ruminators' ilk

faculty development, educational technologies, intellectual curieux, info provocations


Faculty Development News This Week:

Academic Community / Networks

--"Creating Community Over Coffee"

This article is from The League for Innovation, January 2004.

Read the introduction:

"Creating a sense of belonging and community is a perennial challenge for nonresidential institutions. Particularly in the community college setting, students often balance multiple priorities, including parenthood and employment, in addition to coursework. Trips to campus are often perfunctory, focused, and as brief as possible. Social connections outside of the classroom may be limited.

In the fall of 2002, the Library and Student Services divisions at Davidson County Community College collaborated on an idea to bring students, faculty, and staff together for food, fun, and a bit of culture over coffee each Friday morning. Since then, Friday Coffee Hour, as it is called, has become an enriching and much enjoyed campus community builder."

Read the entire article:

Creating Community Over Coffee

--"Creating a Culture of Change"

This article is from The Journal of Staff Development, 25 (Spring 2004).

Creating a Culture of Change


--"Living Networked On and Off Line"

This article is from Contemporary Sociology, 28 (November 1999): 648-54.

"Living Networked"

This is a a 12-page PDF file.

--Community Building on the Web

"In addition to being useful, this book is a mirror into the culture and future -- even the anthropology -- of online communities." Jon Katz --

Community Building on the Web


--Relationship Categories

This is from the blog Many2Many.

Relationship Categories


--"Emerging Adulthood"

This article is from American Psychologist, 2002.

Emerging Adulthood"

This is a 10-page PDF file.

--"The Millennials"

Read the article:

"The Millennials"

This is an 11-page PDF file.

--"The Essential Demographics of Today's College Students"

Find out who your students are.

The Essential Demographics


This site is designed to engage the 18-24 age group in politics and activism.


--"Clueless in Academe: An Interview"

"Professors complain that each year’s batch of students are more clueless than the last, but could they be the ones in the dark? John Warner interviews author and academic Gerald Graff on who’s to blame for the failures in our classrooms."

"Clueless in Academe"

--The Pew Hispanic Center

"The Pew Hispanic Center's mission is to improve understanding of the diverse Hispanic population in the United States and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation. The Center strives to inform debate on critical issues through dissemination of its research to policymakers, business leaders, academic institutions and the media."

Pew Hispanic Center


Problem Solving / Critical Thinking

--Computer Supported Collaborative Argumentation Resource Site

This site is for "researchers and practitioners who are exploring the potential of Computer-Supported Collaborative Argumentation (CSCA) to support knowledge work."

…Collaborative Argumentation Site

--Wicked Problems

"Wicked problems are similar to ill-defined problems, just much worse. Furthermore, solutions are very difficult, if at all, to recognize as such. In other words, stating the problem is the problem."

Read more:

Wicked Problems

--"Wicked Problems and Social Complexity"

Here is a quote to entice you:

"Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." -Laurence J. Peter

Read more:

"Wicked Problems and Social Complexity"

This is a 25-page PDF file.

--Argumentation and Critical Thinking Tutorial

"The tutorials consist of a series of tests to help reinforce your knowledge and understanding of some basic concepts associated with making arguments and thinking critically. It specifically focuses on the Classical Logical Structure of Arguments and Informal Argumentative Fallacies."

Argumentation and Critical Thinking Tutorial


--Introduction to Logic

Another tutorial in critical thinking and logic.

Introduction to Logic

Problem Solving and Performance Analysis

"Performance analysis is the first step in any problem-solving or performance-improvement effort. While many human resources and training professionals speak favorably about study prior to action, those words do not typically translate into practice. This site is meant to help by providing information about how to encourage analysis in the organization and what strategies are best for doing it. This online information and coaching tool, designed by...Professor Allison Rossett, San Diego State University, offers planning tips and tools to get things done . . . fast."

First Things Fast


Online Learning

--Co-operative Learning Online

This blog entry considers "specific strategies for promoting cooperative learning online and illustrates how instructional technology can be used to engage students in high levels of interaction. This information will expand the learner’s capacity to incorporate a variety of instructional and assessment strategies."

