luncheon on Monday, April 29th (11:30-1:00 in UB 231/232) where they will share the data collected so far and solicit input and critique of this data that will help shape the inaugural summer workshop on community engagement, which will be offered on May 28-31 on community based learning for 10-20 DePauw faculty; this workshop will be facilitated by Indiana Campus Compact.

Faculty Forum - Dana Dudle, Biology

WHAT:     Faculty Forum
WHO:       Dana Dudle, Biology
WHERE:   UB 231/232
WHEN:     Tuesday, April 30 @ 11:30

Soapwort is Pink; Harebells are Blue: Studying Floral Color Variation on New Zealand Mountainsides and Indiana Roadsides

The persistence of variation in floral color within a single population of plants is a classic puzzle for plant reproductive biologists.  Because flower color is strongly associated with pollinator attraction in many species, a common expectation is that a plant's pollinators will drive the evolution of flower color toward their own preferences.  Explaining how different colors persist in a plant species raises interesting questions about correlated selection on associated plant traits, environmental effects on flower color and/or subtle preferences of pollinators.  While on sabbatical last year, I studied variation in the floral color of two species: Wahlenbergia albomarginata (New Zealand harebell) and Saponaria offic diinalis (common soapwort, or bouncing bet).  Wahlenbergia flowers are abundant on the slopes of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, and vary from bright white to pale blue.  Though it is native to southwest Europe, Saponariagrows along roadsides and fields in the midwest.  Individual flowers in this species change from white to pink as they age.  In both of these studies, my collaborators and I described the extent and pattern of floral variation among native populations and studied pollinator preferences.  We considered a variety of hypotheses that might explain the persistence of the floral color variation, including the influence of abiotic factors such as light environment, water availability and soil pH, and the possibility of selection for pigmented leaves that might indirectly influence the expression of color in flowers. 


Thursday, April 18, 2013

CUR Workshop on Undergraduate Research - Lunch Session

WHAT: "Expanding Undergraduate Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences."

WHO: Jenny Shanahan, Director of Undergraduate Research at Bridgewater State University

WHERE:   UB 232

WHEN: Thursday, April 25 @ 11:30 am
“What’s in it for Faculty? Some Benefits of Mentoring Undergraduate Research”
Undergraduate research is a high-impact practice that sparks students’ interest in learning and inspires creativity and independent thought. It can also be very costly in terms of faculty workload and academic budgets, so it is essential to work out a feasible UR model that includes administrative support and incentives for the work of mentoring (e.g., in the tenure and promotion process), as well as other professional and personal rewards for mentors.  This session will highlight what the literature suggests about benefits to faculty of mentoring undergraduate researchers, from scholarly productivity to rewarding relationships. It will also show why some universities’ UR programs enjoy enthusiastic participation by faculty across the disciplines: key components that bring rewards to mentors as well as their students. Based on other campuses’ models and especially the particular needs of DePauw humanities and social sciences faculty, participants develop goals for the UR program in terms of faculty development and support.

Please read this document if you plan to attend the workshop:
"Undergraduate Research in the Humanities: Challenges and Prospects."

CUR Workshop on Undergraduate Research - Afternoon Session

WHAT:     "Expanding Undergraduate Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences."

WHO:       Jenny Shanahan, Director of Undergraduate Research at Bridgewater State University

WHERE:   Emerson Room, Inn at DePauw

WHEN:     Thursday, April 25 @ 4:00

 “Models of Undergraduate Research in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Business, and Education”

This session addresses the reasons that faculty in some disciplines do not participate in undergraduate research (UR) in significant numbers and suggests ways to change that situation, to the great benefit of students. We will discuss the fact that certain definitions of and assumptions about “undergraduate research” inadvertently leave out what scholars in many disciplines (and interdisciplinary programs) actually do. Successful, disciplinarily appropriate modes of involving students in significant scholarly work will be presented. Together we will examine UR models from underrepresented disciplines that were presented at NCUR, funded in comparable institutions’ summer research programs, and published in undergraduate-research journals. The aims are to ascertain and advocate support for the skills, methods, and learning outcomes of UR that takes place outside of laboratories—in library stacks, archives, museums, fieldwork, schools, and other sites in the community.

Please read this document if you plan to attend the workshop:
"Undergraduate Research in the Humanities: Challenges and Prospects."


Thesis Hatement

This jeremiad recently posted on Slate about one person’s experience trying to navigate the academic job market in English literature should lead to interesting conversations about whether we should be encouraging our students to pursue graduate studies in this area.


Undergraduate Research in the Humanities: Challenges and Prospects

This article from CUR Focus provides general information about faculty working with undergraduates on research in the humanities.

Undergraduate Research in the Humanitites

Teaching Roundtable on Writing

WHAT:     Teaching Roundtable on Writing

WHO:       Writing Program Coordinating Committee

WHERE:   UB 231/232

WHEN:     Wednesday, April 24 @ 11:30

Texts, Tweets, and Blogs: If the Nature of Writing Has Changed, Do We Need to Change How We Teach Writing?

In the last few years, there has been a great deal of debate about the nature and degree of change in our culture—and our brains—brought about by the widespread use of new technologies.  These debates have also touched upon writing. In this Teaching Roundtable, the Writing Program Coordinating Committee would like begin a conversation about the relationship between writing and these new technologies and about whether we as a university need to reconsider our approach to writing in light of these changes.   We have chosen a blog post from Richard E. Miller, who is a professor specializing in Literature, New Media, and Writing Studies at Rutgers where he currently serves as the Executive Director of the Plangere Writing Center and Culture Lab.  Professor Miller falls into the camp that believes that recent technologies have dramatically altered our culture and that the university must adapt to those changes.  You may also get some idea of Professor Miller’s project by following this link (the focus on student writing projects comes around the 8 minute mark).

