Our Services

These are just some of the ways that the IDEA Center can help all of us to think critically about our roles as professionals who teach, conduct research,  who write for publication, and who are active in our community. Come on in and enjoy some coffee, and see how we can help each other to succeed in educating our students and in our careers. Some of these groups are offered every semester, others we will try and see if there is interest.

Coaching and Mentoring

Do you have a pre-tenure review coming up? A peer review for promotion or tenure in your future? Would you like to have a “practice run” just to gain confidence? Would you like someone to visit your class to lead a focus group with students and provide you feedback about your teaching and how the students perceive the class is going? One of our Scholars can collaborate with you about what kinds of feedback you would like to receive and then do a classroom visit. The Fellow would follow up with you at the IDEA Center, where you both can talk about how the class went, and come up with strategies to use during the formal visit.

Have you been asked to teach a supersection for the first time and are concerned about how to take your teaching “big”? Or what new kinds of classroom management issues might emerge in a big class?

Struggling with how to balance your teaching, research, service, and a private life? Coaching sessions could help you to clarify your short-term priorities for this semester and help you to think through some time balancing strategies so that you move forward in your research, do well in the classroom, and share time with those who are important to you – and de-stress some too! Email IDEACenter@valdosta.edu if you want to set up a time to talk about coaching or mentoring.

Teaching Circles

Teaching Circles are small groups of faculty that come together to discuss a various topics and share their personal experiences and expertise, as well as develop new skills and ideas. This fall, the IDEA Center will host eight different teaching circles that will meet throughout the semester.

his semester the IDEA Center's teaching circles are joining up with the Office of Employee and Organizational Development's training database. This will mean that if you join a teaching circle, it will automatically appear in Digital Measures at the end of the year, when you are creating your Faculty Annual Report.

Once you decide to join a teaching circle, follow this link, log in and search for the teaching circle and register for it. Thank you.

Circle: Small Changes, Big Improvements

This teaching circle will read James M. Lang's Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning together (Jossey-Bass 2016) and talk about how we can implement some of these small changes or other pedagogical changes we brainstorm, in an effort to improve student learning.
Meets 2-3:15 PM on Tuesdays 9/6; 9/20; 10/4; 10/18; 11/1; and 11/15. Led by Kathe Lowney.

Circle: Doorbuster Redefined

Premised on the belief that we know little about what goes on behind the closed doors of others' classrooms but have lots to learn from opening our doors, this teaching circle will foster cross-disciplinary, formative (not evaluative) observations of members' classes. We'll read about best practices for productive observations, create pairs or teams, observe classes, and discuss what we learn.
Meets 9-10 AM on Fridays 8/26; 9/9; 9/23; 10/7; 10/21; 11/4; and 11/18. Led by Gardner Rogers.

Circle: Using Technology for Teaching and Learning

Technology is constantly changing the way we teach and learn, but many teachers feel overwhelmed when facing the ever-changing world of technology. In this teaching circle, we are going to discuss how to use technology in the classroom and will share various tools and resources in using technology in our teaching and learning.
Meets 1-1:50 PM on Mondays 9/12; 9/26; 10/17; and 11/14. Led by Chunlei Liu.

Circle: Teaching in Online Environments

Join us for this teaching circle as we will share strategies and tips for teaching in online environments, ranging from hybrid instruction with a combination of face-to-face and online instruction to fully online instruction. Participants will see examples of activities and assignments that work in online environments and techniques for getting students engaged in online learning. Various resources and tools to assist online teaching will also be shared. Meets 1-1:50 PM Wednesdays 9/7; 9/28; 10/19; and 11/16. Led by Li-Mei Chin.

Circle: Square Peg Circle: Negotiating Academic Culture

The complexities of academic culture can be daunting to both new and veteran members of academe, no matter how much we may love our subject matter or find inspiration from our students. At times, many of us have questioned the directions our careers are taking or our approaches to life at the university. Join this circle to share experiences, concerns, and strategies for negotiating the complexities of academic culture. Meets 1-1:50 PM on Mondays, 8/29; 9/19; 10/3; and 10/31. Led by Darrell Fike.

Circle: Teaching Study Abroad

Are you interested in creating a VSU-sponsored summer study abroad program? If so, this teaching circle is for you. We will cover all aspects of getting a successful study abroad program off the ground. Participants will receive help and support with writing the proposal, creating a budget, selecting the courses to offer, marketing and recruiting, and organizing excursions. We will also address health and safety concerns as well as how to help students maximize their experience abroad.
Meets 3-4 PM on Wednesdays 8/24; 9/7; 9/21; 10/5; 10/19; and 11/2. Led by Victoria Russell.

