A(T)R Calendar, Spring 2007

Monday, January 22

  • Getting the Most out of Blackboard: Insider tips and tricksHeld in Downey 113. Join faculty from all three divisions who will show how they have used Blackboard in their courses, and see demonstrations of new features and functions recently added to Wesleyan's Blackboard. In addition, we'll have time to answer specific tactical questions.
  • Panelists include:Richie Adelstein, EconomicsSuzanne O'Connell, Earth and Environmental ScienceRenee Romano, History and African American StudiesAndy Szegedy-Maszak, Classical Studies

Monday, January 29

  • Learning Disabilities and Student Life with Phillipa CoughlanWe have all become familiar with some of the terminology connected with learning disorders, such as ADD, ADHD and dyslexia. At this A(T)R, Dr. Philippa Coughlan, Director of the Office of Behavior Health, will discuss the effects such disorders have on students' academic careers and personal lives, and how faculty and staff members can deal with them.

Thursday, February 8

  • "The Millennials -- I-Pods, flip-flops, Facebook, tattoos -- who are they and what do they want?" Mike Sciola, Director of Wesleyan's Career Resource Center. Mike will share observations about the coming wave of students born after 1988 and how he and his staff have changed their program to meet the new students' unique learning style. (No cell phones allowed during the presentation.)

Monday, February 12

  • Teaching Seminars -- how to structure assignments and encourage participation and discussionThe small seminar is a much-lauded feature of Wesleyan's curriculum, and the clientele for such classes is quite wide, from the first-year students in FYI's, to senior majors, to (in some departments) grad students. Within that range, however, there may be some common concerns. For example: How much student participation does one expect or require? Are there anytechniques to encourage participation and discussion? Have you seen any change during your time here in how much work your students are ready to do, or in how they respond within a seminar situation? Our presenters will be Scott Holmes (MBB), Ellen Widmer (Asian Languages and Literatures), and Andy Szegedy-Maszak (Classical Studies / CFCD).

Thursday, February 22

  • "Essential Capabilities and Outcome Assessment"The term "outcomes assessment" has become increasingly important in higher education. It refers to the effort to determine, by means of some more or less precise criteria, how much students have actually learned. The push for such assessment began in public colleges and universities and is now affecting private institutions as well. For an overview, you can look at http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/UPA/assmt/resource.htm At this A(T)R we will discuss how -- or whether -- Wesleyan's "essential capabilities" could serve, at least in part, to measure what our students have derived from their education here. Our discussants will include Don Moon (Government, Dean of Division 2, leader of the process to define the essential capabilities), Kendall Hobbs (Olin Library, specialist in information literacy), and Paula Lawson (Associate Provost, who is drafting the section on assessment for Wesleyan's interim accreditation report).   Thursday March 1 Intellectual Property Issues with James G. Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian,Columbia UniversityHigher education in the U.S. is confronted by a rapidly shifting intellectual property framework of policy and practice. How are dramatic developments at the international and national level to be effectively understood and applied at the campus level so as to enable and support the work of students and faculty? This talk will highlight key legislative and legal activities, describe the diversity of responses by libraries, IT organizations and faculty, and encourage wider involvement by the academic community in the copyright arena.   Monday March 5 Judgment Calls: How to deal with requests for extensions, incompletes, etc.Students often make requests for special arrangements, such as extra time on exams, extensions on deadlines, and incompletes. As a result, the four class deans often have to deal with the consequences of a faculty member's decision to grant, or not, such special consideration. Among the topics we may consider at this A(T)R: Are there any general criteria for making these judgment calls? What should one do if a student fails to live up to an agreement? What can faculty expect of the class deans, and vice versa? Our discussants will be the deans: Louis Brown, Lisa Gates, David Phillips and Van Rutherford.

Thursday, March 29

  • Digital Images: Pedagogy, Technology & Infrastructure with David Green (Knowledge Culture, Research and consulting services for the cultural community in a digital age) and Rob Lancefield (Davison Art Center)Report author, David Green, and Rob Lancefield will speak on key findings and recommendations of the Wesleyan-commissioned study, "Using Digital Images in Teaching and Learning," (October 2006). http://www.academiccommons.org/imagereport. Responding to the rapid deployment of digital images across the curriculum, the project studied their use by more than 400 faculty at 30 liberal arts colleges and universities in the Northeast. While the study focused on the pedagogical impact of digital images, related issues of image supply, support and infrastructure made up much of the fabric of the report. Topics in this session will include possible solutions to the issues of plentiful but "invisible" image resources; cataloging and managing ubiquitous personal image collections (often created in response to the glacial formation of institutional collections) and the critical digital and image “literacy” skills required for optimal use of digital images by teachers and students. While many faculty lead the way, institutional response lags. What solutions lie in store?

