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The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology Fall Semester 2006

Bowling or Teaching– Don’t Do Either Alone

FALL No. 2

Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone was a national best seller written in 2000. Putnam, the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard, made us think about the collapse of our social institutions—neighbors who no longer knew each other, volunteerism at an all time low, more involvement with technology and less with human beings—in short, bowling alone.

practice and research. “This is something that needs constant reflection and self-assessment,” he said, because while the faculty has plenty of expertise in content areas, “the students of 2006, the incoming class, are not the same as the students of 1996, or 1986, or 1976.” At the Center we would like to transform the teaching and learning process.

Putnam has written a second book, Better Together. It describes a dozen innovative organizations from east to west and north to south that are re-weaving social fabric, and bringing hopeful news that our civic institutions are taking new forms to adapt to new times and new needs.

Transforming the teaching culture takes place when individuals, reflecting on assumptions or expectations, find them faulty and revise, or transform, them. Examining our teaching culture and our students’ learning styles requires

• critical thinking

At the Center we don’t like teaching alone any more than bowling alone. Although we may not appear in Putnum’s book, we hope that our activities can build the social capital that Putnam speaks about—the collective value of networks. Building social capital delivers specific benefits that flow from the trust, reciprocity, information, and cooperation associated with them.

• critical reflection and assessment

• fields of reference or context

• conflict or dissonance

• interaction and collaboration

The Center believes that having faculty and graduate students collaborate can generate knowledge for improvement and inspiration to transform teaching and learning. As BGSU community members, we don’t need to wait for an “expert” to tell us what to do; we can take responsibility for steady and lasting professional development and build a new culture of teaching. Our collaboration improves the quality of teaching and offers big dividends for student learning and professional morale, and the Center wants to facilitate that collaboration through its learning communities, workshops, and consultations. In his opening day address Dr. Ribeau discussed the improvement of the teaching and learning process through

The Center can be the place that offers and facilitates these activities, but the catalyst for collaboration, transformation, and implementation is you. Think about joining the Center’s teaching and learning “league.”

Look Inside for “Interact at the Center” & 3 New Center Workshops



Nicholas Negroponte is the founder and director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Laboratory – an interdisciplinary research center that supports and conducts a wide range of research on the future of human communication. However, he has earned his visionary status through the project that catapulted the Media Laboratory and him into the world spotlight–the One Laptop per Child nonprofit association.

Negroponte has been a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design and has been on the faculty of MIT since 1966. He has pursued countless projects, pushing the boundaries of digital technologies relating to the movement of information and entertainment. Negroponte’s book, Being Digital, was a best seller in 1995. In it he forecasts how technologies and the worlds of entertainment, interactivity and information would eventually merge. He truly made his mark when in November 2005, at the World Summit for the Information Society in Tunis, he unveiled a laptop designed to sustain the rigors of everyday use by children in developing nations and priced at only $100 per unit. The “$100 laptop,” as it has come to be known, has become the public face of his One Laptop per Child organization and has certainly assured him visionary status.


The Hot Five


interact at the

Promoting an institution-wide dialogue among faculty, staff and graduate students with an interest in teaching and learning, with or without technology. Nicholas Negroponte in Being Digital (1995) forecasted, “we are entering an era when expression can be more participatory and alive.” Negroponte’s prediction is precisely the reason for a shift at the Center from our blog and email teaching tips to an interactive and dynamic online dialogue for sharing and building learning and teaching knowledge at BGSU. Our intention is not to establish just any online community, but a participatory one. As Negroponte points out, “the true value of a network is less about information and more about community.” Rather than the site being another unidirectional exposition, we will be actively seeking faculty, staff, and graduate students to suggest topics, solicit commentary, and provide insights concerning topics related to learning and teaching in the 21st century. Picture this scenario – Active learning strategy (Strategy Z) is posted by a faculty member and describes a process for engaging students in deeper learning through dialogue about their subject. After reading this description, a second faculty member comments that she has used Strategy Z in the humanities with much success and offers an additional suggestion about monitoring the students’ progress by moving around the room as they are working. A librarian then mentions that Strategy Z is discussed in more detail in several books, as well as journals, focused specifically on active learning strategies. Next, another faculty member mentions that he tried Strategy Z with little observed or measured success in his physics course several years ago, but also offers that using his students’ feedback to modify the strategy has made it effective. He mentions that he will talk to some others in his department to facilitate their implementation, especially after reviewing the latest research suggested by the librarian – And the conversation goes on.

The Center presents its top five list of our hottest online resources.









