Previous Academic Learning Communities

Fall 2016 Academic Learning Communities

Blurred Boundaries: Prospects of the Human/Humanoid Engagement

Conveners

Steven Kraftchick, Professor of New Testament Interpretation, Candler School of Theology & Laney Graduate School

Mark Goldfeder, Senior Lecturer, School of Law

Context

The news is filled with reports of technological breakthroughs almost on a daily basis. Self-driving cars, the internet of things, micro-sensors in almost everything we own, and soon to be part of our very bodies. Our relationship to the technologies is changing with rapidity, almost outstripping our capacities to understand these changes. In some sense, human beings are fast becoming “cyborgs” as changes in nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and genetic engineering reorient our social, physical, and mental makeup. These changes are affecting more than single individuals, they are making an impact on our society and our physical environment, raising fundamental questions about what humans are, what their relationship to the non-human might or should be, what their roles in the workplace will be, as well as how or if they should control their biological makeup and destiny.

These questions cut across disciplines raising ethical and legal questions as well as moral and physical ones. This suggests that they are best discussed by a range of people, doctors, lawyers, anthropologists, public health officials, political science and business thinkers, as well as sociologists, theologians, philosophers, and historians. But the range of input is not limited even to these disciplines. Much of our most interesting and imaginative treatment of these questions occurs through literature, film, and the arts. The goal is to surface the fundamental questions and challenges that arise from this change in the human being’s capacities to control its destiny.


The Humanities for Health

Conveners 


Kylie Smith, Assistant Professor, Andrew W Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing & the Humanities, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Andrew Furman, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

Context

This community seeks to bring together academics across Emory already working on diverse approaches to health and the humanities. The aim is to explore the use of the humanities in order to enhance approaches to human health, and to develop inter-professional collaborations in education and research, which draw on the humanities in their broadest sense. Critical theory, narrative, reflection, art, literature, history and film will all be explored to tease out new ways of thinking about the role of the humanities for understanding the illness experience, the patient–professional relationship, and posing new questions for humanistic education and research in health.


Fall 2015

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 

  • Do you love teaching?
  • Do you want to learn more about the educational research that informs and supports teaching?
  • Are you curious about ways to share your teaching innovations with other teachers?

Then these meetings are for you!

The Center for Faculty Development and Excellence (CFDE) is accepting proposals for an Academic Learning Community on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (often called SoTL). This Academic Learning Community will consist of four meetings in the fall semester and will focus on the following topics: 1) an introduction to SoTL; 2) data & evidence in SoTL; 3) engaging students in SoTL work; and 4) how to “go public” with your SoTL work. We will also discuss and begin research on specific content topics for SoTL workshops in Spring 2016. Some examples may be: “Engaging Students in Large Classes” or “Best Practices for Bedside Teaching in the Health Professions.” The readings in this ALC will be empirically-grounded, and are intended to generate discussion among members of the group. 

Meetings are from 1:00-2:30pm in the Jones Room in Woodruff Library on the following days:

  • Friday, September 25
  • Friday, October 9
  • Friday, October 30
  • Friday, November 13
Please direct any questions you may have to Donna Troka at: dtroka@emory.edu

Spring 2015

Community-Engaged Learning: Liberal Education in the Health Sciences Education at Emory

Conveners: Jenny Foster, Weihua Zhang, Erin Lepp, Vialla Hartfield-Mendez

Community engaged learning has been the subject of previous academic learning communities.  This proposal, however, is the result of a successful collaboration between faculty in the Schools of Medicine and Nursing who participated in the Faculty Fellows Program within the Center for Community Partnerships (CfCP) during the 2013-2014 year, and thus it has a specific focus in the Health Sciences.  Increasingly, health professions’ education emphasizes the value of interprofessional education (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011). Community engaged learning is one of the ways that students in the health professions can learn about themselves, their profession,  other health professions, and the communities they serve. (This includes students who aspire to the health professions as well).  As part of the Faculty Fellows Program, three faculty are currently creating a series of online videos to be used as an open access online resource to be piloted during the Fall, 2014 semester, as part of a course in the Professional Nursing introductory course.  This series of self-directed learning modules will allow faculty and students interested in participating in community-engaged learning and community-based participatory research (CBPR) to develop a shared understanding with community partners how to develop processes for evaluation of successful partnerships. These modules will serve as the basis for further exploration and discussion with the participants in the learning community.

