Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary

Friday, June 7, 2024 ǀ 5:15–6:30 pm

The Essentials of Teaching Students

Anthony R. Sweat, Brigham Young University

Teaching is perhaps the finest of the fine arts, and there are many ways to do it well. However, like art, there are core principles and elements to effectively teach students, no matter our style, subject matter, or medium. Focusing on time-tested fundamentals related to the student, the teacher, and the course, this opening plenary presentation explores the pedagogical essentials that elevate teaching to an art form.

Presented by:

Anthony R. Sweat, PhD is an associate teaching professor of Religion at Brigham Young University. He received a BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Utah, and an MEd and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from Utah State University. Sweat is the author of many religious books and articles. His academic work centers on effective teaching practices, including course design, course modality, and curriculum.

Closing Plenary

Sunday, June 9, 2024 ǀ 11:30 am–12:45 pm

Teaching in the Age of AI: Rethinking Pedagogy and Curriculum in Service to Student Learning

C. Edward Watson, American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)

Generative AI tools, such as ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, and others, are changing the ways we learn, work, think, and create. This evolution has resulted in new challenges and opportunities for those in educational settings. Initially, the concern for many in higher education was how students might use these tools to complete assignments; however, a much more complex and daunting challenge has emerged as AI’s is now being leveraged across a wide array of career paths. In this new context, how do we ensure our students continue to learn our course content, and how do we best prepare our students for the life that awaits them beyond graduation?

Drawing from the presenter’s new book, Teaching with AI: A Practical Guide to a New Era of Human Learning (Johns Hopkins University Press), this keynote will explore the evolving AI landscape and detail the companion challenges and opportunities that are emerging for higher education. The core focus of this session will be on concrete approaches and strategies you can adopt, both within the classroom and across larger curricular structures, to best prepare students for the life that awaits them after they leave your institution. Teaching with AI, rethinking assignments, revising our approaches to academic integrity, and fostering AI literacy (a new essential learning outcome for all college students) will be among the topics explored during this closing plenary presentation.

Presented by:

C. Edward Watson, PhD is the vice president for Digital Innovation with the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). At AAC&U, he provides leadership for the association’s national and state-level advocacy to advance quality in undergraduate student learning. Before joining AAC&U, Watson was the director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia (UGA). At UGA, he led university efforts associated with faculty development, TA development, student learning outcomes assessment, learning technologies, and media production services. He has published on teaching and learning in a number of journals, including Change, Diversity & Democracy, Educational Technology, EDUCAUSE Review, International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, Journal for Effective Teaching, Liberal Education, Peer Review, and To Improve the Academy, and has recently been quoted in the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Campus Technology, EdSurge, Consumer Reports, UK Financial Times, and University Business Magazine and by the AP, CNN and NPR regarding current teaching and learning issues and trends in higher education. His most recent book is the forthcoming Teaching with AI: A Practical Guide to a New Era of Human Learning (Johns Hopkins University Press).