Volume X, Number 2

November 2004

In This Issue. . .
Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Awards
Elmer J. Holzinger ............... 3 Paul Kameen ....................... 4 S. J. Murabito ..................... 5 Lauren Yaich ...................... 6

Outstanding teaching promotes engagement, critical thinking


Instructional Technology: Electronic Response Systems ........................... 7 Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards
Geeta Kothari ................... 8 Ericka Cederstrom-Huston 9 Marla Ripoll ....................... 10 Pete Simonson ................... 11

University-wide Teaching Awards ...................... 12-13 TA Services: Training Needs ............................ 14 Communication-across-theCurriculum Seminar ...... 16

or this annual awards issue of the Teaching Times, faculty who have won major University teaching awards share ways they apply two concepts related to excellent teaching: Winners of the School of Arts & Sciences Bellet awards discuss ways to actively engage students in the learning process, and winners of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award reflect on ways they teach students to think critically. Faculty members play a critical role in student learning. Paramount among indicators of engagement that directly influence the quality of students’ learning are faculty who communicate high expectations and encourage cooperation, active learning, and student-faculty contact.1 The act of engaging students as active learners is connected to an overarching goal of higher education: to foster the kinds of higher level thinking skills that students will use in other courses and beyond college. This complex thinking is often referred to as critical thinking, a disciplined process that requires conceptualizing, applying,

analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information.2 Terms used synonymously with critical thinking include problem solving and decision making. Critical thinking takes root in the learner’s engagement with problems, when faculty encourage inquiry, discussion, and debate. At the same time, students acquire skills in complex thinking from faculty who model thought processes valued in their particular disciplines.3 Beyond the classroom, critical thinking is “a powerful resource in one’s personal and civic life. Educating good critical thinkers yields insights which are the basis of a rational and democratic society.”4 In addition to high-profile teaching awards, this issue features a comprehensive list of awards recognizing teaching excellence throughout the University in the past year. The Teaching Times staff compiles this information through the year, and updates can be e-mailed to Jo Rosol, rosol@cidde.pitt.edu.
see “Critical Thinking” page 2

A newsletter devoted to the support of teaching and learning at the University of Pittsburgh

Teaching Times
Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education (CIDDE) University of Pittsburgh Room 820 4227 Fifth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15260 Phone: 412-624-6596 Fax: 412-624-7220 E-mail: dearment@cidde.pitt.edu Web site: www.pitt.edu/~ciddeweb/ FACULTYDEVELOPMENT Editorial Staff: Carol DeArment, editor Joyce Walsh, production Tim Kyle, copy editor Autumn Koerbel, asst. copy editor Photographs by CIDDE Photography & Electronic Imaging The Teaching Times, a newsletter devoted to the support of teaching and learning, is distributed to every faculty member and teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. It features interviews with faculty who share teaching experiences, strategies, and techniques that can be applied in classrooms across the University. The Teaching Times welcomes letters and articles from faculty and staff about any topic affecting University teaching and learning. The Teaching Times is published by the Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education (CIDDE), which provides a wide range of services to faculty in support of University teaching and learning. The central mission of CIDDE is to support excellence in University instruction. CIDDE also is responsible for maximizing the effective use of instructional technologies to meet the University’s academic goals and priorities. Diane Davis, Director djdavis@pitt.edu Joanne M. Nicoll, Associate Director for Instructional Design and Faculty Development nicoll@pitt.edu Nick Laudato, Associate Director, Instructional Technology, laudato@pitt.edu

Chancellor’s teaching awardees press students to think at complex levels


n interviews on the following pages, 2004 winners of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award share ways they encourage their students to think at higher levels. This teaching award has been conferred since 1984 as a way to recognize excellence in teaching and inspire colleagues through shared insights. The most broadly based teaching award at the University, it has been bestowed upon 118 faculty, representing a range of schools within the University and its regional campuses. Candidates for the award can be nominated by students, faculty colleagues, department chairs, or deans. A committee of faculty and students recommends selections to the Chancellor for his approval. Any full-time faculty member who has been active as a teacher for at least five years and has not previously won is eligible. In addition to a $2,000 cash award and a $3,000 grant to be used to support teaching activities, winners are honored at an annual Honors Convocation and have their names inscribed on a permanent plaque in the William Pitt Union. The awards are funded by an endowment from unrestricted 1980 Capital Campaign funds. !
“Critical Thinking” from page 1 References 1. Chickering, Arthur and Zelda F. Gamson, “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education,” AAHE Bulletin, American Association of Higher Education, March 1987. 2. Scriven, Michael and Richard Paul, “Defining Critical Thinking, “ (Draft Statement for the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking): www.criticalthinking.org/University/univclass/Defining.html. 3. Bean, John C. , Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass, 1966. 4. Facione, Peter A., “Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts,” California Academic Press, 1998. !

