August 6, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Funding Available for 2 More A&S Faculty Learning Communities

In response to the College of Arts & Sciences request for proposals sent out this spring, four faculty learning communities will be sponsored by the college in the 2014-15 academic year.

Funding is available for two additional faculty learning communities for 2014-15. The request for proposals is attached, with a deadline of Friday, Sept. 12, for completed proposals to be sent to Dr. Laurie Hatch, Associate Dean, at

Faculty learning communities are interdisciplinary faculty groups engaged in an active, collaborative, semester- or year-long initiative related to teaching, student learning, and community building. Funds permitting, a second request for proposals will be announced at the start of fall 2014, for additional A&S faculty learning communities.

Faculty who are interested in participating in one of these faculty opportunities or would like additional information should contact the facilitator of the group. Available slots are limited, so please get in touch with the facilitator soon if interested. Modest stipends will be provided to participants; details are available from the facilitators.

Professional Development of Graduate Teaching Assistants: Challenges and Possible Solutions for the Training of TAs in Faculty-Like Positions

Facilitator: Muriel Gallego (, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Language Program Director and Supervisor of Spanish TAs, Department of Modern Languages
This Faculty Learning Community is open to full-time faculty and will feature group discussions and readings on issues and concerns related to TA professional development, focusing on strategies to help TAs prepare to teach (or for TAs already in teaching positions, to help them teach more effectively). Each FLC member will be asked to give a 15-20 presentation on a selected topic of interest related to TA professional development at one or more of the sessions, including distributing materials or readings one week prior to the meeting. Two meetings will be held during fall semester and six meetings will be held during spring semester.

By the end of spring term, each participant will have drafted a plan to either a) initiate a TA professional development program or a component of such a program (e.g., teaching workshops or a graduate seminar on teaching) in their department or program, or b) improve an existing program, based on knowledge gained from the discussions, readings, and sharing of information among group members. Participants will also collaborate in developing a set of recommendations to make to the college regarding TA professional development in Arts & Sciences.

To apply, please send a brief description of your current involvement working with TAs or your interest in developing a program for TAs, 1-2 topics you would like to address in the group, and what you hope to accomplish as a result of participation in this FLC, to Muriel Gallego at

Challenges in Teaching

Facilitators:  Neil Bernstein (, Associate Professor, Department of Classics & World Religions, and Herta Rodina (, Associate Professor of French, Department of Modern Languages

This Faculty Learning Community is open to tenure-track, recently-tenured, and Group II faculty. We will discuss challenges to effective pedagogy. Depending on the interests of the group, these may include the following:

  • Teaching sensitive subjects that center on political, religious, or social controversy and dealing with criticism from students and/or parents with emotionally-charged points of view.
  • Teaching students how to understand a particular issue from an opposing perspective.
  • Responding to student disinterest in, and fear of, difficult subject matter and developing strategies to encourage them to consider failure in safe, productive ways.
  • Grading fairly and accurately, grade inflation, and possible correlations between grades and course evaluations.
  • Involving students in determining course content and assignments and incorporating student input during the course.
  • Taking a well-considered pedagogical risk and failing: the consequences for career advancement and merit review.

Two guest speakers will participate in the seminar. One will be a nationally-recognized authority who will also give a public lecture. The other will be an Ohio University faculty member with an expertise in pedagogical issues.

Successful applicants will participate in six two-hour meetings during spring semester 2015, plus the public lecture. At each meeting, two members will introduce a topic relevant to the seminar theme for 15-20 minutes apiece and then use the remaining time in directing discussion on the topic. Our seminar blog will allow participants to upload material on their topic before their presentation and provide an asynchronous venue for follow-up discussions beyond scheduled meetings. We will invite our guest speakers to contribute as well. The blog will be available to faculty at large after the seminar ends to serve as a forum for continuing discussions on teaching challenges within the college.

To apply, please send a CV and 250-word statement outlining the specific pedagogical challenge that you wish to discuss, to Neil Bernstein at or Herta Rodina at

Global Education and Diverse Classrooms: Towards a Model to Support Multilingual Students at Ohio University

Facilitators: Dawn Bikowski (, Director of English Language Improvement Program, Department of Linguistics, and Talinn Phillips (, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Director of Graduate Writing & Research Center

This Faculty Learning Community will help members develop strategies for maximizing multilingual students’ (i.e. international or ESL students) classroom participation and success. We will address a variety of facets of multilingual students’ educational experience: assignment design, classroom communication, group activities, grading, etc. Based on our readings and discussions, faculty will work together to create faculty development materials that they can take back to their own departments and tailor to departmental needs. Four meetings will be held each semester.

The tentative list of topics for discussion includes:

  • Designing accessible assignments for multilingual students.
  • Minimizing plagiarism and understanding cultural attitudes towards textual ownership and borrowing.
  • Providing facilitative response to multilingual students’ writing through conferencing and peer reviewing.
  • Responding to and evaluating multilingual students’ writing.
  • Facilitating multilingual students’ participation in class.
  • Maximizing multilingual students’ comprehension in class.
  • Increasing faculty communication strategies for interacting with multilingual students who struggle with speaking/listening.
  • Increasing faculty knowledge about resources available at Ohio University for multilingual students and to assist with teaching multilingual students.

To apply, please send a brief description of your current involvement with international students or students who speak English as a second language along with your personal goals for participating in this learning community, to Dawn Bikowski at or Talinn Phillips at Faculty who can only commit to one semester are still encouraged to apply and will be accommodated based on availability.

Teaching Cinema Across Disciplines, Faculty Pedagogical Seminar, Spring 2015

Facilitators: Katarzyna Marciniak (, Professor, Department of English and Michael B. Gillespie (, Assistant Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts, School of Film, Department of African American Studies

“Teaching Cinema Across Disciplines” will allow faculty from many disciplines to discuss various challenges they have encountered in their pedagogical practices while incorporating films in their classrooms. We want to raise awareness about the important pedagogical uses of cinema, asking questions such as the following: What is the value of screening films for students assembled in the classroom? How and why is a communal viewing experience important? How should these screenings be prefaced or contextualized by the teacher? How valuable is the practice of providing close readings of audiovisual excerpts in the classroom? What kinds of basic knowledge do teachers need to acquire in order to carry out such close readings? What are the differences between using feature films and documentaries? How might teachers explain these differences to their students? Do they need to explain these differences? What are issues such as genre, culture, history, aesthetics, and the idea of nation important in discussing film? Why is it vital to avoid considering the cinematic rendering of class, gender, race, sexuality, nationality, or nativity as simply equivalent to lived experience?

Our work will take place in Spring 2015; this will be a 12-hour Seminar comprised of 6 meetings. The Seminar will feature group discussions, individual presentations, and readings related to pedagogical uses of cinema. We will design multiple handouts and other instructional materials for students that can be successfully used in classrooms in a variety of disciplines. Our goal is for each participant to create a Pedagogical Portfolio they can start using in their classrooms in the future.

To apply, please submit a brief description of your current involvement working with cinematic texts in the classroom, 1-2 topics you would like to address in the group, and a short bio, to Katarzyna Marciniak at or Michael B. Gillespie at

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