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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dillard University 2012 Fall Faculty/Staff Institute

The following message is being sent on behalf of the Provost Phyllis W. Dawkins and the Coordinators of the Center for Teaching, Learning and Academic Technology (CTLAT):
Good morning Dillard Family,

The 2012 Fall Faculty/Staff Institute Planning Committee has been meeting throughout the summer.  In all our meetings  we  have stressed the importance of having the input of all faculty and staff.   Take this opportunity to again tell the planning committee what you want to see and hear at this year's institute.  We took your suggestions from the survey from last year and thanks to Dr. Carla Morelon, Director for Institutional Advancement she has designed this survey.  Kudos to her everyone!

We have spoken with many of you over the summer and we thank you.  You have been invaluable to us, but we still need everyone's input.  So, please stop for a moment and complete this survey. It is our committee's  sentiment that we want campus wide involvement since this is our Fall 2012 Faculty/Staff Institute.  We want to be inclusive and get as many ideas as we can to finalize plans.

Dr. Morelon will develop the report for us from the data collected and will present the findings at the institute.   All results go to her office from the survey link.

So, again please stop what you’re are doing for a moment and help us because we really need your assistance.  The link is provided below.  If we can be of further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Steve A. Buddington and Eartha Lee Johnson

Co - Coordinators

Center for Teaching Learning and Academic Technology - CTLAT

(504) 816-4662

****Here's the link provided by Dr. Morelon: 

P.S.  Your suggestions for books have been noted for suggested readings and for purchase in our library:

  • The OZ Principle
  • Inquiry Based Learning: A Guidebook for Instructors and Administration
  • Hybrid/Blended Learning
  • Grant Space: A Learning Community for the Social Sector

P.S.S.  In the next few days you will receive the final copy of our institute program. Kindly mark your calendars for the week August 15th!

Barbara M. Albert

Executive Assistant to the Provost

Office of Academic Affairs

(504) 816-4216 (office)

(504) 816-4144 (fax)


A Graphic Syllabus Can Bring Clarity to Course Structure

In the May 2, 2012 edition of Faculty Focus: Focused on Today’s Higher Education Professional:
A Graphic Syllabus Can Bring Clarity to Course Structure
By Maryellen Weimer, PhD in Teaching Professor Blog

In her blog post, Weimer discusses the value and surprisingly creative and student-centered approaches that use concept/mind maps to visually/graphically represent student understanding as well as to foster creative bridge-building relationships and develop new lines of conceptuality between ideas that have been presented by an instructor and new ideas presented by students.
She talks about her ideas (which include encouraging student to think about the overall structure of a course right from the start) as prompted by Linda Nilson’s work – advocating a “graphic syllabus” – described as a “flowchart, graphic organizer, or diagram of the schedule and organization of course topics, sometimes with tests, assignments, and major activities included”. She also sees great value in faculty having to go through the process of creating a graphic course organizer – demonstrating linkage between content areas in courses that are” inextricably linked”.

Three graphic syllabi from Mark Smillie at Carroll College (Helena, MT) provide an example. Villanova University describes this strategy ofincluding a “concept map” as part of the syllabus. They state, “There are a number of advantages to supplementing a traditional print syllabus with some graphic elements:
  • Adding a graphic can make clear to students the logic of the way the course is organized.
  • As we have pointed out elsewhere, our classes are filled with students who do not necessarily all have the same learning style as each other or the same style as their instructors. Adding different modalities helps us reach out to different types of learners, and a graphic representation of the course can be especially helpful to visual learners.
  • Sometimes the effort of trying to show the logic of our course in a schematic way can help us, as instructors, rethink and reorganize our courses.
Check out a review of Linda Nilson’s book, The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course (Jossey-Bass, 2007) by Frances S. Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Writing Arts and Director, Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning, Rowan University, published in The National Teaching and Learning Forum.
Check Weimer’s post for references – this is a great idea and solid pedagogical tool.