Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Faculty enhance teaching skills in Provost's Academy on Critical Thinking

Provost Academy

Craig Nelson (standing) leads academy participants through reflective exercises.

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(May 24, 2010)--More than 40 UTSA faculty members participated May 12-14 in the second annual Provost's Academy on Critical Thinking in the Connally Room at the Institute of Texan Cultures.

In addition to a thick binder with materials, each participant received a flash drive with teaching-related resources on topics such as assessment, concepts maps, critical thinking, deep learning, effective questioning, rubrics, teaching large classes effectively, writing assignments and cooperative learning.

Each day, six people whose names were drawn selected a teaching-related book of their choice to share with their various departments. One of the three key speakers, Terry Doyle, Ferris State University, discussed the importance of a learning-centered approach to teaching.

Barbara Millis, director of the UTSA Teaching and Learning Center, outlined Dee Fink's model for redesigning courses including his 36-page workbook with forms to help faculty think through the redesign process. Because tightly structured group work can lead to critical thinking, she also modeled and discussed active learning strategies in the context of four key principles of deep learning.

Craig Nelson spent a day guiding the faculty through reflective critical thinking activities, making the point that education is changing radically with universities such as MIT making online courses public and with paper-grading services provided in countries such as Bangladesh. After discussing William Perry's stages of intellectual and ethical development in the context of critical thinking, he concluded with this reminder: "If we are only teaching for content, then we can be replaced by computers and graders in Bangladesh. If, however, we are teaching to transform our students, then teachers are indispensible."

Lavonne Grandy and Jason Fane from the Instructional Design and Development Group offered insights into teaching through Blackboard and various technology-related tools, complemented by Mike Miller's (Sociology) presentation on integrating multimedia.

Featured UTSA faculty and two Ph.D. candidates gave brief presentations on teaching with games (Charles "Andy" Speer, Anthropology), scratch-off quizzes (Mike Anderson, Statistics) and interactive lectures (Rick Utecht, Marketing). Patricia Geppert, Biology, gave an inspiring mini-presentation on how she applied in her classes the things she learned at last year's Provost's Academy with an emphasis on using personal response systems ("clickers") to promote critical thinking.

The Provost's Academy received rave reviews with most rating the overall value as a 4 on a 4-point scale. Participants appreciated the research and resources, the opportunity to network with faculty from other disciplines and noted the significant impact the seminars will have on their instruction techniques.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Events
Sept. 7, All Day

Labor Day Holiday

All campuses will be closed for the Labor Day holiday.
All Campuses

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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