University News

Innovations in Teaching Forum

March 20, 2007

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MACOMB, IL -- The inaugural Western Illinois University Innovations in Teaching Forum, sponsored by Western's Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research (CITR), will be held Friday, April 13 in the University Union on the WIU-Macomb campus.

The forum, which will be held from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., will feature keynote speaker Dee Fink, director of the University of Oklahoma's Instructional Development Program, as well as dialogues, presentations and panel discussions by Western faculty on such issues as mentoring graduate students, collaborative learning techniques and the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

According to Mandeep Singh, CITR director, the focus of the forum is to improve undergraduate and graduate education at Western by offering faculty an opportunity to expand their teaching skills and to learn from one another.

"This forum will provide an excellent opportunity for faculty to share their ideas, learn exciting new ways to introduce their curriculum to students and collaborate with others," Singh added.

The forum schedule is as follows:

8 a.m.: Registration and coffee, University Union Heritage Room lobby.

8:25-9 a.m.: "Achieving Excellence in Teaching" panel discussion featuring Daniel Colvin, English; Joe Dobson, management; and Mari Loehrlein, agriculture; University Union Heritage Room.

9:10-9:50 a.m.: "Technology Innovations in Teaching and Learning" panel discussion featuring Doug Huff, music; Jill Myers, law enforcement and justice administration; and Eric Ribbens, biology; University Union Heritage Room.

10-10:50 a.m.: Concurrent panel discussions --
"Mentoring Honors, Master's and Doctoral Students" featuring Barbara Baily, associate provost and director of Graduate Studies; Larry Wall, College of Business and Technology associate dean and director of WIU's master of business administration program; Christopher Merrett, geography professor and director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at WIU; and Susan Martinelli-Fernandez, philosophy and religious studies professor and College of Arts and Sciences associate dean; University Union Springfield Room.

"Simulations and Games as Teaching Innovations" featuring John Drea, marketing and finance chair; Richard Thurman, instructional design and technology; and Peggy West, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research; University Union Kaskaskia Room.

11-11:45 a.m.: Concurrent panel discussions --
"The Impact of Accreditation and Program Evaluation on Teaching and Assessment" featuring Jeanne Clerc, associate provost, WIU-Quad Cities; Joe Rives, assistant to the president for planning, budget and institutional research; and Judi Dallinger, assistant provost for undergraduate studies and director of the First Year Experience; University Union Springfield Room.

"Collaborative Learning Techniques" featuring Joseph Schmitz, communication; Barbara Ribbens, management; Nancy Kwang Johnson, African-American studies; and Lloyd Kilmer, educational leadership; University Union Kaskaskia Room.

Fink will present "The Joy and Responsibility of Teaching Well" at noon in the University Union Heritage Room.

Fink has served as director of the University of Oklahoma's Instructional Development Program and as an adjunct assistant professor of geography since 1979. He is also president of POD (Professional and Organizational Development) Network in Higher Education.

While the forum is open free to faculty, staff, and graduate assistants, reservations are required to attend the buffet luncheon. To register by the Friday, April 6 deadline, visit or call 309/298-2434.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing