Descriptions for the 2nd Annual Teaching & Learning Conference

Descriptions for the 2nd Annual Teaching & Learning Conference

Round tables:

Elevating the Conversation: Questioning Strategies to Promote Higher-Order Thinking in Class Discussions

Adriana Brandt

Adriana Brandt

Description: During this roundtable, participants will share and explore questioning strategies that maximize student engagement in class discussions. More specifically, faculty participants will investigate and discuss the types of questions that encourage students to process more deeply and critically, and will explore instructor feedback strategies that motivate students to elaborate on their ideas. Roundtable presenters will facilitate sharing of ideas, strategies, and resources among faculty participants.

Abstract: Given Dixie State University’s mission to promote a campus-wide culture of learning that also delivers excellent teaching, it is critical for professors and instructors to nurture their commitment to growth in teaching excellence. What does being a teaching university mean for us as Dixie faculty, and how can we as faculty expand our pedagogical repertoires to facilitate higher levels of student engagement and deeper processing during in-class learning experiences? By using small group discussion, hands-on activities, and sharing of resources and ideas, the facilitators of this roundtable will encourage session participants to 1) self-assess the state and effectiveness of higher-order questioning and feedback strategies in their own courses, 2) explore best practices related to effective questioning and feedback strategies for students in university courses, and 3) discuss how to develop questions and provide feedback that assist students in deeper processing and meaning making during in-class discussions. Roundtable facilitators will facilitate the sharing of ideas, strategies, and resources among faculty session participants.


Active Learning: The Cultural Dimension

C. Kevin Hajovsky

C. Kevin Hajovsky

Description: As our teaching experiences, practices and strategies are often geared toward our domestic students, we are often at odds about how to engage our international students. This round table aims to help teachers better understand their international students’ attitudes towards education and their own responsibility in active learning environments, as well as spell out strategies for helping them succeed. Enhancing our awareness of intercultural realities and establishing successful practices for promoting the strengths of our international students will enable us to create more symbiotic classrooms, enriched by the diversity they bring to our campus.

Abstract: “Why aren’t they doing what they are supposed to?” This is a common question heard in the world of international education, as well as from many teachers working with international students. Very often the miscommunication is based on differing sets of assumptions and/or lack of clear communication. As recruiting and educational trends continue, more and more international students will continue to populate our classrooms. The breakdowns in communication and cultural misunderstanding on both sides of the desk can often impede the active learning environments we all aim to nurture. This proposed round table will help professors begin to share, acknowledge and clarify the differences in cultural attitudes towards active learning and then explore some creative strategies for engaging and helping international students succeed in our university.

As professionals in their chosen fields of study, many professors, by no fault of their own, are simply are not experienced enough in intercultural communication to understand its complex nature and potential pitfalls. Through an interactive dialogue focused on looking at the different educational cultures and expectations in the classroom, we will discover some of our own key misconceptions about some our students’ actual strengths. The various unconscious expectations of the roles, relationships and responsibilities that make up a university experience are often assumed to be universal, which is simply not true. Our group will first explore some of the more general similarities and differences in variety of cultures such as American, South American, East Asian, and African. Then, using my own experiences in 20 years of international living, teaching, and training, our group will flesh out potential subsequent misconceptions which lead to misunderstandings. The goal will be to inspire a sense of exploration in getting to know where our students come from, how they might think and perceive things differently, and how we might better fulfill our own roles as ambassadors of our own social and educational values.

To work with and/or minimize some of the potential problems and to promote more dynamic learning environments, our professors need a set of tried and proven strategies. With our perceived challenges shared in the first part of the session, we will then examine changes in how we can approach our students’ needs for supporting active learning outcomes. More specifically, we will define ways to engage students meaningfully, help them realize their responsibilities, and encourage them to share and use their own diverse experiences for the betterment of the class. As such, we professors can strengthen and enhance the active learning environment we endorse as a university.

The classrooms of the 21st Century will continue to involve a growing number of students from various cultural backgrounds. Such changes require us to look beyond our own cultural expectations and reach out to students that come in search of an “American educational experience”. For our international students, having leadership and practitioners in our institution that can acknowledge the challenges they face is key. Furthermore, having professors that are sensitive to and supportive of their efforts can dramatically affect the experiences they have at our school. In the end, both the students and their professors, our university, and our community win.


Energizing Class Discussions Through Differentiated Instruction

Cari Buckner

Cari Buckner

Description:  In this session, the presenter will demonstrate a variety of instructional methods that can be used to meet the different learning needs of students.  We will explore effective ways to keep students actively engaged through hands-on learning experiences and effective ways to informally assess student understanding through application activities.
These instructional methods will provide instructors with tools that will help students internalize the concepts they are learning.

Abstract: When students are actively engaged in classroom discussions and activities, their understanding of the content increases.  As we implement a variety of instructional methods, we can reach more students in our classes on a more personal level.  Students can more effectively internalize the concepts they are learning if:

  • the course information is important to the learner
  • the learning experience is meaningful to the learner
  • the learner’s interests and background experiences are stimulated and connected to the new concepts being learned

COURSE INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT TO THE STUDENT: As faculty members, we believe that all of our classes are important for our students’ success in life.  Providing real-life learning experiences can help students understand how each class is important and how the knowledge learned in this class can help them in the future.

LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN MEANINGFUL TO THE CLASS: While working on my doctorate degree, I was enrolled in a class where the professor read through his power points for two and a half hours each class period. He discourage class discussion. This learning experience was not meaningful to me.  I did not internalize much of the content that was taught. In this classroom setting, it was easy to tune out and think about all of the homework I needed to get done or personal problems.  Providing learning experiences that stimulate students’ curiosity and desire for knowledge will make the classroom experience more meaningful for the student.

