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Teaching Arts Lunches

teaching arts lunches Archive

FALL 2015


FALL 2014


FALL 2013

Spring 2013

Fall 2012

spring 2012

Fall 2011

spring 2011

fall 2010


Fall 2015

September 11, 2015
Snapshots of a Digital Humanities Classroom [Renaissance Literature Version]

Katherine Rowe (Provost & Dean of Faculty)

Via a few modest course assignments and one grander initiative, Prof. Rowe will illustrate some of the values for humanities classrooms that are realized when we bring our students under the hood of digital scholarly resources.

September 18, 2015
Building Liberal Arts Capacities through Digital Social Learning

Rebecca Frost Davis (Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, St. Edwards University)

How can assignments that take advantage of digital tools and methods build student capacities in critical reading, thinking, and writing? What do community-engagement, global learning, and problem-solving look like in our globally-networked, data-driven, participatory digital culture? In short, how do we do liberal arts learning in the emerging digital ecosystem? This talk will explore strategies for uniting the best of liberal arts education with our constantly changing digital culture.

Please see Rebecca Frost Davis's entry on wordpress about this presentation.

October 2, 2015
Integrating and Evaluating Creative Projects in a Traditional Course

Thalia Pandiri (Classics)
Michael Barresi (Biological Sciences)

What a scientist and a humanist have learned over the years, and their different approaches to assignments and evaluation.

October 16, 2015
Study Abroad Advising - Making the Most of the Before, During, and After

Lisa Johnson (Assistant Dean for International Study)

During this session we will talk about the different types of study abroad programs/host institutions, explore ways advisers can encourage their advisees to create learning goals for their abroad experience, and ways to improve what and how advisers can learn from students upon their return.

Study Abroad Approved Programs List 2016-2017

October 23, 2015 - No teaching arts lunch due to scheduled visit from The Dalai Lama.

October 30, 2015
What is a Class Dean for?

Margaret Bruzelius (Dean of the Senior Class & Associate Dean of the College)
Class Deans

The Class Deans will talk briefly about the ways in which they help, advise, exhort, and encourage student in navigating their academic careers. They also provide advice and direction to faculty in their instruction and advising of students.

November 6, 2015
The Coltrane Elegies: the collaborative, digital 'critical edition' as an approach to teaching literary texts.

Rick Millington (English Language & Literature)

An account of a compact, collaborative digital humanities project using Smith-supported (and easy-to-use!) WordPress software-and designed to bring together some of the skills developed in an introductory course in literary interpretation.

November 13, 2015
Strengthening and Diversifying Women's Voices in the College Classroom
Benita Jackson (Psychology)

"Speaking articulately" is one of the key capacities Smith College has designated as crucial to student success. In collaboration with the Wurtele Center for Work and Life, we studied student perspectives and practical steps faculty can take to help students cultivate a growth mindset around speaking in classes. The goal is to help you increase and sustain participation from a wider range of students to make your teaching more effective for the students and fun for you.

December 4, 2015
Teaching for Inclusiveness
Dwight Hamilton (Chief Diversity Officer)

Students are coming to Smith from a wider variety of backgrounds than ever before. While this diversity provides many opportunities for teaching and learning, professors must be intentional about the informal and formal methods they exercise for creating inclusive and equitable classrooms to make the most of this diversity. Come hear about some of the best practices being used across the country and share your own.

Please see an online copy of the handout titled "Mananging Hot Moments in the Classroom" by Lee Warren and Derek Bok Center.

Please see the powerpoint from this presentation.

Teaching and Learning with International Students: Perspectives on the Global Learner

Rebecca Hovey (Dean for International Study and co-Director, Lewis Global Studies Center)
Caitlin Szymkowicz (Associate Dean for International Students & Scholars)
Nathan Hammond (Student Programming and Support Coordinator)

Please see the additional resources handout from this presentation.

Spring 2015

January 30, 2015
A Summer Humanities Lab--Some Thoughts about Expanding Research Opportunities

Kevin Quashie (Afro-American Studies)

Are there ways to expand research opportunities for students in the humanities, especially beyond assistantships and fellowships both of which tend to be limited in number and/or serve students who have already demonstrated a facility with developing or asking research questions? That is, are there ways to provide opportunities for students in the humanities--as part of a cohort--to explore their capacity for "research-thinking"? And, most importantly, are there ways to think through some of the persistent institutional barriers (especially those of race and class) to research experience?

February 6, 2015
Learning and the Brain: what brain science is teaching us about learning in the age of information overload

Kathleen Casale (Education & Child Study)

Today's students must grapple not only with ever-increasing demands for academic learning, but also a near-constant stream of requests for their attention from Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, text messaging and numerous other digital platforms. This will be a discussion about how we can we help students better manage and prioritize the onslaught.

