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Mini Grant: Personal Librarian and First-Year Experience Library Conference

The Teaching & Learning Center awarded a mini-grant to Maggie Murphy, Assistant Librarian in reference and instructional services for the GHC Libraries, to travel to the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH for the second annual Personal Librarian and First-Year Experience Library Conference in May. Maggie‘s interest in the conference, attended by approximately 200 librarians from academic libraries across the United States and Canada, was engaging with her colleagues around the issue of collaborating with disciplinary faculty on scaffolding information literacy instruction throughout the first-year curriculum.

Another focus of the conference was developing teaching strategies and instructional content informed by the the Association of College and Research Library’s new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016), which replaces the seminal Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000). The Framework represents a fundamental shift in focus for the field of information literacy instruction from teaching students a set IL competencies to addressing new learners’ struggles with threshold concepts and helping them develop certain knowledge practices and dispositions for effectively understanding and navigating their information environments.Maggie was able to directly apply this aspect of the conference to her work on a series of instructional videos accompanying the new Nights, Online, and Weekends section of FCST 1010: The College Experience aimed at nontraditional adult learners in the summer term. 

More recently, Maggie, Betsy Clark (Assistant Librarian), and Karin Bennedsen (Assistant Librarian) represented the Georgia Highlands College library faculty at the Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instruction Group‘s annual conference, held on June 10 at Clark Atlanta University. Their presentation, titled Piloting Embedded Librarianship for eCore, offered a case study on the experience of designing a centralized model for embedded librarian instruction and services for over 2,000 students each semester on the eCore platform, in stark contrast to the standard course-level embedded librarian model most academic librarians are familiar with. At the conference, Maggie was elected the conference program chair for 2016-17, and says she hopes the 2017 conference will return to Georgia Highlands.  

Photo of librarians.

Some of GHC’s amazing librarians at the Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instruction Group‘s annual conference 2016.



Guest Post written by Maggie Murphy


Mini-Grant: Tellus Museum

In early 2016, Dr. Soumitra Chattopadhyay, Professor of Physics, was awarded a mini-grant to take his Physics I and Physical Science I courses to the Tellus Museum. In April, the class visited the museum and planetarium individually and in small groups.

This was the third time Dr. Chattopadhyay has been able to have students attend the museum thanks to mini-grants from the Teaching & Learning Center. He noted, “I was always impressed with the exhibits and how much they helped my students to connect the theories of physics learned in my class with practical hands-on examples. This year’s trip was no exception and all my students who went there that day with me were very impressed.”

Students enjoyed the trip, too. One student who visited the museum said, “It was a fun experience and made it easier for me to learn class material with a hands-on approach. I hope that future classes will be able to enjoy this experience just as we did.”

Another echoed that comment, “I really connected with the interactive parts at the museum. It really was an a excellent way to get us to connect with the concepts and ideas we are learning in class.”

This is just one example of the many projects being supported through the Teaching & Learning Center here at GHC. If you have ideas you would like to develop into scholarly projects, contact Jesse Bishop at facdev(at) for a one-on-one consultation to talk about how your project can support student learning at GHC.

Space Capsules

An image from the Science in Motion exhibit at the Tellus Museum. Photo courtesy of Tellus Museum. 


USG Teaching & Learning Conference 2016

The Teaching & Learning Center sent six GHC faculty to the recent USG Teaching and Learning Conference, in lovely Athens, Georgia on the UGA Campus.

Kathryn Garcia, Associate Professor of Spanish, said, “I am definitely glad I was able to attend the conference.” Garcia noted that she planned to implement one of the strategies she learned about during the trip involving Pinterest.

Another attendee, Connie Watjen, Assistant Professor of Learning Support English, shared that getting together off campus was especially useful for reenergizing at this point in the semester.

Meredith Ginn, Associate Professor of Communication, and Dr. Karen Huggin, Assistant Professor of History, lead a presentation titled, “Medium Matters: Faculty and student reflections on how the delivery channel impacts student engagement and academic success.”


