Faculty Institute 2019: Treasures in our Backyard


Grey wooden coin box with green leaf plant on grey sand

On May 16 the University Collaborative held its annual Faculty Institute.  The theme was Treasures in Our Backyard.

Senta Sellers (UMA Bangor) discussed how libraries can be more inclusive.  Most intriguing was the concept of high context and low context cultures.  Knowing that some patrons need questions asked more explicitly or more implicitly, librarians can adjust their reference interviews accordingly.

Mike Cyr (UMS Accessibility Coordinator) reminded participants of ways to make documents more accessible.  Many of the suggested changes, for example using headers, are simple to implement and benefit all users.  His presentation slides offer a useful starting point for those learning about accessibility.

Paul Cochrane (USM) and Sara Flanagan (UM) discussed the use of feedback in course design. Their talk included a sample feedback form and, as one example involved education majors, tips on writing a teaching philosophy statement. The latter will help me reflect on my own teaching. We participants also learned about the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) model for educational technology use. The models helps educators use technology more thoughtfully and not simply for its own sake.

Though I didn’t mention the opening remarks and keynote speech, you can watch them on the Faculty Institute websiteVice-Chancellor Neely’s remarks mentioned the UMS staff and their knowledge as local treasures.   Each year the Faculty Institute proves this point.  Thanks as always to our hosts at UMA.


Image credit: Pixabay, retrieved from Pexels

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