Lunch Meetings

Summer 2020 Lunch Meetings:

On Wednesdays 12:00-1:00 PM through the summer, you're invited to participate in NE-IBLM Summer Lunch meetings. Tentative topics:

  • June 10: Reflect on spring, plan for summer. Notes.

  • June 17: Asynchronous versus synchronous in general as choices

  • July 1: Assessment (oral exams, mastery based grading, …)

  • July 15: Engaging students (using synchronous and/or asynchronous structure)

  • Jul 29 (2 hours): Nuts and Bolts Work Group: Short summary and then work in groups according to content area and choices of campus, equity & inclusion, assessment, engagement, etc.

  • Aug 5 (2 hours): Nuts and Bolts Work Group, continued …

RSVP email to host is appreciated. Video link will be sent via email.

Facilitation Reflections and Tips by Volker Ecke...

One avenue that has been helpful for me personally to connect and learn with other faculty about ideas and tools for teaching online has been the online series of “Lunch Meetings” organized by the New England Consortium for Inquiry-based Learning in Mathematics (NE-IBLM, I believe that such a structure could be easily replicated by any group of faculty around some common interests, given that the organizational overhead is fairly low.

Learn what is needed: At the start of the summer, the NE-IBLM leadership team realized that there was great hunger among the membership for some kind of professional learning opportunities in order to prepare for the fall semester in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn what kind of format and what kind of content focus would be most helpful to the community, a brief survey was organized. It showed that a series of “lunch meetings” would best fit people’s schedules, and highlighted areas of common interest:

  • Reflect on spring, plan for summer.

  • Asynchronous versus synchronous in general as choices

  • Assessment

  • Engaging students

  • Nuts and Bolts Work Group

A meeting on anti-racist work and inclusive pedagogy was added later, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police.

Format: The format of the lunch meetings evolved over time, from mostly whole group discussions to mostly small group conversations in break-out rooms. It was helpful to seed the discussions by creating a number of reflection questions for participants to consider, possibly before the actual meeting. (ADD A PAGE on with the reflection questions??)

The main role for the organizer / facilitator in the meeting was to welcome everybody and identify a good way of grouping participants. You don't need to be an expert at all to facilitate these meetings! Sometimes, making all the participants into “co-hosts” and allowing them to choose their own group (and switch groups) is a flexible way of empowering the participants to make the best use of the collaboration.

Facilitator actions:

  • Think up some reflection questions to seed the discussion.

  • Set up Video meeting and shared documents as needed (Google Doc, Jamboard, …)

  • Welcome people to the Video meeting (look out for and welcome people new to the group).

  • Send people into groups (or make them co-hosts so they can move themselves).

  • Rotate among the groups (it can be helpful for the group to choose a moderator, scribe)

  • Bring people back together for some high-level sharing once or twice.

  • Maybe offer an opportunity to provide feedback (e.g. Google Form) to learn how things went.

Sample Prompts prior to Lunch Meeting:

Topic: Assessment

  1. In what ways does the assessment system in the course align with what you value in the course? In what ways is in not aligned?

  2. In what ways does the assessment system support success for all students, particularly for marginalized students? In what ways does the assessment system interfere with this goal?

  3. What are the pressures you face -- external and internal -- in trying new ways of doing assessment?

Topic: Student Engagement

  1. Why do you want your students to be engaged?

  2. In a big-picture view, what kinds of engagement helps students make progress towards your goals?

  3. What kinds of actions / activities are your students usually engaged in during your class?

  1. What kinds of actions / activities could they be engaged in during your class? (Please think very openly and creatively.)

  2. What kinds of engagement supports our most vulnerable students the most / the least?