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   from the issue of March 22, 2007

Teaching and learning expo is March 29


UNL's inaugural Teaching and Learning Exposition is March 29 at the Van Brunt Visitors Center and Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. In addition to a keynote speaker, the seven latest recipients of Initiative for Teaching and Learning Excellence grants will be recognized and posters depicting the success of previous ITLE projects will be available for review.

Keynote speaker for the event is Chris Gallagher, associate professor of English. His talk, which begins at 2 p.m., is "The Learning University: Assessment, Accountability, and Higher Education." Gallagher argues that the best way for higher education to respond to recent calls for a narrow, test-based notion of postsecondary "accountability" is to embrace a broader conception of assessment as a tool for making teaching and learning visible. Drawing on his research on Nebraska's unique school-based, teacher-led K-12 assessment system ("Reclaiming Assessment: A Better Alternative to the Accountability Agenda," Heinemann, 2007), Gallagher proposes an inside-out, rather than top-down, approach to creating "the learning university." A question and answer session will follow.

At 3:30 p.m., the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will host a poster session exposition and reception in the Great Hall of the Van Brunt Visitors Center. The 40 projects funded under the first two years of the Initiative for Teaching and Learning Excellence have prepared posters explaining the projects and highlighting the impact on undergraduate students. Faculty and staff from those projects will be available to answer questions and talk with guests. At 3:45 p.m. the seven third-round ITLE grant recipients will be announced. Refreshments will be provided.

All faculty, staff, and students are invited to the keynote address and reception. The University of Nebraska Foundation Grants Committee, which funded the initiative, has been invited. The Board of Regents and administrators from Central Administration will also be in attendance. This spring the Foundation Grants Committee will review ITLE-funded projects and make decisions about the future of funding for this program.

"The future of this kind of funding depends on us making the case now that we have used these ITLE funds wisely and have made a difference for undergraduates," said David Wilson, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and initiative coordinator. "Given what I've seen so far of the work of our faculty and staff, I believe we can easily make that case."



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