Cooperative Learning Online


--"Older Learners and Online Education"

Read all about it:

"Older Learners and Online Education"

--"E-portfolios: What's Behind the Hype?"

This article is from iNews: Educational Technology, Student Services, 19 February 2004, University of California, Berkeley.


--"Creating a Sense of Adventure in Online Courses"

Get some ideas for course design.

"Creating a Sense of Adventure"

--The Guerra Scale: Online User Experience

Discussion on the four levels of user-experience.

The Guerra Scale

This reference acquired from ELearningPost, 23 March 2004.

--Evaluating Online Courses

This is from Grant McEwan College, Alberta, Canada.

Criteria for Evaluating Online Courses

Service Learning / Activism

--The Engaged Campus in a Diverse Democracy: Student Learning and Faculty Work

This project, project, funded by a Ford Foundation planning grant, "seeks to strengthen and broaden the work of faculty and schools by identifying and developing practices that will promote and integrate pedagogies for the public good and the scholarship of engagement. This two-year project works with a set of institutions to pilot ways of transforming institutional commitment to civic participation in a diverse democracy. Campus representatives meet to define engagement in the context of their own institutional missions, collectively refine these definitions and explore ways of making campus change to reflect such commitments and practices, and work at the AAHE Summer Academy to develop specific action plans for institutional improvement in the area of civic engagement."

The Engaged Campus

--Go Serv: Cesar Chavez Day, March 31

"Cesar Chavez believed that people have an obligation to contribute to their community. In August 2000, legislation in California was signed to establish March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, which engages thousands students annually in service projects to honor Chavez’s life and work."

Go Serv


--Youth '

Youth04 "seeks to synthesize the best of the political Internet and the best of traditional grassroots organizing to transform the role 18-25 year olds will play in the 2004 election."

There is a college curriculum link.

Youth '

Read the Mission Statement:

"Governing is a monthly magazine whose primary audience is state and local government officials: governors, legislators, mayors, city managers, council members and other elected, appointed and career officials. They are the men and women who set policy for and manage the day-to-day operations of cities, counties and states, as well as such governmental bodies as school boards and special districts.

The magazine has a circulation of about 85,000. Besides public officials, its readers include journalists, academics, companies that provide products and services for government, and involved citizens with an interest in the governments closest to them."


--Why Blog?

Read this posting from Many2Many:

Blogs, Creativity, Audiences, and Academics

Blog Grab Bag

--Nursing: The National Institute of Nursing Research

Read this excerpt from the site's Mission Statement:

"The National Institute of Nursing Research supports clinical and basic research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the life span-from management of patients during illness and recovery to the reduction of risks for disease and disability, the promotion of healthy lifestyles, promoting quality of life in those with chronic illness, and care for individuals at the end of life. This research may also include families within a community context. According to its broad mandate, the Institute seeks to understand and ease the symptoms of acute and chronic illness, to prevent or delay the onset of disease or disability or slow its progression, to find effective approaches to achieving and sustaining good health, and to improve the clinical settings in which care is provided."

National Institute of Nursing Research

--Athletics: SportsCentury

ESPN's SportsCentury, "the definitive review of the people and events of sports in North America in the 1900s, was among the winners of the 59th annual George Foster Peabody Awards, considered the broadcast and cable industry's most prestigious prize."

Take a look:


--Travel: Wiki Travel Guide

"Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. It is built in collaboration by Wikitravellers from around the globe."

Wiki Travel Guide

--What is Your Political Personality?

"{This} idea was developed by a political journalist with a university counseling background, assisted by a professor of social history. They're indebted to people like Wilhelm Reich and Theodor Adorno for their ground-breaking work in this field. We believe that, in an age of diminishing ideology, a new generation in particular will get a better idea of where they stand politically -- and the sort of political company they keep."

Take the test:

The Political Compass

--Bird Life International

This site is devoted to conservation and advocacy for birds worldwide. Below is a photo of a Wandering Albatross, threatened by longline fishing.

BirdLife International

Until next week!

Blog editor

Image credits: Tony Palliser/ BirdLife International


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