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					    communicating for                                                                                               SUM
                                                                                                                                MER

        LEARNERS
    featured in this issue
                                                                                                               2011


    Transformational Learning             Did You Know?             Hot 5         New Learning Communities                  Visionary Status



    Transformational Learning
    It’s the secret desire of every educator—that “aha!” moment          or case studies/demonstrations/experiments that conflict with
    when a student suddenly “gets it,” when he or she begins to see      students’ expectations. It is only when students experience the
    self, the world, or ideas in an entirely different light. Such mo-   failure of their current paradigm that they will be motivated to
    ments are usually preceded by “cognitive dissonance,” the failure    change.
    of a student’s current knowledge and perspective to explain
    phenomena. Suddenly, the student must unlearn what seemed            One strategy to help students identify their assumptions is to
    like common sense and rethink what seemed like truth. This is        encourage them to identify and articulate someone else’s as-
    transformational learning.                                           sumptions before tackling their own. Here, again, readings and
                                                                         case studies can be very useful.
    The Theory
                                                                         Educators can encourage critical reflection by having students
    Jack Mezirow, in his book Transformative Dimensions of Adult         keep journals or answer targeted questions about how their
    Learning (1991), defines transformation as “the process of           perceptions have changed. One great idea suggested by Kelly
    becoming critically aware of how and why our assumptions have        McGonigal of Stanford University’s Center for Teaching and
    come to constrain the way we perceive, understand, and feel          Learning is to have students create a perspective history time-
    about our world; changing these structures of habitual expec-        line. “For any given topic, from critiquing art to analyzing the
    tation to make possible a more inclusive, discriminating, and        ethics of business, ask students to reflect on life experiences and
    integrating perspective; and, finally, making choices or otherwise   academic experiences that have influenced their current per-
    acting upon these new understandings.” Transformational learn-       spectives. When was the first time they remember forming an
    ing is radically different from assimilative learning—the process    opinion about this topic? What people and events shaped their
    by which students simply take on new information that fits eas-      assumptions? Have they changed perspectives over time? What
    ily into their current structures of knowledge.                      people and events triggered this change?”
    The real question, of course, is how educators can create condi-     Well-structured online discussion forums offer ample opportu-
    tions in which students are more likely to have these transfor-      nity for the kind of ongoing discussion that promotes transfor-
    mational experiences. Transformational learning happens as the       mational learning.
    result of these conditions:
                                                                         In order to allow students to apply new knowledge, educators
     • An event/problem that highlights the limitations of the
                                                                         can return to the original problem that created the cognitive
       student’s current paradigm or approach
                                                                         dissonance and approach it with the new knowledge paradigm.
     • An opportunity for the student to identify and articulate         Various exercises that ask students to “try on” points of view
       the assumptions that underpin the current knowledge               different from their own can also help them get the “feel” of
     • An opportunity for the student to reflect critically on           transformative learning. Role plays and debates are good strate-
       the origin and limitations of those assumptions                   gies that can help students learn to abandon their typical ways of
                                                                         perceiving.
     • An opportunity for the student to discuss his/her
       assumptions and alternative assumptions with instruc-             In general, whatever strategies educators employ to foster trans-
       tors and peers                                                    formational learning, it is important to create a climate in the
     • An opportunity for the student to apply the new                   classroom in which students feel free to express their opinions. A
       knowledge                                                         combination of challenge and support will make all the differ-
                                                                         ence.
    Teaching Strategies for Transformational Learning
    To create the cognitive dissonance that starts the process,
    instructors can use readings that embody conflicting viewpoints

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     Did You Know
    New App for Lecture Classes
                                             ?
    The Office of the CIO has been developing a new web ap-
                                                                        do to help them succeed at BGSU.” And she added, “I have
                                                                        already incorporated content from the roundtable into the
                                                                        Blackboard Community being set up for students in BGSU’s
    plication for lecture-based classes. If you teach from slides or    new Fire Administration degree program––some of whom are
    Powerpoint, this new web application will enhance your class-       certain to be veterans.”
    room learning environment without requiring any dramatic
    shifts in your teaching style. QizBox is a web application that     BG grad and Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint
    uses game mechanics to create a social learning environment.        Chiefs of Staff, Colonel David Sutherland, stopped by one of
    Developed to enhance the real-life classroom lecture and pre-       the roundtable sessions and was delighted to see what BGSU
    sentation experience, QizBox offers the presenter the ability to    was doing in order to educate faculty and staff to the needs of
    share slides, quiz the audience and provide real-time feedback      student veterans.
    (no clickers needed!). Robust features allow the audience
    to discuss the lecture in a chat room, ask and answer ques-
    tions, and even take notes that are accessible for review at a
    later time. QizBox also includes a dynamic award system that
    encourages audience engagement with the presentation. Users
    can accumulate, create, and distribute awards that contribute
    to a collaborative and cooperative learning environment.
                                                                        HOT 5 (click the link to visit)


