Professional Development

To help improve my game, I attend workshops at the Center for Teaching and Learning at Boise State University.
The workshops that I've attended thus far are listed below.

Workshop #1: Time Management for Graduate Students

Date: 2015.09.30

Facilitator: Megan Frary

Link: https://orgsync.com/112910/events/1126598/occurrences/2477863

Summary

This workshop provided a toolbox of time management strategies, and furthermore served as a medium in which the participants could generate, share, and discuss additional such strategies. The target audience was graduate students (who are typically overloaded with teaching, research, and classwork, etc.) but most of these strategies can be applied to contexts beyond the classroom.

Workshop #2: Teaching and the Creative Process

Date: 2015.11.11

Facilitator: Kathleen Keys

Link: https://orgsync.com/112910/events/1126573/occurrences/2477760

Summary

The objective of this workshop was to learn about strategies for facilitating creativity in the classroom. We listened to two faculty members talk about some creative exercises that they implemented in their courses. One course was on the art and process of printmaking, and the other course was on experimental communication between two diverse groups of people living in the same community. Both faculty members emphasized creative aspects of interactive and group-based learning with examples from their courses.

Workshop #3: Teaching Visits: Flipping the Classroom with Active Learning

Date: 2015.12.02

Facilitator: Megan Frary

Link: https://orgsync.com/128317/events/1282528/occurrences/2871455

Summary

This event consisted of a visit to MSE 308: Thermodynamics of Materials, where the students and Professor Megan were engaged in a team-based, flipped learning model. Before each class, the students must “pre-learn” some topics. More precisely, this means that each student was expected to watch a series of video lectures (that the professor created on her IPad using Explain Everything), done some associated reading, and taken notes on a list of reading questions. Then, at the start of the class, the students were given a clicker quiz (where they may use their notes) for pre-learning motivation and assessment purposes. After the quiz, the professor and the students reviewed the answers to the quiz questions as a class, where the students were able to receive immediate solutions and feedback. Thereafter, the students worked in teams to solve problems while the professor did walk-by assessments and answered questions.

Workshop #4: Building Student Buy In for Team-Based and Other Flipped Learning Methods

Date: 2016.01.25

Facilitator: David Hunt

Link: https://orgsync.com/112910/events/1312750/occurrences/2944953

Summary

This workshop suggested some activities aimed at selling team-based learning and flipped learning to instructors, so they can then sell it to students. For such an active learning approach, the instructor must set the tone and pre-learning expectations, and make a good impression that first day. Then they must consistently execute that strategy throughout the rest of the semester. As workshop participants, we formed teams and engaged in example activities that motivated the pre-learning of the flipped model. Toward the end, Professor Hunt also explained his transition process between traditional lecture and team-based/flipped lecture, and answered some questions to address some prior knowledge misconceptions and exemplify the advantages.

Workshop #5: From Random Snapshots to a Cohesive Portrait: Helping Students Connect Courses and Deepen Their Learning

Date: 2016.02.09

Facilitator: Heidi Estrem

Link: https://orgsync.com/112910/events/1314283/occurrences/2948743

Summary

To earn a degree at a college such as BSU, students typically have to take courses in various disciplines. A major motivating factor behind such a university curriculum is to give students a diverse, “well-rounded” experience as part of their training. Although this sounds great in theory, it frequently does not work out like that in practice. It is known that students often experience college as a set of disjoint courses, where it is difficult or impossible for them to recognize any intersection between courses in various disciplines. Thus, a major objective of this workshop is to help address this problem by making instructors not only aware of it, but to educate instructors on the concepts of learning transfer and teaching for transfer. These concepts can be used to develop strategies to deepen students’ learning as they advance through their university experience by helping them see relationships and create connections between apparently disconnected courses. To “bridge the gaps” as they say.

Workshop #6: Friday Webinar Series: Demonstration of Explain Everything, an Interactive Screencasting and Whiteboard App

Date: 2016.04.01

Facilitator: David Zahn

Main Presenters:

  • Stephen Kaufman, Senior Instructional Designer,Quality Matters Coordinator / CRM Design & Development Services, The University of Akron
  • Patrick Tabatcher, Senior Multimedia Producer, The University of Akron

Link: https://orgsync.com/113263/events/1427025/occurrences/3238271

Summary

I learned the basics of how to create teaching content with Explain Everything, which is a unique, interactive, screencasting whiteboard application. We watched some introductory and technical webinar videos on Explain Everything (by Stephen Kaufman and Patrick Tabatcher) and had discussions on how to use it to create mini-lecture videos for flipped learning and covering difficult content (such as math, linguistics, computer science, etc.). I had the opportunity to talk to David Zahn for quite awhile and ask lots of questions.