Conference Sessions

Teaching Professor
Online Conference

Live Access: October 22–24, 2024
On-Demand Access: October 25, 2024–January 31, 2025

Assessing Learning

Labor of Love: The Impact of Ungrading on Student Well-Being

Meghan Owenz, Kutztown University and Laura Cruz, Penn State University
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

In this interactive session, the presenters will introduce labor-based grading as potential method to address power imbalances in grading, decrease stress, and enhance well-being. The presenters will answer questions about communication strategies, common challenges, and rewards of this novel approach to grading. Participants will then review research outcomes of the impact of labor-based grading on constructs related to student well-being, including test anxiety, academic stress, and alienation.  The session will end with reflection on the complex intersections between grading, equity, and well-being. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of labor-based grading practices, critically evaluate the potential impact of alternative grading schemas on student well-being, and reflect on future directions for research in labor-based grading.

Making Quality Student Feedback a Snap in Project-Based Courses

Allan MacKenzie, McMaster University
For attendees who are new to this topic

This presentation shares the experience of using screencast technology in an undergraduate engineering management course with an extensive student group project that requires comprehensive instructor feedback multiple times throughout the semester. The research on providing high-quality and specific feedback in higher education is surveyed, along with student perceptions and the operational factors of using screencast technology. A demonstration to illustrate the ease of adoption will be provided. Key session takeaways include: relevant research perspectives on student feedback in higher education; advantages of using screencasting to provide student feedback; value of the screencast feedback approach from the student’s perspective; operational factors needed to deploy screencast technology.

Using Question Banks and Other Successful Exam Strategies

Ken Alford, Brigham Young University
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

How can you improve the effectiveness and fairness of your exams? Let’s face it: Writing good exams is difficult. It’s part art and part science. In this presentation, we’ll talk about both—the art and the science. We’ll consider proven tips and suggestions for creating, evaluating, and reusing individual exam questions and larger question sets, sharing numerous “Dos” and “Don’ts” along the way. We’ll also examine how the creative use of question banks can provide you with an opportunity to significantly increase the security, flexibility, organization, and control of your exams. The reality is that every exam can be improved. Please join us as we consider several ways to do so!

Student Engagement

Co-creating Teaching and Learning: Giving Students Choice and Voice

Brenda Thomas, Florida Gulf Coast University
For attendees who are new to this topic

The co-creation of teaching and learning is a relational pedagogy that invites students to participate in curricular decision-making. Giving students ownership of their learning breaks down classroom power structures, increases agency and engagement, enhances inclusion and belonging, and models democratic dialogue. Teaching with students as partners rather than to students as objects can be transformational for all. This session will explore the application of co-creation in a classroom setting. Participants will hear about the experiences of a faculty member who embraces this pedagogical approach and consider how co-creation can be incorporated into their work with students.

Fostering Reflective Thinking with Intentional Instruction

Cara Ruggiero and Cheryl Tice, Berkeley College
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

How can instructors better meet students’ needs? Incorporating strategies that support thoughtful reflection at all stages of the learning process can provide valuable insight into how students engage with learning, as well as reveal areas where support and guidance may be necessary for students to reach their full potential. Using student reflections to inform instruction can help educators be more flexible and deliberate in their instructional decisions, which can lead to more dynamic instruction and support effective learning (Griffith, Bauml, & Quebec-Fuentes, 2016). In this interactive session, we will model ways to engage students using metacognitive thinking strategies at different points in the learning process and examine the ways educators can use this information to make adjustments that correspond to student needs and be more intentional when making instructional choices.

Progressive Reliance on Primary Literature as a Trojan Horse for Critical Thinking

Leontine Galante, Colorado Christian University
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

In a climate of ever-increasing availability of and reliance upon online resources, one of the biggest challenges facing undergraduate STEM educators is the development and nurturing of critical thought. The importance of this skill transcends disciplines and is still demanded in graduate and professional schools as well as the subsequent workforce. By selecting material of practical interest, using a case study-based approach toward peer reviewed literature, and adding progressively higher risk expectations throughout undergraduate science curriculum, students learn to engage with primary literature in a way that is neither intimidating nor optional and apply this process to their own research projects. Through this stepwise approach, it has been observed that students will push past such intellectual barriers and engage with the material critically.