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    The Center is offering introductory workshops on QizBox
    on June 28 from 10:30-11:30 and on June 30 from 1:00-2:00.
    Don’t miss this chance to be among the first to try this great                     Big Think
    new application.
                                                                                       bigthink.com
    Student Veteran Roundtable Discussions                                             source of blogs, articles, and ideas all
                                                                                       combined to stimulate the mind and keep
    During April and May the Center for Teaching and Learning                          you informed




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    and Nontraditional and Transfer Student Services (NTSS)
    sponsored a series of roundtable discussions about student vet-
    erans. BGSU has been named a veteran-friendly campus, and                         Khan Academy
    the roundtable series was designed to ensure that we continue
    to be a great place for veterans.                                                 khanacademy.org
                                                                                      provides free video educational lessons in
    More than 70 people attended the sessions, facilitated by Eric
                                                                                      subjects ranging from calculus to history
    Buetikofer, the advisor in NTSS who works specifically with




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    veterans. The sessions were dubbed “train the trainer” because
    the participants were expected to take what they learned back
    with them into their departments and areas. Participants will
    also form a communication network for the dissemination of
                                                                                       Mind Shift
    information about student veterans.                                                mindshift.kqed.org
    Topics covered in the sessions included characteristics and                        explores the future of learning–covering
    challenges of student veterans, information on educational                         trends, research, policy and more




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    benefits available to veterans, and a discussion of policies that
    apply to veterans—especially the need for reasonable ac-
    commodations for veterans who may be called to active duty
    or who must be absent from class because of their military
                                                                                       Read Print
    obligations. Eric also discussed what BGSU has already done                        readprint.com
    to become an even more veteran-friendly campus. A student
                                                                                       offers ebooks from a large variety of authors
    veteran task force, which was formed in 2009, made 40 recom-
                                                                                       and provides book descriptions and reviews
    mendations, 19 of which have already been implemented. Eric




