The New Faculty Seminar is meant to continue the discussions begun at New Faculty Orientation about teaching and the other professional obligations of new faculty at Stonehill -- as well as to provide new faculty a "safe" place for discussing their experiences (good and bad) throughout the year.
Although each seminar focuses on a specific topic, there is also time at each meeting for more general discussion of participants' recent classroom experiences and any questions or concerns.
Seminars are typically held the first Monday of the month in the Duffy 114 conference room (114C) from 11:30-12:45. Lunch is provided, so we appreciate your RSVP before each seminar to give us a sense of what numbers to expect.
Seminar topics are chosen based on the interests expressed by that year's new faculty.
The Science of Learning
Wednesday, Aug 28 (classes on a Monday schedule)
In recent years neuroscientists have turned their attention to the question of the biology of learning, and their findings have surprising implications for the classroom. For our first seminar we’ll talk about a few of these findings and discuss how they might inform our own teaching practices.
Assessing Teaching for Yourself and Others
Monday, Oct 7 rescheduled for September 30
About a month into the semester, you might be wondering what exactly your students are thinking about your class. So this month we’ll talk about methods for gathering formative feedback from your students and discuss strategies for taking some control of the teaching evaluation process: How do student evaluations work at Stonehill – and how do they “count”? How can I collect feedback to help me improve my teaching? What can I do now to start making the case for my teaching effectiveness?
Teaching with Technology
Monday, Nov 4
In November, we’ll talk about how technology can aid students’ learning in your classes. We’ll talk both about general principles for pedagogically effective ways of using technology and about some specific technologies in use at Stonehill. Our Instructional Technology Manager, Jan Harrison, will be joining us this month.
Working with Student Tutors and TAs
Monday, Dec 2
One of the benefits available to faculty at Stonehill is the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant and Tutoring Program, organized by the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement. TAs and tutors work with faculty to provide a variety of instructional supports – ranging from weekly review sessions to co-leading class discussions. And while most faculty can appreciate “in theory” the benefits of working with an undergraduate TA, they aren’t always sure exactly how to make the most out of their TA partnership. This month we’ll welcome Devon Sprague, Associate Director and Dana Wilson, Assistant Director of the CWAA, who will tell you a little more about the program and lead us in a discussion of the many ways Stonehill faculty have built productive partnerships with TAs and tutors.
Increasing Student Motivation
Monday, Feb 3
One of the biggest challenges that faculty can face is figuring out how we (who were once highly-motivated students who chose to make learning our profession) can inspire some passion for learning in our students (who might not share our devotion to inquiry). Following up on our neuroscience discussion earlier this semester, we’ll now look to what psychologists and other behavioral scientists have to tell us about motivation—and how we can apply these theories in our own classrooms. You should leave with some simple, concrete ideas that you can apply right away in your own teaching.
Student Collaboration and Group Work
Monday, Mar 3
As faculty embrace more student-centered classroom practices, they often find creating opportunities for student collaboration can increase student engagement, encourage critical thinking, and challenge students to take ownership of their own learning. But making group projects work can be tricky. This month we’ll talk about strategies for successfully structuring and evaluating both in-class and long-term group projects. We’ll also talk about “problem-based learning,” one pedagogical strategy that makes good use of student teams.
Enlivening Your Lectures
Monday, Apr 7
Even as many of us move towards more engaged and active pedagogies, we still sometimes fall back on the lecture as an efficient – and even inspiring – way to convey information to our students. Not all of us are born lecturers, but luckily it’s a skill that can be practiced and developed. This month we’ll talk about some of the habits of highly effective lecturers and also talk about strategies for keeping students engaged throughout your lecture.