November - Week 1

Hello Everyone-
Check out the information below about a new Canvas feature called Course Preview, which allows faculty to make abbreviated versions of syllabi available to students who are planning their schedules for upcoming semesters. Also, don't forget that applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Winter Faculty Development Conference. This year's theme is Transparency in Teaching and Learning: Critical Questions for Higher Education. Proposals are due November 13 by 5:00 p.m. and can be submitted at For this event, each participant is expected to make a short presentation on an assignment or learning activity on which you'd like some feedback from colleagues. If you have questions, please contact the Faculty Center staff.
Have a great week!

The activities below will take place in the Faculty Center (Classroom Building One, Room 207) unless otherwise noted. If you would like to participate virtually, please email us at and we will attempt to accommodate your request. 

Wednesday, November 4th
Workshop: Lessons from the Science of Learning: Encouraging Mindful Learning 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 5th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Workshop: Building a Better Syllabus 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Friday, November 6th
Faculty Writing Club 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The Course Preview feature is available to advertise a tentative syllabus to potential students who are registering for classes. This information is not automatically available to all students. Faculty must opt-in to this feature. The tentative syllabus can only be seen by current UCF students and is not available via the public search for classes. For more information on how to construct a course preview, visit:
For instructions on how to opt in to this feature, visit:


Social Justice & Advocacy oversees the UCF Safe Zone Series, which includes a series of workshops aimed to provide education on LGBTQ+ topics. “Safe Zone Quick Chats” are hour-long brown bag lunch dialogues featuring several SDES speakers.

November 18th – Safe Zone Quick Chat (lunch): What is the Q?  SU 225, 12pm-1pm - Featuring Stephanie Preston, LMHC, Counseling and Psychological Services, and President of Pride Faculty and Staff Association – Join the dialogue about the word “Queer.”  What does it mean?  Is it safe to use?  Learn about the historical context behind the word and if it’s appropriate to use.

The Undergraduate Research track within LEAD Scholars Academy is designed to allow students to have a professional, hands-on, paid, research related experience. These students are third or fourth year university students who have been accepted into the new LEAD Scholars Academy track program. This experience will include 10 hours of research per week for 15 weeks during the Spring 2016 semester. The deadline for all faculty and student applications is Monday, November 30, 2015. Apply here: 
Please contact Stacey Malaret, Director for the LEAD Scholars Academy, at 407-823-6492 or via email at


Artist Joy Postle: Inspired by Nature, 1896-1989 will be on display at the John C. Hitt Library from November 2, 2015 through December 4, 2015.   

On Friday, November 6, there will be an opening reception from 7.00 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. All are welcome.

The University of Central Florida Libraries Special Collections & University Archives’ collection of books, manuscript material, and fine art by and about Joy Postle documents her work and her legacy as an artist, muralist, naturalist, poet, writer, and entertainer. 

To see Florida through the eyes of Joy Postle is to see landscapes filled with light, color, and exquisitely presented birds and wildlife.  Her paintings show us a Florida of breathtaking natural beauty:  a vision of Florida that catches the imagination of visitors and inspires Floridians.

Although Joy Postle was not a native Floridian, she spent over forty years meticulously capturing the vibrant Florida environment in paintings and murals. Joy was selected by the Works Progress Administration to enhance public buildings with art during the Great Depression. She became well-known for her work on murals in buildings as far as Texas and North Carolina.  Murals in Florida included Casa Iberia at Rollins College, the First National Bank of Stuart, Florida, and Fashion Square Mall in Orlando.  Joy continued her work on commissioned paintings as well.

The Faculty Center will host a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) that meets on four Friday afternoons, 1:00-2:30 (Oct 2, 16, 30, and Nov 13). The FLC is based on, and will run concurrent with, a free, open, online course (MOOC) about effective teaching strategies and the research that supports them. The course will be held from September 28th until November 19th, 2015.
The course was designed by faculty from several institutions that participate with the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning ( The course is an outcome of a National Science Foundation grant. Participants in the Faculty Learning Community will receive a $300 grant upon completion of the course and learning community meetings. To register, please send an email to
To enroll in the MOOC, visit

The Faculty Senate Strategic Planning Council members would like to invite students to the strategic planning campus stakeholder forums, in addition to faculty and staff. The forums will be held on Oct. 26 and Nov. 12, from 9-11 am in Key West Ballroom, Student Union.

