Spring 2014 Faculty Workshops and Roundtables
RSVP for all workshops to Keneika.Rowe@baruch.cuny.edu or (646) 312-2060.
Depending on the time of the workshop, lunch or refreshments will be provided.
Adjuncts will be compensated for their time at the non-teaching adjunct rate.
Dates and times subject to change. Please check back or contact us for updates.
Audience, Author, and Purpose: Writing Executive Cover Letters and Memorandums Within the Business World
Thursday, April 24, 12:45-2:15pm, Library & Technology Building room 755
What are some of your major concerns with students’ execution of business writing; specifically with the genres we call “executive cover letters and executive memorandums?” What questions do your students have regarding these genres? Regarding the concept of a specific “audience?” What issues have you come across in their execution of a letter or memo? In this interdisciplinary roundtable for Zicklin faculty, we will discuss how to tailor a letter or memo to an assumed audience, as well as how to rewrite this letter for a different target audience. Participants will identify techniques to help students better understand who the “target audience” is, how to develop the ability to foreground the central issue, and how to cogently synthesize information and data so that the letter’s target audience can readily identify the central issue, and quickly grasp the information and data presented. We will then discuss how to construct a writing assignment and grading rubrics for your particular class that are both productive and manageable. In advance of our roundtable, please feel free to email us copies of letter or memo assignments you have used (or are in the process of formulating) and anonymous samples of letters or memos your students have written. Postdoctoral Fellow Linda Neiberg and Interim Director Dr. Suzanne Epstein will help guide the discussion.
The following workshops are designed for teachers of Great Works of Literature courses, but are open to all teachers of literature.
Utilizing the Rubin Museum for Great Works Classes
Thursday, May 1, 12:45-2:15pm, NVC room 14-267
This roundtable will draw on the research and experience of three Baruch faculty members in the English department, Eva Chou, Shelly Eversley, and Miciah Hussey, who have integrated works from the Rubin Museum of Art into their curriculum. In this roundtable, we will continue the discussion we started last semester on strategies for incorporating visual art in our Great Works classes (though attendance at the last roundtable is by no means required to attend this roundtable). We will look at some specific assignment ideas, museum-visit tips, and connections between Himalayan art and readings frequently taught in Great Works classes.
Previous Workshops and Roundtables:
Loud and Clear: Speaking in Large Lectures without Straining
Tuesday, February 18th, 12:45-1:45pm, NVC room 14-280
Have you ever experienced vocal fatigue? Do you struggle to be heard by students in a large lecture hall? This workshop will give you tips and techniques for speaking in classes of all sizes without straining. Drawing on a number of methods, including those of Kristin Linklater (author of Freeing the Natural Voice) and the Alexander Technique, Communication Fellow Jessica Del Vecchio will guide participants through a series of embodied exercises in order to explore how the voice works and why it sometimes doesn’t. You will learn how to project without straining your voice, and properly align the body for maximum projection and proper breath support. Participants will leave with resources, warm up exercises for voice and body, and an arsenal of tips and techniques for use while speaking in the classroom.
Facilitating Meaningful Classroom Discussion
Thursday, February 27, 12:45-2:15pm, room H-763 (Library Building)
Speaking is central to learning and internalizing content, but getting our students to do it, and do it in a meaningful way, is a challenge. Not only is it difficult to get students to speak up, or to get a diverse set of regular participants and not just the same two or three voices, it is also difficult to manage the participation once it begins, and to ensure that class discussions are focused and productive. This workshop will address these common challenges to facilitating meaningful classroom discussion, and will explore examples of effective strategies for facilitating lively and productive dialogue in class. It will also help instructors design focused class discussions to parse out difficult concepts and enhance student understanding. We will discuss specific techniques for getting as many students to participate as possible, and we will also provide tips and strategies for keeping the discussion on topic, and for moving in a linear fashion toward a deeper understanding of the course content. Participants will share strategies they currently use to generate discussion among students, as well as challenges they face in doing so. Law professor Valerie Watnick will discuss some approaches to facilitating discussion aimed at achieving lively, engaged participation. Participants will have the opportunity to practice designing a plan for discussion-facilitation using one of the strategies covered, and will leave with a suggested reading on the topic.
