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Monday, May 21, 2012


Call for Proposals

Submissions should be sent to Suzanne Tapp, Chair, Professional Development Committee, at by 5:00 pm (Central) on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Incomplete proposals or proposals submitted as printed hard copy will not be considered by the review committee.
About POD
The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) fosters human development in higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development.  POD comprises nearly 1,800 members – faculty and teaching assistant developers, faculty, administrators, consultants, and others who perform roles that value teaching and learning in higher education. While POD members come primarily from the U.S. and Canada, the membership also represents many other countries.

The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education encourages the advocacy of the on-going enhancement of teaching and learning through faculty and organizational development. To this end it supports the work of educational developers and champions their importance to the academic enterprise.  For the full mission statement, see

Description of the POD-AAC&U Organizational Development Institute

The organizational development dimension of our work as faculty developers recognizes that faculty members are part of a larger system, the dynamics of which affect their behavior as instructors. As faculty developers we seek to influence the structures and processes of the colleges and universities in which we work to create an environment that supports excellence in teaching and student learning and development.

Since 2009 POD has conducted a one-and-a-half day organizational development (OD) institute immediately before the AAC&U Annual Meeting, typically held in January either in Washington, DC or a major West Coast city such as San Francisco, CA or Seattle, WA. Partnering with AAC&U in this way has been valuable to POD in two main ways:

1) By leveraging our own resources with AAC&U’s more extensive resources, we have been able to provide a valuable professional development opportunity to our membership through the OD institute, and

2) AAC&U’s extensive publicity for the conference has increased the visibility of POD and educational development to the AAC&U membership and conference attendees, which includes a preponderance of higher education administrators.

The Institute is a valuable professional development opportunity for faculty developers with five or more years’ experience who wish to extend their work beyond traditional faculty development activities including workshops, luncheon seminars, classroom observations, and consultations. To that end, the Institute may address any number of topics and issues related to organizational development including, but not limited to, the following: the role of teaching centers in promoting institutional change including undergraduate curriculum reform; theories of organizational change; the dynamics of change in the academic department; leadership development including chair development; strategies for working effectively with administration; the role of academic and co-curricular units, university committees, and faculty champions, in promoting institutional change; the role of external agents such as government mandates, accrediting bodies, and professional organizations in promoting institutional change; the role of teaching centers in promoting collaboration across campus in service to excellence in teaching and learning; and the role of various forms of institutional inertia in impeding or slowing change

Qualifications of Facilitators and Compensation
Facilitators of the Institute are experienced POD members with a proven track record in organizational development and ideally visibility within POD and nationally. From time to time individuals who have recognized expertise in OD who are not members of POD may co-facilitate with a POD member(s). In the spirit of volunteerism, facilitators do not receive an honorarium nor is POD able to cover any of their travel expenses.  Facilitating these workshops is viewed as an honor as well as an important and valuable service to POD.

Since the Institute is strictly speaking not part of the AAC&U conference, facilitators do not receive complimentary conference registration for the AAC&U conference. POD’s President will notify successful applicants of their selection with a letter, which past facilitators have used as a means for securing support from their own institution for their travel.

Target Audience
The target audience for the OD Institute is POD members with five or more years’ experience as faculty developers. The Institute is not intended as an introduction to faculty development. The Getting Started Pre-Conference Workshop at the POD conference and the POD Institute for New Faculty Developers are excellent professional development opportunities for new faculty developers.

The 2013 AAC& Annual Meeting:
The 2013 AAC&U Annual Meeting is being held in Atlanta, GA, from January 23-26.  The POD-AAC&U OD Institute is traditionally scheduled for a full day before the AAC&U meeting begins and the first morning of the meeting, which means that for 2013, the OD Institute would be scheduled:

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2013                               Full-day workshop (8:00 am – 4:00 pm)

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2013          Half-day workshop (8:00 am – 12:00 noon)

For additional information on the AAC&U Annual Meeting, please see AAC&U’s website (

Proposal Submission Guidelines
The CFP submission guidelines appear below.  Applications should be sent to Suzanne Tapp, Chair, Professional Development Committee at by 5:00 pm (Central) on Thursday, May 31, 2012.  Proposals submitted in hard copy form or incomplete proposals will not be considered by the review committee.

Submission guidelines

The following information must be included for the proposal to be considered complete.  Questions regarding the submission guidelines may be sent to Suzanne Tapp (Chair, POD Professional Development Committee) at

Applications should be sent to Suzanne Tapp, Chair, Professional Development Committee by 5:00 pm (Central) on Thursday, May 31, 2012.   Proposals submitted in hard copy form or incomplete proposals will not be considered by the review committee.

