Students sleep in; employees go to class

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Faculty and staff to spend a day focused on improving planning and assessment skills.

By Gabriela Rodriguez

Campuses will be closed and daytime classes will not meet Wednesday because of Employee Development Day at the Alamo Colleges.

Evening classes after 5 p.m. will meet as scheduled.

The training day for employees will include breakout sessions on assessment, teaching, wellness, productivity and leadership 8:15 a.m.- 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at this college.

This semester, the day focuses on improving student learning outcomes. A planning committee made up of faculty and staff representatives organized the sessions.

“It’s always nice to be able to grow professionally and to meet other faculty and staff members,” said committee member and senior statistical research specialist Cynthia Price.

There are two Employee Development Days a year, one in fall with an emphasis on academic training and one in spring with an emphasis on staff training.

Spring sessions are geared toward staff and professionals who aren’t necessarily teaching in the classroom. The day focuses on improving everything from registering for classes to library services.

This semester will offer more breakout sessions than any other, said Dr. Kristine Clark, chief of integrated planning and performance.

“For the first time this Employee Development Day has a focus on planning and assessment,” she said.

Learning outcomes provide faculty members an opportunity to identify whether a student gained real knowledge as they leave the classroom.

“We’re moving away from the idea that grades are really enough to understand whether students have attained the knowledge that they need to have out of a particular class or out of a particular program,” Clark said.

Instructors will learn how to target specific material in test questions, projects or essays to see if the student truly learned the material.

Breakout sessions will emphasize examining results to see where students are grasping concepts, where they are not and how to improve all academic courses as a result of that information, Clark said.

Employee development days are crucial to a better and more prepared future.

“We believe that both our faculty and staff need to have opportunities to really grow, expand and look at new ways of doing things,” Clark said. “Talk with colleagues, listen to presentations and listen to how other people may be doing things to get new ideas and to help improve everything we do for our students.”

The day begins with an opening session and departmental meetings in the morning. Managers and other supervisors will have strategic planning workshops for their specific department.

Employee Development Day has three separate time periods for afternoon breakout sessions. During Breakout 1, employees can choose from eight sessions from 1-1:50 p.m., two sessions 1-2:30 p.m., a tour of Challenger Learning Center 1-1:40 p.m. and a Scobee presentation 1:40-2:40 p.m. The sessions include information literacy, a Canvas workshop, yoga and “Help Clean Our Campus.”

Breakout 2 has 11 sessions 2-2:50 p.m. and one session 2:30-4 p.m. They include eLumen training, “Get Flipped,” iPads for Education and an EcoCentro lecture.

Breakout 3 has eight sessions from 3-3:50 p.m. including strategic planning, legislative updates and an Excel workshop. A Scobee presentation is 3-4 p.m.

All academic chairs will be involved in the student learning outcomes breakout session.

Employee Development Day also includes open labs for online Alamo Talent training 1-4 p.m. in the SLAC lab, Room 707D of Moody Learning Center.

The day ends with door prizes 4:10-4:45 p.m. in the library performance area on the fourth floor of Moody Learning Center.

“We do expect all faculty and staff to take part on this day,” Clark said.

For more information, call Price at 210-486-0756.



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