The goal of this website is to be a resource for all faculty members at Trinity College. We hope you will use this site to access information about upcoming events, CTL programs including new faculty orientation and CTL Fellows, and a wealth of information about teaching and learning in higher education that can be found in the “Teaching Resources” section.
Below you will also see our active CTL blog posts. Please check back frequently to see what is happening at the CTL and in the teaching and learning world in general.
Web Writing: Why & How for Liberal Arts Teaching & Learning, a digital edited volume on the pedagogy of online student writing, grew out of Jack Dougherty‘s work as a CTL Fellow. This month, the book’s Open Peer Review has gone live. Essays from 25 contributors around the country are being read and commented on—publicly—by expert reviewers commissioned by the volume’s publisher, Michigan Publishing, as well as anyone who wishes to read, respond, and help shape this book-in-progress. Including you.
To learn more about this project, join the Web Writing editorial team for a presentation and discussion on Monday, October 14, from 10:00-11:30 am, at Gallows Hill.
When Neuroscience and Biochemistry majors show up in my Introduction to Literary Studies class, it’s usually because they’re thinking ahead to med-school applications that will require them to have taken an English class. But something more interesting often happens on the path toward checking off that box.
When I ask students to write a proposal for an original research project about literature, the science students are surprised to discover that this assignment comes easier to them than to many fledgling English majors. Steeped in the scientific method, they readily grasp the work a research proposal must do: identify a problem, form a hypothesis, design a way to verify it.
But what happens when these students leave English class and return to the lab? What impact does their exposure to a different discipline have on their work in their major field? How does an undergraduate science major’s whole curriculum—her multidisciplinary, “four-year classroom“—work to develop her skills as a critical thinker and a scientist? Continue reading
Ever wondered what it takes to create a motivated college student? You may have read this Inside Higher Ed piece last month when Maurice Wade posted it to the faculty listserv. Or you might remember reading this Chronicle of Higher Ed article last year. The researcher featured in both, Hamilton College’s Daniel Chambliss, is the author of the forthcoming book, How College Works, and we are very excited to announce that he will be the CTL’s fall keynote speaker, delivering two talks on Thursday, September 26:
• a Common Hour lecture in the Washington Room: “How College Works: What Matters Most for Students in Liberal Arts Institutions”
• at 4:15 in Gallows Hill, a talk specifically focused on the first-year experience: “Making and Taking Opportunities in the First Year of College”
We hope you can join us to hear Prof. Chambliss’s insights on what makes students motivated to get the most out of a liberal-arts education.
The several dozen of you who filled the Washington Room last September will remember Jim Lang’s talk, “Building a Better Learning Environment: Lessons from Academic Dishonesty.” Lang made a compelling case that the surest ways to prevent academic dishonesty also happen to be, happily, the best ways to help students learn. The research he drew on for his talk has resulted in a book, Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty, which has just been published by Harvard University Press. You can also read a nutshell version of Lang’s argument in this recent piece in the Boston Globe.
Landing soon in Trinity’s faculty and staff mailboxes: the CTL’s semi-annual brochure listing our fall-semester programs and announcing our year-long theme. Last year, we organized events around the idea of “Cultivating the Curious Student.” This year’s theme remains concerned with the intellectual gestalt of a liberal-arts college like Trinity, but it turns to a particular, often hard-to-grasp aspect of students’ academic experience. If last year our speakers and panelists considered the ways students become engaged in intellectual life, this year we are wondering how that engagement develops over the course of students’ careers here. Read on for our description of this year’s theme, and post comments at the bottom. Continue reading
On the heels of a successful first year for the CTL Fellows program, the Center for Teaching and Learning congratulates the seven new Fellows for the 2013-14 academic year. This distinguished group includes two Hughes Award recipients, winners of research fellowships from the NSF and the NEH, and past recipients of CLI course-development grants, among other honors. In a monthly colloquium next academic year, the Fellows will discuss pressing issues in pedagogy and share the insights arising from their individual teaching projects—which you can read about below. Continue reading
The Center for Teaching and Learning is excited to announce the 2013-14 CTL Fellows program. The goal of the program is to support experienced teachers who wish to undertake a project of innovation in their teaching and be part of an ongoing conversation about pedagogy. Fellows each receive a $2000 stipend, and together they form a colloquium that gathers once per month to discuss their projects. Continue reading
As I have most fall semesters since arriving at Trinity, I am currently teaching English 205, “Introduction to American Literature II,” which covers literature written in and about the United States from 1865 to the present. Survey courses such as these—standard features of English and History departments, among others—are famously plagued by the dilemma of coverage. How can you fit everything into a one-semester syllabus? And how can you give anything more than superficial attention? For me, the coverage problem is crystallized by the occasional indignant student who marvels that I could dare claim to be introducing post-Civil War American literature without assigning something by Ernest Hemingway. (This year, I didn’t leave out Hemingway. I left out Fitzgerald.)
Two things I’ve read in the past year have sparked me to think anew about the possibilities for the seemingly hidebound survey course. One is a column in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Jim Lang (who’s speaking during the Common Hour on Sept. 13!). Another is an essay in a collection our own Jack Dougherty c0-edited, Writing History in the Digital Age. Continue reading
The CTL is very excited to be welcoming James M. Lang to Trinity on Thursday, September 13. If you have read the Chronicle of Higher Education with any regularity over the past decade, you probably have read some of Lang’s columns on teaching & learning (such as one this summer on the virtues of “disfluent conditions” for learning.) If you’re a relatively new college teacher, you may have turned to one of his books to guide you through your first year.
Prof. Lang’s visit to Trinity will feature two events: a common-hour talk about (but not really about) academic dishonesty, and an afternoon workshop for faculty on “grounding” our classes. Continue reading