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Learning from Others: Conversations in Celebration of Teaching


Those of us lucky enough to work with faculty across the entire university know that there’s a lot of good work going on in Auburn classrooms. We also see faculty learn from each other when they have the opportunity to talk about common problems and share strategies they’ve tried with each other. Conversations in Celebration of Teaching (CCT) blends together a showcase of innovative work with conversations where we can learn from one another. As our video testimonials highlight, though, there are lots of good reasons for participating in CCT.

One common complaint many academics have about university life is that we live and work in silos, rarely seeing what our colleagues across the university are doing or how their work might connect with our own. CCT breaks down those silos, fosters cross-disciplinary thinking and learning, and invites participants to consider how an approach used in a very different context might also work for our own classes. At the very least, learning what others are doing in disciplines that are not our own can help us think differently about how our students move in and out of our classrooms. As Miriam Clark says, such opportunities are rare, rarer than most of us would like.

CCT draws from the programs offered through the Biggio Center, the Writing Initiative, and the ePortfolio Project. A few of the many different kinds of work you’ll see at CCT include:

CCT is thus both very much focused on teaching and very diverse in representing a range of approaches and disciplines. As Steven Schmidt reminds us all, it’s pretty amazing all the different things that faculty are doing in their teaching. A complete list of the contributor’s for this year’s CCT is available at http://auburn.edu/biggio/cct/.

Because we invite faculty to contribute innovative work with teaching that is still very much a work in progress, we encourage faculty contributors to highlight the things that didn’t quite work out as planned or the places where they (or their students) got stuck. We know that inviting conversations about these difficulties can be opportunities for more innovation and more learning. So, CCT is fun because the emphasis is on learning rather than on ranking one teacher against others. As Lindsay Tan notes, CCT can help you forge productive collaborations with people you don’t even know yet.

We could go on, but you get the point. Come. Join your colleagues in an afternoon of learning, sharing, talking. Eat a little good food and leave energized for the coming term. You may think January is a long way off, but believe us when we say that it’s closer than you realize. You don’t want to miss this event, and space, unfortunately, is limited.

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