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Cromwell Center

Events Schedule

Upcoming for the Fall of 2015

Continuing Professional Development


October 6th 4p.m. Beck laboratory

SNAGIT is a screen capture application that allows you to capture whatever is on your monitor.  You can capture a section of the screen or the whole screen and you can capture a still image or a video of what-ever you are doing.  The still images can then be integrated into a manual, a document or a powerpoint.   The video capture is great for capturing a series of steps in a procedure (How to run a particular statistical procedure for example) and then you can play the video in class or mount it on Canvas. All who attend will receive a copy of the application and SNAGIT is both Win and Mac OS. SNAGIT session #1 is October 6, at 4 pm in the Beck Lab on the ground floor of the Miller Library. Email Nancy Cross at ncross2 to reserve your seat.

October 13th 4 p.m. Beck Laboratory

CAMTASIA is an easy to learn application for editing digital video.  You can remove mistakes, move scenes around and add special effects.   For most of us, CAMTASIA is all you will need and several of our colleagues have created very professional course related content using CAMTASIA.   If you attend the session and want CAMTASIA, a copy will be provided to you.  CAMTASIA session #1 will be October 13at 4 p.m.  in the Beck Lab on the ground floor of the Miller Library.  Email Nancy Cross at ncross2 to reserve a seat.

October 28th  4 p.m. Beck Laboratory

Wacom Bamboo tablet:  Those of us who create content for active learning or flipped classrooms at times wish to create content that mimics a blackboard.  The Wacom bamboo tablet is an inexpensive way to create a ‘blackboard’ that you can draw on to convey your point.  A demonstration of the bamboo tablet will be presented on October 28th in the Beck lab in the basement of the Miller Library and a bamboo tablet will be given away to one of the attendees. Email Nancy Cross at ncross2 to reserve your place.

November 3rd 4 p.m. Faculty Lounge Hodson Hall

Digital Media, Effective Communication and the ADA: Recent landmark lawsuits and settlement agreements regarding digital media and the effective communication provisions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have sparked interest and raised challenging questions for faculty and staff at higher education institutions (Harvard, MIT, Penn State, Louisiana Tech). Join the discussion and learn more about the intersection of digital media, effective communication, and the ADA. This talk will be presented at 4 p.m.  on November 3rd in the Faculty Lounge in Hodson Hall by our own in house expert, Andrea Vassar.  Light refreshments will be served.

Other activities

Cromwell Course Enhancement Talks: Several of our colleagues who have written successful proposals for Cromwell Course enhancements have generously agreed to talk about why they decided to change their course, how they changed the course, and finally did the course revision work as they hoped.  These are short   (< 10 minute) informal talks.   They occur in the Faculty Lounge in Hodson Hall on the following days:

Tuesday October 20th 4 pm Professors Wade and Schweitzer.

Monday October 26th 4 pm Professors Sommerfeld and Amick.

Light refreshments will be served. 

Upcoming for the Spring of 2015 

Faculty who attend Cromwell Center continuing education events are mugged!  See for yourself!


Spring is a time for renewal and growth. 


Of Content and Camtasia: Experiments with Video Tutorial Software.  On Thursday, March 26th at 4 p.m. in the Beck Multimedia Lab in Miller Library, Professor Kitty Maynard will provide an informal and inviting presentation that highlights how she has used Camtasia in her classes. Camtasia is  an easy to learn video editing software application,  All are welcome! 

In April,, the Cromwell Center, in concert with our own Educational Technology Group, will provide an introduction to using Camtasia.  Stay tuned for a date and a time. 


Despite the cold, the Cromwell Center for Teaching and Learning hopes to help you to  ‘heat things up’ in the classroom.

Screen Captures: We begin with another session on how to do screen captures with Snagit.  Many of us find that the ability to capture still images or video of what we see on our computer screen helps us to prepare content for our classes.   Snagit works on both Windows and Macs and a copy of the software is given to anyone who attends.  The first session of the Spring semester is 4 p.m Tuesday Feb 10th in the Beck Lab. As the Lab can only handle 12 at a time, please contact me to reserve your space.  If demand continues, we will have additional Snagit sessions.

Digital Video Editing:  once you are comfortable with capturing still images, video of how to do a certain thing, you might want to edit that content to make it more appealing and directed to your purpose.  That is where Camtasia comes in.  Camtasia is a easy to use digital editing application that has many of the features of professional digital editing applications without their complexity.  If you think you might find it useful to create your own digital video content for your classes, then Camtasia is a good starting point and what you learn with Camtasia would transfer to more complex digital editing applications if your needs developed in that direction.  The Cromwell Center is planning at least two introduction to Camtasia sessions this semester; one by Professor Spilich and one by Professor Maynard.  Stay tuned for dates.  Attendees will receive either a Mac or Windows version of Camtasia.