Recent literature highlights the development of specific standards of rigor in community-based participatory research, based on the epistemological principles of social justice and co-constructed knowledge.  An initial pilot of interprofessional CBPR with the Center for Black Women’s Wellness in 2012-2013 underscored the complexity involved in interprofessional participation in community-based projects while upholding these principles. Based on the learning from this pilot, faculty will endeavor to create common readings and other learning materials to help all participants (faculty, students, and community partners) to approach community-engaged research and program projects with shared understandings and mutual goals.

Fall 2014

Building a Sustainable Farm and Food System

Conveners: Peggy Barlett, Anthropology; Amy Webb Girard, Global Health, RSPH; and Mindy Goldstein, Law

Across campus, Emory faculty and students are studying various aspects of this farm and food system. This Academic Learning Community seeks to foster a series of conversations about the status sustainable farm and food system scholarship, teaching, and service at Emory. We seek to:

  • provide a platform to share relevant scholarship and community engagement;

  • identify collaborative research and teaching opportunities, cross-unit programs, and new

    initiatives;

  • identify ways to build, foster, and maintain a food studies community on campus, which could

    include the development of a lecture series or research symposia; and

  • explore development of a university-wide, team-taught course on Food, Environment, and

    Health.

Spring 2014

Climate@Emory

Conveners: Daniel Rochberg, Eri Saikawa, Stefanie Sarnat, Justin Remais, Jeremy Hess

The Climate@Emory Academic Learning Community seeks to foster a series of conversations about the status of climate change scholarship, teaching, and service at Emory, with the goal of enhancing Emory’s engagement in the field of climate change at multiple levels. Proposed core outcomes of this effort include

  • Near-term outcomes that will assist Emory’s teaching, research, scholarship, and student and community engagement on climate change (e.g., Climate@Emory website, catalogue of current course offerings, new research projects or grant proposals, etc.).
  • Strategic analysis, discussion, and recommendations of mid- and long-term steps that the Emory community or members thereof might consider for further shaping the Emory climate change community, including collaborative research and teaching opportunities and cross-unit programs and initiatives.

The Climate @ Emory Academic Learning Community will include a monthly series of Working Sessions throughout the semester, during which we will consider the following topics:

1. Scope and Scale of Climate @ Emory
2. Pedagogy and Student Engagement
3. Research
4. Community and Policy Relevance

Additional activities will be organized throughout the semester to complement and/or advance the Working Sessions. 

Dates: February 14, March 20, April 18 and May 9, 12:00 - 2:00 pm

For more information, please contact climate@emory.edu or any of the conveners listed above.

“Teaching International Students” Academic Learning Community (ALC)- Spring 2014

Convened by: 

  • Stacy Bell, Senior Lecturer in English and Director of Multilingual Writing, Oxford, Oxford College 
  • Benjamin Hary, Professor of Hebrew, Arabic and Linguistics and Director of the Program in Linguistics, Emory College 

Open to faculty, graduate students, and staff, this Academic Learning Community will examine the resources that are already available to international students, what resources are needed, and what are some best practices when working with international students in our classrooms. The main outcome of the ALC is to develop best practices and a training that will help faculty to better serve international students. 

Particulars:

  • The Seminar will meet from 12-1:30 pm on the following dates:  February 4, February 25, March 25, and April 29.  A light lunch will be provided.
  • Each meeting will balance presentations by the facilitator/s or invited speakers with group discussions of pertinent readings and presentations by members of the seminar. 
  • Suggested readings will be posted on Blackboard prior to the session, or will be made available separately.
  • Up to 20 participants will be accommodated.  Should space be available, faculty members may nominate a graduate student to attend the seminar.

The deadline for application was January 10, 2014.

Fall 2013 - Spring 2014

The Changing Landscape of Higher Education

Convener: Pamela Scully

It is clear that the landscape of higher education is changing rapidly in ways that we can identify, although the results of all this change are still hard to fathom or predict with great accuracy. Some of the changes that seem evident: the cost of a college education getting out of the reach of many students; the decline in state funding for education; the growth of online learning; the rise of For Profit colleges; the growing dominance of an idea of education as being only about competencies and predictor of employment, and yet the enduring popularity at the same time of the four year residential college model.

This Academic Learning Community on The Changing Landscape of Higher Education will meet once a month in conversation to educate ourselves about the changing contexts of higher education. The readings will be determined in part by the participants, but I thought it would be good to start with the recent book, College Unbound: The Future of College Education and What it Means for Students, by Jeffrey J. Selingo the editor at large for The Chronicle of Higher Education. I imagine a kind of salon in which different faculty lead the discussion each week. But this is not essential and people should feel comfortable participating as they wish.