Correction: Michael Spring, Information Sciences, pictured at right, was misidentified in a photo in the September 2004 issue of the Teaching Times. Spring was awarded an Innovation in Education grant with Marlin Mickle, Engineering, for Active Learning with Writing, Experimenting, and Simulation (ALWES).
Michael Spring

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Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Elmer J. Holzinger, Medicine
I emphasize the need to be able to listen carefully and interpret appropriately and also to know which questions to ask in order to obtain the most information.
y teaching of medical stuter is, therefore, a very dynamic expeknowledge to patient care in a dents involves students at rience that varies with each patient thoughtful and precise manner. In all four years of the medical and it is intriguing to see how the addition to the scientific aspect of school curriculum. However, the students quickly adjust to the varipatient care, it is certainly impormajor portion is in the third and ability in patient presentation, both tant that the student understand fourth years, and the from the psycho-social teaching at this level is aspect and the presentapredominantly centered tion of various disease on patient care. It is at processes. The effectivethis time when the stuness of this method is dents have the opportuevident in the excitement nity to apply their basic that the students demonscience knowledge to strate while delivering the care of patients in patient care. The stuthe clinical setting. The dents many times return students must be able to the following day after accurately assess the having reviewed current clinical picture of each literature regarding the patient and this begins patients that they had with a detailed history seen the day before, and and physical examinanow each experience from tion. Students must a patient encounter repredevelop the appropriate sents a tremendous Photo by Patricia Nagle, CIDDE techniques of obtaining amount of gain in mediElmer J. Holzinger with medical student Spring McCann a good history and must cal knowledge. be able to interpret the The opportunity to symptoms. I emphasize the need to be involved in the education of the psycho-social aspect of each be able to listen carefully and intermedical students in clinical medicine patient in the clinical setting. pret appropriately and also to know has given me a great deal of satisfacIt is exciting for me to watch which questions to ask in order to tion, and this is particularly so when the students carefully approach obtain the most information and to I observe the competence that the these many aspects of patient care not inappropriately interrupt. This students have gained at the end of and then develop a reasonable difis followed by a detailed physical their medical school training. It is ferential diagnosis and list the reaexamination during which the during these clinical years of teaching sons for their choices. It is in this student’s proficiency is assessed. On that students are able to experience manner that the students gain expethe basis of this initial information the enormous responsibilities and rience and thought processes in the student then must decide on a great satisfaction in being a physiconnecting their basic science differential diagnosis and approprician. It is also at this time that the knowledge to the clinical aspect of ate laboratory investigation in order importance of remaining curious is patient care. During this time I to make an accurate diagnosis and emphasized along with the need for gently challenge them so that even proceed with appropriate therapy. constant, almost daily, continuing the relatively simple clinical probThe students are uniformly excited education in order to remain a good lems become a teaching experience. about applying their basic science The entire student-patient encounphysician. !
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Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Paul Kameen, English
It’s in this “between” stage of reading or moderating classroom discussion where I feel I can make my most significant contribution as a teacher.


hen I think about my teaching, I like to start with the more fundamental questions and work my way up to matters of technique. One set of those questions pertains to what I call my “idea of the university.” Basically, I believe that the university is an arena for the pursuit of intellectual work, the purpose of which is the production of knowledge, and the nature of which is intrinsically collaborative. I have given some thought to what each of these terms means to me, but they are to some degree always in play, evolving and changing over time. And I can imagine having very contentious arguments among my colleagues about my definitions. Fixity and agreement are not the point. What is non-negotiable for me, though, is that the classroom is a site for the pursuit of those ambitions. So, course to course, year to year, I am looking for ways to translate the imperative of my current “idea” into terms that are applicable to the course I am teaching and pertinent to the students I expect to engage there. In freshman composition, for example, I ask students to do the same kinds of things I do when I write for a public audience: Establish a position and make an investment in it; locate that position in an ongoing conversation by making use of (not just quoting from) the text(s); use enough detail to develop a distinctive, even “original,” position in that conversation; invite others to read the text and decide how to use their advice. When I read a student’s work, I am always thinking: “What is the next step for this writer to be taking right now with this essay? How can I get her to see that, and do that?” Then I look at the result and try to find a way to facilitate the next step. I follow the same pattern in class discussion: I listen to what a student offers, and I try to say something back that will help her take the next step, and the next one, in support of the expectations I have laid out. To be honest, it’s in this “between” stage of reading or moderating classroom discussion where I feel I can make my most significant contri-

bution as a teacher. I try hard to receive what is being offered and then to lend my resources to eliciting its greater possibilities. At some point in the term, and it varies widely from student to student, I see the light go on: “Oh, now I see what writing can allow me to do. This is something I really do want to do well.” Right then, the student becomes a writer in the same manner—if not on the same scale—as we are, because, like us, s/he has an investment in the process and stake in the outcome. !

