May 30, 2007

Lilly Conferences on Teaching and Learning

Lilly Conferences are annual retreats that combine workshops, discussion sessions, and major addresses with many opportunities for informal discussion about excellence in college and unversity teaching and learning. Internationally-known scholars join new and experienced faculty members and administrators from all over the world to discuss topics such as gender differences in learning, incorporating technology into teaching, encouraging critical thinking, using teaching and student portfolios, implementing group learning, and evaluating teaching.

The Lilly Conferences are held at national and international levels. The nearest 2007 National Conference is in Traverse City, Michigan from October 4th until 7th. The 2007 International Lilly Conference will be held at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio from November 15th to 18th.

To be a presenter or copresenter at the Lilly Conferences, submission of a proposal and registration is required. For the International Lilly Conference the proposal must be submitted by June 15, 2007 and the early bird registration deadline is October 1, 2007. For Traverse City, poster presentation proposals are being accepted until September 5th and early registration rates are available through July 11th.

For more information on the conferences go to

How would attending a Lilly Conference help someone improve their teaching methods? What are some of your experiences at this or other teaching conferences?
Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

May 25, 2007

Learning and Teaching in Second Life

The Center would like to thank Anthony Fontana and the wide range of faculty and staff who attended our first Second Life workshop. The workshop focused on the teaching and learning possibilities in the online virtual world called Second Life. The enthusiasm and questions generated will provide momentum as the University continues to explore the possibilities of Second Life as a environment for learning.

Over 20 interested BGSU community members attended yesterday's discussion, sharing both possibilities and concerns associated with using a virtual environment in the classroom. The Center is offering "open lab" times today from 10-12pm and 2-4pm; additionally we encourage anyone to make an appointment for a one-on-one Second Life consultation. The Center is currently planning additional SL workshops, discussions and "open lab" times for the summer and fall semesters.

In case you missed yesterday's event, here are some of the highlights:
  • The artistic and community aspects of Second Life were briefly discussed.
  • Existing educational endeavors in Second Life were explored.
  • Issues with research in Second Life were considered and discussed at length.
  • The BGSU "island" in Second Life was revealed, and the possibilities surrounding its use by the BGSU community of educators and students was explored.

Workshop times include:
* Open Lab, Friday, May 25th, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
* Open Lab, Friday, May 25th, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

For those who attended the seminar, what are the most promising educational uses for Second Life? What concerns or suggestions do you have regarding Second Life? Do you have any helpful tips or experiences to share with other people that have just started exploring the "Wild West" a.k.a. Second Life?
Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

May 23, 2007

Ask AL- Tech Tip Filtering a Datbase using Check Boxes

How can I filter my database entries when I use check boxes?

AL's answer for Mac using FileMaker Pro

AL's answer for PC using Access

Would this tip help you organize your database better? Do you have any other databasing tips to share? If you try this, tell us about your success or problems implementing this technique...Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

May 21, 2007

Learning Community Celebration Dinner & Accomplishments 2006-2007

The following is a brief overview of the accomplishments that were shared during the Learning Community Celebration Dinner, hosted by the Center and the Office of the Provost on May 3rd, 2007. This year, 164 faculty, graduate students, and administrative staff participated in 12 learning communities. The Center thanks all facilitators, participants, and the Office of the Provost for their continued dedication to and support of learning communities as a means for transformative professional development.

Active Learning in the Natural Sciences
Discussing, designing, implementing, and adapting new interactive engagement learning strategies for the large enrollment and/or introductory level science course

Grant Writing
Engaging in extensive peer review of members’ grant proposals, resulting in revision and development and submitting four federal-level grant proposals and several state and local grant proposals

Initiatives for the Future (IF)
Integrating futures thinking exercises into twelve courses, Office for Educational Outreach catalog, and BEST Partnership Customized Training catalog, while creating a visioning strategy for the “Shaping the Future of the Firelands,” community revitalization project

Life Science Scientific Teaching and Reform
Discussing, designing, implementing, adapting, and presenting new, interactive learning strategies focused on teaching reforms and teaching scientifically

Mentoring & ePortolio
Developing mentoring skills and strategies, including team and peer models through the creation of electronic identities and the implementation of professional development plans throughout the academic year

New Faculty
Sharing, discussing, and applying focused pedagogical strategies that can transform student engagement and learning; exploring university learning resources available for students and faculty such as the Writing Center, Chapman Residential Learning Community, IDEAL, scholarly communication, and teaching portfolios

Pedagogies in the Arts and Humanities
Researching and planning the Arts Pedagogy course to be offered summer 2007 to BGSU graduate students and sharing strategies for teaching non-arts majors in the various disciplines

Fostering interdisciplinary collegiality through reading, discussing, critiquing, editing and revising faculty members' conference presentations and essays in-progress

Reflective Teaching
Reflecting on teaching and students’ learning through collaborative problem-solving—culminating in the development of new activities, assignments, and teaching portfolios

Research and Teaching
Engaging in discussions about research and writing goals and the challenges inherent in research and teaching, including group authorship of a manuscript on "The Ripple Effect," submitted to the peer-reviewed Journal on Excellence in College Teaching

Research in Science & Mathematics Education
Engaging in critical discussions of research about how people learn and presenting STEM education research, leading to the creation of collaborative research paper presentations, publications, grant proposals, and a spin-off seminar on research and statistics in STEM education

Transition to Digital
Gaining an awareness of BGSU technology resources, increasing knowledge and experience using various tools to actively engage students inside and outside the classroom; developing a collaborative, peer-reviewed conference presentation on technology-related learning communities

This year's faciliators (L to R): Jodi Haney, Karen Sirum, Mary Natvig, Andrew Hershberger, Mark Earley, Kay Strong, Lara Martin Lengel, Amy Robinson (not pictured: Kris Blair, Paul Cesarini, Radhika Gajjala)

For more information on this past year's learning communities, visit The Center's CTLT Learning Communities webpage. Applications for new learning communities will be available here for download in June.

