Welcome to the C-Suite
I have several topics this issue, most spurred by faculty discussion at the New Faculty Orientation Meeting.
And they all start with the letter C….so, welcome to the C-Suite of topics: Communication, CATME, Chicago, CELT, Curt, and Congratulations.
1. Associate Dean Ken Chapman has highlighted the necessity of posting updates on our personal Activity Insight page as IMPERATIVE. Misplaced the AI instructions? You can find complete information on accessing your page under the Important Tab, above.
2. At our recent New Faculty Orientation, we briefly discussed the Accessibility Resource Center and the students who rely upon it to take tests with accommodations such as additional time and a low-stress environment. Some students who have identified themselves as in need of this additional help might first like to try to take exams with their class, rather than away from it. These students would welcome an informal discussion with their instructors.
If the student succeeds, it helps him or her to gain confidence and greater self-knowledge about what’s possible in their situation. If a student struggles, an instructor can support that individual by offering assessment in another way, such as a re-test with ARC.
A parent recently emailed me about this general situation, noting that one semester her daughter felt too intimidated to ask for accommodation from an instructor and failed a class. This can happen; self-disclosing does not always come easily. For new faculty especially, I recommend a review of what ARC has to offer students. Also, this link will take you to a helpful document published by Disability Rights California - a Guide for College and University Students.
3. Constructing test material was an area identified as worthy of further discussion as an outcome of our orientation session. Developing multiple-choice and other assessment material is challenging, especially when an educator is newly appointed. Assistant Professor Arash Negahban has shared a resource to consider when constructing test questions. Because students have access to this and more on the web, Ken Chapman advises faculty to take extra care to uphold academic integrity and standards. Instructors might modify any “found questions” for a particular class and customize them with unique content. Also, essay questions and short answers can help determine the extent to which a student has benefitted from a course.
Kidding aside, CATME as a group management and assessment tool drew great interest at the New Faculty Orientation Meeting. Several faculty members have experience in using this software. You can learn more about it at http://info.catme.org/. If you would like additional insight from those who have used this tool, please let me know and I’ll try to arrange it.
How psychologically “safe” can we make a university environment? How is that done, and how does the concept fit into the notion of a learning community? The Economist notes controversies sparked by the University of Chicago’s statement protecting the right of free speech on campus, released via a letter from Dean Ellison to new students. By now, educators associated with universities and colleges nationally have weighed in formally or informally. The conversation among alumni continues as well.
CELT – the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching – exists to help us sort out the difficult questions we face as educators. Whether you have been here thirty years or thirty days it’s worth a look at the offerings Faculty Development Interim Director Zach Justus and his team have been developing to support our goals as educators. The Chair of the Department of Management, Mike Rehg, encourages his team to be part of October’s upcoming CELT event, permitting us the option of missing a class if it’s unavoidable. Check with your Chair if you see a workshop that interests you conflicting with a class session. Building the best faculty the College of Business can produce is a top priority, and CELT HELPS. See you at the 22nd Annual CELT Conference on October 6-7 in Colusa A/B. Click the link above for more details.
Our esteemed colleague Curt is recovering well at home following many weeks of rehab upon his return from Poland – a trip home that was an ordeal in itself. Our good friend no doubt will meet his every goal for recovery from his injuries. We can be sure of this because, well, he’s Curt. We are thinking of him and sending him our very best. New faculty: if you see this guy tooling around town with his temporary wheels, a high-five is definitely in order. By the way – Happy, happy Birthday, Curt!
Congratulations! A New Addition
On August 31 Assistant Professor Ghadir Ishqaidef gave birth to a big, beautiful baby boy named Jad. There is, as the poet said, a world to be born under your footsteps, little one. Welcome, and all best wishes to the Dridi family!