Photo by Joe Kapelewski, CIDDE Paul Kameen

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Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

S.J. Murabito, English
University of Pittsburgh—Greensburg


am a teaching writer and a writing teacher, a person who infinitely tries to make connections, discover contexts, and entertain critical, cultural, and intellectual possibilities for meaning in what I read and in what I write. This process of seeing, understanding, and applying is the critical thinking that I try to teach to my students. For example, in a composition course, the class might examine different strategies that writers use for opening their essays. Subsequent to that, the students will either write responses to these different openings or compose critical commentaries on the openings of their own essays. In a fiction writing course, the class might study the effectiveness of the dialogues in selected short stories. Then the students will compose short stories, highlight important dialogues, and separately explain how those dialogues are functioning. In a literature course, the class might make note of the various punishments in Dante’s Inferno. Next, the students will create journals or longer essays that discuss these punishments, either in and of themselves or in broader contexts. Critical thinking, then, is born of close reading and careful discern-

Critical thinking has to do with staking out connections, contexts, and possibilities. Ultimately, it has to do with generating one’s own individual point of view.
writing toward the end of my basic composition course because it is very multi-layered and is best read after the students have gained the most confidence possible. In the essay, Orwell employs Photo courtesy of Pitt-Greensburg several levels of S. J. Murabito with student irony to convey his anti-imperialist theme. Having the class study ment; it is the opposite of the easythese ironies and then either respond answer culture of the shouldershrugged, “Whatever.” Critical think- to them or to the ironies in their own essays helps the students iming has to do with staking out conprove as thinkers, readers, and writnections, contexts, and possibilities; ers—in this case, seers of irony, it has to do with thinking, reading, understanders of irony, and appliers and writing; and, ultimately, it has of irony, which is, after all, a fundato do with generating one’s own mental building block in all intellecindividual point of view. tual discourse. It is in this way that In terms of a specific assignment composition joins writing and literathat many of my colleagues could ture courses in preparing students not adapt to their own teaching, let me only for further study in these specific discuss teaching the concept of irony areas but also for more confident in George Orwell’s classic essay, study in other university courses as “Shooting an Elephant.” I teach this well. ! masterpiece of personal and political

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Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Lauren Yaich, Natural Sciences
University of Pittsburgh—Bradford
The development and refinement of this rigorous, truth-seeking skill is perhaps the essence of a higher education, creating a habit that will be retained long after the student has left the college classroom.
ritical thinking is integral to the scientific process, and explaining how this scientific process is used to answer questions about living organisms is the common denominator in my various biology classes. As budding scientists, students are taught to make observations about a phenomenon, create a hypothesis about some aspect of this phenomenon, and then carry out experiments that will either prove or disprove the hypothesis.


mate goal of science and the criminal justice system is the same—to determine the “truth” about a particular situation. If the lawyer is a prosecutor, he will build a case by collecting as much incriminating evidence as possible (e.g., blood samples, bullet fragments, testimony from witnesses). The scientist essentially carries out a similar process, performing numerous experiments to study different aspects of the phenomenon in order to build up a body of evidence that supports her hypothesis.

To make this process a bit more concrete for my students, who are often fans of TV shows like CSI and Law and Order, I often use the analogy of lawyers who are working on a murder case, because in the end, the ulti-

In the criminal justice system, there is also a lawyer whose job is to defend the accused. He must force the jury to take a very hard look at the validity of the evidence. Was the evidence collected and processed correctly? Is there another possible explanation for why that drop of blood was found on the carpet? The scientist must play this role as well, and it is here where critical thinking really comes into play— she must take a hard look at the evidence she has collected to verify that it really supports the hypothesis. Is there more than one possible explanation for the results obtained? Were the controls appropriate for that particular experiment? Were enough data points collected to make the results statistically significant? What other experiments should be carried out that might either strengthen the hypothesis or refute it? The development and refinement of this rigorous, truth-seeking skill is perhaps the essence of a higher education, creating a habit that will be retained long after the student has left the college Photo courtesy of Pitt-Bradford classroom. !

Lauren Yaich

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Instructional Technology

Electronic Response Systems Available from Media Services
By Barbara Frey & Dan Wilson CIDDE tudent response systems, also known as classroom, electronic, and interactive audience response systems, provide students with a wireless, hand-held pad that allows them to electronically reply to classroom questions and receive immediate feedback. Faculty can thereby engage students in course material through interactive question and answer sessions. The SRS software quickly polls students, tabulates the results, and graphically presents the findings. The types of questions programmed into the SRS are multiple choice, true/false, and rank order items. Student polling systems are made up of two general parts, hardware and software. The software is similar to presentation software that displays a question. The students respond with devices similar to television remote controls that send infrared signals to a receiver attached to a computer. The computer records and displays the response.


to answer quiz questions that create a healthy competition. 3. Provide instant feedback to students regarding an issue, question, or calculation. 4. Increase communication by discussing the answers and opinions revealed in the SRS results. The SRS provides all students with an equal opportunity to respond, and faculty can take advantage of their responses to generate dialogue. Because the system can allow for anonymous responses, it is effective for sensitive questions, such as ethical, legal, and moral issues. 5. Collect data for research or formative/summative evaluation. The SRS can be used for classroom assessments to measure students’ preparation, understanding, and/or satisfaction. Some instructors administer pre- and post-tests. Faculty integrate the SRS into their teaching at various levels. At the most basic level, faculty deliver the response question orally or in a PowerPoint presentation and view a summary of the students’ responses. At the more advanced level, the software can be used to show response histograms or charts and to calculate statistical analyses. It is also possible to export the response data to an Excel spreadsheet.