For information on past POD-AAC&U Organizational Development (OD) Institutes, please see the POD conference web page and look for “POD/AAC&U Institute”:

Required Information:
Name of Proposed Facilitators, Titles, Institutional Affiliations, Contact Information (including email address), POD Membership Status, and Brief Description of Experience relevant to the OD Institute. Please note Primary Contact Person.

Description and Rationale for the Proposed Topic of the Institute (please review suggested topics in the earlier section of the CFP above)

Overview of the Proposed One and a Half Day Program. The proposed program should include a balance of presentation and interactive, hands-on experiences. Facilitators should provide ample opportunity for participants to think about the topic of the Institute in the context of their own institutions.

Register Now for CHEA's 2012 Summer Workshop

2012 CHEA Summer Workshop Logo

Council for Higher
Education Accreditation
One Dupont Circle NW
Suite 510
Washington, DC 20036
(tel) 202-955-6126
(fax) 202-955-6129

CHEA 2012 Summer Workshop

Accreditation Today and Challenges of Tomorrow
June 21 - 22, 2012

Washington Marriott Hotel
1221 22nd Street NW - Washington, DC
NOTE: CHEA has obtained a special guest room rate of $239 per night (single/double) at the conference hotel, available only until the room block is filled. Make your reservation by calling (202) 972-1500 or use the online reservation form (the group code "cmecmea" is already entered on the online reservation form).

In less than a month, the CHEA 2012 Summer Workshop will take place in Washington, DC. Don't miss this opportunity to:
  • Hear presenters from government, academia, the accrediting community and higher education associations.
  • Get up-to-date information on topics ranging from the NACIQI report on accreditation to the ongoing attention to accreditation by Congress.
  • Learn more about emerging trends that will affect accreditation, including data collection as it relates to student achievement and the growth of outside-the-system credits and degrees.
  • Join participants from colleges and universities, accrediting organizations, government and the public to exchange ideas and information on accreditation and its future.
A preliminary program for the 2012 Summer Workshop, including times and topics for sessions, is available on the CHEA Website. You can register by mail, fax or online.

Register now for the Summer Workshop. We look forward to seeing you in Washington!

A national advocate and institutional voice for self-regulation of academic quality through accreditation, CHEA is an association of 3,000 degree-granting colleges and universities and recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. For more information, visit CHEA's Website at

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Please note: Libraries may order Site Passes directly by following the link above, faxing a purchase order to 734-665-9001, phoning 734-930-6854, or through subscription services including EBSCO, Swets, W.T. Cox, or Basch.

Have questions? Email Call (734) 930-6854.


Tomorrow's Professor: Learning Theory and Online Instruction

Tomorrow's Teaching and Learning

Learning Theory and Online Instruction

A basic understanding of learning theory is an important foundation to teaching. Learning is a complex process involving mental processes that are influenced by emotional and environment factors that can support or hinder learning. Learning theories have evolved that take into consideration these complex factors in an effort to explain how learning occurs and prescribe instructional strategies to facilitate learning. If instructional strategies are not grounded in understanding of how learning occurs, they are unproductive and do little to affect learner persistence. In addition, there is an opportunity to maximize retention and transfer by linking basic research about the process of learning with instructional strategies (Tennyson & Schott, 1997). This approach is important to help learners use the skills and knowledge gained through educational experiences in the real world.

In this chapter, we look at the psychological foundations of learning, including behaviorism, cognitivism, and constructivism, to understand how each of these learning theories contributes to our understanding of learning and the instructional strategies we use in teaching.

Learning in the 1950s and 1960s was based on behaviorist learning theories. Behaviorism is grounded in the study of observable behavior and does not take into consideration the functions of the mind. When behaviorism was introduced, the mind was considered a black box that could not be accessed. According to behaviorism, knowledge exists outside of a person and is gained through behavior modification. The theory views learning as a change in behavior that can be conditioned using positive and negative reinforcements such as reward and punishment. There are two types of conditioning associated with behaviorism: Ivan Pavlov's classical conditioning and B. F. Skinner's operant conditioning. Pavlov used animals to discover the principles of learning based on natural reflexes that respond to stimuli. Most prominent was Pavlov's work with dogs to teach them to salivate to the sound of a bell. In his experiments, he demonstrated classical conditioning, in which an association is created between two stimuli (Pavlov, 1927). Skinner's operant conditioning experiments conditioned rats and pigeons to press or peck a lever to obtain pellets of food in an apparatus known as a Skinner Box. The experiments were based on the theory that organisms emit responses, which are gradually shaped by consequences. If a response has a reward, it is more likely to occur again and if it does not, it is less likely to occur. Skinner's operant conditioning demonstrated that associations are formed between a behavior and a consequence (Skinner, 1938).

