LEARN Center
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LEARN Center Workshops 2001-2002

Wednesday, 10 April 2002

Teaching Students With Disabilities: A session led by Project Assist & Disabled Students Services

Nancy Amacher, Project Assist & Pamela Tanner, Disabled Student Services

South Commons, University Center, Noon - 1:00pm

The session will overview disability services available to students on campus, discuss who is eligible for services and how accommodations are determined, and recognize required academic accommodations and why students need them. Attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • discuss limitations of students with specific disabilities; and
  • dialogue with students currently using services.

Attendees are encouraged to email specific questions in advance of the session to: amachern@uww.edu and/or tannerp@uww.edu.

Thursday, 7 March 2002

Are We Testing What We Are Teaching? Constructing Accurate and Useful Tests

Satellite Broadcast, Library 1207, 1:30pm - 3:00pm

A must for every classroom teacher, this program is a workshop featuring many ideas and examples of accurate and effective tests in use around the country. Panelists will discuss such issues as:

  • Meanings and uses of testing and assessment
  • Different types of tests and their advantages
  • Matching instruction and testing methods
  • Testing students who have diverse ways of learning


  • Dr. Kurt Geisinger is Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, and researches and publishes in the area of assessment equity with diverse populations.
  • Dr. Diane Halpern, currently Professor of Psychology at Clarement McKenna College, has earned over a half-dozen national awards for teaching and research, and researches in the area of assessing critical thinking skills.
  • Dr. Peggy Maki is currently Director of Assessment at the American Association for Higher Education.

Thursday, 28 February 2002

Improving Multimedia and Online Courses With Instructional Design

Live Satellite Broadcast, 1:30-3:00pm, ITS Studio, Library 1207

Faculty today are looking for ways to teach more effectively, a task made more demanding by new waves of students with busy lives, their need to have options in the academic work, and to see its real-world value. Another challenge is the new technologies and teaching environments: classrooms enriched by multimedia resources; asynchronous courses offered completely online; and myriad variations on those themes. In short, faculty feel an urgent need to master new ways of teaching. Indeed, they need a framework for creating and adapting instruction so it will be effective regardless of the multimedia tools and course delivery systems that continue to emerge. They need a solid ground in the principles of instructional design, specifically in the ways adults learn best. That's especially important as the average age of undergraduate students continues to rise.

A key benefit of this live satellite event is that the information presented in the interactive video program will be enhanced by a special "learning package" of print and Web materials. So viewers will have a "hard copy" of valuable resources to used in future courses.

This informative "how-to program" will examine:

  • Basic principles of instructional design

Examples of instructional designed for top-quality multimedia and online courses, which are student-centered and self-directed.

Wednesday, 13 February 2002

Telling Stories: Using Narratives to Enhance Student Learning

Noon-1:00pm, South Commons, University Center

Academe has rediscovered what the teachers such as Plato, Socrates, Abelard, and Lau Tzu (to name a few) knew long ago—that students, and their teachers, build stronger relationships within the classroom through discourse. In fact, a growing number of academic disciplines have begun to focus on the use stories and storytelling in both research and teaching.

In this session, Dr. Robin Mello presents current research findings and draws on sources that explore the efficacy of storytelling pedagogies. She applies them across disciplines, from quantum physics to performance theory, in a workshop designed to give participants hands-on experience with the power of telling. In addition, participants will be given opportunities to share strategies and tactics for making personal stories more engaging and likely to contribute to student learning.


Dr. Robin Mello is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations. She is also a professional storyteller and scholar whose research focuses on how narrative practice and traditional literatures are connected to human development and learning.

Friday, 18 January 2002

Improving Your Scholarly Writing: Reducing Barriers to Academic Publication & Successful Grant-Writing

9:00am-Noon, 1:00pm-4:00pm; Hyer Hall, Room 320

This workshop examines the factors that keep researchers and scholars from accomplishing the writing they want and need to do. It builds on research done with faculty members as subjects that elucidates the practices and techniques that work best. Participants learn how to incorporate writing into their daily routine so they can benefit from the research results they have already produced. The morning session, through reflection and discussion, will assist faculty in:

  • rediscovering their ability to write;
  • combatting the environmental and psychological barriers that keep them from writing;
  • managing their writing so that if fits the time they have available;
  • sustaining the commitment necessary to see a project through completion;
  • varying the development and drafting of projects to improve communication; and
  • building collegial networks to support, encourage, and promote writing and publishing.