Office Hours: The Epicenter of Student/Faculty Engagement

Richard Nastasi, Endicott College
For attendees who are new to this topic

Pedagogy craves nuance to enhance (and celebrate) each stakeholder’s unique understanding of shared ideas. Office hours should be a collaboration between student(s) and faculty. These meetings can require significant work before, during and after the meeting. The epistemological question (how do you know what you know?) emerges as important building block and residue from the office hour exercise. Utilizing my office hour preparation form, peer tutors from my Philosophy and Sport class will help in presenting a shortened office hour session. Finally, let’s work together to think about your own office hour preparation strategies.

Technology Tools for Teaching

How the Metaverse Can Improve Student Engagement and Learning: Using AR And VR in the Classroom

Juanita Wallace, Transylvania University
For attendees who are new to this topic

The metaverse is all around us! The use of augmented (AR), mixed (XR) and virtual (VR) realities has begun to permeate our personal and professional lives. It has become a new way of interacting with ideas, objects, experiences and with one another. In this presentation we will explore what AR, XR and VR are, how these modalities have been incorporated into higher education effectively, and the implications and issues that could/are arising because of these modalities.

Pear Deck, An Innovative Tool to Engage Students

Elizabeth Salgado and Jennifer Dardzinski, Five Towns College
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

The digital tool, Pear Deck, allows teachers an in-depth and graphic influence when utilizing Google Slides. Teachers use Pear Deck to create powerful student-engaging content. Participants of the session will learn how to use Pear Deck to create innovative math and language arts lessons that will engage students. This will include drawing shapes that the teacher names, work out a problem and show work, and graph a number line. Participants will also learn how to record audio of their voice while reading to students. The teacher will be able to model pronunciation of vocabulary words in an audio file. This session will leave participants with innovative ideas and activities they can immediately implement in the classroom.

Using FeedbackFruits Technology Tools for Better Student Engagement

Toni Nicoletti and Vicki Brace, Central State University
For attendees who are new to this topic

Join us as we discuss our experience with FeedbackFruits engagement tool, which provides online instructors with options for collaborative and engaged learning through a variety of assignment options. We demonstrate how to use the FeedbackFruits interactive and comprehension tools, and discuss the research behind the company’s development of the tool. We provide information about providing higher quality learner-content engagement, learner-learner engagement, and more immediate instructor to learner feedback. We discuss tips for successfully implementing FeedbackFruits in your learning management system (LMS) and how to facilitate instructor use of the tools.

Online Teaching and Learning

The ABCs of Online Teaching and Learning

Tywana Chenault Hemby, Voorhees University

Teaching and Learning in an online environment can be tough. The virtual classroom presents a unique set of challenges and a variety of opportunities. In this session, participants will explore strategies to promote instructor presence which will demonstrate to students that they are ALL IN. Participants will leverage engaging activities that require students to BE THERE for one another and themselves while participating in student discussions designed to CONNECT the community of classroom scholars.

Picture Perfect: Using Graphic Design Elements to Increase Student Engagement

Alexandra Herron, Concordia University Texas
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

This session discusses visually appealing content specifically and strategically designed to engage learners, promote student success, and boost faculty presence in online courses. To successfully create visual learning experiences and snapshots that pique student interest, careful attention must be made to the content, audience, and digital tools available throughout the e-learning development process. This interactive session will include practical tips, tricks, and resources to maximize the student experience. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to: analyze their online courses for the presence of visually-appealing content that engage students to promote interest in the subject matter; identify digital tools to help students visualize content in an online course; and discuss ways to create visual content without straying from the learning fundamentals.

Professor, How Am I Doing? Using Feedback to Advance Learning

Alan Sebel and Laurie Bobley, Touro University
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

As institutions of higher education offer more options for online and remote learning,the ability of faculty to provide actionable feedback to students remains a critical responsibility of effective instructors. Based on a review of research on the significance of feedback to student learning and a review of online courses over the past several semesters, it was determined that there are significant differences in the timeliness, methods, frequency, and quality of feedback given to students. The variability noted can alter the impact on student learning. The presenters suggest best practices for providing feedback that that have proven successful in practice. Participants will recognize that feedback can either be provided to individuals or to the entire group and can be provided in a variety of formats. Finally, participants will identify feedback that is formative and constructive.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Bolstering Belongingness: Instructor Leadership Frameworks for Fostering Inclusion

