Important Dates and Deadlines* for Fall 2014
- 7–FaSET reopens for EoS snapshot
- 8–s and w survey period beings
- 8–Deadline: Spring 2015 Chair’s Proof
- 13—CLUE, 9-10a, GEB 4.214
- 15–Deadline: s and w survey period
- 18–Deadline: Summer 2014 FaSET EoS snapshot
- 18–Deadline: Spring 2015 Flag proposals
- 25—FaSET Opens for Fall 2014 updates
- 27—First Class Day
- 27—Deadline: Small Class Petitions due by 10am
- 28—Deadline: Small Class Petitions due by 10am (for new small classes not previously petitioned)
- 29—Deadline: Small Class Petitions due by 10am (for new small classes not previously petitioned)
- 2—4th Class Day
- 2—Deadline: Small Class Petitions due by 10am (for new small classes not previously petitioned)
- 2—Registration Waitlist system closes at 4pm
- 2—2015-16 Course Inventory Management System (CourseLeaf) Opens
- 3—Deadline: Small Class Petitions due by 10am (for new small classes not previously petitioned)
- 3—Deadline: HB 2504 compliance
- 10—Event: CLUE Meeting, 9-10am, GEB 4.214, Topic: Cross-listing Etiquette
- 12—12th Class Day
- 15—Final Exam Request system opens
- 15, week of—Spring 2015 Advance Copy available
- 15, week of—Event: SOS-Final Exam Requests, FaSET, and Course Inventory Updates
- 22—Deadline: FaSET closes
- 22, week of—Event: SOS-Spring 15 CSU, Prerequisite Check, Waitlists, and Priorities/Restrictions
- 22, week of—Spring 2015 CSU Opens
- 26—Deadline: Final Exam Request system
- 3—Deadline: 2015-16 Signature Course Proposals
- 6, 4pm—Deadline: Spring 2015 Flag Corrections to email@example.com
- 13—Deadline: Course Inventory Management Updates must be approved by Chair
- 15—Event: CLUE Meeting, 9-10, GEB 4.214, Topic: Organizing scheduling information
- 15—Spring 2015 Course Schedule published
- 16—Spring 2015 Departmental Course Descriptions published
- 20—Summer 2015 Original opens
- 20—Fall 2014 CIS Request System opens
- 22—Deadline: Prerequisite Check Status Updates
- 27—Spring 2015 registration begins
- 31—Deadline: Summer 2015 Original
- 31—Deadline: Fall 2014 CIS Requests
- 3—FaSET End of Semester (EoS) opens
- 6—Fall 2015 Original opens
- 7—Spring 2015 registration ends
- 12—Event: CLUE Meeting, 9-10, GEB 4.214, Topic: TBD
- 10—Fall 2014 paper CIS packets available for pick-up from GSB 2.100
- 21—Deadline: Fall 2014 paper CIS packet pick-up
- 24—Fall 2014 CIS administration period begins
- 2—Deadline: Fall 2015 Course Schedule Original
- 5—Last Class Day
- 5—Deadline: Last day to administer Fall 2014 CIS
- 5—Deadline: FaSET EoS Closes
- 8—Deadline: FaSET EoS finalization
- 9—Deadline: Summer & Fall 2015 course descriptions, non-standard time requests, and restricted cross-listing requests
- 10—Deadline, 10am: Individual Instruction Grade Reporting
- 16—Deadline: Summer & Fall 2015 flag proposals
- 17—Deadline: Delivery of completed Fall 2014 CIS’s to GSB 2.100
*Dates subject to change; Dates and Deadlines in italics have not been announced/finalized
Every summer, I take the time to evaluate some of my work practices, procedures, and strategies. This summer (and, actually, part of the spring) I’ve focused that evaluation on our college meetings, training sessions, and social gatherings. I broached the subject of changing the structure of the Course Schedulers Meetings at our April meeting and at the retreat, introduced the lunch walks, and coordinated a few “hands-on” inventory computer lab sessions. I would like to take this opportunity to flesh out some of my ideas and approaches to the upcoming academic year in order to gain some feedback.
The first “project” to take shape was the lunch walk and/or field trip to University museums or collections two times a week. These activities fell under the broad umbrella of intellectual and physical wellness touted by many entities both on- and off-campus as ways to cope successfully with the stresses of April/May, one of our busiest work periods. In my opinion, they were a success. We, Victor and I, almost always had at least one other scheduler join us and for a couple of the walks we had as many as four. With the hot temperatures of summer upon us, we decided to take a break but they will return in the fall. In addition to return visits to favorites, such as the Blanton, the HRC, and the Visual Arts Center, we also plan to visit the Football Trophy Room and the Courtyard Gallery.