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    has created a Blackboard community for veterans, and NTSS
    sponsored a tent at Homecoming that proved to be a rousing
    success.                                                                           Free Documentaries
    Melissa Miller, a faculty member from Political Science was                        onlineuniversities.com/
    among the participants at one of the sessions. She says that                       blog/2010/01/100-best-free-
    “the roundtable really helped to familiarize me with the issues                    science-documentaries-online/
    faced by our student veterans and the various things we can
                                                                                       best 100 free science documentaries
2
    Book Review                                                           meet the
    Professor of biology and biochemistry James Zull’s From
    Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience to Guide Change in Education
                                                                           VISIONARY
    (2011) is in many ways a follow up to his last book, The Art
    of the Changing Brain (2002). Zull acknowledges that many             John Seely Brown
    areas he neglected in his previous work describing the impli-          scholar, adviser, author
    cations of neuroscience research are addressed in this second
    book. But filling in the gaps is not his primary focus. Instead,
    Zull has a message he wants to communicate. Change is not
    only coming, it is happening now. Technology has changed              John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar and an adviser to
    the way our minds develop and engage with the world around            the provost at the University of Southern California. He
    us. Education, claims Zull, is the way to address this change.        is the author or coauthor of several books, including The
    Zull then spends the next 283 pages convincing his audience           Power of Pull (2010); The Only Sustainable Edge (2005);
    that using neuroscience to guide education is the best way to         and The Social Life of Information (2000). He is widely
    address the needs of the changing world.                              known as a futurist, and his primary research interests
                                                                          include the management of innovation, digital youth
    Zull makes certain initial messages clear. Education encom-           culture, digital media, and emerging forms of communica-
    passes more than schooling. The mind encompasses more than            tion and learning. Before coming to USC, Brown was the
    the brain. His book is directed at a global audience: formal and      chief scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of
    informal educators, anyone who has any interest in education          the company’s Palo Alto Research Center. He was also a
    or the development of the mind. Zull is at his best when he           co-founder of the Institute for Research on Learning.
    communicates complicated neuroscience research in ways that
    are intended for all readers. He makes the information acces-         Much of Seely Brown’s work to date has dealt with the
    sible and interesting for a broad audience.                           impact of technology on the fabric of social life. His most
                                                                          recent book, A New Culture of Learning (2011), written
    Zull’s central argument is that the purpose of education is           with Douglas Thomas, has particular relevance for educa-
    to move the brain to the mind—to transform the biological             tors. In keeping with the authors’ message about cultural
    organ into the knowing self. As Zull puts it, “It is the capac-       change, Brown and Thomas self-published the book with
    ity of the brain to organize and change itself through experi-        a digital on-demand publishing service. They hired an edi-
    ence that leads to the development of the mind. By sensing,           tor who excised the original manuscript’s academic jargon
    recording, and reproducing our experiences, the brain gains the       and cut the length of the book in half. In place of the peer
    capacity to think, decide, and act. It makes itself into a mind”      review process, Thomas and Brown included 18 online
    (p. 10).                                                              reviews and blogs as part of the book’s content.
    This journey from brain to mind is described in seven chapters        A New Culture of Learning revisions learning as an all-en-
    addressing the topics of perception to action; emotion; mean-         compassing environment where “digital media provide ac-
    ing making and integration; images and neuronal patterns;             cess to a rich source of information and play, and [where]
    symbols in language, mathematics, and music; and memory.              the processes that occur within those environments are
    In each chapter, Zull describes the features of the brain as an       integral to the results.” Learning will no longer be a series
    organ and how experience creates learning that develops the           of ideas and concepts to be mastered in lockstep fashion.
    mind. He provides pictures and diagrams, tells stories and asks       In the new culture of learning “the point is to embrace
    questions, outlines his thinking and reasoning, all in an effort      what we don’t know, come up with better questions about
    to illustrate the relationship between neuroscience and learn-        it, and continue asking those questions in order to learn
    ing.                                                                  more and more, both incrementally and exponentially.”
    In the last two chapters Zull summarizes his message and pur-         The new culture of learning is fundamentally collective
    pose. He provides principles for education (both formal and           and social, a synergy in which the whole group produces
    informal) derived from the research on neuroscience to suggest        greater learning than any individual can alone. In a radi-
    a pathway from brain to mind. While his suggestions are use-          cal assertion, Brown and Thomas claim that massively
    ful, they are situated in narration that makes for an interesting     multiplayer online games (MMOs) “are almost perfect
    and informative read, but not a quick, practical guide.               illustrations of a new learning environment” where “the
                                                                          engine that drives learning . . . is a blend of questioning,
    Zull’s From Brain to Mind offers the educator an easily-read          imagination, and—best of all—play.”
    text on the relationship between neuroscience and education.
    Zull does not aim to create a textbook or quick-guide, but he         Learn more at John Seely Brown’s website at http://www.
    provides a fantastic overview of research with practical educa-       johnseelybrown.com/
    tive suggestions situated in metaphor and story.
    Zull, J. E. (2011). From Brain to Mind: Using Neuroscience to Guide
    Change in Education. Sterling, VA: Stylus.


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    Recognizing Learning Excellence
     On May 5, 2011, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)        accomplishments ranging from peer-reviewed publications and
     and the Student Achievement Assessment Committee (SAAC)           conference presentations, to the development of new courses, to
     held a “Recognizing Learning Excellence” dinner. The Center’s     establishing partnerships with community organizations.
     director, Bonnie Fink, and SAAC chair, Susan Kleine, joined
                                                                       Criteria for the SAAC Awards include the extent to which
     forces to celebrate the accomplishments of faculty and staff
                                                                       programs used direct assessments of student learning tied to
     members who worked to improve teaching and learning at
                                                                       their program learning outcomes, the clarity of the reporting and
     BGSU.
                                                                       analysis of those assessments, and the extent to which they used
     Among the more than 70 attendees were members of the Cen-         the results to improve their programs. The 2011 winners were
     ter’s learning communities, SAAC committee members, and this      General Studies Writing, Sociology, Theater & Film, the BSBA
     year’s SAAC award recipients, who were recognized for promot-     program, Interior Design, Human Development and Family
     ing student success through program assessment and improved       Studies, Physical Education Teacher Education, Exercise Sci-
     instruction. Learning community members presented posters         ence, HMSLS, Food and Nutrition, Reading, Bowen-Thompson
     detailing their accomplishments for the year.                     Student Union, and the Counseling Center.

