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Faculty Groups

Groups meet throughout the year for seminars, discussions, and other activities. These groups are a part of CATL and TLT's year-long program offerings to enhance teaching and learning.

Course Design Working Groups

Course Design Working Groups (CDWG) involve a small number of faculty (typically 4 per group) who are designing a new course or rethinking an existing course. Some groups share common themes (such as faculty developing GST seminars), but most groups are made up of faculty who individually express interest in joining a group. Groups meet four times during the semester, for about two hours per meeting. In these meetings, the group discusses each participant's course -- with group members responding to the questions/topics that most interest the person who is designing the course.

During the group process, you will focus on a single course of your choosing; you might concentrate on a new course that you will teach soon, or a course you’ve taught before but that you would like to rethink.

Many Elon faculty have joined a course design group since the fall of 2005. Most have found the process to be productive and collegial; for example, one person in a summer 2006 group recently wrote: “I had a look at student evaluations of the course you helped me revise during our design group last summer. They were hands down the best evaluations I've ever received. I owe all of you a debt of thanks and give you lot of credit.”

The group meets four times, for no longer than two hours per meeting. Meetings are scheduled at the convenience of the group members, occurring typically every-other week. If you are interested in joining a course development group this semester, please contact Deandra Little.

New Faculty Coffee Program (Fall semester)

The New Faculty Coffee Program emerged in 2006 during a faculty meeting vote in favor of informal peer mentoring on teaching and from focus groups and surveys with new faculty who expressed a strong desire for informal opportunities to talk one-on-one with colleagues about teaching and learning.

Modeled on the “take a student to lunch” program, the New Faculty Coffee Program works like this – one new faculty and one other Elon person get coffee together at Irazu. During coffee, they talk about teaching and learning. When it is time to pay, they tell the server that coffee is on the New Faculty Coffee Program. The server will swipe both diners’ Phoenix Cards, but there will be no charge on either card. CATL pays for the coffee.

The program’s goal is to create new opportunities, ideally across departmental lines, for informal conversations around teaching and learning. Please use the program for that purpose. The program exists only during the fall semester, so don’t wait to have coffee with your new colleagues. Contact Peter Felten if you have questions.

Mutual Mentoring Groups

Research suggests that small mentoring groups (rather than 1:1 relationships in which one person is the “expert”) can be powerful and effective for professionals like faculty, especially when members of these groups set their own goals. This approach has been coined “mutual mentoring.”

CATL’s mutual mentoring program is open to full-time faculty. If you volunteer to be part of a mutual mentoring group, you and a few faculty colleagues (typically 4 per group) will meet together roughly four times each semester, with meeting times established by group members. During each of those meetings, every participant will identify a specific goal or issue which she or he wants to discuss with the group. Other group members serve as mentors by listening, asking questions, and offering either support or challenge, as appropriate, to help each person achieve her or his goals.  (See the following document for more details of how the groups work.)

Each group will have access to a small budget for the academic year to use as they see fit to cover expenses of food, coffee, etc., for group meetings.

Questions?  Contact Mary Jo Festle or Deandra Little.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Seminar

How can you evaluate the effectiveness of your own teaching and your students’ learning? What is the impact of a new pedagogical strategy on your students’ learning? How might you turn your classroom research into published peer-reviewed scholarship? If you are interested in pursuing a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project, consider joining the SoTL seminar.  Each meeting will focus on a specific aspect of SoTL, starting with refining your research question, designing your study, and completing your IRB application. Later sessions will explore methods for collecting & analyzing data, and approaches to going public with your results. This program spans the entire academic year. Contact Deandra Little for more information.

Viz Cult Group

Viz Cult at Elon is an inter- and multi-disciplinary body of faculty and staff interested in how visual culture shapes what we do, how we think, and how we learn. This year we will be hosting a series of “brown bag” lunch talks sponsored by faculty and staff from across the University.  We will also continue to discuss the role that visual culture and visual pedagogies play in a liberal arts curriculum, as well as develop our virtual presence for Viz Cult @ Elon, and serve as advocates for more, and more appropriate, spaces for image-centered teaching and learning.  For more information, contact Evan Gatti and visit the Viz Cult website or Facebook page.