What are faculty saying about the SRS?
Associate Professor Ellen Cohn in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences says, “I find that the Student Response System engages the most reticent of students. It introduces an element of personal responsibility and interactivity that is otherwise difficult to achieve within a large class.” In the Department of Chemistry, Associate Professor Joseph Grabowski uses the SRS in large lecture classrooms. He values “the ability to get 100% of the students to respond to a question; the distribution of answers gives me a good handle on where the class is at that moment.” Grabowski believes that students like the activity because it “gives them immediate feedback, in a non-threatening manner, about their current level of understanding.” Nick Laudato, CIDDE associate director of instructional technology, states that he is “most excited about the pre-test/post-test applications. The pretest can help
See “Electronic Response” page 15

The SRS quickly summaries student responses to an inclass question. The SRS can help faculty achieve the following goals: 1. Engage students in course material through survey, pretest, practice, or review questions. The resultant interactive classroom encourages students to come to class prepared. However, to achieve this interaction and maintain learners’ attention, questions must be challenging, thought provoking, and/or stimulating. 2. Promote collaboration with group exercises that require students to discuss and come to a consensus or

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Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards

Bellet award winners discuss ways to actively engage students


stablished in 1998, the annual Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards recognize outstanding and innovative teaching in the undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences. This year’s winners are Ericka Cederstrom-Huston, Chemistry; Geeta Kothari, English; Marla Ripoll, Economics; and Peter Simonson, Communication. Through an endowment from alumnus David Bellet and his wife, Tina, winners receive a $2,000 stipend and a $3,000 grant for the support of teaching.

Geeta Kothari, English
The drive to write has to come from within. I spend considerable class time teaching students how to identify and question their own writing process.


y primary interest as a teacher is in writing, create a classroom space where someone can ask a which is a central focus in all my classes. My seemingly obvious question: “Did you have to learn how goals and to revise or did you just approach in the classroom do it? How does that have been influenced by my happen?” work as a tutor. When I My composition and tutored, I wanted students creative writing classes to learn how to rely on integrate regular reading themselves and draw on and writing. Published their own resources, as well writing provides models as on learned strategies, that teach students what when writing a paper. The to read for in terms of idea was to avoid creating a narrative, language, style situation in which students and elements of craft. As came to depend on the they become better Writing Center. Similarly, readers of literature, they in my classes, I want become better readers for students to learn how to Photo by Joe Kapelewski, CIDDE each other and for rely on themselves as themselves. I have also Geeta Kothari critical readers and writers. found that in literature Thus, I am wary of teaching students, especially at and writing classes the discussions are more productive the introductory and intermediate levels of fiction and interesting when we focus on issues of form before writing, to depend on feedback from their classmates or content. This is a challenge, in both classroom settings, me. The drive to write has to come from within, because students often do not have time to read closely especially for the writing majors. While I can’t create or more than once; the texts I assign often require a this drive in students, I can teach them practices and second reading. Therefore, I try to ask questions that strategies that will help them to write beyond the will encourage them to explore and examine the readings classroom while also preparing them for the next class. I again. Other effective techniques I use are open-book spend considerable class time teaching students how to quizzes in writing classes, and in-class writing exercises in identify and question their own writing process. I try to literature classes. !
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Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards

Ericka Cederstrom-Huston, Chemistry
A thread ties much of organic chemistry together. I share this connection with students, so they realize the importance of continuing to build upon everything they have learned so far.
y enthusiasm about what I teach is very apparent and rubs off on many of my students. I loved organic chemistry as soon as I started taking courses in it—I actually got “warm fuzzies” from my first textbook. When I share this story with my students many of them laugh (and I’m sure roll their eyes!). I tell them candidly that, whether they think this class is as exciting as I do, they will have to do a lot of work to succeed. I tell them I will do everything I can to help them but in the end their success will be due to their own effort, discipline, and natural ability. In order to help my students do well I am very transparent about my expectations. In my organic


classes I provide a list of bulleted learning objectives for them to assess whether they have mastered the course material. Many classes average 150 students (I have had as many as 240); so opportunities for one-toone interactions during lecture are limited. Thus, I believe it is especially important for students to feel comfortable enough to ask questions that address their misconceptions. Consequently, I am very friendly during and outside of class. I encourage students to ask questions and let them know that they need not feel inadequate or intimidated. While my lectures are quite traditional, most students stay engaged (even in my intense four-week summer organic courses where there is

