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AFC 2013

24th Annual Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research and Learning

Session Descriptions

Cohort Breakout Sessions (9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.)
Breakfast Group Discussions (9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.)
Session One (10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.)
Plenary Session (12:00 P.M. - 1:45 P.M.)
Session Two (2:00 P.M. - 3:15 P.M.)
Session Three (3:30 P.M. - 4:45 P.M.)

Cohort Breakout Sessions (9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.)

AU Entrée Program Teaching Strategies Workshop

(for first and second year term and tenure-line faculty) - with AU Entrée Program mentor Max Paul Friedman

Please join us for a continuation of our discussion on strategies for teaching at AU. Bring stories from your fall semester, successes and challenges, to share with your colleagues.

Greenberg Seminars: Getting Students to Think Critically through Questions and Interactive Dialogue

(for Greenberg students, years one, two and three) - with Steven Trickey (SETH)

This session considers how critical thinking can be encouraged through questions, inquiry and the development of dialogue. The presenter is an experienced educational psychologist who uses his previous work and research in elementary and high schools in the United Kingdom as a model for higher education practice.

Chairs/Directors Round-Table: Legal Tips for Academic Administrators

(for department chairs and directors) - with Robert Feinberg (CAS-ECON), Hisham Khalid (Office of General Counsel) and Phyllis Peres (Office of the Provost)

This session will discuss a variety of legal issues that department chairs and division directors may encounter in their role as academic administrators. There will be ample opportunity for questions and discussion.

Adjunct Faculty Experiences: Exceptional Teaching and Learning

(for adjunct faculty) with Rose Ann Robertson (SOC) and Meg Weekes (SPA)

This session is for all adjunct faculty, whether new to teaching, new to AU, or a veteran in the classroom. The session focuses on recent developments, including the ways students have changed over the years and common problems that arise in classrooms.

Rocking the Boat: Growth and Development of AU Term Faculty

(for term faculty teaching in their third year and over) - with Michael Keynes (CAS-MATH), Chris Tudge (CAS-BIO) and Lacey Wootton (CAS-LIT)

The panel will discuss term-faculty service involvement in the AU community, as well as teaching innovations, and development of a research presence. There will be ample opportunity for discussion and interaction.   

GenEd and You: The Revised General Education and Opportunities for Faculty

(for faculty teaching and wanting to teach General Education courses) - with Kiho Kim (General Education program) and Nathalie Marechal (Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies)

The revised General Education Program, now a semester old, brought about changes in learning outcomes, how students fulfill GenEd requirements, and opportunities for faculty. The goals of this session are to serve as a general information session and to facilitate the offering of new GenEd courses, especially Sophomore Seminars.

Honors Supplements and Capstones: Best Practices and Innovative Approaches

(for faculty teaching and wanting to teach Honors courses) - with Amanda Berry (CAS-LIT), Kimberly Cowell-Meyers (SPA-GOV), Benjamin Jensen (SIS), Pallavi Kumar (SOC) and Michael Manson (University Honors Program)

Participants will trade ideas about creating supplements and capstone projects that challenge majors pursuing Honors and that provide benefits to students and faculty alike.

Breakfast Group Discussions (9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M.):

Thematic breakfast group discussions are hosted by AU faculty, and include the following topics:

Interface between Teaching and Research (Host: H. Kent Baker, KSB)

Online Practices for Quantitative Courses (Host: Larry Schrenk, KSB)

Online and Hybrid Teaching (Host: Tracey Slotta, CAS-BIO)

Green Teaching (Host: Greg Hunt, SPA-JLS)

Student Writing (Hosts: Bonnie Auslander, KSB and John Hyman, CAS-LIT)

Working with International Students (Host: Cathy Schenker, WCL)

10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M. Sessions:

101: Seeing & Believing: Inspiring Student Confidence as a Tool for Success

Anna Carson DeWitt (CAS-LIT) and Catherine Johnson (CAS-LIT)

What role does “believing” that you can do something play in student achievement? How do we help students envision themselves as successful? The panelists will identify common blocks that hinder students, with examples from the discipline of writing, and lead a discussion about how to build student confidence without compromising expectations.

