Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference
13th Annual ATLC Conference Keynote Session by Dr. Mary-Ann Winkelmes
Transparent teaching/learning practices make learning processes explicit while offering
opportunities to foster students' metacognition, confidence, and their sense of belonging
in college in an effort to promote student success equitably. A 2016 publication identifies
transparent assignment design as a replicable teaching intervention that significantly
enhances students' success, with greater gains for historically underserved students
[Winkelmes et al, Peer Review,Spring 2016]. We'll review the findings as well as educational
research behind the concept of transparent teaching/learning in this session. Then
we'll apply that research to the design of class activities and course assignments.
Participants will leave with a draft assignment or activity for one of their courses,
and a concise set of strategies for designing transparent assignments that promote
13th Annual ATLC Conference Transparent Design at Texas Tech: A Panel Discussion
During her keynote presentation, Dr. Winkelmes explained the research behind and provided
a framework for the Transparency Project; during this follow-up panel discussion,
faculty members from Texas Tech who implemented transparent assignment design during
the fall semester of 2016 will share their own insights about and experiences with
the project. Panelists will discuss questions such as: What was the process like for
them as faculty members? How did their students respond to the revised assignments?
What realizations did they have during the project, and how has it changed their teaching?
In this session, attendees will learn more about how transparent assignment design
really works, and how it might work in their own classrooms.
12th AT&L Conference "Putting Critical Thinking into Action" by Dr. Stephen Brookfield
In this session, Stephen Brookfield will take participants through a number of exercises that have been found to develop critical thinking across the disciplines. These focus on helping students clarify and communicate their assumptions, new perspectives, and build connections between disparate ideas and knowledge.
Date: 3/31/2016 9:00 AM
12th AT&L Conference Keynote "Teaching for Critical Thinking" by Dr. Stephen Brookfield
Critical thinking involves students (and teachers) being able to identify and research the assumptions that frame how they think and act. Only if assumptions are accurate and valid can we trust them as guides for thought and action. In scholarly terms, thinking critically requires students to make judgments about the legitimacy of knowledge in their different disciplines. Research on how students learn to think critically shows that four factors are crucial to the process – clarifying what the process involves, sequencing it appropriately, assessing it throughout the curriculum and modeling it explicitly. In this session Stephen Brookfield will think critically about critical thinking and review a number of classroom activities that can model the process for students.
Date: 3/4/2016 11:30 AM
7th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference, Pre-Conference sessions
"Writing to Think: Strategies that Foster Student Learning"
This session is presented by Dr. Anisa Zvonkovic, Rachel Engler, M.A., & Katherine Gerst, M.S., Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Texas Tech University.
The goal of this workshop is to teach professionals and educators how "Writing to Think" activities can be implemented in the classroom to promote critical thinking skills and enhance learning and understanding. "Writing to Think" techniques are often informal writing tasks designed to encourage student thinking and allow students to develop, clarify, and experiment with ideas through writing activities. These techniques help instructors tap into a variety of student thinking processes and can be used before, during or after class to assess student learning. Instructors have the ability to monitor the student learning process and assess the thinking skills of students. Concretely, instructor can check for student understanding, assessing for example when students might be missing key content or when they need more challenging material. The workshop will also discuss benefits from both student and instructor perspectives, a variety of techniques and activities that can be used across many disciplines, and suggestions for evaluating student writing and giving students feedback (while avoiding a paperwork nightmare).
9th Annual Advancing Teaching and Learning Conference: "66.4 ways to engage students (and 19.3 ways not to)" by Mark Phillips.
Higher education is one of the few things in life that people pay good money for and then work like crazy to avoid receiving." Every teacher has asked the question, "Why don't my students care more?" Some conclude it's the students' problem; others work even harder, convinced they can force their students to engage. The reality is probably somewhere between the two. This session will provide tools to help you help your students engage. It will also include a generous dose of absolution for those days you just flat-out failed, as well as just a touch of humor.
9th Annual Advancing Teaching and Learning Conference: Keynote Session "In Search of Better Courses: Building Harder Courses that Actually Engage Your Students" by Dr. Peter Felten.
Dr. Peter Felten is assistant provost, director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and professor of history at Elon University. He has published widely on engaged learning and the scholarship of teaching and learning, and is co-author of forthcoming books on faculty peer mentoring and on student-faculty partnerships in teaching and learning. Peter recently served as president of the POD Network, an international association for teaching and learning centers in higher education. His teaching at Elon aims to help students think critically and write clearly about the connections between the lives of individual people and larger themes in history.
