LEARN Center
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Session Schedule for 2016 - 2017

Session #1

Welcome to

Wednesday, 24 August 2016
University Center, Room 259A

In this inaugural meeting, attendees will mingle with other faculty new to the campus during a breakfast meeting.

We’ll then overview the First Year Program before taking a brief and engaging look (in a game show format) at the history, traditions, myths, and current status of UW-Whitewater. By the end of the session, first year faculty will have a better understanding of:

  1. important events and characters that spurred the growth of the town and the university;
  2. the role the university plays in serving the state and the region; and
  3. the strategic direction of the university in the near and long term.


Session #2

Hands-On Campus

Friday, 26 August 2016
Continental Breakfast
McGraw Hall, Room 115
(Boole Room of McGraw Lab)

Few tools serve the contemporary faculty member as readily as technology. It’s a pervasive part of virtually all instructional and non-instructional activities. This session will familiarize faculty with on-line services to assist in managing courses and the host of other professional responsibilities.

Through a series of hands-on and interactive exercises, attendees will meet and work with staff of Instructional, Communication and Information Technology (iCIT), getting an early start on using or refining use of:

  1. Net-ID, online file storage and access options;
  2. communication and time-planning tools (email, web conferencing, personal calendar, events calendar, syllabi application); and
  3. productivity software (Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat), and technology support services. (Note: A special session on Desire 2 Learn (online courseware) is scheduled for Friday, 21 August, 1:00pm – 4:30pm in Hyland Hall, Room 3202)


Session #3

The Purple Book

Friday, 16 September 2016
University Center, Room 259A

During the first of the luncheon meetings, Associate Vice Chancellor Greg Cook will overview the Purple Book process—introducing first year faculty to UW-Whitewater’s vehicle for chronicling professional accomplishments relevant to reappointment, promotion and tenure.

By the end of the session, first year faculty will have a sense of the purposes and timelines relevant to the Purple Book, and have:

  1. developed an understanding of the format and contents of the Document of Expectations, the Applicant’s Narrative, and the Performance Evaluation Form;
  2. derived a sense of how to best document teaching/job performance, research/creative activities, and professional and public service efforts; and
  3. developed questions to ask his/her chair relevant to individual departmental use of the Purple Book.


Session #4

Student Motivation

Friday, 7 October 2016
University Center, Room 259A

When it comes to faculty development, few topics interest instructors more than the issue of student motivation. What can the instructor do to inspire, challenge, and stimulate students to engage, work in the context of the course, and learn?

Dr. Greg Valde, former Director of the LEARN Center and winner of the 1997 W.P. Roseman Award for Excellence in Teaching, will lead participants through an engaging examination of those aspects of instruction that research suggests are most likely to enhance student motivation to learn. Attendees will leave the session with:

  1. an appreciation of who UW-W students are, where they come from, and what they think and believe;
  2. an understanding of the daily teaching practices most likely to counter student apathy; and
  3. a set of strategies for motivating students to complete and engage with assigned readings and structured learning activities.


Session #5

Reflective College Teaching

Friday, 4 November 2016
University Center, Room 068

Teaching requires instructors to make hundreds of planned and impromptu decisions—decisions that directly affect what, if, and how students learn. As such, it is a process that is particularly subject to critical reflection.

Dr. Brenda O’Beirne, winner of the 1999 W.P. Roseman Award for Excellence in Teaching, will lead participants through a structured discussion of what it means to be a “reflective teacher.” First Year Faculty will leave the session with:

  1. a sense of how feedback from students and peers can be used meaningfully in the self-evaluation process;
  2. resources which can be used in guiding the self-reflection process; and
  3. a plan regarding how to make critical reflection a recurrent and beneficial part of the teaching improvement process.


Session #6

Grant Writing

Friday, 3 Februrary 2017
University Center, Room TBD

Acquisitions of extramural funding at UW-Whitewater have grown over 400% in the past 15 years. During that same time, the institution has set new goals and allocated resources to push this figure still higher. Such acquisitions are critical to not only helping the University become increasingly independent, but also essential in permitting faculty freedom to pursue long-term research initiatives and release time.

This session, led by the Director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs will overview and answer attendee questions about:

  1. the grant-writing and submission process;
  2. formulating fundable grant ideas and locating extramural funding sources; and
  3. services available through the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to assist faculty with their grant-writing initiatives.


Session #7

Scholarship & Creative Activity

Friday, 3 March 2017
University Center, Room TBD

Tenure-track faculty from across the nation consistently report that the pressure to meet scholarly/creative expectations as the most significant “stress-producing” professional challenge they face.

In this session, first year faculty will break into groups for panel discussions led by some of UW-Whitewater’s most accomplished scholars in the areas of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, business, education and the arts. These scholars will share their perspectives and lead discussions about:

  1. how to establish and launch a profitable scholarly/creative agenda;
  2. strategies for getting more work submitted and accepted;
  3. methods for collaborating with fellow faculty and students to increase scholarly/creative output; and
  4. how best to meet scholarly/creative expectations in the UW-W environment


Session #8

Grading and Assessment

Friday, 7 April 2017
University Center, Room TBD

Faculty surveys indicate that evaluating student work and assigning grades is the “most time consuming,” and “least satisfying” part of their job.

This session will begin by looking at the biggest challenges of grading and evaluation, and progress to a discussion of strategies designed to make grading more fair, efficient, and conducive to student learning. The session will also overview the institution’s academic assessment efforts. By the end of the session, first year faculty will:

  1. have self-assessed how their evaluation methods compare to a list of “best evaluation practices” in post-secondary settings;
  2. better understand campus grading practices and tendencies; and
  3. developed an understanding of what “academic assessment” is, and how it is practiced on the UW-W campus.