102: Intercultural Competence and the Academic Experiences of Students of Color

Joseph Erba (SOC), Cheria Funches (Class of 2014), Leena Jayaswal (SOC), Carmen Mason (Class of 2014), and Stacie Tate (SETH)

In this session, we will explore the concept of intercultural competence and discuss how we can incorporate elements of intercultural competence in curricula to emphasize the value of diversity to AU students in general and to enhance the academic experiences of students of color in particular.

103: Successful Learning Environments for LGBTQ Students

Matt Bruno (Center for Diversity and Inclusion) and Leah Gates (SIS)

This session will explore new research on and strategies for the university-level classroom and instructional experiences of LGBTQ students, with discussion of best practices for teaching.

104: Setting Up a Grading System

Kylos Brannon (SOC), Pallavi Kumar (SOC), and Christine Lawrence (SOC)

This session will discuss ways to provide consistent, fair, and transparent grading. Special emphasis will be placed on grading creative work and group projects.

105: Encouraging Discussion, Participation, and Enthusiasm in Class

Chris Palmer (SOC)

This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn various techniques and ideas for encouraging students to participate more in class discussions and to be more enthusiastic and motivated.

106: Groups R Us

Richard Linowes (KSB-MGMT) and Sonja Walti (SPA-PUAD)

Looking for ways to group students to better challenge them and encourage their learning? This session introduces an analytical framework that identifies multiple ways of organizing students for class assignments and classroom activities to better realize your educational objectives.

107: Impacting Students’ Lives: How to Be an Effective and Efficient Mentor

Michelle Egan (SIS), Gihan Fernando (Career Center), and Scott Talan (SOC)

Faculty members regularly mentor students in formal and informal ways. In this program, experienced teachers will speak about how to be an effective and efficient mentor to your students in contexts including supervising internships and supporting merit awards applications.

108: There's an App for That! Using Mobile Technology in Teaching and Learning

Brian Yates (CAS-PSYC), Jill Klein (KSB-ITEC), and Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (SIS)

Hear a panel of AU faculty share their experiences with their favorite apps for mobile phones and tablet computers, and join a brainstorming session on what you would like to see in the future of mobile pedagogy at AU.

109: Introduction to Lecture-Capture with Panopto

Todd Chappell (LIB) and New Media Center Staff

Take your lecture beyond the classroom with the Panopto lecture capture-system. Learn how easy it is to record your lecture/presentation, instantly upload to Blackboard and distribute to your students.

110: Introduction to Blackboard

Library Staff

Learn how to upload a syllabus, post an announcement, request e-reserves, send out a group email, create links to articles and images through LinkMaker and use other basic features of Blackboard.

Plenary Session - 12:00 P.M. - 1:45 P.M.

Educating the Innovators of the 21st Century
(by Eric Mazur, Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University)

Can we teach innovation? Innovation requires whole-brain thinking — left-brain thinking for creativity and imagination, and right-brain thinking for planning and execution. Our current approach to education in science and technology, focuses on the transfer of information, developing mostly right-brain thinking by stressing copying and reproducing existing ideas rather than generating new ones. Professor Mazur will show how shifting the focus in lectures from delivering information to team work and creative thinking greatly improves the learning that takes place in the classroom and promotes independent thinking.

For a taste of Professor Mazur's innovative work, you are encouraged to watch his lecture "Confessions of a Converted Lecturer", which has been posted on YouTube, at:

2:00 P.M. – 3:15 P.M. Sessions:

201: Working with International Student Writers

Angela Dadak (CAS-LIT), Shari Pattillo (Academic Support Center), Jawee Perla (International Student & Scholar Services), and Gina Evers (WCL)

In this session, specialists examine common issues for international student writers at all levels, from undergraduate to graduate, LIT-100 to law school. From understanding assignments and critical thinking to academic integrity and grammar, we discuss examples of writing, ways of working through issues, and resources on campus.