May 10, 2007

New Workshop: Second Life

Learning and Teaching in Second Life

This workshop and series of related “open lab” times are presented by the Center as a means of introducing attendees to the possibilities of Second Life as they pertain to the classroom.

The workshop will consist of two distinct phases – the “official” workshop, presented by guest speaker Anthony Fontana, and the “open lab” times, where Center staff will be available to assist you in more personal and direct explorations of the environment of Second Life.

Attendees will be introduced to various pedagogical tools and resources as related to Second Life – as well as guided through the practical steps of creating a free account, using the interface, and finally exploring resources located entirely within Second Life.

Second Life is a popular persistent online virtual “world” where users from around the globe can explore digital environments and interact with other users. More and more institutions of higher education are using Second Life to create unique virtual learning experiences. The technologies powering Second Life are similar to those that power various popular computer games, but are directed to a purpose more in line with so-called “Web 2.0” applications – essentially focusing on communities of users and user-generated content within the virtual spaces. Second Life has currently surpassed six million registered users, and has in excess of forty thousand users logged in at any given time.

Workshop times include:

* Anthony Fontana - Presentation on Second Life, Thursday, May 24th, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
* Open Lab, Thursday, May 24th, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
* Open Lab, Friday, May 25th, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
* Open Lab, Friday, May 25th, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

To register for these workshops visit our CTLT Workshop page and sign-up.

Have you ever used Second Life before? If so, how? What positive possibilities could online interactive classes create in the future?
Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

May 8, 2007

Summer Reading List & CTLT Lending Library

If you're looking for a good book or two to read this summer, below is a small sampling of "best bets" from our CTLT lending library.

For a full listing of titles, visit our CTLT Lending Library Webpage. Most titles can be checked out for 2-4 weeks, so give us a call (2-6898)/ email ( to make reservations or just stop in and browse the offerings.

If you have additional selections of interest or suggestions for other faculty or graduate students, please leave them in the COMMENTS area below this posting!

  • What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain
  • Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice by Maryellen Weimer
  • Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses by L. Dee Fink
  • The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College Instructors by Peter Filene
  • Mckeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research And Theory for College And University Teachers (College Teaching) by Wilbert James McKeachie
  • First-Order Principles for College Teachers: Ten Basic Ways to Improve the Teaching Process by Robert Boice
  • Teaching with Your Mouth Shut by Donald L. Finkel
  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition by National Research Council
  • My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student by Rebekah Nathan

  • Faculty in New Jobs: A Guide to Settling In, Becoming Established, and Building Institutional Support by Robert J. Menges
  • Mckeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research And Theory for College And University Teachers (College Teaching) by Wilbert James McKeachie

  • Teaching Online: A Practical Guide by Susan Schor Ko and Steve Rossen
  • A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink
  • The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson

  • The Missing Professor: An Academic Mystery / Informal Case Studies / Discussion Stories for Faculty Development, New Faculty Orientation and Campus Conversations by Thomas B. Jones

  • Publish and Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar by Tara Gray

Share some of your favorite teaching, learning, or faculty-related books by clicking on the COMMENTS link below to get started!

May 7, 2007

BGSU MyFiles Announcement

BGSU has unveiled a new service for Faculty, Staff, and Students...

MyFiles is a network-based, file storage system. It can be accessed at, simply login using your BGNet Username and password. MyFiles provides 1 Gigabyte of disk space per person and allows an individual to store copies of important documents such as homework, notes, papers, and graphics on a system that is accessible from anywhere on the Internet.

What is MyFiles?

Files stored on MyFiles can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet through a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or Safari.

Files stored on MyFiles can be shared with friends, colleagues, collaborators, project team members, and others, both on and off campus. File owners are able to provide access that can be read-only or read-write, allowing for controlled access and collaborative editing.

Files stored on MyFiles can be tracked to see who has read the file and who has made changes to the file. MyFiles can even store multiple versions of a file to keep a history of revisions.

Files stored on MyFiles are secured by BGSU authentication username and password, and can be accessed by others only if the account owner gives permission. Access can be assigned based on BGSU usernames and passwords, or by electronic ticket that allows individuals not associated with BGSU to gain read-only or read-write access.

Files stored on MyFiles can be accessed by clicking on a designated web URL. Each file has a specific web URL that can be sent to others through email instead of sending entire files as attachments.

What MyFiles is NOT:

Not a place for instructors to store class notes, Blackboard should be used for this.

Not a place to share the latest ripped version of your favorite CD. Please remember that all use of BGSU's network and systems must comply with all BGSU network usage policies and all copyright laws. Violations may result in your MyFiles privileges being suspended, and you may be referred to appropriate authorities.

How could you as a faculty member utilize MyFiles? How could your students use the service? Click on the COMMENTS link below to get started!