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SOC at the 2013 Ann Ferren Conference

January 11, 2013, 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM, Mary Graydon Center, American University

School of Communication faculty will present on some of the hottest topics in higher education, including diversity in the classroom, the role of social media in teaching, and how to teach adult learners at the 24th Ann Ferren Conference on Teaching, Research and Learning hosted by Center for Teaching, Research and Learning. See below for a list of all panels and presentations featuring SOC faculty.

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

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.


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

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

Joseph Erba (SOC), Leena Jayaswal (SOC), 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.

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.

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

Gihan Fernando (Career Center), Michelle Egan (SIS), 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.


2:00 P.M. – 3:15 P.M. Sessions:

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

Amy Eisman (SOC), Iris Krasnow (SPExS), 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.

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.


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.

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.

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.