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The Great Work


The Regis University
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)
announces the

Spring 2014 Faculty Learning Community


Faculty Learning Community

What is a Faculty Learning Community (FLC)?

It’s a group of faculty and/or staff from all disciplines engaging in a collaborative program to promote learning, professional development, transdisciplinarity, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and community building. 


How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching

The Regis University

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) announces another Faculty Learning Community Opportunity

In the Academy, we value research and scholarship and yet, the research on learning is not always the first place we look for answers about what makes teaching into effective learning for our students.  Alas, a meaningful conversation about effective teaching must begin with a consideration of how students learn. One of the obstacles is the gap between resources that focus on the technical research on learning and those that provide practical classroom strategies. How Learning Works provides the bridge for such a gap.

The authors of How Learning Works draw on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; and organizational behavior) to identify a set of key principles underlying learning - from how effective organization enhances retrieval and use of information to what impacts students’ motivation.

If you would like to join your colleagues in exploring how the research on learning and its connection with effective teaching intersect for you and others at Regis University, consider joining this faculty learning community.




If you are interested in signing up to be a part of this faculty learning community, please contact Ken Sagendorf in the CETL at or or by calling 303-964-6469.

Jesuit Justice - Make the Path by Walking

Exploring Cultural Competency: How Identities and Stereotypes Affect Our Teaching and Us as Teachers

Inter-Institutional Faculty Learning Community  - Fall 2013 – Spring 2014

  The landscape of higher education is rapidly changing.  The evolution of regional demographics and the volatile US economy have deeply impacted the student population currently enrolling in post-secondary institutions.  In turn, these changes have affected and will continue to affect the role that faculty play in the teaching and learning process.  While institutional drives toward a more diverse faculty have been successful in recent years, academia has been globally slow in responding to the demands of 21st-century students and institutions of higher education.

  In this inter-institutional Faculty Learning Community, co-hosted by a private Jesuit university and a public regional comprehensive institution, we will explore the facets of identity and the impact of stereotypes that we bring into the classroom.  How do we define ourselves as academics?  How do we define our institutions?  How do we interact with the mission and values of our respective institutions?  How do we define our students?  What stereotypes do we bring about race, gender, ability and potential to our classrooms?  How are these stereotypes present in our own environments as peers and colleagues?

 Using Claude Steele’s Whistling Vivaldi as our focus book, we will establish a community of inquiry around these meaningful topics with the goal of increasing cultural competency in all its manifestations for the professoriate.

 Interested participants must be willing to meet approximately ten times over the course of AY 13-14.  Roughly half of the meetings will be held at Regis, and half at MSU Denver from 1:00 – 3:30 on the following dates:

Friday, September 27th

Friday, October 25th

Friday, November 22nd

Friday, February 7th

Friday, March 7th

Friday, April 11th

 If you are interested in participating, please contact Lunden MacDonald at or Ken Sagendorf at         

 The slots from Metro State have been filled!  There are six slots for Regis University faculty! Sign up fast!

Faculty and First-Generation College Students: Bridging the Classroom Gap Together

This learning community co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning will provide an opportunity for faculty participants to explore intersections of pedagogical issues with intellectual and social context of first-generation students which will ultimately enhance the learning experience for all students.  

This learning community will meet in a series of regular 1 ½ hour sessions throughout the academic semester.  Common readings will serve to inform the conversations as we work toward continuing the on-going work of supporting and encouraging student success by addressing the following questions:

·         What does a first gen student experience in the classroom, on the Regis campus, at home, and in their community and how do these factors affect student learning?

·         How does teaching students "on the margin" affect teaching students who are "in the middle?"

·         What promising practices have proven effective teaching strategies for first-generation students?

  Common readings:

First Generation Latina Graduate Students: Balancing Professional Identity Development with Traditional Family Roles by  Valerie Leyva 

A Social Constructivist View of Issues Confronting Firs-Generation College Students by Stephen Coffman

Critical Compassionate Pedagogy and the Teacher's Role in First-Generation Student Success by Rchie Hao Havery, V.L. and Housel, T.H. (2011). 

Faculty and First-Generation College Students: Bridging the Classroom Gap Together. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Fall 2012. no. 127

Pre-Diversity Conference Learning Community: Diversity and Social Justice

Fall 2013 Call for Faculty and Staff Learning Community Participants!

 You may (or may not!) be aware that Regis University and the Office of Diversity, Engagement, and Inclusion will be hosting the “ALL THE THINGS WE ARE” Conference November 13-15.  Keep your eye out for the call for presentations.  It is circulating now!

Based upon the recommendation of the conference keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) has partnered with the Office of Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion to convene a learning community around Readings for Diversity and Social Justice (and its companion, Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice).

This learning community will lead a presentation at the 2013 Diversity Conference on November 13th or 14th.


Why should you participate?

The best reason is because you are interested in the topics of diversity, inclusion, and engagement and their relationship to social justice.  Or perhaps, you think we can be better at all three. (we will also provide you with a book or two, maybe even some food, and definitely some great collegiality).

How can you sign up?

If you are interested in signing up to be a part of this learning community, please contact Ken Sagendorf in the CETL at or by calling 303-964-6469.



About the Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion Conference


Modeled after other national diversity conferences the Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion Conference  is comprehensive  in scope  highlighting issues and strategies relating to planning; education about current diversity issues;  issues of pedagogy; curricular transformation; ideas for building a more inclusive community; and learning more about society.