Based on these types of experiments with animals, behaviorists proposed that learning is influenced by associations between behaviors and consequences. Behavior is conditioned by the instructor through rewards or punishment to attain the desired learning outcomes. According to behaviorists, the types of reinforcement are a critical component to learning because individual learners respond to different reinforcement based on their personal motivations. For instance, if the learner is motivated by good grades, a great reinforcement is the use of grades. Poor grades are a negative reinforcement, which provides motivation for the learner to put in more effort in order to receive a better grade.

According to Moore (as cited in Tennyson & Schott, 1997), the goal from the behaviorist perspective was the development of instruction that would enable the majority of students to achieve levels of performance predetermined by behaviorally defined objectives. Learning that involves recalling facts, defining concepts and explanations, or performing procedures are best explained by behaviorist learning strategies, which focus on attainment of specific goals or outcomes. In behaviorist theory, learners are more passive in the learning process. The learners' role is simply to respond to the learning content and demonstrate a level of performance on specific goals and objectives. Pedagogy based on behaviorism focuses on the ability to modify observable behavior to acquire knowledge or skills. The operant model of stimulus-response-reinforcenment ensures that prescribed learning outcomes are achieved. In this model, the instructor provides learners with information about the appropriateness of the behavior through frequent feedback. This feedback either reinforces learners' behavior or determines consequences in the form of corrective actions for the learner to achieve the desired performance behavior. This requires continuous monitoring and feedback from the instructor.

According to the behaviorist view of learning, objectives should be developed that focus on the level of learning desired, as well as the type of task. Behaviorists focus on "identifying small, incremental tasks, or sub skills that the learner needed to acquire for successful completion of instruction, designing specific objectives that would lead to the acquisition of those sub skills, and sequencing sub skill acquisition in the order that would most efficiently lead to successful learner outcomes" (Tennyson & Schott, 1997, p. 5).

In the late 1960s and 1970s psychology moved from the study of behavior to the study of the mind, and cognitivism emerged as a new theory of how learning occurs. According to cognitivism, knowledge is still considered to exist outside of the person; however, its focus is on understanding how human memory works to acquire knowledge and promote learning. The theory's foundation is information processes and understanding the memory structures of the mind for knowledge acquisition. In addition, the theory establishes conditions of learning and strategies to incorporate individual differences into the design of instruction, including the use of pretests and more formative assessment strategies. In cognitivism, task analysis shifts from behavioral objectives to performance; the different stages of performance extend from novice to expert (Tennyson & Schott, 1997).

The environment continues to have the greatest impact on learning; however, there is more focus on how learners acquire specific types of strategies for learning, including planning, monitoring, and evaluating, and the influence of prior knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and values on learning (Tennyson & Schott, 1997). This theory developed a clearer understanding of how information is processed and stored, as well as how prior knowledge is stored in memory structures called schema for retrieval in an appropriate context. According to cognitivism, the transfer of knowledge to new situations is influenced by how information is presented and the relevance of the information. If information is presented poorly or too much irrelevant information is associated with relevant information, the learner may have difficulty sorting and organizing the information. This difficulty, in turn, can have an impact on storage, retrieval, and transfer?functions that are critical to adult learners
who have specific professional needs that require them to be able to transfer knowledge to real-world applications in their professional environments.

Learning outcomes that are focused on complex higher levels of learning such as problem solving are best explained by cognitivism because the focus is on breaking down complex problems into component parts and relating the content to be learned with prior knowledge to braid higher levels of understanding. Instructional strategies based on cognitive theory consider the organization of content for learning and focus on information processing, including organization, retrieval, and application.

David Ausubel (1960) developed the concept of the advance organizer (information that is presented prior to learning) and researched how use of advance organizers can scaffold the learning of new information. Advance organizers stimulate schema to help learners link prior knowledge with new information. An example of an advance organizer is a summary of the main ideas in a reading passage and explanations of content at a "higher level of abstraction, generality, and inclusiveness than the reading itself" (Ausubel, 1963, p. 81).

Robert Gagne (1985) proposed nine events of learning that correspond with specific cognitive processes. Gagne's nine events are a systematic organizational process for learning and include the following:
- Gaining the learners' attention
- Informing them of the learning objectives
- Stimulating recall of prior learning
- Presenting stimulus in the form of content to be learned
- Providing guidance
- Eliciting performance through instructional activities
- Providing feedback
- Assessing performance
- Enhancing retention and transfer

Gagne proposed that these nine events provide the conditions of learning and define the intellectual skills to be learned, as well as the sequence of instruction. He believed lessons should be organized according to these events so learners could associate new knowledge with existing structures. He also thought the nine events could provide the appropriate level of scaffolding to support learning.

