2012 Pedagogy Cohort Renewal Proposal

We we received renewed for the 2012-2013 school year to continue our discussion groups. Here is the proposal submitted to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Brian Conniff
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
The University of Scranton
Scranton, PA 18510

Re: Continuation of the transformative pedagogy cohort

Dear Dr. Conniff:

At an institution like The University of Scranton, teaching and pedagogy takes the highest priority for members of the faculty.  Our university is driven and sustained by quality education delivered to quality students.  In order to capitalize and build upon that priority, the undersigned faculty, are seeking resources to continue their exploration of enhancing the classroom experience for both faculty and student.  Below, we list some of the things that we feel are important to improving that experience, as well as some of the goals that our cohort achieved by the start of the Fall 2012 academic semester.

Regular Pedagogy Lunch Meetings
One of the most valuable aspects of a cohort such as this has been the free-sharing of ideas.  We plan to have lunch meetings twice a month to discuss our experiences, experiments, and ideas regarding pedagogy.  At these meetings, we will also plan the group’s activities and check on each other’s progress.

External Speakers
We would like to bring in experienced pedagogy researchers who are studying methods that we will consider incorporating in our classes.  We are interested in working with the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) in making these events open to the university community.  Last year’s speaker (Benjamin R. Cohen of Lafayette College) drew 20 attendees.

Peer Classroom Evaluation
We found that one of the most useful things to improve our teaching has been honest, constructive, peer evaluation of our classroom performance.  We arrange regular classroom visits from other cohort members to evaluate our teaching methods. Dr. Meier and Professor Fay plan to use Stephen Brookfield’s Critical Incident Questionnaire in their classrooms this Fall.  This questionnaire is designed to allow the professor to determine how their students are experiencing their learning as well as the professor’s teaching. Dr. Sepinsky is piloting the new lecture capture capabilities in LSC and will be exploring these for both evaluative and pedagogical purposes.

Videotaped Class Sessions for Evaluative Purposes
Similar to the peer evaluations above, we like to evaluate our own teaching styles from a third-person perspective.  Last year, we video recorded at least one lecture per group member and viewed it as a group to provide constructive criticism. We will continue this process this year.

Conference/Webinar Attendance
There are a number of conferences and webinars available which focus specifically on teaching and learning.  We hope that each member can attend at one conference focusing on novel teaching methods during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Books and other Pedagogy Resources
There are a number of physical, electronic, and/or technological resources that can be used to transform the classroom into a more interactive and useful learning environment.  We are seeking support in each of these ways for materials that would be guided by our conference attendance and pedagogy research.

Resource List/Wiki
We feel it is important to document our progress and will be creating a wiki or similar resource page to make it available to any other interested persons in the university community.

2011-2012 Budget Estimate
Conference Travel   $XXXX
Speakers Travel   $XXXX
Speakers Honoraria   $XXXX
Lunch for cohort   $XXXX
Books for cohort   $XXXX
Total   $XXXX


Jeremy Sepinsky
Tara Fay
Kathryn Shively Meier
Patrick Clark
Jessica Nolan
Jennifer Cutsforth

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