Tag Archives: inquiry circles

2018-2019 Teaching Inquiry Circle – Seeking members

The following inquiry circle is seeking members.  To join, please contact Megan O’Neill (mboneill@stetson.edu).

Why Can’t They Read?

Before students can be informed citizens of local communities and the world, they need to be able to read. It doesn’t surprise anyone in the classroom these days that students coming to college are ill-equipped to parse complex texts, identify arguments, and understand why the parts of a text function the way they do. Particularly in the first years, but continuing on after graduation, critical reading skills are vital. Many of us, however, are so deeply entrenched in our own ability to bring a critical lens to the written word that we’ve forgotten how to bring students on this journey with us.

In this teaching circle, the emphasis is on critical reading: how to teach those skills and how to assess those skills. Participants can expect to expand their range of teaching tools, understand better why students read the way they do, and share insights from their own classrooms in an effort to broaden Stetson’s bank of information about reading critically.

  • Individual participants will read selected chapters and articles on the teaching of reading skills to learn about best practices. (readings provided by Megan’ O’Neill)
  • Individuals will study their own reading habits to learn about their own blind spots. (Self reflection, written and/or oral, on reading the materials)
  • Individuals will share their stories to build community around reading strategies. (Each meeting will start with a brief story intended to jumpstart discussion around the reading topic for the meeting)

Indicate your interest in joining this teaching and learning circle by contacting Megan O’Neill (mboneill@stetson.edu)

Innovative Course Design Workshop III: High-impact Strategies (Recap)

Facilitator: Julia K. Metzker
Date: 10 Nov 17, 2:30-4pm
Topic: High-impact Strategies: Developing inclusive assignments and activities that challenge

Workshop Goals

You will …

  • explore evidence base for high-impact practices and teaching strategies.
  • design transparent activities and/or assignments.

Participants in the third workshop in a five-part course design series, explored evidence based strategies for designing assignments and activities that have high-impact on learners.

<<download the handouts or review the presentation>>

NOTE: The concepts in this series will build over each workshop.  The prezi will also evolve as we move through the series.

Life in College Matters for Life After College (2014)
This Gallup-Purdue study of college graduates finds the type of school these graduates attended matters less to their work lives and current well-being than their experiences while in school.

Check-in …

We started with a round-robin check-in to gauge success and challenges faced in the course (re)design process thus far.  The list of resources below came up in that conversation.

Best practices in service-learning/community-based learning.  There are a ton of resources if you are interested in incorporating community-based learning in your course.  To get you started …
Using course portfolios to document your teaching
Reading Strategies

Learn …

Resources from workshop:

  • High-Impact Educational Practices—ways of engaging and challenging students—such as first year programs; intensive writing, collaborative assignments, undergraduate research, internships, and major projects that help students achieve essential learning outcomes
  • Visible Learning (HATTIE, 2009) – “Visible Learning means an enhanced role for teachers as they become evaluators of their own teaching. According to John Hattie Visible Learning and Teaching occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers. In his meta-analysis of over 800 meta- analyses, Hattie identifies the interventions with the highest rate of return for student success.
  • Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (TILT-HIgherEd) – The Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education project (TILT Higher Ed) is a national educational development and research project that helps faculty implement a transparent teaching framework that promotes college students’ success. Transparent teaching methods help students understand how and why they are learning course content in particular ways. Housed at UNLV, the project invites participants from all institutions of higher education in the US and abroad. Any instructor may join the project by signing up online.
  • Kuh, G. D. (2009). High-Impact Educational Practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, D.C.

Practice …

Before the next workshop …

  1. describe an assignment to a colleague or friend not familiar with your course/discipline.  Ask them to identify the purpose, task and criteria for the assignment from the perspective of a novice. (see details in handouts)
  2.  Literature Jigsaw with Focused Questions (see below)

Literature Jigsaw with Focused Questions

Reading assignments (#’s assigned in email)

#1: Flaherty, C. (2017). Large-Scale Assessment Without Standardized Tests. Inside HigherEd, pp. 1–5.

#2: Pascarella, E. T., & Blaich, C. (2013). Lessons from the Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 45(2), 6–15.  (Read pages 2-9)

#3: Alby, C. J. (2012). A summary of Hattie’s Research on Learning.

#4: Winkelmes, M.-A., Bernacki, M., Butler, J., Zochowski, M., Golanics, J., & Weavil, K. H. (2016). A Teaching Intervention that Increases Underserved College Students’ Success . Peer Review, 18(1/2), 31–36.

Questions to guide your reading:
  1. Briefly summarize the work
  2. What was the main takeaway?
  3. What methods were used to collect the evidence?
  4. How confident are you in the conclusions?
  5. What does this research tell you about student learning?
  6. How might you use this information in your own teaching?

Happy Reading!

