The fourth annual Provost Summit begins at 8:30 a.m. April 12. The Provost Summit on Excellence in Teaching is a day for faculty to recognized outstanding faculty award recipients and provide faculty development. This year’s theme is Unleash a Sustainable Future and is designed to ignite a conversation about the confluence between sustainability and teaching and learning in higher education.
The event will include a keynote address and workshops from Dr. Alison Staudinger, of Faculty Development and Career Advancement at the University of Denver, and Dr. David Voelker, of the Humanities and History department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, on Envisioning Sustainability through Teaching and Learning.
The event also features breakout workshops and the celebration of the Miller Scholar Award Recipients from 2021-22 and 2022-23.
Miller Scholars Dr. Grama Rangamani and Dr. Mili Mathew of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders will present on their 2021-22 project “A Chain-Mentoring Model-Empowering Students for Academic Success, Leadership and Wellness”.
In the afternoon faculty from a variety of disciplines will present on equity, teaching efficiency, coping mechanisms in the classroom, sustaining courage, and mentoring and student success. St. Cloud State Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Scholars will hold roundtables on three different areas: Developing Professionalism and Lifelong Learners, Online Teaching and Learning, and Advancing Pedagogical Innovations.
Provost Dan Gregory is sending out invitations via email to faculty and staff with Zoom links to the presentations. For more information contact the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
The inaugural SoTL Scholars were chosen because of their expertise in teaching and curiosity about student learning. They have been working together over the past six months to develop projects that seek to better understand what is happening in their classrooms and also what works to improve student learning. These particular scholars are pursing innovative projects, situated in the SoTL literature, and are excited to share both their progress and their reflections on the process in three roundtable discussions. Attendees can learn both about specific questions about student learning and more about the SoTL Scholars program. Please come celebrate this hard and meaningful work!
- In Developing Professionalism & Lifelong Learning, the panelists are sharing how their three projects explore student identity, motivation, and even attitudes, especially in contexts where students need to take their skills into the people they become in the workplace. (Aileen Moore, Tina Sacin, Janet Tilstra, Shawn
Williams, & Roxanne Wilson)
- The Online Teaching & Learning panel offers ideas for maximining the potential of the online classroom, both for learning and cultivating a sense of belonging and connection. These panelists are willing to question their own assumptions about distance learning, and they invite the audience to do this with them. (Emily Goenner,
Michelle Kukoleca Hammes, & Isolde Mueller)
- Advancing Pedagogical Innovations offers a window into how SoTL can help instructors assess new ideas they want to explore in or around the classroom, including peer mentoring, increasing efficiency, using simulations, and encouraging student research. (Gengyun Le, Gareth John, John Mirth, & Zhan (Myra) Wang)
Applying Equity Literacy to Address the Digital Divide
Jenny Hill; Tracy Reimer
The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated the digital divide revealing an expanse of inequity among students who had access to the internet, personal devices, and parental support during remote learning and those who did not.
Framed with the theoretical lens of equity literacy, this presentation details the results of a survey completed by 56 Minnesota district-level technology directors. The survey asked how school districts were addressing the technology inequities experienced by students and families while in hybrid and distance learning models. Results reflected that districts’ efforts to provide students with technology devices were efficient and successful. Of greatest concern for respondents was the lack of students’ attendance and engagement in learning.
Recommendations for further research are provided including advocacy for the expansion of broadband service, the pandemic’s impact on the mental health of students, and efforts to sustain access to technology for all learners after the COVID-19 pandemic concludes.
Sustaining DEI Momentum at the Department Level
Dr. Aeriel A. Ashlee, Dr. Michele R. Traub, Dr. Odessa Luna, Dr. Erin Berzins, Dr. Bill Lepkowski, Dr. Nicholas Newstrom
This session will feature a panel of CPCFT faculty colleagues discussing how they personally and collectively sustain momentum in prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the department level. Panelists will talk about recent departmental DEI initiatives including sending a cohort of faculty to ARPAC, administering a student survey, authoring a departmental DEI mission statement, and implementing DEI microlessons at department meetings. The session will conclude with potential barriers faculty may encounter when trying to advance sustained departmental commitment to DEI as well as recommended strategies faculty can take back to their respective areas to sustain DEI momentum at SCSU.
Equity By Design: Using Course Data to Address Academic Equity Gaps
Ibrahim Soumare, Khadija Ali, Melissa Prescott, Darlene St. Clair
This session will highlight Equity by Design, a methodology to understand and address academic disparities in the classroom and move towards equity-minded practices, and its implementation at SCSU. Presenters will introduce a process for faculty to acquire, understand, and assess their own course/program data.
Improving Efficiency in Teaching and Learning
Principles of lean manufacturing provide insights in how we can improve efficiency in teaching and learning. A basic principle of lean processes is the identification and removal of waste from a process to improve efficiency.
This workshop focuses on identifying sources of waste that exist in the teaching process. Lean principles will be used to identify waste that can exist in the areas of Course Content, Course Delivery, and Student Assessment. Methods for replacing the waste with effective learning strategies will be discussed. This will be an interactive workshop.
Teaching Amid Crises: Using Coping Mechanisms in the Classroom
J. Scott Baker
The last two academic years have been like no others, and the lessons learned during multiple crises will impact teaching for years to come. This interactive discussion explores ways in which educators can utilize coping mechanisms from crises in their classroom to make connections to content as well as check on students’ emotional health and wellbeing.
Sustaining the Courage to Teach by Facilitating Connection and Belonging
Aeriel A. Ashlee
In his seminal text, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, Parker Palmer (1998) contends that “good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness” (p. 11). In this session, Dr. Aeriel A. Ashlee (CETL Faculty Fellow for Belonging Mindset) will share how she has sustained the courage to teach in the face of multiple pandemics (e.g., COVID-19 and racism) using mindfulness pedagogy. Dr. Ashlee will guide participants through a couple of contemplative practices, as well as engage in critical reflection and courageous conversation around what it means to show up authentically and wholly as faculty, such that we can facilitate connection and belonging for our students; all the while sustaining our courage to teach in these unprecedented times.
One of the most classical taught definitions of sustainability in environmental studies is that sustainability is achieved when environmental, societal, and economic factors are equally considered and balanced. However, in light of ecological collapse at a time of record corporate profits, it is evident that these factors are not being balanced. Industries, such as palm oil, cocoa, and sugar cane, not only have a history of environmental destruction, but also abysmal human rights records. Reframing sustainability to better include environmental impact, human rights, and environmental justice is necessary for our students to be global citizens in a neo-environmental movement.
What went right! Vignettes of Mentoring and Student Success
Several SCSU recent graduates and/or current students share how interaction and relationships with faculty and/or academic staff played a pivotal role in their success and persistence. These short vignettes will serve as a springboard for audience discussion regarding how “small moments of connection,” “mentoring on the run,” and “small teaching” can make a huge impact on student experience, sense of belonging, and academic success.