9th Annual Advancing Teaching and Learning Conference: "HeadsUp: Mobile Software to Facilitate Small-Group Discussions" by James Langford.
Small-group discussions are often hampered by time-consuming grouping strategies, poor group dynamics and vague, ineffective topics and prompts, and unclear group roles. HeadsUp was developed through consultation with faculty and students to minimize these barriers to classroom discussions. Bring your iOS or Android smart phone or tablet to this hands-on session to learn how to use HeadsUp in your class.
8th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference Keynote Presentation: "Evidence Based Teaching: Strategies for Motivating and Helping Students Learn" with Dr. Marilla Svinicki.
Presenter: Dr. Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin
It is a fairly common situation that the practices we use in teaching come not from the literature on learning and motivation but on what we experienced as students. There has been a lot of progress on finding good practices through research in educational psychology for the last 25 years and it seems reasonable to put that research to use. The focus on this session will be on a small number of evidence-based practices for supporting student learning and motivation that can be incorporated into classes without major overhauls of the curriculum. In addition to learning about the research and the theories on which it is based, you should come away from the session with at least four good ideas, 2 to help students learn and 2 to make them want to learn as well.
7th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference, Pre-Conference sessions:
"Use PowerPoint for Good & Not for Evil"
This session is presented by Dr. Jose Vasquez, Assistant Director, Teaching and Learning Center, University of Texas at San Antonio
We have all experienced it before: a slide full of text that is not only difficult to read but is also boring to look at. Documents and slides are not the same thing. The best slides allow the instructor to be the center of attention, and the best presentations encourage students to focus on the story, not to transcribe the PowerPoint text. Spreading quickly throughout the business community, this new visual approach relies on principles such as simplicity, naturalness, and restraint. Using humor and interactivity we will answer the following questions: How do you create great PowerPoint presentations? What are the new "laws" of visual design? How can you use multi-media for effective teaching? Where do you find these media, and how to embed them into PowerPoint? How can you use design intentionally to create effective visuals? How do you create effective handouts? And much more.
7th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference, Pre-conference sessions:
"Questioning: A Essential Ingredient to Mastering Good Teaching"
This session is presented by Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Texas Tech University.
Questioning is a basic technique used to involve students in the lesson, assess student understanding of lesson or course material and bring inattentive students back into the fold. A poorly worded question may leave the student unsure of the intent of the question and afraid to answer for fear of looking foolish in front of their peers. Just as the structure of the question is critical to effectiveness, the response to a question is just as critical. A poorly answered question may leave the students unsure of the correct answer as well as unwilling to answer future questions. In the workshop, the elements of good questions will be presented, examples given, and the participants will have an opportunity to practice question development. Appropriate and less than appropriate responses to questions will be presented. The workshop will be example driven and will provide ample time for questions!
7th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference with Dr. José Bowen
"Teaching Naked 2: Teaching Change Inside the Classroom"
Teaching Naked 2: Teaching Change Inside the Classroom:
The root of learning is change. Technology offers a new way to present content, but that rarely sparks the sort of critical thinking or change of mental models we seek. If technology can give us more classroom time, how can we design experiences that will maximize change in our students?
Read the short article first: "Teaching Naked: Why Removing Technology from Your Classroom Will Improve Student Learning" National Forum for Teaching and Learning, Vol 16, No. 1, December, 2006), p. 1-5.
7th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference with Dr. José Bowen
"Teaching Naked 1: Embracing Technology Outside of the Classroom"
José Antonio Bowen is Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, Algur H. Meadows Chair and Professor of Music, at Southern Methodist University. Bowen began his teaching career at Stanford University in 1982, first as the Director of Jazz Ensembles, and then for the Humanities Special Programs and the Afro-American Studies Program. In 1994, he became the Founding Director of the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (C.H.A.R.M.) at the University of Southampton, England. He returned to America in 1999 as the first holder of the endowed Caestecker Chair of Music at Georgetown University where he created and directed the Department of Performing Arts. In 2004, Miami University named him Dean of Fine Arts and Professor of Music.
He has written over 100 scholarly articles for many journals including the Journal of Musicology, The Journal of Musicological Research, Performance Practice Review, 19th-century Music, Notes, Music Theory Spectrum, the Journal of the Royal Musical Associations, Studi Musicali, the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and in books from Oxford and Princeton university presses. He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship.
