Campus News

CTL’s spring national speaker series, workshops to give fresh spin on topics

The Center for Teaching and Learning’s spring speaker series and accompanying workshops will feature a fresh spin on teaching and learning topics such as active learning, writing, digital learning, educational and survey research, and programmatic assessment.

CTL’s 2017 spring National Speaker Series kicks off Feb. 17 with Valerie Otero, professor and co-director of the Learning Assistant Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Otero’s presentation on learning assistants is co-sponsored by the Office of STEM Education and will explore models where undergraduate students who, through the guidance of course instructors and a pedagogy course, facilitate discussions among groups of students in a variety of classroom settings that encourage group interaction.

The next event in the spring series on Feb. 23 features Rachel Toor, a former acquisitions editor at Oxford and Duke university presses and now a professor in the graduate creative writing program at Eastern Washington University. Toor’s presentations, co-sponsored by the English department, the Writing Intensive Program, the Graduate School and Franklin College, draw on her experiences both as an editor of scholarly books and a creative writer. Her presentations include “Writing for Love, Money and Applause (and to Snag Academic Jobs, Tenure and Promotions),” “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor: Workshop for Graduate Students on Revision,” and “Crafting a Nonfiction Book Proposal: Workshop for Faculty.”

On March 15, Helen Chen (Stanford University) will present “Redesigning Representations of Student Learning in the Digital Era” and “Design Thinking—Using Design Thinking to Promote Innovation in Assessment and Curriculum Redesign.” The last national speaker of the spring is Mark McDaniel (Washington University, St. Louis), co-sponsored by the SEER Center. Co-author of Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, McDaniel will discuss “Persistent Student Tendencies to Memorize versus Abstract: Effects on Learning in Science Courses” and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of ‘Best’ Practices: Some Lessons from the Memory Laboratory” April 13.

The CTL is offering new workshops including “Teaching Naked Techniques: A Practical Workshop for Designing Better Classes,” a workshop on Jan. 31 providing new insights into how we learn as well as practical advice regarding how this information can be applied in the college classroom. Other sessions will include “Pedagogy and Practice” (flipping the classroom, active learning, writing assignments in large classes, web conferencing, eLC); “First-Year Odyssey” (designing an FYO course, mentoring first-year students, teaching small classes); “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (IRB, survey research, performing educational research) and “Programmatic Assessment” (writing learning outcomes, measuring student learning, using rubrics).

For more information or to register, visit