Photo by Joe Kapelewski, CIDDE

Ericka Cederstrom-Huston
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no time for classroom breaks) because my lectures are very animated (aerobic for me!), deliberate (I choose examples very carefully), and organized. Before each class, I refer to what was talked about last time and then link it to what will be discussed. If we are starting in a new direction and have to change gears, I tell them so. The value I place on clarity contributes to the way I organize my lectures. I continually try to show my students how a thread ties much of organic chemistry together. I think it is important to share this connection with students so they realize the importance of continuing to build upon everything they have learned so far. I frequently repeat important principles and do everything I can to make sure that students comprehend—not memorize—as we apply them over and over. I tell them when particular topics are not going to “go away.” In organic chemistry, I draw pictures on the board, explaining that each arrangement of atoms has a personality that can be used to make predictions. After presenting a general concept, we do examples that encourage students to use their knowledge to predict what’s going to happen. Rather than memorizing a rule, an understanding of the underlying principles and meaning is crucial for figuring out a problem. I believe the problem-solving skills students learn in their chemistry courses can be applied to situations they will encounter in their chosen careers. !

Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards

Marla Ripoll, Economics
It is important for knowledge to be meaningful to me, the teacher, as well as to the students. I pose questions designed to clearly connect concepts discussed in class with real-world examples.
ne of the most effective techniques for faculty to engage students is to devote some time reflecting about why they are engaged with the subjects they teach. My own courses include topics such as the unemployment rate, credit constraints, poverty, and per capita income differences across countries; this knowledge I share with my


students on these topics is meaningful also to me because I constantly strive to understand the economic difficulties of my native country, Colombia. Clearly, the knowledge we share with our students not only sheds light on the reality outside of the classroom but also helps us more fully understand who we are as teachers. Another method for engaging students is to make this shared knowledge meaningful to them. Ultimately, students will become interested in content that allows them to understand questions that remain fixed in their minds. One way I do this is by providing plenty of opportunities to see the connections between the concepts learned in class and the reality I want students to understand. Consequently, I am forever searching for relevant news clips, historic episodes, or videos on case studies. But before I show any of these, I usually question my students. For instance, I may ask: “What do you know about the extent of poverty in the world today?” I then pose additional questions Photo by Patty Nagle, CIDDE for them to consider while they Marla Ripoll watch the video, listen to the

tape, or read the news clip. These questions are designed to clearly connect the concepts discussed in class with real-world examples. Finally, I conclude with a brief, general discussion in which they share their answers with their classmates. Another effective technique I use is allowing students some latitude in how they engage with the course material. When they write term papers, give presentations, or even do certain homework assignments, I give them some freedom to select material that interests them. I am always amazed by how the quality of students’ work improves when they do something they have chosen. Similarly, faculty themselves are often better teachers when they choose and design courses they want to teach. When I read student papers or homework assignments after having used these three techniques, I can perceive their passion for learning; it becomes clear that their work means something to them. As a result, I can see who they are—in the same way I can see myself through what I teach. And that is a wonderful feeling which makes teaching rewarding to me. !

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Bellet Teaching Excellence Awards

Pete Simonson, Communication
Learning Active for You I Making use various techniques in and Your Students the context of the big lecture to reach diverse students representing all strata of the University community.
ike most required courses, my large, introductorylevel Rhetorical Process course attracts a diversity of students representing all strata of the University community. Therefore, to reach as many students as possible, my goal is to offer something for all of them. So what do I do in the context of the big lecture, where it is easy for students to tune out and more difficult for faculty to monitor their progress? While some of my techniques are specifically tied to teaching the art of rhetoric, others are “transportable” to practically any other field. 1. Use “teams” or learning groups. In their first meeting, recitation leaders (being careful to separate close friends) assign students to semester-long, four- or five-person teams. Teams work toward a culminating project—a “public campaign” that applies principles discussed in class. Weekly assignments build toward that project and require all students to complete work on their own and then to discuss individual responses as a team. With instruction and monitoring, teams learn the material together and apply higher-level concepts to practical problems. Those who are tempted to “disappear” in lecture have peer pressure to participate, while the best students can help teach teammates and thus learn the material better themselves. 2. Mix the conceptual or “purely intellectual” with the practical. Throughout the semester, I discuss the history and key concepts from the classical rhetorical tradition. I present Greek terms like kairos (the opportune moment) or dissoi logoi (countervailing arguments), talk about the cultural contexts in which they arose, illustrate them through everyday examples, and then give


Photo by Mike Drazdzinski, CIDDE

Pete Simonson students frequent opportunities to apply them. My aim is to broaden the horizons of the practically oriented student and to nurture the intellect of the budding scholar; the application phase gives everyone practice “to think like a rhetorician.” 3. Use active learning techniques during lecture. To keep everyone involved and motivated, I give frequent quizzes and graded informal writing opportunities during lecture, typically based on questions I had distributed previously. I also pose questions designed to elicit oral responses and to generate brief, structured discussions (the responses are worth 1 to 3 points). I make a point of posing questions of varying difficulty— simple factual queries; middle-range application questions; and higher level queries requiring comparison, evaluation, or conceptualization. Selfreports indicate that speaking and hearing peers speak keep students of different levels involved and learning from one another. My overall aim is to make the large lecture work more like a small discussion class, with lots of active learning by the students, significant potential for peer teaching, and a multi-viscosity conceptual approach that mixes strange ideas with familiar experiences. !

