April 28, 2009

The One Stop for Conferences All Over the World

Teaching and LearningA faculty member recently asked us if we could work with her in finding a resource for conferences concerning higher education. During our search, we cam across Conferencealerts.com, which we thought could be helpful for many faculty members and TAs.

Conferencealerts.com is a huge website dedicated to marketing higher education conferences across all disciplines and topics. The site also has a database that helps you find a conference, add an event, or promote their event with email. Users can find professional conferences for everything from Islamic Studies to Teaching and Learning. Moreover, the workshops that are advertised on the Conferencealerts.com are from all over the world.

Here's a little more information from their website:

"Conference Alerts brings together two groups of people - conference organizers, and academics who need to stay informed about conferences. We work with both small first-time conference organizers and established professional societies to ensure that notification of their conferences reach specifically interested parties. Both individual academics and a wide range of 'knowledge brokers' - such as journal editors, web site administrators and discussion list moderators - rely on our searchable online database and on Conference Alerts Monthly to remain informed about upcoming academic and professional events."

Take a visit to Conferencealerts.com and see if you can find a conference somewhere in the world that you would like to attend or inquire about.

April 15, 2009

Sara Kubik: Let's Get Serious About Online Research

Teaching and LearningTechnologyWe have written a few postings that mentioned some of the debate behind the academic use (or non-use) of online websites for research or as a teaching resource in higher education. While many academics openly discourage the use of websites like Wikipedia or the process of "Google'ing" a topic for research, there are some scholars who are saying that researchers should take the idea of online research seriously. Sara Kubik is an associate faculty member at University-Purdue University Fort Wayne who thinks that it could be time for Academia to take online research more seriously. According to Kubik, instead of simply forbidding the use of the Internet as a credible research tool it might be time for scholars to participate in improving the validity of online resources.

Read Kubik's article for yourself and learn about her ideas. She makes some interesting points and offers some nice insight that we think are worth reading. Here are just a couple excerpts from the piece:

"Since groundbreaking information may be delivered from a grassroots level, academics should not dismiss this type of content creation."

"While it once made sense to equate print with quality, it’s time to embrace newer forms of communication as valid. If they need academically sound forms of verification and procedures for citation, let’s get to work."

April 13, 2009

Why All Professors Should Blog

David Albrecht, associate professor of Accounting and Management Information Systems, presented last week on "Why All Professors Should Blog." He provided examples and led discussion about: 
  1. Why you should blog, 
  2. What you should blog about, and 
  3. How to get started. 
A blog post he wrote a few months ago nicely summarizes his main arguments. 

Now it's your turn... if you have a blog and are a BGSU faculty member, leave your URL and name in the comments below. If you are thinking about a blog, what are you waiting for? As David mentioned, blogging "is like adding Miracle Grow to your research"! 


April 7, 2009

Latest "Communicating for Learners" Newsletter (Spring 2009, #2)

The newest CTL “Communicating for Learners” newsletter has just been released. In the latest newsletter you can find the interesting "What If..." article concerning the University Learning Outcomes and how they can apply in classrooms here at BGSU. There is also a thought-provoking article titled, "Brain Rules for Learning" that describes John Medina's twelve famous Brain Rules. In addition, the newsletter features five new websites that we find helpful and beneficial to educators and students. Our Visionary Status in this newsletter is John Tagg, who is a well-known writer and researcher in the education field. Finally, you can also look at the different dates and times of workshops and discussions available here at the CTL.

To read a copy of the latest newsletter click here.

April 3, 2009

Team-Based Learning

Teaching and LearningInstructors can have a less than easy time trying to implement teaching strategies that are outside of certain methods, like lecturing. There are other effective alternatives to lecturing, however. One of these alternatives is group learning, which has its merits. Team-Based Learning is also one of these alternatives that is growing in momentum and offers significant opportunities for student learning. Recenetly, the Center hosted a workshop facilitated by Dr. Karen Sirum (Biological Sciences) to introduce TBL to BGSU faculty.

Team-Based Learning is a systematic method for helping students work in groups and learn together. Its supporters believe that the benefits attached to TBL are well worth the time it takes to learn how to implement the method. Moreover, TBL’s proponents are saying that it is an excellent way of supplementing their other methods for teaching that have been helpful for their students’ learning.

According to its supporters, TBL has been structured to help student learning in group settings and, almost as importantly, has accountability built into it. Before trying this method with students plans need to be made, which include partitioning the course content into macro-units, identifying the instructional goals and objectives, and designing a grading system. Later, in class, there are more methodical instructions on correctly implementing TBL. Please see Introduction to Team-Based Learning and Getting Started with Team-Based Learning to read why and how you can try TBL for yourself.

There is an entire website dedicated to TBL that we invite you to visit. The site has video examples, professional testimonies from people who have tried it and a number of other resources. Please take a look at the site to learn about the “buzz” surrounding Team-Based Learning.