February 13, 2015
What Makes Teaching Sink and Float: Lemons, limes and being ‘in it together’

Shannon Audley-Piotrowski (Education & Child Study)

So often our students know the ‘right words’ and the ‘correct answers’ to the questions that we ask. Yet, what do they notice about the topic at hand; what are their thoughts about the matter; what do they really understand? This interactive presentation will examine how we can facilitate students understanding by examining our own thinking and knowledge about subject matter, about the “it”, the third, often ignored component, in the student-teacher relationship. We will focus on examining what we know, how to choose items that facilitate noticing and confusion, and force us all, students, teachers, and the subject matter alike, to be “in it together” in a way that allows students to refine their own ideas about the subject matter.

February 20, 2015
The Smith Libraries' Information Literacy Program

Anne Houston (Libraries’ Director of Teaching, Learning & Research)
Barbara Polowy (Head of Hillyer Art Library)

The Smith Libraries' information literacy program (http://www.smith.edu/libraries/services/faculty/infolit/program) was instituted in 2001 to help students learn to be effective, thoughtful researchers in the library. The program is based on standards published by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2000 and has been successful to a great extent in incorporating information literacy throughout the Smith curriculum. Now the national conversation among academic librarians is challenging the basis of the 2000 ACRL standards, and a major revision is underway which will reframe the standards around two broad approaches: metaliteracy and threshold concepts. We will present the current status of Smith’s program and the proposed changes to the national standards, with time for discussion: How well are our current efforts preparing students to do library research? How do we teach students to be responsible creators as well as consumers of information? Does the proposed new framework offer promise for improving how we approach information literacy at Smith?

February 27, 2015
How and Why to Engage Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching

Alison Cook-Sather (Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education at Bryn Mawr College, Coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, and Jean Rudduck Visiting Scholar at University of Cambridge)

Deeper engagement. Enhanced classroom experiences. Shared responsibility for learning. These are, increasingly, areas of focus in educational research and faculty development. They are also, according to a growing body of scholarship, key outcomes of student-faculty partnerships. Drawing on research literature, case studies presented in Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching (Jossey-Bass, 2014), and my own experiences of supporting student-faculty partnerships at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges and around the country, we will explore premises, examples, and outcomes of student-faculty partnership as well as discuss the challenges posed by engaging students as partners in learning and teaching.

March 6, 2015
Grading for Growth

Joshua Bowman (Mathematics & Statistics)

Grades are a key component in our communication with students, but they also can be a distraction from the learning process. How can we set up grading systems that encourage students to develop the skills we want to see them master? This session will present alternatives to traditional, "linear" (point-based) grading methods, with a focus on the standards-based grading I and several other college faculty have been using.

March 13, 2015
Lessons from the Field: How a sabbatical in industry informed and invigorated my teaching

Susannah Howe (Engineering)

Sabbatical experiences provide an opportunity for faculty to immerse themselves in current scholarship, to explore new areas of research, and/or to pursue professional development. I chose to spend my sabbatical in an industry "deep-dive", immersing myself in a variety of industry-based engineering experiences to expand my own knowledge and inform my teaching. During this Teaching Arts Lunch, I will share details and outcomes from the sabbatical, including new ideas for teaching and advising. I will also discuss my process for coordinating the sabbatical and provide recommendations for others interested in pursing a related experience.

April 3, 2015
Teaching Large Classes: Strategies to make students feel like they are in small classes

Kevin Shea (Chemistry)

Many disciplines currently find themselves teaching large introductory and intermediate courses.  How can we construct learning environments in these classes that are consistent with our mission of student-faculty engagement and critical thinking in our field of study?  We will discuss strategies to address these questions, with and without technology, and tackle stereotypes associated with teaching large classes.

April 10, 2015
The Logic of Stereotypes

Stereotypes are presented as inductive generalizations that resist alteration.

Al Mosley (Philosophy)

April 24, 2015
Solving Conflicts around Technology in the Classroom

Katherine Rowe (Provost, Dean of Faculty)
Julia Collins '17 (Student Government Association)
Anna Sternberg '15 (Student Government Association)

We will explore together some of the hot topics that generate conflicts over technology in the classroom, the different perspectives students and faculty bring to those conflicts, and the teaching and learning opportunities they offer to all.

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FALL 2014

September 12, 2014
Teaching and Advising Diverse Students: What Can We Learn from Whistling Vivaldi?

Floyd Cheung (English and American Studies)
Lauren Duncan (Psychology)
Kate Queeney (Chemistry)

Many of us read Claude Steele's Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do for first-year book discussions. According to Steele, as teachers and advisers, we can moderate the effects of stereotype threat, which can hinder student learning and performance. Stereotype threat has pernicious effects on the college performance of first generation and students of color, and on women’s performance and persistence in STEM fields. Based on research, Steele suggests these ways to ameliorate the negative effects of stereotype threat:

How does stereotype threat play out at Smith? What are we already doing at Smith to ameliorate it? What can we do better? What questions remain about Steele's research and suggestions? Even if you haven't read Steele's book, come and talk with us. Lauren Duncan has done work herself on stereotype threat. Kate Queeney is the Faculty Director of Advising. Floyd Cheung is the Director of the Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning.

