NISOD Teaching and Learning Excellence Conference 2012

I recently had the pleasure of attending the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) teaching and learning conference in Austin, Texas, May 27-30.  This was my fourth trip to NISOD and again worth every loss of picnicking over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  I have MORE notes than you will want to read in this blog post so I will summarize them here.  This blog is intended to be for our online task force but I’ll include a few of the notes and reminders about the bigger-picture community college world in which we teach and learn.  Feel free to comment!

In community college world…big ideas:

  • Access. Equity. Opportunity; Re-commit to open-door access, reduce attainment gaps
  • The Learning College
  • The Completion Agenda (But we must put learning ahead of completion; if more students learn well, more complete without lowering standards or becoming more selective in admissions, enrollment.)
  • The Knowledge Economy
  • The Student Experience; “The college is what students experience,” Sandy Shugart, President, Valencia College
  • First generation college students
  • Developmental learners
  • The right to fail OR the right to succeed?
  • Starting strong; interventions
  • Motivation
  • Attendance
  • Commitment
  • Articulation, Transfer
  • Context; no on teaches just a discipline anymore…
  • Employment (career services, job placement)
  • Research, best practice
  • Continuous improvement
  • Structure; “Colleges with structure produce results,” Sandy Shugart, President, Valencia College
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Accreditation
  • 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges (Report: Reclaiming the American Dream)
    • Redesign the student experience
    • Reinvent institutional roles
    • Reset the system for student and institutional success
  • “Faculty are the heart of the institution, staff are the soul,” John Roueche, “Community College Renaissance Man
  • “If students realize we have an interest in them, they might have an interest in us,” John Roueche, “Community College Renaissance Man

And here are some techno-specific notes…

These notes highlight some of the best practices I heard at the conference and note where we have complementary services in-place already at ICC!

  • Faculty Training: Don’t forget ICC sponsors participation in the Master Online Teacher certificate program through the Illinois Online Network.  This is a great way to experience online learning first-hand and from a student’s perspective. It’s also a great way to learn new ideas, tools, and strategies.  Visit or contact Patrice for more info.
  • Online Student Services: Encourage students to use the great online services we offer! Learning Lab tutors are offering online tutoring in Accounting, Biology, and Chemistry.  The Library staff are willing do live online and embedded librarian, library instruction sessions and will be offering live chat services.  The Studio consultants will schedule and conduct online consultations for writing.  Check out the Current Students page and be sure to link students to these online resources.
  • Orient new online learners – hopefully a pilot coming this fall!

Tech tools to check out (I could provide links for each but just use your search engine to locate them; you’ll find each one!)  Stay tuned for more information about a Great Tech Seminar in fall 2012 and more training from the TLC.

  • Prezi, Slide Shark, Keynote, online presentations
  • Jing, desktop video capture
  • Google, all apps, docs, drive, etc.
  • VoiceThread, online collaboration through audio, video, text, images
  • Educreations, Tiny Vox, Evernote, audio recording features in each
  • LiveScribe pen, digital capture of all keystrokes for playback and sharing
  • ScreenChomp, screen recorder (iPad)
  • Pinterest, image curations (can be used for academics, not just DIY projects!)
  • Evernote, Dropbox,, iCloud, or SugarSynch, cloud storage, collaboration
  • New Annotate, Noteshelf, Good Notes, Daily Notes, notation tools
  • Kahn Academy, website of math, finance, science, history tutorials
  • Dragon Dictation, speech-to-text
  • Penultimate, drawing, brainstorming
  • EasyBib, Biblion, citations
  • Zite, Flipboard, Instapaper, readers
  • TED, educational videos
  • Flashcards, gFlash+, flashcards
  • Orkut, Ozone, StumpleUpon, TweetDeck, Badoo, Mixi (random brand names…go check them out!)

2 responses to “NISOD Teaching and Learning Excellence Conference 2012

  1. To add to techie things…the library subscribes to a citation creation resource called NoodleBibs which offers more than the free editions of Easy Bib and Biblion. You can find the link to Noodlebibs under “Citation Help in the Research box on the library homepage.

  2. Yes, NISOD is a great teaching and learning conference; this was my 6th NISOD to attend over the last 12 years and always an invigoarting professional development experience and energizer. Patrice and I presented a breakout session on sharing professional development strategies that have worked for us; we had 27 participants that actively shared ideas as well to help us all bring back strategies to promote student success. Kelly Crawford-Jones also attended as a NISOD Faculty Excellence Award winner as ICC’s Endowed Teaching Chair for 2011-2012. She presented a roundtable discussion on Service Learning.

    My GREATEST TAKEAWAY from NISOD were Dr. John Roueche’s comments from the Community College Renaissance Man article which Patrice already cited above:
    ■“Faculty are the heart of the institution, staff are the soul,” John Roueche, “Community College Renaissance Man“
    ■“If students realize we have an interest in them, they might have an interest in us,” John Roueche, “Community College Renaissance Man“
    We need to use these quotes in our Service Excellence Project at ICC! These quotes help to show how important each faculty and staff member are to the success of our students! We all need to reinforce this daily at ICC.

    I can think of only 3 other “BIG IDEAS” to add to Patrice’s extensive and comprehensive list. I learned these in other sessions I attended.
    1 – Changing college culture is probably the toughest challenge of a “student success agenda” but worth all the time, enegy and effort it takes. And according to all the listening from student focus groups by the Center for Community College Student Engagement, colleges need 5 dimensions of culture to emerge: a Culture of Connection, a Culture of High Expectations, a Culture of Potential, a Culture of Collaboration, and a Culture of Evidence and Inquiry.
    2 – Colleges need to systematize strategies once refined throughout the college instead of using “boutique programs” in isolated areas.
    3 – Colleges need to encourage placement test preparation and require under certain conditions; this may alleviate several courses in a developmental sequence for our students.

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