January 2022

Month: January 2022

REFLECT Peer Observation Workshop [Mellon RTP]

Sent on behalf of the Mellon Task Force on Restructuring Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Practices (RTP)

Dear All: 

We write on behalf of the Mellon Task Force on Restructuring Reappointment, Tenure, and Promotion Practices (RTP). As a part of our charge, we are exploring ways to incorporate peer observation and peer evaluation into the formal reappointment and tenure process.  

We hope that this potential change will give all faculty frequent opportunities to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses as teachers in addition to building a broader culture of effective teaching.  We invite you  to join us for a two-part opportunity. 

  1. Attend a facilitated workshop on a robust peer observation and peer evaluation system, called REFLECT. We have invited the developers of the model, team from the University of Portland to provide the two-day workshop. The team received an NSF grant to develop the work, and despite their initial STEM focus, they have successfully applied their methods in many different academic fields.  You may learn more about REFLECT at sites.up.edu/reflect/about/.  The REFLECT team’s two-day workshop will be at Lawrence February 10 and 11 (reading period) from 2 to 4 pm by Zoom.  
  2.  Join a pilot project in the Spring 2022 term of how formal peer observation might work at Lawrence in classes with a variety of teaching styles and levels. 

Although participation in the two-day workshop is open to all, we can provide a small $100 stipend for 25 attendees.  Workshop participants are also invited to participate in the spring pilot of the protocol methods.  We can provide a $450 stipend for up to 12 faculty members for observing and being observed multiple times throughout the spring term.  Pilot participants must have attended the workshop. 

Ideally, we would like faculty from all ranks and offering courses of a variety of styles to volunteer as observers (and the observed!) as we encourage meaningful conversations around teaching. 

If you’d like to sign up to attend the workshop or additionally volunteer for the spring term pilot project, please contact Karen Leigh-Post (karen.leigh-post@lawrence.edu) or Arnold Shober (arnold.shober@lawrence.edu). 

From the committee, 

Karen Leigh-Post and Arnold Shober, co-chairs 

Round Table on Curricular Innovations

Come hear from three faculty about innovations they have made in their classes. Each Inclusive Pedagogy Committee award recipient will share a 5-10min summary of what they each did, including an overview of their revision, why they did it, and what worked and what didn’t. This will then be followed by a question-and-answer session. Students are welcome to the session.


Friday, January 21st 12:30 -1:30pm (with students)


Zoom. Details will be sent upon RSVP.

Please RSVP for the Round Table here.


Vanessa Plumly – 1st year German sequence

Plumly will embark on a process of replacing the textbook with a less-expensive choice, and supplementing that text with materials that more accurately portray the diversity and complexity of contemporary German culture.  She will also shift assessments to more active language production through real-world contexts.

Brigid Vance   – History 160: Traditional East Asian Civilizations

Vance will take a new thematic approach to this survey course so her students experience the complexity of traditional East Asia while working to rebalance an understanding of what kind of knowledge is valued and by whom. She will use a series of scaffolded reading, writing, and engagement exercises designed to invite students to become co-creators and purveyors of knowledge. 

Bob Williams – EDST 180     Psychology of Learning

Williams will restructure the course around different types of learning that include a multitude of examples drawn from diverse cultural contexts.  He will engage the students in actively demonstrating research-based methods that use diverse examples of their own choosing alongside exemplars from the original research.