September 26, 2014
Tricky Advising Moments for Study Abroad

Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Janie Vanpée (French Studies, Comparative Literature, Lewis Global Studies Center)

Most advising for study abroad can be relatively straight forward. As long as students can rationalize their academic goals and demonstrate the necessary (and sometimes required) preparation, there shouldn’t be anything keeping them from studying abroad during their tenure at Smith. But how do you work with the student whose plans or goals would be better fulfilled by doing something other than the status quo? As sophomores gear up to apply for study abroad approval in February, and/or first year students are considering which classes they need to take next year so they can study abroad during their junior year, this session will provide helpful information and generate discussion on how to have an
effective interaction about study abroad - and perhaps help you answer some of the tricky questions - with your advisees.

October 3, 2014
Teaching with the Archives

Carrie Baker, Director of the Archives Concentration (Study of Women & Gender)
Susan Van Dyne (Study of Women & Gender)
Shannon Audley-Piotrowsky (Education & Child Study)
Sara Eddy, Writing Instructor, Jacobson Center (English)

The Sophia Smith Collection is an internationally recognized repository of primary source materials documenting the history of women. Not just for history classes, these archival primary documents enhance courses across many disciplines. Faculty will share how they have incorporated hands-on work with primary documents from Smith’s Special Collections into their courses. Highlighting assignments to engage students in brief encounters as well as longer, scaffolded projects, they will address why they use the Archives in their teaching and the impact on students. The panel will also explain grant opportunities to get you started exploring these resources.

October 17, 2014
Online Learning Task Force

Joseph O'Rourke, Associate Provost

A report by the Online Learning Task Force on recent activities, and a discussion of future directions.

October 31, 2014
The Intersection of Faculty Mentoring and Student Research, with Fellowships Advising

Margaret Bruzelius, Associate Dean of the College
Don Andrew, Smith Fellowships Program Adviser
Jess Bacal, Director of the Center for Work & Life 

When a Smith student pursues a fellowship to conduct research, study for a degree, or teach English, that student is invariably inspired and guided by faculty.

This presentation sparks an important conversation about the inter-relatedness of faculty mentoring and student research, with fellowships advising.

Faculty fellowships advising is an extension of teaching: not only do fellowships proposals grow out of what students learn from their coursework, but also it is the research opportunities that faculty offer students which often lead to the most interesting and important fellowships research proposals.
These teaching and research avenues are capped when faculty teach the art of crafting compelling fellowships applications, be these to conduct a research project, study for a degree, or to teach English.

This mentoring extends further in the guidance that faculty members give students to broaden their experience by informing them of fellowships opportunities.
There is a natural relationship between the Class Deans’ Fellowships Program and the Wurtele Center for Work and Life, which supports students to get the most out of what the faculty offers, that in turns prepares students to be successful fellowships candidates.

For this reason the Fellowships Program in partnership with the Center for Life & Work is collaborating with the Sherrerd Center to highlight how faculty can identify, recruit and mentor both student researchers and fellowships candidates.

Faculty are the reason students become enthusiastic and ambitious enough to pursue fellowships. 

November 7, 2014
The Landscape of Education Technology at Smith

Deborah Keisch, Instructional Technologist, ETS

What technology is being used in teaching at Smith, and what are the patterns of use? What does it mean to be a tech ‘innovator’ at Smith? What do we know about the culture of educational technology use on campus? Findings will be presented from a study of technology in teaching at Smith that was conducted over the 2013-2014 academic year.

November 14, 2014
Refreshed, Revised, and Reinterpreted: The New Permanent Collection Galleries at the Smith College Museum of Art

Maggie Lind, Associate Educator for Academic Programs, Smith College Museum of Art

Join Museum staff for a behind-the-scenes look at the process of reinstalling the permanent collection. Hear about the Museum's institutional history and shifts in interpretive strategies, and learn more about how the refreshed display of the collection can serve as an important teaching resource.

December 5, 2014
Discussion of the First-Year Reading Experience

Jane Stangl, Dean of the First-Year Class
Floyd Cheung (English and American Studies)

While every book that we have chosen to discuss with first-years during orientation has had its benefits, this is a good moment to reflect on the practice itself.

What have been the goals and objectives behind this project?

Is it always a good idea to assign a common book? What are the characteristics of our best choices in recent years? What motivates or discourages faculty members with regard to leading discussions? What are the benefits or potential drawbacks to having a common reading? Should we always assign a book, or should we try film, performance, art or essays? We look forward to learning what our colleagues think.