Research materials and information provided by the Smithsonian Institute; covers all areas of study

Access to national archives and detailed information for “Educators” and “Researchers”

Allows for easy online video and audio conversions; simply change any digital format into another

Interactive website featuring Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech

Art, architecture, and cultural experiences, including audio and graphic downloads



The Center is fortunate to have 12 learning communities, ongoing workshops, and individual consultations that promote the exchange of ideas in a collegial environment. Let’s reinforce our collaboration and “Interact at the Center.” The launch date is Tuesday, November 7. Visit the Center’s website for a direct link:


Did you know

The Ohio Learning Network’s Northwest Regional Center is pleased to have six institutions represented in its 2006-2007 Learning Communities. The eight awarded grant proposals include • Teaching Learning w/Technology Certified Community of Practice facilitated by Mike Renock-Welker from North Central State College • Plugging into the People Network facilitated by Carol Schwartz from Northwest State Community College

• e-Futuring facilitated by Kay Strong from BGSU Firelands

• Latin American and Latino Studies facilitated by Amy Robinson from BGSU • Incorporating Podcasting in eOwens Courses facilitated by Carol Buser from Owens Comunity College • Terra Teachers using CAMS to Enhance Student Learning facilitated by Nancy Sattler from Terra Community College • Measuring Excellence with ePortfolios facilitated by Rose Marie Kuceyeski from Owens Community College • Educational Use of Podcasting, Vodcasting, and Video Streaming facilitated by Mike Substelny from Lorain County Community College. The eight learning communities came together at the Bowen Thompson Student Union on October 19th for the Fall Kick-Off Event. The day-long event included a motivational keynote by BGSU faculty member, Gene Poor, and a panel presentation lead by the Center’s Advisory Committee Members: Mark Karamol from Owens Community College, Robin Kratzer from Defiance College, Connie Molnar from BGSU, and Raymond McCandless from the University of Findlay. All eight learning communities presented their goals and strategies and also networked at the end of the day. Interested in the progress of the learning communities? Visit to read about each learning community!

Constructing Effective Writing Assignments “A problem well put is half solved.” Disappointed with the quality of your students’ writing assignments? Find final drafts are at odds with your intentions? (Vaguely) dissatisfied with your own assignment directions? Want more clues about how to construct effective writing assignments? Answer “Yes” to any of the above, and you’ll want to register for this session. Opportunities to express your concerns, discuss ideas with peers, establish criteria for successful assignments sheets, and critique assignments is promised. Dr. Barbara Toth/BGSU Writing Center November 2, 2006, 11:00am–12:15pm Usability 101-Basic Principles for Online Design and Adoption Information-related technologies are rapidly evolving, both in the classroom and at home. Critically examining and evaluating usability of technologies is essential. As a designer, usability means making sure “something” works well and that your user has the ability and the experience to use “it.” In this workshop, participants will learn some basic principles of interactive design and information architecture, so they are better able to design online information and evaluate information technology packages. Thursday, November 30, 2006, 10:30am–11:30am Tuesday, December 5, 2006, 10:30am–11:30am Document Security Document security is important in this digital age. Microsoft Word and Adobe offer tools to help you protect your valuable information. You will learn to use features in both programs to improve security, for example, attaching a digital signature to a document to ensure its authenticity and checking the properties of submitted documents for anomalies that could signal plagiarism. Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 2:00pm–3:00pm Tuesday, December 5, 2006, 3:00pm–4:00 pm



Academic Honesty Tuesday, November 7, 11:00am–1:30pm

Introduction to PDF Thursday, November 16, 3:00pm–4:00pm

Audacity Wednesday, November 15, 10:00am–11:00am Friday, December 1, 1:00pm–2:00pm

Legal & Ethical Issues in Advising Wednesday, November 1, 1:30pm–2:30pm

Constructing Effective Writing Assignments Thursday, November 2, 11:00am–12:15pm

Photoshop Monday, November 13, 1:00pm–2:00pm Wednesday, November 29, 10:00am–11:00am

Digital Photography Thursday, November 2, 10:00am–11:00am Tuesday, November 28, 11:00am–12:00pm

Podcasting Monday, November 6, 3:00pm–4:00pm Monday, November 27, 10:00am–11:00am

Document Security Wednesday, November 15, 2:00pm–3:00pm Tuesday, December 5, 3:00pm–4:00pm

Refworks Wednesday, November 1, 9:30am–10:45am Tuesday, November 7, 9:00am–10:15am

Epsilen Tuesday, November 14, 9:00am–10:30am (Introductory) Thursday, November 16, 9:00am–10:30am (Advanced)

Snap Survey Software This is a two-part workshop. Participants should register for both sessions. Tuesday, November 14, 1:00pm–4:00pm Thursday, November 16, 1:00pm–3:00pm

Film & Slide Scanning Friday, November 17, 2:30pm–3:30pm Thursday, December 7, 10:30am–11:30am

Technology Tools for Advising Thursday, November 9, 10:30am–12:00pm

From Film to Finish: Capturing Video, iMovie, and iDVD Thursday, November 2, 2:30pm–4:30pm Tuesday, November 21, 2:30pm–4:30pm

Usability 101-Basic Principles for Online Design and Adoption Thursday, November 30, 10:30am–11:30am Tuesday, December 5, 10:30am–11:30am

How Have BGSU Faculty Incorporated Service Learning into Their Courses? Wednesday, November 15, 11:30am–1:00pm

To register for one or more of our workshops contact the Center at: 419.372.6898

This newsletter is a publication of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. Visit us online at

Fall 2006 Newsletter #2  

This is the second of two newsletters published by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology during fall 2006. It's main articles in...