According to cognitivism, learners play a more active role in learning by actively organizing the learning process. The emphasis of cognitivism is on helping learners organize information for successful processing into long-term memory and recall. Cognitive strategies focus on internal learning and thinking processes, including "problem solving, organizing information, reducing anxiety, developing self-monitoring skills, and enhancing positive attitudes" (Tennyson & Schott, 1997, p. 8). The instructor continues to determine learning outcomes and direct the learning with the additional application of specific information-processing strategies to assist the learner in acquiring knowledge. To facilitate learning, cognitivism postulates that the learning environment should be arranged to maximize learners' ability to retrieve prior knowledge relevant to the learning outcomes and organize the content to maximize information processing. Instructors should provide the appropriate context for learners to draw on prior knowledge and fit new information into existing schema. For learners with little prior knowledge, instructors need to provide opportunities to create new schema by relating the new information to something that is familiar to them.

Constructivism became popular in the 1980s. It describes learning as a process in which learners construct knowledge and meaning by integrating prior knowledge, beliefs, and experiences. According to this theory, knowledge does not exist outside of the person but is constructed based on how a person interacts with the environment and experiences the world (Tennyson & Schott, 1997). Control of the environment is not a focus of the constructivist theory of learning. Instead, it emphasizes the synthesis and integration of knowledge and skills into an individual's experiences. This theory addresses some of the limitations of other learning theories that emphasize components instead of integrated wholes.

There are two types of constructivism: cognitive constructivism and social constructivism. Cognitive constructivism focuses on the individual characteristics or attributes of the learner and their impact on learning. Social constructivism focuses on how meaning and understanding are created through social interaction. Together, they view knowledge acquisition as a means of interpreting incoming information through an individual's unique lens, which includes his or her personality, beliefs, culture, and experiences. Based on interpretations, knowledge has meaning and learners build schema to represent what they know.

Jean Piaget's (1985) theory of cognitive constructivism proposed that knowledge cannot be simply transmitted to a person but must be constructed through experience. Experiences allow individuals to construct mental models or schemas, and knowledge construction is based on a change in schema through assimilation and accommodation. If the incoming information can be associated with existing information, assimilation of the incoming information into the already formed schemas occurs and equilibrium is maintained. If the incoming information conflicts with current thinking, cognitive dissonance occurs; this is an uncomfortable feeling that stems from holding conflicting ideas at the same time. Cognitive dissonance requires a change in existing schemas to accommodate incoming information. In addition, Piaget believed that learning is based on interaction with the environment around us, so real-world practice is important.

Social constructivism emphasizes the social nature of learning. Lev Vygotsky (1978) proposed that learning could not be separated from the social context in which it occurs, nor could accommodation and assimilation occur without the active integration of the learner in a community of practice. He saw learning as a collaborative process, and he developed a theory called the zone of proximal development (ZPD) to explain the collaborative nature of learning (Vygotsky, 1978). This theory distinguishes between two levels of development. One is the level of development that a learner can reach independently. The second is the potential level of development a learner can achieve with the support of an instructor or peers. This theory argues that with help from an instructor or peers, learners can understand concepts and ideas that they cannot understand on their own. It supports an instructional strategy of providing learners just enough scaffolding or support to help them reach the next level of understanding. This scaffolding in turn allows learners to work independently until they no longer can learn without support. Instruction again is supported through the instructor or peers, and the learner continues to reach higher levels of understanding through their guidance.

According to constructivism, memory is continuously under construction as a person interacts with incoming information in unique contexts that require them to draw upon prior knowledge from different sources. Either accommodation or assimilation of new information into existing schemas occurs, which builds deeper levels of understanding and meaning. Transfer involves the use of meaningful contexts that allow the learning to be transferred to a novel situation and applied. Real-world examples, as well as opportunities to solve real-world problems, allow for the greatest opportunity for transfer.

Constructivist theories do not categorize learning into types but hold that all learning is context dependent. One of the problems with constructivist learning theories is the assumption that all learners come to the learning situation with prior knowledge and that the goal of learning is to activate prior knowledge and build additional understanding and meaning. Learners who are new to a field of study may not have prior knowledge, so building instructional strategies that require them to draw on prior knowledge and deal with ill-structured problems can be frustrating and overwhelming. For learners who do not have prior knowledge and experience, there are cognitive strategies such as the use of advance organizers and conceptual scaffolds that can be used to replace the lack of prior knowledge and experience. These strategies are addressed in more detail in Chapter 9.

