Concurrent Sessions

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



Transparent Teaching to Support Student Success
Tammy Barbé, Mercer University

Do you want to increase your students’ confidence in their ability to succeed in college? Would you like to receive fewer assignment questions and grade disputes next term? Using an evidence-based approach, you will learn how to transform assignments into transparent assignments and create new assignments with maximum transparency. You can implement this three-step method in any classroom regardless of course level, delivery method, or class size. Transparent assignments can increase the quality of student work and decrease the amount of time spent grading assignments. The method is simple and the return on investment is immediate and profound. Participants in this session will examine the benefits of transparency in higher education, explore the key components of transparent assignments, critique assignments for transparency, and design a transparent assignment.

Engaging Generation Z Learners: Strategies to Engage the Digital Generation
Vickie S. Cook, University of Illinois Springfield

Educators today must rethink teaching strategies to effectively reach Generation Z students. Strategies must be student-centered, lead toward community building, and engaged experiential learning activities. This session will explore learning strategies and activities using personal devices. Group discussions will engage participants in exploring the learning characteristics and preferences for classroom engagement of Generation Z students. Participants in this session will explore the learning characteristics of Generation Z students and how these are different than those of previous generations, explore and actively participate in strategies for engaging Generation Z students in the classroom, and explore biases and how to look past stereotypes to engage students in learning activities and approaches.

Gamifying Faculty Development
Scott L. Phillips, University of Alabama at Birmingham

This session demonstrates how gamification can be used to motivate faculty to participate in teacher development activities. After incorporating gaming strategies and rewards including points, badges, and passports to workshops and teacher certification programs, participation at CTL events significantly increased. Additionally, the gamified system was so popular, other university organizations partnered with the CTL to offer programming. Before gamification, the CTL offered 20 workshops each semester, and monthly event attendance averaged 25 participants. Currently over 90 workshops are offered per semester in sixteen workshop series, and average attendance is over 325 participants per month. Learn how to apply similar techniques to faculty development on your campus.

Let’s Get Active 2: Whip Around-Pass, Shifting, and Speed Dating
Shelley Cobbett, Dalhousie University

Engaging students and keeping them engaged in active learning can be challenging, especially in classes with large student enrollment numbers. Active learning strategies require students to be active participants in the learning process to enhance higher-level cognitive thinking processes such as analysis and synthesis. It is important that teachers have an array of instructional activities that involve students in doing things and thinking about what they are doing. Activities that require students to engage with each other, and with the learning material, often spark excitement in the classroom. Engagement strategies need to move beyond a focus on comprehension of concepts and into the realm of active learning, engaging students in co-learning, creation of knowledge, and critical thinking. This session facilitates active learning strategies (Whip Around-Pass, Shifting, and Speed Dating) to enable participants to experience methods of engaging students to enhance their own teaching.

Metacognition, Learning Science, Self-Directed Learners – What Does It All Mean to Me?
Maria Flores-Harris, Kaplan, Inc.

Metacognition, learning science, self-directed/self-regulated learners are all buzz words in education today. They sound good and the definitions sound even better. But what do they mean to me as a teacher in the classroom? What, if anything, should they mean to my students? In this workshop, we will explore these concepts and their importance to our ultimate goal in the classroom—learning. After attending, participants will be able to  define metacognition; explain the importance of teaching metacognition to students and how this leads to self-directed/self-regulated learners; describe best practices in learning; and discuss how the objectives of this presentation develop a culture that values learning over performance and why this culture should be our ultimate goal as teachers.

Are you Listening?: Teaching and Learning with Podcasts
Anne Song and Sarika Narinesingh, George Brown

Our session proposes that the aural experience involved in podcast-making enables students to develop social skills (e.g. appreciating diverse perspectives, suspending judgment, disagreeing agreeably, etc.) and habits of mind (e.g. independent-mindedness, open-mindedness, etc.), which are necessary to thinking critically and behaving intelligently in the face of challenging and complex problems. Podcasts are a powerful pedagogical tool to prepare your students to participate as responsible professionals in the workplace and active citizens in the larger community. Participants will learn how podcasting can foster habits of mind and social skills critical to students’ preparation for professional and civic lives and will become familiar with the technology involved in podcasting, so they can adapt it to achieve individual learning outcomes.

Game-based Elements for Motivation and Engagement
Kristin Ziska Strange, University of Arizona

For decades, game designers have studied what engages people and have created specific elements that are used to pull in players and make them come back.  How can we use these in our courses?  Do I have to completely redesign my class?  What technologies do I need to learn?  This session will give you a very high overview of gaming in higher education classrooms and will outline several ways you can use game-based elements and technologies to encourage student engagement and motivation within your course.  It will focus on quick, easy applications that will allow you to explore the idea of game-based elements without the gaming addiction or hours of learning to code. By the end of this session, you will be able to discern the difference between gamification, game-based, and gameful learning; you will be able to describe at least two low-stakes game-based methods that can be used in a course to increase engagement and motivation; and you will have a better understanding of how game-based methods can help students improve soft skills and critical thinking techniques for a better academic experience.

The “Sandwich” Approach to Online Classroom Feedback: Feedback So Good Your Students Will Gobble It Up
Katie Sprute, Crystal McCabe, and Kimber Underdown, Grand Canyon University

Instructors spend a great deal of time offering feedback to students, only to discover that feedback has not been reviewed. Why aren’t students viewing or applying feedback from instructors? Through the use of free and easy to use tech tools, instructors can ensure their students access feedback. By altering the tone and message in feedback, faculty can increase the likelihood students will access feedback on subsequent submissions as well. This session will help to bring awareness to these technologies as well as highlight ways faculty can make minor adjustments to the wording in their feedback. These adjustments will ensure faculty are promoting student growth while also recognizing achievement that will increase the outcomes of all students. In this session, participants will use new technologies to make assessment more relevant for students; identify ways to save time, while encouraging greater student engagement with assessment results; pair free technologies (app smash) to add value to online learning management systems and assessment within those systems and practice showing recognition to students who are meeting or exceeding expectations;  understand the importance of applying the “sandwich” approach as well as recognition in the online classroom, with regards to student outcomes; and make an action plan for using these free technologies (or others like them) as well as the “sandwich feedback approach” in their own classrooms.

Accreditation Readiness in Public Health: Preparation and Response
Brenda Soto, Ponce Health Sciences University

Accreditation is about quality assurance and improvement. Pursuing accreditation is important for the program and the students. From the program’s viewpoint, it provides accountability in its coursework and processes. For the students, attending an accredited program is an indication of greater likelihood of receiving quality education in their chosen field. This session provides ideas on how to get organized for a program accreditation process, from preparing for the site visit to proactive reaction afterwards, with an emphasis on how professors can plan their courses with accreditation in mind. Ultimately, this will be of impact for future performance and quality improvement. The presenter will provide templates, showing how to link competencies, course objectives, lecture objectives, class activities, and assessments. The presenter will also provide examples of rubrics/checklists to assess different areas. After this session, participants will have examples of rubrics, tools, and resources and a template of the work plan.

More Information on Concurrent Sessions Coming Soon!