THE LEARNERS INTERESTS AND BACKGROUND EXPERIENCES ARE STIMULATED AND CONNECTED TO THE NEW CONCEPTS BEING LEARNED:  Students bring many personal experiences with them to the classroom.  These experiences can be used to support and enrich classroom activities.  In Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory, we realize that many of us learn and retain information more effectively when we interact with each other.  Sharing personal experiences and then connecting those experiences to the content being learned helps us, as professors to more effectively engage all students.


What is Active Learning? Does it Work?

David Wade

David Wade

Description: We have heard our new tagline “Active Learning, Active Living”, but what does active learning mean? Perhaps, more importantly, does it work and how does it impact my work? David Wade, Director of Academic Programs & Curriculum, leads a discussion that explores and suggests answers to these questions.

Abstract: This active learning session discusses: 1) generally accepted definitions of active learning and contrasts it with other related definitions like collaborative, experiential, and problem-based learning; 2) shares research about the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of active learning; and 3) suggests ideas for how we can incorporate more active learning at DSU.


Integrating Writing into Course Design: Practical Notes from the Pedagogical Trenches

Jeff Yule

Jeff Yule

Description: An overview of practical tips for integrating writing into courses, even for faculty who are reluctant to try it because they feel that it’s too far outside their area of expertise.

Abstract:  I’ve been teaching college writing and writing intensive classes since 1989, starting in the English department where I got my English Ph.D. with a concentration in composition and responding to student writing. When I transitioned to biology and became a biology and environmental science grad student and, later, professor, I realized how little my colleagues knew about teaching writing even though they wanted to help their students to be better writers. I created this presentation for them. It’s practical rather than theoretical and grounded in the methods I’ve used and shared over the years. And you don’t need to know much about grammar or punctuation either.


Teaching Naked

Lisa Welch

Lisa Welch

Description: Round table discussions on the pros and cons of utilizing technology in the classroom.

Abstract: In the Spring semester of 2016 a CTL Faculty Learning Community was established to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing technology in the classroom. Discussions were centered around the teaching and learning philosophies and strategies presented by Jose Antonio Bowen in his book  “Teaching Naked and how moving technology out of the college classroom can improve student learning.” The results of the learning community discussions will be shared with the faculty and facilitated group discussions of these findings will be conducted.


Dungeons and Dragons: Using Games and Recreations to Increase Student Engagement

Nancy Ross

Nancy Ross

Description: This roundtable will introduce participants to games and recreations in the classroom and we will brainstorm ideas and connect people to resources and online support communities that will help them to try out some of these pedagogies.

Abstract: Many institutions are concerned about increasing student retention and there is a real focus on getting and keeping students in our classroom. Our institution’s state support is soon going to be dependent on meeting these kinds of targets. As a faculty member, one of the best ways that I think that I can contribute to retention is by increasing student engagement in the classroom to create memorable learning experiences. One way that I have tried to do this is to implement different kinds of student projects, often tied to an assignment. I have found that using games and recreations has been an effective way of teaching and getting students to feel invested in course content.

I have played two Reacting to the Past games: Art in Paris 1889 and The Florence Duomo. Art in Paris asks students to argue for and against abstraction and gives them insight into the process of art sales and shows in the late nineteenth century. The Florence Duomo game begins with the announcement of a competition to complete the dome of Florence’s cathedral. In both games, students take on the roles of historical figures. The instructor manual contains roles sheets, which are handed to each student. During the course of game play, students give speeches based on primary source documents, solve problems, and come to understand the politics of art and ideas. Playing these games has lead students to ask insightful questions, which we have followed up with further class research projects. The games and their supplemental materials showed students the meaning and role of art in society in a way that I could not easily demonstrate through lecture or discussion.

I have also created an activity in my Medieval Art class where students read an academic article that re-creates a sixth century baptism in specific baptistery in Ravenna Italy. Students read the article, set out an order of service, and then re-create the baptism. As the students are walking through the baptism, I show slides of the interior of the baptistery and help my students draw connections between the ritual and the decoration of the space with sculpture and mosaic. Both times I have done this, students have reported that it was their favorite activity of the semester and helped them to understand the function medieval art in more nuanced way.


Expanding Experiential Learning at DSU

Travis Seegmiller

Travis Seegmiller

Description: DIXIE 2020, STATUS TO STATURE and EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING AT D.S.U.:  Striving for world-class Experiential Learning offerings, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

Abstract: Intended for current and future Experiential Learning thought leaders and practitioners at the University level: We will discuss and assess the various forms of Experiential Learning in a University context from a theory standpoint; then quickly review D.S.U.’s historic and current Experiential Learning offerings, including field trips, co-ops, internships, practicums and apprenticeships; and ultimately explore how D.S.U. faculty and staff can make truly great strides (Status to Stature in Experiential Learning!) in enhancing both quantity and quality of our Experiential Learning offerings for traditional, non-traditional and International students. Conversation guided by Travis M. Seegmiller, Sr., J.D., Managing Director, Experiential Learning Leadership Institute (ELLI) and Associate Professor of Management at D.S.U.


Helping Students Understand Difficult Text

Angela Child

Angie Child

Description: This roundtable discussion will cover how instructors can help their students understand and gain information from the textbooks used in their courses.  Participants will be provided strategies and tips to use in their teaching as well as ideas they can give their students to improve their own reading habits.