Christina Leshko, SUNY Canton

Establishing a sense of belonging is a key mechanism through which students become engaged and stay committed to institutions of higher learning. Experiences that contribute to a sense of belonging are particularly integral for marginalized students. Underserved groups, such as those students identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, non-traditional, persons with a disability, first-generation or economically disadvantaged, are more likely to question their social belongingness (Wolf et al., 2017). Members of these groups are also more likely to encounter unforeseen obstacles while pursuing educational goals. Faculty have opportunities to foster inclusive environments that may, directly and indirectly, contribute to student persistence and retention. This workshop provides an opportunity to discuss mechanisms for supporting inclusion as leaders in the classroom. Attendees will examine their classroom practices through the lens of both transformational and inclusive leadership frameworks. Attendees will also address specific barriers that underserved groups may encounter in their educational pursuits.

Enhancing Inclusivity Through a Praxis of Mutual Care

Lindsay Onufer and Lizette Muñoz Rojas, University of Pittsburgh
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

Although most institutions have returned to face-to-face instruction, faculty continue to encounter challenges as they attempt to address equity gaps and student disengagement. Identifying teaching strategies that are both feasible and beneficial in this context can be daunting. We propose that building caring relationships with students builds inclusive teaching practices that are mutually beneficial to faculty and students and can help address these teaching challenges. We will: define key characteristics of critical caring praxis: sharing power, cultivating community care, and fostering autonomy; describe how practices that cultivate reciprocal care benefit faculty and students; self-assess sustainability and scalability of care practices within a specific context; and strategize how to plan and implement adaptable and sustainable teaching strategies to cultivate mutual care in classes.

Meaningful First Steps in Doing Social Justice Pedagogy

Cynthia Cravens, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

Despite increased attention on social justice in higher education, underrepresented students often experience the classroom as unwelcoming and even hostile. Although theoretical and pedagogical research exists, what appears to be lacking are examples of concrete social justice pedagogy strategies that can be implemented in the classroom. This session describes the Social Justice Syllabus Design Tool (SJSDT) created to facilitate a greater emphasis on social justice in courses. Using an integrative framework and highlighting the focus areas of relationship, community, and process, the SJSDT offers a systematic approach to course re-design so instructors can assess their classroom environment and course content. A syllabus that signals belongingness, growth mindset, communal goals, clear and positive expectations, and sets a welcoming tone leads to greater student achievement.

Improving Student Success Through Equitable Academic Advising

Elizabeth Golba, Kettering College

The work of academic advisors typically consists of supporting students to make program related decisions to reach their career goals. However, according to Brooks’ (2017) Critical Theory of Love, this is insufficient in supporting the development of the whole student, especially when working with under-resourced students. As such, this presentation will discuss a qualitative research study involving the stories of eight students with limited resources. Using the findings of the study, the presentation will discuss strategies to engage in equitable academic advising to improve academic success among students who are under-resourced.

Course Delivery and Instruction

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Course Design

Elizabeth (Liz) Norell, Chattanooga State Community College
For attendees who are new to this topic

Fostering student agency over learning is a critical component of active teaching pedagogies. What’s more, the explosion in open-educational resources (OERs) provides historically unparalleled opportunities to link our courses to the real world in ways that also boost student motivation and success. In this session, we’ll explore a choose-your-own-adventure methodology of course design, in which students have a large library of learning activities from which to choose. Designed for an introductory American government course, this methodology can be used with virtually any course, particularly general education courses with mostly non-majors participating. The session draws from literature on the importance of universal design for learning (UDL), OERs, student motivation, and equity.

Infusing Humor in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Linda Ellington, Southern New Hampshire University
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

We are living in a state of great flux. Needless to say, political, social, economic, ecological, and technological needs and structures are changing faster than we can define them. As higher educational educators, we are called upon to ready adults for the challenges brought on by global changes. Educational leadership in the knowledge society is evidence within a curiously mixed set of characteristics and skills; it ought to be defined by emotional intelligence and spirituality; by the finely-honed ability of facilitating learning in cross-cultural, cross-sector, and interdisciplinary settings; and by a willingness to move away from the guru-stance of teaching and toward a praxis of leading the need for change.