From the constructivist perspective, learners are not merely passive receivers of knowledge, they are active participants in the learning process and knowledge construction. Instruction should situate the learning in authentic tasks that allow learners to understand why it is important to learn, as well as its relevance to them personally or professionally. Instructors who base their pedagogy on constructivism take on a new role of facilitator rather than lecturer by actively observing and assessing the current state of individual learners and providing learning strategies to help them interpret and understand the content. The facilitation role includes providing relevant context for learners who may not have prior knowledge and experience with the subject to help them organize the content into relevant schemas for acquiring knowledge. The instructor must develop skill in assessing the current state of learners and adapt the learning experience to support their attainment of
goals. The instructor must also have an understanding of individual learning styles to provide effective strategies to help learners plan, monitor, and evaluate their thinking during learning.

Ausubel. D. P. (1960). The use of advance organizers in the learning and retention of meaningful verbal material. Journal of Educational Psychology, 51, 267-272.

Ausubel, D. P. (1963). The psychology of meaningful verbal learning. New York: Grune & Stratton.

Gagne, R. (1985). The conditions of learning (4th ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes: An investigation of the physiological activity of the cerebral cortex (G.V. Anrep, trans.). London: Oxford University Press.

Piaget, J. (1985). The equilibration of cognitive structures. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Tennyson, R. D. & Schott, F. (1997). Instructional design theory research and models. In R. D. Tennyson, F. Schott, N. Seel, & S. Dijkstra. Instructional design: International perspective. Vol. 1, Theory, research, and models. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


Dillard University Academic Support Services Student Referral Form

Faculty and Staff:
If you have ever found yourself frustrated with the process of referring students who need assistance, you are not alone. A group of Dillard’s academic and administrative colleagues have been working on a common form that will enable anyone to refer a student to the appropriate resources. We plan to pilot the form over the summer, but we need some crucial information from you. Please review the form, ENTER/UPDATE your information and email the form to Shannon Williamson ( by May 22. Thank you!

Phyllis Worthy Dawkins
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dillard University
2601 Gentilly Boulevard
New Orleans, Louisiana 70122
Voice:  504-816-4368
Fax:      504-816-4144

Past President, Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network
President Emerita, HBCU Faculty Development Network

Student Information

Date of Referral ___________            ID# ____________     Phone# (Current): ____________________________

Student’s Name _______________________________ Student’s Email _______________________________

Procedure for Referring Students:

1.      The Faculty/Staff member completes the Student Referral Form for each student he/she is referring to the appropriate service.

2.      Scan and email or fax the form to the appropriate location. Give the student a copy as well.

3.      After the session is over, the student provides proof of attendance to the Faculty/Staff member who referred them.

If you have questions about this form, please e-mail Dr. Kevin Bastian at

Support Service

Academic Advisors

Academic Affairs (Office of)
Rosenwald 203


Admissions (Transfer credits)

Business and Finance
Rosenwald 106A
x. 4644

Campus Activities and Student Engagement
Student Union 270
Student Union 277                          
x. 4885
x. 4885
x. 4072

Campus Security/Threat Assessment (safety and security)
Public Safety
x. 4954
x. 5310

Lawless 102

Career and Professional Development
Student Union 239 
x. 4885
x. 4656

Center for the First Year Experience
Dent 206
x. 4918
x. 4863

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Rosenwald 126
x. 5456
x. 4677

Foreign Language Support


Library Services
Library 1st Floor
x. 4786

Louisiana Alliance for Minority Participation (LAMP)


Personal Counseling
Dent 113
x. 4956
x. 4186

Student Union 166

Records and Registration
Rosenwald 116
x. 4705

Residential Life
Williams 114
x. 4734

Student and Judicial Affairs
Student Union 239
x. 4885
x. 4685

Student Health and Wellness
Student Union 172
x. 4680
x. 4532

Student Success (Office of)
Rosenwald 111
x. 4263

Student Support Services: Tutoring for Math, Science, Building Study Skills (Circle All That Apply)
Dent 110
x. 4956
x. 4306

Undergraduate Research
x. 4527

Writing Center
Dent 162
x. 4180

Other (write in other information):

Faculty/Staff: In the space below please provide a brief description of the reason for your referral. Include your observations of the student’s behavior and concerns the student has shared with you. Attach any additional information as you see fit.


I understand the reason I am being referred and will follow up on this referral. Student’s Signature:  ____________________________

Printed Name
Referral Source

Receiving Faculty/Staff