February 7, 2014
How Well Are Our Students Writing After One WI Course?
Julio Alves (Jacobson Center)
Cate Rowen (Office of Institutional Research)
Alice Hearst (Government)

In January 2013, the Jacobson Center and the Office of Institutional Research conducted an assessment of a random sample of best papers written by first-year students (class of 2016) in First-Year Seminars and ENG 118, Colloquia in Writing. We report on the findings.

February 21, 2014
I Didn’t Know Moodle Could Do That
Kevin Wiliarty (Smith College Moodle Administrator)

Kevin will suggest ways teachers can use Moodle to engage students outside the classroom in order to enrich the learning experience inside the classroom. At the same time, he will highlight some lesser known features of Moodle, both old and new, and give us a preview of enhancements that will become available to us in the months ahead.

February 28, 2014
Outside-Outside Teaching and Learning
Ginetta Candelario (Sociology; Latin American & Latina/o Studies)

This presentation will include two different adaptions of the Inside-Outside Prison-Based Education Model, developed by Prof. Candelario and piloted with students from a Smith CBL class, two different groups of adults in Holyoke, GED students in the Fall 2012 and Community Workers in the Fall 2013.

March 28, 2014
Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your Classroom Will Improve Student Learning
José Antonio Bowen (Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts and Professor of Music at Southern Methodist University)

Please bring a web-enabled device.

Technology is changing higher education, but the greatest value of a physical university will remain its face-to-face (naked) interaction between faculty and students. The most important benefits to using technology occur outside of the classroom. New technology can increase student preparation and engagement between classes and create more time for the in-class dialogue that makes the campus experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver. Students already use online content but need better ways to interact with material before every class. By using online quizzes and games, rethinking our assignments and course design, we can create more class time for the activities and interactions that most spark the critical thinking and change of mental models we seek.

April 4, 2014
The Importance of Movement in the Learning Environment, and Strategies For Bringing Movement Into the Classroom.
Angie Hauser (Dance)


April 11, 2014
Group work: Why bother?
Patty DiBartolo (Psychology)
Lauren Duncan (Psychology)
Borjana Mikic (Engineering)
Al Rudnitsky (Education and Child Study)

A group of faculty, supported by a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, has been exploring the use of online, asynchronous discourse with their students. The project, in its second year, includes faculty from many disciplines and a wide variety of courses. Pedagogy featuring this kind of discourse works best when students have a good problem to talk about and when they engage in effective discourse practices. Several members of the group will be on hand to show examples and discuss this work.

April 25, 2014
Learning Catalytics: A New Tool for Student Responses Inside and Outside of Class
Kevin Shea (Director, Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning; Chemistry)

Kevin will describe his experiences using Learning Catalytics in two large introductory courses, General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, focusing on similarities and differences with traditional clicker technology. He will also comment on student feedback using the program and demonstrate how the program works from a faculty perspective. Attendees should bring a web-enabled device (smart phone, tablet, or laptop) to participate in Learning Catalytics questions during the session.

Additionally, faculty are encouraged to answer four "homework" questions prior to Friday's luncheon to experience how the program works before the presentation.  To do so, please follow the directions below.  (The entire process, including answering the questions, will take less than 5 minutes.)

1. Go to: www.learningcatalytics.com/demo
2. You will be prompted to enter your name, email address, and agree to the terms
3. On the next screen, enter the ID 10019908 to join Kevin's "course"
4. Answer the questions

Online Learning Task Force
Joseph O'Rourke (Associate Provost)



Fall 2013

September 13
Pirate Parties, GPS Devices, Buses, and Elevators: Bringing the everyday into every classroom.
Bill Leonard (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst)

This presentation will describe some everyday situations that may inform what teachers do in the classroom, in the hope of sparking a lively debate of what and why teachers do what they do.

Prof. Leonard was in the UMass Physics Department for 21 years, studying how people learn physics, before switching to ECE and engineering education three years ago.

September 19
Research and Teaching From A Growth-Mindset Perspective
Carol Dweck, PhD. (Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University)

Over the past decades, our research has shown that a growth mindset (the beliefs that abilities can be developed) promotes greater motivation and achievement than the belief that abilities are fixed. In this talk, Dr. Dweck will discuss key findings from research on students' mindsets, new findings on growth-mindset interventions, new work on women's achievement, and the implications of the research for teaching college students.

October 4
Contemplative Pedagogy
Jennifer Guglielmo (History)

Jennifer Guglielmo will share her experience at the Contemplative Pedagogy Summer Session, an intensive week-long conference organized by leaders in contemplative education that is held at Smith every summer. This will include what it means to incorporate contemplative practices into course design, classroom teaching, mentoring, and other aspects of higher education, and the ways such pedagogies can deepen the educational experiences of both students and teachers.

Link to the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Online Learning: Updates and Prospects
Joseph O'Rourke, Associate Provost

The Online Learning Study Group will discuss some of what they learned about the efficacy and variety of online-learning vehicles and their environments. We elicit an open discussion of possible paths forward for Smith in the online-learning landscape.

