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Archive for May 19th, 2012


MIL Retreat 2012

So this past week we had a two day retreat for new and old MIL fellows. On the first day we got to spend the day getting to know each other and learning the ins and outs from the exiting fellows. The first thing I noticed was the comradeship of the five exiting fellows. They lost one fellow at the start, so they only had five. These five individuals sounded like they truly had a good time and supported each other throughout the process. They shared their experiences, as well as their research projects, and I felt overall very comfortable with the expectations of the program. I left excited to get started on my own project.

For those of you who are not familiar, “The Maricopa Institute for Learning (MIL) is a fellowship for residential faculty in any discipline who are interested in examining significant issues in their teaching fields and contributing to the scholarship of teaching and learning through classroom research projects. Its secondary purpose is to create a community of scholars that will engage in conversations about the scholarship of teaching and learning.” The program is weighted heavily in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), hence my stolen logo from some other institution.

The best part of the retreat this past week was getting to know my own group of fellows. We are a very diverse group coming from only 3 of the 10 colleges: GCC (me), MCC (3) and EMCC (2). Only two of our disciplines overlap; myself and Annie both teach English, but Annie’s project dips into dev ed and accelerated learning and my project deals with online learning and is not discipline specific. It will be relevant to all courses that can be taught online. It was really interesting to hear what each participant is planning to study during our time together. I know I will learn as much about their projects as I will about my own. I’m excited to get started.

So our first steps, as recommended by the out going fellows, are to get the project sured up so I can get my IRB submitted and hopefully approved by the end of summer. And secondly get the literature review completed during the summer when you have fewer obligations to get in the way. I think this is good advice, and I plan to do just that. I’m not intimidated by the IRB process. For one, I’ve been through this all before with my doctoral dissertation, and I stressed enough then to cover any I may have now.  Also my current project is pretty basic. I’m not doing anything outside of normal teaching practices. I’m just asking to collect the results of how my students do with these practices. It should go through easily (knock on wood).

We were also given some summer reading, so I’ll probably start with that. We’re reading Enhancing Learning Through the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning by Kathleen McKinney (left) and Blueprint for Learning: Constructing College Courses to Facilitate, Assess, and Document learning by Laurie Richlin. I’m going to enjoy this next week of break before I jump in full force June 1st. I’ll be back then to report out on how it’s going.