Paving the Road to “Stature” with Exceptional Teaching and Learning

Michael Lacourse

Michael Lacourse

Description: The objective of Dixie 2020 is to transition DSU from “Status to Stature”. This roundtable will attempt to define “Stature” through the lens of exceptional teaching and learning. Topics include characteristics, assessment and value of exceptional teaching and learning in achieving “Stature.” Participants will discuss how active learning-active living can become the ethos of our teaching and learning community and, as a result, how DSU can become a university of first choice.


Faculty Role with Retention

David Roos

David Roos

Description: Faculty play a pivotal role in contributing to a student’s decision to stay enrolled. This is especially true on a commuter non-residential campus. This roundtable discussion will explore ways that faculty can easily incorporate both in-class and out-of-class practices which have been shown to contribute to increasing student retention.


LEAP Into Student Learning: Power and Possibility Through General Education

Ami ComefordMatthew Morin

Ami Comeford and Matt Morin

Description: This roundtable will focus on the role and value of general education both on the DSU campus as well as around the state and country. We will address national trends in general education and how that has and will continue to impact general education at DSU. Attendees will have an opportunity to engage in robust discussion about what they believe is the role of general education at DSU and in the lives of our students. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions regarding and learn more about national and state trends in the field of general education.


Teaching in a Technology-Enhanced Active Learning Classroom

Nancy Hauck

Nancy Hauck

Description: The Education Department has transformed a classroom into a technology-enhanced active learning classroom. The room has four stations equipped with large screen monitors, Apple TVs, glass whiteboards, Swivl automated video device, and Bluetooth headphones. The classroom transformation helps facilitate deep content learning, research, collaboration and presentation skill for students.


The “TO DO” List for the Inclusive Classroom: Putting Theory into Practice

Daneka SouberbielleChristina Duncan

Daneka Souberbielle and Christina Duncan




Concurrent Session One 10:00 – 10:50 am

Motivating students to learn in Digital Environments

Tracey WheelerDee Murray

Tracey Wheeler and Dee Murray

Description: The first interaction with online content will determine if students will be motivated to continue to read and learn the information. If directions are unclear and/or curriculum structure and activities are confusing, students may become frustrated and disengage in the learning process. This presentation will discuss key elements to keep students motivated to learn in digital environments that includes (a) content structure; (b) text, (c) graphics, (d) activities, (e) assignment feedback, and (f) communication.

Abstract: There is an assumption that course content can easily be converted to a digital learning environment (online/blended) by simply uploading text and images to a web-based learning management system (LMS). However, this misconception often creates confusion and frustration for students because the content is difficult to read and disorganized. To overcome this challenge, careful planning of curriculum design and structure can reduce students from skipping critical information needed for a successful learning experience. There are key elements in the curriculum design process and pedagogy that can help motivate students in digital (online/blended) learning environments and overcome these potential challenges. These elements include, (a) content structure; (b) text (e.g., size, color font, etc.), (c) visual graphics, (d) course resources, (e) activities, (f) assignment feedback, and (g) communication.

Content Structure: The content must be organized and efficient for effective digital learning. The majority of people usually pay the most attention to the beginning and end of a topic. In digital learning, the first interaction with the online content will determine if students are motivated to continue to read the information. If directions are unclear, or the technology does not work, or the material is put together in an inconsistent manner, students may become confused and frustrated. This often leads to them skipping critical information in which they must use more time to review before completing the module. Therefore, content structure should be consistent, include only essential elements, and be predictable in the organization of the learning module/unit.

Text: In addition to content structure, large amount of text on web pages can seem overwhelming. Therefore, it is best to use text with an appropriate size, placement, and color. Size, 16 pixels for text in a paragraph so it can be easier to see by readers. The eyes are most comfortable reading from 41 to 50 characters per line. It has been shown that sans-serif fonts, like Arial and Verdana, are easier to read on-screen than serif fonts, like Times New Roman and Georgia. Placement: Text should not include unnecessary information. Graphics in text can provide a visual break for the eyes, but remember the placement and continuity is critical for effectiveness. Amount of text can be broken-up with lines in between the text paragraphs, directions, diagrams, etc. Text Color: There are different opinions on which colors are easiest to read. Majority of studies suggest either a green background with white text or dark gray text on a white screen. However, if you need to put in diagrams or print content from the web pages the green and white color may not be a good choice. Hyperlinks should be different colors from the text body. A text direction should also be given such as “Click Here” and then have the hyperlink linked to these words. Make sure your text colors and backgrounds are consistent throughout the content pages.

Visual Graphics: Content organization, graphics, text, and resources can set the order of importance on a web page. If you use a simple and consistent visual hierarchy, every item on the page will have visual importance. For example, if you want to draw attention to a diagram first before reading text you would place the diagram in the upper right-hand corner, for this is where the eyes are drawn first when viewing webpages. Also, placement and size of text is equally important. If you look at a newspaper, it has a clear hierarchy such as headlines draw a readers’ attention because it is larger in size than the other text on the page. Then you see smaller subheads under the headline which helps readers scan for chunks of information. If you include a graphic, which will take up ¼ of the size, it may draw the reader’s attention away from the headline and text. Graphics are often embedded in digital learning to support learning through visual sensory. These graphics can be images, diagrams, etc. It is also helpful to write a text description under the graphic in case students cannot see the graphic clearly. To ensure graphics are supportive and not distractive, use the following guidelines: Size: Optimize the size so it will download quickly. You do not want them too large. Use photoshop or fireworks to retain the desired resolution. Color: Graphic color should be able to be seen against web page background color. However, a strong contrast between colors should be avoided. Location: Graphic should support digital learning, not distract from it. Make sure there is a purpose to selecting the graphic; don’t over-crowd the e-learning format with too many graphics.

