Celebrate 50 Years
Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching
The 2014 Fall Teaching Conference

Learning to Risk, Risking to Learn: Innovation and Research in the Classroom

Court failure; if your plan can’t fail, its success is empty. Find out what the received wisdom about teaching is, then teach oppositely. Peter Beidler, CASE Professor of the Year, 1984, author of Risk Teaching

We know we have the academic freedom to research what we want, but, for some reason, many of us choose not to embrace the same autonomy in our teaching. For whatever reason, we are encultured in academia to keep our failures a secret until they magically shift toward success, and then we put those many failures behind us and never speak of them again. Patrick Maher, Canadian 3M National Teaching Fellow, 2014

A teacher who innovates models the risk-taking that students must do to change ineffective study habits and tackle challenging college level content and skills. Adam Persky, award-winning pharmacy professor and past director of the Center for Educational Excellence in Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, will increase your confidence to innovate by showing you some of the research findings in cognitive psychology, education, and physiology that hold direct implications for more adventuresome teaching. Dr. Persky, who still says he still gets nervous before he teaches, will demonstrate a number of easily adaptable classroom activities that you can apply in your teaching. Whether you are risk averse, fully embrace change, or are just tired of the same old thing, you (and your students) will benefit from this workshop. A Certificate of Achievement will be available to those who attend this workshop and complete the requirements.

Afternoon concurrent sessions by your risk-taking colleagues will include:

Refresh Your Breath

Mary Cooper, DENTED, FACET, and Linda Lolkus, CFS, FACET

This session will be a collaborative journey to meld Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) with technology to engage students. We will describe our experience using a refreshing look at xylitol (which...refreshes your breath). Participants will consider how CATs can be merged with technology in their own courses.

Opportunities and Pitfalls of Unanticipated Risks

Linda Wright-Bower, MUS, FACET

The quest for promoting deep learning is a journey of never ending risks and strategies. What started as a simple means of getting students to read the book developed into small group discussions, a strategy I felt unprepared to carry out. In this session I will describe what I learned about facilitating productive in-class group work and the opportunities my situation presented for further innovation leading to increased student engagement and sustained deep learning.

Transforming Teaching: From More to Less

Chand Chauhan, MATH, FACET, and Yvonne Zubovic, MATH, FACET

Our teaching has undergone a major transformation over time. Previously our goals would have been to: 1) cover the content in an orderly manner; 2) answer questions; 3) prepare students to pass the exam; and 4) have them recall information on a test. Now we ask ourselves the question, should we be teaching them just content or should we be teaching them how to think about a problem, search for an answer, listen and analyze a question presented in the class? Are we encouraging them to see a test as an opportunity for self-evaluation?

The Hybridization of Organic Chemistry

Vince Maloney, CHEM, 2013 CELT summer grant winner

For a number of years I have incorporated interactive learning elements in both parts of the Organic Chemistry sequence: “clicker” questions, twice a week voluntary problem solving sessions, and pre-recorded lectures on nomenclature with a short quiz and group problem solving in class. This year I went to a completely “flipped” format giving no prepared lectures in class and requiring students to watch short video lectures and prepare homework before coming to class. In this presentation I will share what I learned from this calculated risk, and how this strategy affected student achievement and motivation.

Learning Through Service: Documenting Bio-diversity for the Little River Wetlands Project

Mark Jordan, BIOL, Service Learning Faculty Fellow

Although it is considered a "high-impact practice,” service learning is relatively rare in science courses. I describe the implementation of a wildlife monitoring project in a majors Vertebrate Biology course at Eagle Marsh, a nature preserve managed by the Little River Wetlands Project in southwest Fort Wayne. Discussion will focus on the motivation for developing the service learning strategy, its benefits and costs for stakeholders (students, faculty and community partner), and its broader impact on faculty work in research and service.

Methods for Researching the Impact of Innovations in Teaching and Learning

Irwin Mallin and Marcia Dixson, COM, FACET; and Michelle Kearl and Daniel Tamul, COM

Via a roundtable format, participants will be able to discuss and learn about up to two common methodologies for researching your innovations in teaching and learning. Participants will visit two of four different roundtables for 15-minute discussions and may choose from the following methodologies: quasi-experimental, interviews, survey research and focus groups. There will be a short “how-to” description along with small group discussion.

Getting Students to Do the Reading and Do It Well

Deb Huffman, ENGL, FACET

This session explores possible reasons why students don’t do assigned reading and digs into strategies that can get them engaged. . We will move beyond blaming student laziness and apathy to discuss and model a range of reading methods from journals to concept mapping. We will also consider the particular risks and possibilities technology offers for supporting student reading.

Managing the Risks in Learning Japanese by Taking Risks

Yuriko Ujike, ILCS, 2014 Leepoxy Award Winner

Giving a live skit performance is a standard practice in Japanese programs at many universities, but students sometimes complain that they get so nervous that they go blank. To alleviate students' anxiety, some universities give students a video project assignment instead. The difference between my project and the usual video project is that my students must come up with a real story with a beginning, a body, and a conclusion/twist. In addition, they must edit the movie, add sound effects and English subtitles, and show the final products for an in-class movie contest judged by Japanese professors and local native Japanese speakers. I will share student work, how I supported the activity, and evidence of enhanced student learning.

Registration begins at 8:15 am.

Keynote 8:45 am - 11:45 am (includes introductions and a break)

Lunch 11:45 am - 12:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions (35 minutes each) 12:15 pm - 2:50 pm

Advance registration is required. Deadline to register is 5:00 pm on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. 

Coffee, water, snacks and a boxed lunch are included with your registration.

This event is co-sponsored by CELT and FACET.

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2014 Fall Teaching Conference
Learning to Risk, Risking to Learn:
Innovation and Research in the Classroom
Thursday, August 21, 2014
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