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Call for applications to the iPad Faculty Learning Community (Spring 2012-Fall 2012)

This Fall, the CDLR (Center for Digital Learning & Research), the CTE (Center for Teaching Excellence), and the Library joined forces to launch a pilot Faculty Learning Community on pedagogical uses of the iPad. A group of four faculty from the Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities is working with CDLR staff and Head Librarian, Bob Kieft to consider the instructional uses, advantages, and opportunities of the iPad. We are now accepting applications to add four faculty members to our Spring cohort. Below you will find a full description of the Faculty Learning Community and instructions on how to apply. Applications are due no later than Friday, Nov 25th at 5pm.

Rationale for the Faculty Learning Community:

As more and more of our course materials are accessible in digital formats, as portable, digital devices become convenient modes through which we can consolidate and organize our teaching materials, and as applications–both those that are designed specifically for educators and those that are uniquely relevant to our content areas of expertise–proliferate at an extraordinary rate, new technologies provide us with the opportunity to radically innovate our teaching. Yet while technological changes present us with an array of opportunities that might enhance our teaching–alleviating common teaching stresses and facilitating greater student learning–it is challenging for many faculty to keep up-to-date on the resources available to them. Our time is already overburdened with our research, as well as attending to students’ demands, which leaves little time for us to devote to training in new technologies no matter how much they might elevate our teaching. The purpose of this Faculty Learning Community will be to introduce faculty to the pedagogical resources available to them through one new technology source: the iPad. This community will also provide a sustained support group as faculty implement a teaching innovation using the iPad in one of their courses.

NOTE: This FLC focuses on how the iPad can facilitate better teaching from the instructor’s perspective. We work from the assumption that only the faculty member has the iPad (not also the students). It seems reasonable, however, that a subsequent Faculty Learning Community might form to examine how students’ learning might benefit from using iPads for course readings, assignments, etc.

Year-long schedule for the Faculty Learning Community:

Faculty members of the Faculty Learning Community will commit to the community for the equivalent of one full year (Spring 2012 and Fall 2012). During this time, they will meet six times per semester.

In the first semester (Spring 2012), members of the community will familiarize themselves with the iPad and with applications that may be useful in their teaching (both those that address their particular pedagogical styles, stresses, or burdens and those relevant to the subject matter they teach). By the end of the semester, each member of the group will identify one (or more) ways in which they plan to utilize the iPad in their teaching in one of their Fall 2012 courses. As the new cohort is conducting this work, the Fall 2011 cohort will be implementing the pedagogical plan they devised this semester in one of their Spring 2012 courses, sharing teaching successes, troubleshooting issues that arise, and serving as mentors to the new cohort. In the Fall 2012, the new cohort will do all of the above, hopefully with a new cohort of faculty.

The Faculty Learning Community will report back to the broader Oxy community at a “Talking about Teaching” lunch.

To apply, please answer the following questions (in no more than 1 page) and send your application to Daniel Chamberlain at chamberlain@oxy.edu. Again, applications are due no later than Friday, Nov 25th at noon.

1. Because this FLC will be driven by pedagogy (not technology), we’d like to know what pedagogical concerns or areas you’d like to address with this new technology. What is the teaching obstacle, challenge, or burden that you hope the iPad will address? And/or what is the skill or subject area for which you’d like to find/create an iPad application? And/or why do you want to be a member of this Faculty Learning Community?

2. What is your background and/or familiarity with the iPad? Do you own an iPad?