The afternoon session extends the discussion of the morning, looking at key variables in academic publishing and successful grant-writing process. Attendees will examine such issues as:

  • how to approach journal editors;
  • how to handle rejections;
  • how to increase the likelihood that an article will be published; and
  • identifying the elements of a successful grant proposal.


Robert A. Lucas, Director of the Institute for Scholarly Productivity, has over 25 years of experience working with faculty. He received his MA and PhD in English from the University of Illinois before teaching English language and literature at the University of Michigan and becoming Director of Research Development at California Polytechnic State University. Dr. Lucas has authored over 60 papers, chapters and articles and has presented workshops on scholarly and professional writing at hundreds of post-secondary institutions.

Thursday, 29 November 2001

Using Information Technology in a Traditional Classroom

Live Satellite Broadcast, ITS Studio, Library 1207, 1:30-3:00pm

Computer technology pervades the daily lives of most students today, so they fully expect to use it in their college courses—even in classroom settings. As a result, many traditional faculty members who have little or no interest in teaching online courses are turning to information technology to enhance what they're already doing. Others are using I.T. as an impetus to re-examine the complexities of teaching and learning in general. In the process, classroom teaching is being expanded and re-defined in exciting ways. Indeed, the most significant contribution to I.T. may be in the growth of the "hybrid" classroom courses using online elements.

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Use I.T. as part of a sound instructional design
  • Use computers to increase convenience and efficiency for instructors
  • Use online options to expand access to course content for students
  • Use email and various discussion forums to increase communication with and among students
  • Take advantage of Web sites and other ancillary online materials provided by textbook publishers and others
  • Avoid the pitfalls common to I.T. infusion.

Wednesday, 14 November 2001

The Write Stuff: A Report on a UW-W General Education Writing Assessment Project

South Commons, University Center, Noon - 1:00pm

This session will briefly overview recent results of an on-going project designed to assess the effect of UW-W curriculum on developing the writing skills of students during the completion of their first 80 credits. Attendees will be sent executive summaries of the project's findings and student writing samples to be reviewed before the session. Discussion will focus on what the results suggest, the accuracy of the findings vis-à-vis the perceptions of attendees, and potential next steps.


Steve Friedman is Co-Director of the LEARN Center, Professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, and Chairs the Assessment Advisory Committee at UW-Whitewater.

Wednesday, 10 October 2001

Avoiding Arthritis of the Brain: Part of the Roseman Award Winners on Teaching Series

South Commons, University Center, Noon - 1:00pm

The literature on career spans in academic settings suggests that, after approximately 10-15 years of full-time teaching, many faculty experience a change in attitudes toward their profession. Interest in, and commitment to, their discipline generally, and the responsibilities that attend being a faculty member specifically, often waver.

In this session, John Kozlowicz will share thoughts about staying engaged as a faculty member. He'll discuss his current work as a UW-System Teaching Scholar and share his observations about how other mid-career and senior faculty participating in the Teaching Scholar Program have addressed the issue of faculty burnout.


John Kozlowicz is professor and chair of the Political Science Department. He was recipient of the 1991 Roseman Award for Excellence in Teaching and was a previous recipient of the University of Wisconsin System Award for Teaching Excellence. He is currently representing UW-Whitewater in the University of Wisconsin System Teaching Scholars Program.

Thursday, 27 September 2001, 8:30am – 4:00pm

For Faculty and Instructional Staff in the College of Arts and Communication, College of Business and Economics, and the College of Letters and Sciences.

Developing Electronic Porfolios to Demonstrate Student Achievement

WITRIC Lab (Room 1006), Winther Hall

Attendees will spend the morning exploring the utility and limitations of e-portfolios, examining sample portfolios online, and considering how e-portfolios could be used by students to demonstrate discipline-specific competencies. In the afternoon session, participants will examine the strategies for collecting and storing digital artifacts. Dr. Barrett will then lead participants through the creation of an e-portfolio template using Microsoft Office tools, and demonstrate how these documents can be converted to Adobe Acrobat.

Wednesday, 26 September 2001, 8:30am – 4:00pm

Using Electronic Portfolios in Standards-Based Teacher Education Programs

WITRIC Lab (Room 1006), Winther Hall

The morning session of this workshop will focus on developing an awareness of electronic portfolios and their utility in standards-based environments. Attendees will work collaboratively examining sample e-portfolios, comparing e-portfolios to a paper-based portfolio strategy, and exploring how e-portfolios can be used to demonstrate INTASC standards and NCATE standards. The hands-on afternoon session will focus on how to use common software tools to build e-portfolios, create hyperlinks, and demonstrate achievement of standards. The session will close with participants discussing steps in planning and implementing the use of e-portfolios.

