LOCATIONAdams Library 405
(Find us on campus)
Spring 2013 at Rhode Island College
FACULTY CENTER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
The FCTL was supported by a generous grant from the Davis Educational Foundation
Welcome to Rhode Island College's Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. Follow the menu at the upper left hand side of this homepage for information about FCTL programming.
It's obvious that change continues to impacint higher education at an accelerating rate. This means that our students need to be prepared for life and work in a technologically advanced, globally interdependent, and politically fractured society. Meanwhile, employers continue to question college graduates’ capabilities and parents and students wonder if the cost of higher education is really worth it. At the same time more and more people appear to be uneducated about the issues central to their well-being, and are often unable to engage in civil discourse. If higher education is to meet the current challenges facing our world, we need to consider the ways in which the cultural and historical context for higher education has changed, and to think in new ways about how to meet these challenges without compromising the core principles of what we do at Rhode Island College.
Rhode Island College, like many other schools, continues to respond to the current challenges. Our new integrative, developmentally nuanced general education program moves away from a “checklist” approach towards a more intentional and coherent scaffolding of student learning goals and outcomes across a student’s four (or more) years in college. Articulating the educational goals we have for our students also requires developing a way to assess students’ learning in order to demonstrate how we meet (or do not meet) our educational goals. Some of this language is driven by the ongoing “assessment” trend currently making its way through higher education, but at the same time, asking ourselves if our students are learning what it is we’re teaching, and if we might be more effective, requires a reflective approach to teaching and learning. Though “reflective practice” may seem to be motivated by an “assessment culture” overseen by administrators and bureaucrats, I think “reflective practices” refer more properly to promising pedagogical practices based upon the notion that what we do in the classroom can be improved if we gather relevant evidence and make decisions on how and why we teach the way we do, and how we might improve our practice based upon that evidence.
Teaching with technology represents another paradigm shift in how higher education conducts itself. Like it or not, technology is here to stay and our students and their parents have come to expect that a first-rate college education includes cutting-edge technology that provides opportunities for online learning experiences, mobile learning, all so that today’s college student can have access to their educational experience everywhere and at any time. Whether we are teaching a hybrid class, or simply a face-to-face class with a Learning Management System like Blackboard, rethinking what we do in the classroom, and how we do it, requires a conscious, deliberate effort. The Faculty Center for Teaching Learnig is here to support you in your efforts to grow and develop as scholars of teaching and learning.
FCTL Mission Statement:
Rhode Island College’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes the professional growth and development of faculty as teachers and as scholars of teaching and learning. The FCTL cultivates a public dialogue about teaching and learning across disciplinary lines and strives to build a professional community among teachers at Rhode Island College. The FCTL serves faculty at every stage of their professional lives in order to support a campus-wide culture committed to excellence in teaching and learning.
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