Writing About Numbers
Thursday, March 13, 12:45-2:15pm, room H-763 (Library Building)
This interdisciplinary roundtable discussion invites instructors to think about the practice of writing and the practice of interpreting numbers as mutually reinforcing skills. “Writing About Numbers” intends to bridge a conversation across Weissman, the School of Public Affairs, and Zicklin that will help instructors identify ways of effectively improving student writing and mathematical reasoning. The overarching goal is to explore ways that students can analytically and creatively use writing to think about numerical data and other communicative models (i.e., graphs, charts). We will explore how low-stakes writing assignments can help students exercise critical thinking skills, make connections between data and theory, build arguments about data, and process complex concepts imparted in reading or class discussion. We will look at a few specific examples of such writing exercises. We will be joined by Bill Ferns (CIS) who will discuss some of the ways he has used writing activities and assignments in his courses.
Understanding and Responding to Disability in the Classroom
Thursday, March 27, 12:45-2:15pm, NVC room 14-290
The number of CUNY students with learning disabilities and mental health issues has increased dramatically in recent years. While students with disabilities are just as capable at succeeding in college-level work, they face unique challenges in the classroom, especially when it comes to managing workload, dealing with high-stakes testing, and participating in class. Raymond Perez, Assistant Director of Baruch’s Office for Services for Students with Disabilities will discuss the work he and his colleagues do to support students inside and outside the classroom. Participants will consider what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” in their own teaching practice and how simple changes to assignments, syllabi, and teaching methods can remove barriers that limit disabled students’ success.
Writing Poems and Translating Texts: Analysis and Comprehension Through Creativity
New room and time: Thursday, April 3, 2:15-3:45pm, NVC room 14-280
This roundtable will focus on ways to improve reading comprehension and analytical skills by asking students to create texts themselves. By writing poems, students can learn what choices go into writing poems, and will understand better how to analyse the choices that went into the poems they are reading for class. Similarly, by writing new translations of the texts we assign, students can gain a closer understanding of the text, and can also feel more invested in the course material, and more empowered by their language skills that, in other classes, often feel like a hindrance. We plan to offer specific assignment ideas that can be adapted to many texts taught in Great Works classes. We will be joined by Ely Shipley (English) and Esther Allen (Modern Languages).
The Structure of Success: Scaffolding Assignments
Thursday April 10, 12:45-2:15pm, NVC room 14-280
In this roundtable, we will discuss techniques for breaking down your big, final assignment into smaller parts – a process called scaffolding. This will help students deliver superior work, process the course material more thoroughly, and avoid procrastination. Business Policy 5100 instructors Professor Marx and Professor Becker, along with Communication Fellows from the Schwartz Institute, will present and discuss assignments that utilize scaffolding. They will discuss some of the ways you can break an assignment down – for example, through free-writing, brainstorming, writing annotated bibliographies or outlines, or producing a first slide – and they will show the ways that these methods provide students with opportunities to better understand and revise their work. It also enables instructors to provide instructional support and feedback during the process of the assignment completion. Professors Marx and Becker will present and speak to what it is like to incorporate scaffolding into content-heavy courses. The presenters will provide specific examples and techniques for scaffolding your own assignments. Participants are encouraged to bring any assignments they wish to re/design by incorporating scaffolding.
ESL and Oral Communication
Supporting ESL Students’ Oral Communication in the Classroom: A Cross-Curriculum Challenge.
Presented by the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute and SACC
Tuesday, October 1, 12:30-2 p.m., Vertical Campus room 14-280
This roundtable will consider issues that arise in classrooms across the curriculum regarding oral communication and ESL, and will focus on practical classroom strategies. ELL students can sometimes lack the intelligibility and clear speech skills to engage in classroom activities, leaving them too intimidated to speak up, and thus incapable of entering a meaningful dialogue for deeper understanding. This workshop will address these challenges, as well as offer advice on how to design classroom activities that encourage participation from ELL students. Nancy Boblett of Columbia Teacher’s College and Hunter College will provide some specific suggestions on how to ask students to repeat themselves, or how to manage oral participation requirements with students who have trouble speaking and being understood. Other topics will include how to give adequate feedback and offer relevant resources; how to manage grading fairness among the native and nonnative English speakers; how to appropriately recommend our student support services such as Tools for Clear Speech and the ESL Speech Lab.
