University of Iowa

Innovative Teaching Showcase

To: 
Deans, Directors, and Departmental Executive Officers
From: 
Jean Florman, Director, Center for Teaching and Cornelia Lang, Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Date: 
March 12, 2014
Subject: 
Innovative Teaching Showcase

In recognition of the creative, dedicated teaching that takes place every day on the UI campus, the Center for Teaching is hosting the first Innovative Teaching Showcase on Thursday April 3, 11:00-2:00 in University Capitol Centre 2520-D.

This year’s event will feature the TILE-Constellation project http://astro.physics.uiowa.edu/origins a faculty-driven effort that is developing inter-disciplinary, team-taught courses.  Supported through a Student Success grant and the Center for Teaching, the courses implement an inquiry-guided approach to teaching and are shaped around "big questions" that intrigue and challenge students--and all of us.

The Showcase event will include the following segments and will allow plenty of time for discussion and questions:

  • 11:00-12:00: A team of faculty members and TAs will discuss how they developed the new two-semester Gen Ed course, Origins of Life in the Universe, including how they transformed traditional lecture material into active-learning assignments and exercises.  The team includes faculty and TAs from Physics & Astronomy, Earth & Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, and Anthropology.

Faculty members designing the second Gen Ed TILE-Constellation course, People and the Environment:  Technology, Culture, and Social Justice, also will discuss their efforts.  This course will be co-taught in the fall by faculty members in Anthropology, Geographical & Sustainability Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Urban & Regional Planning.

We also will share information about how peer institutions have created similar courses and institutionalized faculty support for them.   

  • 12:00-1:00: Working lunch (lunch will be provided) 
  • 1:00-2:00: Strategies for creating and assessing TILE-Constellation and other active learning courses:
    • How the faculty team designed Inquiry-Guided Learning activities and assignments
    • How faculty and TAs integrated formative assessments into the course and conducted peer assessments
    • The faculty and TA experience in creating, teaching, and assessing a TILE-Constellation course

We encourage all UI and collegiate administrators, faculty and teaching assistants to join this celebratory and informative event. 

Please register for this event at http://cft.uiowa.edu/program-events/special-events

Cornelia Lang
Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy

Jean Florman
Director, Center for Teaching

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