Monday, April 2

  • The Center for the Humanities, with Jill MorawskiWesleyan's Center for Humanities, originally The Institute for Advanced Studies, is one of the first such institutes in American universities. The Center's activities are dedicated to a semester- or year-long theme which brings together faculty, visiting scholars, and students who share their scholarship and teaching for an extended period. As the Center approaches its 50th anniversary, it seems appropriate to reflect on its program and explore new ventures. Should the Center continue its thematic structuring of activities? How else might the Center foster alliances and intellectual networks across the disciplines? How can the Center better promote the scholarly projects of the faculty?

Thursday, April 12

  • The University Press, with Suzanna Tamminen, Director Wesleyan University Press; and Kate Wittenberg Director, Columbia University PressWesleyan alumnae Suzanna Tamminen and Kate Wittenberg will talk about how the work of the university press is changing. At Columbia, in developing a partnership that involves the Press, the libraries, and the academic computing system, they have tried to think creatively about how to maintain what is most valuable about what they do, while remaining open to the new realities in our environment. They have asked scholars, students, and librarians what they need, what they want, and what they will pay for, and have tried to use this information to rethink their models and plans for building resources for scholarly research and education. The overall goal of this university-based center is to envision and then implement effective ways for acquiring, developing, and disseminating scholarly content in the digital environment. Over the last two years, however, as they have pursued this mission, they have found that their role has grown, and that they have become part of a much larger shift in the role of the university in the area of scholarly communication. In this presentation Wittenberg will describe some of these transformations and what they mean for the future. Using Columbia's model and experience as a framework, Tamminem will provide an update on Wesleyan's latest activities, highlighting some of its plans for producing born-digital scholarship.

Monday, April 16

  • Clickers as a Pedagogical Tool CANCELLED   Thursday April 26 Thursday 4/26 Quantitative Analysis Center (QAC) with Manolis KaparakisManolis Kaparakis will lead a discussion on the current activities and future direction of the Center, which is currently in its pilot phase funded through a "Fund for Innovation"grant. Summary (from the proposal to establish QAC)In keeping with the vision of a “Wesleyan education for the twenty-first century,”[1] we propose the establishment of a “Quantitative Analysis Center” (QAC) to facilitate the integration of quantitative teaching and research activities, and to help implement the “Quantitative Reasoning” key capability as outlined in faculty legislation passed on March 1, 2005.[2] The Center will provide an institutional framework to foster collaboration across departments and facilitate interdisciplinary research, teaching, and learning. The QAC will provide support for quantitative analysis across the curriculum by coordinating such efforts and by developing the necessary services to aid faculty and students whose teaching, learning, and research require data analysis. Enhancing Wesleyan’s strength in quantitative methods in the human sciences is an important institutional objective, which has been affirmed in recent curricular and hiring decisions in the four departments involved in planning this proposal. By creating an intellectual community and providing support services, the QAC will make Wesleyan a more attractive place for faculty who teach and use quantitative methods in their research, and it will enhance their ability to generate outside grants and funding for their work. The Center will be a collaborative effort of academic (including Economics, Government, Sociology, and Psychology) and administrative departments (including Academic Affairs and ITS) with an initial focus in the social and behavioral sciences. It is designed, however, to be scalable so that it can accommodate emerging needs across academic departments and offer consortium based services that strengthen our collaborative efforts with other institutions. [1] Available at http://www.wesleyan.edu/acad-forum/djb_paper.html. [2] For the complete text of the capabilities see http://www.wesleyan.edu/capabilities.

Monday, April 30

  • John Seamon 'Rock and Roll MemoriesAutobiographical memory is our personal recollection of the past that is often associated with emotion. I teach two courses on memory: Psy 221: Human Memory and Psy 321: Memory in the Movies. In the second course, I use film to teach about memory, and I decided to illustrate autobiographical memory by telling a story about the early days of Rock and Roll, based on my personal recollections. With ITS, I made two dvds covering the years 1955 - 1964 and 1964 - 1972. Both dvds are roughly an hour in length, and both are filled with pictures, videos, and lots of great music, along with my memories and narration to tie all the material together. I will show portions of both dvds to illustrate how this works.