Online Learning: Possible Foci and Goals for Smith

November 1
Department Discussions About Teaching & Learning

November 8
Liberal Arts Advising
Lauren Duncan (Psychology)

Just in time for pre-registration and advising for spring semester, join us for an interactive lunch and discussion of common issues that come up in liberal arts advising. Using case studies derived from real advising experiences at Smith, participants will work with their lunch tables to develop promising solutions to problematic advising situations. Help solve the case of Sara, the pre-health student who’s doing poorly in her math and science classes, or Bridget, the English major who only seems to contact you when she needs her reg code.

Please feel free to contact Lauren Duncan, Interim Faculty Director of Liberal Arts Advising, with additional ideas for case studies you would like to discuss.

November 15
Emerging Technologies for Teaching & Learning
Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer (Education Technology Services)
Deborah Keisch Polin (Education Technology Services)

Whether you characterize yourself as a technology enthusiast or late-adopter or somewhere in between, one thing is certain--you teach, learn and, at this very moment, exist in the Connected Age. Join Smith's ETS instructional technologists for a hands-on demonstration of educational technology tools (including mobile apps) that enrich the teaching and learning experience and connect learners to content. They will also share a newly developed evaluation tool through which instructors may critically vet new, existing and emerging technology applications. Sure, there may be an app for that. But is it pedagogically appropriate for instructional design and delivery?

How to Vet a Apps

Educause Video: "Connected Age"

December 6
Advising for Study Abroad
Lisa Johnson (Assistant Dean for International Study)
Greg White (Faculty Co-Director, Lewis Global Studies Center)

Would you like more information about the resources available to help you with advising students who are interested in study abroad? Would you like to hear from colleagues about their “best practices” in advising for study abroad? As sophomores gear up to apply for study abroad approval in February, and/or first year students are considering which classes they need to take next year so they can study abroad during their junior year, this session will provide helpful information and generate discussion on how to have an effective interaction about study abroad with your advisees.




February 1
Developing an Online Course on Film
Jefferson Hunter (English Language & Literature)

This presentation will introduce some of the procedural issues in getting an online course approved at Smith, some of the technical issues behind producing the videos that will be the material of the course, and why the presenter is interested in developing an online course. A portion of his most recently completed video about film costumes will be screened.

February 8
Optional Department Teaching Discussions

February 15
Informal Teaching Discussion and Potential Teaching Circle Meeting Time

February 22
Where Pedagogy Meets Technology: The Role of an Instructional Technologist in ETS
Aisha Gabriel, Faculty Development Coordinator
Deborah Keisch Polin, Instructional Technologist
Tom Laughner, Director of Educational Technology Services

In order to provide faculty with more information about how others, at Smith and elsewhere, are using technology to help with pedagogical questions, the ITS strategic plan proposed the hiring of two instructional technologists. This presentation will provide an overview of the new instructional technology team in ETS and how it will work. We will also simulate a consulting call between an instructional technologist and a member of the Smith faculty.

March 1
Scientific Teaching: A Primer
David Gross (Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, UMass Amherst)

The presentation will involve a discussion of the principles of Scientific Teaching. The pedagogy of the presentation will use these principles.
Five Colleges Institute on Scientific Teaching - May, 2013

March 8
Informal Teaching Discussion and Potential Teaching Circle Meeting Time

March 15 - ADDED DATE
Prompted by President-elect McCartney's and Associate Provost O'Rourke's attendance at a prominent conference entitled "Online Learning and the Future of Residential Education," a "Teaching Circle" conversation on MOOCs and online learning was held on Friday, March 8. The response was quite positive, even overwhelming, so we will continue the conversation at this Teaching Arts Lunch with the sole focus on online learning. Several of the faculty have experiences to share. It is anticipated that this will be a conversation led by Provost O'Rourke, rather than a presentation.

March 29
Cognitive Development and Reading Skills in College: An Introduction to the Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies
Abigail Lipson (Director, Bureau of Study Counsel, Harvard University)

All students arrive at college knowing how to read. However, college-level work presents students with unprecedented challenges with regard to the nature and the amount of required reading and also in terms of the expectations for analytical, critical, and original thinking related to their reading. Students coming from a wide diversity of cultural/linguistic backgrounds and educational systems find they must question their assumptions and develop new skills and approaches to learning at the university level. The Harvard Course in Reading and Study Strategies is a ten-session mini-course enrolling over 400 student each year. Through practical exercises, Guided Eye-Movement (GEM)TM films and class discussion, the Course is designed to help students develop a broader repertoire of reading approaches to read more purposefully and selectively and with greater speed and comprehension. The Bureau is currently working with Pearson to develop the Course as an interactive online learning environment. A brief presentation of the Course curriculum, including a GEM film, will be followed by an open discussion of how students learn how to learn in college.