Faculty, staff and students are invited to contribute their ideas during an open discussion about UCF's vision and future impact in Central Florida and across our community. In October, university and community leaders launched a strategic planning process to set UCF’s trajectory for the next 20 years. In doing so, we’ll help shape how we can have a greater impact on lives and livelihoods throughout the region. This forum, hosted by the UCF Faculty Senate, will be an open discussion about UCF's short- and long-term opportunities, challenges, and areas of unique strength. Together, we'll consider our purpose, the quality our university provides, and areas of excellence that distinguish UCF from other institutions on the national and international stage. We also will examine how UCF best fits into the education landscape in the state and across the country. 
Learn more about strategic planning at

UCF's Center for Distributed Learning has developed an easy-to-use tool that looks through your online course and finds possible issues that could prevent a student from accessing the content due to a disability. It's called The Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool, or UDOIT (pronounced, "You Do It"), and this workshop will go over the history and give a demonstration of the tool. After the demonstration, you will have an opportunity to run UDOIT on your own course, and CDL can show you how to make the most of your results.

CDL will offer the workshop at the following dates and times (use the hyperlinks to register for your preferred session):
·         Monday, November 9th, 1-2pm (
·         Monday, November 16th, 10-11am (
Both sessions will be in the Faculty Multimedia Center (CB1-202), and computers will be provided.

All UCF faculty members using Webcourses@UCF are invited to register for the fall session of UCF’s Faculty Seminars in Online Teaching—Creating and Sustaining Effective Online Discussions: Strategies to Foster Critical Thinking and Student Voice. It will be held on Wednesday, November 4 from 1:00-1:30. You may participate face-to-face or online.

Online discussions are extensively used in online and mixed-mode courses. However, a common concern is that students will minimally participate in order to fulfill the grading requirements, and not truly engage with the content, instructor, or peers. In this session, we will share strategies to create and sustain online discussions that foster critical thinking and student voice. These strategies guide an instructor to effectively design the discussion before it commences, as well as to facilitate the discussion as it progresses, and assess the discussion when it concludes. Specifically, an instructor’s experience of using innovative discussion prompts within Webcourses@UCF will be showcased.
Register Now:
If you have any questions, contact Dr. Aimee deNoyelles at

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has launched a campaign to encourage students, faculty and staff to treat each other respectfully, explore diversity topics, and advance UCF's goal of becoming more inclusive and diverse. Please sign on to the Commit to Respect and encourage students and colleagues to do the same at See our inspirational video at

Join a faculty writing club to focus on productivity and camaraderie. Having trouble getting into a good writing rhythm? Need to get away from your office to get a change of perspective and a little privacy? Forget the coffee shop—join your colleagues on Thursday and Friday mornings from 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in the Faculty Center for a loosely structured writing session. We'll take five or six minutes each week to go around the room and state a goal for the time block and then spend the rest of the time working on our individual projects. Bring your own laptop or use a Faculty Center computer. And of course there will be coffee. Everyone is welcome!


Faculty Spotlight View Other Award Winners

Ann Marie Whyte
College of Business Administration Ann Marie     Whyte My role as educator is an important component of my contributions to the University of Central Florida. Consistent with my goal of becoming a more effective educator, my teaching style has evolved considerably over the years. I recognize that students learn in a variety of ways and seek to create a rich environmen...

Christopher Parkinson
College of Arts and Sciences Christopher  Parkinson As a professor, it is my responsibility to motivate the students’ interest in the course. My goal is to utilize active learning techniques to teach critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills. This is very difficult, but I am fortunate to have a dynamic personality, quick sense of humor...

Karen Verkler
College of Education Karen  Verkler I have been an educator in several disciplines. However, it is my opinion that content area instruction is of secondary importance. Of utmost importance is the establishment of a caring, positive learning environment in which students are encouraged to believe in themselves and to demonstrate self-respect and re...