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University-wide Teaching Awards

2004 Teaching Awards
Numerous schools and departments at the University of Pittsburgh present annual teaching awards. Recipients of 2004 awards that are known to the Teaching Times are listed below. The Teaching Times prints an annual list of award recipients and welcomes information about awards. Please contact Jo Rosol with this information: rosol@cidde.pitt.edu.

School of Arts and Sciences (A&S) Student Choice Awards
Trudy Bayer, A&S, Communication Jan Beatty, A&S, English Ana Paula Carvalho, A&S, Hispanic Languages & Literatures Thomas W. Crock, A&S, Mathematics Toi Derricotte, A&S, English Barun Dhar, A&S, Physics & Astronomy Kimberly Ellis, A&S, Africana Studies Bob Gilbert, College of Business Administration Michael Golde, A&S, Chemistry Cynthia Golzman, A&S, Hispanic Languages & Literatures Raymond Jones, College of Business Administration Jennifer Lee, A&S, English Audrey Murrell, College of Business Administration Lisa S. Nelson, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs Laurel Roberts, A&S, Biology Julia Romero, A&S, Hispanic Languages & Literatures Susan Shaiman, A&S, Communication Science & Disorders Jonathan Sterne, A&S, Communication Liann Tsoukas, A&S, History Stefan Wheelock, A&S, English Chad Zutter, College of Business Administration

School of Engineering Beitle-Veltri Memorial Award
Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Industrial Engineering Jayant Rajgopal, Industrial Engineering

Faculty Honor Roll
George Stetten, Bioengineering Robert Parker, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering John Oyler, Civil & Environmental Engineering Peter Miller, Electrical Engineering Mike McCloud, Electrical Engineering Andrew Klimas, A&S, Mathematics Bryan Norman, Industrial Engineering Ian Nettleship, Materials Science & Engineering William Clark, Mechanical Engineering

Outstanding TA Awards
Erik. H. Lindsley, Bioengineering Jeffry A. Florian, Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Owen K. Silbaugh, Civil & Environmental Engineering Nicholas V. Zorn, Electrical Engineering Adaeze F. Nwaigwe, Industrial Engineering Jose E. Garcia-Gonzalez, Materials Science & Engineering Roxana Cisloiu, Mechanical Engineering

TA of the Year
Joshua Lucas, Computer/Electrical Engineering

College of Business Administration CBA Teacher of the Year
Raymond Jones CBA Teacher of the Year Finalists Robert Atkin Robert Gilbert Jocelyn Kauffunger Jay Sukits Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

College of General Studies
Student Choice Awards David J. Defazio, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs Edward Strimlan, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs Sandra Collins, A&S, Religious Studies Howard B. Slaughter, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs Cathy L. Misko, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs John B. Lyon, A&S, Germanic Languages & Literatures Ernest Fullerton, Graduate School of Public & International Affairs Gordon, J. Weinberg, A&S, Statistics

Executive MBA Outstanding Teacher of the Year
Frederik-Paul Schlingemann

Katz School Outstanding Teacher of the Year
Prakash Mirchandani

School of Nursing Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award
Jason J. Dechant, Health Promotion & Development Rosemary Hoffmann, Acute/Tertiary Care

School of Dental Medicine
Faculty Award of Excellence Kenneth Etzel, Microbiology/Biochemisty

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University-wide Teaching Awards
School of Medicine Excellence in Education Awards
James R. Johnston, Renal-Electrolyte John W. Kreit, Pulmonary, Allergy & Critical Care William P. Follansbee, Cardiovascular Institute Joseph A. Kithas, Psychiatry Gregory J. Naus, Pathology David L. Paterson, Infectious Diseases Jonathon Erlen, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Ashok J. Bharucha, Psychiatry Andrea R. Fox, Geriatric Medicine

Graduate Student/Fellow Teaching Awards Arts and Sciences
Janette A. Steets, Biological Sciences Robbyn Berenda, Demetra Chengelis, Adam Keller, Pamela Meadows Diane Mitchell, Joseph Noroski, Scott Quivey, and Tiffany Turner, Chemistry Aimee Marie Dorsten, Communication Yadwiga Semikolenova, Economics Petra Dierkes-Thrun, English Noemie I. Parrat, French & Italian Languages & Literatures Craig Thomas Marin, History Marilyn S. Feke and Marjorie Zambrano, Hispanic Languages & Literatures Kevin Scharp, Philosophy Emily L. Chapman, Suchetana Chatterjee, and Sandeep Tyagi, Physics & Astronomy Heather Elko, Stephanie McLean, and Nils Ringer, Political Science Joyce Giovannelli and Elizabeth Claire Holt, Psychology

