Summer teaching institute will move to September in 2008

The "S" in SITT will switch its meaning next year. It will stand for "September," not "summer," as the annual campus institute to spur better teaching moves closer to the start of the fall quarter.

The Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology finished its 2007 version Friday with a half-day of sessions, evaluations, and a look at what comes next, including the schedule change for next year.

"We're hoping that [with the change], SITT '08 will provide some new opportunities and additional people," said SITT coordinator Andy Jones, "more faculty interested in learning what we offer at SITT, and applying it soon after we conclude."

Part of the goal is to shorten the time between the institute and the start of the academic year, so that instructors who pick up new ideas at SITT don't have to wait two months to apply them.

About 120 people registered for SITT this July, up a bit from 2007. They chose among dozens of programs on topics that ranged from SmartSite and writing to digital imaging and copyright. Presenters, from a variety of disciplines, ranged from undergraduates to senior faculty. Some sessions were lectures. Others were hands-on workshops.

The constant goal is to inspire more thoughtful teaching.

Friday's wrapup included "20 Technologies in 20 Minutes." The ideas, which actually totaled 17, were presented by Jones, plus faculty technology training coordinators Leslie Madsen-Brooks and Steve Faith. The resources ranged from useful Web sites (Madsen-Brooks called del.icio.us, a method of storing bookmarks online, "the best Web site ever made") to Jones' reference to Hipster PDAs, a collection of index cards held together with a binder clip. People use them as a low-tech personal digit al assistant. They're also a dig at high-tech excess.

Material from all the presentations is being posted, as it becomes available, to the SITT 2007 online agenda.

The Teaching Resources Center presents SITT, and is looking for ways to extend the discussions it engenders to more of the year, said TRC Director Jon Wagner. That might include doing more within disciplines or departments, he said in closing remarks Friday. After last July's institute, the center started offering More Thoughtful Teaching events; the first was last November.

Click on these links to read stories from each of the previous days of SITT 2007: Thursday, Wednesday, Tuesday and Monday.