New Approaches to Teaching and Learning 2023:

‘Reigniting the Spark’

The Office of Faculty Development, CITS Instructional Development, and Online and Continuing Education have partnered with colleagues from across campus to host a full-day, on-campus conference on Thursday, January 12th, 2023. Join us to…

  • discover new assessment and engagement methods.
  • network with your peers from across campus.
  • showcase innovative teaching and learning practices taking place at UMass Dartmouth.

A light breakfast and lunch are included with registration.

Conference Agenda:

8:00 am – Check-in & Complimentary Breakfast
CCB Lobby

8:45 am – Welcome Remarks
Damon Gatenby, Instructional Technology Director
Jay Zysk, Office of Faculty Development Director
CCB 149

9:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
Meeting Our Students Again: Looking for/at ‘Normal’
Josh Botvin, Tom Hertweck, Ashley Ruderman-Looff, Monika Schuler
CCB 149
Every fall offers a chance to meet our students as people and where they are at. As we continue to wrestle with the changing conditions of the present, this roundtable will open space for reflection on the fall’s particular challenges and successes. Panelists from a number of roles will offer brief remarks about things that have drawn their attention, leaving the bulk of the time to develop questions and discussion about a range of issues, including student well-being, retention, under-skilling, motivation, and others as a way for faculty re-spark their own practice.

Accessing and Understanding the Spark Within: Bringing Autoethnography into the Classroom
Megan Fletcher

CCB 247
Students bring a wealth of lived experience with them to the classroom – embedded within their experiences are a range of histories, stories, emotions, and meanings. In this session, we will explore how to approach teaching Autoethnography as a methodology and consider ways to create Autoethnographic writing assignments (as large or small course deliverables) that could motivate and inspire students to engage with course concepts and apply them to their own experiences in new ways.

“iGen”: A Roundtable Discussion
Heloisa Alves, Gerri-Lyn Boyden, Erin Carter, Jessica Fernandes Gomes, Mary Kayyal, Sonia Pacheco, Doug Roscoe, Rekha Rosha, and moderator Jay Zysk
CCB 248
Smartphones. Texting. Social media. Anxiety, depression, isolation. Difficulty communicating and processing instructions. Different ways of socializing (if not also a reluctance to socialize). Did we say texting? Many, if not all, of these characteristics, describe the generation of students we teach, work with, and endeavor to support—and these characteristics have only intensified in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For Jean M. Twenge, these behavioral trends define a generation she calls  “iGen”: those born after 1995 who are the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. Twenge presents a range of data showing how, with social media and texting replacing other forms of social activity and interaction, members of “iGen” tend to spend less time with friends, family, teachers, and other mentors in person, and also report unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Drawing from nationally representative surveys of 11 million young people as well as in-depth interviews, Twenge’s study is the first book to document the cultural changes shaping today’s teens and young adults, documenting how their changed world has impacted their attitudes, worldviews, and mental health. During the fall 2022 semester, two reading groups comprising faculty members, librarians, professional advisors, and staff members from Student Affairs discussed Twenge’s book and its implications for teaching, learning, and student retention and success at UMass Dartmouth. Participants in this roundtable will share highlights of these conversations, including suggestions for concrete initiatives at UMass Dartmouth, and will also engage attendees in a lively discussion of the topic.

The Price is Wrong: Lowering Textbook Costs with OER and Other Innovations
Elisabeth Buck, Shannon Jenkins, Richard Peltz-Steele, and moderator Emma Wood

CCB 340
Did you know the 2021 UMass Dartmouth Climate Survey showed that 63% of students reported having difficulty affording course materials? This hardship ranked above tuition, food, and housing. This panel will showcase experiences and viewpoints from two UMassD faculty members and an administrator on Open Educational Resources (OER) and other methods to lower course material costs for students. OER are textbooks and peripherals (tests, labs, activities) that are openly licensed and free to use.

Session Materials:
Tortz textbook

10:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
Creating Your Dream Course and Reigniting the Spark in the Honors College
Brian Ayotte, Mark Santow, Amy Shapiro, Ronald Sherwin

CCB 149
A little-known fact about the Honors College is that it serves the needs of motivated faculty, as well as our students. Our flexible curriculum, educational philosophy, outstanding students, and supportive environment make the Honors college ideal for faculty interested in teaching “outside the box.” We have resources that encourage pedagogy using active learning and transformative experiences, including funds to support class trips and a team of collegial educators eager to help develop pedagogy and ideas. This session will present information about Honors College pedagogy and the possibilities the college provides for engaged, student-centered faculty. The presenters will describe opportunities in the Honors College, their experiences developing their “dream course” in Honors, and methodologies such as the student-directed syllabus, high-impact enrichment experiences outside the classroom, and interdisciplinary class projects.

How do you solve a problem like attendance?
Josh Botvin, Robin Kish, Alexis Teagarden

CCB 247
Attendance is an enduring educational problem; the pandemic appears to have exacerbated it. Solutions remain elusive. Why does such a central issue to teaching and learning prove so difficult to resolve? In this panel, we argue that a central hurdle to improving attendance is that the concept currently covers too wide a variety of student behaviors. This makes it impossible to develop fitting solutions. Before we promote answers and revise policies, we must first redefine what attendance — or lack thereof — means.

Rekindle the Fire Without Burning Out: Self-Care and Practical Ways to Implement Contemplative Pedagogy into Your Classroom
Justine Dunlap, Kari Mofford
CCB 248
Presenters will interweave practices of gentle chair yoga techniques, guided-mindful meditation with contemplative pedagogy, and practices that may be used in the classroom. These latter practices will include some of the techniques researched and discussed in UMassD’s monthly Contemplative Practices Faculty Learning Community. We invite you to bring well-being, self-care and focused attention to yourself and to your students. Join us to experience the how and why.

