Author Archives: Heather Stafford

Using Timelines to Help Create Context for Learning

Think back to the most confusing learning experience of your life. Did you feel like you understood the context of what you were learning? When Assistant Professor of Physics Michael Durst began teaching PHYS 0301: Intermediate Electromagnetism he envisioned an assignment where “students would explore more deeply the history of electricity and magnetism” as well as the “chronology of…experiments which led to our current understanding of electricity and magnetism.”

Through a discussion with Academic Technology staff in the library, Michael decided that the JS Timeline plugin for WordPress would allow a means for students to place people, discoveries and real-world applications of electromagnetism in the context of time.

In this article Professor Durst describes his process of creating and revising the assignment as well as how it has become a collaborative class resource among multiple cohorts of students.

Sample Timeline Entry

Sample Timeline Entry

How Questions Guide Learning

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Professor Glen Ernstrom leading a session in CTLR about POGIL

As Assistant Professor of Biology and Neuroscience Glen Ernstrom read articles about the effectiveness of active learning activities in the sciences he began to consider how he could integrate some of this teaching methodology into his classroom.

In this article Glen explains how he uses process-oriented guided inquiry lessons to help students work through some of the more difficult concepts in his class. Using methods to encourage metacognitive understanding Glen guides students through activities that allow them to work

“…in groups and compare[ing] the results of their work in class, they can measure themselves with their peers and see how well they are in doing. They get immediate feedback on their understanding.”

Glen was kind enough to share links to supporting research and resources to help others learn more about POGIL and how they can try it out in their own classes as well. To read the full article and view resource links please visit the Teaching at Middlebury site here.

Providing Feedback to Students

WP_20151202_002Providing meaningful and helpful feedback on writing can be a challenging and time consuming process. There are physical limitations such as time and space on the page (why are the margins always so small?) but also instructional limitations that can make it difficult to give formative feedback to students that will provide just enough guidance to help them improve their work, without doing the work for them. These are just a few of the reasons that inquiries about annotation tools are very common and popular in the academic technology neck of the woods.

Louisa Burnham, Associate Professor of History was kind enough to share her experience with iAnnotate in the story “Trading in the Red Pen for an IPad” found on the Teaching at Middlebury site here.

As a part of our initiative to support communities of practice centered on pedagogy we would be pleased to create a community centered on methods and practices for providing feedback to students. Please let us know know if you would be interested in learning more about this opportunity and we will include you in future discussions either virtual or face to face. You can either email hstafford@middlebury.edu, or fill out the online form at the bottom of the page here to express your interest.

We’re also actively collecting resources on providing feedback (like this one) and would be pleased to share your suggestions in this area as well.

Teaching Resources & Stories

Teaching at Middlebury WordPress site

Teaching at Middlebury WordPress Site

The  Library and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Research have been working together to develop a site where Middlebury College faculty can share different teaching methods that are being used across campus. We will also use this site to collect, organize and share resources that can be used to achieve different learning goals. Examples of stories currently featured on the site include:

  • Ways that faculty are using different annotation methods to provide feedback and emphasize close readings of texts
  • Creating collaborative resources to highlight and contextualize course content and themes

We are pleased to share the start of the Teaching at Middlebury site and look forward to working with all of you  to develop and refine the work that has already been done. It is designed to be a dynamic source of new content, connections and opportunities, so we hope you will engage, return, and share your work as you begin or continue your journey as educators at Middlebury. Please visit the site at http://sites.middlebury.edu/teach

We look forward to featuring your work soon!

 

Summer Help with Media Projects for your Courses

Over the course of the summer the library and the digital liberal arts initiative employ, train,  and mentor students as they assist faculty with various digital projects. If you are interested in receiving assistance with a digital project this summer whether curricular or research related, we’d like to hear from you!

If you have any interest in participating, please send an email to hstafford@middlebury.edu  with all the information  you currently have available about the project that you’d like to pursue (for example, a general description or interest in a conversation about an idea). We will use this information to determine the number of students to recruit as well as the technical and academic skill sets needed for the projects. In addition, it will help us match your project with a staff mentor and a student.

