Throughout the grueling semesters at Southeast Missouri State University each year students may have noticed a change in some of their professors teaching techniques, or certain course realignments all together.
Teaching innovations and course redesign are just a couple objectives of the Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CSTL). The CSTL, established in 1985, has geared its focus on building and maintaining a community of teacher-scholars among and across college campuses.
One of the CSTL's recent course redesigns is for the MA 101 and 102 courses. The beginning Algebra courses have already undergone a series of changes over the last couple of years. These changes, although slight, have resulted in an influx in passing grades for young mathematicians. The Alex program is an example of a recent change in the Mathematics Department that has boosted learning development in the mathematics field.
The Alex program was implemented into the beginning Algebra courses to help each student learn objectives at their own speed rather than at a set pace. "I definitely prefer this way of doing Algebra, "I don't feel hurried or rushed to complete an objective that I may need a little extra time on to fully understand," explained Jared Harris, a Jr. at SEMO, when asked how the new Alex program compared to the former teaching technique. This is just a sample of how the CSTL has helped to support the improvement of student learning. There's also a way for teachers to get involved through the Teaching Enhancement Workshops that are available.
The Workshops are designed for all newly hired faculty and have been in place since 1986. These workshops resemble a sort of brainstorming session where teachers discuss particular teaching/learning issues which are especially relevant to this campus.
Comments from previous workshop participants indicated that they began with some concerns about the time and energy that will be required, but finished the workshop with a very positive view of the experience. The CSTL is located on campus at Kent library Rm. 305 and can be contacted at (573) 651-2298.