April 5
The Flipped Classroom
Kevin Shea (Chemistry; Director, Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning)

After several years of struggling with the best way to help students prepare for class, Kevin decided to try recording short videos focused on topics needed to solve homework problems. This helped students come to class more prepared and improved class discussion. He will show an example video, discuss student feedback, and provide technical tips.

To view Kevin's presentation "The Flipped Classroom," click here.

April 12
Informal Teaching Discussion and Potential Teaching Circle Meeting Time

April 19
Critical Multiliteracies in a Foreign Language Classroom: Becoming an Intercultural and Interlanguage Mediator
Yuri Kumagai (East Asian Languages & Literature)

In this presentation a classroom-based project conducted in an intermediate Japanese language classroom will be introduced. In the project, on-line news reports (both in English and Japanese) were used as teaching materials. The results show that the classroom helped foster learners' understanding of language choices in texts and develop their confidence as intercultural/interlanguage mediators with social agency.

April 26
Transcending Sites, Crossing Disciplines
Ninette Rothmueller (Art)

This presentation will reflect on the challenges and values of interdisciplinary teaching between theory and hands on art production. This reflection includes insights on teaching methods that are inclusive to off-site teaching and embodied forms of knowledge production.


Fall 2012

September 14
A New Approach to Teaching Math for Engineers and Scientists
Gary Felder (Physics)
Kenny Felder

Many science and engineering curricula, including physics and engineering at Smith, require a "math methods" course that briefly covers a large grab-bag of math topics useful to engineering and science students. Unfortunately, spending a week on an unfamiliar math topic with no physical context and then being asked to recall it a year later when you need it for another class is not always a successful strategy. We are developing a new approach in which students work through exercises where they solve physical problems and uncover the need for mathematical techniques, are guided through their own discovery of the math, and then apply the techniques to physical problems. Our conjecture, supported by educational and cognitive research, is that their later recall will benefit both from learning the material in the type of physical context where they will need it, and from developing the ideas themselves through active-learning exercises. These exercises will form part of a new math methods textbook that we expect to publish in two years. We would strongly welcome ideas and feedback from anyone interested in the engineering and science curriculum or in the general educational issue of transfer of learning from one course to another.

September 21
Optional Department Teaching Discussions

September 28
Informal Teaching Discussion and Potential Teaching Circle Meeting Time

October 5
Assessing Student Learning in the Chemistry Major: the pHunger Games
Betsy Jamieson (Chemistry)
Dave Gorin (Chemistry)
Carrie Read (Chemistry)

We will describe our pilot implementation of the "pHunger Games", an examination given to graduating seniors to assess learning in the chemistry major. Designed to test specific learning outcomes, our assessment required students to referee a research manuscript by providing written feedback on the presented experimental design, data analysis, and conclusions.

October 19
Teaching Social Justice, Activism, and New Media on Otelia Cromwell Day
Lisa Armstrong (Study of Women & Gender)
Kevin Rozario (American Studies)

The theme for this year’s Otelia Cromwell Day is "Social Justice, Activism, and New Media." We will detail the presentations, workshops, and events offered for students and (exclusively) for faculty. We will also talk about how digital media is transforming the political imaginations, commitments, and activities of students today.

Informal Teaching Discussion and Potential Teaching Circle Meeting Time

November 2 - FORD HALL 240
Blending Online Learning and Liberal-Arts Classroom Interaction
Jennifer Spohrer (Bryn Mawr College)
Nicholas Horton (Mathematics & Statistics)

Bryn Mawr and Smith Colleges are part of a consortium funded by the Next Generation Learning Challenge with the goal of introducing open-source courseware modules into traditional courses to improve course and college completion. The project aims to assess if targeted use of this technology, blended with the traditional intimate classroom setting, will free up time for more in-depth coverage of complex material and create a more engaged learning environment. We will briefly introduce some of the open-source courseware modules that are available, as well as providing an overview of Massively Online Open Courses (MOOC's) and discuss their relevance at selective residential colleges.

November 9
Psychology Assessment Update
Patty DiBartolo (Psychology)

Measuring student learning is a daunting task. What are the possible concerns and opportunities emerging from a department's attempts to capture student knowledge within its discipline? A Teaching Arts Lunch last year described the work of some faculty in the Psychology Department to develop a tool assessing disciplinary knowledge, especially related to research methods, within our student majors. The pilot tool we created is an open-ended assessment that measures transfer and application of disciplinary knowledge aligned with our collective learning goals. We will provide an update on our work, sharing pilot findings from students assessed at various stages of our curriculum (from students taking our introductory course to majors nominated as the "best" in our department), describing how these data have begun to shape our understanding of student learning and subsequent revision of our curriculum. With this update, we will once again discuss the possibilities and pitfalls of our work and invite faculty discussion focused on the essential question of how best to measure what students know.

