Campus News

UGA faculty, national speakers will lead talks on instructional excellence

James Hamilton

Storytelling, video games and large classroom settings are some of the topics that will be addressed as the Center for Teaching and Learning continues to lead a campus-wide dialogue about higher education instruction this fall. The speaker series will feature national figures and distinguished UGA faculty.

Three award-winning faculty members will speak about their teaching experiences and strategies in the classroom. In addition, Mary Taylor Huber, a consulting scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, will talk about faculty research centered on learning and instruction.

The Center for Teaching and Learning, a unit of the Office of the Vice President for Instruction, is devoted to the advancement of instructional excellence at UGA.

Eddie Watson, director of CTL, said the speaker series, now in its fourth semester, is an opportunity for faculty to hear what research and experience say about effective instruction.

Each event is free. Registration is at

Huber, an experienced researcher in higher education instruction, will speak about academic careers devoted to excellence in education.

According to Watson, an increasing number of faculty members are dedicated to what is called the scholarship of teaching and learning.

“Part of their job description is to perform research about teaching in their own discipline,” Watson said.

Huber will address the scholarship of teaching and learning in two seminars Sept. 25. Huber originally was scheduled to speak in the spring, but inclement weather postponed her visit.

Huber will lead a lecture titled “The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Academic Careers” from 9:30-11 a.m. in Room 271 of the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries. She will lead another workshop titled “Balancing Acts: Designing Careers Around the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” from 2-4 p.m. in the Reading Room of the Miller Learning Center.

As part of the award-winning faculty speaker series, Jeff Berejikian, a Meigs Professor of International Affairs in the School of Public and International Affairs, will lead a workshop titled “Learning to Play: Building an Immersive Classroom with Video Games” Sept. 11 from 1-3 p.m. in the Reading Room of the Miller Learning Center.

Berejikian, an associate professor of international affairs and a senior Fellow in the Center for International Trade and Security, has used the computer strategy game series “Civilizations” as a way to explore how nations interact with each other on the global stage.

James F. Hamilton, a Meigs Professor of Advertising in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, will lead a lecture titled “Large Classes, Big Challenges” Oct. 9 from 3-4 p.m. in Room 271 of the Russell Special Collections Building. In this talk, Hamilton will share key details and results of 20 years of personal experience in experimenting with how to teach large lecture classes effectively.

Maria Navarro, Richard B. Russell Award-winning associate professor of agricultural leadership, education and communication in the College of ­Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will share how storytelling, group work and graphic organizers can be used for effective instruction in “The Castaway, the Message and the Bottle.” This lecture will be held Nov. 12 from 1-3 p.m. in the Four ­Towers Building.