Spring 2017 Teaching Learning Symposium

Teaching Symposium

The Teaching and Learning Symposiums, sponsored by Academic Affairs, are an opportunity to participate in conversations about teaching and learning, to hear from experts on emerging issues in improving student outcomes, and to network with others seeking to improve teaching at the university. Academic Affairs is again sponsoring with a number of partners a Teaching and Learning Symposium around the themes of Motivation, Engagement, Innovation, and Evidence.

The focus of the Spring 2017 Symposium is on effective instructional strategies supporting student learning. The symposium content will be grounded in two books -- Teaching for Learning: 101 Intentionally Designed Educational Activities to Put Students on the Path to Success and The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony with Your Brain, co-authored by the keynote speaker, Dr. Todd Zakrajsek. The interactive workshop-style breakout sessions following the keynote will concentrate on topics deemed of critical interest by past symposium participants.

Friday, March 3, 2017

1:00 p.m.


Donde Plowman

Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Keynote Speaker: Todd Zakrajsek

Associate Professor in the School of Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine, Associate Director of Fellowship Programs, and teaching consultant in the Academy of Educators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Teaching for Brain-Based Learning: Evidence-Based Strategies to Motivate and Engage Students

In the right environment humans are natural learning machines. Unfortunately, the typical classroom rarely resembles a natural learning environment. As a result, our teaching strategies and the resulting student learning are not always as effective as we would like. The good news is that there are a few essential components of long-term learning that are consistent across nearly all learners. In this session, we will draw on the work of cognitive, social, and psychological psychology to envisage ways to better construct meaningful learning environments for our students that both motivate them and engage them in the learning process. We will also consider factors that make classroom learning particularly difficult for some students and ways to mitigate those effects.

If you are interested in following up on any of these ideas in one of your courses, please contact the instructional designer assigned to your college

Break, 2:10 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Interactive Breakout Sessions

The format of the breakout sessions has been expanded from the previous symposiums’ 50 minute presentations to 90 minute sessions. This change allows for more time to dive deeper into specific evidence-based teaching methods and to expand participation, discussion, and interaction. These interactive workshop-style sessions will concentrate on topics deemed of critical interest by past symposium participants.

Choose one from the following sessions:

Simple Methods to Engage and Motivate Students: Concepts, Strategies, and Tips

Todd Zakrajsek, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine and the Department of Family Medicine, Associate Director of Fellowship Programs, and teaching consultant in the Academy of Educators, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Across higher education there is a large-scale effort to create classrooms that more frequently engage students in active learning. Although evidence has clearly demonstrated the value of active/engaged learning, there is also evidence that unless one understands the underlying structures supporting this type of pedagogical approach the outcomes are not consistently positive. In this hands-on session, we will experiment with several engaged learning strategies and uncover the learning principles that lie beneath. The goal here is for you to experience strategies that can be used in just about any class, better understand the research that supports the findings, and more fully understand the related learning principles that make the strategy effective.

Writing to Learn & Learning to Write

Facilitators: John Geppert, Professor and Director of Assessment, Finance; Brian Waters, Associate Professor, Agronomy and Horticulture; Sharon Kuska, Professor, Architecture

When students write, they not only demonstrate what they know, they also gain a deeper understanding of content and improve their writing skills. Despite these benefits, faculty often fear a grading overload and hesitate to give writing assignments. In this session, facilitators John Geppert and Brian Waters will discuss specific types of writing assignments, the value of short writing, and techniques they've used to improve student writing. During the session, participants will experience an easy-to-implement writing-to-learn activity and discuss writing assignments appropriate to their classes.

Strategies for Teaching Large-Enrollment Classes

Facilitators: Chad E. Brassil, Associate Professor, School of Biological Sciences; Clayton (Clay) Cressler, Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences

Large-enrollment classrooms face unique challenges both in classroom management and in optimizing student learning. This workshop is designed to provide practical strategies that can be used in classrooms of over 100 students that are both efficient in terms of instructor time and effective in terms of pedagogical effectiveness. Activities will be highlighted from the book “Teaching for Learning” that work well in large-enrollment courses. Tools will be highlighted from the facilitators’ experience teaching big classes at the university. Opportunities will be provided for participants to learn from each other. The workshop will emphasize low-technology solutions as well as integrated-technology solutions.

Adjourn: 4:10 p.m.

Was this page helpful?