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Brown Bag Lunches Archives

Recordings of CTE brown bag lunch sessions can be accessed below. Please click the  “Access Session Archive” link to listen to the conversation.

  • Sep 2, 2011
    Information Fluency: The Great Debate
    One of the competencies associated with the Core Curriculum at VCU is information fluency, acquired through coursework which helps students "navigate library-related services (on-line and on-site) as well as evaluate the legitimacy of sources of information"[1]. In an area of discussion awash with (often competing) definitions, standards, professional guidelines, and assessment approaches, what it means to be an "information fluent", lifelong-learner remains a topic of on-going debate (cf. [2]). In this Brown Bag Lunch, we will continue the discussion about information fluency across the VCU curriculum--examining where we are and where we might go--and consider how alternative visions of the "information fluency" concept might contribute to our teaching and students' learning on campus.
    [1] http://www.vcu.edu/uc/core/index.htm
    [2] http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/library_babel_fish/search_how_libraries_do_it_wrong
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  • Sep 9, 2011
    Openness to Integrating Technology: Assessing Faculty and Student Perceptions and Attitudes

    This session will focus on the presentation of results from a research study conducted by an interdisciplinary group of VCU faculty members, who investigated faculty and students' use of and attitudes toward digital media for educational purposes. Participants will be polled on their own perceptions and encouraged to discuss the findings about the similarities and differences between faculty and student perceptions regarding the use of digital media in classroom settings. This research has direct implications regarding the openness of faculty and students to the integration of technology in their teaching and learning.
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  • Sep 16, 2011
    Open Educational Resources

    "Open education" is an increasingly common theme in discussions of teaching and learning in higher education[1]. The OpenCourseWare (OCW) project[2] maintained by MIT is one example of how an institution might commit to offering learning opportunities to its community (and the global community) in tandem with on-campus instructional efforts. This brownbag lunch will engage faculty and staff in discussion about what it means to support "openness" at individual- and institutional-levels, including topics such as Creative Commons licenses, Learning Object repositories, and cloud-based systems for creating and sharing educational content.
    [1] Iiyoshi, T., & Kumar, M. S. V. (Eds.). (2008). Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    [2] http://ocw.mit.edu/
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  • Sep 23, 2011
    Scholarship 2.0: What the Modern, Open Web Affords the Modern Scholar

    We spend lots of time and energy thinking about how technology can be integrated into our teaching. But, we are also scholars and ought to consider the affordances of the modern web for our lives as scholars. Join us for a discussion around questions such as: How might we think differently about publishing? How can we take advantage of modern technologies to look differently at the "impact" of our work? Are there implications of modern computer-mediated communications for how we do peer review?
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  • Sep 30, 2011
    Sharing Course Notes on the Web: A New Marketplace of Ideas?

    The growth of sites like Koofers, Notehall, Course Hero and Grade Guru have provided students with a wide range of opportunities to share and redistribute course information and documents on the web. Some of these sites are free and open to anyone, and others create a token economy for the "sale" and exchange of course materials. This session will explore these course material sharing sites and invite questions and conversation among faculty members about the issues, concerns and opportunities presented by these sites.
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  • Oct 7, 2011
    Mobile Applications in Higher Education Classrooms

    Over 35% of adults in the United States own smartphones[1], mobile devices which allow users to connect to the World Wide Web, download applications, and manage their contacts. A growing number of applications have begun to be developed for (and, in some cases, by) educators with specific uses in instructional contexts: VCU Mobile, Attendance, Leafsnap, Flashcards*, and many more. This brownbag lunch will introduce several notable education-related applications for iPhone OS and Android devices as well as provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to share their experiences with applications they've used to support classroom management and student learning at VCU.
    [1] http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Smartphones.aspx
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  • Oct 14, 2011
    The Inverted Classroom

    Inverting the classroom is a practice that flips the traditional approach of presenting content during class time. In the inverted classroom, students are expected to review materials that would normally be presented in class, (e.g., lecture, demonstrations, sample problems) outside of class time. This approach can free-up class time to focus on discussion, collaborative work, and engagement with other activities that are done outside of class, or that we run out of time to do. Through examples and discussion, this session will explore the challenges and opportunities of the inverted classroom, and invite participants to share experiences they have had with an inverted classroom approach.
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  • Oct 21, 2011
    Instructor Identity and Transparency in the Classroom

    Two years-worth of discussion in the "Faculty Ethics on Facebook" group[1] suggests that our notions of faculty-student interactions in the contemporary educational system continue to evolve. This brownbag lunch will solicit faculty and staff perspectives on several open questions: How much should students know about me as a person (rather than as their instructor)?; When is it okay to "friend" a student on Facebook?; What do I do if I run into a student while I'm shopping for groceries?; and, What if a student posts unflattering comments about me (or my teaching) via social media? This likely-provocative discussion will lead participants to identify strategies for dealing with how much they disclose about themselves to students and how to manage challenges associated with comments students might share via the Web.
    [1] https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2229343363
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  • Oct 28, 2011
    SOLEs: Self Organized Learning Environments

    This brown bag lunch session begins with a viewing of a brief video that explores the work of Sugata Mitra, and his "Hole in the Wall" project. Mitra's ideas take us on a journey to consider what motivates young children to learn in both formal and non-formal settings when they have ready access to the vast storehouse of human knowledge at their fingertips. Participants will be asked to consider the speculation that, "education is a self organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomena…" and to discuss the potential implications for such a view of learning in higher education.
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  • Nov 4, 2011
    Using Learning Analytics to Improve Student Performance

    The 2011 Horizon Report listed Learning Analytics as a technology four to five years on the horizon, but one garnering significant interest and increasing exposure. To quote the Horizon Report, learning analytics "loosely joins a variety of data-gathering tools and analytic techniques to study student engagement, performance, and progress in practice, with the goal of using what is learned to revise curricula, teaching, and assessment in real time. Building on the kinds of information generated by Google Analytics and other similar tools, learning analytics aims to mobilize the power of data-mining tools in the service of learning, and embracing the complexity, diversity, and abundance of information that dynamic learning environments can generate." This session will examine current tools available through Google Analytics and Blackboard Tracking Reports and begin a conversation on how the vast amount of data generated by students day-to-day could be harnassed to track and intervene as necessary to promote student success.
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  • Nov 11, 2011
    Academic Freedom and Tenure: Old and in the Way, or in Desperate Need of Renewal?

    Academic freedom and tenure have been integral features of the American University system for over 150 years and yet, not every faculty member is aware of what they mean, what their function is and how they relate to one another, and how they inform and support our work as academics. Some external constituents suggest that they are no longer needed; that they can actually undermine the mission of the American university as opposed to support it in fundamental ways. Please consider joining us for a discussion about the history and future of academic freedom and tenure in the American University.


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