Apply Now for Teaching Camp 2018

The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for Teaching Camp 2018, to be held Aug. 5-7, at The Lodge at Mount Magazine.

The theme for the Teaching Camp will be "No Rest for the Wicked: Engaging Complex Problems in the Classroom," presented by Laura Cruz and Brian Smentkowski.

The 2018 annual summer retreat will explore "wicked" problems in teaching and learning. 

Click here to apply for Teaching Camp 2018. Applications may be submitted until midnight on Friday, March 30. You will be notified of your acceptance the week of April 16.

The Faculty Support Center looks forward to seeing you at Teaching Camp 2018!

What are wicked problems?

Graphic image contrasting two lines that a traditional problem usually requires versus a tangle of lines that describe a "wicked" problem.Alas, they are not the problems faced by evil villains, even those of the Disney variety. Rather, they are complex challenges that resist easy solutions.

According to Jon Kolko, founder of the Austin Center for Design, "a wicked problem is a social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems."

Does this sound familiar? Higher education has just started to recognize the wicked problems in teaching and learning and to explore new strategies to tame them.

  • Have you faced wicked problems with how your students learn, what your students learn, or why your students learn?
  • Have you wrestled with wicked challenges in how to teach concepts, skills, disciplinary mindsets, higher order thinking (e.g. critical thinking, problem-solving, evaluation) and others?
  • Have you considered ways to engage your students with the wicked problems of your discipline?

If you'd like to explore ways to tame these wicked problems, then we invite applications for participation in our 2018 Summer Retreat. We will spend 2 ½ days engaging deeply with wicked problems in teaching and learning; including finding ways to tame these problems by thinking differently about what we do in our classrooms.

You will leave the retreat with an expanded toolkit of strategies to engage students in complex problem-solving; potential solutions for persistent challenges you face in your teaching practice; a blueprint for integrating these solutions into your course(s); and a plan to sustain your momentum.

Your Facilitators

Photo of Laura CruzLaura Cruz served as the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at both Tennessee Tech and Western Carolina University. She has held multiple leadership positions in the field of educational development, including a term on the national board (called CORE) for faculty developers and as editor of To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development. Her publications include work in her first discipline (history) as well as the areas of instructional design, educational development, teaching with technology, organizational change, graduate student development, innovative pedagogy, and online teaching. She has been a frequent keynote and invited speaker in the areas of educational technology, instructional design, and emerging forms of scholarship. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of California Berkeley. 

Photo of Brian SmentkowskiBrian Smentkowski is the founding director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Service Learning at the University of Idaho, and editor of To Improve the Academy: A Journal of Educational Development. He has published and presented widely in political science and educational development, with an emphasis on culture change, learning-centered teaching, high-impact educational development, and the scholarship of teaching learning, and engagement. His current work focuses on re-establishing a culture of engaged learning at research universities, mentoring across differences, and using technology to enhance inclusive and responsive faculty development initiatives. He frequently consults with universities and colleges on designing centers of success. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from University of Kentucky.



Lori Libbert, special events manager
Teaching and Faculty Support Center


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