Clickers:  some of us use response devices that allow students to provide immediate feedback, take a quick 2 or 3 question quiz or anonymously answer questions that are very personal.  The Center will sponsor a demonstration of how they can be used in class for those individuals interested in seeing if this technology is appropriate for their needs.

The Adobe Creative Cloud comes to the Washington College Campus

For many years now, faculty and staff have had access to Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat Professional. In the last two years, Adobe has changed the way they license their software. In many ways, this is a benefit to us. Moving forward, we have the opportunity to put all of the Adobe suite on campus-owned machines. This will include the latest version of the already mentioned software and adds to that powerful new tools such as InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and many others. You can also find training videos on all of these programs at lynda.com​. We have a campus-wide subscription to lynda.com and encourage you to take advantage of it. You can find a full list of what is offered here:


Cloud-based software and services for creatives | Adobe Creative Cloud

The 2014 release of Creative Cloud is here. Reinvented tools for a more intuitive connected way of creating. Get started today!

Read more…

Trading Tips:  Teaching is both an art and a science; we learn our craft by practicing it.  From the newest colleague to the most senior, we continuously hone our craft.  What tips or tricks have we picked up that help us in the classroom?  The Center proposes a very informal Trade a Teaching Tip session in which anyone can bring a tip that they have found useful and share that with colleagues.  Refreshments will be served.

SPSS vs Minitab: many departments use and teach statistics in their classes and the two most popular statistical packages are SPSS and Minitab.  While they are similar, there are some differences and the cost of the campus licenses differs.  I have been asked to arrange a discussion where those who have an interest in teaching and using a statistical package can discuss the pros and cons of continuing with SPSS or considering Minitab as a cost-effective option.

Other Initiatives:

Support and Advance Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning: Interdisciplinary teaching and learning is an integral part of our strategic plan and the Cromwell Center is in a position to support its development. This semester, in consultation with  the Center’s Advisory Board and the Curriculum Committee, the Cromwell Center will develop an RFP aimed at enhancing existing courses and/or creating new courses that span traditional boundaries. The Center will also work with faculty groups interested in program development, i.e., support for existing interdisciplinary majors and minor programs, the creation of new interdisciplinary tracks/concentrations within a single department or that span multiple departments, and 2 the creation of new interdisciplinary programs that might eventually turn into a minor or major.

Support for Engaged Teaching and Learning Beyond the Traditional Classroom: From Senior Capstone mentoring, to faculty-student collaborative research, to the engaged, hands-on teaching and learning that happens within our courses, to our mentoring of high-impact off-campus study and internship experiences, integrative, engaged learning beyond the traditional classroom is a signature strength of the College. The Center can support these activities by capturing and sharing best practices we have learned over these many years. The Center can also foster discussion of how to assess these activities in ways that can be shared with outside constituencies, such as prospective students, college rankings services, and accrediting bodies.

Do you have an idea for a topic that the Cromwell Center should sponsor?  If so, please email me with your idea and let’s talk about how to fold that topic into the offerings of the center. George Spilich gspilich2@washcoll.edu.

Fall 2014

December 5 (Friday) , 2-3 p.m. Beck Lab. SNAGIT!

George Spilich and Nancy Cross will reprise their introduction to SNAGIT, an easy to use screen capture and editing application.

November 6th (Thursday).  2-3 p.m. Beck Lab. Dyknow: A collaborative learning software environment.  

Jon Leupold will discuss how he uses Dyknow to create exciting and collaborative projects with students here and with colleagues elsewhere.

October 21 (Tuesday). 4;30 to 5;15 p.m. Screen captures with SNAGIT.

George Spilich and Nancy Cross will demonstrate the ease with which you can capture your screen and edit it for class presentations. 

Spring 2014


February 17 (Monday): 4 p.m.  Goldstein 218. Peer Review of Teaching.  

Pam Pears, Bridget Bunten and Michelle Johnson will lead a discussion.  The event is  co-sponsored by the Cromwell Center and the Provost’s Office. Refreshments will be served. 

February 18 (Tuesday) 4 p.m.  : Using ‘clickers’ in the classroom. NG14, Dunning/Decker side of Toll Science Center.  

