Early August Update

08/08/2011

Greetings from the air-conditioned coolness of North Brookings.

Although we had the fourth hottest St. Louis July in history, our campuses remained lively with the many visitors descending for Admissions Office programming and campus tours, the active Summer School teaching and learning, and ongoing innovative research. For some, the summer is spent preparing for the school year. In this update, I mention three new initiatives that impact our teaching and education.

  • The Office of the Provost sponsored a Cross-School Interdisciplinary Teaching Grant program which recently awarded $180,000 to five outstanding proposals from eleven faculty representing four schools. It is our hope to foster collaborative teaching beyond traditional boundaries, capitalizing on the strength of our faculty across schools on both campuses.
  • We recently signed a university-wide license with Blackboard, an industry leader in providing course management systems to colleges and universities. While students and faculty in business and social work have been using Blackboard for some time, the new license will allow broader university use. This Fall, a small group of former Telesis users will pilot Blackboard with hopes of a full roll out in spring 2012. The medical school currently is exploring options for curriculum management systems. If that process leads to Blackboard as a viable option, our license covers WUSM use of the new software. Look for more details in an upcoming Record article or contact Shelley Milligan with questions in the meantime.
  • Later this summer, you will read more about the formation of a new interdisciplinary center called CIRCLE (Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning, and Education). Mark McDaniel, professor of psychology, and Gina Frey, director of the Teaching Center and Professor of Practice in Chemistry, will lead this new effort. CIRCLE will work with faculty to foster innovation in teaching by using research from cognitive and learning sciences to implement new pedagogical methods in the classroom, support research to evaluate these methods, and disseminate findings on campus and beyond. Click here for more information.

I will be in touch soon with more news. In the meantime, best wishes. Ed