Recent Consultations

Below are descriptions of some recent and representative consultations:

For the past two years, Virginia has consulted with the Department of Microbiology at North Carolina State University on the assessment of a redesigned general microbiology course that serves over 2,000 students per academic year. She, the course coordinator and the instructors who teach the class in three platforms (traditional, flipped and online) developed a pilot plan based on students’ understanding of difficult concepts comprising both quantitative and qualitative data. In the current semester, she and the instructors will design a second- generation assessment plan for implementation in fall 2015.

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In August 2014, with a colleague from Texas A & M University, Virginia planned and led a five-day seminar on academic leadership for mid-level administrators from Jazan University (Saudi Arabia) in Durham, NC. The seminar included a combination of personal assessments, short presentations, an extended case study, application exercises, and campus visits. The seminar was part of an ongoing collaboration with the University, begun four years ago.

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In May 2014, with colleagues from New Zealand, England and Canada, Virginia planned and led a three-day institute for institutions seeking to integrate inquiry-guided learning in a department or university program or campus-wide. The institute was part of the annual Institute for Pedagogy in the Liberal Arts at Oxford College at Emory University, an institution with which she’s worked for four years.

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In April 2014 Virginia consulted with the University of North Carolina –Charlotte on their quality enhancement plan (QEP) related to inquiry-guided learning. In addition to a two-hour introduction to inquiry-guided learning, open to anyone in the campus community, she also conducted college-based consultations on writing projects developed to assess students’ habits of inquiry. Follow up to the campus visit included consultation with project administrators.

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At the invitation of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), University of Michigan, Virginia collaborated on the design and implementation of a 2011 Faculty Development Institute for Chinese university administrators. The institute was one episode in the University’s longstanding connection with China dating back to the 19th century.

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In 2011-2012 Virginia worked with Lenoir-Rhyne University on the development of its quality enhancement plan. Through the wider integration of inquiry-guided learning in its curriculum, the University hopes to enhance the intellectual climate on campus including the level of academic challenge for students. Her consultation included three campus visits, workshops with faculty, ongoing communication with the QEP Steering Committee, and review of the QEP prior to submission to SACS.

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From time to time Virginia consults with academic departments on various aspects of their curriculum. For example, in February 2011 she conducted a seminar for members of the Department of History at the University of North Carolina – Greensboro on the teaching of history to undergraduates using inquiry-guided learning. And in October 2010 she spent a day with instructors in the Writing Program at the University of South Florida: in the morning she met with a small pilot team experimenting with inquiry-guided writing assignments; in the afternoon she facilitated a two-hour workshop for all writing instructors.