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Monday, November 1, 2010

From the Dillard University Office of Assessment and Advising - November 1, 2010

The Campus Community is asked to observe the following:

Sophomore Survey (Deadline: November 5)
The Class of 2013 is invited to complete an online survey designed to understand certain aspects of their educational experience. Results will be used by academic and administrative units for improvement initiatives. As soon as the report becomes available, the results will also be shared with the Sophomore Class. Completers will be eligible for a $50 or $100 Amazon gift card. The link is as follows:

Spring 2011 Advising and Registration (November 8 – 12)
The scheduled time for the Spring 2011 Advising and Registration process is November 8 – 12. Faculty advisors have been asked to place appointment request forms and office hours on their doors. Students are encouraged to visit MyDU to identify their assigned advisor, establish contact and schedule appointments. Upon conclusion of the process, students will be asked to complete the Academic Advisor Survey.

Student Evaluation of Faculty (November 15 – 19)
Each semester, students are asked to evaluate their classroom experience. This is an opportunity to offer positive comments as well as constructive feedback to faculty, who often use the information to enhance their classes.

Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment Reports (December 13 & 14)
Academic and administrative units are reminded that assessment reports are due by the end of the semester.

Carla Morelon-Quainoo, PhD
Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment/Advising
National Director, Global Issues Honors Consortium
LOCATION: Dent Hall, Room 109
PHONE: 504-816-4788

Issue Update: Academic Leader - November 2010

A Smooth Transition for the Exiting Chair at Small Colleges: The Administration's Role

When an academic year ends, preparations for a new entering class and new employees are in high gear. In some years, the year-end also may be marked by transitions in administrators at all levels, including department chairs. Having served as a department chair at three small colleges for a combined 19 years, I have witnessed chair transitions as well as commiserated with many department chairs as they transitioned out of their roles. I also have experienced three of my own transitions. The range of emotions and thoughts from outgoing chairs covers the spectrum from relief and joy to a sense of loss and uncertainty. In my own case, and speaking for the many other chairs with whom I have worked over the years, we cared deeply about the institution and wanted our departments to thrive. We also wanted our exits to be graceful, and we wanted to make the transition for the new chair as easy as possible

Perceptions of Community College Department Chairs in Connecticut
There is a triangulation of forces that impact all institutions of higher education. These influences are converging on colleges and universities in an interrelated way. Each, taken individually, can cause major disruptions in the operational efficiency of higher education institutions. However, when viewed together, they present a somewhat lugubrious picture.

Recovering from Failure
In a perfect world, academic leaders would move from one success to another, with all their calculated risks producing incredible results. In the world we actually inhabit, however, the truth is not quite this rosy. Our plans can fail; sometimes they can fail spectacularly. Administrators who have never known a colossal failure are indeed fortunate. But those who have not had even a taste of significant disappointment are probably either new to their positions or unwilling to take chances that could ultimately benefit all their stakeholders. President Kennedy's response to the Bay of Pigs disaster is deservedly famous: "There's an old saying that victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan." But what do you do when you're responsible for one of these orphans? How do you get your career back on track after a major failure?

Time Management Reminders to Myself
The demands of academe require a thoughtful approach to time managment and setting priorities. The following techniques and advice have helped me in this area.

Transforming Meetings
Death by Meetings, a book title, might also be offered by faculty as a description of their academic lives. Unfocused, unproductive, and unruly meetings create stress, lower morale, waste time, and are generally a source of major frustration. Eliminating meetings from the academy, however, seems unlikely. More likely is putting into use one of four fairly simple strategies. These approaches have the potential to turn meetings into useful gatherings for effective decision making and advancing the priorities of a department.

Magna Publications
2718 Dryden Drive • Madison, WI 53704-3086 • 800-433-0499


Dillard University Staff Task Force Committee “You Got Caught Doing Something Good” Nomination Form

Please find attached a nomination form for November’s “You Got Caught Doing Something Good” recognition award. All nominations should be e-mailed to or by November 30, 2010. For more information please call Ms. Dianna Woods at ext. 4306 or Mr. Arthur Winfield at ext. 4147.

LUC 2010 Presentations on LOUIS Website


Dillard University Fall 2010 Honors Events For You + Honors Advisory Meets Monday Nov. 15th @ 4:00 p.m.

Hey now Everyone!

Here for you is the honors line up for fall events. Please help me pass the word. Mr. Davis will perform! Hong Dai will make Math fun! + Richard Campanella will give our Honors students a lecture. I'll have Ms Crosby send you the updated list of Honors students for your information.

Note: For those on the Honors Faculty Advisory Council, we meet Nov. 15th, 4:00 p.m., English suite, Cook. We must discuss the Honors Convocation for Spring, curriculum, the spring State conference, the Senior Honors conference on campus. Bring your thinking caps ready.

As always, thanks for your encouragement and engagement, interest, support, and participation.

Red Beans and Ricely Yours,
Mona Lisa
Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy
Author, Folklorist
Associate Professor of English
Director, Daniel C. Thompson/Samuel DuBois Cook Honors Program
College of General Studies
Dillard University
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, LA 70122-3097
Office: 504-816-4354
FAX: 504-816-4381

Issue Update: Online Classroom - November 2010

5 Ways to Challenge Your Students in Online Discussions
Discussion is an essential learning activity whether you are teaching in a traditional classroom with an online component or teaching a fully online course. There are many ways to engage students on topics that will help them participate actively in class discussion. Over the years, the idea of discussing a topic in class has evolved from having a face-to-face discussion in between lecture topics to allowing the students to speak about lecture content in a full online discussion forum. Engaging students can make a major difference in online discussions, which generate exchanges that allow students to appreciate the topic discussed and to lead a new level of topic understanding. Below are five tips that can help to add value to your classroom's online discussion.

