Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Last Quarter: Preparing to Teach in Semesters

Over 60 members of the campus community
participated in the conference.
by Jennie Williams

There is no way around it. Semesters are coming!

June 18, 2012 is the first day Ohio State will be on the semester system, marking the end of the long and arduous quarter-to-semester conversion.

We've been so wrapped up in course proposals and paperwork that we had to stop and wonder: Are people actually prepared to teach in semesters? How will the experience be different for both students and teachers alike? How can we successfully prepare for and navigate this change?

Ann Christy presented "Behind the Scenes
of the Quarter-to-Semester Conversion"
In order to address this issue, the Academy of Teaching themed its 2012 Mini-Conference on Excellence in Teaching: "The Last Quarter: Preparing to Teach in Semesters."

Sixty faculty, staff, and graduate students from across campus joined the conversation on Friday, May 11, and reported taking away lots of new ideas to implement in their semester-long classes.

Ann Christy kicked off the day by discussing the behind-the-scenes process of converting from quarters to semesters and all that entailed.

Susan Williams wrapped up the conference with
"What Semesters Hold in Store for Us."
Kathryn Plank and Jerry Nelms from UCAT facilitated a workshop about teaching to the pace of the semester - the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift in course timing.

Two faculty members from Otterbein University who are finishing their first academic year in the semester system shared their candid insights, challenges, and suggestions from "the other side."

Over lunch, the Academy of Teaching Executive Council presented its Founder's Award to the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Members of the Executive Council with
members of the Alumni Association Board of Directors,
recipients of this year's Founder's Award.
Then, academic support units from around campus participated in a "five minutes of fame" presentation, describing tips and tools they can offer faculty members in the new academic year.

Finally, Vice Provost Susan Williams wrapped up the day by discussing changes in college teaching that may arise as a result of internal issues such as calendar conversion as well as external changes in higher education.

We invite you to view the conference website for session descriptions, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources. Also, visit the Academy of Teaching website and consider making a gift to support future conferences.



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