In this issue


Campus Events

imageOn November 28th at 4pm in Buttrick 101, Charles Redmanwill be giving a public lecture called Transforming the Silos: Creating a School of Sustainability, reception following.

Chuck is the Distinguished Sustainability Scientist for the Global Institute of Sustainability, Founding Director and Professor of the School of Sustainability, and the Virginia Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.



Student Learning on Display: Pump Up the Volume – Vandy Vinyl

imageIn this episode, CFT Director Derek Bruff, talks with Curb Scholars Branden Sanders, Keith Berquist, Daniel Eubanks, Harrison Shapley, and audio engineer Scott Marquart about their Curb Creative Campus project where they developed a high-quality production studio to record independent projects of Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students.  
Listen to the Podcast


Check out these recent posts to our blog.

Meet CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow Katie Headrick Taylor

Meet CFT Graduate Teaching Fellow Adam Wilsman

Getting to Know Coursera: Video Discussions

Ask Professor Pedagogy Midterm Exams

Coursera as Innovation Accelerator?


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November, 2012

Community Engagement Expert to Visit CFT
November 12th

 The Center for Teaching is hosting a conversation with Barbara Holland, recognized internationally for her expertise on organizational change in higher education, community engagement, service-learning, and partnerships. Her talk entitled "The Strategic Importance of Community Engagement to University Success" will be held at the Center for Teaching on Monday, November 12th at 4:00pm.

Dr. Holland will talk about the state of community engagement in higher education today (particularly in the realm of teaching), strategies for developing partnerships that transform campus and community, strategies of assessing community engagement for improved teaching/research, as well as other issues that might help faculty and administrators grasp the legitimacy, contributions, and need for community engagement in Vanderbilt's teaching and research missions.

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Teaching Visit Opportunities for November

For many years The Center for Teaching has hosted Teaching Visits, among the most productive and helpful events we offer.  They are wonderful opportunities for Vanderbilt teachers to observe directly and then discuss various forms of teaching across the disciplines, building collegiality and expertise around inquiries into teaching and learning.

We endeavor to organize visits across the university in various disciplines, but visitors do not have to be in the same discipline as the course they are observing.  Indeed, many faculty members have found it helpful to encounter teaching styles and strategies different from their own, which they can then discuss with colleagues after the observation and adapt to their own use.

Four instructors are hosting visits in November:

Mark Schoenfield, Professor of English and Department ChairWednesday, November 7th
9:10-10:00 am, followed by 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Junior Faculty Only)

John Lachs, Centennial Professor of Philosophy
Tuesday, November 13th
2:35-3:50 pm, followed by a 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Junior Faculty Only)

John McClure, Charles G. Finney Prof of Homiletics
Tuesday, November 20th
3:10 – 5:00 pm, followed by a 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Junior Faculty Only)

Leigh Gilchrist, Human & Organizational Development
Thursday, November 29th
1:10 pm – 2:25 pm, followed by a 1 hr discussion
REGISTER TO ATTEND (Junior Faculty Only)

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Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow Spotlight:
Bennett Landman

Each month, the CFT Newsletter highlights the work of our Junior Faculty Teaching Fellows. This month, Bennett Landman, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, talks about his teaching philosophy and interests:

The opportunity to work with, teach and learn from creative young individuals is one of the great privileges of being a faculty member. For the past two years, I have taught undergraduate signal processing and graduate medical imaging courses in Electrical Engineering. Each class has been a unique and rewarding experience which led me to update the class material after every semester. One of the primary challenges that I have faced is conveying enthusiasm and imparting excitement about subject matter that is mathematically abstract and demanding. I see the Junior Faculty Teaching Fellowship Program as natural evolution of my engagement with the Center for Teaching. I am eager to engage in inter-disciplinary discussion of pedantic methods and learn more about what works in difficult/interesting classroom situations. I see my strengths as being passionate and knowledgeable about the subject material (especially in individual/small group settings), but I feel that I have ample room for improvement in terms of organizing classroom flow (engagement with larger groups, sparking interest in mathematical derivations).