After Hurricane Irma: Revised deadlines for Brown Center Programs

Due to Hurricane Irma, the following dates have been updated for various programs in the Brown Center:

Upcoming Opportunities

Teaching Squares: Would you like to have an opportunity to reflect upon your teaching practice? Would you like to meet other faculty who are interested in talking about teaching and learning? Are you curious to see how others teach outside your own discipline? If so, Teaching Squares are for you.
Interest Deadline: September 20
Learn more and apply

Innovative Course Design Workshop Series: This workshop series will use backward design to develop courses that foster essential learning through engagement with enduring and contemporary questions.
Sign up by September 20th
Learn more and sign-up

Brown Innovation Fellows demonstrate cutting edge Innovation across diverse aspects of the teacher-scholar role to foster lifelong excellence in learning.  The Program Focus is Inclusive Pedagogies.
Application Deadline: September 25
Learn more and apply

Teaching and Inquiry Circles support learning and scholarly productivity by bringing colleagues together to study, learn, share and engage with each other.
Rolling Deadline: Applications reviewed as long as funding is available.
Learn more and apply

Writing Lockdowns:  The monthly Writer’s Lockdown Program offers focused time, effort, and support for faculty writers to immerse in and boost their writing projects. We provide the space, some food, and peace of mind. You provide the words. Bring your laptop and materials, spread out over a table and work.
Reserve your spot now!

Hosting signup here: Host a Lockdown

Circles and Squares are back!

Circles and Squares are back!

Inquiry Circles:

Stetson University supports teacher-scholar development, professional/practitioner-scholar development, and curricular/co-curricular collaborations through the award of Inquiry Circle mini-grants ($500). Stetson University faculty members and Campus Life & Student Success staff are invited to submit a proposal for an inquiry circle mini-grant.

A wide variety of ideas qualify for consideration on inclusive pedagogues including team-/problem-/project-based learning, designing the T-shaped student, values-based or authentic assessment, learning partnerships, sustainability, high impact educational practices, universal design, learning outcomes, culturally-inclusive pedagogy, reflective learning, e-portfolios, intercultural learning, leadership, well-being, course design/re-design, collaborative learning spaces, etc.

<<Apply for an Inquiry Circle>>

Teaching Squares:

The Teaching Squares Project offers faculty at any stage in their career an opportunity to gain new insight into their own teaching through a non-evaluative process of reciprocal classroom observation and self-reflection. The four faculty in each “square” agree to visit one another’s classes over the course of a semester and then to meet to discuss what they’ve learned. The purpose of a Teaching Square is to open up new spaces for reflection and conversation about teaching.

<<Apply for an Teaching Square>>

The Importance of Being Resilient – Teaching & Inquiry Circle | Stetson Today

Rebecca Stone and Rachel Boldman, co-facilitated a Teaching & Inquiry Circle with Stetson Faculty and Staff titled “Student Resilience”, which concluded with draft recommendations for an institutional plan to support resilience.  The work of these individuals continues to impact student resilience and the larger campus community.

This is what institutional grit looks like!


Rachel Boldman, Director of the Stetson Counseling Center, hopes John B. Well Week activities will encourage students to visit the Counseling Center, if they need help with mental health issues.

The Counseling Center has organized the weeklong series of events annually since 2014 as a way to encourage students to seek professional help, when needed, and educate them about ways to increase their resiliency.The Stetson University Counseling Center will focus on resilience during John B. Well Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, teaching students to be resilient during challenging times and safeguarding their mental health.

Read the entire article at Stetson Today

Workshop on Music Scholarship this Thursday

Join the Workshop on Music and Creative Arts Scholarship on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 3:30 in Presser Hall room 112 for a discussion by Dr. Peter Smucker on his current research. The workshop is an open faculty forum to provide feedback on ongoing research. Feel free to attend all or part of the workshop.

Appalachian Folk Music and the Supernatural: Tracing Social Encounters in Kentucky Route Zero

Dr. Peter Smucker

This paper draws connections between social alienation and supernatural encounters through the use of Appalachian folk music in video games, film, and television. My primary focus is music from Kentucky Route Zero (2013–), a video game that builds on legends of Appalachian ghost stories. A common trope in Appalachian folk music deals with death (Crissman 1994)—often in the form of “crossing a barrier”— and typically delivers positive and religious messages of post- life experiences. Yet this music also highlights social removal and fear of the unknown. To better understand the multilayered musical meaning in Kentucky Route Zero, I demonstrate links between social and supernatural encounters in folk music through analyses of several scenes from film and television.

I first show how Frank Hutchison’s song “Hellbound Train” is a paradigmatic “crossing over” piece of folk music, which highlights supernatural attitudes towards death. Scenes from the films Deliverance (1970) and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) establish a negative visual stereotype of Appalachian peoples, yet particular musical underpinnings instead suggest positive social interactions. The final television episode of Quantum Leap (1993) takes place in a 1950s coalmining town, and musically demonstrates that many parts of Appalachia are historically and culturally diverse (Simon 2014). Through the use of Appalachian folk music in these scenes, I establish three primary intersections of sound and image: social acceptance/removal; musical positivity/negativity; and encounters between life and death. These intersections inform a nuanced understanding of the music in Kentucky Route Zero.

