10 Ways CETL is Paving the Way for Academic Innovation

Ten years ago the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) was established as a new department on campus. Tasked with leading initiatives to bring cutting-edge technology into the classroom through faculty collaboration, ideas and support, CETL is at the heart of Gannon’s goal to provide students an educational experience that goes beyond the textbook.

Reflecting back on its creation and anniversary, it is evident that technology has significantly transformed and advanced since 2005, and so has CETL. Here are 10 ways CETL has brought academic innovation to Gannon:

01: The Annual Campus Technology Symposium

Since its inception, CETL has held this weeklong “technology buffet.” This year’s symposium took on a new structure in that faculty can now request a $1,000 grant to redesign a course, and work side-by-side with the designer during its reconfiguration. This year’s symposium is focused on promoting globalization of the curriculum through technology-enabled instructional strategies to build a better experience for the faculty and students.

02: Designated Faculty Technology Zone

“We tell faculty, ‘This is your place,’” said Catherine Datte, director of CETL. “We’ve made it more welcoming and inviting so that it is a fun place to come for help.” CETL is a hub for technology and brings faculty to a central point on campus to further enhance their courses.

03: Flexible, Personalized Training and Support

CETL now offers ample training sessions, which occur four days a week, three-to-four times a day, and Fridays are a designated “drop-in” day. “We are flexible in helping, and opened the Center for more availability,” said Datte.

04: Outlet for Department Training

Not only does CETL host University-wide training for faculty and staff, but other departments are welcome to hold trainings of their own here. Faculty members are able to come to CETL with training ideas for technology that they would like to learn more about.

05: Faculty Learning Community

A Faculty Learning Community was created to form better relationships with adjunct faculty members. Through this Learning Community, faculty peer instructors assist others with questions and mentoring, and are also paid a stipend to do so. This falls under CETL’s goal to create more mini-grants that foster dialogue and learning communities online and in-person.

06: Sophisticated Technology

CETL has brought more sophisticated, enhanced technology to the classroom through advanced video software for faculty use. The Center is hoping to include student access for instructional assignments in the future.

07: Blackboard Learn Transition

The start of the Spring 2015 semester brought the transition of Gannon’s internal academic grading platform to Blackboard Learn. For CETL, this meant many months of conducting basic Blackboard, grade center and retention center training sessions for faculty and staff, and University-wide communication of the migration. This transition expanded the University’s online capabilities and resources, as well as created efficiencies within academic courses and outcome assessments.

08: COIL Courses

This year, CETL assisted with the technology needed for training and operation of two Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses. Professors from the American University of Madaba in Jordan and professors in Gannon’s environmental engineering and history programs co-taught two courses that utilized technology such as video and live streaming between the two universities.

09: MOOC Structure Development

When criminal justice Assistant Professor Jerry Clark, Ph.D., came to CETL with the idea of holding a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), the development of the new course structure began almost instantaneously. The Investigative Concepts: FBI Major Case #203 "Pizza Bomber" MOOC launched international exposure for the criminal justice program. Since its inception, the course has been taught four times, enrolling more than 1,600 participants from over seven countries across the globe.

10: Gannon Ruskin Online Courses

The Occupational Therapy Doctoral program at the new Gannon University Ruskin, Florida campus is able to host several online courses through the help of CETL. The program, which begins this summer, offers a hybrid of online distance education courses and traditional courses held on campus.