Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary Session

Friday, June 1, 2018 | 5:15–6:30 pm

Teaching and Learning: Lost in a Buzzword Wasteland

Stephen L. Chew, professor and chair of psychology, Samford University

Teaching is currently dominated by fads and buzzwords, with the result that teaching practice changes often but rarely makes progress in terms of improving student learning. Chew proposes that the remedy to this situation is a theory of teaching and learning that can both act as a framework for learning research and mediate pedagogical applications for teachers. In this plenary presentation, he will demonstrate key components of such a framework and show how it can be used by both researchers and practitioners.

About the Presenter:

 Stephen L. Chew Stephen L. Chew,
Samford University

Stephen L. Chew, PhD, has been a professor and chair of psychology at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, since 1993. Trained as a cognitive psychologist, one of his primary research areas is the cognitive basis of effective teaching and learning. His research interests include the use of examples in teaching, the impact of cognitive load on learning, and the tenacious misconceptions that students bring with them into the classroom. He is best known as the creator of a groundbreaking series of YouTube videos for students on how to study effectively in college based on cognitive research ( The videos have received over a million views and are in use at educational institutions worldwide from high schools through professional schools.

Chew was selected as a Carnegie Scholar in 1998 as part of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He was awarded the Buchanan Award for Classroom Teaching Excellence from Samford in 1999. In 2005, he received the Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as the outstanding teacher of psychology at four-year colleges and universities. He was named the 2011 Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association through the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. He regularly serves as a keynote speaker and workshop leader at conferences on teaching in general and on the teaching of psychology in particular.

Closing Plenary Session

Sunday, June 3, 2018 | 11:00 am–Noon

Make Every Day a Good Teaching Day: How Communication Research Can Help

Jennifer H. Waldeck, School of Communication, Chapman University

“How’d class go today?” “It was great!” That’s the reply we hope for, but too often it’s not the one we feel. Underwhelmed by student engagement, worried that students are bored, struck by the realization that we’re bored, and wondering if we have what it takes to engage today’s college students, we struggle to light the fire of learning under students. Research from the field of instructional communication suggests that effective teaching is less the result of popular activities, tips, tricks, or pedagogical strategies, and more about positive relationships with students. This plenary will offer a repertoire of evidence-based communication practices that can help build those relationships, increase teaching effectiveness, and enhance the learning experiences of students.

About the Presenter:

 Jennifer H. Waldeck Jennifer H. Waldeck,
Chapman University

Jennifer Waldeck, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Communication at Chapman University, where she is director of the Graduate Teaching Associate and Basic Communication Curriculum programs. She specializes in instructional and organizational communication research. Her work has appeared in such journals as Communication Monographs; Communication Education; Journal of Education for Business; and more. At Chapman, she is the Institute for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Ambassador for the School of Communication. Waldeck is the author or co-author of several books and has contributed invited chapters to interdisciplinary edited volumes in sociology on the role of human communication in social problems, and in business on strategic managerial communication. She regularly presents her research at regional, national, and international conferences and has earned "Top Three" Paper designations at the National Communication Association, International Communication Association, and Eastern Communication Association.

Waldeck is on the Teaching Professor Conference advisory board and served as the 2017 (St. Louis) conference chair. She regularly contributes blogs and newsletter columns for the Teaching Professor publications, including Faculty Focus and The Teaching Professor newsletter. In recent years, she has served on the National Communication Association (NCA) Educational Policies Board and the NCA Presidential Task Force on Strengthening the Basic Communication Curriculum.