     The Center’s learning communities include Active Learning and
     the Transition to Digital, Applying Learner-centered Teaching
     Practices for Curricular and Co-curricular Learning, Improv-
     ing Student Learning with STEM Education, Interdisciplinary
     Peer Review and Assessment of Writing, Internationalizing
     the Curriculum, Making Great Teachers, Pedagogy and Schol-
     arship using Virtual, Online, and Mediated Environments,
     Service-Learning, and High-Impact Practices – Firelands
     College. Learning community facilitators presented a variety of




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    Apply Now for 11-12 Learning Communities
     The Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce        Integrative Learning Through Writing: Helping First-year
     a great slate of learning communities for the coming year. They    Students Enhance their Written Communication
     are open to faculty, staff, and graduate students. Deadline for    Facilitators: Amy Rybak and Lee Nickoson
     application is August 5. Download the application at: http://                        Description:
     www.bgsu.edu/ctl/page96821.html                                                      This learning community will examine the
                                                                                          theories and practices of first-year writing,
     Active Learning and the Transition to Digital                                        with goals of improving students’ under-
     Facilitators: Paul Cesarini and Elainie Lillios                                      standing and awareness of the expectations of
                               Description:                                               college-level writing and building instructor
                               The Active Learning and the Transi-                        confidence in assigning and evaluating writ-
                               tion to Digital Learning Community       ing. Members of this community will investigate strategies
                               focuses on integrating technology        to help students make connections among their classes that
                               and pedagogy to foster active learning   require significant written work. In addition to helping stu-
                               environments that challenge students     dents improve, this learning community will also explore ways
     to think critically and solve problems in creative ways. During    to recognize and celebrate those first-year students who arrive
     meetings the community will actively investigate methods for       at BGSU as strong writers. (Meets bi-weekly on Wednesdays;
     employing technology in engaging and authentic ways to pro-        3:00-4:30, specific dates TBA.)
     mote student learning; we will reassess instructional delivery
     styles and question how we teach with a goal of shifting peda-
     gogy from traditional, instructor-focused methods to student-      Interdisciplinary Peer Review and Assessment of Writing
     centered community building and learning; and we will work         (IPRAW)
     to transform our pedagogical styles by sharing knowledge,          Facilitator: Cynthia Ducar
     resources, ideas, tools, and solutions. (Meets bi-weekly on                                Description:
     Fridays, 9:00-10:30; specific dates TBA.)                                                  This community serves to promote
                                                                                                scholarly writing that enhances educa-
     Editing Wikipedia with an Inclusive Focus                                                  tion by providing teacher-scholars with
     Facilitators: Tori Ekstrand and Suzanne V. L. Berg                                         a forum in which they take on the role
                              Description:                                                      of student; in each meeting, members
                              The intention of this learning com-                               submit scholarly work to a review
                              munity is to learn how to edit and        by their peers. In addition, we will pilot the rubric that the
                              use Wikipedia in the classroom. This      same learning community developed last year as a construc-
                              community will seek to answer the         tive guide, providing tangible feedback to peer members. The
                              question of where Wikipedia belongs       group will also offer one or more workshops on the implemen-
                              in scholarship and teaching. Editing      tation of using the rubric as one of several key components in
     Wikipedia will provide insight into the process, which can         the peer-review process. Finally, the LC may produce online
     improve discussion of the site in the classroom. The goal of       resources such as workshop videos, peer review videos, and
     this community is to put theory into practice by becoming          a blog detailing the group’s experiences regarding both the
     editors of Wikipedia and working to make the encyclopedia          rubric and the overall peer-review process. (Meets bi-weekly
     inclusive of issues of culture and sex/gender. (Meets bi-weekly    on Fridays, 1:00-2:30; specific dates TBA.)
     on Mondays, 1:00-2:30; specific dates TBA.)

