2003-2004 Lunch Hour Reading/Discussion Club

Spring 2004 Book Club

Grade inflation runs rampant at most colleges and universities, but faculty and administrators are seemingly unwilling to face the problem. This book explains why, exposing many of the misconceptions surrounding college grading. Based on experiment conducted at Duke University during the 1998 - 1999 academic year, the effects of student grading on various educational processes, and their subsequent impact on student and faculty behavior, are examined.

Material contained in this book is essential reading for anyone involved in efforts to reform our postsecondary educational system, or for those who simply wish to survive and prosper in it.

Facilitators: Mark Lencho and Steve Friedman, Tuesdays - 11:00am-Noon

Sessions Scheduled:Location TBA on the following six Tuesdays: Jan 27 ; Feb 10 , 24 ; March 9 , 30 ; April 13 .

James Zull invites teachers in higher education or any other setting to join him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. He describes the brain in clear non-technical language and an engaging conversational tone, highlighting its functions and parts and how they interact, and always relating them to the real world of the classroom and his own evolution as a teacher.

"The Art of Changing the Brain" is grounded in the realities of our current knowledge of brain processes & how that knowledge may be used to create effective opportunities for deep and lasting learning, and of dealing with students as unique learners.

Facilitators: Meg Waraczynski, Tuesdays- 12 : 30 p.m. - 1 : 30 p.m.

Sessions Scheduled: Location TBA on the following six Tuesdays: Jan. 27 ; Feb. 10 , 24 ; March 9 . 30 ; April 13 .

The "Insider's Guide to Grantmaking" allows readers to observe the world of foundations closely. It provides a useful overview for those new to the field–sharing rich insights for those scholars interested in pursuing foundation grants. The book opens with a prologue introducing you to foundations; their history, structure, and function in society. There follow chapters on setting priorities, on grantmaking as human enterprise, and the work of program officers.

Grantmakers are the stewards of funds that are precious–funds that often provide the margin between progress and stagnation, between development and decay. Grantmakers must maximize the good these funds can do by enhancing their ability to effectively and ethically invest them for the common good. Book Club participants will gain a vital perspective into the grantmaking process–a valuable insight for any faculty member interested in seeking private support for research, scholarly activity or program development.

Facilitator: Denise Ehlen, Mondays-Noon- 1 : 00 p.m.

Sessions Scheduled: Location TBA on the following six Mondays: Jan 26 ; Feb 9 . 23 ; March 8 , 29 ; April 12 .

Fall 2003 Book Club

Assessment Essentials:
Planning, Implementing, and Improving Assessment in Higher Education

(Catherine Palomba and Trudy Banta, 1999, Jossey-Bass)

Even as assessment efforts on this campus mature, important questions about all aspects of the academic assessment process emerge and linger. This session is designed for faculty and chairs who want to learn more about assessment by over-viewing the assessment process--focusing on illustrative examples taken from campuses across the U.S. Discussion will center on practical issues relevant to assessment, as participants explore how the ideas and examples apply to the assessment initiatives of our departments and programs.

Facilitator: Steve Friedman is Director of UWW Assessment and Co-Director of the LEARN Center.

Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from Noon to 1:00pm on the following six Mondays: 8 & 22 September; 6 & 20 October; and 3 & 17 November.

Engaging Ideas:
Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking & Active Learning Into the Classroom

(John Bean, 1996, Jossey-Bass)

This best-selling, practical, hands-on guide explores strategies for effectively & efficiently improving student writing--a competency that assessment literature nation-wide suggests is notably underdeveloped in the post-secondary student population. Chapters explore the relationships between thinking and writing, designing better assignments, and effective coaching. Participants will evaluate the strategies presented by the book as well as discuss challenges, solutions, and lessons learned.

Facilitator: Mark Lencho is an Associate Professor in the Languages & Literatures Department.

Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm on the following six Tuesdays: 9 & 23 September; 7& 21 October; and 4 & 18 November.

McKeachie's Teaching Tips:
Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers

(Wilbert J. McKeachie, 2002, Houghton Mifflin)

Now in its 11th edition, McKeachie's bestselling book covers all aspects of instruction, using theory and research to contextualize "best practices" relevant to basic issues such as lectures, discussions, testing, and grading, to more advanced issues such as laboratory instruction, teaching at a distance and teaching thinking skills. For over 50 years, this has been a great handbook for teaching--filled with thousands of ideas and raising issues that merit reflection and discussion. Discussion will focus on chapters and issues that participants choose at a first meeting.

Facilitator: Greg Valde, Associate Professor, Educational Foundations Department.

Sessions Scheduled: in UC 206 from Noon to 1:00pm on the following six Wednesdays: 10 & 24 September; 8 & 22 October; and 5 & 19 November.

Participants are encouraged to bring a bag lunch. Fruit and beverages will be provided. Faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up. Please register only if you will attend the discussions. Copies of the books will be sent to each participant before the end of the spring term, just in time for summer reading…