Kenneth E. Schuit Award
David E. Eibling, Otolaryngology Cynthia Lance-Jones, Neurobiology

Golden Apple Award
Paul Rogers, Critical Care Spiro Papas, Edward McClain III, Jeff Baum, Carl Hasselman and Paul Resnick, Three Rivers Orthopaedic Group

Departmental Awards
Helene Finegold, Theresa Gelzinis, Jeffrey Astbury, Bruce Ben-David, Catalin Ezaru, Richard McHugh, Li Meng, Stephen Mosier, Steven Orebaugh, Nashaat Rizk, Manuel Vallejo, James Krugh and Barry K. Ray, Anesthesiology Joe Darby, Critical Care Medicine Tracey Conti, Family Medicine Richard P. Brenner, Neurology A. Leland Albright, Neurological Surgery Mitchell Creinin, W. Allen Hogge, Kathleen Moore, Hyagriv Simhan, Arundhathi Jeyabalan, Mary Ann Portman, Elizabeth Roberts and Justin Chura, Obstetrics/Gynecology Barton Branstetter, Otolaryngology Ira Bergman, Michael Mortiz, John Peters, Nader Shaikh, Leslie Borsett-Kanter, Melanie Gold, Lee Beerman, and Heidi Feldman, Pediatrics Joseph E. Losee, Kenneth C. Shestak, Michael J. White, and Joseph Darby, Plastic Surgery Carl Fuhrman, Radiology

School of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year Award
Denise Howrie, Pharmacy and Therapeutics

Faculty Member of the Year Award
Samuel M. Poloyac, Pharmaceutical Sciences

University of Pittsburgh at Bradford Excellence in Teaching Award
Donald I. Ulin, A&S, English

Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award
Jeffrey C. Guterman, A&S, Communications

University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg Distinguished Teaching Award
Randi Koeske, Psychology

Alumni Association Award
Sayre Greenfield, English

Graduate School of Public Health Dean’s Distinguished Public Health Service Award
Karen S. Peterson, Nutritional Services

University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
William Brice, Geology

Phi Eta Sigma Teacher of the Year Award
Katherine Reist, History

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Teaching Assistance Services

Responding to TA training needs
By Vanessa Sterling TA Services, CIDDE

ast winter, TA Services conducted a survey for the Advisory Council on Instructional Excellence (ACIE) about how each department trains its TAs. The results were quite interesting and varied. We are now designing workshops for the fall term to address some of the needs expressed by survey respondents and those of the broader University community. The survey addressed how each department oversees the orientation, training, mentoring and evaluation of graduate student instructors. The results showed a range of ways of training TAs. Some departments do everything “in house,” from orientations and teaching seminars to evaluations, while others rely on University-wide programs, such as New TA Orientation and the University Teaching Practicum, a graduate seminar designed for teaching assistants and teaching fellows who will be teaching a class independently for the first time. Graduate student instructors across departments share some common concerns. For example, many are unsure how to strike a proper balance in dealing with undergraduates, as many are closer in age to their students than their faculty. Others feel that undergraduates rely on their help too much or are unfocused in their dealings with TAs, which can be time consuming. Some international TAs still feel disconnected from the University community (for a variety of cultural reasons) and thus find it more difficult to work with students. New workshops to address these issues are being designed by CIDDE’s TA Services. One new offering later this term will be Conferring with Students. This workshop will examine the dos and don’ts for conferencing with students including techniques demonstrating student advocacy, estab-


lishing safe/nonthreatening environments during conferencing, talking with low-achieving students, and managing office hours. This workshop will help TAs feel more confident in their outside-ofclass meetings with students and help with time management. To address the needs of specific international student communities, we are building workshops that address cultural issues. The first workshop is being designed for TAs from China, who comprise the largest cohort of international TAs. (In the recent New TA Orientation, of 208 registered participants, 33 were Chinese. The second largest group of 11 students came from India.) In following terms we will offer workshops for South Asians, Latin Americans, Africans, and Europeans, in cooperation with advanced graduate student instructors from these various parts of the world. Of course, we will continue to host our regular seminars, including those on using technology in the classroom, developing a teaching portfolio, dealing with cheating and plagiarism, and managing the classroom. And we are available for one-on-one consultation about any teaching-related issue. However, we want to continue to develop new workshops, especially those that address the ever-changing needs of the Pitt community. If you have a specific idea or concern that you would like to see us create a workshop around (for your department or the larger University community), give us a call at 412-624-6671. We are eager to help! !