Content Resources: Content resources include additional media you can include in your learning module. For example, you may embed a video, a discussion board, an audio file, hyperlink to a website, a web conference, screencast, etc. These content resources help provide additional learning resources for students. If these resources are used, include a text description of the resources, directions on how to access it, and test it to make sure they work.

In additional to content structure, text, graphics, and resources, meaningful activities, feedback on assignments, and ongoing communication is essential to monitor students’ performance and participation during the learning process. A combination of these key elements can help students be motivated and reach a successful and satisfying digital learning experience.


To Teach Grammar or not to Teach Grammar…That is the Question!

Lucia Taylor

Lucia Taylor

Description: A quantitative analysis of proficiency interviews in Spanish has shown that the European model of leveling (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) -which focuses on grammar- does not show better results in overall proficiency than ACTFL – which focuses on functions. The discussion is opened about the role of grammar in our Foreign Languages classes.

Abstract: This quantitative analysis rates proficiency interviews according to ACTFL and the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). It also includes a fine grain analysis of several fluency markers through CHILDES project (Child Language Data Exchange System).These fluency markers have been related to proficiency by several researchers. The conclusions show to what extend the levels of proficiency based on ACTFL and CEFR are related to the quantitative results in terms of fluency. Surprisingly, grammar accuracy emphasis does not give better overall results which reopens the discussion about the role of grammar in our Foreign Languages classes.


Social Pedagogies and Teaching to the Whole Person

Randall Bass

Randall Bass

Description: Recording of Dr. Randall Bass Presentation that was presented on April 7 at Southern Utah University. Randy Bass is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. For 13 years he was the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS). He has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for nearly thirty years, including serving as Director and Principal Investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project. He is currently a Senior Scholar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where he is co-authoring, with Bret Eynon, “Open and Integrative: Liberal Education in the New Digital Ecosystem.”


Active Learning and High-Impact Educational Practices with Pre-Medical Students

Rita Osborn Karen Ganss

Rita Osborn and Karen Ganss

Description: How do you engage pre-medical students in the learning process while strengthening applications for graduate school? Join Rural Health Scholars faculty and community members for a panel discussion of high-impact educational practices that assist college students interested in healthcare careers. Specifically, we will focus on methods to involve students in service, leadership, research, job shadowing, and patient exposure. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to apply this pedagogy to other student populations.

Abstract: In the higher education learning environment, several high-impact educational practices have been identified that ensure students receive the full learning and social benefits offered through the college experiences (Kuh, 2008).  These include best practices such as common intellectual experiences, undergraduate research, global learning, service learning, internships, and capstone experiences or projects (Kuh, 2008).  Specifically with students interested in pursuing a graduate program related to health care, similar experiences are important in creating a strong application for graduate school.  Medical schools are seeking students who have demonstrated a commitment to serving others, strong academic skills, research, experience with diversity, and exposure to health care settings (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, 2004).  As shown, there are many commonalities between proven high-impact practices of student affairs research and the skills needed to successfully enter medical school.  During this presentation by Rural Health Scholar (RHS) faculty, community members, and current Dixie State University students, we aim to share with the audience key ways in which to engage students through high-impact practices we utilize in the Rural Health Scholar program.

Service-learning, or community-based learning, is a high-impact practice that intentionally engages students with one another, their institution, and their local community (Kuh, 2008).  For pre-medical students, a proven dedication to serving and helping others is a key characteristic of a strong future health care provider (National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, 2004).  To both engage our students in the St. George community and build strong graduate school applications, as a part of our BIOL 3000 course, students are required to complete 25 hours of community service per semester.  To speak about these service experiences, we will involve a local community partner from a volunteer organization as well as a Rural Health Scholar students to discuss the impact of service.

Undergraduate research has been shown to improve students’ involvement in systematic investigation and overall effective learning (Kuh, 2008).  As medical programs are focused greatly on science concepts, research at the undergraduate level has become an important component of being successful in health care.  Since Dixie State University is not a research institution, through the Rural Health Scholar Program we assist students in gaining research experience on other levels.  Through advanced seminars, we allow students to choose a for-credit seminar in a chosen topical area.  One of our more popular seminars is entitled, “Healthcare Researchers” and allows students to complete a full research project through assistance of other members of their class.  During this session, we will bring in an instructor of this course to discuss the impact it has had on student learning.

Internships and projects are also effective ways to engage students in the academic content they are learning in and out of class (Kuh, 2008).  Through RHS, we specifically assist students in gaining experiences in shadowing physicians or other health care providers.  This allows for students to experience first-hand what the daily activities of this career path are.  Although they are not direct internships, they do provide for learning outside the classroom.  During this presentation, we will have a panelist discuss our direct relationship with Intermountain Healthcare to facilitate student job shadowing experiences.

Collaborative assignments and projects, based on Kuh’s (2008) research strives to teach students the benefits of solving problems with others.  To place a health care emphasis on this high-impact practice, RHS intentionally engages students in patient exposure, or working with others of diverse backgrounds in a healthcare setting.  As many of our students may not have the certifications needed to work directly in healthcare, we provide cultural immersion trips (domestic and abroad) in which students interact with patients in health clinics.  During this panel presentation, a speaker will go into more depth on the trips we offer and the impact (personally and professionally) that they have on students.

