S.1- Intro to GRAD602


Session 1: Intro to GRAD-602 / Key Ideas in Teaching, Learning and Technology


Session Overview

This first session provides an orientation to the course and serves as a starting point for our conversation about what it might mean to teach and learn in higher education today. Unprecedented access to information, increased capacity to create and share ideas, changes in expectations for access and flexibility in coursework, shifting roles for faculty members, and continued rising costs for post-secondary education are but a few things shaping the landscape. We believe that – in many ways – the current context represents a transformational moment for colleges and universities…one that has many exciting opportunities as well as significant challenges for those looking to enter the academy.We will begin with surfacing ideas, questions and issues, and work together to determine key themes that we see as central to shaping our understanding of teaching and learning for future faculty members. In addition, we will review key aspects of the design of GRAD 602, discuss the learning goals, and describe the primary course activities.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class session you should be able to…

  • Identify and discuss factors that are shaping higher education today.
  • Describe the design, learning goals and key activities of GRAD 602.

Key Questions

  • What does preparation for college and university teaching tend to consist of? What should it consist of?
  • What are the issues facing higher education today that you think will significantly affect your teaching practice
  • How are digital technologies affecting the work of faculty members in the areas of teaching and scholarship?
  • How might future faculty members need to adjust their views of teaching and learning in order to adapt to a changing higher education environment?


1) Explore current perspectives on factors shaping future faculty member perspectives on teaching in higher education (small group brainstorming / whole class discussion).

Pre-Course Survey Results

2) Review and discuss key design elements of GRAD 602.


1) Set up your Learning Journal (blog), and send blog URL to the instructors via email. Synthesize ideas from class discussion and post to your Learning Journal. A complete collection of web-based tutorials on setting up and using WordPress is available here: (http://www.atomiclearning.com/highed/wordpress-36-training?cn=vcu)

2) Complete the Teaching Perspective Inventory (TPI) located here: http://www.teachingperspectives.com/drupal/ Bring your results to our next class session.

3) Consider book selection for the Exploring Scholar as Teacher assignment.

Suggested Readings

1) Review the syllabus and book selection choices.

2) See Sub-pages for Additional Resources