Concurrent Sessions

The Teaching with Technology conference represents the best thinking on issues related to teaching and learning with technology today. Concurrent sessions are peer selected in several ways. After an open call for proposals, the conference advisory board members choose selected presentations through a rigorous blind review process. Outstanding presenters from the previous conference—as evaluated by conference attendees—return as invited presenters with either an updated or reprised version of their top-scoring presentation. Finally, the advisory board determines trends or topics not addressed by the general sessions and creates content in these areas.


Invited Presenters

How to: Enhancing Online Communication Using Multiple Levels of Rich Media and Synchronous Technologies

Evie Oregon, Western Kentucky University

As instructors develop online courses, many use traditional learning strategies and conveniently transfer them into online versions (e.g., recording lectures, lecture slides, discussion boards), thereby relying completely on asynchronous communication technologies. This presentation covers how to implement mandatory synchronous communication sessions of instruction, in hopes that students feel more connected to their instructors, the degree program, and the institution as a whole. Using Media Richness Theory (MRT) as a framework, this presentation examines MRT and describes why certain mediums are chosen for communication.

Learning goals:

  • Understand the purpose, applicability and recognize the educational value of media richness
  • Examine media richness and appropriateness of the technological tools used in an online course
  • Understand how to enhance online-communication by integrating new transmedia tools
  • Explore new synchronous technologies (blogs, web meetings, social media, analytics, SEOs, dashboards and more)

The Conversion of a Skeptical Online Instructor by a Student Engagement Taxonomy

Houston Heflin, Abilene Christian University

While higher education continues to add more online courses, some remain skeptical of their efficacy. According to one study, less than 20 percent of faculty believe online courses achieve student learning outcomes at a rate equivalent to face-to-face courses (Calderon and Jones, 2016). I was once one of those faculty, but teaching online courses with an emphasis on student engagement has influenced my perception. Students also have perceptions of online courses which includes the belief that online courses are not equivalent to face-to-face courses, but it is possible this perception relates to variables within the control of faculty course designers. When designed well, courses with quality objectives for student engagement train students with skills necessary for lifelong adult learning.

Learning goals:

  • Examine research on student perceptions and best practices in online education
  • Analyze the similarities and differences between online learning and adult lifelong learning
  • Critique the value of a new taxonomy for student engagement in online contexts

Let’s Solve the Right Damn Problem: Intentional Teaching with Technology

Flower Darby and Wally Nolan, Northern Arizona University

We’ve all experienced failed learning activities: painful class sessions, online disasters, and group projects gone wrong. Often, we focus on surface-level issues, but how can we identify and address the real problem? To answer this question, we explore the intersection between teaching, technology, and intentional design. In this session, you acquire practical strategies to plan well-aligned in-person, blended, and online classes that effectively use technology to enhance teaching and learning.

Learning goals:

  • Explore backward design
  • Identify causes of teaching problems
  • Align technologies with learning objectives
  • Implement solutions to common teaching and learning problems


Advisory Board Presenters

Managing Difficult Conversations in the Online Classroom – Five Effective Strategies

Stephanie Delaney, South Seattle College

The anonymity of the online classroom can be liberating. It can also give rise to unintentional and intentional bad behavior including microaggressions and bullying. In this interactive session, we’ll use case studies to collaboratively explore effective strategies for dealing with difficult conversations and difficult people while taking care of yourself as well.

Learning goals:

  • Identify microaggressions and bullying in the online environment
  • Describe an effective strategy for diffusing conflict and apply it to the online classroom
  • Describe two effective strategies for dealing with difficult people in the online environment
  • Describe two effective strategies for dealing with difficult conversations in the online environment
  • List three methods of self-care

Using Technology to Scaffold Conceptual Development

Oliver Dreon and Jason Petula, Millersville University

We will introduce the Concrete/Pictorial/Abstract (CPA) matrix as a technology integration framework for supporting students’ conceptual developmental in online and face-to-face classes. After examining the CPA matrix, you will identify technologies that can be used to incorporate the strategy in your own discipline.