Leadership experiences are a common theme in many of the high-impact practices and an important component of a well-prepared pre-medical student (Kuh, 2008; National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, 2004).  In order to best prepare our students for future leadership positions in health care, we provide encouragement and leadership opportunities early in their collegiate career.  To highlight leadership, a panelist will discuss our Rural Health Scholars club (separate from the campus entity) as well as tutoring opportunities.

Through this panel discussion, we hope to do more than simply highlight what high-impact practices are being used through the Rural Health Scholars program.  Instead, we hope to inspire audience members to think of ways they can use these practices to improve the experiences of student populations they work with.  In this way, we can continue to cultivate success not only in students attaining entry to medical programs, but all students across campus.


  • Kuh, G. D. (2008). High impact practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
  • National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (2004). Applying to professional school. In C. Baffi-Dugan (Ed.), Health professions admissions guide: Strategies for success. Champaign, IL: National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, Inc.


Porfolio Practicum as Experiential Learning Experience

Helen Saar

Helen Saar

Description: Concurrent session where we share our experiences with the Portfolio Practicum course. Portfolio Practicum course (FIN 4750) is a capstone course for finance majors. This is a type of experiential learning experience. Students go through the full investment process. In addition to sharing the teaching experience from the perspective of two faculty members, we plan to bring one to two students with us so they can share their experiences with the course – both the bad and the good.

Abstract: Objective of the presentation is to share our experiences through last 3 years from Portfolio Practicum Course which is a type of experiential learning. We will keep the finance jargon to minimum and focus on how student-managed investments have given finance students and edge in the job market by providing the necessary skills and knowledge expected by today’s employers.

The first student-managed investment fund (SMIF) was founded in 1952 at Gannon University. Today there are over two hundred funds in US alone. Common element of these funds is that students are entrusted with responsibility and authority to invest real money. It is not a game or simulation. Students take real risks and can make real profits. Many institutions manage SMIFs under the umbrella of student lead investment clubs. At DSU with the initiative from Dean Wells and Hal Anderson, CEO of Soltis Investment Advisors, the Portfolio Practicum Course (FIN 4750) was created in 2014 Spring as a capstone course for finance students.

During this course students form investment committees and are assigned a real life client. They have to meet with their client, interview them and determine their investment needs and risk tolerance. Students then have to write up an investment policy statement (IPS) for their client. After writing the presenting the IPS, students have to make their security selection decisions that are in accordance with their client’s needs. Then the real money is invested. The performance of their investment decisions is followed throughout the semester and compared to relevant benchmarks.
In finance course students study the theory and solve real life cases. We even use a stock investment simulation game in our introductory finance course. But game money is game money. Like medical students finally have to move from practicing on dummies to practicing on real people, the experience with real clients and real money is essential for finance students.

During this course students improve many critical skills that give them the edge at the job market. They get to apply their interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills. They learn about leadership, and negotiations. Their analytical and decision making skills are developed and challenged in many ways. Constructing an investment portfolio in the real world is a complex problem requiring extensive data analysis. Students get to analyze their investment choices by applying financial modeling techniques, statistical and financial analysis, and performing scenario and risk analysis. After making their decisions they get to go back and analyze why their selected securities under- or over-performed.


Program Assessment – Inhibitors and Motivators

Brenda Armstrong Derrick Esplin Samuel Tobler

Brenda Armstrong, Derek Esplin, and Samuel Tobler

Description: Academic program assessment can be a powerful way to measure student learning and success. The key to achievement is utilizing strategies that can benefit the student, instructor, and program/institutional accreditation requirements. This fast paced session will cover three strategies to help you achieve course and program outcomes that impact teaching and learning.

Abstract: Academic program assessment can be a powerful way to measure student learning and success. The key to achievement is utilizing strategies that can benefit the student, instructor, and program/institutional accreditation requirements. This fast paced session will cover three strategies to help you achieve course and program outcomes that impact teaching and learning.

  • Topic 1: Doing Assessment as if Teaching and Learning Matter Most. Learning Objective: Discuss the “Four Pillars of Transformative Assessment” and present 10 guidelines for assessing as if learning matters most. Presenter: Derrick Esplin, CPA, CMA, accounting instructor, Accounting Department
  • Topic 2: Developing Effective Assignments for Course and Program Assessment. Learning Objective: Employ course assessment approaches that are integral to the teaching and learning process and achieve program assessment objectives. Presenter: Brenda Armstrong RDH MDH, assistant professor, Dental Hygiene Department
  • Topic 3: Using Assessment to more Effectively Teach. Learning Objective: Briefly share several techniques to bring assessment into the classroom to enhance your teaching while satisfying the assessment expectations on campus. Presenter: Samuel Tobler, PhD, assistant professor, Physics and Astronomy


Make it Real

Greg Murray

Greg Murray

Description: Within the presentation guidelines of 6:40, I will share ideas and examples of student engagement when using objects related to the curricular topic. I teach in both the Mathematics and Education Departments and know we can experience the value in sharing with students the practical uses and nuances of the various topics that we enjoy, and know so much about, but our students frequently fail to see the applicability.

Abstract: Students frequently “get through” their general education or prerequisite courses without the class having much impact as they await the courses in their major. By showing all classes to be part of the completely educated student we help broaden their view regarding our specific area of study and broaden their view of the world. Effective instructors “try to get students’ attention with some provocative act, question, or statement” (Bain, 2004). One way to help do this is to use objects and examples in our classroom that show connectedness between curriculum and the “real” world. It is an election year; surely we can think of ways to connect elections to each of our departments. This presentation will demonstrate types of objects and examples which I have used in the classroom to connect students to curriculum and hopefully foster our thinking of additional ways to engage our students.