November 16
What is it Like Being a Smith Student Today? How are we preparing our students to enter the Knowledge Age?
Kevin Shea (Director, Sherrerd Center for Teaching & Learning)

Come join us for an open-ended discussion about teaching strategies that enable our students to ask and address important questions. We will begin the session by watching a TEDx talk by Michael Wesch, Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University, entitled "From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able". We will then see how Wesch’s ideas resonate with what we are currently doing at Smith and how his ideas could transform our teaching in the future.

Michael Wesch TEDx Presentation: From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-Able

Discussion Questions
What is it Like Being a Student at Smith Today?

November 30
Informal Teaching Discussion and Potential Teaching Circle Meeting Time

Teaching with the Museum
Maggie Lind (Museum of Art)
Ann Musser (Museum of Art)

Join staff from the Smith College Museum of Art to learn more about incorporating visual material across the curriculum, with tips for encouraging close-looking and observation. We will engage in our own guided looking session with a work of art and talk about ways to discover the relevant connections to your own course topics within SCMA’s collection of approximately 25,000 objects.



Spring 2012

January 27
Interpreting the New Course Evaluations
Nancy Whittier (Sociology)

This Teaching Arts Lunch will focus on how to interpret the new course evaluations, particularly the qualitative portion. Bring your questions, bring your evaluations if you like, and we'll talk about how to make sense of the comments, look at examples, and consider how to summarize them.

February 3, 2012
Student Perspective on Classroom Discussion
Barbara Brehm-Curtis (Exercise and Sport Studies)
Floyd Cheung (English)
Jessica Bacal (Center for Work & Life)

When the Center for Work & Life advertised a workshop designed to help students feel more comfortable speaking in class, fifty students registered. During this presentation, we will share what we learned from reviewing current research on this topic and talking to students who attended the workshop. We will then facilitate a conversation about strategies that you have used to encourage students' speaking and engagement in class.

Cognitive Restructuring Exercise by Patty DiBartolo

GROUPTHINK: The Brainstorming Myth by Jonah Lehrer
The New Yorker, January 30, 2012

What's the Problem With Quiet Students? Anyone? Anyone? by Mary M. Reda
The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 5, 2010

Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic? by Susan Cain
The New York Times, June 25, 2011

February 24
Transitioning to a Workshop Format in Introductory Physics
Joyce Palmer-Fortune (Physics)
Gary Felder

Over the next two years Smith Physics will be doing away with separate labs and lectures in Introductory Physics, moving to an integrated model where students go back and forth between doing experiments, discussing the results, and solving problems. We will discuss our plans for making this transition and the open questions we are still working on in that process.

March 9
Mind in the Making
Ellen Galinsky, President and Co-Founder, Families and Work Institute

For almost a decade, Ellen Galinksy worked with top researchers from across the country, filming their experiments and studying their results about how we learn best. In her acclaimed book, Mind in the Making (Harper Collins 2010), she identifies seven life skills that are essential to success in school, in the workforce and in life. They are: focus and self control, perspective taking, communicating, making connections, critical thinking, taking on challenges, and self-directed engaged learning. In this presentation, Ellen will discuss her research and how it may be applied to work with college students.

March 30
Smith College Alumnae Outcomes
Cate Rowen (Institutional Research)
Minh Ly (Institutional Research)

What happens to our students after they graduate? What jobs do they hold? Do they complete advanced degrees? How do they compare to alumnae from peer institutions? What do they think about their Smith experience? Minh Ly and Cate Rowen from Institutional Research will present findings from Smith's alumnae survey, followed by a discussion about what we measure and what really matters in life after Smith.

April 6
Contemplative Pedagogy in Higher Education
Bernadine Mellis (Film Studies)
Jennifer Cannon (UMass)

For thousands of years, people have practiced mindfulness meditation to reduce suffering and cultivate peace. Contemporary Western research reveals that mindfulness also enhances learning and attention. Many educational institutions, including UCLA, Stanford, UCSF, and PENN have embraced mindfulness as an educational intervention by introducing it into their curricula and conducting research in the field. Bernadine Mellis, Five College Visiting Artist in Film & Video Production and Jennifer Cannon, PhD Candidate at UMASS, will introduce some of the basic ideas behind contemplative pedagogy. They will also lead participants in brief contemplative practices designed for the classroom.

What Are Contemplative Practices?

The Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education (ACHME)

April 20
Mentoring Underrepresented Students
Gita Bosch, Academic & Educational Consultant

A key to student success is mentoring. This is especially true for underrepresented minority (URM) students who may not have the social structure that provides role models and intellectual and emotional supports that students need to succeed. Mentoring can provide this infrastructure and fill in gaps in knowledge and access to available resources which many URM students need. Peer mentoring is critical for student success, but it has to be supported with faculty mentoring for optimal effectiveness. Many non-minority faculty are wary about taking on the role of mentor for URM students. This is usually not because they do not want to but rather it is usually because they are concerned that they do not know how. The discussion will focus on how faculty mentors can overcome the barriers and gain awareness, insight and strategies on mentoring URM students to increase the chances for their future success professionally and personally.