202: Inclusion for What? Intersectionality: A Framework for Pedagogy & Practice

Session 202 has been cancelled.

203: Adult Learners: Don't Ask for a Doctor's Note

Amy Eisman (SOC), Iris Krasnow (SPExS), Jolie Lee (SOC) and Brigid Maher (SOC)

With increasing attention directed at online, certificate and programs held at nights and on weekends, adult learners deserve our focus. They are motivated, but stretched. They pay their own way, but are intense about value. Some haven't been graded in 20 years. Tips for teaching grownups.

204: Designing Coherent Courses: From Syllabus to Outcomes

Katherine McAdams (Office of Institutional Research and Assessment), Teresa Larkin (CAS-PHYS), Wendy Boland (KSB-MKTG), Sheila Bedford (KSB-ACCT), and Todd Eisenstadt (SPA-GOVT)

The best college teachers, like the best architects or engineers, start with (1) step-by-step plans and (2) a clear vision of how things are supposed to turn out. Three experts on student learning will lead this session on the principles of designing coherent courses around learning outcome goals.

205: How to Use Class Time Effectively

Elizabeth Cohn (SIS) and David Mislan (SIS)

Learn how to use class time more effectively. Old and innovative strategies will be explored, including mini-lectures, cooperative learning, brainstorming, tickets out the door, games, do-nows, video clips, and one-minute lecture assignments. We provide practical and pedagogical ideas, and discuss how to create incentives in the syllabus and set student expectations.

206: Futurist Note Taking Is Here! Scribe, Record & Distribute Wirelessly

Kamran Rasul (Disability Support Services) and Bonnie Auslander (KSB)

The Livescribe pen allows for audio synchronization with note taking, which can be used to demonstrate ideas, step-by-step drawings or equations, or to take detailed notes at meetings or during field projects. Pen cast videos of your work can be uploaded to Blackboard and shared with students or colleagues.

207: Strengthening Faculty Networks in Community-Based Learning & Research

Marcy Fink Campos (Center for Community Engagement & Service), Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC), Illana Lancaster (SETH), Eve Bratman (SIS), Lewis Faulk (SPA-PUAD), and Gemma Puglisi (SOC)

Over 50 courses at AU incorporate community-based learning. Join your peers for an interactive workshop among faculty involved in work that bridges campus and community in DC, as well as globally. Share ways to incorporate service-learning in your syllabus, select nonprofit partners, and measure impact.

208: Teaching an Online Class? Using Social Media for Better Student Engagement

Stef Woods (CAS-AMST), Jim Quirk (SPA-GOVT), and Scott Talan (SOC)

Thinking of teaching online and unsure of the best technologies? This interactive panel will explore using digital media to enhance the online learning experience. Learn how you can incorporate Facebook, LinkedIn, Storify, WordPress and Twitter to engage students online.

209: Pioneering Panopto: Learn from Users of Lecture Capture Systems

Katie Kassof (Library), Sally Fowler (KSB-MGMT), Nate Harshman (CAS-PHYS), and Maya Maroto (SETH)

Join faculty from around campus to learn the creative ways they are using the Panopto lecture capture system in their classes. Gain valuable advice and brainstorm new ideas for using this powerful recording tool to benefit your students.

210: Advanced Blackboard

Library Staff

Participants will create assignments using the Assignment feature, and practice weighting these assignments in the Grade Center. We will also discuss best practices in teaching with blogs and discussion boards.


