Projects

The Faculty Center engages with campus faculty, departments, and other groups for a variety of special projects. The listing here is for current year project descriptions.

View projects prior to 2016-2017.

This pilot involves 25 SSU faculty (tenure-track and lecturers) working in hybrid online/on-campus faculty learning community. ACUE’s professionally produced learning modules provide participants access to content presenting research-based effective teaching practices. Dr. Monica Lares from Chemistry, the Chair of the Professional Development Subcommittee (PDS) is facilitating this course with assistance from Faculty Center Director, Justin Lipp. Content involves online discussions, reflection activities, and in-class practice of techniques while teaching during Fall and Spring semesters. We will be collecting faculty participant feedback at the midyear and and end-of-year points to determine whether this pilot will be continued into future academic years.

The full list of topics covered is below:

Fall 2016

  • Helping Students Persist in Their Studies
  • Planning Effective Class Discussions
  • Establishing Powerful Learning Outcomes
  • Using Active Learning Techniques in Large Classes
  • Providing Useful Feedback

Spring 2017

  • Developing Self-Directed Learners
  • Embracing Diversity In Your Classroom
  • Aligning Assessments With Course Outcomes
  • Aligning Activities and Assignments With Course Outcomes
  • Using Active Learning Techniques in Small Groups

We are preparing to help launch the new Zinfandel active learning classroom in Spring 2017 and have identified seven faculty to teach in the space. The Zinfandel active learning classroom will seat up to approximately 90 students, with advanced video sharing technology and will feature modular furniture to allow for a flexible, reconfigurable active learning space. We have recruited a faculty cohort of 8 individuals interested in active learning pedagogy (led by Sandy Ayala) and not averse to trying new technology in the classroom. This group will participate in a workshop in Fall 2016 on active learning pedagogy, and participate in some structured meet-ups for those teaching in Zinfandel in Spring 2017 to learn from their experiences and inform the Faculty Center’s recommendations for best practices in new active learning classrooms around campus. The Spring activities will include a classroom peer observations from those in the faculty cohort.

Sonoma State University, in collaboration with UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, is continuing for another year the Faculty Learning Program previously under an NSF WIDER grant. This new program is funded under the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE).  We are co-facilitating this with Dr. Carmen Works, Chair of Chemistry at SSU.

The Faculty Center offers a video capture studio for recording micro-lectures and provides support for the concepting, creation, and editing of these videos. In 2016, the Faculty Center added a light board to this studio, which is often described as a digital-age whiteboard. Light boards are generally comprised of a [often] large pane of ¼ “- ½” star-fire glass supported by a metal framework and encased within an equally thin strip of LED lights. This tool significantly improves the quality and versatility of video material for online and hybrid courses. Early adopters include individuals exploring innovative teaching methods like the “flipped classroom” design. This is an emerging pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Students at home view short video lectures before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions. Contact faculty.center@sonoma.edu to schedule this facility