Breakout Sessions I (9:00 - 10:15)
Authentic Assignments: Helping Novices Think Like Experts
Carling Hay (Earth & Environmental Sciences), Drew Hession-Kunz (CSOM), and Joe Nugent (English)
Authentic learning experiences task students with ‘doing’ the discipline by presenting them with a real-life challenge that requires them to use a range of different skills and knowledge to solve. At the heart of this strategy is the need for instructors to deconstruct their disciplinary expertise into demonstrable activities that enable novices to achieve proficiency as experts. But how can faculty identify and curate challenges that are both appropriately demanding, and manageable for students? In this session, attendees will hear from three BC faculty members who brought authentic learning into different elements of their teaching practice.
Creative Process as a Vehicle for Critical Thinking
Amey Victoria Adkins-Jones (Theology/African & African Diaspora Studies), Crystal Tiala (Theater), and Jon Wargo (LSEHD)
Creativity can be a means of freeing and focussing our thinking, and faculty in seemingly unrelated fields are exploring it use for a range of teaching purposes. This session will highlight a number of ways instructors have had students generate or respond to creative expression as a way of deepening their engagement with their work, and will include an exercise to explore the role of creativity in learning.
Crystal Tiala handout
Jon Wargo slides
Developing Brains, Developing Lives: Promoting Student Well-Being in the Classroom
Jessica Black (SSW) and Elise Phillips (Health Promotion)
Stress is a growing problem on most college campuses, and we sometimes find ourselves at a loss for how to hold students to high standards while meeting them where they are and supporting them appropriately. Neuroscience and research on late adolescent brain development can shed light on these questions and suggest ways to structure student work, in and out of the classroom, that tend to promote their well-being. Professor Jessica Black will present her research on this topic, accompanied by Elise Phillips, Director of Health Promotion, who will share resources available for students at BC.
Disciplinary Approaches to Constructive Disagreement
Jonathan Howard (English/African & African Diaspora Studies), David Storey (Philosophy), and Susan Tohn (SSW)
As we look for ways to heal social and cultural divides in and out of our classrooms, our fields themselves provide a wealth of resources. In this panel discussion, faculty from across the University will share strategies from their disciplines for cultivating respectful debate, deep listening, careful analysis, and other skills that transform conflict into meaningful exchange.
Making Learning Visible in Culturally Diverse Classrooms
Betty Leask (LSEHD)
Cultural diversity is the norm rather than the exception in university classes today. Teachers and learners respond to diversity in complex ways. In this interactive session, Dr. Betty Leask (Professor Emeritus in Higher Education at La Trobe University, Melbourne and the author of Internationalizing the Curriculum) shares hers and others' research undertaken in Australian University classrooms over a period of 5 years, the result of which was a set of good practice principles for learning and teaching across cultures. Participants will explore the possibilities and potentialities of diversity in their classrooms and ways in which they can apply the good practice principles to make learning visible.
Betty Leask slides
Breakout Sessions II (11:00 - 12:15)
Making Learning Visible to Students: Crafting Assignments that Center Core Curriculum Learning Goals
Claire Major (University of Alabama)
The University Core Curriculum seeks to invite students to consider how and why the liberal arts matter, both for themselves and for the world. However, even when students are deeply engaged in their Core courses, they don’t always recognize those bigger questions at work. In this session with plenary speaker Claire Major, faculty will explore ways to design assignments that make learning visible not only to the instructor but also to the students, with a particular emphasis on the Core Curriculum Learning Goals. While this session is particularly relevant to faculty teaching Core courses, it could also be helpful to anyone interested in making learning more visible to their students.
Decolonizing the Mind: Disrupting Disciplinary and Classroom Assumptions and Practices
Nick Gozik (International Programs), facilitating; panelists: Ana Martínez Alemán (LSEHD) and Kalpana Seshadri (English)
This interactive session explores how faculty might question, disrupt, and transform the exclusive and marginalizing narratives and frameworks that dominate disciplinary scholarship and classroom practices. The session begins with an overview of the concept of "the decolonization of curricula" and continues with presentations by BC faculty who will discuss approaches that they have employed in the past. The session concludes with an open conversation in which all participants are invited to contribute to the dialogue around decolonizing pedagogical practices in BC’s classrooms.
From Theory to Practice: Helping Students Apply What They Know
Rob Fichman (CSOM), Laura Lowery (Biology), and Chandini Sankaran (Economics)
This session will confront the gap between articulating a principle and using it to solve an appropriate problem -- or even recognizing it as the solution. This gap is familiar in many fields, and we will hear from a panel of faculty who have explored ways to give students the practice and insight to bridge it that apply across disciplines.
Rob Fichman slides
Laura Lowery slides
Geo-Spatial Mapping for Learning: Insights from the Libraries GIS Faculty Cohort
Anna Kijas (BC Libraries), facilitating; panelists: Mike Barnett (LSEHD), Andrés Castro Samayoa (LSEHD), and Sam Teixeira (SSW)
Mapping and data visualization can be powerful tools for learning in a range of disciplines. Over this past year O’Neill Library’s GIS Cohort has brought faculty together from around the University who were interested in exploring the affordances of using spatial visualization across disciplines and issues of social justice. In this panel we will hear from Cohort participants and other faculty who have brought this work into their classrooms, and the Library’s Digital Scholarship team will share information about support available to all faculty interested in pursuing similar projects.
Inside Texts, Outside Comfort Zones: Helping Students Read Differently
Allison Curseen (English), Natana DeLong-Bas (Theology), and Laura Hake (Biology)
Learning content can be as much about navigating new formats and phrasing as it is about grasping the concepts themselves. Students find it difficult sometimes to get started with a text, and at other times to grasp its full meaning. This panel gathers faculty who have found ways to meet this challenge in a variety of settings, and help their students grow as successful readers in and beyond their courses.
Natana DeLong-Bas handout