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“Electronic Response” from page 7

students assess their entry knowledge of course topics and motivate them to resolve any deficiencies it identifies. It also helps the instructor adjust where to place emphasis or additional examples. The post-test can reinforce that students effectively mastered course content or alert the instructor that additional work may be required.”


Surfing the Cyber Library: A Great New Resource

This graphic display allows instructors and students to quickly review the range of responses submitted by the class. Faculty can obtain further information and arrange to use an SRS by contacting Michael Arenth, arenth@cidde.pitt.edu or 412-648-7236 in CIDDE Media Services. Media Services offers six sets of 32 hand-held key pad units, six receiver units, and the SRS software serving a maximum of 128 students. Faculty can request the system be set up prior to class time, which takes about 30 minutes. One receiver is required for every 32 key pads. When using the SRS from Media Services, faculty find it beneficial to have assistants help distribute and collect the hand-held keypad units. In order to lessen their responsibility, instructors may require students to purchase the units (about $25 each). Some publishers package the response units along with textbooks. To activate their units, students must register at the publisher’s Web site which requires an additional fee. Additional information: The article “Effective Use of the Audience Response System” from the Center for Education Research and Evaluation at Columbia University presents guidelines for using an SRS in classroom instruction. www.library.cpmc.columbia.edu/cere/web/facultyDev/ ARS_handout_2004_tipsheet.pdf The Teaching Exchange from Brown University interviews two professors on how they use the SRS in “Assessment and Student Response System.” www.brown.edu/Administration/Sheridan_Center/ pubs/teachingExchange/sept2002/assessment.shtml. !

major academic challenge facing students across all disciplines is how to best utilize the over whelming amount of information available via the World Wide Web. This issue is addressed in Surfing the Cyber Library, a Web site hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) Web Pages. Produced and designed by CIDDE in collaboration with ULS, this fully interactive, creatively designed Web site with embedded video clips provides a dynamic, upgradeable source of information. Its four chapters consist of a series of Web pages devoted to teaching the fundamentals of Web research: Chapter 1 “Using Search Engines”; Chapter 2 “Scanning URLs and Web Pages”; Chapter 3 “Evaluating Web Information Using the Five W’s; and Chapter 4 “Citing Web Information in Research.” The site originated with an Innovation in Education project, “Becoming an Information Critic: A Video Providing Students with the Fundamentals of Information Evaluation.” It was renamed and evolved into a new form as Project Director Marian C. Hampton, School of Information Sciences (SIS) and ULS, worked with video producer Len Jendrey, graphic designer Alec Sarkas, and other CIDDE staff to crate a tool to facilitate the evaluation of online resource materials. Surfing the Cyber Library can be found at: www.library.pitt.edu/guides/eval/.

Faculty Diversity Seminar Luncheon
The 10th anniversary of the Faculty Diversity Seminar was celebrated with a luncheon meeting on October 15. In the past 10 years, 91 University of Pittsburgh faculty have participated in the seminar, sharing the experience of working with their colleagues to increase awareness of diversity issues and transform courses to address issues of diversity.

Photo by Cindy Lu, CIDDE Ogla Duff, Education, past director; Valire Carr Copeland, Social Work, past fellow and director; and Susan Albrecht, Nursing, past fellow

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Faculty seminar promotes writing & speaking across disciplines


ommunication-across-the Curriculum Seminar provides an opportunity for faculty to redesign one of their undergraduate courses to better use writing and speaking to promote student learning in their disciplines. Offered each term by the School of Arts & Sciences, the seminar is in its second year. The Seminar is designed to enable fellows to: • Use written assignments to promote student learning in their disciplines. • Improve the quality of student presentations. • Help students develop their ability to write and speak with eloquence. During the term, 15 participants meet every other Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to discuss the relevant literature, talk about their own courses, and draw on the

intellectual and practical resources of speakers, selected readings, and local experts. In the off week, participants meet individually with CIDDE instructional designers to implement these ideas into new or existing courses. The end results are enhanced undergraduate courses that not only meet the rigor and standards of the relevant field of study, but also provide students the opportunity to develop their written and oral communication skills. This fall term’s seminar is co-directed by Beth Matway, from the English Department, and Peter Simonson, from the Communication Department. For more information, please contact Lisa Murphy at lmurphy@fcas.pitt.edu or 412-624-6480 and go to the Web site at www.wac.pitt.edu/faculty/seminar.asp.

Lara Putman, History

Ligia Aldana, Hispanic Languages & Literatures Dennis Looney, French & Italian Languages & Literatures

Beth Matway, English Co-director

Photos by Mike Drazdzinski, CIDDE

Pete Simonson, Communication, Co-director

Teaching Times University of Pittsburgh Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education 4227 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 Phone: 412-624-6596, Fax: 412-624-7220 Editorial staff: Carol DeArment, editor, dearment@cidde.pitt.edu Joyce Walsh, production, walsh@cidde.pitt.edu

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