Writing as Rudiments

Jim Haendiges

Jim Haendiges

Description: This presentations draws comparisons between drum rudiments and fundamental elements of writing academic paper to show the importance of foundational technique in any form of communication.

Abstract: Native speakers of English often have a strong concept of writing as conversational communication, but their writing can fail grammatically and rhetorically in an academic environment because he or she are unpracticed in core aspects of grammar, structure, and rhetorical principles. My presentation draws comparisons between drum rudiments, that rely on proper technique to accomplish goals, with writing practice. I will draw this comparison while using slides and a brief percussive demonstration.



William R. Endsley

Description: I will present slides of the 22 categories from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual – 5, of Mental Disorders, that my students are required to present in their basic Psychology 1010 course. Presently, each student is assigned two of the categories and they then select one category. They present these categories, listing all the diseases associated with each category, then selected three of the diseases wherein they gave the conditions leading up to each disease, the symptoms, the possible treatments and the possible outcomes. I will show slides of the previous procedures. I will then present how I have changed the above procedures to ensure more student attention and participation.

Abstract: At the end of each semester in Psychology 1010, I have each student display and discuss three of the 22 categories from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual – 5, of Mental Disorders. Each student is required to present  Previous semesters I assigned each student two of the 22 categories and then each student selected one category. They then presented these three categories, listing all the diseases associated with each category, then selected three of the diseases wherein they gave the conditions leading up to each disease, the symptoms, the possible treatments and the possible outcomes.

I am presently changing this quite successful system to the following new system. This is based upon student feedback at the end of the semester. During the present semester I have required students to pair up for their presentations. I will assign only one category and then he or she will select one category each. So, each pair will still present three of the categories from the DSM-5. Also, in order to have each student in the audience become more active and involved, I will require them to take notes on a form that I will produce that will include spaces for the name of each category, all the diseases in the category, and the specific conditions leading up to each disease, the symptoms, the possible treatments and the possible outcomes for each disease.

Each student will end up with a better working knowledge and specific notes for all the 22 listings of Mental Disorders listed in the DSM-5. Not too shabby for a beginning Psychology course.


Using NVivo to Analyze Qualitative Research

Joy Cooney

Joy Cooney

Description: My Pecha Kucha presentation will highlight the capabilities of NVivo (qualitative data analysis software) for conducting qualitative and mixed-methods research.

Abstract: DSU faculty and students can exploit the capabilities of qualitative data analysis (QDA) software to archive, analyze, and synthesize qualitative and mixed-methods data. This Pecha Kucha presentation will use examples from a single study to demonstrate several functions in NVivo software used for deep analysis of text-heavy data. While building a data set in NVivo can be time consuming, the primary advantage of QDA software, such as NVivo, is the researcher’s ability to nimbly work with the data from multiple directions and see emergent themes that may not have been revealed in manual coding. NVivo increases efficiency, especially when working with dense data, or when using the same data for multiple projects. Furthermore, with NVivo, researchers are better able to synthesize primary data with secondary sources because researchers can isolate themes among sources. NVivo affords a level of flexibility and sophistication in data analysis that, for many, has been elusive in manual coding and analysis.

This brief presentation is meant to pique interest in NVivo, and to start a conversation among colleagues interested in utilizing QDA software in their research and instruction.


The Dramatic Expansion of Student Knowledge and Understanding when Business Students Teach Business Practitioners: Integrating Undergraduate Research into the Curriculum to Improve Student Learning and Understanding

Shandon Gubler

Shandon Gubler

Description: Dr. Gubler will describe an “active learning” exercise he uses every week to: 1) engage the student directly in their learning process, 2) engage community members in the learning process of students, 3) create connections (networking) between business students and the business practitioners who could hire them, and 4) utilize active learning to expand student’s real-world knowledge and understanding of the weekly subject matter.

Abstract: Every week during Fall and Spring semesters, business students are required to teach a business practitioner what they are learning that week, then the students invite the practitioner to share with the student:

  1. What they think about what they were taught
  2. How they are, or are not applying the content in their existing business
  3. How they could apply the content to improve their business.

These students then write a weekly report, called the “CEO Report” and summarize how their visit with the CEO (active learning) “Expanded their Knowledge and Understanding” of the content.


Integrating Undergraduate Research into the Curriculum to Improve Student Learning and Understanding

Rico Del Sesto Sylvia Bradshaw Stephen Armstrong Matthew MorinGabriela Chilom John Wolfe RC Morris Danelle Larsen-Rife John Rasmussen

Rico Del Sesto, Sylvia Bradshaw, Stephen Armstrong, Matthew Morin, Gabriela Chilom, John Wolfe, R.C. Morris, Dannelle Larsen-Rife, and John Rasmussen

Description: This panel is an opportunity to discuss the advantages of faculty engaging undergraduate students in research projects, including the impacts on student learning and understanding, as well as retention and recruitment of both students and faculty. In addition to discussions on how to develop and maintain effective research projects that involve undergraduates, the panel will introduce the numerous resources available to support faculty and students with their independent research goals.

