Welcome Back Innovative Course-Building Group!!

Welcome Back IC-BGers,

Since we had such a long break, I thought it would be a good idea to contact everyone with an update. I hope you all had rejuvenating holidays and are well-rested and ready for spring semester! The extra “snow day” certainly helps.

The Blog
Announcements, Homework and other information can be found on the blog: https://icbg.wordpress.com.

Course Goals
At our last meeting (way back in November) we talked about course goals, student learning outcomes and setting student learning expectations. Your assignment was to post your goals/outcomes to the blog and to comment on others. If you haven’t done this yet, that is OK! Please go ahead and put them up.

The Next Session: Aligning activities to course goals & Engaging with active learning
On Jan 24th, we will get together again at 12:30 in Dogwood A, which is located in the Student Activities Center. This session will be facilitated by Liz Speelman (Outdoor Education) and Joanne Previts (Middle Grades Education). In this session, we will work on designing/choosing activities that are aligned with your course goals. They will contact you with a heads-up on the lunch options and anything they want you to bring.

We have received some funding from the Provost’s office to fund our work. This exciting development will allow us to reimburse you in a small way for your time. Each participant that completes the series will receive a $500 stipend. Additionally, we have funds we can use to support your course redesign in some meaningful way. Perhaps you would like to purchase something for your course, attend a conference workshop or there is some other way in which money would make your course more successful. Soon we will send out a announcement asking for your proposals. These proposals will be short and sweet – simply describing you what you want to do and how the funds will support your course design along with a budget. So start dreaming about what you could do!

Looking Forward
After our January meeting, we only have three more face-to-face sessions (topics & dates below). In the final session, we’d like you to present your course in a poster session. We will invite people from across campus to see the exciting courses you’ve designed. This will be a great opportunity to make connections with people outside of the IC-BG and get some great feedback on your ideas. That session is scheduled for the 11th of April. Since presenting at this session is the sign of completion you will need to present in order to receive the $500 stipend or other funds to support your course.

  • 11 Feb 11 (Fri) – Build Assessment Strategies that work for you (Caralyn & Karynne)
  • 14 Mar 11 (Mon) – Design an effective course syllabus (Julia & Kim)
  • 11 Apr 11 (Mon) – Reflect, Socialize and present final course (all mentors)

Becoming a Mentor
The IC-BG mentor group also hope that you will join us in becoming a mentor to future participants. As a mentor, I can say some of the most valuable experiences I have had at Georgia College have been through these mentoring experiences. Being a mentor is also a great way of continuing to engage in discussions about teaching with people outside of your own discipline. Even if you aren’t interested in becoming a mentor, you are welcome to join our planning group and help guide the future of the Innovative Course-Building Group.

The 2011 SENCER Summer Institute
The SENCER Summer Institute is a fantastic opportunity to continue learning about course development AND make connections to people across the country engaged in similar activities. We are looking to put together a team of five to send to this conference, which will be held at Butler University from July 21-25. Funds are available for your travel experiences and we will give priority to those who haven’t attended in previous year. Please email me (julia.metzker) if you are interested in attending. Our application is due on Feb 21 and I’d like to have the team involved in crafting the application. It is a short application but ideally, we’d like to start drafting by Feb 1st. This team will be eligible for a post-institute implementation grant, typically around $3,000. These grants can be used to fund any aspect of course design or civic engagement on our campus.

More details about the institute are available here.

You can read the GCSU 2010 SENCER Summer Institute Application here.

Have a happy first week!


About Dr. J. Metzker

I believe in the power of a liberal education to transform individuals and society. I am currently the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Formerly, I led a community engagement initiative and held a full professorship in chemistry at a public liberal arts university. I am a proud product of The Evergreen State College.
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