Thursday 30 August 2001

Making Massive More Manageable: Fostering Learning in Large Classes

8:45am-10:00am McGraw 117

A panel of faculty will briefly identify what they perceive to be the most significant challenges in teaching classes with 50 or more students, and the strategies they've used to overcome these challenges. Attendees will drive the ensuing discussion as questions, concerns and ideas are raised. Literature about teaching large classes will also be available.

Panel Participants:

Jane Ferencz is an Assistant Professor and teaches World of the Arts. Kate Ksobiech is an Instructional Academic Staff member and teaches Introduction to Mass Communication. Shelia Seelau is an Assistant Professor and teaches Individual and Society.

Products of the Mind (or Minefield?): Intellectual Property in the UW-System

8:45am-10:00am McGraw 120

New technology has significantly increased the opportunities faculty have for sharing their creative work with external audiences. Along with these opportunities arise new questions about "intellectual property." Staff from the UW System Office of Technology Development and Transfer will overview the elements of patents and copyrights, and discuss with attendees the process for protecting and marketing technologies and creative works in cooperation with WiSys Technology Foundation, Inc.


P.J. Boylan is Senior University Legal Counsel for Technology Development for UW-Milwaukee and UW-System. K.C. Lerner is Manager of Technology Transfer at UW-Milwaukee and supports the UW-System's Technology Development and Transfer Initiative.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: Research About Course Evaluations

8:45am-10:00am McGraw 125

Faculty interest in the value of course evaluations has made it one of the most heavily investigated topics in post-secondary educational research. This session will overview what empirical research suggests about faculty attitudes towards course evaluations, the validity and reliability of course evaluation measures, and what factors appear most likely to affect course evaluations. Attendees at this session will compare their beliefs with the research findings.


John Stone is Co-Director of the LEARN Center and an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication.

Report on a Pilgrimage of Comparison

10:15am-11:30am McGraw 117

Part of the Roseman Award Winners on Teaching Series

Have you ever wondered how faculty on other campuses teach the same course that you do? Do they encounter the same problems? Do their students learn more? Have their students changed? George Ferencz will describe his unique spring 2001 sabbatical experience where he set out find the answers to the above questions by visiting mid-career faculty and their Music Theory classrooms at a variety of public institutions in nearby states.


George Ferencz is a Professor in the Music Department, recipient of the 1996 Roseman Award for Excellence in Teaching, and was the 2000 winner of the Campus Research Award.

Tuesday: 28 August 2001

Energizing the Classroom with Active Learning

9:00am – Noon (continental breakfast available at 8:30am); Hamilton Center in the University Center

Empirical research affirms that active learning is more effective than passive learning, but why does so little active learning actually occur in a typical classroom? This engaging workshop will explore both the promise and the potential problems of using active learning techniques while modeling ways that faculty can transform students from passive listeners to active learners. Participants will examine such as:

  • what does active learning mean and why is active learning important?;
  • what obstacles or barriers prevent faculty from using active learning strategies?; and,
  • how can these barriers be overcome?

Particular emphasis will be placed on how active learning methods can be successfully incorporated into a lecture format.

Connecting Active Learning to Learning Styles

1:00pm – 4:00pm (afternoon refreshments will be available)

This highly interactive session will examine how active learning can be used to address differences in student learning styles. Attendees will be introduced to VARK (Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic), a short, practical (and free) learning styles inventory. Based on the sensory modalities that people use to process information, this inventory can help faculty better choose teaching strategies that meet students' needs. Participants will evaluate their own preferences, examine the preferences of a sample of the UW-Whitewater student body, discuss the implications of diverse learning styles for faculty and students, select teaching methods suitable for the context of their classrooms, and explore the VARK-based tools designed to help students study more effectively.


Charles C. Bonwell has facilitated over 200 workshops nationally and internationally for faculty on active learning and critical thinking. He has been honored by the American Association of Higher Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for his "outstanding educational leadership." He is co-author, with James Eison, of the best-selling ASHE-ERIC monograph Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom (1991). In 1996, Jossey-Bass published Using Active Learning in College Classrooms: A Range of Options for Faculty, co-authored with Tracey Sutherland. He is a former Professor of History, and former Director of Teaching and Learning Centers at St. Louis College of Pharmacy and Southeast Missouri State University.