"Each class has been a unique and rewarding experience which led me to update the class material after every semester. One of the primary challenges that I have faced is conveying enthusiasm and imparting excitement about subject matter that is mathematically abstract and demanding."

My research lies at the interface of medical imaging, signal processing, and statistical inference. Students are often surprised to find me in Electrical Engineering, as my projects range from understanding the neurological basis of psychological disorders and mapping brain tumors to statistical method development and visualizing abdominal defects. The common theme that unifies my work is capturing quantitative information from three-(or higher) dimensional medical images. Over the past few decades, physicists have created marvelous tools to peer inside living people; we are just at the threshold where, as engineers, we can create systems to help unravel these data. The signal processing and information fundamentals in the undergraduate curriculum have broad applications throughout modern engineering. I consider it a personal challenge to provide students with essential concepts and tools that can carry forward into their careers.

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CIRTL Webcasts Explore Topics in STEM Education

The Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL) is an NSF Center for Learning and Teaching in higher education. The goal of CIRTL is to improve the STEM learning of all students at every college and university, and thereby to increase the diversity in STEM fields and the STEM literacy of the nation. This month CIRTL will be host two webcasts that explore topics in STEM education.


Linking Pedagogy to Professional Skills: One-Page Instructional Resources Built from an NSF Study on Engineering Practice

November 7th, 2:00-3:00 pm
As we help prepare the next generation of STEM professionals, what are the skills, knowledge, and ways of thinking they will need for the workplace? How can we connect pedagogy and course content to these abilities? In an NSF-funded study of professional work, we asked these questions of engineers and observed their work to determine how STEM education can better connect to current practice. This session will provide an overview of the study's findings and dig into one of the essential skills emphasized for effective work--communication. We will explore how to explicitly develop students' communication skills within your courses without a lot of extra work.

Description: hoto of Sandra CourterSandra Courter, PhD Professor Emeritus, Engineering Prof. Dev. University of Wisconsin

Description: hoto of Kevin AndersonKevin J. B. Anderson, PhD CESA #2 School Improvement Consultant in STEM Education

Learn how to participate in this CIRTLCast

University politics: Navigating the Rules and Expectations

November 29th 12:00-1:00 pm

Jon Sticklen, Center for Engineering Education Research
Robert A. Linsenmeier, Northwestern Center for Engineering Education Research

Learn how to participate in this CIRTLCast

Mentoring Graduate Students and Postdocs

November 30th, 1:00-2:00 pm

Laura Harrington, Cornell University
Colleen McLinn, Cornell University
Christine Holmes, Cornell University

Learn how to participate in the CIRTLCast

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Vanderbilt Brings EDUCAUSE to Campus

Select sessions from the 2012 EDUCAUSE National Conference will be streamed live here at Vanderbilt from November 7 through 9. EDUCAUSE is the largest professional association for higher education IT professionals. The annual conference happens in Denver next week and ITS, along with the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the Center for Teaching, are providing live video streams covering a variety of topics from this year’s conference.

The CFT is hosting four sessions next Wednesday, November 7th:

9:00-10:30 a.m
IT as a Core Academic Competence
Keynote address by Clay Shirky, New York University

11:30-12:20 p.m
Great Expectations: An End-to-End Process for Multimedia Assessment
Hannah Inzko and Chris Millet, Penn State

3:30-4:20 p.m
The Shift to Digital: New Models for Course Material Distribution
Nik Osborne, Indiana University

4:40-5:30 p.m
Beyond E-Books: Right-Sized Mobile Content for Learning Anywhere

Kyle Bowen, Purdue University

See full agenda, session descriptions, and registration information

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From the Stacks...


The Technology Toolbelt for Teaching
by Susan Manning, Kevin E. Johnson

This book offers a hands-on resource that shows how to integrate technology into lessons and offers information about common technologies, categorizing by groups, and explains the purposes they serve pedagogically as well as how they can be most effectively used in online or face-to-face classrooms. In addition to examples, each chapter includes a decision making matrix to help you decide on whether or not a tool is really needed based on curriculum objectives or a specific organizational or curricular problem. 

Available in the Center for Teaching library.

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