Project-Based Learning for Maximum Student Engagement

Madeline Craig, Patricia N. Eckardt, and Linda Kraemer, Molloy University
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

Using the teaching strategy of project-based learning (PBL) in higher education classrooms can result in deeper level learning and increased student engagement in the course content. This session will explain how to design a semester-long project that encompasses the major learning outcomes of the course taking into consideration the Gold Standard of Project Design, a research-informed model from the Buck Institute for Education. An example of successful use of PBL in a teacher education program and the research studies to support its use will be shared with participants. Reflection on the content and active participant engagement will be a focus of the session.

Feed their Minds: Brain Based Learning in the Classroom

Sabrina Timperman, Mercy College
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

Brain based learning is all the rage but what does it mean and in a college classroom how do you incorporated it into the curriculum? This presentation will answer those questions and provide participants with three concrete brain-based techniques, Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique, Personalized Syllabus, and Game Theory, as examples of how knowledge of brain function enhances teaching pedagogy.

Outside the Classroom

Promoting Student Mental Health During Personal, National, and Global Trauma

Katherine Panciera, Milwaukee School of Engineering
For attendees who are new to this topic

In the past, student mental health has often been an afterthought, but with the pandemic, 88% of students surveyed believe that there is now a mental health crisis on college campuses (Carrasco 2022). In this session, I’ll present several ways that professors can promote student wellbeing, check in with students, and support student mental health needs. These range from light-hearted check in questions at the beginning of a lecture to being open about your own mental health or that of someone you love. In addition, I’ll also discuss some methods for making space for your own needs and mental health, especially when teaching dark subjects.

Teach How? Faculty’s Role in Centers for Teaching and Learning

Sandi Connelly, Rochester Institute of Technology
For attendees who are new to this topic

Centers for Teaching and Learning in higher education have become beacons of hope since 2020. Faculty are seeking guidance on teaching and technology (old and new), but sometimes they are really seeking a friendly face and a counseling session! During these uncertain times, we implemented a group of faculty from across campus to work as liaisons between our teaching center and the discipline-specific colleges. These faculty were in the trenches working hand-in-hand with faculty on everything from assignment design to LMS tricks of trade, and sometimes as counselors. This group is morphing in to a teaching center Fellows program, a sustainable model of faculty engagement and college buy-in to the process of teaching and learning long-term. Take Aways: Faculty play a pivotal role in individuals engagement with teaching centers; Design and facilitation of program; Notable outcomes

Virtual Advising Techniques: Connecting to Promote Student Success

Lora Walter, Chatham University and Tricia Ryan, Westminster College
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

During the pandemic, the focus became converting on-ground classes to online. Academic advising became more important at this time as students needed support to function in this new learning environment. They also faced personal issues related to continuing their education in a virtual classroom. Advisors who used to meet face-to-face with advisees suddenly had to convert to a method that seemed distant and less personal. Two nursing faculty/advisors from different universities collaborated to develop virtual techniques that closely mimicked the face-to-face meetings students were used to. These technological approaches include arranging meetings, preparing for meetings, hosting meetings, and post-meeting follow up. These methods were so successful that they continue to be used as part of the academic advising process despite the return to “non-virtual” academia.

Mentoring in Classrooms through Collaborative Learning and Efficient Knowledge Sharing

Lisette Santisteban, CUNY- New York City College of Technology
For attendees who are new to this topic

This presentation addresses how collaborative learning and efficient knowledge sharing support mentoring within the classroom for both new faculty and students. Several mentoring models to be explored include career mentoring for improved employee career development, high-potential mentoring for leadership development, diversity mentoring for an inclusive workplace, reverse mentoring for efficient knowledge sharing, and mentoring circles for collaborative learning. Developing cross-cultural faculty-student relationships where students, course objectives, educator and outcomes work in concert will be explored. The process of how cultivating a diverse, inclusive mentoring faculty-student community that takes proud ownership of its enduring materials can be embraced by leadership and instructors across academic programs will be demonstrated.

