WCTL Annual Instructional Excellence Virtual Conference
Light at the End of the Tunnel
New Horizons for Teaching at UTC
May 5, 2021
This year’s Instructional Excellence Conference goes virtual with a major Keynote
address by Dr. Todd Zakrajsek and a series of Micro-Talks by UTC faculty, highlighting innovative teaching and learning efforts from the academic year.
Contact: [email protected]
KEYNOTE (8:45-10:15 AM)
Dr. Dawn Ford and Hosts
9:00 Keynote: Todd Zakrajsek, “Out of the Darkness and Into the Light: What
We have Survived Has the Potential to Make Teaching Better than Ever.”
Dr. Zakrajsek, who spoke in-person at our IEC two years ago, reflects on all
that has transpired this past year, envisioning new opportunities emerging
for Higher Education as we move beyond these challenging times.
Full Bio: Todd D. Zakrajsek, PHD, is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC - Chapel Hill and President of the International Teaching Learning Cooperative. At UNC, Todd provides resources for faculty on various topics related to teaching/learning, leadership, and scholarly activity. Todd has served on many educationally related boards and work groups, including The Journal of Excellence in College Teaching, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, College Teaching, and Education in the Health Professions. Todd has consulted with organizations such as The American Council on Education (ACE) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Todd’s recently co-authored books include Advancing Online Teaching (2021) and The New Science of Learning (2nd Ed) (2019).
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: EXPANDING THE CLASSROOM (10:15-11:00 AM)
10:15 Welcome to the Uke Club!
Angela Dittmar, Honors College and Arts-Based Collaborative
Welcome to the Uke Club! But first, let me tell you, I have never played the ukulele. Have you? Hear how learning to play the ukulele together flipped my classroom, fostered comradery, impacted student ownership of class objectives, and sustained open communication.
10:30 Adding the Power of Making to your Class.
Libby Santin, Marketing & Entrepreneurship
Angela Ballard, Interior Architecture and Design
Chang Phuong, Computer Science and Engineering
The talk showcases how the instructors incorporated a makerspace making project into their courses and what the benefits were to their students.
10:45 Broadening Lab Curricula to Include Broader Impacts
Jennifer Boyd, Biology, Geology and Environmental Science
Much taxpayer-funded research must demonstrate both strong intellectual merits and broader impacts. But the broader impacts of research – its benefits to society beyond the scientific community – are not often the focus of lab curricula. The importance and incorporation of lab activities focused on broader impacts will be described.
CREATIVE INNOVATION THROUGH WCTL GRANTS (11:00 AM-12:00 PM)
11:00 Underwater Archaeology: Making an Esoteric Discipline Accessible to the UTC Community
Morgan Smith, Social, Cultural and Justice Studies
In Spring of 2021, I taught ANTH 2500, Underwater Archaeology, for the first time at UTC. A component of this course included organizing a "boat day" to give students an experiential learning opportunity in underwater archaeology. This talk will describe the partners engaged in the coordination of this "boat day," the data obtained, and the lessons learned.
11:15 Quality Movies for Online Discussions
Jeannie Hacker-Cerulean, Performing Arts, THSP
When we talk to each other through a camera, what we see makes a difference. Good filming techniques enhance the perception of the Ideal Self and communication of that self to others. Upgrade your speech movies with good lightning, framing, sound, and backgrounds.
11:30 Meditations in an Emergency: Collaborating Online in “Narratives of Illness and Care”
Jayda Coons, Honors College
The talk discusses a collaborative narrative writing project undertaken in the honors seminar, “Narratives of Illness and Care.” This writing project helped build meaningful connections between students in a mostly-online course. The talk will describe the general structure of the assignment, reflect on its successes and limitations, and show the resulting book.
11:45 Community Grant Writing Partnership
Bethany Womack, Social Work
This talk highlights a partnership with a community member in a MSW Grant Writing course. The talk will focus on the process of partner teaching, instructor perspectives of student growth, student comments, and what we can replicate in the face-to-face classroom.
INNOVATION IN INSTRUCTION: SUCCESS STORIES AND LESSONS LEARNED (1:00-2:00 PM)
1:00 Lightboard at the End of the Tunnel
Sarah Canatsey, Gary W. Rollins College of Business
Taking old school to the digital realm, we built a small 24"x26" lightboard. This will be a quick demonstration of the technology and how you can build your own for under $250. It's great for both synchronous and asynchronous content delivery that's easier to create than a PPT.
