2015 Summer Institute Reflections

Last week the CETL, in partnership with Avid for Higher Education hosted the 2015 Summer Institute. The focus for this year’s event was enhancing student engagement. AVID, Advancement Via Individual Determination is a non-profit organization offering strategies to assist campuses in improving college success. Speakers for the event were Billy Madigan and Kristi Gerdes, of AVID for Higher Education.

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The first day’s sessions were led by Billy Madigan. His thought-provoking opening keynote, Culture, Connection and Embodied Cognition was inspiring and insightful. Madigan encouraged faculty to reflect on the strategies they incorporate to build strong connections with students. Empathic connections, taking the time to really get to know students, and adjusting approaches accordingly are examples of how teachers can create an environment for deep learning. This presentation resonated with me given our campus culture and emphasis on student-centered teaching.

Madigan presented sessions in the afternoon on metacognition and building deep structures to guide learning and instruction. Connections, community building, self-direction, self-monitoring are just a few of the concepts that were shared. We worked in groups and learned several classroom strategies such as Reciprocal Teaching, Focused Note-Taking and 10-2-2 Lecture.

The sessions for day two were led by Kristi Gerdes. Gerdes presented several strategies aimed at developing students’ critical reading and writing skills. Gerdes presented academic reading as a series of steps consisting of

  • Establishing a purpose for reading
  • Understanding Academic Vocabulary
  • Pre-Reading
  • Interacting with the Text
  • Extending beyond the Text

Tuesday during lunch, Christopher Ohan, Ph.D., professor of history, shared an example of  high engagement strategy he uses to enhance and extend course discussions. Having incorporated the use of  VoiceThread, an online communication tool in his Modern American History course, Dr. Ohan has successfully extended course discussions outside of the class as well as experienced increased student participation in the discussions.  On Wednesday, Michael Anne Greer and Kelly Anderson from the Academic Success Center shared how they incorporate AVID principles in tutoring and other student services.

In reflecting on the Summer Institute, I was inspired by the amount of idea sharing amongst faculty. Both days, faculty were engaged in deep discussion on the ideas and activities presented. With the focus on continued development of strategies to enhance student achievement, my hope is that faculty will continue sharing ideas with each other. I would also encourage faculty to consider specific means for the integration of these and other new strategies into their classroom.

From Billy sharing the importance of connecting with students to Kristi sharing instructional strategies for academic reading and writing, I am inspired to challenge my teaching and commit to incorporating one or two of the strategies in my own practice. Recognizing the implementation as a process rather than an event (one-time) will drive my efforts for sustainability.

Last but certainly not least, the sessions for the institute were recorded. The CETL piloted the use of Mediasite technology, a university solution for video capture, video streaming, publishing and video management. Click the link below to view the recording of the keynote presentation.

Summer Institute Keynote Presentation

Check out the 2015 Summer Institute Schedule

Our Summer Institute, in partnership with AVID, will be held on MAY 19-20. The focus this year will be High Engagement Strategies.

Bill Madigan will lead day one and Kristi Gerdes will lead day two. Faculty members are encouraged to bring a syllabus to apply high engagement strategies presented during the sessions to a module or lesson in their course.

The CETL staff will provide breakfast, lunch and snacks for all attendees. Please RSVP.

2015_SI_schedule

CETL to Celebrate Staff Spring Series Participants

Our mission is to promote a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills. While we have always encouraged staff to attend our workshop offerings and individual consultations, we collaborated with the Texas Wesleyan Staff Council to determine offerings that would target our staff’s specific needs.

The result of this partnership was the development of the CETL Staff Spring Series consisting of four different workshop topics offered twice throughout the semester. Topics selected were Social Media Tips & Tricks, Project Management Tools, Collaborating Over the Cloud, and Atomic Learning.

The Staff Celebration is the culminating event for this series and welcomes all staff that participated in any of these workshops.  We hope all participants will join us for an afternoon treat on May 13th.

 

Summer Institute Featuring Guest Speaker Kristi Gerdes

kgerdesKristi Gerdes of AVID for Higher Education will lead day two of the CETL Summer Institute.   Her teaching practices include high-engagement activities that give students both great responsibility and ample support.

Kristi’s Bio:

Kristi has degrees from the University of Chaminade of Honolulu (B.A.) and Dallas Baptist University (M.A.).  She began her teaching career in the secondary field as an English teacher and then the AVID elective teacher.  She was a part of Southwest Texas Junior College’s faculty and the Student Success Coordinator from 2008 until 2012.  Kristi’s extensive teaching and services experience encompasses teaching first-year seminar and core courses in English. Kristi also helped develop the Student Success Center at the Uvalde Campus and integrated a Supplemental Instruction (S.I.) and tutor support service at SWTJC.  As a Student Success Coordinator, Kristi’s focus is student engagement and success in advising and instruction. Kristi was the AVID Liaison for SWTJC from 2009 until 2012 and feels that her experiences as administration and faculty give her insight into classroom realities and institutional processes.

Gerdes will share her knowledge and experience in successfully incorporating High Engagement Strategies into the classroom using specific AVID techniques.

RSVP today and reserve your spot for this years CETL Summer Institute to see Gerdes in action.

Summer Institute Featuring Guest Speaker Bill Madigan

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 11.41.58 AMBill Madigan, Educational Consultant for AVID, will be one of the featured speakers and sessions leaders at this year’s CETL Summer Institute.

Madigan’s Bio: Madigan has a Masters degree in Humanities (M.A.L.A.) from San Diego State University. While he has been a high school teacher for 29 years he also has spent a year as an assistant principal at an inner city school in San Diego, CA. As a high school teacher, he has taught English, ESL, AVID, multiple grade levels, as well as varied student populations – from the emotionally disturbed and at-risk student to Advanced Placement and honors. In addition to his K-12 experience, Madigan has also taught college courses on educational theory and as an AVID consultant for over 15 years Bill is knowledgeable about how neuroscience and psychology can inform teaching and learning.

Madigan will share his knowledge and experience in successfully incorporating High Engagement Strategies into the classroom using specific AVID techniques.  RSVP today and reserve your spot for this years CETL Summer Institute to see Madigan in action.

About the CETL

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Texas Wesleyan University (CETL) promotes a student-centered university by providing resources and professional growth opportunities to faculty on enhancing instructional practice, integrating technology, and promoting essential student skills.

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