The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) was created to promote teaching excellence for student success in alignment with the Mercy College mission. CTL is dedicated to fostering faculty development and the pursuit of teaching excellence by providing Instructional Design across all disciplines to support faculty development and enhance the qualitative nature of pedagogy. CTL goals include:
- Optimizing the quality of instruction to increase student learning and success
- Offering high quality and transformative faculty development events and activities
Leading college-wide efforts for adjunct integration, engagement and excellence in the service of student success.
The CTL vision for includes four key elements pertaining to pedagogy:
- Heightened Awareness of bottlenecks in learning and best practices to improve learning
- Broad Implementation of sound pedagogical strategies aligned to student needs
- Deep Reflection on how teaching and learning practices perform in different contexts
- On-going Evolution of faculty practices on the path to excellence and improved instructional quality
Mercy College is a teaching-centered institution with a dedicated and talented faculty, and the collective pedagogical knowledge and teaching expertise of our community ought to be brought to bear for all our goals and objectives.
Center for Teaching and Learning Initiatives
Pulse on Learning
The Pulse on Learning (PoL) is an anonymous, short, online survey early in the term to elicit feedback from students on how effective the course is for their learning. This feedback gives faculty greater insight about how to optimize the learning environment for increased student learning and success. This project aligns with the Mercy College Strategic Goals:
- Expand the use of innovative pedagogies and course redesign capable of increasing student learning and persistence
- Mercy College will out-perform predicted measures of student success and earn a national reputation for its efforts in this area
For Faculty, there's no better time to collect student assessments than early in the semester — they can obtain input from students to potentially refine, revise, or redesign segments of face-to-face classes. Early semester feedback examines how effectively students are learning as well as how successfully the teaching methods and strategies influence that learning. This is where Pulse on Learning (PoL) begins. The PoL survey asks students for feedback, then faculty can share their interpretation of their input and plans for using it.
With PoL, faculty will receive feedback by the fifth or sixth week of the semester on how students are experiencing the course. This allows faculty to be optimally responsive to their needs and reflect on or revise teaching strategies accordingly. Together with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) faculty can optimize the learning environment and facilitate increased student success. CTL Instructional Designers are available to collaborate and work with faculty to implement strategies and methods for best teaching and learning practices.
CTL has been conducting the PoL survey and Instructional Designer consultation model with Mercy full time and adjunct faculty since Spring 2014. To date, the overwhelming response from faculty participants is that the process is helpful for them and they would recommend it to a colleague.
Teaching & Learning Essentials
The Teaching & Learning Essentials (TLE) course is designed for Mercy College faculty teaching face-to-face courses to align their teaching strategies to their course outcomes with the goal of increasing overall student engagement. The Center for Teaching and Learning has been offered TLE every semester beginning in the fall of 2016. In order to complete the course, participants must attend two in-person workshops, then complete an eportfolio highlighting a new classroom activity, created through a backward design process, and intended to engage students through active learning practices. CTL Instructional Designers facilitate the course and are available for one-on-one meetings with faculty as desired.
As the faculty are drawn from various subjects across four schools, the completed eportfolios highlight a diverse array of classroom activities, assignments, and assessments. The eportfolio contains three sections: Introduction, Learning Activity Design, and What Happens Next.
For more information or to inquire about participation please email the Center for Teaching and Learning, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
In the late twentieth century, Ernest L. Boyer (who had served as former Chancellor of the State University of New York, as United States Commissioner of Education and as President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) offered a categorization of scholarship that faithfully guides the Academy, to this day. Mercy College embraces the Boyer model, acknowledging the value of all four categories of scholarship and the dynamic inter-relationship that exists among these “intellectual functions:"
- Scholarship of discovery
- Scholarship of integration
- Scholarship of application
- Scholarship of teaching (and learning)
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching offers the following definition:
- SoTL is comprised of “problem posing about an issue of teaching or learning, study of the problem through methods appropriate to the disciplinary epistemologies, applications of results to practice, com-communication of results, self-reflection, and peer review” (Cambridge, 2001).
Since the 1990s, SoTL has flourished into a vibrant international movement with affiliated professional societies to nurture and grow research and reflection using cross-disciplinary methodologies. Mercy College is proud to have our faculty and staff members contribute to this critical and growing field.
Preparing for Fall 2020
Fall Semester begins September 9 and CTL is here to support faculty with their preparation. To enhance pedagogy and ensure a strong start to the semester, here are four things faculty might consider doing:
Communicate early and often with students and consider sharing a Best Practices Tip Sheet for a Blended/Hyflex Classroom.
- Student Best Practices Tip Sheet
- Training Video (Password: G^2Y*Vc@ )
- Embedding Zoom into Course Material
Explore Best Practices for a Level 1/Level 2 Blended/Hyflex Classroom
Consider attending and/or viewing a recording from CTL's summer Teaching and Learning workshop series on pedagogy and best practices for all teaching modalities and across all disciplines.
- Using Video to Enhance Student Learning - Juli S. Charkes, Dr. Mitch Fried, Christine Raju (Password: 7eA&=g1Q)
- Microlearning Projects: Facilitators - Elizabeth Fritz, Juli S. Charkes (Password: H^!mpT8#)
- PowerPoint Tips and Guidelines - Dr. Sabrina Timperman, Juli S. Charkes (Password: MxCw8hw$)
Reach out to the Center for Teaching and Learning: CTL@Mercy.edu for help with your Fall 2020 Course. We are here to help!
CTL Contingency Planning: What to know when Transitioning a Course
The Center for Teaching and Learning has created resources providing guidance and support for instructors faced with transitioning courses to a new modality. These resources include how to employ instructional technologies, how to engage students in distance learning and how to continue to meet course learning objections.
CTL Consultations and Instructional Coaching
All faculty members—and especially new faculty members—are welcome to schedule a consultation with a CTL instructional designer at any point in the semester. Whether we meet to engage in collaborative planning or to help refine current instructional practice, we are available to serve as colleagues in teaching and learning—a resource for all matters related to student success. Book a consultation with a CTL
FCTL Learning Communities
Faculty Learning Communities are self-sustaining communities run by faculty members, inclusive of full- and part-time faculty. The primary goal is to build a community around the topic of active learning, while providing intellectual and operational support towards initiatives as may further the Mercy mission. These communities meet once a month and may include practical work sessions, peer-to-peer mentoring, and guest speakers.
Current FCTL Learning Communities:
- Digital Storytelling Community
- Inquiring Minds Short Story Club
- Service-Learning Community
Mitch Fried, D.P.S.
Interim Director, Instructional Designer
Juli S. Charkes, M.S.
Gloria Schlisselberg, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer, PT