1:15 From Paper to Canvas: Large-class teaching engagement strategies in-person and online
John B. (Jack) Zibluk, Communication
The Walker Center advocated simple paper-based teaching strategies such as one-question "notecard" quizzes and poster sessions to keep students engaged in large in-person classes. With a little creative thinking and some tolerance for Canvas quirks, these engagement tools can be successful online. Join us for a discussion of some simple accessible ideas to keep students engaged.
1:30 An analysis of Self-Perceived Student Anxiety Levels Related to Course Modality in Nursing Programs
Angel Collier and Brooke Epperson, School of Nursing
In response to the Covid pandemic, many nursing courses were converted from Face-to-Face to online. The purpose of this study was to compare self-perceived anxiety levels to different amounts of online versus face to face lectures. Using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 scale (GAD-7) this study compared the self-perceived anxiety to the percentage of online nursing courses.
1:45 Communication Matters
Sandra C. Affare, Engineering Management & Technology
This talk shares personal strategies for creating successful learning experiences from a recent Center for Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning cohort, Harvard Business Educational seminars, and Innovative Teaching and Learning Conference at UTK. Specifically: Verbal Communication (Lectures and one-on-one Zooms with Students) and Written Communication (Visual Aids).
EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING: EXPANDING THE CLASSROOM (2:00-3:00 PM)
2:00 Integrating Career Conversations into Asynchronous Courses
Irene J. Hillman, CECS
One of the most common positive comments I had from my seminar was the integration of visits from business community members and I was disheartened to think those visits would come to an end when my seminar moved to an asynchronous modality. Instead, I recorded interviews and conversations with business community members to integrate into each week's lesson and shared LinkedIn information to keep the networking going!
2:15 Hi-Flex Tips: How to create a class that allows students to select modality on a class-by-class basis
Charlene Simmons, Communication
This talk provides a quick overview of hi-flex design and then offers some practical tips on how to manage such a class using Canvas.
2:30 Initiating and Maintaining Collaboration in the HyFlex Environment
Cecelia M. Wigal, Mechanical Engineering
This talk introduces accessible collaborative on-line apps and software packages, such as Miro and Jam Board, for use by instructors and students for class and team activities in a synchronous hyflex course environment. Examples of how these online apps were used in activity-based and project-based courses will be shared.
2:45 Student Created Training Modules: A Collaboration
Amy Doolittle, Social Work
Virginia Cairns, UTC Library
Emily Thompson, Library Studio
Graduate students were assigned to create a training module for use in a long-term care facility to teach skills and techniques to direct care staff to address disruptive behaviors in individuals with dementia. The project came about through collaboration between the instructor, a UTC librarian, and the Library Studio.
CREATIVE INNOVATION THROUGH WCTL GRANTS (3:00-4:00 PM)
3:00 Integrating Service Learning through Community Partnerships
Lucy Schultz, Philosophy
This talk discusses the development of community partnerships with two local non-profit organizations to provide opportunities for service learning in a Values and the Environment class.
3:15 Collaborative Student Projects: With Our Efforts Combined
Shane Ward, Art
This talk describes the project, process, and outcome of a recent High-Impact Practices grant titled "The Sculptural Double: Digital (Re)Production in Contemporary Art". The students in Sculpture 2 course recently collaborated on a monumental sculpture that is currently on view in front of the Fine Arts building. The talk will also consider the problems that arise when navigating a collaborative creative project.
3:30 Student Driven Inquiry for Deeper Experiential Learning
Elise Chapman, Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science
Student driven inquiry provides opportunities for failure. Failure helps develop growth mindset, resiliency, and creative problem solving. Using a WCTL HIP grant, I implemented student driven inquiry activities in Pollinator Biology (Biol 4100). I will discuss how these contributed to achievement of learning outcomes and student perceptions of these experiences.
3:45 In the Clouds
Phillip Andrew Lewis, Art
A glimpse drone footage created by students from the Department of Art.
ON THE HORIZON: MORE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL (4:00-4:45)
4:00 Transitioning Back to Face-to-Face Learning: Preparing for Changes in Student Expectations
Ruth Walker, Psychology
Through my experiences teaching undergraduate courses face-to-face this semester, I have learned some of the ways student expectations for their education have been significantly shaped by their virtual learning experiences during the pandemic. This presentation will discuss those changes and suggest strategies for meeting those expectations head-on in the fall.
4:15 Super Courses and Other Resources: What’s New Out There?
Bengt Carlson, WCTL
Mary Marr, WCTL
David Pleins, WCTL
Walker Center staff highlight new books and tools that will shape conversations about teaching innovation in the future. We’ll take a brief look at some of our favorites, such as Ken Bain’s Super Courses, Susan Blum’s Ungrading, MirrorMeThis, and Teaching in Higher Ed podcasts.