Campus Conversations is a wonderful exploration of systemness in action on the ground – chronicling the combined power of a cross-campus student retention effort and connected faculty learning communities in transforming how systems and campuses can collectively strengthen support of student learning. USG continues to break new ground in the student success arena.— Jason E. Lane, Dean of the College of Education, Health, and Society at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and editor of Higher Education Systems 3.0: Harnessing Systemness, Delivering Performance
As a faculty member and administrator in the University System of Georgia (USG) for over three decades, I have had the privilege to observe an evolution in the USG faculty and staff that is nothing short of record setting. From the campus centers for teaching and learning (CTLs) and the network of those centers’ directors, the USG supported annual conference on teaching and learning, faculty learning communities (FLCs), and, the latest expression, the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars (CLSs) has evolved an unyielding commitment to improving education through greater transparency, equity, effectiveness and accountability. This book, as Jeff Galle says in the Preface, is but the “tip of the iceberg” of the intellectual capital that this collective body possesses, yet this “tip” is an impressive one indeed and careful readers will take away some ideas and techniques from these essays that have the potential to completely transform their teaching.— John Micheal Crafton, Provost, (former) Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor Emeritus of English
There has been exciting work in the field on scaled solutions for increasing student success, with new research and innovative practice being implemented at the institution, system and state level. Georgia has been a leader in this movement. But, before now and the Chancellor’s Learning Scholars (CLS) project, most of the reforms have focused on structural changes to policies and/or on strategies for improving student experiences outside for the classroom. The CLS project is the only example I have seen of a scaled approach to improving instruction in classrooms across a system. This project and the faculty development work on CLS has once again positioned Georgia as a national leader in the student success movement. — Bruce Vandal, PhD, Bruce Vandal Consulting LLC
Faculty learning communities are essential to not only promoting collegiality at colleges and universities, but also in providing planned opportunities for faculty to share the best-practices, challenges, and successes in the classroom. The case studies found in the book provide research-based applications of pedagogical strategies that can serve as a recipe book for others attempting to either establish learning communities or try a new approach to teaching. This book is a must-read for faculty, faculty developers, and college administrators trying to adopt different ways of enhancing student learning in higher education. — Jill L. Lane, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Clayton State University
If true education is about the formation and development of the individuals who come to us as our students, success depends on the ability to engage with students in ways that enable formation and development to occur. These essays provide answers, or more appropriately, practices, classroom practices, that faculty can use to increase successful engagement with students. Guided and informed by classroom experience in a major public university system and from a variety of disciplines, this book provides a buffet of options from which faculty can choose based on discipline, students, and course content and nature, as well as the individual faculty member’s teaching style.
Some may claim that faculty have the duty to teach; students have the duty to learn. This is true, but faculty have a duty to make learning possible. The Neo-Confucian scholar Wang Yangming (1472–1529) expressed this when he wrote, “The exemplary [teacher] . . . delivers lessons “responsive both to the specificity of the occasion and the distinctiveness of the student . . ..”
These essays provide valuable and productive models of exemplary teaching that enable us to respond to the specificity of the occasions in which we teach and the distinctiveness of the students whom we teach.— Edward L. Queen, PhD., JD, director, D. Abbott Turner Program in Ethics, Emory University