For Mid-Career Teachers

What now? How to Keep Your Career Fresh and Energizing

Elizabeth (Liz) Norell, Chattanooga State Community College

You’ve been teaching for a few years and have found your rhythm with your core classes. Does that mean you’ll be teaching the same things, over and over, until you retire? Does that possibility fill you with dread or sadness? Not to worry—in this session, we’ll look at productive ways to sidestep a mid-career slump of energy, enthusiasm, and/or motivation. You’ll play with ways to reframe this stage of your career, find new and energizing ways to engage with your teaching, and build stronger, more meaningful relationships with your students. Grounded in the latest research on learning science, emotions, and pedagogy, you’ll leave this session with a bounty of new ideas to implement in your teaching starting Monday.

Being A Better Adviser by Choice

Janet Wilbert, University of Tennessee at Martin
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

Academic advising is not for everyone. To be effective, the faculty member must see the value of advising and take the necessary steps to improve his or her skills. The National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) has produced trainings for advisers, including the faculty as adviser. The NACADA Academic Advising Core Competencies Model (2017) has three categories: the conceptual, which covers advising theory; the informational, which covers the important knowledge an advisor must have; and the relational, which emphasizes the skills necessary to have a meaningful advising session. For this session, we will explore these competencies of the proactive adviser and how including a holistic approach in advising interactions can change the trajectory of the faculty adviser-advisee relationship and help set the student on the path to success.

Mid-career Teaching Dinosaur? Rejuvenate. Adapt for ALL with UDL

Jennefer Rousseau and Heather Martin, Bow Valley College
For attendees who have some experience with this topic

Solving world problems and achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will require a wide range of perspectives and lived experiences. Sadly, Canadian institutions still lack diverse graduates. This session will challenge and inspire mid-career teachers to be part of the solution by making education accessible and adaptable to all learners so that a diverse group of graduates can contribute to creative problem solving. In fact, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Katarina Tomasevski argues that it is a duty to comply with the right to education. To that end, Universal Design for Learning can become a method to increase the success rate of all learners regardless of the barriers such as gender neutrality, colorblindness, spiritual neutrality, and ableism. Practical examples of making +1 adaptations to course design and teaching practices will be shared.

For New Teachers

Day One: Cultivating a Classroom Culture Conducive for Connections

Tiffany Sayles, Talladega College
For attendees who are new to this topic

Transitioning into higher education from K-12 as a seasoned school counselor did not fully prepare me for teaching at the college level. However, years of providing classroom guidance taught me that students (of all ages) truly don’t care how much one knows until they first know how much one cares. Therefore, it was important to develop and create classroom practices that foster student connections as a priority, even necessity. Once establishing connections with the students, connections to content came with ease. Developing and adhering to a teaching philosophy serves as a foundation for your classroom. Voted by the SGA as “Favorite Professor” after one year of full-time instruction produced a zeal to share practices and strategies with a community of new educators. This session is to serve as a space for connecting, sharing, and growing as new educators in academia.

Fruits of a Faculty Mentorship: Effective Strategies for New Teachers

Jamie Parmese and Susan Arvay, Raritan Valley Community College
For attendees who are new to this topic

In this session, participants will be able to take away best classroom practices, effective strategies for both teaching and time management, as well as guidance on how to coordinate a faculty mentorship program at a higher education institution. The best practices and effective strategies can be used across a wide variety of disciplines and are easily adaptable, as they can be immediately implemented in the classroom. The practices focus specifically on active learning strategies and fostering increased engagement among students. In addition, these faculty presenters will share their testimony on the fruitful benefits of participating in a faculty mentorship program both for the mentor and mentee. Participants will be able to apply these ideas by considering creating their own mentorship program and adaptation of the practices and strategies presented.

Navigating the Waters of Academia: Insights and Considerations for New Faculty

Olga Hilas, St. John’s University
For attendees who are new to this topic

Teaching, research, and service are the three pillars of academia. New faculty must balance their roles and responsibilities in these areas to succeed in higher education. Regardless of discipline, program, or type of institution, it is imperative that support systems are in place for faculty to understand professional expectations, seek guidance for continued development, and maintain career satisfaction. This session will provide new faculty with insights on personal and professional intersections in the world of academia. In addition, the importance of mentorship, collaboration, flexibility and adaptability, realistic distribution of effort, time-bound goals and work-life balance will be discussed to promote the development of personal performance plans for reflection, building resilience and professional growth.