Spring Semester off to a Busy Start for Faculty, Graduate Students, and CTL Staff

by | Feb 7, 2017

The start of the Spring 2017 semester was a busy one at the CTL. In addition to the rollout of spring programs and events, a new teaching observation service, and the Provost’s Request for Proposals, the CTL also supported the development of Columbia University and Slavery, a website created by Columbia faculty, students, and CTL staff to present information about Columbia’s historic connections with the institution of slavery to the public.   

Here are a few more highlights covering the start of the semester:

Programs and events:

Teaching orientations for faculty: On January 11 – 12, the CTL hosted teaching orientations for 16 faculty members on the Morningside and Medical Center campuses. Instructors learned about instructional resources and methods for getting a class off to a good start; connected with colleagues and teaching support staff at the CTL; and explored topics such as active learning, teaching and learning with technology, and grading, rubrics, and feedback. Many faculty participants returned on January 13 for one-on-one syllabus tune-up consultation sessions.



CTL facilitators Zach Kornhauser and Christy Simonian Bean lead faculty in an orientation session focused on assessment basics, effective feedback practices, and rubric implementation in Butler Library Room 212. 

Kickoffs for graduate fellowship programs: Between January 31 – February 8, over 60 graduate students from across the university gathered in the CTL to kick off semester fellowship activities.  Lead Teaching Fellows honed their design for workshops they will be running in their home departments, and Teaching Observation Fellows made plans to observe other graduate students and faculty members teaching in the classroom. In addition, senior Fellows designed spring semester learning communities on topics such as “STEM Teaching and Learning” and “Activist Pedagogy in the Trump Era.”

Visitors from Stockholm: On January 20, the CTL hosted three graduate students from the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) on a tour of select US universities and colleges to learn how these institutions improve and assess teaching. Mark Phillipson, Amanda Irvin, and Christy Bean provided an overview of faculty and graduate student programs and services at the CTL. The students were particularly interested in the ways that CTL is building community and learning groups around pedagogical development.

Project updates:

New sequence assignment type released on Mediathread: The CTL has partnered with Paul Scolieri, Associate Professor in the Department of Dance at Barnard College, to design a new sequence assignment type in Mediathread — our open-source platform for exploration, analysis, and organization of web-based multimedia content. The sequence assignment allows students to line up a primary video or audio against multiple secondary selections and/or text annotations. Students in Scolieri’s Digital Footprints course will use the new feature to create original multimedia compositions by selecting, juxtaposing, and annotating archival films from the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The Digital Footprints course is supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation that allows students to partner with New York City cultural institutions for digital and design projects.

WINGS project releases new free online tool: Louisa Gilbert, co-director of the Social Intervention Group (SIG) at the Columbia School of Social Work, and the CTL collaborated to produce a free online version of the Women Initiating New Goals for Safety (WINGS) intervention as part of a dissemination effort. WINGS is a self-paced screening, brief intervention and referral-to-treatment tool that seeks to reduce intimate partner violence and improve relationships among women. Organizations wishing to use WINGS with the populations they serve can now contact Dr. Gilbert to access the online version of WINGS hosted by the Columbia of School of Social Work, or they can upload and customize a version of WINGS to be hosted by their own organization.

Boynton wins grant for digital humanities and musical iconography: The Department of Music recently announced that Susan Boynton has won a three-year grant from the Partner University Fund (FACE Foundation) for her project FAB-Musiconis (French-American Bridge for Medieval Musical Iconography). The three-year project in collaboration with Paris-Sorbonne University centers on training graduate students in digital humanities approaches to the analysis and description of medieval images related to music with a focus on the Musiconis database. The CTL is providing technical instruction, learning design, and digital literacy support for the online instructional modules for the project.

Coming up next month:

  • Don’t miss your chance to register for the Office of the Provost’s 2017 Celebration of Teaching and Learning Symposium on March 6 in Low Memorial Library!
  • Enroll in the new MOOC (massive open online course) Global Muckraking: Investigative Journalism and Global Media, launching February 8 on the edX platform. The course is free and open to all.

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