Welcome to College Classroom (Int'l Students Int'l Faculty)

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Course Guide Info | Background | Intended Learning Outcomes | Course Design | Expectations | Grades

Course Guide Info

Working Title: Effective Teaching in Internationally Diverse College Classroom 
Course Guide listing: Inter-EGR 601 and Dy Sci 875
Date/Time: Tuesdays, 10:00am-12:00pm
Location: 6228 Sewell Social Science Bldg (1180 Observatory Dr.; See UW-Madison campus map)
Instructor: Michel Wattiaux Email: wattiaux@wisc.edu and Bob Mathieu (mathieu@astro.wisc.edu

Do you wish to become an effective math, engineering, or science instructor, with a deep understanding of how to use international diversity as an asset rather than a liability in your classroom? If so, this course is for you whether you are a US-born or international graduate student or post-doc. As you advance into an academic career, be assured that your future students and colleagues will come from countries (and/or cultural background) other than your own, and will have highly diverse experiences and perceptions about the roles of students and instructors in a college classroom, about math, science and engineering, and about the world around them. This diversity can be a challenge and an opportunity. In this course, you will learn the core skills of effective and savvy teachers who can use global perspectives, varied modes of instruction, and differences in students' expectations as tools to increase the learning of every student in their classes.

In essence, this course focuses on the challenges posed by teaching an increasingly diverse student population. The course is not as much about studying cultural, racial and social views as it is to learn how to take advantage of the unique perspectives of each student in our classes to engage them fully in the course content. Thus the wording "Internationally Diverse" in the working title should be understood as women and men from varied socio-economic, ethnic, or cultural background regardless of country of origin. Emphasis will be placed on fostering authentic and powerful instructor-to-students and students-to-students interactions when different nationalities are involved. 

Intended Learning Outcomes
This course will provide participants with a science-based understanding of the three pillars of the UW-Madison Delta program: learning through diversity, teaching as research and learning communities. Furthermore, by the end of the semester, participants who have fully engaged in the activities of this course will have gained knowledge, understanding and hands-on practical skills in creating college courses designed as effective learning environments for their students. Specifically, participants will become more experienced in:  
  1. Understanding and analyzing the context of any particular college course and its three fundamental parts: student, instructor, and course content; 
  2. Moving the class away from a teaching-centered environment and toward a learning-centered environment;
  3. Learning and using classroom assessments tools;
  4. Searching the educational literature on issues related to the topics of the course; 
  5. Gaining experience in facilitating discussion as a legitimate teaching and learning tool.

Course Design
Using power point presentations to convince you to go pass and beyond power point presentations for your teaching would defeat the purpose, wouldn't it? Thus, there will be essentially no power point presentation. This is NOT a lecture course, but rather a discussion-based course. To achieve our desired learning outcomes, the course and its activities have been modeled after what is now known as "flip-classroom" and "blended learning" (see more under "Expectation below). Course materials (readings and videos), activities, and assignments have been designed to help course participants to be aware of — and learn how to take advantage of — the current literature on learning theories, classroom assessment and instructional design. The course is comprised of five modules, each looking at the effectiveness of teaching in a "global" context from a unique perspective:
  1. Introduction: Teaching for learning in the 21st century: Developing one's own professional identity;
  2. Learning Through Diversity: What does different "nationalities" bring to the teaching and learning environment?
  3. Teaching as Research (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL): What are the evidence that your students are learning?
  4. Learning Communities: How to create an inclusive learning environment from a local to a global scale with high impact practices (HIPs)?
  5. Micro-teaching: Students design and implement a class period on a teaching and learning topic of their choice.

Classroom interaction will be reserved primarily for discussion of pre-assigned material. Students are expected to attend class regularly. In order to create a productive learning environment, students are expected to contribute to the class in the following way:
  1. Before class: Read or view pre-assigned material;
  2. Before class: Reflect on pre-assigned material and post a pre-class discussion blog entry on the course website;
  3. During class: Be actively engaged at two levels: a) topic of the week and b) the instructor's "modeling" of discussion as a mode of teaching;
  4. After class: Reflect on class discussion and pre-assigned material and post a post-class discussion blog entry on the course website;
  5. Plan and implement a Micro-teaching project.

The graded items and their respective weight in the final grade (80 pts max) are presented in the table below:

Graded Item Deadline Points
1. Attendance1 (- 5 pts per unexcused absence) Weekly - -
2. Pre-class blogs (4 pts/wk x 10 wks) Weekly (Mondays at 5:00pm) 40 pts
3. Post-class blogs (1 pt/wk x 10 wks) Weekly (Mondays at 5:00pm) 10 pts
4. Microteaching Project2
    4.1. Planning and evaluation part I See Micro-teaching page 5 pts
    4.2. In-class micro-teaching performance See Micro-teaching page 20 pts
    4.3. Project planning and evaluation part II See Micro-teaching page 5 pts
1 One excused absence will not penalize the final grade.

2 Based on self- and team- member evaluation; Team project grade will be individualized with an adjustment point (-2, -1, 0, +1 or +2). Zero corresponds to a situation where everyone in the team has contributed as initially planned and thus everyone receives the same grade.

How will final letter grade be assigned? A criterion-referenced grading will be used in this class and therefore you do not need to worry about your standing relative to others in this course. In fact, working together with others may be to everyone's advantage. The following is the grading scale (percentage basis) that will be used to determine the letter grade you earned in the class (note that the scale may vary lightly from year to year depending on specific circumstances). A = 100-90 | AB = 89-87 | B= 86-80 | BC = 79-77 | C = 76-70 | D = 69-60 | F = 59 or less.