Thursday, August 29, 2013

UNF Innovation Symposium

Please see the announcement below from
Deb Miller, Director of the Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT). This new symposium at UNF promises to be an excellent opportunity for faculty to share ideas and to pursue rewarding innovations in teaching and research.

The Center for Instruction & Research Technology and the Distance Learning Committee are pleased to be hosting UNF’s first annual Academic Technology
Innovation Symposium highlighting innovative practices by UNF faculty and providing a forum for discussion on current use and potential for academic technology to support teaching, learning, and research. The keynote will be given by Jim Groom, who has been part of a number of exciting projects at the University of Mary Washington, particularly related to digital storytelling, blogging, and the development of online learning communities.  Please visit the symposium website for more information and to register; seating is limited.

Dear Faculty,
Due to the overlap with PT dossier due dates, we are extending the deadline for this opportunity to Wednesday, September 25th, at 5 pm.

Deb Miller
Director, Center for Instruction & Research Technology
University of North Florida

Monday, August 26, 2013

Which Tools to Use?

In a recent survey of 10,000 college students from across over 200 college campuses, students indicated which tools they would like their college professors to use more, or to use less. Among the winners are lecture capture and laptops. Among the less-attractive options are e-portfolios and smartphones.
Review the results of the survey at this website.

Treatment or Research? The Government Decides

Two neurosurgeons at the University of California - Davis (UCD) have resigned over an investigation into their activities at the university. The two neurosurgeons reportedly injected bacteria into the brains of patients in hopes that the bacteria would induce an immune reaction that would fight cancer. UCD launched an investigation and found that that the surgeons were conducting research without the proper ethical protocols. The surgeons argue that they were providing treatment, not conducting research.
Read more about the case at the website:

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Safety ( provides a definition of human subject research on their website.
The definition indicates that activities might be considered research even if the activities are not "conducted or supported under a program which is considered research for other purposes."

The moral of the story -- caveat scolaris (scholar beware).

Full-time Faculty Argue with Part-Time Faculty over More Work?

Quarterstaff line drawing - Project Gutenberg eText 14315As difficult financial times put a strain on individual budgets, full-time faculty are supplementing their salary by securing "overload" work. Faculty will teach additional courses or provide some sort of service work that adds to their workload during a regular semester.

In a recent article in the Chronicle, Peter Schmidt outlines the debate over restricting full-time faculty from pursuing overload assignments in order to prevent part-time faculty from experiencing a reduction in their opportunities. In California, full-time and part-time faculty unions are battling over the issue. As tough economic realities persist, one wonders if this debate will spread to many other states as well. With shrinking budgets and greater need for supplementary income, the discussions of overloads and faculty assignments will become prevalent. To read the full article, visit the website.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Imagine UNF Reads! Workshop

As you might be preparing your courses for the ever-approaching Fall 2013 semester, I would like to invite you to join faculty from different disciplines in thinking about how you could support student learning by using the UNF Reads! book, Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell. The office of  Undergraduate Studies and the Office of Faculty Enhancement (OFE) have partnered to offer an Imagine UNF Reads! Workshop. During this workshop, faculty will share ideas about how to use concepts in the book Outliers to support learning in a variety of disciplines. Bring your draft syllabus and discuss how the concepts of determination, culture, and experience shape the most successful people in history.

Here is a video of the author explaining one of the main principles of the book.

Because all Freshmen students are required to read the book before the Fall term begins, this workshop will be especially relevant to faculty teaching courses in the General Education program.

Imagine UNF Reads! Workshop
Thursday, August 8th
9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
OFE/FA Conference Room, Building 16, Room 3108

Breakfast refreshments and coffee will be provided at the workshop.