Next week: Lunchtime workshop (9/24) on handling classroom disruptions (see teaser below)

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Mary Bravo (Associate Professor, Psychology) discusses how she helps students develop critical thinking skills and overcome innate biases in her Experimental Psychology courses.

From the Bookshelf: How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching gives an in-depth look at classroom practices that encourage student learning. Topics discussed include giving effective feedback and the process by which students become self-directed learners.

Conversation Starters: The shortcomings of the SAT writing section and its effects on students are discussed at Slate.

At Inside Higher Ed, Matthew M. Chingos proposes standardized assessment methods for general education courses.

From the Assessment Desk: In the newest of our collected resources on assessment, Barbara E. Walvoord lays out a clear and simple assessment process for departments to consider when both choosing and evaluating learning goals.

Featured Peer Teaching Centers: The Teaching Center at Washington University at St. Louis contains a useful series of videos on topics like teaching with technology and undergraduate mentorship. A Strategies page gives advice on course planning and teaching with writing in the classroom.

Northern Illinois University offers a short paper on the process of grading and its importance in assessing student learning.

Research Opportunity: CFP: Pedagogy, Special Issue On Reading – Pedagogy invites submissions from both established and new scholars in any field who are interested in examining reading’s “return” by considering questions such as the following. What does this return of interest (repetition? renewal?) suggest and reveal about how reading has been taught, and how it might or should be taught? What, if anything, does it suggest about the reciprocally reflexive relationship that might exist between reading and writing, and its potential advantage for teaching both reading and writing in college classrooms? What has made reading’s “invisibility” newly noticeable? What possibilities for the study of reading might this revival point to and open up? How is reading constructed in different ways in different fields? Where should those interested in reading now turn in order to move the conversation forward? And what, in each case, is meant by the word “reading”? Inquiries may be sent to


Upcoming TMAC Events:

“Handling Challenging Classroom Situations” (Thursday, October 24, 12:20 – 1:20 p.m., ATG-Faculty Lounge; pizza will be served)

    Join TMAC Director Bill FitzGerald and Associate Chancellor for Student Affairs Mary Beth Daisey for a workshop to discuss best practices in classroom management and how to handle challenging situations. We will review available resources and consider a range of common scenarios, e.g., students using cell-phones, arriving late or acting confrontational. We invite additional scenarios in advance you wish to see addressed. (Walk-ins welcome, but if you are planning to come, RSVP to for a head count.)

“Articulating Learning Goals for Your Course or Program” (Monday, November 4, 12:15 – 1:15 p.m., ATG-Faculty Lounge; pizza will be served)

    Specific learning goals help students and teachers understand the purpose of a course in relation to broader departmental or program objectives. As we inch closer to meeting a University-wide expectation that all courses identify learning goals on syllabi, we will workshop how to formulate learning goals that foster student success.

“Assessing Your Assessment Plan: A Workshop for Departments and Programs” (Friday, November 15, noon – 2 p.m., ATG-Faculty Lounge; lunch will be served)

    Many departments and programs have developed an assessment plan that has yet to be implemented through a full assessment cycle. But perhaps the plan itself merits revisiting in light of changed expectations and needs? This hands-on workshop allows chairs, program directors and others to take a fresh look at their present assessment plan (or refine a plan in progress).

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If you’re interested in writing or being interviewed for the Faculty Spotlight or have a link or topic you’d like to share, please email us at