Abstract: Research as part of the undergraduate curriculum is a rapidly growing effort across the country, with most undergraduate institutions recommending or requiring students be involved in independent research projects as part of their degree programs. In fact, post-graduate schools in many disciplines require research experience at the undergraduate level as part of their acceptance criteria. Additionally, funding to support that research has been in high demand; according to the Council on Undergraduate Research, nearly 80% of the ~2700 primarily undergraduate institutions across the United States submitted proposals to the National Science Foundation (NSF) requesting funding for undergraduate research projects between 2008-2010 (CUR Quarterly, Fall 2013, vol. 34, pp 31-40). For students that graduate from Dixie State University to be competitive with their nationwide peers, they need to become involved in independent research or creative works under the advisement of a faculty mentor. Research and creative projects also allow students to extend their knowledge beyond the classroom and/or textbook to more fully understand and apply concepts they learn to practical applications. Additionally, many research projects forge into inter-disciplinary areas that broaden student knowledge and application of concepts across multiple academic disciplines in order to be successful. These experiences therefore prepare students more fully for their careers, in which students will often encounter situations that are not covered in their lectures and require them to have developed critical thinking skills. Numerous reports have shown that schools which offer a robust undergraduate research program increases student retention and recruitment, as well as placement in post-graduate schools. Also, it has been shown to improve faculty retention and job satisfaction. These advantages are emphasized even further in the STEM fields, in which hands-on projects and critical thinking skills are required to enter post-graduate schools and careers (Science, July 6, 2007, DOI: 10.1126/science.caredit.a0700095). Additionally, mentoring undergraduate research projects allows faculty to remain active in their respective discipline, and often leads to improved job satisfaction.

The goals of this panel are to discuss some of the impacts that undergraduate research has on student learning and preparation for their post-graduate careers, as well as to introduce several of the support mechanisms and resources available to faculty and students interested in establishing and/or maintaining effective research programs involving undergraduate students. These resources include the Undergraduate Research Office (URO) and Committee (URC), the Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP), and the Institutional Research Board (IRB). The URO and URC provide workshops for faculty and students to develop independent research projects and identifying opportunities to present or publish the results from their work. Grant funding is also key to securing impactful experiences that equate to higher retention, completion, and graduate school placement. The OSP and IRB help facilitate a smooth process in planning projects and proposals, and help alleviate the burden of regulatory requirements. The OSP will help from the first step to the last, from finding funding sources that fit ambitions to the closing of successful projects. By sharing perspectives and experience in undergraduate research efforts and available resources, the panel also hopes to alleviate concerns by highlighting the difference between undergraduate research at DSU as compared to the research efforts that occur at large research institutions. At DSU, research is aimed to be a teaching tool to improve student learning and understanding, rather than become a separate institutional goal not tied directly to the teaching mission.

Please join us for this discussion on the effectiveness of including undergraduate students in rigorous research projects and creative works, and to learn more about establishing undergraduate research programs that will help retain and recruit students to DSU and prepare them to be competitive with their peers in their chosen career path.


Concurrent Session Two 11:00 – 11:50 am

An Approach to Facilitating Active Learning in a Tax-Accounting-I Class

Kevin Barrett

Description: I will use this session to help those in attendance learn how to create an interesting active learning environment through the interactive utilization of cases, electronic data resources, Google Docs, and student-centered classroom presentations.

Abstract: I will use this session to help those in attendance learn how to create an interesting active learning environment through the interactive utilization of cases, electronic data resources, Google Docs, and student-centered classroom presentations.  The cases* provides a snapshot of the tax issues that face a composite** taxpayer at a particular stage of the lifecycle^ and are displayed as Word versions of Google Docs.  While reading through a given case, a student typically identifies a tax issue of interest and then formally signs up for that issue on an Excel version of Google Docs to reserve the right to work exclusively on the resolution of that tax issue for thirty-six hours.  An issue is considered resolved once it has conceptual and application frameworks and is correctly depicted in the tax formula.  A conceptual framework is made up of the essential ideas that when taken together provide sufficient background to understand the nature of the tax issue and its general operation.  Using various search strategies, the key concepts making up a tax issue’s conceptual framework are drawn or copied from relevant authority found in either Internal Revenue Service (IRS) publications or articles drawn from CCH (Commerce Clearing House) Network’s electronic tax database and copied into the applicable Google Doc solution documents.  Through an iterative email exchange, I guide students in their gathering and application of a tax issue’s key concepts as well as its tax-formula depiction.  The tax-formula depiction of a tax issue is of particular interest because it provides a nice visual cue as to how a given tax issue interacts with all of the other tax issues making up the recommend tax-formula solution for a given case.  Once the conceptual and application frameworks and the tax-formula depiction are in place, a student is ready to present his issue in class.  The iterative email process leading up to this point demystifies a given tax issue and thus leaves a student free to fully understand and master his tax issue as he prepares for his class presentation.  As the master of the issue, in addition to his presentation, the student vets all questions related to his issue.  I act as a consultant of last recourse in the event a question is asked outside of a student’s comfort zone.  Once all of the issues in a given case have been addressed, with both the tax-law (i.e., the conceptual and application frameworks) and tax-formula solutions in place, students are then required to create the tax-return solution for each case using state-of-the-art tax preparation software.  Subsequent cases build off of tax issues from prior cases so that students can encounter familiar issues with slightly different application frameworks, thus leading to the formation of tax expertise.

*The tax issues making up the lifecycle cases were originally vetted for representational faithfulness by Michael Kirkman, a BDO Seidman tax partner.

**A composite taxpayer is treated as facing the tax issues faced by a wide cross-section of similarly situated taxpayers such as students.

^A taxpayer’s lifecycle is visualized as beginning when he files his first tax return as a student and is thus composed of tax issues facing a composite student, then evolves to the more involved composite tax issues associated with a tax return which reflects initial employment, a spouse, home acquisition, children, and so forth, and finally ends in retirement with its attendant tax return and related composite tax issues.


Preparing Students for the Political World

Keith Kelsch

Keith Kelsch

Description: There is one area that higher education seems to disappoint. We do not prepare students with tools to properly manage their careers in the political world.

