Teaching Renewal Retreat for Advanced Career Faculty
In the past, this retreat has focused on regional universities, however, it has been extremely well-received over the years and the TLC has now opened it up to a national audience. We will not be offering the Retreat in 2016, but stay tuned for announcements on future dates!
The Teaching Renewal Retreat takes place at the beautiful Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston Salem, NC. Graylyn provides the perfect setting for a deep exploration and reflection upon teaching practices. In addition to structured activities, participants have ample time to enjoy the grounds and amenities and informal opportunities to network and socialize. This unique three-day retreat brings together faculty from a variety of disciplines and universities to explore new paths, both pedagogical and personal, in an effort to reconnect with the excitement that originally led them into teaching careers.
Read here, how past participant, Angela King, was inspired to change how her organic chemistry classes operate by developing a course mastery challenge and borrowing the idea of a House Cup from the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts.
Other participant comments include:
- “This was a fantastic retreat! The deep exchanges with colleagues renewed my sense of professional and personal union and gave me a few important tools and new concepts which I can move towards realizing my sense of purpose. The workshops, working groups, coaching sessions, and time for personal reflection provided the perfect framework for renewal.”
- “I thought there was a good balance of thinking, listening, sharing, learning, and rest. The setting for the retreat is perfect and the amenities make the whole experience seem like a reward, which is conducive to bringing a playful, happy attitude to the sessions. I cannot think of anything that was missing.”
- “I’ve been to several conferences on teaching, and generally came away from each with several good ideas that I can use to tweak my teaching for the better. This is the only conference I’ve been to that renewed my teaching—that gave me a re-energized and transformed vision for what I can be doing as a teacher.”
Due to increasing faculty interest in the use of ePortfolios, the TLC is engaging various ePortfolio explorations. Fall 2012, the TLC hosted a learning community for faculty interested in exploring the integration of ePortfolios into their teaching. Members were selected as part of a competitive proposal process and received a $500 stipend. The learning community met five times in the fall to discuss the purposes, issues, technologies, challenges and best practices when using ePortfolio in the classroom. Members of the group all designed their own ePortfolio as well as a plan for ePortfolio integration into their classes the following Spring or Fall semesters. This community-based approach was the subject of a presentation given by Catherine Ross, Kristi Verbeke, and Jolie Tingen at the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning’s (AAEEBL) annual conference in Boston in August, 2013. Fall 2013, the faculty learning community-based approach to ePortfolio was extended to faculty interested in using ePortfolio as a tool for integrating reflection into study abroad courses.
The TLC has also worked individually with programs and faculty members wishing to use ePortfolio, designing and creating templates for the Institute for Public Engagement Fellows program, WFU’s College to Career series, and others. If you’re interested in learning more about using ePortfolio in your own course, please contact Kristi Verbeke (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Faculty-Student Book Discussions
In Spring 2013, the TLC partnered with Campus Life to offer a faculty-student book discussion in an effort to bring student voices into the discussions about teaching and learning. Five faculty and five students met three times to discuss Ken Bain’s new book, What the Best College Students Do. This experience was incredibly powerful for all who participated, with many faculty reporting that it had changed their view of their students and impacted their teaching. The students likewise felt that it was a powerful learning experience in being able to examine their own motivations around learning in their college experience. Catherine Ross from the TLC and Amanda Horton from Campus Life also presented on this program at the annual International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) conference, Fall 2013.
Due to the popularity of this book discussion, it is being repeated each semester, with a waiting list for both faculty and students to participant. If you are interested in participating in this unique discussion, please email Catherine Ross (email@example.com).
TLC Faculty Fellows Program
The TLC Faculty Fellows Program was designed to expand the capacity of the Teaching and Learning Center to better serve departmental and disciplinary teaching development needs. The faculty who are selected as fellows gain professional recognition for the innovative and thoughtful work they are doing in promoting teaching and the TLC gains deeper insights into how disciplines can build on the learning research. Fellows are chosen based on their ideas for faculty development projects to be offered within their departments and/or divisions.
Faculty Fellows can serve several roles: working with TLC staff on projects to enhance the teaching and learning resources within their departments and divisions, acting as informal advisors on TLC programs, services, and new initiatives for discipline-based workshops; and serving as TLC departmental contacts for faculty on campus and for colleagues elsewhere.
Fellows receive a stipend of $2,000 for the summer planning work. Up to $1,000 additional reimbursement funding may be requested for books, materials or other expenses associated with this project. The scope of a TLC Faculty Fellow’s service might include serving the Teaching and Learning Center for a term ranging from one semester to one year, depending on the project.
Contact the TLC if you are interested in more information regarding this program.