Monday, January 23

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Faculty Forum: Gen Ed Committee invites faculty to a discussion on the Future of AGES
Olin Auditorium 

6:30 PM - Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center's Book Discussion
"City of My Dreams", the first in a series by Per Anders Fogelstrom
RSVP to sag@augustana.edu or 309.794.7204
Swenson Center, Denkmann Building

7:00 PM - Nature Reads: An Evening of Nature Literature
Faculty and students share their favorite accounts of the beauty of nature
Brew by the Slough, Tredway Library, 4th floor 

Tuesday, January 24

10:30 AM - "What's New with Windows 7 and Office 2010"  CANCELLED
Olin 109 

10:45 AM - General Student Recital"
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

11:30 - 11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflection - Beth Lyons '12
Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall, 2nd floor

4:30 - 5:30 PM - Ekklesia Study Group
Old Main 121

5:00 - 6:00 PM - After Hours Prose & Poetry
Tredway Library, Room 518 

Wednesday, January 25

9:30 - 10:30 AM - Coffee and Conversation
CEC Conference Room, Sorensen Hall, 1st floor

12:00 - 12:50 PM - Faculty, Staff & Administrators' Bible Study
New Bible Study Series: "Justice for the Poor" featuring a 10-minute DVD introduction to each of the six sessions by Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners Magazine."
Bring your lunch and a Bible
Chicago Room, College Center

3:45 PM - ACTL session:  "Reflection - in the Classroom and Over the Course of the Major"
presented by Rebecca Cook, Kristin Douglas and Stephanie Fuhr
Tredway Library, 2nd floor South end 

7:00 PM - Hispanic Film Festival: Octubre
Film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Rated R. Free admission
Olin 102 

7:30 PM - Community Lecture Series: "The Epistemology of Moral Controversy" presented by Doug Parvin
Free Admission
Olin 122 

Thursday, January 26

10:30 - 11:20 AM - Convocation - Callie Crossley:  "Civil Rights History: Back to the Future?"
Centennial Hall 

6:30 PM - Mad Hatter Tea Party
Karin Youngberg will discuss tea party scenes from various Alice in Wonderland films. This event celebrates the 180th anniversary of the birth of Lewis Carroll, author of "Alice in Wonderland".
Tea and tarts will be served
Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa 

7:00 PM - "Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War"
Steve Warren will lead this third session on the American Civil War.
For details or to register and obtain copies of program materials, visit 2nd fl. reference desk or call 309.524.2470. Free admission.
Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline, Illinois 

Friday, January 27

4:00 PM - Friday Conversation: Gen Ed Committee invites faculty to a discussion on the Future of AGES
3:30 PM
- refreshments
Wilson Center 

6:00 - 9:00 PM - Sights and Sounds Exhibit
This free event features photography from both Augustana students and Quad-Cities high school students. The exhibition runs through 2-24-12.
Bucktown Center for the Arts, 225 E. 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa 

7:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

Saturday, January 28

7:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall
SABBATICAL REPORT following the performance presented by Adam Parboosingh.  Faculty, staff, students are invited to attend.

8:00 - 9:30 PM - James Galea
Called "magic's best card shark" Australian magician James Galea made his debut on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
$8 for the public; free for Augustana faculty, staff and students
Centennial Hall 

Sunday, January 29

1:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

4:00 PM - Travel Reads Book Club "No Reservations"
This colorful coffee table book by Anthony Bourdain will be discussed.
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Evald Great Hall 

5:30 PM - Pea Soup Supper and Civil War Program
Pea soup supper served by the American Scandinavian Association. Mike Wendell, administrator of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and Dan Dauw, a Civil War re-enactor, will speak on "Swedes in the Civil War".
5:30 - social hour
6:00 - dinner
$10 for adults and $5 for students. Make reservations by 1-23-12 - 309.762.8303 or email Loryann Eis
Westerlin Residence Center lounge 

Volume 9, Issue 19 - January 23, 2012

ACTL

Greetings from the Center for Teaching & Learning.

If you attended your division meeting last week then you know that Faculty Welfare (and others) have been hard at work correcting and amending the Faculty Handbook. One of the proposed changes is a requirement of "regular teaching observations by department chair and tenured faculty." I applaud this effort to make the review process fair and transparent for all, especially our junior colleagues facing a tenure decision. I want to share the following caution however:

"Classroom observation is perhaps the most familiar form of peer review. Unfortunately, it is the most prone to reliability problems, often the result when uninformed peers make brief visits and report from the perspective of their own biases."

Nancy Chism Peer Review of Teaching (Anker, 1999)

Whether you're a department chair charged with managing the review process or preparing for a review of your own, what can you do to minimize "reliability problems" and maximize the effectiveness and usefulness of classroom observations by your peers?

First it is important that we all try to be aware of our "own biases" as teachers. I have two online tools I'd like to share, designed to help you uncover some assumptions you may be making about yourself as a teacher, generally or in a particular class, or that could potentially influence what you might see taking place in someone else's class.

I have recommended the Teaching Perspectives Inventory on many occasions, in workshops and in previous editions of this newsletter. I have recently found an online version of the Teaching Goals Inventory, which is based on Angelo & Cross' classic Classroom Assessment Techniques. These and other resources are available on the ACTL moodle site, under the section on Reflection.

I would recommend that both the observer and the person being observed take one or both of these surveys and share the results as part of a conversation before any observations take place, hopefully to help minimize the effects of one's own biases.

You'll find these and other resources, including a wide variety of sample observation forms, in the Classroom Observation section of the ACTL moodle site. Of course, I'd be glad to pursue this topic with any interested individual or group!

Be in touch, and have a productive week 8.

Jon Clauss
Augustana Center for Teaching & Learning