Learning goals:

  • Examine the CPA matrix and recognize how the different levels support student learning and conceptual development
  • Use the CPA matrix as a means of integrating technology into your classroom settings and student assignments
  • Explore how the CPA matrix applies to different disciplines and learning environments
  • Identify technologies to incorporate into your discipline

Fake News, It’s On US

Greg Szczyrbak and Robert N. Spicer, Millersville University

The (not so new) but recently popular problem of fake news continues to evolve in 2017. Some see easy technological dissemination as the culprit for this false information, others lament political spin-masters and international hucksters out to make a buck. Attention to the issue provides educators in all disciplines with an opportunity to examine whether their assignments are inadvertently contributing to the problem. This session discusses commonly used assignment parameters, such as lists of pre-approved journals, that create artificial boundaries instead of authentic learning experiences and how opening up these parameters can help address the fake news problem.

Learning goals:

  • Explore the fake news phenomenon
  • Analyze research assignment parameters that constrain authentic research experiences
  • Adapt a journalism assignment example for a non-journalism context/course
  • Examine your own assignments in the context of fake news

A Zero-tolerance Policy for Faculty Use of Smart Devices during Meetings Will Never Work for the Same Reason It Will Not Work for Students in Our Classrooms!

Dave Yearwood, University of North Dakota

Many faculty (and students) have an issue, perhaps an addiction, with their personal devices (whether they choose to admit it or not). This predisposition to always be on smart devices at meetings and in classrooms has become almost commonplace. But, to what extent can educators begin to think creatively about integrating smart devices into meetings and classrooms to counteract distraction? Smartphones, and now smartwatches, are enticing to all but the disciplined user, as presenters and educators fight an uphill batter for an audience’s dividend attention. Perhaps the time is ripe to embrace and integrate the powerful devices that many carry with them by using them to connect, engage, and collaborate with all in shared learning communities.

Learning goals:

  • Accept the technology reality and use technology as a viable solution to the distraction, disconnection, and engagement problem
  • Create opportunities for increased meaningful technological interactions around learning goals and tasks
  • Use a game-like approach of rewards to discourage multitasking
  • Think creatively and purposefully about integrating smart devices into your classes

Learning BEFORE Class: Designing Pre-Class Assignments

Maureen Dunbar and Ike Shibley, Penn State Berks

Students can engage in significant learning experiences before ever coming to class. Technology allows the creation of activities to help guide your learners. You no longer just have to say “read the book;” instead you can assign pre-class worksheets, quizzes, videos with embedded questions, and other assignments that get the student thinking about the subject matter prior to setting foot in the classroom. Barbara Walvoord called this “first exposure,” and the idea of helping guide your learners prior to class can enhance overall learning in your courses. We’ll help show you how.

Learning goals:

  • Define “first exposure”
  • Create pre-class activities for your subject matter
  • Determine how to assess the assignments including number of points
  • List options for students who do not complete the assignments

Dynamic Quizzes: A Bridge Between Online Students and Instructors?

Jillian R. Yarbrough, West Texas A&M University

Forging a learning connection with online students can be challenging. First, because there is literally a distance between the instructor and the student, and second, because we rarely hear from students about what aspects of the course are effective or ineffective. As distance educators, how do we know if our online classrooms are truly supporting our students’ learning experiences? To answer this question, researchers integrated dynamic quizzes into their online classrooms. Over three semesters, the quizzes were refined to address student learning needs. We will discuss the dynamic quiz development journey, listen to feedback from student experiences, learn to create a dynamic quiz, and assess if this quiz format would be beneficial for your courses and your college.

Learning goals:

  • Discuss the development of dynamic quizzes
  • Explore student feedback on dynamic quizzes
  • Learn to create your own quizzes
  • Assess the usefulness of dynamic quizzes to your specific course and institution

Putting the BLEND in Blended Learning

Oliver Dreon, Millersville University; Ike Shibley, Penn State Berks; Tim Wilson, University of Western Ontario

By leveraging online and face-to-face learning environments, blended learning is often considered as the ideal middle ground for innovative teaching practices. But, what makes blended learning successful? In this session, we’ll outline the foundations of blended learning and the critical ingredients for effective blended learning. We’ll also outline important considerations for the three stages of a blended learning cycle.


Selected Presenters

The Teaching with Technology Conference’s Call for Proposals Selected Sessions will be announced soon.