Learning Circles


A Learning Circle is a group of faculty led by a facilitator which meets together regularly to read and discuss a selected book. Faculty are given a copy of the book. In support of the engaged learning philosophy Learning Circles offer an avenue for faculty to participate together in this type of learning. Faculty construct and fine-tune their knowledge by participating in group discussions and collaborating with other faculty members.

 


Spring 2015 Learning Circles

Click on the book title for details

Whistling Vivaldi How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time) by Claude M. Steele

Book Description from Amazon

"The acclaimed social psychologist offers an insider’s look at his research and groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity. Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities."

Facilitated by Trevor Morris, Program Coordinator, Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence 

Location: LC 243

Day and Time: Thursdays 1 pm - 2 pm

Dates: 

  •  January 8
  •  January 29
  •  February 5
  •  February 19
  •  March 5
  •  March 29 
  •  April 16

Click Here to Register

How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why it Happens 

Book Description from Amazon: "From an early age, it is drilled into our heads: Restlessness, distraction, and ignorance are the enemies of success. We’re told that learning is all self-discipline, that we must confine ourselves to designated study areas, turn off the music, and maintain a strict ritual if we want to ace that test, memorize that presentation, or nail that piano recital. But what if almost everything we were told about learning is wrong? And what if there was a way to achieve more with less effort? In How We Learn, award-winning science reporter Benedict Carey sifts through decades of education research and landmark studies to uncover the truth about how our brains absorb and retain information. What he discovers is that, from the moment we are born, we are all learning quickly, efficiently, and automatically; but in our zeal to systematize the process we have ignored valuable, naturally enjoyable learning tools like forgetting, sleeping, and daydreaming. Is a dedicated desk in a quiet room really the best way to study? Can altering your routine improve your recall? Are there times when distraction is good? Is repetition necessary? Carey’s search for answers to these questions yields a wealth of strategies that make learning more a part of our everyday lives—and less of a chore. By road testing many of the counterintuitive techniques described in this book, Carey shows how we can flex the neural muscles that make deep learning possible. Along the way he reveals why teachers should give final exams on the first day of class, why it’s wise to interleave subjects and concepts when learning any new skill, and when it’s smarter to stay up late prepping for that presentation than to rise early for one last cram session. And if this requires some suspension of disbelief, that’s because the research defies what we’ve been told, throughout our lives, about how best to learn. The brain is not like a muscle, at least not in any straightforward sense. It is something else altogether, sensitive to mood, to timing, to circadian rhythms, as well as to location and environment. It doesn’t take orders well, to put it mildly. If the brain is a learning machine, then it is an eccentric one. In How We Learn, Benedict Carey shows us how to exploit its quirks to our advantage.

Session 1

Facilitated by Ursula Sorensen, Associate Director, Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence 

Location: LC 243

Day and Time: Tuesdays 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm 

Dates:

  • January 13
  • January 27
  • February 10 
  • February 24
  • March 10
  • March 24
  • April 14

Click Here to Register


Session 2

Facilitated by Trevor Morris, Program Coordinator, Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence  

Location: LC 207

Day and Time: Tuesdays 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Dates: 

  • January 13
  • January 27
  • February 10 
  • February 24
  • March 10
  • March 24
  • April 14

 Click Here to Register

How to Design and Teach a Hybrid Course: Achieving Student-Centered Learning through Blended Classroom, Online and Experiential Activities - Spring 2015 

Book Description from Amazon: "This practical handbook for designing and teaching hybrid or blended courses focuses on outcomes-based practice. It reflects the author’s experience of having taught over 70 hybrid courses, and having worked for three years in the Learning Technology Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a center that is recognized as a leader in the field of hybrid course design. 

Jay Caulfield defines hybrid courses as ones where not only is face time replaced to varying degrees by online learning, but also by experiential learning that takes place in the community or within an organization with or without the presence of a teacher; and as a pedagogy that places the primary responsibility of learning on the learner, with the teacher’s primary role being to create opportunities and environments that foster independent and collaborative student learning. 

Starting with a brief review of the relevant theory – such as andragogy, inquiry-based learning, experiential learning and theories that specifically relate to distance education – she addresses the practicalities of planning a hybrid course, taking into account class characteristics such as size, demographics, subject matter, learning outcomes, and time available. She offers criteria for determining the appropriate mix of face-to-face, online, and experiential components for a course, and guidance on creating social presence online.

The section on designing and teaching in the hybrid environment covers such key elements as promoting and managing discussion, using small groups, creating opportunities for student feedback, and ensuring that students’ learning expectations are met. 

A concluding section of interviews with students and teachers offers a rich vein of tips and ideas."

 

Facilitated by Sam Gedeborg, Innovation Center

Location: LC 207

Day and Time: Thursday 11:30 am - 12:30 pm 

Dates:

  • January 15
  • January 29
  • February 12
  • February 26
  • March 12
  • March 26
  • April 16
Click Here To Register

 

What the Best College Students Do by Ken Bain

Book Description from Amazon: "The author of the best-selling What the Best College Teachers Do is back with humane, doable, and inspiring help for students who want to get the most out of their education. The first thing they should do? Think beyond the transcript. Use these four years to cultivate habits of thought that enable learning, growth, and adaptation throughout life."

Facilitated by Alessandro Zanazzi, Assistant Professor Earth Sciences

Location: HP 101z

Day and Time: Wednesday from 11 am - 12 pm

Dates:

  • January 14
  • January 28
  • February 11
  • February 25
  • March 11
  • March 25
  • April 15
Click Here to Register