Creative & Critical Thinking in the College Curriculum: A Workshop

by on October 10, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on Creative & Critical Thinking in the College Curriculum: A Workshop

The Learning Enhancement Center Presents

Creative & Critical Thinking in the College Curriculum: A Workshop
Facilitated by Dr. Richard Grallo
This workshop is designed for faculty members and other teaching professionals who wish to incorporate more creative and critical thinking into their teaching activities. Problem areas will be generated and described by participants, and will be related to learning objectives specified in traditional and newer taxonomies of cognitive processes. Consideration will be given to assessment of student learning outcomes as well as assessment of specific teaching interventions (including technologies).

Friday, October 23rd 5-7pm, 11th floor Conference Center
Light Refreshments will be served
Click this LINK or e-mail to R.S.V. P. by October 19th

Back to School with Your Technology Assistant

by on October 8, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on Back to School with Your Technology Assistant

By Fenfei Ouyang, LEC Education Technologist. Ext 2446

Here is an interesting list of 15 tools for improving your learning. We have idenified several popular tools that you can get for your PC or your iPhone. These free tools will help you stay organized, take notes, cite correctly, and be more organized with your study habits.

  • Evernote: A powerful note taking software which can help you stay organized and sync notes between web, your phone, and any computer. Â [Watch the tutorial video here]
  • Zotero: A easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.
  • CiteMe: A facebook application that will help you cite your sources properly.
  • FireCal: This is a comprehensive online calculator you can add into your Firefox as an extension.

iPhone Applications for Reference:

Please find more on our academic resource page.What other tools are helping you? Please let us know in the comments.

Have fun!


Welcome to the Fall 2009 Term!

by on October 6, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on Welcome to the Fall 2009 Term!

Greetings and welcome to the Fall 2009 semester!

By now most of you have settled into your class schedule and routine, and it won’t be long before we all encounter the blitz that is the middle of the term. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about some developments and goings on at the LEC.

First we’d like to announce a new addition to our department, Fey Ouyang who is working as an educational technologist. Fey has a master’s degree in Library and information science and her research interest is in Web 2.0 applications.Fey has a lot of experience in instructional technology, and is the resident BlackBoard resource person.

Second, we’d like to direct your attention to the LEC Blog! This blog has been up and running for a little while now, but this semester we have big plans for it, including:

  • Weekly articles by students, faculty and LEC staff
  • Math challenges
  • Announcements about MCNY/LEC events
  • Student and faculty creative writing
  • Technological resources
  • And so much more!

Stop by the LEC blog each week for creative and informative work. If you’re a student, staff or faculty member and you’d like to write for the blog, contact to find out how you can get involved.


A Walk on the Creative Side – Student Poetry

by on July 31, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on A Walk on the Creative Side – Student Poetry

Featured in this “Walk on the Creative Side – Student Poetry” is Ms. Sandy Noel. Sandy is an undergraduate student in the Human Services program. She has her own publishing company, PoeticButterfly Publisshhhing, and is currently working on a book of poetry. Her work is featured on, and you can also view her YouTube channel, or visit her on Myspace.

Sandy writes; “I believe in human service, and if my poetry can inspire, or help someone keep the faith, then part of my mission is fulfilled”

Free Will

By Sandy Noel

Wounded beyond a subconscious pendulum,
hurt beyond belief.
I cry like a banshee’s tormented soul,
Lord, can you end my grief?
Confused beyond a shining maze,
mirrors that look like fog.
Can hardly see, through all the haze.
Feeling worse than a stray, rabid dog.
The fears inside my superego,
are more than my thoughts can bare.
Contradictory to everyone,
forgetting about the stares.
Thoughtful to everyone else’s heart,
is there a thought for mine?
I cry, devoted to do my part,
but life mocks me every time.
Learned from everyone who made mistakes.
Yet situations seem the same.
So am I doing the wrong thing too?
Or is fate, the one to blame?

Stay tuned for more poetry, and other creative pieces, in this new column “A Walk on the Creative Side”. If you are an MCNY student and would like to submit your creative work, send an e-mail to


John Tukey: Founder of Exploratory Data Analysis

by on July 30, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on John Tukey: Founder of Exploratory Data Analysis

By Larry Lutsky, PhD. []
LEC Research Analyst

Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.

Tukey, 1962

Finding the question is often more important than finding the answer.

