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Community College of Rhode Island


CITLA spring book club

Book ClubThis spring, CITLA will host a book club to discuss “Teaching First-Year College Students” by Bette LaSere Erickson et al. published in 2006. We’ll meet and discuss the book over three sessions, so please plan to join us for lively conversations about specific strategies and approaches to support first-year students. Please visit the CITLA website for details.

Socratic seminar

Please join us to participate in a Socratic seminar from 12:20 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in Room 1134, located behind the cafeteria at the Knight Campus. This activity is part of an ongoing Faculty Learning Community and it is open to the entire faculty. A Socratic seminar is a valuable discussion technique that can be adapted to any classroom. It is interactive, student centered and content specific. Our topic will be “Evaluating Student Progress.”

CITLA’s 4th annual Winter Workshop is Jan. 7

Do you wonder how to find the time to participate in an assessment process that is effective and realistic? Plan to attend the fourth annual CITLA Winter Workshop on Jan. 7, featuring a session by Barbara Walvoord, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and author of “Assessment Clear and Simple.” In the workshop, participants will consider examples of assessment processes from various disciplines. They will reflect on the resources they have, both in terms of departmental meetings and customs and in terms of typical student.

Teaching tips

One my absolute favorite online tools is Voice Thread (free versions at This is a tool that allows photos to be uploaded, text to be included and audio threads. It is a way for everyone in the class to collaborate on a topic. Consider this – a test will take place on Friday covering James Madison. As the instructor, I get the ball rolling by putting his picture in the middle of the board. Then I post an audio question (not an actual test question but something in the ballpark) and invite the students to add information that would answer the question. I also invite the students to start asking other questions or posting information they find important and likely to be covered on the exam. I email them the link or post it in class (this works for online and on-ground) and ask them to contribute. Voilà – we now have students teaching each other, reviewing the materials and interactively engaged in study! This is also a nice summary review that can be shared in class prior to the exam.

Want to add a twist? Collaborate with an instructor in another university (how about in another part of the world) who might be covering a concept you are. This is a great way for the two classes to start discussing how various cultures manage a situation or simply handle the topic. Talk about global learning!

Submitted by Penny Lorenzo
Assistant dean of faculty
School of Legal Studies
Kaplan University

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Last Updated: 3/8/18