Changes in Staffing for CTE in the Fall
The Center for Teaching Excellence will have many changes beginning in fall of 2009. The Center will have a new interim director, Dr. Mark Nuss from the Department of Communication. Dr. Mark Nuss has been a member of the University of Nebraska Kearney faculty since August, 2006. Dr. Nuss has extensive teaching credentials, including experience at Fort Hays State University, The University of Kansas, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of International Business and Economics (China), and SIAS University (China). His field of specialty is Organizational Communication. The Center will begin its search for a permanent director of CTE in the fall of 2009 with the new director starting in January of 2010.
The Center for Teaching Excellence will also have a new graduate assistant starting in August of 2009. Sarah Schaaf has recently begun a graduate program in Speech/Language Pathology. She graduated from the University of Nebraska Kearney with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology in May of 2003. She has worked as a special education para-educator and at Platte Valley Medical Group in Kearney.
The current director, Jeanne Butler, will move from being half-time CTE Director and half-time Assessment Director to fulltime Director of Assessment. With the accreditation requirements for assessment and the many assessment initiatives going on at UNK, a fulltime director is needed for assessment.
We would like to thank April Becker, the current graduate assistant for CTE, for her contributions to the Center over the last two years. She will be leaving UNK and beginning her internship in School Psychology in Columbus, NE in the fall of 2009.
The Center for Teaching Excellence welcomes our new staff!
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Center for Teaching Excellence Awards Luncheon
The Center for Teaching Excellence Recognition Luncheon for spring 2009 was held in the Cedar room at the Nebraskan Student Union on April 14th. At the luncheon, all faculty teaching and mentoring award winners for the 2008-2009 academic year were recognized, including the following:
Leland Holdt Award Ronald Crocker Music & Performing Arts
Pratt Heins Award Anne Foradori Music & Performing Arts
Creative Teaching Award Joseph Benz Psychology
Anne Foradori Music & Performing Arts
Honors Faculty of the Year Award Aaron Dimock Communication
Panhellenic Teaching Award Chris Jochum Modern Languages
Faculty Mentoring Awards
Scott Unruh COE
Theresa Wadkins NSS
Janice Fronczak FAH
Sylvia Asay CBT
Mark Ellis Graduate & Overall UNK
CBT Faculty Teaching Awards Larry Hughes Management
Sri Seshadri Marketing
The speakers for the annual recognition are former UNK OTICA winners. The speaker at the 2009 luncheon, Dr. Theresa Wadkins, was the OTICA winner in 2008. In her speech, “Keeping the Student perspective in Teaching,” Dr. Wadkins spoke about her continued experience in being a student of higher learning and the unique perspective that it has given her through her years of teaching.
Dr. Wadkins began her speech talking about how she had taken a circuitous route to teaching, but loved that she was in the teaching profession. Through her years of being a professor at UNK, she has taken many courses to further her education. She stated that she has a more flexible nature when it comes to students and each perspective that the student has to learning. She realizes that each student will have unique stressors that may affect their classroom learning. She stressed to her colleagues present to always keep in mind the perspective of the student learner.
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Take Home Teaching Tips from Award Winning Faculty
The Center for Teaching Excellence sponsored a faculty panel presentation titled: “Take Home Teaching Tips from Award Winning Faculty” on April 8th, 2009. This presentation included Anne Foradori from Fine Arts and Humanities, Sri Seshadri from College of Business and Technology, Jane Strawhecker from College of Education and Rick Miller from Natural and Social Science. Each of the presenters has an outstanding background in teaching and has won teaching awards. Dr. Anne Foradori has won the Pratt-Heins Award and the Creative Teaching Award at UNK. Dr. Sri Seshadri has won the College of Business and Technology Teaching Award. Dr. Jane Strawhecker has won the Pratt-Heins Award and the College of Education Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Rick Miller has won the Creative Teaching Award, Pratt-Heins Award, and the Leland Holdt Award at UNK, the OTICA for the entire University system, and the American Psychological Association Teaching Award, a national award of APA.
Dr. Sri Seshadri began the presentation with his thoughts on the challenges facing faculty and the barriers that students have to learning. He focused on tips that he has used in his classroom. He tries to lower the stress that students have to better engage them in the learning process. He puts practice exams on Blackboard the week of the test and lets students take the practice exams as many as three times. He has increased the relevance of his teaching by including current news articles in his teaching. One idea that Dr. Seshadri had seen good results with engaging students in the learning process was from his 20 Questions approach. He breaks the class into groups to work on a case study. He has the entire class generate 20 questions to increase their understanding of the case. He then gives each group an additional 5 questions that they can ask and that only they will hear the answers to. This helps with engagement within the class and engagement with the material the class is to learn.
Dr. Anne Foradori spoke about her two most important concepts when teaching. She titled the two approaches: “Measure twice, cut once” and “The end is nothing, the road is all.” The first concept uses multiple approaches to presenting material and assessing student work. She stated that each student is an individual and each student will have different learning styles. She strives to keep students engaged by offering choices. Each choice that she gives will accomplish the same learning objective for the student, but allows the student to choose what is best suited to him or herself. She has also learned that projects that allow students to interact with one another will provide learning opportunities for each student to learn. Dr. Foradori’s second approach is to focus on important skills that will be used in all learning situations, not just on the end product. At times she uses an approach called 1-2-3 where she asks students to quickly assess their own work that day and then she used the same 1-2-3 scale to assess the student’s work. A dialogue will follow about how they each rated the session. Dr. Foradori also believes in assessing student work in stages to allow the growth of the student and the student’s work to be recognized throughout the process.