Beyond Bloom’s Taxonomy- Week of Mar. 10-15

 I set out in class this morning to revisit my course’s learning goals with my students.  I wanted to realign the students and remind them (having not seen them in a week and a half) how the work they were doing made sense toward the larger course goals.  They can become easily caught up in the minutiae and forget the bigger picture.  And the timing was perfect.  Perhaps you recall from an earlier teaching tip that I had asked students to tell me what they thought their midterm grade should be (my class is doing a semester long project and, although they have assignments and things to do, there are no grades associated with these).  Those that overestimated based their thinking on promptness and attendance.  Those that underestimated the grades based their thinking on the challenge and difficulty of the kind of thinking the class is having them do and re-do.  The week following break is a wonderful time to revisit what your class is about and what kind of learning it is designed to have students do.  It is also a great time to be clear for yourself and make sure that the kind of teaching you are doing is leading to the kind of learning you want from your students.  This week’s teaching tip comes courtesy of my colleague, Dr. Bridget Arend, from the DU teaching and learning center.  In the tip she offers an expansion of the traditional taxonomy of learning goals/objectives as well as an aligned set of teaching practices.
Beyond Bloom: Expanding our ideas about learning objectives
Many college faculty have heard of Bloom’s Taxonomy and have probably used one of the many helpful lists of accompanying verbs to craft measurable learning objectives. The six categories in Bloom’s Taxonomy for the Cognitive Domain (revised in 2001) – remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create – has been the go-to resource for writing learning objectives for over 50 years, assisting countless educators.  The goal of using Bloom’s Taxonomy is to articulate and diversify our learning goals. So why has the writing of learning objectives, considered to be an essential aspect of creating effective and engaging learning experiences, too often been viewed as an uninspiring task? Shouldn’t this be where our passion as teachers comes through? Could it be we are focusing on a limited aspect of learning?  Blooms Taxonomy has been used for so long because it makes sense and is useful, but perhaps it is time we move beyond Bloom to explore all the types of learning we are trying to achieve in a college-level course.  Luckily there are other taxonomies we can use. In fact, Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain is only one of the taxonomies created by Bloom and his colleagues. A quick Internet search will uncover the work begun by Bloom and furthered by other scholars in the psychomotor and affective domains.
Additionally, L. Dee Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning Outcomes goes beyond cognitive processes and includes other aims of teaching. Fink’s taxonomy contains six aspects of learning:
·         Foundational Knowledge – understanding information and ideas
·         Application – developing critical, creative, or practical thinking skills
·         Integration – making connecting between information, ideas, perspectives or real life
·         Human Dimension - Learning about oneself or others
·         Caring - Developing new feelings, interests, or values
·         Learning How to Learn - Becoming a better student, inquiring about a subject
Similarly, Wiggins and McTighe’s backwards design model describes Six Facets of Understanding:
·         Explain – provide justifiable accounts of phenomena, facts, and data
·         Interpret — tell meaningful stories, make subjects personal or accessible through images, analogies, and models
·         Apply — effectively use and adapt what they know in diverse contexts
·         Have perspective — see and hear points of view critically; see the big picture
·         Empathize — perceive sensitively on the basis of prior indirect experience
·         Have self-knowledge — show metacognitive awareness; perceive the prejudices, projections and habits of mind that shape and impede our understanding
Both of these taxonomies start with the foundational knowledge necessary for deeper learning, and allow us to tease out the type of thinking we want students to be doing. But both go beyond cognitive processes and application of knowledge to also explore some of the larger goals of our courses. Nearly all courses including some affective goals, whether it is a deeper appreciation of culture, or simply to change someone’s deep dislike of math or feelings of inadequacy about writing. And nearly all courses should include some metacognitive aspects, helping students develop the habits necessary of a lifelong learner in the 21st century. 
Once we have clarified and articulated all the various objectives in our course, we can then choose the most appropriate teaching and assessment methods. For example, lectures and presentations are well suited for the transfer of foundational knowledge and could be useful for some cognitive processes, but are not effective for promoting application skills or perspective taking or self-discovery. Davis and Arend provide yet another categorization that can help educators determine which teaching methods are best suited for which learning objectives:
·         Building skills – supported through practice and feedback
·         Acquiring knowledge – supported through presentations and explanations
·         Developing critical, creative, dialogical thinking – supported through question-driving inquiries and discussions
·         Cultivating problem solving and decision-making abilities – supported through problems, case studies, labs, projects
·         Exploring attitudes, feelings and perspectives – supported through group activities and team projects
·         Practicing professional judgment – supported through role playing, simulations, scenarios and games
·         Self-discovery and personal growth – supported through reflection on experience
Which taxonomy you choose, or how you mix them together, might be a matter of personal choice. But articulating our goals beyond what we are used to describing will allow us to capture the entirety of what we are teaching, and perhaps become more passionate about our work. It’s worth a look into some of these other taxonomies, beyond Bloom, that can help us with these larger goals.
Anderson, L.W., Krathwohl, D.R., Airasian, P.W., Cruikshank, K.A., Mayer, R.E., Pintrich, P.R., Raths J. & Wittrock, M.C. (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, New York: Longman.
Bloom, B.S., Engelhart, M.D., Furst, E.J., Hill, W.H. & Krathwohl, D.R. (1956) Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals; Handbook I: Cognitive Domain, New York: Longmans, Green.
Davis, J.R. & Arend, B.D. (2013) Seven Ways of Learning: A Resource for More Purposeful, Effective, and Enjoyable College Teaching, Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Fink, L.D. (2003) Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Wiggins, G. & McTighe J. (2005) Understanding by Design, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.


Ask Ken!

Questions about the FLC? Or want to suggest another topic? Call (303)-964-6469 or email me at!

Resources for this FLC