(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.
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA faculty and staff to "Tacos With Taylor." Take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President at any one of these casual meet and greets.
Biotechnology, Science and Engineering Building atrium, Main Campus
The College of Engineering Student Council and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce host this fun and education event. Erika Camacho is the keynote speaker. Children and families are welcome.
East Campus Parking Lot, Valero Way, Main Campus
UTSA Arbor Day event where volunteers will plant trees and give away 100 sapling trees to neighbors in the surrounding communities.
Brackenridge Ave. Lot 5, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.