Blog post


Friday, April 12, 2013

Talk About Teaching: ECAR Study of Student Academic Technology Use

What   Talk About Teaching: ECAR Study of Student Academic Technology Use

Who    Kayla Birt, Library and Information Technology Assessment Graduate Intern

Where FITS/CTL Lounge

When  Friday, April 19, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

 Think your students know everything about technology and use everything available for their academic work? Guess again! Join Kayla Birt, Library and Information Technology Assessment Graduate Intern, for an informative discussion on what the ECAR study entails, what last year's findings reveal, and DePauw's participation in this year's study. The ECAR study is an access point to student technology use and preference in and out of the classroom. It can further inform us on the best ways to leverage technology for learning and provide students the needed support for academic work through FITS/Student Technology Support.

Please check the topics section for more information about this subject.


ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012

"The annual ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology is an invaluable resource for monitoring the ongoing evolution of undergraduate students’ relationship with the digital technology that is increasingly integrated into their academic lives. Understanding this relationship is important because student preferences are crucial to their motivation and attention to their academic work. Furthermore, although their preferences can be driven by technology trends, under the right circumstances students are quite capable of reflective choices about the technology that helps them learn."

Digital Reading Practices for the Liberal Arts Classroom

What: Digital Reading Practices for the Liberal Arts Classroom
Who: NITLE Webinar
When: Thursday, April 18, 3-4 pm
Where: Julian Science and Mathematics Center, Room 157

Geoffrey Rockwell and Stéfan Sinclair, co-directors of TAPoR, a gateway to the tools used in sophisticated text analysis and retrieval, lead "Digital Reading Practices for the Liberal Arts Classroom," a seminar on text analysis and why and how to teach it. Drs. Rockwell and Sinclair will explain methods of computer-assisted text analysis and share proven recipes for student assignments. 

Faculty Forum - Rebecca Schindler and Terri Bonebright

WHAT:   “What Students Think about Cultural Heritage:  Teaching Archaeological Ethics to Undergraduates”

WHO:      Rebecca Schindler & Terri Bonebright

WHERE:  UB 231/232

WHEN:    April 16, 2013 11:30

As the world’s cultural heritage is increasingly threatened by looting, military action, and modern development, the education of the public and, in particular, our students is critical if we are to work towards preserving that heritage. Most college students have not seriously considered the ethical issues related to cultural heritage in general, and more specifically the potential effects of private versus public ownership of cultural objects. Nevertheless they have been exposed to presentations of archaeology in the popular media and may have had limited first-hand experience in a museum setting or site visit. As an archaeologist who regularly teaches archaeological ethics, and a psychologist who has an interest in how students' misconceptions may influence their ethical reasoning in the classroom, we wanted to understand better the underlying attitudes towards cultural heritage that our students may have.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Faculty Life Roundtable on Community

What:  Faculty Life Wine and Cheese Roundtable Discussion About Community.
Who:  Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Life
Where: Inn at DePauw, Social Center B
When: Thursday, April 11, 2013, 4:00 pm

Autonomy and community: both are important, yet there is sometimes a tension between the two.  How do, or can, we find a satisfying balance?

Center for Digital Storytelling Blog

This blog about digital storytelling provides a forum for faculty members to present and discuss their work in this area.  It is a good place to see examples of digital story telling.

Digital Storytelling Blog

Digital Storytelling Website

This website has good information about digital storytelling along with a number of excellent resources.  It is the site for a book titled Digital Storytelling in the Classroom by Jason Ohler, and is a good place for faculty members to learn about this pedagogy.

Digital Storytelling website link.

Parental Involvement in the Lives of College Students

The posting looks at reasons behind the rise in parent involvement in the lives of their college students. It is from Chapter 4, Helicopters, Lawnmowers, and Stealth Bombers, in the book, Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today’s College Student, by Arthur Levine.  Here are a few quotes from the material:  “The same way that some people say sixty is the new forty, twenty-one is the new sixteen.” “Mature adulthood” is delayed in this generation. “Their mothers make their doctors’ appointments and do their laundry and write their papers and …” There is “almost an expectation because the parents have been involved so much all through their lives that this is normal for them. They don’t really question their parents being involved in their college life, which they are.”

Click here to read article.

Teaching Roundtale on Digital Storytelling

 WHO:       Sheryl Tremblay and Veronica Pejril

 WHERE:   Julian 135

 WHEN:     Thursday, April 11 @ 11:30

Digital storytelling is being used increasingly at DePauw and at peer institutions – and in a variety of fields - to empower students to engage more personally, more deeply, more creatively in their thinking.  Whether we want to encourage our students to tell their own (or others’) stories, or to engage their scholarship from different angles with an eye towards different ways of knowing, digital storytelling is emerging as a powerful set of practices across the curriculum, from the humanities to the sciences.  Join Sheryl Tremblay and Veronica Pejril to find out how we can help our students develop new and multiple literacies (written, oral, artistic/creative, digital) through digital storytelling assignments.

As always, lunch will be provided.

If you’d like to learn a bit more about digital storytelling prior to the roundtable, please take a look at the following links:

Center for Digital Storytelling Blog