Dr. Rick Miller discussed how he is using MySpace as a pedagogical tool within his cross cultural psychology class. He wants students to analyze human behavior in its cultural context and be able to apply both theoretical and empirical perspectives to predict on-going and future events. Students also need to read, comprehend, and critically evaluate information about human behavior within its cultural context. Within the class, students are able to choose among a research exercise, a library research paper, or to create a MySpace for themselves as a person from a different culture to meet the objectives of the course. Student engagement within the project is high among the students who choose the MySpace page. Students are expected to blog within the native voice of the “self” they have created on set topics related to the curriculum. The students have taken the learning process further than is expected in the syllabus and have extended their MySpace page for their “foreign identity” to include popular music, history, notable people, places to see, and special events within their chosen culture.
Dr. Jane Strawhecker spoke about “Fourteen things that matter most” and “What great teachers do differently.” Some of her ideas included: that great teachers never forget that it is people, not programs, that determine the quality of a school and that great teachers establish clear expectations. She state that teachers have high expectations for students but even higher expectations for themselves. Her presentation further stated that great teachers have a plan and purpose for everything they do. If things don’t work out they way the had envisioned, they reflect on what they could have done differently and adjust their plans accordingly. In her closing, Strawhecker mentioned that one of the most important ideas was that great teachers care about their students. They understand that behaviors and beliefs are tied to emotion and they understand the power of emotion to jump start change. Jane indicated that research has shown that the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes of a class are critical teaching moments that should be used for meaningful learning, rather than taking attendance or discussing assignments. She demonstrated a technique she uses at the beginning of class to get students to focus on the topic of the class that day. It requires students to put a list of subjects from the class in order to represent the total concept. This engages students in the course immediately when they enter the classroom.
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Developing Students' Global Perspective through International Experiences
Deborah Murray presented for the Center for Rural Research and Development (CRRD) on February 17th, 2009. This presentation was in conjunction with the Study Abroad Program and the director of the program, Anne Marie Park. The presentation was titled: Developing Students’ Global Perspective through International Experiences.” Four students who have taken part in a study abroad program also shared their experiences. The four students included Alisyn Brennan, Taryn Jackowiac, Brieanna Maaske, and Kassandra Montag
Deborah Murray explained that the CRRD was responsible for the development and programming as UNK’s Entrepreneurship and International Business Education Outreach Center. The CRRD also does other outreach programming at UNK and related academic programming. The CRRD promotes rural entrepreneurship within the context of the competitive global marketplace through seminars, workshops, business mentoring, and international experiential learning opportunities. The CRRD also offers a business and international education grant. This grant offers travel stipends for students and faculty to engage in international business study and internships. This grant will deliver awareness programming about benefits and opportunities in international business. Deb Murray reported on an opinion survey of the Kearney Chamber membership and the UNK faculty/staff community. This survey detailed the study abroad plans of UNK students.
Anne Marie Park discussed the role of the Study Abroad Program at UNK. She presented information on the resources that the program provides both to faculty and to students. The role of the program is to promote study abroad trips for students and to encourage faculty to serve as trip leaders. The office is very helpful in the organization of trips and the paperwork and logistics related to passports, visas, and transportation.
The four students discussed their experiences in various countries including China, Columbia, Spain, and Germany. Each of the students shared their most frightening experiences and how they handled the situation, and their most enjoyable experiences. Each said that they would definitely go on another study abroad trip and that the experience had changed their lives.
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"The Role of the String Project in Teacher Training
and Community Music Education"
Sharon Campbell's Article Review
The National String Project Consortium was designed to encourage string education majors to become string teachers, and to stimulate growth of new school orchestra programs. This study evaluated the extent to which these goals were accomplished across 14 university sites in 2003-2004. In January 2008, UNK was selected as one of the thirty-two String Projects Sites for the national String Project Consortium (the only site in Nebraska and the surrounding region).
Survey data were obtained from project directors, master teachers, student teachers, children and parents (N=1458). Results indicated the majority of student teachers were music education majors who received professional and financial benefit from participation, and were engaged in authentic string teaching in productive and rewarding settings. Children studied string instruments under satisfying and affordable conditions. The String Project fills a voice where school strings programs do not exist, or supplements strings instruction available in the schools.
Byo, James L. and Jane W. Cassidy. “The role of the string project in teacher training and community music education.” Journal of Research in Music Education, 53(4) (Winter 2005), 332-347.
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Tentative Fall 2009 Schedule
September 23rd - Luncheon with Senior Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, Charles Bicak
12:00 1:30 p.m.
Rooms 238 A & B – Nebraskan Student Union
October 15th – Developing and Teaching Capstone Courses
Panel Presentation – Darleen Mitchell, FAH; Theresa Wadkins, NSS; Vern Volpe, NSS
3:30 4:30 p.m.
Room 312 – Nebraskan Student Union
November 10th – Teaching Interdisciplinary Courses
3:30 4:30 p.m.
Room 312 – Nebraskan Student Union
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Your comments and contributions are welcome!
Please send any comments or suggestions for the newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have information that you would like presented in the newsletter or would like to write something for one of the editions, please contact Jeanne Butler at 865-8495 or by email at the Center.