Preconference Workshops

The Teaching Professor Annual Conference offers a selection of 2.5 hour preconference workshops to further enrich your conference experience. The cost is $289 for each preconference workshop. The workshops are held Friday, June 7 in the morning and afternoon before the conference begins.

Enrollment is offered during conference registration.
If you have already registered for the conference and would like to add a workshop to your registration, call 608-246-3590 to enroll.

Morning Preconference Workshops

June 7, 2024 ǀ 9:00–11:30 am

Giving Our Students the Academic GPS System They Need to Navigate College

Louis Newman, Stanford University

Even our most capable students often arrive unprepared for the academic demands of college courses. In high school, they could largely succeed by absorbing the material presented to them and reproducing it accurately. As a result, they need to be trained to interrogate information—examine unstated assumptions, compare alternative explanations, weigh evidence, and consider implications, among other critical thinking skills. How do we do this, and how can we do it more effectively? In this workshop, participants will do a deep dive into the core components of critical thinking and then engage in exercises to develop pedagogical strategies for giving students the skills they need to succeed in college, and beyond.

Louis E. Newman, PhD is the former dean of Academic Advising and associate vice provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. His responsibilities at Stanford included overseeing an extensive residential advising program, the pre-law and pre-med advising programs, transfer and co-term student advising, new student orientation programs, a summer bridge program, and the university’s academic progress review system. At Stanford, he grew the advising program, promoted a holistic approach to academic advising, and advocated for liberal education.

June 7, 2024 ǀ 9:00–11:30 am

Teaching with Intention: Creating Meaningful Learning Experiences

Lauren Cardon, The University of Alabama

In this workshop, participants consider what makes learning meaningful and engaging, and design our curricula so that our own practice embodies these elements. Many instructors can recall the moments that made us most excited about learning, and yet acknowledge that these incredible classroom moments are not reflected in our own teaching. Instead, we may settle into familiar practices, even as we recognize the ways their pedagogy might exclude or fail to motivate.
One problem is the abstract, theoretical way we tend to learn about pedagogy. Instructors are often inundated with advice about teaching without the practical means of implementing this advice in an effective and inclusive way. My workshop, therefore, focuses on taking principles of inclusive and effective teaching gleaned from decades of research and discussing practical, hands-on ways of incorporating them into our classrooms.

Lauren S. Cardon, PhD is an associate professor of English at the University of Alabama. She has authored three academic monographs on American literature, most recently Fashioning Character: Style, Performance, and Identity in Contemporary American Literature with UVA Press. She also specializes in DEI pedagogy and recently co-authored Inclusive College Classrooms: Teaching Methods for Diverse Learners (2022), published by Routledge. In addition, she has published pedagogical articles in Change: The Magazine for Higher Learning, South Atlantic Review, and the collection Quick Hits: Teaching with Digital Humanities (University of Indiana Press). Currently, she serves as the director of graduate studies in the Department of English at the University of Alabama.

June 7, 2024 ǀ 9:00–11:30 am

Talk Less, Teach More

Jeremy Rentz, Trine University and Michelle Blank, Goshen College

Sounds too good to be true, but the one who does the work is the one who does the learning. Too often, the professor is the one doing most of the work in the classroom. But it does not have to be this way. There are many situations where we can get out of the way and let students learn through discovery, interaction, and discussion. Figuring things out on their own can be a powerful learning experience, particularly with the expert in the room to guide and correct. Setting up learning scenarios for students takes a shift in thought, from a focus on content delivery to lesson planner, activity facilitator, and provider of feedback. Fortunately, there are many great examples and strategies available to help us get out of the way, often using our original lesson plans, lectures, or slides as a guide. During this session we will review why having students do the work is so powerful, discuss timing and situations where stepping aside supports student learning, and share strategies both small and grand. Practicing what we preach, you, the students in this workshop, will also have plenty of time to do the work, where you will be pondering, building, and designing intentional learning experiences in a supportive and formative environment.

Jeremy Rentz, PhD is the Schantz Distinguished professor of environmental engineering at Trine University. In this role he supports student learning by using exceptional slides, building connections with students, and getting out of the way so students can do some of the work in the classroom. In the professional development arena, Jeremy champions these teaching tools and other practical strategies by facilitating faculty discussions and workshops wherever teachers are striving to improve student learning.