Faculty learning community opportunities: Brown Innovation Fellows and Inquiry Circles

Please consider joining one of these upcoming opportunities to engage with colleagues in boundary-spanning inclusive communities of practice ….

2016-2017 Brown Innovation Fellows Program: The Courage to Teach

<<See the Call for Applications for more information and to access the short application form>>

Higher education is undergoing a paradigm shift.  This shift is partly in response to disruptive forces, which include changing demographics of students and faculty; disruptive forces reconceptualizing how higher education is delivered; and a questioning the value and relevance of a college education. The recent report on the climate at Stetson highlights many of these challenges.

Fellows will grapple with these issues and more as a cohort over the course of the academic year. In an effort to model democratic ways of knowing, the program will borrow strategies from the un-conference movement in digital humanities where we collaborate to actively create the agenda to develop sessions that are relevant, engaging and respond to the knowledge, interest and goals of participants.

2016-2017 Inquiry Circles

The following inquiry circles are seeking members.  To join, please contact the circle leader directly.

Teaching Inquiry Circle: Articulating Learning Using the T-Shaped Professional Model: Connecting Students to the 21st Century Workplace

The 21st Century workforce demands that graduates not only have depth in one or more disciplines but also broad “generalist” skills, an understanding of numerous future opportunities and complex issues, and appreciation of perspectives and systems different from their own. Students are unable to describe what they learned in specific courses, even though Stetson’s general and program learning outcomes directly connect to what employers want. Students lack the capacity to articulate what they have gained from curriculum. This circle will explore and apply the T-Shaped Professional Model of Integrative Learning and its usefulness in defining and connecting the liberal arts classroom experience to the workplace. To make this process manageable, the circle focus would focus on one or more courses to pilot this initiative.  To join this circle contact Tim Stiles at tstiles@stetson.edu

Teaching Inquiry Circle: The Courage to Teach

Members of this circle will meet to discuss Parker Palmer’s classic text, The Courage to Teach.  Each member of the circle will receive a copy of the book (or audiobook).  Indicate your interest in joining this teaching and learning circle by contacting browncenter@stetson.edu.

Taking the writing circle into a creative collaboration

Submit your proposal for a scholarly and creative inquiry circle by October 1.

What results when a digital musician, poet, digital animation artist, and a new media artist come together in a writing circle?  A collaborative performance! 2016-09-22-19-12-40

Terri Witek, Denge Chen, Matt Roberts and Amadine Pras recently performed the fruits of their collaboration: an interactive performance deploying video projection, animation, 3D mapping and sound work. This work, Implement for Removing Foreign Bodies, was featured as the fall Sullivan Reading  on Sept 22, 2016.

The creative interpretation of this group sparked us to rename the program from Scholarly Writing Circles to Scholarly and Creative Inquiry Circles.

Proposals for the 2016-2017 year are due October 1st.  Visit the call for proposals for details.

Seeking Circle Members

2016-2017  Inquiry Circles: Seeking Members

Global Citizenship Collaboratory
Members of this circle will become part of a growing collaboratory designed to investigate the essence of Global Citizenship at Stetson University and identify pathways for deepening global learning by all members of our community.  Faculty, staff, and students are welcome!  Indicate your interest in joining this teaching and learning circle by contacting world@stetson.edu.

Book Circle: The Courage to Teach
Members of this circle will meet to discuss Parker Palmer’s classic text, The Courage to Teach.  Each member of the circle will receive a copy of the book (or audiobook).  Indicate your interest in joining this teaching and learning circle by contacting browncenter@stetson.edu.

Got an idea for a circle?  Submit your proposal by October 1st.  Check out the call for proposals.

Call for Proposals: Teaching and Scholarly Inquiry Circles

(as long as funding is available)

The Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence is pleased to announce the return of Stetson Teaching and Inquiry Circles. These Circles are a wonderful opportunity to engage with your colleagues throughout the year while learning and making progress on your academic goals.  

Teaching Inquiry Circles bring together groups small groups of faculty and/or faculty/staff, who meet regularly during the academic year to form a community of practice around an aspect of teaching and learning. Teaching inquiry circle members disseminate what they have learned together to the Stetson community and beyond. Where appropriate, students are invited to be members. Detailed proposal guidelines, criteria and reporting requirements are available at this link.

Scholarly Inquiry Circles bring 4-6 faculty members, preferably from more than one discipline, together consistently during the academic year to support each other’s writing, provide feedback on writing projects and hold each other accountable. Detailed proposal guidelines, criteria and reporting requirements are available at this link.

Proposals are invited for circles comprised of any combination of Stetson University Faculty and/or CLaSS staff.