The most important benefits to using technology occur outside of the classroom. Use technology to free yourself from the need to "cover" the content in the classroom, and instead use class time for direct student to faculty interaction and discussion.
Teaching Naked 1: Embracing Technology Outside of the Classroom
Technology and accountability are changing higher education, but the greatest value of a residential university will remain its face-to-face (naked) interaction between faculty and students. The new tools that technology offers can increase student preparation and engagement and create more time in class for interaction and make the residential experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver.
6th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference with Dr.Eric Mazur
Harvard Professor – Author of Peer Instruction
Eric Mazur is the Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University. An internationally recognized scientist and researcher, he leads a vigorous research program in optical physics and supervises one of the largest research groups in the Physics Department at Harvard University.
In addition to his work in optical physics, Dr. Mazur is interested in education, science policy, outreach, and the public perception of science. He believes that better science education for all - not just science majors - is vital for continued scientific progress. To this end, Dr. Mazur devotes part of his research group's effort to education research and finding verifiable ways to improve science education. In 1990 he began developing Peer Instruction a method for teaching large lecture classes interactively. Dr. Mazur's teaching method has developed a large following, both nationally and internationally, and has been adopted across many science disciplines. Mazur is Chairman of the Instructional Strategy Advisory Group for Turning Technologies, a company developing interactive response systems for the education market.
Dr. Mazur is author or co-author of 219 scientific publications and 12 patents. He has also written on education and is the author of Peer Instruction: A User's Manual (Prentice Hall, 1997), a book that explains how to teach large lecture classes interactively. In 2006 he helped produce the award-winning DVD Interactive Teaching.
Morning session - "Turning Lectures into Learning" - Education is more than just transfer of information, yet transferring information is what is mostly done in the standard lecture -- instructors present material (even though this material might be readily available online or in printed form) and students take down as many notes as they can. There is little opportunity for the students to synthesize all the information delivered to them. Yet synthesis is perhaps the most important -- and most elusive -- aspect of education. I will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to synthesizing information greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom. Classroom response systems make it easy to implement my approach -- called Peer Instruction -- which involves students actively engaged in the process of teaching and learning.
Afternoon session - "Peer Instruction Workshop" - The basic goals of Peer Instruction are to encourage and make use of student interaction during lectures, while focusing students' attention on underlying concepts and techniques. The method has been assessed in many studies using standardized, diagnostic tests and shown to be considerably more effective than the conventional lecture approach to teaching. Peer Instruction is now used in a wide range of science, math, and other courses at the college and secondary level. In this workshop, participants will learn about Peer Instruction, serve as the "class" in which Peer Instruction is demonstrated along with student response using ResponseCards, discuss several models for implementing the technique in the classroom, and learn about available teaching resources.
5th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference: "The Pushme-Pullme Pressure of Combining Academic Careers with Family Responsibilities" by Dr. Diane Halpern.
In Dr. Halpern's second session, she will address the question, "What is the effect of children and other family care responsibilities on academic careers?" Dr. Halpern writes that "Data from a variety of sources show that the answers depend on whether babies are born 'early' or 'late' in one's career (relative to tenure decisions), and whether the faculty member is female or male." Drawing on her new book, Women at the Top: Powerful Leaders Tell Us How to Combine Work and Family, she will examine compatibility of beliefs about parenting and academic roles and present data from interviews with academics from "a diverse array of professions and across cultures [which] show how they are able to be dually-successful." Recommendations will be shared for individual faculty members, institutions, and public policies because no one should have to choose between a family and an academic career.
5th Annual Advancing Teaching & Learning Conference: "Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking: How to Make Critical Thinking a Learning Outcome" by Dr. Diane Halpern.
Certainly critical thinking is one of the buzzwords in academia and a life-long learning
goal in many of our classes. Please join us as Dr. Diane Halpern, well known for her
research on critical thinking, leads the keynote session for the Advancing Teaching
and Learning Conference. According to Dr. Halpern, "the twin abilities of knowing
how to learn and knowing how to think clearly are the most important intellectual
skills for the educated workforce of the future. The real question is can we teach
critical thinking so that the skills generalize across domains and last long into
the future. Empirical research has shown that with appropriate instruction, college
students and other adults can become better thinkers." In this interactive session,
Dr. Halpern will present a short sampler of applications from cognitive psychology
designed to improve thinking skills.