The long-term goals of the ALC are to think through Emory’s place in this changing landscape as well as to help us articulate to the outside world what it is that we do best.  We are particularly interested in engaging a faculty from different schools and disciplines in this academic learning community, including faculty from the humanities, who have an important role to play in articulating the values of a liberal arts education.

Particulars:
 
  • The Seminar will meet on Thursdays from 12-1:30p.m. over the course of the 2013/14 academic year. Venues TBA.  The dates are as follows:  October 17; November 14; January 23; February 20; April 3. A light lunch will be provided.
  • Each meeting will balance presentations by the facilitator or invited speakers with group discussions of pertinent readings and presentations by members of the seminar.  
  • Suggested readings will be posted on Blackboard prior to the session, or will be made available separately.
  • A companion lecture series on topics related to the ALC is being planned in conjunction with the Senate.
  • Up to 20 participants will be accommodated.  Should space be available, faculty members may nominate a graduate student to attend the seminar.

The deadline for application was October 4, 2013.


Spring 2013

Brazil, A Growing Global Force: Beyond Soccer and Samba, convened by Dabney Evans and Uriel Kitron and co-sponsored by the Halle Institute. The eyes of the world will focus on Brazil as it hosts the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016.  Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and one of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries. A Goldman Sachs report suggested that by 2050 the combined BRICS economies could eclipse the combined economies of the current richest countries of the world. Brazil is investing substantial resources in academic research and in academic faculty and student (undergraduate and graduate) exchanges. For example, the Brazilian government began the “Science Without Borders” program that aims to fund travel scholarships for “100,000 Brazilian students and researchers in top universities worldwide by 2014” (http://www.cienciasemfronteiras.gov.br/web/csf-eng/home) and provides funds for American scientists to lecture and research in Brazil. This opens enormous opportunities for collaborations including “sandwich” studies which are short term research exchanges funded entirely by the Brazilian government.  The goal of the seminar is to develop a 5-10 year strategic plan for Emory relationship to Brazil with special attention to the identification of strategic institutions which offer either existing or potential for two-way faculty, staff and student exchanges, joint scholarly projects and opportunities for  funding.

Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment, convened by Hiram Maxim and David Jordan. The goal of the seminar is to develop participants’ understanding of how assessment can be a meaningful and useful process for improving learning and teaching in their respective programs. Topics will include: 1) formulation of effective learning outcomes, 2) Assessment in online, hybrid, and flipped classroom formats, 3) Writing assessment (Guest lecture: Gerald Graff, Professor of English and Education at University of Illinois at Chicago), and 4) Peer assessment techniques.

View a presentation by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein on "Assessing Student Writing While Avoiding the Laundry List Trap" (iTunesU)

Offered in Fall 2012

Emory and the Future of Hispanic/Latinos in Higher Education, convened by Vialla Hartfield-Mendez and Karen Stolley and in collaboration with the Laney Graduate School and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.  The goals of the seminar are 1) to come to a nuanced understanding of the very complex population that is collectively called “Latino” in the United States (see the Pew Hispanic Center report, “When Labels Don’t Fit: Hispanics and Their Views of Identity”;http://www.pewhispanic.org/2012/04/04/when-labels-dont-fit-hispanics-and-their-views-of-identity/, 2) to better understand the role of institutions of higher education like Emory with regard to current and future students from this population, and 3) to proactively create an institutional framework for Emory University’s research and teaching mission (at all levels and in all units) to address the realities of a nation in which people of Hispanic and Lusophone heritage make up a significant portion of the total population and in which Spanish is the de facto second language.

Online Teaching and Learning at Emory, convened by Steve Everett. The goals of the seminar are 1) discuss the dynamic discourse on online learning in higher education circulating throughout various publications like The New York TimesThe Chronicle for Higher Education and Inside Higher Education. 2) outline and evaluate the various companies (like 2U or Coursera) that work with universities to get their online education programs up and running. 3) Begin to strategize about how we would like online teaching and learning to unfold at Emory University. These conversations will help to pull together the many approaches to online learning already in practice as well as propel the discussion forward into a formal strategic plan for online teaching and learning at Emory.

Complex Networks, convened by Monica Capra and Edmund Waller is a trans-disciplinary academic forum of people at Emory, and possibly beyond, who are interested in complex networks.  Biological, physical, and social networks represent a point of interdisciplinary convergence because 1) their architectures tend to have similar properties, 2) they face similar challenges, such as questions about diffusion and robustness, and 3) they require the same methodological tools. In this proposal we provide brief applications of complex networks to economics, neuroscience, and molecular biology.