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December workshop prepares faculty for quarters to semesters shift

As OHIO moves closer to the 2012 quarters to semesters transition (Q2S), faculty face both challenges and opportunities. To help navigate through changes and take advantage of the chance to enhance, OHIO Academic Technologies is providing an opportunity for faculty to get a head start drafting the “blueprint” for their semester classes.

OHIO will host a workshop, “Extreme Course Makeover, Q2S Edition: Creating the Blueprint,” on Dec. 6-7 from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m in the Faculty Commons in Alden Library. The workshop will aid instructors in the transition from quarters to semesters, as well as enhancing their classes. The event will be open to all faculty.

“The transition is going to be confusing. I view it a little as a storm - the more prepared you are, the less surprised you are when the storm hits,” said Sam Girton, associate professor in the School of Visual Communications (VisCom) and   member of the workshop planning team.

The two-day workshop will cover the gamut of quarter to semester topics. Faculty will speak on developing correct syllabi and more clearly defining course outcomes and goals, as well as how to aid students, through the transition.

Other subjects include a segment exploring new technology and resources available on campus and in contemporary teaching, and a “Blueprint for Q2S Course Redesign,” led by Tim Vickers, associate director for the Center for Teaching and Learning.

“In creating a syllabus, it is very useful to have a template or blueprint to start with,” said Vickers. “This portion of the workshop will explore ways to construct an integrated course plan to facilitate, assess and document student learning.”

A speaker from another university that has recently made the switch between quarters and semesters will speak to faculty members on the differences it has made in their institution. On Tuesday afternoon, participants will engage in facilitated individual and small group sessions to apply workshop content to a course they plan to teach.

This workshop grew out of a similar workshop held last year, and committee members hope this will be a kickoff for similar events to be held in the coming quarters.

“This is the first of many specialized workshops we hope to offer in the next year and a half in preparation for the semester transition. We would like to build upon this workshop and provide more resources for faculty during the transition,” said Candi Morris, member of the workshop planning team and course management system administrator with the Office of Information Technology (OIT).

Regional faculty members also will have the opportunity to participate through a streaming video on the website. A moderator will be available to accept questions.
“The process of designing a course is similar to building a house,” said Girton. “You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, so why would you create a class without a plan?”

Those interested should RSVP via the website, www.ohio.edu/makeover. Event coordinators also ask faculty to tentatively identify a course they would like to “makeover” during the workshop.