The next change was to begin organizing hand-on lab sessions. We held two such sessions for the spring inventory update period that were quite fun in addition to being productive. We hope to coordinate a few more for Spring 2015 Chair’s Proof but finding available computer labs in central locations has proven difficult. If you have an available departmental computer lab, even a small one (fewer than 10 stations), please me know if I can schedule it for this purpose. And, yes, I checked GPCs, LAITS, and ITS computer lab availability. Who know July and August were busy periods for these types of rooms?
Another idea to take shape was to change the structure of the Course Schedulers Meetings (CSMs) to something much more task-oriented than informational and social. Similar to the hands-on lab sessions, these monthly gatherings would be centered on a specific topic or training experience. Many of you expressed interest in these types of activities and I agree they may be of greater benefit than the traditional CSMs. These would be held at least once a month and would still have an informational and social component. Examples of the technology or organizational systems that we could have sessions on include: using Qualtrics to set up surveys to gather information from faculty members; using Google© forms to set up a web-based room reservation request form for departmental classrooms; and creating a Filemaker Pro© database or “enhanced” Excel© spreadsheet to keep track of scheduling information.
So, what do you think of the additions we’ve made and the changes we are proposing?
Important Dates and Deadlines* for Summer 2014:
- 5–First Class Day (f, n, and w sessions)
- 5–Deadline: Small Class Petitions (f, n, and w sessions)
- 5–Deadline: HB 2504 (f, n, and w sessions)-departmental level
- 6-Deadline: Small Class Petitions (f, n, and w sessions) for classes that fall below minimum after 1st class day
- 10–Fourth Class Day (f, n, w sessions)
- 11–Final Exam Reporting system Opens (f, n, and w sessions)
- 12–Deadline: HB 2504 (f, n, and w sessions)-public site
- 17–Deadline: Final Exam Reporting (f, n, and w sessions)
- 23–CIS Request system Opens
- 27–Deadline: First (f) session CIS requests
- 3–CIS f survey period begins
- 4–Staff holiday
- 9–Deadline: CIS first session surveys
- 10–Last Class Day (f session)
- 14–First Class Day (s session)
- 14–Deadline: Small Class Petitions (s session)
- 15–Deadline: Small Class Petitions (s session) for classes that fall below minimum after 1st class day
- 17–Fourth class day (s session)
- 17–Deadline: CIS Nine week (n) session requests
- 18–Final Exam Reporting system Opens (s session)
- 21–Deadline: HB 2504 (s session)
- 21–Scheduling: Spring 2015 Chair’s Proof Opens
- 23–CIS n session survey period begins
- 24–Deadline: Final Exam Reporting (s session)
- 24–Deadline: FaSET closes
- 30–Deadline: CIS n session survey period
- 4–Deadline: Second and Whole session CIS survey requests
- 7–FaSET reopens for EoS snapshot
- 8–S and W survey period beings
- 8–Deadline: Spring 2015 Chair’s Proof
- 15–Deadline: S and W survey period
- 18–Deadline: FaSET EoS snapshot
- 27–First class day
- 27–Deadline: Small Class Petitions
*Dates are subject to change and updates are made periodically.
My Dream Schedule
By: Student Worker #1 (and Supervisor #1)
In my last blog I told readers how I was able to register for the course of my dreams: The Rhetoric of Superheroes. This will be the first time I will take a class just for fun (because he’s a freakazoid with two majors, possibly three, that do not allow for a lot of electives.) I think all students, if they have room in their schedule, should take a class just for fun. All classes at UT have academic merit so if a class is interesting to you then it will always be worth your time. Students (and employees with tuition benefits) should make a list of classes that they would like to take one day and strive to take a least a few of them before they graduate.
Here is my list of Dream Classes:
Of course there is the RHE 309K: The Rhetoric of Superheroes (Um, yay?!?).
In my previous blog I discussed how great of a class this is for me.
PED 107D: Beginning Golf
If you want to go far in life, you have to be able to play a little golf. (He’s such a nice young man, really.)
E 321P Shakespeare Through Performance
You get graded to act out scenes from Shakespeare plays. Probably not everyone’s ideal class, but definitely something I would be interested in taking. Honestly, the best way to understand Shakespeare is by performing Shakespeare. (Whatever!)