Circle: Graduate Teaching

Teaching graduate students is a unique, but always rewarding experience. Are you teaching graduate students now, and have good ideas to share about what has worked well? Would you like to gather ideas from others teaching graduate students, for your current or future teaching graduate student assignments? If so, come to share and learn as we focus on teaching strategies for Grad School courses.
Meets 11-11:50 AM on Tuesdays 8/30; 9/20; 10/18; and 11/15. Led by Maren Clegg-Hyer.

Writing Circle

Writing is a process; we all know this from experience. This circle is an opportunity to get together to write and share ideas. Get feedback and give some support as we focus on individual writing tasks and goals, and examine different approaches to meeting our writing needs.
Meets 9-9:50 AM on Wednesdays 8/31; 9/14; 9/28; 10/12; 10/26; and 11/9. Led by Tim Henkel.


The IDEA Center's workshops are listed in the Office of Employee and Organizational Development's training database. This will mean that if you register for one of our workshops and attend, it will automatically appear in Digital Measures at the end of the year, when you are creating your Faculty Annual Report. 

Once you decide to participate in a workshop, follow this link, log in and search for the workshop and register for it. Thank you.

Teaching Big, But Feeling Small – Kathleen Lowney
Date: September 9th at 10:00 am
Location: IDEA Center
This workshop is for those teaching supersections or who might soon be teaching these larger sections. We’ll share ideas on how to manage these classes, use active learning activities to stop being “the sage on the stage,” and help students to not feel lost and isolated.

Tactics for Effective and Efficient Grading - Li-Mei Chen
Date: September 14, 1:00-1: 50 PM
Location: IDEA Center
Have you ever felt buried under a high stack of student work waiting for you to grade? Are you frustrated with students’ repetitive errors from one paper to the next even though these errors have been marked and commented upon? If so, come to this workshop which will provide you with numerous tips and strategies to turn your grading effective and efficient.

Creating Digital Stories Using PhotoStory 3 - Victoria Russell
Date: Sept 21, 1:30 pm
Location: MCL Lab (WH 104)
Learn how to create digital stories using PhotoStory 3, a free application. Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories. As with traditional storytelling, most digital stories focus on a specific topic and contain a particular point of view. However, as the name implies, digital stories usually contain some mixture of computer-based images, text, recorded audio narration, video clips and/or music. Students are able to express their creativity with digital stories, which motivates them to learn the course content. Please bring a flash drive with 8 - 10 photos and a digital file with your favorite song.

Minding Your Teaching - Darrell Fike
Date: Oct. 19 2-3 pm
Location: IDEA Center
Reflecting on your teaching is seen as a necessary step by many scholars to align your methods with your goals and ground your teaching in a pedagogical or theoretical basis. This workshop blends the scholarship of teaching and learning with techniques from mindfulness meditation to help you discover and make manifest the true teacher within you.

Digital Tools and Online Resources for Teaching and Research at VSU - Chunlei Liu
Date: Monday, Oct 31 at 1:00-1:50 pm.
Location: IDEA Center
Do you ever feel that you need more tools and resources to prepare your teaching material, conduct your research, collaborate with colleagues, or communicate between work and home computers? This workshop is an introduction to some digital tools and online resources available at VSU to help your teaching and research.

Strategy and the Academic Publishing Path: How To Maximize Publication in an Overly Busy Schedule - Maren Clegg-Hyer
Date: Oct 25 3-4 pm
Location: IDEA Center
With heavy teaching loads and often heavy service loads, VSU professors can struggle to publish as much as they might like (or need). This workshop is intended to help: if you have been successful in striking a balance, bring your ideas to share. If you have struggled, come to hear what others might suggest. Some of the ideas to be discussed include successful multi-tasking on the pathway to publication and successful multi-tasking of research, pedagogy, and curricular development.


Our faculty scholars hold regular office hours during the week, when you can drop by and find someone to talk with about your teaching, research or writing project.

During the Fall 2016 Semester, a faculty scholar will be in the office Mon -Thurs from 1-3 pm, as well as Tues/Fri 10 am -12 pm and Weds 11 am -1 pm. Just come by for a cup of coffee and engaged discussion.