Science Mentoring: Strongest Advocate, Strongest Critic - A Guide to Mentoring
nature.com, July 2, 2012


Fall 2011

September 23
Collaborative Online Writing Assignments
Richard Olivo (Biological Sciences)

Collaborative writing assignments, where students draft and edit a document collectively, can increase the amount of writing in a course without increasing the amount of grading. We will discuss the practicalities of working with two online collaborative environments, PBWorks (a wiki) and Google Docs. We will also hear about how Smith students reacted to working in assigned teams – Richard Olivo, Biological Sciences and Neuroscience, Smith College; and former Associate Director, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University

Olivo, R. F. Collaborative Online Writing Assignments to Foster Active Learning. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 2012. 11(1): A82-A89.

Oakley, Barbara et al. Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams. Journal of Student Centered Learning, 2004 2, (1): 9-34.

North, South, East, and West: Compass Points
An Exercise in Understanding Preferences in Group Work

October 7
The Bechtel Environmental Classroom at the Ada & Archibald MacLeish Field Station: What can a building teach you?
Reid Bertone-Johnson (Center for the Environment)

October 21
The CMU Open Learning Initiative and Smith: Integrating pedagogies and technologies
Nick Horton (Mathematics and Statistics)

TED Talks - Salman Khan: Let's Use Video to Reinvent Education

Project Mosaic

Bryn Mawr Next Generation Learning

October 28
Skyping the French: A weekly intercultural conversation with a school in Paris
Christiane Metral (French Studies)

November 4
The Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning: Our first two years and plans for the future
Kevin Shea (Sherrerd Center Director, Chemistry)

November 18
Assessment of Deep Learning in the Methods of Psychological Science
Patty DiBartolo (Psychology)

December 2
Teaching Circles: Finding kindred spirits to support your work in the classroom
Borjana Mikic (Engineering)
Susan Van Dyne (Study of Women and Gender)

One of the main tenets of the Sherrerd Center for Teaching and Learning is the notion that teaching is always a work in a progress, and is always improvable. When we consider new approaches to our work in the classroom, however, the barriers to adopting new pedagogical strategies can often seem formidable. Teaching Circles provide an opportunity for faculty to learn from colleagues who are exploring similar pedagogical themes or approaches by engaging with one another in conversation about shared interests. In this Teaching Arts Lunch, Susan and Borjana will discuss two on-going Teaching Circles: one related to teaching with the archives, the other related to creativity and design. Although the focus of these two groups is quite different, we will explore several common themes as we invite you to join the conversation.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson


Spring 2011

March 4
Beyond Access: How Jacobson Center Services Develop Autonomous Learning
Julio Alves (Jacobson Center)
Gail Thomas (Jacobson Center)

March 11
Ability Matters: Students with Learning Disabilities Talk with Us about Teaching Strategies That Work
Laura Rauscher (Disability Services)

March 25
Liberal Arts Advising: A Report from the First Year Pilot
Kate Queeney (Chemistry)

April 1
Mobile Technology: A Survey of Applications for Teaching and Learning
Tom Laughner (Educational Technology Services)
Nat Fortune (Physics)

April 8
Transfer Maps: Identifying Transferable Knowledge and Skills from a Capstone Course
Susannah Howe (Engineering)
Mary Moriarty

April 15
The Value (and Privilege) of One-on-One Teaching in the Performing Arts
Judith Gordon (Music) and Friends

April 22
Supporting Good Classroom Talk Using Knowledge Forum
Patty DiBartolo (Psychology)
Glenn Ellis (Engineering)
Randy Frost (Psychology)
Al Rudnitsky
(Education & Child Study)


FALL 2010

September 17
What's New With Smith's Educational Technology Services (ETS) Group?
Tom Laughner (Education Technology Services)
Aisha Gabriel (Education Technology Services)

September 24
Active Learning
Richard Felder
Rebecca Brent

Achieving Excellence in Math, Engineering and Science: The AEMES Program
Peter de Villiers (Psychology)
Adam Hall (Biological Sciences)
Kate Queeney (Chemistry)

October 22
Report on Critical Thinking Assessment Test
Minh Ly (Institutional Research)

October 29
Educational Inequalities and Impacts on Entering Smith Students
Tina Wildhagen (Sociology)

November 5, 2010
Updates From Conferences on Teaching and Learning
Joyce Fortune (Physics)
Beth Powell (Psychology)
Kevin Shea (Sherrerd Center Director, Chemistry)

November 19
Incorporating Current Topics in Classes: Gulf Oil Spill Teaching Circle
Drew Guswa (Engineering)

December 3
Helping Underserved Students Succeed at Smith. Perspectives from the Founder of the Pathways to College Program
Judith Berry Griffin, Woodrow Wilson Fellow