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Welcome to the online resources of the Committee on Teaching at Oberlin College, known as "COT."

COT is a College and Conservatory faculty committee created in 1998 to provide teaching information for faculty at Oberlin College. We seek to assist both new and veteran faculty maintain Oberlin's tradition of a high-level of teaching effectiveness by encouraging campus discussion of our unique liberal arts educational environment. Beginning with the Fall 2007 semester, COT will work closely with Oberlin's new Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence (CTIE), which will be providing a number of resources for and consultations with the Oberlin faculty.

COT has held regular "Brown Bag Pedagogy" sessions since its formation with the intention of allowing faculty members to discuss those aspects of teaching and pedagogy which have proven to be most complex and challenging. We are particularly concerned with providing a forum for beginning teachers to raise issues about teaching and classroom practices with their colleagues.

Faculty members are encouraged to raise possible "Brown Bag Pedagogy" issues with COT via its chair or other members of the committee (see "About COT"). COT members for 2007-08 are:

Steve Volk, Chair, History
Lynne Bianchi, Associate Dean and Neuroscience
Albert Borroni, OCTET
Marta Laskowski,Biology
Maureen Peters, Biology
Deborah Roose, Graduate Teacher Education Program
Janice Thorton, Neuroscience 

Fall 2007 Semester Brown Bag Pedagogy Meetings

Mark your calendars: Here is the line-up for the COT/CTIE (Center for Teaching Innovation and Excellence) Brown Bags for the 
fall semester:

Friday, September 21: Providing Effective Feedback on Written Assignments 
Rice Faculty Lounge, 12:10-1:15 [Please see CTIE-Resources]

Thursday, October 18: Mid-course Corrections: How to best use mid-semester evaluations: CTIE (Mudd 052): 12:20-1:15

Friday, November 16: Writing Letters of Recommendation for Students: What works best?
CTIE (Mudd 052): 12:10-1:15

Thursday, December 6: Student collaborative work: They hate it; it's good for learning: What to do?: CTIE (Mudd 052): 12:20-1:15
Some Publications of Interest:
[August 31, 2006]: Looking for ideas about building a "promising syllabus"? James Lang, a regular contributor on teaching issues in the Chronicle of Higher Education, has an article on "The Promising Syllabus" in the September 1, 2006 issue of the CHE. As Oberlin has a site license for the CHE, you should all be able to access its articles. Lang cites another article, by Suzanne Hudd, entitled: "Syllabus Under Construction: Involving Students in the Creation of Class Assignments," which was published in 2003 in Teaching Sociology. That article can be found in JSTOR, as is linked above.

[July 27, 2006]: The Chronicle of Higher Education began a new column on teaching with its July 14, 2006 issue. The first article, by James M. Lang, is called "An Education in Education," and it contains a list of recommended summer reading on teaching including:

Greg Light, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: The Reflective Professional (Sage Publications, 2001);

R. Barr and J. Tagg, "A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education," Change (November/December 1995).

Benjamin S. Bloom, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, 2 vols. (New York: Longman Green), 1956. (Yes, 1956). [Main Library: 370.1 T197]

Richard J. Light, Making the Most of College: Students Speak Their Minds (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001). [Main Library: LD2160 .L54 2001]

Ken Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004). [Main Library: LB2331 .B34 2004]

For the Lang article in pdf format: An Education in Education
last updated 5 September 2007

Webmaster: Steve Volk