Session Materials:
The Tree of Contemplative Practices
Principles of Mindful Learning
Resource List

Tools Learned at My 1st Teaching & Learning Conference in 2019 and Still Use in My Classes
Firas Khatib

CCB 340
To go with this year’s theme of “Reigniting the Spark”, I wanted to share 3 sparks that I discovered at the 2019 Teaching and Learning Conference: Icebreakers, Kahoot!, and IF-AT forms (Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique). This will be a very interactive session, ensuring that everyone will experience each tool firsthand.  We will run through a thorough demonstration of IF-AT forms (which was introduced by the 2019 Keynote speaker) to understand the advantages of this Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique.

Session Materials:

11:00 am – Concurrent Sessions
Pedagogy of the Simulated Self
Stan Harrison

CCB 247
As teachers, we think nothing of having our internet-connected students work to strengthen their own sense of self by doing nothing more spectacular than uploading their digital likeness  (words, photos, audio, video) to the internet. Instead, let’s motivate students to be more contemplative about their relationship to the digital likeness of their computer-mediated selves by having them produce and/or engage with computer-generated simulations of the digital self.

Innovations in Anti-Oppressive Pedagogies: A Roundtable
Gavin Fay, Caroline Gelmi, Pamela Karimi, Katie Krafft

CCB 248
In this roundtable discussion, faculty members who contributed to the OFD’s new (and growing) set of resources on anti-oppressive pedagogical practices discuss their approaches to creating collaborative, supportive, and innovative activities and forms of engagement. Anti-oppressive pedagogies take many forms, and this interdisciplinary roundtable will highlight multiple strategies: Dr. Fay’s practices of Inclusive SciComm (science communication) and its effects on classroom community-building; a syllabus project assignment developed by Dr. Gelmi for a 300-level American literature survey, which asks students to write their own syllabus for a hypothetical American Lit II survey and stresses to students that there are many different ways to tell the “story” of American literature that can empower students to develop their own stories of American literature and to think about teaching and learning as knowledge creation rather than just knowledge consumption; Dr. Karimi’s community-engaged and hands-on approaches to understanding histories of art and design as inseparable from the ways that communities actually live; and collaborative and reflective practices utilized by Dr. Krafft that illuminate the importance of every person in the classroom and their valuable forms of knowledge, wisdom, and expertise. There will be ample time for discussion.

Session Materials:
Syllabus Project

Integrating Service Learning to a Concept-based Curriculum: Enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion through Community Partnerships
Susan Hunter Revell, Kiley Medeiros, MaryBeth Sosa

CCB 340
There has been a public movement to deconstruct underlying societal systems contributing to bias related to race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, and other health determinants. College of Nursing and Health Science faculty involved in the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement fellowship has worked to thread curricular concepts related to acknowledging and examining the nursing role in providing equitable care across socioeconomic and cultural determinants; pushing students beyond the typical community service worldview to carefully examine individual biases, life experience, and personal context to discover their own socioecological standpoint. We will highlight how our course/process contributes to the wider societal movement toward diversity, equity, and inclusion through community service learning pedagogy as an innovative teaching strategy within a wider pedological shift of curricular revision that also contributes to anti-oppressive pedagogy by giving students a high level of autonomy within the constructs of service learning.

12:00 pm – Provost’s Remarks & Complimentary Lunch
Dr. Hanchen Huang, Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room

12:30 pm – Keynote
Reigniting Our Sparks: Revitalizing Teaching and Learning with Compassionate Challenge
Sarah Rose Cavanagh
Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room

Session Description:
Teaching is a vocation. When supported with resources and security, it is a constantly renewing source of excitement and richness. The last several years of disruption, uncertainty, and overburdened workloads have exhausted teachers and students alike. Faculty are burnt out—sacrificing their own mental health, phoning it in out of desperation, or leaving the profession entirely. Students are experiencing an epidemic of mental health problems, especially anxiety. As instructors, we can support and encourage student mental health through pedagogies of care. These practices involve both a heavy investment of time and a high degree of emotional labor.

  • How can we support our students without burning ourselves out?
  • How can we revive our sparks?

In this interactive keynote, Sarah Rose Cavanagh will present some research and food for thought based on her upcoming book on how higher education should respond to both faculty depletion and the student mental health crisis.

Session Materials:
Reigniting the Spark slides
Cavanagh Takeaways

Speaker Biography:
Sarah Rose Cavanagh is the Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning in the Center for Faculty Excellence at Simmons University, where she also teaches in the Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Practice. She continues collaborations developed in her postdoctoral years with an ongoing appointment as a Research Associate in the Emotion, Brain, and Behavior Laboratory at Tufts University. Before joining Simmons, she was an Associate Professor of psychology and neuroscience (tenured) at Assumption University, where she also served in the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence as Associate Director for Grants and Research.

Sarah’s research considers the interplay of emotions, motivation, learning, and quality of life. Her most recent research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, convenes a network of scholars to develop teaching practices aimed at greater effectiveness and equity in undergraduate biology education. She is the author of The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (2016), HIVEMIND (2019), and the upcoming Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge (2023). She gives keynote addresses and workshops at a variety of colleges and regional conferences, blogs for Psychology Today, and writes essays for venues like Literary Hub and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She’s also on Twitter too much, at @SaRoseCav.

More information can be found on Sarah’s website.

📷: Sharon Jacobs Photography

2:00 pm – Chancellor’s Closing Remarks
Chancellor Mark Fuller
Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room

2:30 pm – Microsoft Surface Demonstration and Discussion
Microsoft & CITS
Claire T. Carney Library Grand Reading Room

Conference Sponsors

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