Past projects have included:

  • Conversations and planning around innovative ideas you may have for classroom projects, and/or using digital methods in your scholarship and the scholarship of your students.
  • One on one instruction in a variety of software applications, including, but not limited to: image and document creation (including posters and diagrams); audio (podcasting, voiceovers); video (digital stories, other video applications); digitization of audio and video, and social software (blogs, wikis, LMS).
  • Consultations to discuss what is possible, and help you decide what technologies would best suit your needs
  • Development of course web sites in WordPress or Moodle

These projects will be completed during the months of June, July and August. Please be sure to specify in your email message if your timeline is different from this schedule.

I’ll be in touch with you towards the end of the spring semester to set up an initial meeting and connect you with your student tutor. We look forward to hearing from you!

-Heather Stafford, Multimedia/Curricular Technologist

 

Figure Skating Lessons for Children

It’s not too late to sign up! The Middlebury College Figure Skating club is open to children of all faculty and staff (Middlebury College ID holders), from ages 5 through high school.

If you have a child who is interested in participating, please complete these documents (registration and waiver):

2014-15 Figure Skating Club
2014-2015 Winter Skating Middlebury College Waiver Form

and send the documents and payment to Barbara Walter at 303 Sunderland Language Center.

If you have questions, please contact Barbara Walter (bwalter@middlebury.edu) or Heather Stafford (hstafford@middlebury.edu).

Skating practice will begin on Sunday, October 12th! We look forward to seeing you on the ice!

 

June EFAP News

Wellness Corp LogoIn this month’s EFAP newsletter you can learn about:

  • Easy ways to improve your sight
  • Legal consultations and resources
  • Tips and guidelines for men of all ages to help you stay healthy

as well as attend a work/life webinar about the 7 habits of highly effective people, and find great recipes for grilled chicken thighs with roasted grape tomatoes and grilled stuffed jalapenos. To access the June newsletter please visit: http://go.middlebury.edu/efap-june.

Did you know that you can also sign up to receive the EFAP newsletter via your email address? To do so, click here.

Featured Article: Easy Ways to Improve Your Sight

June Work/Life Webinar:  7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Based on the book by Stephen Covey, presenter Terry Gibney will present a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. You will learn a pathway for living with fairness, integrity, service and human dignity – all principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. Terry Gibney is a parent educator and consultant to the child care industry. He works with Head Start and other public programs for families, as well as consulting to child care providers in the private sector. Thursday, June 11, 2013. 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST. Please see the newsletter link above to find out how to register.

HR Update – This Week’s Employment Snapshot

There are currently 1 faculty position, 34 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 2 internal job postings on the Middlebury College employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities: go/faculty-jobs (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/faculty-jobs (off campus)

Staff Employment Opportunities:  go/staff-jobs (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs  (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs-sh (off campus)

Reminder – Employee Golf Tournament at Ralph Myhre Golf Course – Wednesday, May 29!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
9-hole Captain and Crew (4-person scramble)
Check-in: starting at 3:45 p.m.*
Shotgun start: 4:30 p.m.
Dinner: in Kirk following golf

* CTO must be used for events during regular work hours

Prizes:
1st, 2nd & 3rd Places
(front & back nine)
Closest to the Pin • Longest Drive • Closest to the Line (great for those that aren’t long hitters)!

Help Support the Chaplain’s Fund
This raffle has raised over $500 to date for the Chaplain’s fund—thanks for your support!
50/50 Raffle—6 tickets for $5: 2 winners will be drawn
50% of Proceeds will benefit the Chaplain’s Fund*
* The Chaplain’s Fund provides monetary support in the form of either a one-time grant or a one-time loan to employees facing an unforeseen financial emergency or crisis. The Chaplain’s Fund committee reviews confidential applications from employees. If approved, funding is provided directly to the employee’s creditors or vendors. Ongoing contributions for this fund are also provided by year-end unused allocations from college employees’ flexible spending accounts. The Chaplain’s Fund has been in existence since 1992 and is just one example of the variety of resources and programs in place to support employees.

HR Update – This Week’s Employment Snapshot

There are currently 1 faculty position, 32 external job postings (regular, on-call and temporary), and 7 internal job postings on the Middlebury College employment opportunities web sites.

Employment Quick Links:

Faculty Employment Opportunities: go/faculty-jobs (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/faculty-jobs (off campus)

Staff Employment Opportunities:  go/staff-jobs (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs  (off campus)

Please note – to view only internal staff postings, please use the internal posting search filter that was highlighted in this MiddPoints article.

On-call/Temporary Staff Employment Opportunities: go/staff-jobs-sh (on campus), http://go.middlebury.edu/staff-jobs-sh (off campus)