From left to right, Sarah Johnson (KSU), Karen Huggin (GHC), and Meredith Ginn (GHC). 
Photo courtesy GHC TLC. 


Ginn noted, “Our panel presentation addressed how we can promote engaged student learning regardless of course format/medium of delivery. This discussion correlated with the conference strand that addresses the unique challenges of online and blended learning.”

The presentation also included a colleague from Kennesaw State University, Sarah Johnson, Instructor of Communication.

GHC faculty members interested in attending next year’s conference, either as presenters or participants, should contact the Teaching and Learning Center (


Gateway to Completion Conference

In Early April, several members of the GHC family attended the John N. Gardner Institute’s Teaching and Learning Academy and the  Gateway Course Experience Conference 2016 in Atlanta. This conference is tied to GHC’s efforts with the JNGI Gateways to Completion efforts.

The Teaching and Learning Academy featured an all day workshop that allowed participants to interact with others in their disciplines. These groups will work across institutions, to discuss, plan for, execute, and support the redesign of gateway courses.

There were many thematic strands within the conference itself, allowing the participants to hear from presenters who have been participating in Gateways to Completion (G2C) and improving student learning outcomes and student success.

Maggie Murphy, Assistant Librarian, was in attendance as a GHC representative. She noted, “This was actually a great opportunity for me to meet and engage with colleagues at the college whom I have little regular contact with in my role as library faculty. It was also a chance offer myself up as someone ready and willing to contribute time and effort to this facet of student success.” Murphy’s enthusiasm was echoed by other participants, such as Dr. Tim Floyd, Dean of Mathematics, and Dr. Renva Watterson, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Conference attendees were able to hear from a number of Gateway to Completion (G2C) participants, who discussed many of the practical and transformative aspects of the program. Knowing that others have used this process to redesign their approaches to student success was reassuring for many. Having the time to hear from experts and participate in activities within our own G2C group was one of the most useful aspects of the trip.

One of the keynote speakers was Dr. Daniel Greenstein, director of Education, Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He charged those in attendance to think critically and carefully about the changing nature of students seeking higher education, a cause near and dear to many at GHC.

The GHC group returned to campus to begin the task of collecting and analyzing data, eager to begin thinking about ways that they might help our students better meet their educational aspirations.


Group photo

Dr. Tim Floyd, Dean of Mathematics (right, in blue) discusses active learning at the Teaching and Learning Academy. Photo courtesy of the John N. Gardner Institute




Accessibility By Design Workshop

On April 8, 2016, Faculty Academy hosted an open workshop on accessibility, led by Instructional Designer Katie Bridges.

There were 20 faculty, including new faculty and senior faculty, in attendance for the interactive workshop that led participants through discussions of the legal background of accessibility, the practical implications, and the work that faculty needAccessibility_Workshop to do to make their courses compliant.

According to Bridges, “The Accessibility by Design Training was created to help faculty understand the laws surrounding accessibility requires and to provide them an opportunity to have some hands-on practice on how to make files accessible.”

Participants were actively engaged in the workshop, with many asking questions about various scenarios they have encountered in the classroom. The interactivity seemed to be a positive element for the participants and the presenter.

Bridges noted, “I was overjoyed to see the turnout; it was great to see more than just the faculty who are part of Faculty Academy in attendance.” That faculty at all ranks care about improving their courses to help students succeed is part of what makes GHC so special.

Faculty Academy and the Teaching and Learning Center plan to expand offerings the Accessibility Workshop in the coming academic year. If you’re interested in participating, make sure to keep an eye out on GHC Inform and on your GHC email.

If you have questions about accessibility in your courses and would like to arrange a consulting session with Katie, please email her directly. Additionally, you can email and Jesse will help arrange a consultation on this or other teaching and learning issues.





Welcome to the GHC Faculty Development blog!
We’ll be sharing interesting news about faculty development, resources that we think are useful or thought-provoking, and information about conferences.
If you have an idea for a post, please let us know. You can email us at facdev (at)