Departmental Activities

 A. Insightful Icebreakers: These icebreakers are based on the various learning style/ character inventories and provide insight into how department members prefer to take in information, interact with peers and prefer to learn new things.The activities presented can be used as informal icebreakers at the start of a meeting or workshop.

Social Styles Inventory w/ Cells in a Box  : You can have faculty members complete the first part of the inventory and then participate in the Cells in Box group activity. You can then have them complete the second social styles worksheet and discuss the styles they saw and used while making their cells.

Kolb-Learning Preferences with human graph :  Make a graph/grid  on the floor using painters tape.Have faculty members complete the inventory and then plot themselves on the grid.  Have the people in each square discuss what they have in common and then go over the Kolb characteristics.

B. Science Education Research Journal Clubs for faculty members provide a way for departments to encourage and support the transformation of science education.Each topic/unit in this online workshop contains a variety of science education journal articles that can be used as the basis of  a journal club discussion. For information on how to use a jounal club  to approach teaching and learning issues, see the article below.

Approaches to Biology Teaching and Learning: From a Scholarly Approach to Teaching to the Scholarship of TeachingDeborah Allen* andKimberly Tanner10.1187/cbe.04-11-0052 Cell Biol Educ vol. 4 no. 1 1-6

C. Peer Feedback/Self-Assessment:

1) Have faculty members use the  CWSEI Teaching Practices Inventory to assess their own teaching practices.

2) Have teams of faculty members participate in the Teaching Squares Peer Feedback activity. 

Stonehill College Teaching Squares Website

Teaching Squares is a non-evaluative program that allows faculty to work together to  improve teaching. The programs consists of a series of classroom observations and informal discussion that are organized by the  four participating faculty members. The program not only  provides the opportunity to observe someone else’s classroom  and to get feedback on your own teaching, it also helps build a sense of community within the department/institution.

A distinct advantage of the Teaching Squares Program is the nurturing of a network of colleagues engaged in incorporating learner-centered approaches.  Such networks or communities of practice are pivotal in promoting transformation of the classroom (reviewed in Borko, Professional development and teacher learning: mapping the terrain.  Educational Researcher 33 (8): 3-15, 2004.

 You can have faculty members use the Classroom Observation Protocol  as they observe each others classes.

 

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