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Recently, President Sullivan announced a new award to recognize staff “who exemplify the qualities of the University of Vermont’s Our Common Ground, the statement of aspirations and shared values for the UVM Community.” In part, this new award seeks to make Our Common Ground a living document, relevant to UVM today and in the future.

While this statement of institutional values was endorsed the UVM Board of Trustees in 1998, the current UVM community may not be fully aware of its existence. In honor of the President‘s effort to bring everyone‘s attention back to these values, there is now a menu link to Our Common Ground in the new Blackboard course spaces, as of the Summer session, 2014. Here is the statement in its entirety:

We aspire to be a community that values:

RESPECT. We respect each other. We listen to each other, encourage each other, and care about each other. We are strengthened by our diverse perspectives.

INTEGRITY. We value fairness, straightforward conduct, adherence to the facts, and sincerity. We acknowledge when things have not turned out the way we had hoped. As stewards of the University of Vermont, we are honest and ethical in all responsibilities entrusted to us.

INNOVATION. We want to be at the forefront of change and believe that the best way to lead is to learn from our successes and mistakes and continue to grow. We are forward-looking and break new ground in addressing important community and societal needs.

OPENNESS. We encourage the open exchange of information and ideas from all quarters of the community. We believe that through collaboration and participation, each of us has an important role in determining the direction and well-being of our community.

JUSTICE. As a just community, we unite against all forms of injustice, including, but not limited to, racism. We reject bigotry, oppression, degradation, and harassment, and we challenge injustice toward any member of our community.

RESPONSIBILITY. We are personally and collectively responsible for our words and deeds. We stand together to uphold Our Common Ground.”

See the webpage.

A course banner brightens up a course home page and helps users identify the course they’ve entered. Any image can be made into a banner, but the ideal dimensions are shallow and wide.* Text can be added to an image using editing software, such as Photoshop, or an online image editing tool such as picmonkey.com/.

The CTL provides pre-made banners and instructions on this page or come to the Dr. Is In for help.

*If you use the announcement tool in your course, you’ll want to make sure your banner isn’t so tall that it pushes the announcement area out of sight. Read more about that here.

Here’s an interesting article showcasing recent research on the so-called “Net Generation.” The German Website, Speigel Online International, cites research that debunks a number of popular assumptions about this generation’s adroitness with Web technologies and their supposed desire to do nearly everything digitally.
» The Internet Generation Prefers the Real World

Perspectives on intellectual property in higher ed vary widely and the one expressed by this speaker (15 min. video) favors the open education movement and places the idea of information as personal property to be protected in an historical context that’s both controversial and interesting. I’d be curious to hear thoughts and reactions to it from our community.

The speaker is Dr. David Wiley, Associate Professor of Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University, at TEDxNYED, a March 2010 conference on new media and education held in New York City.

Because of some recent trouble with spam filtering, we’ve had to turn the comments feature off, but please feel free to email me (iib@uvm.edu) and I’ll post your reply.

Blackboard Jungle The Office of Multicultural Affairs is sponsoring this symposium on March 28th and 29th for UVM faculty. This event will address “the challenges that emerge when gender, race and sexuality intersect and shape how students learn and how we teach.”

To learn more and register, contact Janet.S.Green@uvm.edu or call 802-656-0856.

Download the program here [PDF].

We were all delighted to see Shirley’s (Shirley Gedeon, the CTL’s former director) blog about her sabbatical in Bosnia – a lively read and vicarious getaway. Wow, Shirley, you GO.

The Faculty Fellows for Service-Learning Program recruits faculty members from across UVM to participate in a seminar each Spring on how to build service-learning pedagogy into courses. Faculty members must apply and be accepted into the Program, are given a small professional development fund ($750), and are expected to inject service-learning into at least one of their courses after finishing the program. Faculty participants cite the opportunity to interact with colleagues with similar interests as a highlight of this program.
For more information, and an application form, visit:
http://www.uvm.edu/partnerships/?Page=ffsl2.html
Application Deadline: November 9, 2007
Seminar Dates: January 8-10, 2008

The Center for Cultural Pluralism is sponsoring an even that promises to be interesting and important:
abstract.jpg“Moving Beyond the Basics: Shifts of Consciousness and Practice for Transformative Multicultural Teaching and Learning”
(snippet of the description on the CCP website)

[Transformative multicultural education] calls on faculty to think deeply and critically, not just about our biases, but about how we challenge or support power imbalances in our teaching, how we teach (or do not teach) about certain social justice issues, and how we may (often unintentionally) contribute to existing inequities, sometimes even when we believe we are teaching multiculturally. This session we help participants to be more critically reflective of their teaching and create higher levels of critical thinking and social justice awareness in their students.”


September 28, 2007.8:30-4:00p.m. Location TBD
To register, call 656-9511 (CCP)

For more info., visit the CCP website.

bored.jpg
We were talking today, again, about that recurrent concern over the reliance on PowerPoint for presenting complex concepts or sharing knowledge. I recently read Edward Tufte’s Beautiful Evidence and the second edition of his powerful PowerPoint essay is quoted in the title of this post.
It’s a perpetual teaching/learning issue. Not only is PP increasingly relied upon to support lecture, but more students are required to submit their course work in this format.
Some questions that I feel are worth asking are, Do bullet points and pictures inspire or require smart and rigorous thinking? How much of the blame for bad (i.e., diminishing, boring, soporific, flattening…) PowerPoint presentations lies with the user and how much with the tool?
Read more on Edward Tufte’s blog.

I’m finally, finally getting around to making this post about the recent CTL-sponsored workshop at the Fleming Museum. Well-attended and really interesting, it was led by Evelyn Hankins, Curator and Margaret Tamulonis, Manager of Collections.

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