     Enhancing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at              Pedagogy and Scholarship Using Mobile, Online, and Vir-
     BGSU                                                               tual Environments (PSMOV)
     Facilitator: Tim Brackenbury                                       Facilitators: Anthony Fontana & Bonnie Mitchell
                            Description:                                                       Description:
                            Research on the effectiveness of edu-                              This learning community focuses on
                            cational practices has blossomed over                              innovative strategies of integrating new,
                            the past 20 years. Once the domain of                              engaging technologies into the classroom
                            departments of education, scholarship                              as well as into academic research. We are
                            in teaching and learning is now being                              interested in forming a community of
                            conducted within and across a variety                              faculty, staff and graduate students who
     of disciplines. The goals of this learning community are to        are interested in the subject so we can further our collective
     examine the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)            knowledge and experiences. We hope to enhance teaching and
     being done at BGSU, to learn about research methodologies          learning by effectively integrating digital tools into classroom
     in SoTL, and to develop and conduct research in teaching and       and online instruction. (Meets bi-weekly on Wednesdays,
     learning. (Meets bi-weekly on Thursdays, 1:00-2:30; specific       9:00-10:30; specific dates TBA.)
     dates TBA.)

5
    Learning Communities Continued
    Practicing Diversity and Inclusion in the Curriculum                        Understanding Student Information-seeking Behaviors to
    Facilitators: Susana Peña and Dafina Lazarus Stewart                        Enhance Student Learning
                        Description:                                            Facilitators: Colleen Boff and Cathi Cardwell
                        The Practicing Diversity and Inclusion                                         Description:
                        in the Curriculum Learning Community                                           Recent studies of information-seeking
                        will strengthen teaching around issues of                                      behavior indicate that students devel-
                        diversity at Bowling Green State Uni-                                          op relatively narrow search strategies
                        versity and foster the inclusion of diverse                                    and employ a minimal range of tools
                        perspectives throughout the curriculum.                                        in their academic work. Members of
    Topics to be covered include different pedagogical models                                          this learning community will explore
    for teaching diversity; challenges of teaching intersectional               ways to improve students’ abilities to contend with obstacles
    approaches to diversity; dealing with student resistance to                 inherent in the research project. They will also expand their
    diversity; curriculum development and “blue-sheeting”;                      students’ awareness and use of academic information and
    disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and               research tools. (Meets bi-weekly on Mondays, 10:30-12:00;
    practicing diversity and inclusion in the curriculum; and ex-               specific dates TBA.)
    amination of the personal competence required to teach and
    lead class conversations about diversity and inclusion. (Meets
    bi-weekly on Thursdays, 4:00-5:30; specific dates TBA.)                     What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Student
                                                                                Learning
                                                                                Facilitators: Tim Brackenbury and John Folkins
    STEM Classroom Assessment and Course Evaluation                                                Description:
    Facilitators: Matt Partin and Bob Midden                                                       Once derided as a waste of time and poten-
                       Description:                                                                tial cause of educational decline, gaming is
                       This learning community will combine                                        now being analyzed for its powerful effects
                       two goals: 1) developing educators’ ability                                 in motivating students to learn. Research is
                       to design valid and authentic assessment of                                 showing that games provide a high level of
                       their courses; and 2) developing educa-                                     motivation that leads to focused attention,
                       tors’ ability to use assessment of student               social interaction, tolerance for failure, and complex prob-
                       learning as part of their education research             lem solving, and this carries over to real-world applications.
    agenda. The focus on course assessment is especially timely                 Researchers across the country are now considering how the
    because of the urgent need to improve student assessment                    principles of gaming can be incorporated into the curricu-
    across the curriculum. This faculty LC would provide an                     lum, especially in the K-12 sector. This learning community
    excellent development opportunity to help create a core of                  is designed to explore the literature on gaming and education
    educators with special expertise in this important aspect of                to determine how we might use videogames to “level up”
    teaching that could help promote a greater appreciation and                 student learning at BGSU and go for the “epic win.” (Meets
    understanding of assessment throughout the entire campus.                   bi-weekly on Thursdays, 11:00-12:30; specific dates TBA.)
    (Meets bi-weekly on Thursdays; 12:30-2:00; specific dates
    TBA.)



                                                                                                     For information on our workshops or to
                                                                                                     register, contact the Center at:
                                                                                                     ctl@bgsu.edu, 419.372.6898, or
                                                                                                     http://www.bgsu.edu/ctl/page96846.html




                                                                                                                 Center for
                                                                                                                 &         eaching
                                                                      This newsletter is a publication of the
                                                                      Center for Teaching and Learning.

                                                                                                                           earning
                                                                      Visit us online at www.bgsu.edu/ctl/
                                                                      or in 201 University Hall.


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