George Spilich will demonstrate the use of immediate response devices in class. 

March 20th (Thursday). 4 p.m. Critical Pedagogies: Diversity and the Liberal Arts Curriculum. Faculty Lounge in Hodson Hall. 

Crystal Kurzen, Ryan Kelty, and Aaron Krochmal will participate in a panel discussion, which will be followed by a conversation with the audience. 

April 10 (Thursday) 5 p.m.  Liberal Arts and pedagogy.  Faculty Lounge in Hodson Hall. 

Sean Meehan and Phil Walsh will lead the discussion with Q and A afterwards.

Introduction to digital editing: cosponsored by ET/OIT and the Cromwell Center.

Several sessions will be offered  to introduce faculty to the ins and outs of digital editing.  Dates to be announced. 

Fall 2013


September 16:  Do you want to teach more effectively?  Dr Phyllis Blumberg, University of the Sciences.    4 pm Litrenta Lecture Hall; Toll Science Center. 

Dr. Blumberg is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center and holds a joint appointment as a Research Professor in the department of Education and also a position on the faculty in Psychology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Her Research interests include active learning, learning centered-teaching, program evaluation, self-directed learning and student evaluation.


Dr. Phyllis Blumberg, a nationally renowned expert on active learning and curricular i innovation,  shared that expertise with colleagues at Washington College. Dr. Blumberg is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Associate Provost for Faculty Development and is a Research Professor in Education and holds the rank of Professor in the Psychology Department. Dr. Phyllis Blumberg, a nationally renowned expert on active learning and curricular i innovation, shared that expertise with colleagues at Washington College. Dr. Blumberg is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Associate Provost for Faculty Development and is a Research Professor in Education and holds the rank of Professor in the Psychology Department.

October 1, 2013
What:  Using Crocodocs to Improve and Ease Your Grading
When:  October 1.   3:00- ~ 4:15.
Where: Beck Computer Lab, Miller Library Basement.
Sponsored by the Cromwell Center, the Writing Center and ET/OIT.


This is a double header!  Introducing new technology is only useful if the application improves the educational experience for the student while not increasing the burden on the instructor.

First up to bat from 3:00 to 3:30 is a panel discussion lead by John Boyd of the Writing Center.   The goal is to provide us with a short refresher on best practices in assessing and providing feedback on student writing.. 

At 3:30,Professor Jennifer Benson takes the field for 30-45 minutes for a discussion of Crocodocs, an application that permits collaborative review of documents.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hit an academic home run!

While lap tops are available in the Beck lab, you might bring your own laptop if you want to save materials and examples directly onto your own work area. 


October 29, 2013
What: Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: What’s Reasonable?
When: Oct 29 Tuesday 3:30 p.m-4:00 p.m… 
Where: Lit House Porch.
Sponsored by the Cromwell Center and OAS.

Andrea Vassar, our own Director of the Office of Academic Skills, provided an in-service on the ADA and what we as professional educators are required to provide those students with an accommodation.  Her years of professional experience were distilled down into a tidy handout in pdf format  that you can download here.   Here are a few highlights of the meeting.

Julie Markin of the Anthropology Department raised concerns about students in general  who audio tape lectures; the problem is that in some classes, an instructor might make a provocative statement specifically to get students to react and, taken out of context, such a pedagogical device could be misconstrued.   Ways around this problem were discussed.

Amanda Kramer of Miller Library shared that students are often  hesitant in their first year of College  to use the services of the library staff but when they do, the student’s academic performance is improved and in the content of Andrea’s talk, this hesitancy  is even more apparent among students that she suspects are dealing with a learning difference.   Such students that do look for help from the professional staff of Miller Library are very happy afterwards that they did, and so one obstacle to LD student success is to realize that all students can benefit from using the resources of the Library.

Sharon Sledge of OIT volunteered that there are technological tools that can help students with learning differences and OIT is very engaged in learning about them and acquiring the hardware and software to support such initiatives.  For instance, Sharon told the group about a tool that would easily allow a professor to videotape a class and then quickly edit out any parts the instructor does not want to be made public and then mount the media on Canvas.  

 November 18, 2013
What: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Understanding Diversity in Higher Education.
When Nov 18 3:30 to 4 pm. 
Where:  Hodson Faculty Lounge.
Sponsored by CTL and OMA. 

Darnell T. Parker, our own Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, Title IX Coordinator and Lecturer in Education will provide an overview of the benefits of incorporating diversity into our teaching.  A light snack will be provided.