Michelle Blank, PhD serves as the director of academic success and instructional design at Goshen College in northern Indiana. In this role, Blank works both sides of learning by assisting faculty with their design and professional development and by helping students learn to learn. She is herself a lifelong learner with master’s degrees in librarianship and research and education, who is currently pursuing a PhD in curriculum, instruction, and the science of learning. Her passions include faculty development, disciplinary literacy, equity pedagogy, and development of pre-service teachers.

Afternoon Preconference Workshops

June 7, 2024 ǀ 1:00–3:30 pm

Creating Worlds with our Words: Maximizing our Communication for Positive Impact

Shannon Scott, Texas Woman’s University

Communication is an essential skill to develop community, address conflict, and motivate others. In this interactive session, we will identify specific techniques from cognitive and positive psychology that can help you to approach communication, even difficult communication, using a strengths-based, positive approach. Through self-analysis and reflection, participants will identify their values, strengths, and location along the leadership communication continuum. The audience will practice skills such as active-constructive responding and active, empathic listening. The audience will also practice providing negative feedback positively, making an action request, and setting boundaries. At the end of this session, the audience will be able to utilize listening strategies; identify a boundary response plan; create a positive action request; provide negative feedback positively; and identify areas of strength and growth.

Shannon Scott, PhD is an associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas Woman’s University who has leveraged her training in cognitive psychology, positive psychology, and conflict resolution to help audiences employ psychological principles to maximize their success. Through her consulting work (Positive LeadHERship) as well as her funded research (Mothers Leading the Way), Shannon provides practical strategies grounded in research to assist leaders in academia, industry, and non-profits engage in self-reflection and make small changes that have big impacts

June 7, 2024 ǀ 1:00–3:30 pm

Addressing Disengagement by Sharing Power with Students

Sarah Rutherford, Cleveland State University

Is the way we teach giving students silent permission to disengage? Instructor-centered models of teaching undermine student learning because they invite students to misplace the responsibility for their own learning on the instructor. How we teach is connected to how we hold power in the classroom. If your students are disengaged, showing limited interest in homework, having trouble following directions, or are frequently absent, examining how you exert control in the classroom might open new solutions to bring students more fully into the learning environment. Through personal reflection and group activities, participants in this workshop will examine classroom power dynamics through the lens of critical pedagogy and discuss how evidence-based teaching strategies like active learning, ungrading, and curriculum co-creation can be implemented to engage students by sharing power.

Sarah Rutherford, MFA is an associate professor of design and the undergraduate director of design at Cleveland State University, and a former president of AIGA Cleveland. She researches, writes, and speaks about pedagogy and learning in higher education. She holds a master of fine arts from the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. A Missouri native, Rutherford earned a bachelor of fine arts in visual communications and a bachelor of arts in English from Truman State University. She was named a 2020 Responsible Designer to Watch by GDUSA and has twice participated in the Design Incubation Fellowship program. Her creative work has been recognized by HOW magazine.

June 7, 2024 ǀ 1:00–3:30 pm

7 Ways to Make Grading or “Ungrading” More Meaningful and Equitable

Jennifer Todd and Tonya Buchan, Colorado State University

Many faculty see grading as a hindrance to learning. Students grapple over points, ignore feedback that you’ve spent hours writing, and don’t seem to be engaged in learning. With student-centered grading or “ungrading” practices, faculty can change the focus from grades to learning, teaching students to be reflective, self-directed learners who are motivated by learning rather than grades. You can start small, changing one practice at a time, or completely redesign your course to eliminate points or grades altogether. This workshop will give you a place to start and resources to continue your equitable grading journey.

Tonya Buchan

Jennifer Todd, MEd is dedicated to student engagement and learning and has been at TILT since January 2017. She spent the first 20 years of her instructional experience in the classroom with students—and out of the classroom training teachers in best instructional practices. She is passionate about students taking responsibility for their learning, and the ways in which, we, as instructors can promote and encourage such a classroom culture. Her expertise lies in learning to write and writing to learn in all subject areas—as well as supporting students in reading and making sense of difficult text.

Tonya Buchan, MSEd is an instructional designer with the Institute for Learning and Teaching at Colorado State University (CSU) where she partners with faculty to integrate research-based educational practices and technology into their teaching and course design. Buchan assisted in the creation of the CSU Teaching Effectiveness Framework and recently rolled out the Teaching Effectiveness Initiative. Her interests include faculty development, blended course design, interactive lecturing, and learning analytics