3:30 P.M. – 4:45 P.M. Sessions:

301: Sharing Best Practices About Teaching Writing Across AU

Casey Evans (KSB-ACCT), Jennifer Gumbrewicz (SPA-JLS), Christine Lawrence (SOC), and Caron Martinez (CAS-LIT)

Our students require strong writing and critical thinking skills both for their majors and post-university lives. Join faculty to discuss assignments that encourage students not only to demonstrate their mastery of course content but also to convey such knowledge through clear and effective writing.

302: A Review of the Faculty Retreat on Diversity and Inclusion

Michael Ginzberg (KSB), Lyn Stallings (Office of the Provost), Sharon Alston (Office of Enrollment), and Tiffany Speaks (Center for Diversity and Inclusion)

If you did not get to attend the Faculty Retreat on Diversity and Inclusion, this is an opportunity to hear about the presentations and recommendations from the retreat. We will also show the AU Student Voices video and provide time for discussion.

303: Why Students Love Social Media For Learning In the Classroom

Ben Loeb (AU Social Media Club), Melanie Loff-Bird (AU Social Media Club), Prashanth Bhat (SOC), and Scott Talan (SOC)

This presentation aims to open a dialogue between educators and students about the merits of using social media in the classroom. Professors often use Blackboard as a way to engage students outside the classroom; this presentation will introduce faculty to alternative tools and platforms.

304: More Than the Sum of Its Parts: Learning Horizontally

Caroline Chumo (SIS), Eve Bratman (SIS), Yona Sipos (University of British Columbia), and Garrett Graddy (SIS)

How can students be empowered through learning? How can classroom learning matter? This panel addresses ‘real world’ and horizontal learning (e.g., community-based learning, knowledge co-creation, and peer learning). We provide examples extending radically beyond group work, enabling interdisciplinary learning, and expanding traditional classroom boundaries.

305: Thinking Critically About Critical Thinking

Magen Knuth (SPA-GOVT), Holly Owens (Northern Virginia Community College) and Meg Weekes (SPA)

This session will offer participants a guided discussion of ways to encourage students to think critically. The presenter will share ideas on how to create a safe environment to facilitate students' ability to think critically, as well as draw on audience experiences to apply discussion to various fields.

306: Couples Counselling: Strategies for Developing Productive Relationships with RAs & TAs

Rachel Robinson (SIS), Krista Tuomi (SIS), Aaron Boesenecker (SIS), Kate Tennis (SIS), and Sonja Kelly (SIS)

Panelists discuss techniques for building relationships with RAs and TAs that achieve the mutually beneficial ends of faculty support and productive mentoring of graduate students.

307: Learning in & for the Real World: Best Practices for Internship Seminars

Easten Law (SIS), Katharine Kravetz (SPExS), Greg Hunt (SPA-JLS), Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC), and Iwetta Pyc (SPExS)

A good internship seminar creates reflective space for students to really learn from the work instead of just doing work, building foundations for engaging the professional world to launch careers. This session explores best practices to facilitate rich experiential learning for students in internship settings.

308: Faculty Experiences in Hybrid Teaching

Paul Prokop (CTRL), Jim Lee (CTRL), Jill Klein (KSB-ITEC), Carol da Silva (SETH), Mark Clark (KSB-MGMT), and Mieke Meurs (CAS-ECON)

Faculty are experimenting with hybrid courses, which blend online instruction with face-to-face learning. This panel features several faculty who taught a hybrid course in the fall 2012 semester, who will share what worked and what did not, and offer advice on the future and promising directions of hybrid teaching.

309: Finding Your First Flip: Getting Started With the Flipped Classroom Model

Meghan Foster (CTRL), Daryn Cambridge (SIS), and Maya Maroto (SETH)

The flipped classroom is an exciting new model for teaching and learning that opens up a world of possibilities in terms of how we share ideas through lecture and presentations and how we create and facilitate learning experiences for our students.

310: Introduction to Collaborate

Library Staff

Participants will practice using Collaborate for office hours, remote live teaching, and conferences with experts from remote locations.