HIS 343L: History of Russia since 1917
In my personal opinion this is some of the most interesting parts of history in just one class. This class is very appealing to me especially after taking three years of Russian language. (Look at me! Look at me! I speak Russian.)
UGS 303: What Makes the World Intelligible?
How could you not take a class taught by THE Bill Powers (UT President Extraordinaire)? Could you imagine a letter of rec from that guy? Plus I am sure if Bill Powers takes time out of his busy schedule to teach a UGS class it must be incredibly interesting. (Future Namedropper Course)
UGS 303: Sleep, Do We Get Enough of It?
And the answer to that question:
(That gif is sooooo cute!) Well, its about time! Where do I sign up? I am told that this UGS course was fairly easy and students got out of class early pretty regularly, probably to take naps. I will have you know that I am a pro at taking naps so I will surely ace this class. (This is true.)
And finally where would my college career be without a little:
EDP 363: Human Sexuality
This has been a “must take” class for years here at UT. Whenever asked “what elective should I take next semester?” the answer will almost always be Human Sexuality. I highly doubt this class is anything like Coach Carr’s Sex Ed class depicted in the movie Mean Girls so you should not feel extremely uncomfortable while taking this class. (No comment.)
These are my top classes to take here at UT. Comment with your dream class.
A ‘SMOC’king Good Course
By: Student Worker #2
GOV 310L is an introductory course on American Government and just about every UT student will take or has already taken it. So why write about it? Isn’t it just another required course that you’d be better off taking at ACC or online at Midland College? Well our staff has proven once again that every course at the University of Texas has value. Through UT’s synchronous massive online course (SMOC), students now have the option to participate in an online version of GOV 310L that still requires the same regular attendance and assessment as a traditional lecture.
I sat down with Professor Eric McDaniel to discuss his experience teaching with the Texas Online World of Educational Research (TOWER). Professor McDaniel has taught GOV 310L roughly fifteen times here at UT and admits that the class had started to become a bit stale. With classes of around four hundred students, it’s difficult to keep students engaged and to maintain an investment in them on a personal level. Professor McDaniel claims that using TOWER has revitalized the way he teaches this course.
Professor McDaniel’s goal in teaching this large required course is to help students understand the inner workings and basic rules of how our government works. He wants his students to leave his class understanding that a government is just like any other organization so that, when something goes wrong or the public is dissatisfied, they can understand why. Having TOWER at his disposal has furthered this goal by allowing him to provide more information per lecture, while also making his class more engaging. The class is streamed live, so students are still free to ask questions during lectures, but with his TA’s standing by to answer the majority of questions via chats, Professor McDaniel is free to cover more information and go into greater depth in a single lecture. He describes this as one of the greatest benefits of teaching online. Although he regrets losing the opportunity for face-to-face contact with his students, being able to delve deeper into topics that he is passionate about, rather than being forced to rush through them, has allowed him to share that passion more effectively with his students.
Using an online format has also made the class more engaging, particularly for non-government majors. Not only is it far easier to integrate media into the course, but also to provide up to date references to relevant current events. This gives students far more tangible evidence as to why what they are learning matters. Professor McDaniel said that another great benefit has been the opportunity to team-teach with Professor Daron Shaw. By splitting each lecture up beforehand, Professors McDaniel and Shaw are each able to focus in on the areas that they are more concerned with and more equipped to cover. For example, if they are lecturing on public opinion, Professor Shaw might provide methodological information on how public opinion is measured, while Professor McDaniel speaks more theoretically on where public opinion comes from, making for a more informative and engaging lecture overall.
Professor McDaniel says that his experience in teaching with TOWER has changed the way he approaches both GOV 310L and his other classes. And while he admits that teaching with SMOC is not as well suited to upper division courses that require more in depth and specialized discussion, there are many aspects of how the course is taught that he plans to apply to his other courses. For example, he not only has more experience with the use of media in teaching, but also more media resources available from what he has used in his GOV 310L class. Through teaching this class, Professor McDaniel has also seen the value of keeping students accountable for what they are being taught by using weekly assessments and quizzes. He is also striving to be completely transparent and provide students with as much feedback as possible, seeing that it helps students to understand why they have the grades they have.
SMOC courses present a unique opportunity for both students and professors. And while Professor McDaniel admits that taking a course that uses TOWER requires a certain level of maturity and responsibility, he believes that the majority of students here at the University of Texas are up to the task. In his own words, teaching with TOWER is helping to “bring sexy back” to political science by making the course both more engaging and more rewarding for students and faculty alike.