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.

If you're interested in a specific topic or want to attend one of our events, but can't make the scheduled times - Let us Know!

You can always reach the IDEA Center via email at IDEACenter@valdosta.edu

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.

WRITING CIRCLE - Maren Clegg-Hyer
Do you have an unfinished research article or chapter that haunts your steps? Don't we all! This fall, the IDEA Center is offering a pilot circle for Writers. We will meet every other week, make research and writing goals and follow up with one another on them, and take turns sharing some of the work we have produced with the group. Our goal will be to act as a supportive community of writers and to encourage one another to be accountable and get our writing done, amidst our other responsibilities.
Meets 3-4:15 pm on Sept 7, Sept 21, Oct 5, Oct 19, Nov 2, Nov 16

Are you an online instructor who is struggling to keep your students motivated, energized, and engaged with the course? Would you like to learn ways to increase your students’ perceptions of connectedness with their peers, with the course content, with the institution, and with you? If so, please consider joining this teaching circle. We will explore tools and applications that could increase student engagement and we will discuss high-leverage teaching practices that could increase retention and success rates in your online classes. Participants will be provided with the text The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips (2nd Edition) by Judith V. Boettcher and Rita-Marie Conrad.
Meets 3:30 – 4:30 pm on Aug 30, Sept 13, Sept 27, Oct 4, Oct 18, Nov 1

In this circle, we will introduce a data analysis method that uses student grades, feedback and SOIs to make continuous improvement to our teaching. Bring your coursework and we’ll perform data analysis to refine learning outcomes, include appropriate activities to achieve these outcomes, and design assignments and tests to evaluate how well you teach and how well your students learn. The result of this data analysis can help you identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in your teaching and make continuous improvement in future offerings of the course.
Meets 1-1:50 pm on Sept 25, Oct 16, Oct 30, Nov 13 

The Scholarship of Teaching of Learning (SoTL) involves post-secondary practitioners conducting systematic inquiry -- built upon their past scholarly work -- into teaching and learning. An important goal is to enhance and augment teaching and learning results by investigating the many features of discipline specific expertise and best pedagogical practice (McKinney, 2006). As many practitioners may question “how,” this teaching circle is aimed to answer the question by assisting participants, including faculty from different disciplines, new or interested in SoTL, to create a SoTL project outline for their area of interest. Specifically, participants will learn about the process regarding how to generate a SoTL research question, design their SoTL study, collect and analyze data, and disseminate their SoTL results. By the end of this teaching circle, participants will have an outline delineating all the above steps to help them move forward with their SoTL project.
Meets 1- 1:50 pm on Sept 13, Oct 4, Oct 25, Nov 15


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.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Workshop – Li-Mei Chen

What is scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL)? How does it differ from scholarly teaching or other types of scholarship? This workshop, serving as a kickoff of the SoTL teaching circle that will start in September, will introduce SoTL and its relations to other types of inquiry and scholarship. After this workshop, participants will be able to define SoTL, distinguish it from other types of inquiry and scholarship, and explore possible SoTL projects in their classrooms/programs.

Date: Sept. 6, 1 - 1:50 pm

Location: IDEA Center

TILT Towards Success – Tim Henkel

Ever give out an assignment expecting one thing and have students turn in something completely different? Don’t know how to really let your students know what you expect of them? Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) offers a framework for promoting student success in university courses. We will engage with examples from across different disciplines and explore techniques to make assignments more transparent in order to increase learning gains in your courses.

Date:  Sept. 7, 2-3:15 and again on Oct. 20, 9-10:15

Location: IDEA Center

Course Data Analysis – Chunlei Liu

Teaching is at the core of our profession and excellence in teaching depends on continuous improvement. In this workshop, we will introduce the overall procedure of conducting quantitative and qualitative course data analysis to identify areas of strengths and weaknesses in our teaching and learning. The results of this analysis will be used to design improvement activities so that we can make continuous improvement in future offerings of the course.  

Date: Sept. 11, 1-1:50 pm

Location: IDEA Center

Using Low-stakes Writing Assignments to Develop Critical Thinking – Darrell Fike

A central but often overlooked concept from the writing-as-process movement is that the act of writing in and of itself is a unique and powerful mode of learning.  Using low-stakes or required non-graded writing assignments (RNG) offers instructors of any disciple a flexible and easily tailored method for promoting critical thinking and application of content without an overwhelming increase in workload. This workshop will provide some techniques and guidelines for including RNG writing into your courses. 

Date: Sept. 11, 2-3 pm and again on Oct 23, 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Location: IDEA Center

Minding Your Teaching – Darrell Fike

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.

Date: Sept. 18, 2-3:15 pm and again on Nov. 20, 3:30 – 4:45 pm

Location: IDEA Center

Study Abroad Proposal Writing Workshop – Victoria Russell

In this workshop, participants will learn how to plan and organize travel, create a budget, conduct site visits, and write a proposal to create a VSU sponsored summer study abroad program. Participants will also learn about risk management and how to recruit students effectively. Studying abroad provides students with an enriching and highly engaging educational experience that can be life-changing. This high impact teaching practice could help build excitement for your discipline while positively impacting retention at VSU.

Date: Oct. 19, 11 am - 12:30 pm

Location: IDEA Center

Date: Nov. 8, 3 – 4:30

Location: Online (Participants will receive a guest link for the BB Collaborate meeting)

Funding Your Research Project – Part I

Did you know that help is available on campus to set up an automatic search for grants that apply directly to your current research, so that you are notified about grants by email as quickly as they are posted? Or even that there is help deciphering grant applications and even in writing for a grant in your field? During this workshop, co-sponsored by the IDEA Center and OSPRA, participants will be introduced to how to make these services (and others offered at VSU) work to get faculty research funded, despite faculty's limited time. Want to learn about the grant process, and how much help is there every step of the way? Come to this workshop.

Date: Oct. 12, 3-4:15 pm

Location: IDEA Center

Funding Your Research Project – Part II

In this follow-up workshop, faculty participants will receive direct personal assistance from OSPRA consultants on grants searches according to each participant's area(s) of research.

Date: Nov. 9, 3-4:15 pm

Location: IDEA Center