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The Gray Box is operated by David Voelker, Associate Professor of Humanistic Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. (More)

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Beyond Coverage: Backward Design for Disciplinary Thinking (with Joel Sipress)

University of Wisconsin-Superior, August 19, 2013

This seminar will show participants how to use a backward design process to move beyond coverage for the sake of coverage and into the realm of teaching (and assessing) disciplinary thinking in both general education and disciplinary courses. In this approach, disciplinary content becomes the raw material for an exploration of the key ways of constructing knowledge that constitute disciplinary modes of thinking. Assessments focus less on demonstration of content knowledge and more on the disciplinary application of content knowledge to authentic questions and problems. In the morning session, Joel Sipress (UW Superior) and David Voelker (UW-Green Bay) will draw on case studies from various disciplines to introduce a backward design process that can be used to refocus course design on disciplinary thinking. In the afternoon session, participants will apply this process to one of their own courses. The afternoon session will be divided into two tracks: 1) General education courses; 2) Courses that primarily serve disciplinary majors and minors. This seminar will help participants clarify learning goals, bring assignments and exams into alignment with these goals, and better use classroom activities to cultivate student learning.

 

An Introduction to Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

UW-System Faculty College, UW-Richland, May 28-31, 2013

Faculty College, May 30, 2013

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) offers an exciting opportunity for higher educators to integrate teaching and research. SoTL scholars conduct research into student learning using the tools of their own disciplines and other accessible methods. Scholarly teachers may stop short of publication, but they also apply pedagogical research to course design and systematically inquire into their students’ learning. Participants in this interactive workshop will engage in an open discussion of the goals, challenges, and basic steps of pedagogical research. Participants should be prepared to discuss student learning and learning problems in a specific course, for which they will formulate a possible research question and will begin considering research methodology. (Sponsored by OPID, the Office of Professional and Instructional Development for the University of Wisconsin System.) 

Faculty College, May 30, 2013

 

Beyond Coverage: Backward Design for Disciplinary Thinking (with Joel Sipress)

Professors Joel Sipress and David Voelker will use case studies from various disciplines to guide participants through a backward design process that they can use to push general education courses beyond content coverage -- toward helping students to use course content to think in disciplinary ways.  In this suggested approach to general education coursework, disciplinary content becomes the raw material for an exploration of the key ways of constructing knowledge that constitute disciplinary modes of thinking.  Assessments focus less on demonstration of content knowledge and more on the disciplinary application of content knowledge to authentic questions and problems. 

 

Getting Started Doing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

UW-System Faculty College, UW-Richland, May 29-June 1, 2012

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) offers an exciting opportunity for higher education professionals to integrate teaching and research. SoTL scholars conduct research into student learning primarily using the tools of their own disciplines. This participatory workshop will help faculty begin the process of developing a SoTL research question focused on a learning problem and on the collection and analysis of evidence of student learning. Participants will engage in an open discussion of the purposes and goals of SoTL, the challenges of doing SoTL research, and the basic steps for getting started as a SoTL researcher. Participants should be prepared to discuss student learning and learning problems in a specific course, for which they will formulate a possible research question and will begin considering research methodology.  (Sponsored by OPID, the Office of Professional and Instructional Development for the University of Wisconsin System.)