2018 Symposium on Innovation in Teaching and Learning

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The annual Symposium on Innovation in Teaching & Learning is a day-long celebration of the pedagogical efforts occurring at Suffolk University. The event showcases faculty and staff’s ideas and approaches to teaching and learning. It features a keynote speaker, concurrent sessions facilitated by Suffolk faculty and staff, a poster session, the presentation of the Innovative Teaching Award, and a raffle.

Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning
by: James Lang, Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester


8:30-9:00- Registration

9:00-10:25- Welcome and Keynote

10:30-11:45- Concurrent Sessions

11:45-12:00- Pick up lunch

12:00-1:00- Lunch and Poster Session

1:15-2:30- Concurrent Sessions

2:30-3:00- Closing and raffle

Concurrent Sessions

10:30 – 11:45

Innovative Teaching Strategies: A Speed Dating Showcase

Facilitated by Linda Bruenjes, Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence
Featuring Eric Dewar, Celeste Peterson, Pat Reeve, Danielle Tully, Jacqueline Nyamwanda, Patricia Hogan

This dynamic session will showcase selected teaching and learning strategies that support active learning across the University.  Each strategy can be used in a variety of disciplines.  Participants will move through the room as they would in a speed dating or speed networking session.  At each table they will receive, from the faculty presenter, a one-page description of the teaching strategy that highlights its goals, theoretical basis, and important practical details.  Presenters will explain how they have used the strategy and how it is linked to student learning. Participants will leave this session with a variety of teaching strategies that are designed to engage students in student-centered learning activities.

Inclusive Teaching Strategies for Engaging International Students
Facilitated by Liz Stillman, Law School; Elizabeth Robinson, Sociology; Liane Czirjak, Marketing

Are you looking for ways to more effectively engage international students in your classroom? In this session, participants will learn what constitutes a safe, inclusive learning space and why such a learning space is particularly important for international students’ academic success. We will share a framework for how to build an inclusive environment and some specific practices to do this in your class. Participants will be invited to share their challenges, questions, and strategies in teaching international students.

Promoting Metacognition and Self-Assessment Skills in Students
Facilitated by Rosa Kim, Law School                               

Research shows that well-crafted self-assessments promote metacognition—the ability to reflect on one’s own learning—and can lead to improved student performance. However, it can be challenging to incorporate such assessments into existing courses, based on class size, format, etc. In this session, faculty teaching in different contexts will consider how reflective assessments can promote metacognition and improve learning. We will then share ideas on how to integrate various self-assessment techniques in our teaching.

1:15 – 2:30

Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty
Facilitated by James Lang, Professor of English, Assumption College

When students engage in academically dishonest behaviors, they may be responding to subtle pressures in the learning environment that interfere with deep learning and nudge them toward cheating. Hence if we can gain a better understanding of the reasons for academically dishonest behavior, we can use that knowledge to improve our course design, teaching practices, and communication with students.  This interactive workshop will provide an overview of the various pressures that push student toward academic dishonesty, propose solutions for helping students learn how to do their work with integrity, and invite discussion about how to build a campus culture of academic integrity.

Roundtable Discussion: Reaching Students at Various Levels of Preparedness
Facilitated by Heather Dwyer, Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence

A number of factors can influence the extent to which a student is academically and emotionally prepared for their college courses. Faculty often encounter the challenge of trying to meet the needs of students who range from being highly prepared to surprisingly underprepared when it comes to prerequisite knowledge and learning skills. How can we make our classrooms productive for everyone? In this roundtable discussion, we will consider feedback from a focus group with peer tutors on this topic. We will also share challenges and strategies from our teaching experiences.

Finding a Needle in a Haystack
Facilitated by Keri Iyall-Smith, Sociology

Lately we are all overwhelmed by content—online, social media, and books.  The scholarship of teaching and learning is no different.  In this concurrent session, our colleagues will share what strategies, tools, and tips that they have read and used in the classroom.  It is our goal for you will leave this session with a stack of new things to try in your classroom.

First 60 registrants will receive a book by James Lang
( Small Teaching or Cheating Lessons).

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