Learning to Teach: Mellon Summer Seminar 2007
Teaching is a dynamic process that requires continuous learning on the
part of the teacher. The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) has many
activities to help AUB professors in this endeavor. One of the most intensive
is the Summer Seminar on Creative Use of Resources in Course Design, which
is funded by the Mellon Foundation and was given for the fourth time this
past summer. Ten professors spent four weeks learning about syllabus design,
information literacy, and instructional technologies, and worked on designing
a course with integrated resources.
Amal Bou Zeineddine, associate director of CTL, says the syllabus design
component is open to creativity and discussion, because "a syllabus
is personal." Along with group and individual work, she tries to
get participants to see the merits of having a detailed syllabus that
incorporates all the important components, including student learning
outcomes and ways to assess them.
The Information Services Department of the University Libraries is heavily
focused on helping faculty and students become aware of and learn how
to take advantage of the various academic resources, both print and electronic,
available at AUB. In the seminar, Information Services Librarian Samira
Meghdessian and her staff help faculty incorporate the use of resources
in a research project that is part of the course each participant is working
The final component of the seminar has participants learning about online
instructional design and the role of technology in education, and then
using Moodle to create an on-line portion of their course. This section
is coordinated by Rosangela Silva, director of the Academic Computing
Center, with the help of her staff. Commenting on some benefits of the
seminar, Silva says, "The participants learn a lot from each others'
experiences and they leave the seminar with new friends and lots of good
ideas to implement."
At the end of the seminar, each participant makes a presentation to the
entire group, as well as invited colleagues and students, to show what
they have been working on. Waddah Nasr, director of CTL, says, "It
is impressive to see the participants give clear evidence of how they
have incorporated the three components of the seminar into their courses."
Former participants also give a presentation open to the AUB community,
usually in early spring, to share their experiences.
Thalia Arawi, who has a joint appointment in the Philosophy Department
and the Faculty of Medicine, worked on a course she coordinates for Med
III students. Of her experience, she says: "I do not look at the
seminar in terms of parts. It is a whole; like a big puzzle, the pieces
of which are meant to join and complete a picture. This picture gets prettier
the more you work on it and the more you add to it from your own experience,
which is itself embellished day by day, as you learn from colleagues and
To learn more about this seminar and watch a video with the participants,
To apply for future seminars, visit: http://staff.aub.edu.lb/~webctl/