Why the Research Block?
Wednesday, October 16, 12:30-2 p.m., Vertical Campus room 14-280
In assignments across the curriculum we ask our students to perform research, but often the results do not live up to our expectations. In this roundtable we will consider practical strategies for improving our assignments in order to promote better research habits and skills. Among other topics, we will discuss strategies for leading students to helpful sources, strategies for thinking of the differences between various kinds of sources (news articles, academic books, etc.), and strategies for using sources for different aims (context, evidence, analysis, etc). We will also look at specific assignments that help to scaffold a research assignment — in particular the annotated bibliography. We’ll be joined by Professor Louise Klusek (Newman Library, Management, Business, International Business) and Professor Stephen Francoeur (Newman Library, Journalism, Philosophy, Psychology).
Assignment Design and Creativity: Considering the Role of Mistakes and Failures
Wednesday, November 6, 12:30-2 p.m., Vertical Campus room 14-285
In this roundtable we will examine the role mistakes and even failures play in producing creative and thoughtful work. How can faculty strategically promote some forms of mistake-making and or help students learn from their failures. A question we will consider in the roundtable is: How and why might it be pedagogically useful to have failure be a part of the process, an expected result of some early, middle, or even late phases of a scaffolded assignment? Most importantly, we will discuss some practical suggestions and ideas for dealing with mistakes and failures. Attendees are encouraged to bring assignments from their own classes that they would like to scaffold or rethink in order to build room for failure and creativity. We’ll be joined by Professor Allison Lehr Samuels (Management).
Innovative Writing Pedagogies Beyond the Humanities
Thursday, November 14, 12:45-2:15 p.m., 137 E 25th St. room 323
How are instructors integrating writing instruction into disciplines outside the humanities? What lessons can be learned from the unique challenges and opportunities of writing pedagogy in the math, science, and social science classroom? In this roundtable we will consider the innovative techniques of science faculty who have made writing an integral part of the classroom experience, and brainstorm new practices and assignments for those who would like to increase writing in their courses. We will explore specific activities, techniques, and methods for advancing student writing and consider how these ideas can be applied across various disciplines. We’ll be joined by Professor David Gruber (Biology and Environmental Science).
The following workshops are designed for teachers of Great Works of Literature courses, but are open to all teachers of literature.
Interdisciplinarity in the Great Works Curriculum: Art History and Literature
Thursday, October 24, 12:45-2:15 p.m., 137 E 25th St. room 323
We often ask the students in our Great Works courses to consider visual art in relation to the texts under discussion. Close-looking often helps students with close-reading, comparing an idea as it is expressed in writing as opposed to visual art can bring new clarity and insight, and exploring texts alongside visual art enriches students’ understanding of the cultural and historical contexts. Often, though, our use of visual art can feel cursory or added on, rather than fully integrated into our teaching goals. In this roundtable we will discuss strategies for integrating visual art more fully and comprehensively into our assignments and discussions. We will provide specific assignment and discussion ideas, including thoughts and suggestions about assignments involving museum visits. We will be joined by Michelle Millar Fisher (Art History), who will share with us some helpful resources, many of which are being compiled on a resource website she and others are building to share and crowdsource innovative ideas for teaching art history.
Technology in the Classroom: Using Tiki-Toki to Make Interactive Timelines
Monday, November 18, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Vertical Campus room 14-270
Follow-up: Date and time TBD
Many of us are starting to consider ways of integrating technology into our assignments, like asking students to digitally annotate a text or make interactive maps of a character’s journey. In this roundtable, we will consider how technology might further our pedagogical aims, and we will look at a few specific examples of assignments for Great Works classes that use technology effectively and simply. We’ll be joined by Dana Milstein (English) who will share an assignment she created using Tiki-Toki. A few days after the roundtable, interested faculty will come and develop specific assignments using the technology discussed in the roundtable. A computer room will be reserved and other faculty and Schwartz Institute Fellows will be available for one-on-one support.