TEACH Blog header imageTeaching Effectiveness Program

Apply Now for 2016 Working Group on Active Teaching and Learning

We invite individual applications for the third year of our popular, funded faculty group that will revise one course taught by each member, enhancing its creativity, interactivity, rigor, and skill building in keeping with research on how people learn. In brief: research on teaching and learning indicates that active classes that ask students to grapple with authentic problems and questions, give prompt facilitative feedback, and align assignments and activities tightly and transparently with faculty goals have the potential to increase student learning. But how do we achieve this as individual faculty members—especially considering the particular strengths and challenges of our disciplines, classrooms, and students? The group provides an intriguing and supportive framework to help each participant find compelling answers to this question.

We welcome faculty members from across the curriculum who would like space, support, and camaraderie as they experiment with their courses, perhaps shifting some lecture time to participatory activities designed to boost critical thinking; or building peer-learning frameworks to enhance students’ sense of ownership of course material; or exploring what technology can do to enliven the classroom and serve as a vehicle for class interaction and creative production.

Participants who teach large classes will get extra support from TEP’s Teaching Excellence Fellow, Dr. Sierra Dawson, on how to apply what we’re discussing to make the big class feel a bit smaller.

Participants in the Working Group will have the chance to experience UO’s LearnLabs, technology-rich, pod-style, active-learning classrooms; and they will explore what sophisticated, active pedagogies can look like in any classroom or lecture hall on campus.

Recognition for participation:
The Division of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Affairs have pooled resources to provide a $1,000 stipend to each participant (members will receive $500 after the completion of the June workshop; then they’ll receive an additional $500 with the submission of a revised course document accompanied by a brief commentary and a record of a teaching development activity). They also will be invited to campus-wide events and Working Group-specific luncheons. Working Group faculty participants will benefit from priority scheduling in the new LearnLab classrooms.

How to apply:
Applicants should complete a simple online form due Friday April 15th that asks for a current course description, course learning objectives, and a “I wish I could” segment in which faculty articulate the particular challenges of teaching the course, discuss the kinds of activities they would like to introduce, and describe the classroom climate they would like to create. The group is open to tenure-line faculty and full-time career instructors.

The group will:
The Working Group on Active Teaching and Learning will have an inaugural meeting during Spring term for members to get to know one another. Then in June we’ll convene for three days of hands-on support to make members’ course-revision experiments a reality (June 15, 16, and 17). Ultimately, members will submit a revised course document and commentary to the cohort’s private blog. We ask that each member participate in one “teaching development activity”—any upcoming TEP event, individual consultation, or class observation.

The Working Group on Active Teaching and Learning is hosted by UO Libraries Center for Media and Educational Technology (CMET), the Yamada Language Center, and the Teaching Effectiveness Program. The UO Steelcase LearnLab Pilot Project is sponsored by Steelcase Inc. and UO Libraries Center for Media and Educational Technology, Academic Affairs, the Committee for Academic Infrastructure, Academic Extension, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Yamada Language Center.

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