Indicators of Engagement in the Online Classroom
Faculty wishing to adapt their instructional strategies to maximize engagement may wish to monitor informal, formative indicators of student engagement throughout their courses. As such, the issue becomes how to monitor student engagement in your online course when you cannot see the looks of excitement, interest, or enthusiasm (or when there is a noticeable absence of these engagement indicators).

Online Teaching Fundamentals: PowerPoint for Online Courses, Part 8: Manipulating Clip Art
Clip art use is a bit of a can of worms. When done poorly, adding clip art can make your slides look less professional. But when done well, clip art can improve slide aesthetics. So you should do it well! PowerPoint is a visual communication tool. Slides with a wall of words or with long bullet lists up the snooze factor of your online presentation. So, when designing your slides, you must consider how to show what you are talking about rather than merely telling what you are talking about in slide text. You can expound on what you are showing using narration, which is generally more interesting than telling in text. And if there's a lot to tell, consider adding downloadable documents to read.

Teaching Online With Errol: A Tried and True Mini-Guide to Engaging Online Students
Student engagement is at the heart of any distance learning course. When students are engaged, the class is exciting, learning is more likely to occur, the students want to be a part of the course on an ongoing basis, and the students give you and the school outstanding evaluations. In this column I offer six surefire ways to get and keep students engaged in an online course and, as a bonus, two activities that always result in enthusiastic student engagement throughout the course.

Tips From the Pros: Creating a Network of Learners
When referring to a group of online learners, Caterina Valentino prefers the term "network of learners" to "community of learners." Network of learners is a more apt description because "it's a much more dynamic visualization than 'community of learners,'" says Valentino, an innovator in the delivery of distant education, adjunct professor at the School of Health Services Management at Ryerson University and a Sessional Instructor at Athabasca University's Centre for Nursing and Health Studies. Her vision of a network of learners is an interdependent group in which learners learn from each other and create new knowledge. This does not happen by chance, Valentino says. It's a deliberate process that involves a two-pronged approach based on the Providing Academic and Relational Support (PARS) model created by Stephen Lowe.

Magna Publications
2718 Dryden Drive • Madison, WI 53704-3086 • 800-433-0499


Issue Update: The Teaching Professor - November 2010

A New Kind of "Space" for Quizzes
Quizzes are standard in many college classrooms, and determining how to best use this learning format generates a variety of discussion and suggestions—if you regularly read the Teaching Professor you've seen any number published here. I, too, continue to search for ways to inspire the often dull quiz routine. In an effort to bring new strategies to the classroom and keep student engagement high, I have recently discovered a successful strategy that encourages a sense of community in class, offers students an opportunity to engage in collaborative learning, and motivates students to come to class prepared. Let me explain how it works

Avoiding the Blank Screen Blues
Staring at a blank screen the night before the research paper was due—this was the dilemma faced by my upper-level science students. This paper, the product of their independent research projects, is an important part of our curriculum and one component of our assessment of their scientific writing skills. However, the products of these last-minute efforts suffered. Students were unsatisfied with their grades, and reading these hastily prepared papers was painful for me. Even worse, when I returned this work, students flipped to the final score on the paper and never bothered with my comments. Buried in the final frantic weeks of the semester, amid other assignments and final exams, the learning potential of this experience was largely lost.

Making the Review of Assigned Reading Meaningful
The typical college student dreads hearing, "Let's review the chapters you read for homework." What generally ensues is a question and answer drill in which students are peppered with questions designed to make clear who has and hasn't done the reading. In reality, these exchanges do little to encourage deep thought or understanding of the assigned reading. They produce awkward silences during which students squirm in their seats, hoping to become invisible. Other times students decline to answer for fear of giving the wrong answer. Almost all the time a negative tone permeates the classroom during this review. I decided to restructure the way that I approached reviews of reading assignments, and found that by doing things differently, I could change both the tone and outcomes of the review activity. I'd like to share some of the ideas and techniques that I have found useful:

Opening Intentions
I was the invited outside speaker at a professional development event for schoolteachers. The day's lunch was preceded by a public prayer that inspired me to consider parallels in "callings to serve" that can be found in both education and religion. Sometime later, I happened to read a poem in a Jewish prayer book that expressed noble intentions for a worship space. The poem didn't reference a particular faith—it was really just a set of intentions. Immediately, I thought of what professors hope for in their classroom spaces.

The Teacher of Westwood
Coaching seemed like the best metaphor to describe the way I wanted to teach. What were the best coaching practices? I questioned colleagues in the kinesiology (formerly physical education) department. The answers were scattered. Successful coaches motivated, facilitated, marketed, or delivered therapy. They yelled, prayed, hugged, talked heart to heart, or inspired with sermons. That didn't seem like an answer.
Then I stumbled on to the obvious. John Wooden was deemed the best coach of the 20th century.

What Students Understand Isn't Always What the Professor Means
For most of my 19 years as a teacher, I retained rather rigid control over assigning grades in my classes. My students did not participate in the process until recently. A couple of summers ago, I read a book on learner-centered teaching, and it, along with some urging from my program, persuaded me to try releasing a modicum of that control. To that end, I developed an "Attendance and Participation Self-Evaluation Form."

Magna Publications
2718 Dryden Drive • Madison, WI 53704-3086 • 800-433-0499