Tukey, 1980

John Wilder Tukey was one of America’s greatest statisticians. Perhaps his greatest contribution was his development of the field of exploratory data analysis (EDA) which is an approach to analyzing data for the purpose of generating hypotheses. He contrasted EDA with confirmatory data analysis (CDA) which is concerned with statistical hypothesis testing. In short, in EDA one looks at data to generate research questions and CDA begins with the research hypothesis and determines if the data support it.

Tukey contended that data analysis must proceed by approximate answers since our knowledge of the issue under investigation is likewise approximate. He believed one of the great dangers of data analysis is using statistical procedures for sanctifying a conclusion, deflecting it from all criticism.

One of the lessons he taught was that there is no substitute for just looking at data; the shape of the distribution, the presence of outliers, the measures of central tendency and spread. This can be done by graphing and using visualization techniques incorporated in many software packages. The benefits of this approach are that:

  • The data may suggest new hypotheses or avenues of research.
  • It may provide ideas for further data collection and exploration.
  • It can guide researchers in selecting the appropriate statistical procedure

Tukey, J.W. (1962) The future of data analysis

Annals of Mathematical Statistics 33(1), pp. 1–67.

Tukey, J.W. (1980, page 24), We need both exploratory and confirmatory

The American Statistician, 34(1) pp. 23-25


Elsewhere Reading

by on July 9, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on Elsewhere Reading


Elsewhere by Yasmine Alwan

by on July 9, 2009 in 2009-2011 with 2 Comments »

Elsewhere is a new release from Red Dust Books

by LEC Writing Specialist, Yasmine Alwan.

Last month friends, co-workers and students joined Yasmine for a reading and celebration hosted by the publisher, Joanna Gunderson.

Left to right: Bernadette Cullen (LEC writing spec.), Bill Bird-Forteza (former LEC Director), Lisa Bauer (LEC math spec.), Yasmine Alwan (Elsehwere author and LEC writing spec.) and Rochelle Spencer (Laguardia faculty and former LEC writing spec.)

Yasmine reading from her book, Elsewhere.

Yasmine and Lani Adams, MCNY student.

Alan on writes: “Alwan’s’ bravery lies neither in the force of her gaze nor in its color–it punctures what is seen, but silently; it infuses it, but invisibly. Her bravery lies in the great stillness of her gaze and in its excruciating duration.”

Please join us Wednesday July 15th @ 4pm in the 12th floor student lounge for a reading and discussion on experimental writing, as well as a congratulatory celebration of Yasmine’s incredible work.


Learning Goals – LEC Alumni

by on June 24, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on Learning Goals – LEC Alumni

At the LEC, our walls are adorned with student posters; a decorative display of some of the students who’ve come to the LEC, their learning goals and what they have to say about their learning.
Below are two examples of such posters. The first features Randy Destin. Randy graduated MCNY with his bachelor’s in human services in 2008. He was a frequent visitor to the LEC for both math and writing.

The second features Lachaela Wells. Lachaela earned her MBA in 2008, and was also featured as a student panelist at the Self-Directed Learning Symposium. During the panel discussion, Lachaela emphasized that it is a misconception of graduate students that they cannot benefit from the attending sessions at the LEC.


Self Directed Learning Symposium

by on May 14, 2009 in 2009-2011 with Comments Off on Self Directed Learning Symposium

On November 21st, 2008, The Learning Enhancement Center hosted a symposium on the topic of Self-Directed Learning, in honor of the publication of a special issue of its newsletter, The Luminaria.

The range of topics demonstrated the broad scope of areas to which self-directed learning are applicable. These included discussions on the philosophy, psychology and biology of self-directedness, as well as teaching practices and curriculum development.

Dr. Richard Grallo delivers a terrific presentation on promoting self-directedness through questioning in a statistics course that he teaches.

Dr. Heide Hlawaty sits with the symposium’s keynote speaker, Dr. Monica Devenas of Rutgers University.

Dr. Clyde Griffin offers insight into the philosophical and pedagogical aspects of the self-directed learner.

Dr. Jaya Kannan, Title V LEC Director, poses the question, “Is Self Directedness Teachable?”

Lisa Bauer, LEC Math & Statistics Specialist, examines biological underpinnings mediating control beliefs.

Lou Acierno, Director of Academic Computing, demonstrates how advancements in technology can enable self-directed learning within a college community.

The toast of the day’s events was the enlightening and inspiring discussion by the student panel, facilitated by LEC’s Yasmine Alwan.

Lectures can be heard via downloadable podcasts.




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