Center for Faculty Excellence

CFE Scoop (Newsletter)

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Vol.2: March 2018

In this issue: 

  1. Active Learning Classroom
  2. High Impact Practices Learning Community
  3. Teaching Enhancement Awards Announced
  4. About Us
  5. Upcoming Workshops


Welcome to the second edition of the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) newsletter “The Scoop”. The CFE provides activities and opportunities to assist faculty in developing their teaching and their career.  Each edition will start with a short article on teaching. Updates on other CFE programs, grant opportunities and events will be provided. Other news relevant to faculty will also be included. We hope you benefit from this method of information distribution, the aim of which is to reduce the frequency of emails we are sending. Please send feedback about the newsletter to Thank you for your support.

~ Dr. Joanne E. Goodell, Director, CFE.

The Active Learning Classroom: Do we have one? What is it used for?  Why should I use it?

by Dr. Joanne Goodell

In Spring 2017, CSU’s first active learning classroom was completed. Located in Main Classroom 420, room contains 10 groups of tables that seat 6 students each. Each group (pod) has an interactive LCD screen that can be used for group or whole class presentations, as well as connectivity for laptops or other devices.

Pictured is Dr. Shelley Rose, of the History Department, talking with Dr. Goodell in her HIS 370 [World History] class, being held at MC 420 on 2/12/2018.

Active learning refers to a learning environment in which students are actively involved in constructing their own understanding through collaborative activities. Active learning classrooms are designed to support collaboration and interaction in small, intermediate and large groups.

Studio teaching is closely aligned with the ideas behind active learning. See the tips from SERC at this website for information how to improve student learning. 

The SCALE-UP project (“Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs.”) started in physics education at NCSU and UCF around 1998, and has spread around the world to hundreds of universities and high schools in many different subject areas. Students are seated at round tables, with three groups of three students, to allow for small and intermediate sized groups that work well for discussion and investigation. Whole class instruction is also possible. Rigorous evaluation has demonstrated that students prefer the SCALE-UP learning environment and achieve better results than peers in traditional classroom. 
A recent article by Cathy N. Davidson in Inside Higher Ed outlines 10 key points to know about the benefits of active learning.
Contact Dr. Goodell in the CFE for further information about active learning and you can incorporate these methods in your classes.

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High Impact Practices Learning Community

by Emilie Zickel,
Lecturer, First Year Writing
This spring, ten faculty members from College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Sciences and Health Professions, and the College of Education are participating in a High Impact Practices Learning Community. The goal of this learning community is to encourage implementation of High Impact Practices (HIPs) in First Year Experience courses at CSU, particularly in the areas of collaborative learning and community-focused projects. Participating faculty members, all recipients of a small grant from the AASC&U, will meet monthly to reflect on the progress of their HIP-based projects and share best practices with other learning community members. Learning Community members include Ramune Braziunaite (COM), Salvatore Cardoni (FMA), Katie Clonan-Roy (EDB), Kathy Curnow (ART), Melanie Gagich (ENG), Katie Olszowy (CAS), Emily Rauschert (BGES), Marcus Schultz-Bergin (PHL), Michael Skladany (CAS), and John Vourlis (FMA). The Learning Community is convened by Dr. Joanne Goodell, CFE, and Emilie Zickel, College Lecturer (ENG).

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 Teaching Enhancement Awards Announced

by Audrey E. Wrobel
Administrative Assistant, Center for Faculty Excellence

Our most recent TEA winners included Anne Berry and Sarah Rutherford in the Art and Design Department. Their winning proposal was entitled “Introduction to Visual Technology Course Redesign.”

“Our profession is continually changing, “ Berry said, “and, in order to provide students with a strong foundation that prepares them for working in the design industry, we must be willing to look at new and different ways of developing curriculum. This TEA enables us to do just that, i.e., help students evolve creatively and build critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 
“The work we do in the classroom is valuable, and analyzing what we learn from a pedagogical standpoint gives us the opportunity to improve and update courses while simultaneously contributing to a larger body of knowledge,” Berry continued. “So, this award also allows us to align teaching with our research in a very practical way.”
Drs. Allyson Robichaud and Marcus Schultz-Bergin in the Philoshopy and Comparative Religion Department also won a TEA award recently. 
“Improving Moral Reasoning for Engineers” was the title of their winning proposal.
“Our department has made a commitment to incorporating high impact teaching strategies into our classes,” said Dr. Schultz-Bergin. “This award will help us revamp the Engineering Ethics course as well as provide resources for changes in other courses. “As educators,” he continued, “we find it important to stay up to date on recent innovations in pedagogy and regularly reassess our techniques and approaches. We appreciate that this award indicates a commitment on behalf of the wider University community to enhance the student learning experience.”

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