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Journal on Centers for Teaching and Learning, Volume 3 (2011)

Articles in this issue:

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PDF fileCTLs as Genre: A Message From the Editor-in-Chief

Tassoni, J. P.

Where there is style there is genre. The transfer of style from one genre to another not only alters the way a style sounds, under conditions of a genre unnatural to it, but also violates or renews the given genre . . . . Sooner or later what is heard and actively understood will find its response in the subsequent speech or behavior of the listener. (M. M. Bakhtin, 1986, pp. 66-69)

PDF fileTeaching Centers as Teaching Advocates: Navigating University Politics

Lindsay, P.

What happens when teaching centers become advocates for educational change? Is such activity advisable if the centers become polarizing forces on campus? And if polarization occurs, how should directors navigate it? This essay, which focuses on the author's experience advocating for a change in his university's student evaluation forms, provides a framework for answering these questions and, in the process, suggests that advocacy can offer a number of hidden benefits. The article concludes with a suggestion of how this issue might affect conceptions of faculty development programs as well as the manner in which they are assessed.

PDF fileEngaging in a Collaborative Project as a Team-Building Strategy During a Period of Organizational Change

Lee, Z., Jones, L., Verwood, R., Iqbal, I., & Johnson, J.

An emerging trend in North American higher education institutions is to merge teaching and learning centres with other units on campus. The authors share their team-building process during a time of organizational change through a series of individually written reflective pieces. The importance of active communication and the perceived losses and gains emerge as common themes from the essays, but the authors' overall experience of engaging on a collaborative project helped define what made them a team. A survey of the literature on organizational change shows that they cycled through Rousseau, Aube, and Savoie's sequence of effective teamwork behaviours.

PDF fileWriting in Action: Scholarly Writing Groups as Faculty Development

Schick, K., Hunter, C., Gray, L., Poe, N., & Santos, K.

The authors trace the five-year development and implementation of scholarly writing groups at a public, teaching-oriented university. They describe the experiences and outcomes of faculty writers via the personal accounts of three participants, presented through the lenses of the directors of the University Writing Center and the Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI). Using modest resources, writing groups thrive because they efficiently serve all stakeholders: faculty members get much needed support for their scholarly writing; facilitators (writing center professionals) learn about writing across disciplines; the CFI meets its mission of supporting faculty scholarship, and the university benefits from an enhanced academic culture. Another outcome is helping faculty identify with student experiences and, as a result, improving teaching and writing across the curriculum. Professors write things. If they don't write things, they don't get to be professors. Yet few professors experience themselves as "writers." (Elbow & Sorcinelli, 2006, p. 19)

PDF fileLearning From Each Other: Involving Students in Centers for Teaching and Learning

Boye, A., Logan, M. M., & Tapp, S.

Student involvement in centers for teaching and learning (CTLs) is often an overlooked avenue of faculty development. While several formalized programs for student involvement exist at other universities, the authors explore informal and easily implemented opportunities to work with students that can provide a viable starting point for centers of all kinds. They discuss the roles that students can play as presenters, panelists, audience members, marketers, and colleagues, and the valuable growth that involvement can foster for students and faculty alike as they engage in dialogue and reflection about teaching and learning.

PDF fileA Peer-Based, Dissemination Model of Professional Faculty Development: A Story

Altany, A.

The goal of the peer-based, dissemination approach to faculty development is to have the faculty's experiences and knowledge about teaching, student learning, scholarship, and academic life become more open, public, and available to colleagues, and to be used to build up both a body of knowledge about teaching and learning and a tradition of open exchange and support among the faculty. The author's narrative is a practical meditation on a dramatic change in one faculty center's theory and practice of professional faculty development, the Center for Teaching, Learning & Scholarship (CTLS) at Georgia Southern University. His story has implications for faculty development and for the creation, or re-creation, of faculty development centers and programs.

PDF fileThe "New" Faculty Development? Exploring the Relationship Between Human Performance Improvement (HPI) and Current Best Practices in Faculty Development

Grosse, E.

From their beginnings with the first center for teaching and learning (CTL) at the University of Michigan in 1962, CTLs have grown to become respected organizations on their campuses. However, there is an unexplored nexus between the literature on human performance improvement (HPI) and faculty development. As professionals working in support of the academic enterprise, faculty developers must become aware of all possible opportunities to demonstrate their value in an increasingly difficult environment; HPI is just such an opportunity. By using a keyword search of books and articles written by recognized HPI authorities, the author identified and defined 22 words and phrases commonly used to describe the field. A review of the faculty development literature between 2001 and 2010 determined that references to HPI using these key words and phrases occurred in only 26% of the articles reviewed. In addition, over 44% of 303 CTL websites on a comprehensive list maintained by Hofstra University failed to link their services to any aspect of human performance improvement. Several options to begin implementing HPI are described.

PDF fileA Study of the Impact of Services of a University Teaching Centre on Teaching Practice: Changes and Conditions

Belanger, C., Belisle, M., & Bernatchez, P-A.

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of educational development activities offered at our teaching Centre. To achieve this aim, the authors explored the impact of our services beyond the data generally gathered, namely those concerning participation, satisfaction with and knowledge acquired during a workshop. Data were collected through an on-line survey. The 115 participants in the study?lecturers, professors, and teaching assistants?represent about 20% of the 630 users who received services offered by the Centre during an 18-month period. Overall, the results tend to show that participants in the Centre's activities have noted changes in their teaching and learning conceptions. Most of them have modified their teaching practice somewhat, and some even observed an improvement in their students' learning. In addition, some say that they are more engaged in their educational development and in pedagogical activities at the institution. The survey allowed the authors to identify conditions that have facilitated change. Overall, this study has helped reveal the direct and indirect effects of the Centre's educational development work on teaching, and it has provided the authors with useful data for decision making and practice improvement regarding the Centre's services.

Editorial Staff, Editorial Board, and Reviewers for this issue:


John P. Tassoni, Miami University Middletown

Milton D. Cox, Miami University

Executive Editor:

Gregg W. Wentzell, Miami University

Editorial Board:

Elizabeth Boquet, Fairfild University

Michele Eodice, University of Oklahoma

Elizabeth V. Howard, Miami University

Alan Kalish, The Ohio State University

Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, Berea College

Laurie Richlin, International Alliance of Teacher Scholars

David E. Schwalm, Arizona State University at the Polytechnic Campus

Scott Simkins, North Carolina A&T State University

John Tagg, Palomar College

Norman Vaughan, Mount Royal College (Canada)

Ellenmarie Wahlrab, Miami University

Todd Zakrajsek, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill