Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Report from FaCET

The Provost is proud to support the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (FaCET) and is pleased to call attention to its achievements and progress. FaCET is a service program in its fourth year. Faculty pioneered and driven, the program continues to operate with faculty at the helm: Director Dr. Stephen Dilks, a full-time member of the English Department, works closely with two "Faculty Fellows," Professors Cindy Amyot, Director of Distance Education and Faculty Development at the School of Dentistry, and William Everett, Associate Professor in Music History and Musicology. Bob Schubert, who teaches classes on software applications, coordinates the calendar of events and runs the Teaching with Technology committee. And Muffy Guilfoil, an I Ph D student in History and English, organizes the FaCET library and leads the Student Advisory committee.

The FaCET office is located in room 122 of the Miller-Nichols Library. The foyer has comfortable seating and an inviting mini-library with education-inspired art on the walls. Faculty are welcome to stop by to borrow books, to chat about teaching and learning, and to experiment with new and unfamiliar classroom technologies on FaCET's fully equipped ILE station. Faculty are also invited to suggest topics for formal and informal seminars and presentations. Contact Steve, Bill, Cindy, or Bob with enquiries.

On a modest budget the center has expanded from seven events with a total of 112 attendees in Spring 2005 to thirty-nine events with a total of 551 attendees in Spring 2008. Each year FaCET hosts a celebration of Teaching and Learning. In 2009, the 3rd Annual Spring Symposium is focused on “Teaching Environments”; faculty are invited to submit proposals for presentations, posters, and roundtable discussions.

Since Spring 2005 FaCET has hosted over two hundred seminars on issues including Academic Assessment, Blackboard and other classroom technologies, Identity Politics, Academic Freedom and Diversity, Promotion and Tenure, Experiential Learning, International Teaching, Interdisciplinary, Library Resources, Writing to Learn, Urban Literacies, Online Courses and Teaching Large Classes. See FaCET’s web-site www.umkc.edu/provost/initiatives/FaCET for the current "Calendar of Events" and “Faculty Resources.” Write to Stephen Dilks(dilkss@umkc.edu) with suggestions for programming.

In addition to the web-site, information about FaCET is available in “Facets of Teaching and Learning,” the newsletter distributed at the beginning of fall and spring semesters. If you have any comments about the newsletter or if you'd like to contribute an article on any aspect of teaching and learning, please contact Steve Dilks.

Premiering this fall, "Teaching Circles" is a program designed to connect teachers interested in sharing ideas about classroom practice. Unstructured, independent meetings with no report requirement allow free brain-storming, solicited constructive critique, and sustained professional support.

The Teaching Enhancement Grants program (TEG), initiated in Fall 2006 with matching funds from Academic Deans, has provided grant support for thirty-one projects. The grants support a range of projects including classroom research, curricular development, and all aspects of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

FaCET support for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) also includes collaboration with faculty at other institutions locally and nationally. The Center supports faculty attendance at national and international conferences and, on April 25, 2009 FaCET will host the Greater Kansas City Annual SoTL Symposium.

In the future FaCET is planning to expand its connections with students and the community through more extensive work with the Student Advisory Committee and "Serve to Learn," an on-campus initiative designed to connect students and community leaders with faculty who provide service-learning opportunities as part of their curriculum. The new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Cynthia Pemberton, is already committed to working with the "Serve to Learn" committee.

-Written by Bibie M. Chronwall, Ph.D, Vice Provost, Faculty Development, and Stephen Dilks, Associate Professor, Director of FaCET

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