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Knowing What Works (Multimedia)

News Feature

News & Events

September 11, 2012

Before resuming teaching and scholarship this fall, more than 60 faculty members from all disciplines participated in a week of workshops on best teaching practices and scholarly writing at BSU's annual Teacher-Scholar Summer Institute.

(See below the story for video testimonials on the institute.)

The institute, initiated in summer 2010, offers two tracks for participants: teaching (or pedagogy) and writing. Each day, participants in the teaching track spent the mornings attending informative workshops, while afternoons were devoted to either additional workshops or putting what they learned into practice by making course changes. Themes included interdisciplinary teaching, service learning and civic engagement, and speaking as learning.

Those on the writing track worked on a range of manuscripts, including journal articles, conference papers, grant proposals, video scripts, and book prospectuses. Their mornings were spent writing, while afternoon sessions included sharing stories about their progress, receiving feedback, and setting goals for the next day.

Dr. Roben Torosyan, the new director of teaching and learning, co-organized the institute with several goals in mind for the campus and faculty. "The institute aims to build a community of teacher-scholars, and to help participants gain energy for their work, take their work to the next stage, meet specific goals, and pursue further professional development opportunities," he said.

Participant Alison Joy Schafer Salomon, a visiting lecturer in the math department, said the institute helped her learn from full-time faculty what works, and what doesn't, inside the classroom. She also shared some of her own expertise.

"We built off of each other to find ways to get our subjects across in a way that students will find more pleasing," she said.

Dr. Anne Doyle, associate professor of English, said the institute helped her plan an upcoming cross-disciplinary project, as well as learn new information about her own teaching material. "That's what made this institute more than good for me -- it's made it great," she said.

Dr. Torosyan, a new hire this summer, thanked colleagues for establishing the institute years ago and for helping run the show this year. "We're incredibly lucky that Dr. Ann Brunjes, the former director, established such a strong institute tradition in recent years, and that Lori Benson, our administrative assistant, followed through on every vital detail behind the scenes," he said.

The Office of Teaching and Learning in Academic Affairs, the Davis Educational Foundation and Project Compass, and BSU all co-funded the institute this year. In 2011, BSU was awarded $200,000 by the Davis Educational Foundation to sustain long-term, comprehensive faculty development programming, which was used to expand the institute. (Rob Matheson, 07, G '12, University Advancement)

Click here to learn more about the institute.

VIDEO:

Testimonials from some participants of the Teacher-Scholar Summer Institute.

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