One of the number one challenges students face after graduation is navigating their chosen careers into the inevitable politics in life. The second challenge is preparing students to be a leader without being a political one.

Abstract: The word political is not properly defined or understood and we do very little to help students understand and prepare for a world that is political.

Based on my recently published book The Political Optimist: The Restoration of Common Consent, I focus on helping students read political people and political environments, and I also focus on how to avoid creating political congestion in order to create more civil discourse. The purpose of the book is to inspire leadership without creating political gridlock for others.

Every political science major, every business major, every communication major and certainly all students preparing for leadership should be taught the following concepts:

  • The political world advances people not ideas.
  • The political world teaches scarcity mentality and not abundance thinking.
  • The political world is often linear in logic and not relational in understanding.
  • The political world believes that humanity is inherently selfish and thus needs to be managed and controlled.
  • The political world favors central planning and promotes the idolatry for authority.
  • Political people use stage performances, intimidation, and the irrational peddling of magic to advance in power and control.
  • Political environments and political people tend to be non-value adding.

After I help students truly understand the political world, I then challenge them to live a life of genuine optimism. This is found in the value we add and not the attitude we manifest.

Of all things most missed in education, we seem to under-value the power of adding value. We do not define it, we do not exemplify it, and we often fail to model it. We have replaced real value with culture and behavioral diversity and consequently students leave education confused about what it means to live deliberately and responsibly with a firm vision to add value.

I teach that…

  • Great leadership protects both the vote and the voice of all.
  • Great leaders do not protect the vote of all while marginalizing the voice of some. They are able to handle dissent and disagreement without the need to subvert it.
  • Great leadership is believing nature, a quality where people bring out the best in themselves, as opposed to being a politically staged optimist.
  • Great leadership is also encouraging, where people bring out the best in others, as opposed to being an intimidating optimist.
  • And great leadership is principled, where people stand for the best, as opposed to irrational optimism that pushes magic and escape from responsible action.

I also teach that consent, in a democracy, is not a majority. The highest form of democratic consent is unanimity. The simple or super majority creates a political environment and it is often scarcity driven, the least favorable philosophy and a democracy favored by political mindsets, and the one pushed most by political optimists.

The unanimity of common consent is non political and abundance driven, plus it is the highest form of democracy because it preserves both the vote and the voice of all, which is most desired by genuine optimists. The entire last section of the book explains this in detail.

More to the point, we can return education to the highest ideal of social responsibility and help students build a world without political gridlock. It is time that students are actively taught that voice and vote should be equally preserved in every institution and equally secured in every individual. It is the greatest form of diversity and the only real auxiliary precaution against tyranny and mob rule. Common consent properly scaled is the most powerful principle of knowledge that students need to understand as they enter business, education, the social sciences, the arts, medicine and so much more. It is a far better model than cherry picking political issues based on our ideological leanings, which is fast becoming the norm for educators.

I have attached a matrix that I have designed that produces 36 questions in couplets to help students realize the political mind from the genuine. There is a difference and we need to be bold as educators in affirming the difference.


Digital Technology and Liberal Education

Randall Bass

Randall Bass

Description: Recording of Dr. Randall Bass Presentation that was presented on April 5 at Utah State University. Randy Bass is Vice Provost for Education and Professor of English at Georgetown University, where he leads the Designing the Future(s) initiative and the Red House incubator for curricular transformation. For 13 years he was the Founding Executive Director of Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS).  He has been working at the intersections of new media technologies and the scholarship of teaching and learning for nearly thirty years, including serving as Director and Principal Investigator of the Visible Knowledge Project.  He is currently a Senior Scholar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, where he is co-authoring, with Bret Eynon, “Open and Integrative:  Liberal Education in the New Digital Ecosystem.”


Professor Power – How Professor Collaborated to Raise Student Test Scores from 40% to 90+% of the National Average

Shandon GublerDerrick EsplinMunir MahmudDebra Bryant Scott LindsayMatt HarrisHelen SaarBryon GeddesShadman Bashir Verl Anderson

Shandon Gubler, Derrick Esplin, Munir Mahmud, Debra Bryant, Scott Lindsay, Matt Harris, Helen Saar, Bryon Geddes, Shadman Bashir, Verl Anderson

Description: The Udvar-Hazy College of Business decided that it wanted all graduating business, finance, and accounting students to take and exit exam titled: The “Major Field Test in Business” (MFT), a 3rd party written, and 3rd party administered test, designed to assess how well students can apply what they have learned from their business management, finance, and accounting degrees in the field, the real-world of business work.

Initially, students performed very poorly on this test, scoring in the 40th percentile nationally. After collective efforts of the business professors, to design an “active learning” curriculum, our students now score in the 90th+ percentile nationally.

This session will engage the panel to discuss and share those “collective efforts” of the professors, and the “active learning” design of their curriculum, with the hope that other groups of professors on campus can work together cooperatively to enhance the performance of their students in any endeavor of interest to them.

Abstract: Upon graduation, employers expect DSU business graduates to be able to apply all of the functional disciplines of business: Accounting, Economics, Management, Quantitative Business Analysis and Statistics, Information Systems, Finance, Marketing, Legal and Social Environment, all with an International overlay, to immediately add value to their new employers by solving business problems and enhancing business processes.

To prove to future employers that “our students are ready to add immediate value to their businesses,” the Udvar Hazy School of Business decided  to require our student to take a test, “The Major Field Test in Business,” which is designed specifically to assess how well our students can apply what they have learned in “the field,” the real-world of business work.

The challenge for students is that they took some of the courses in these functional disciplines two to five years previously, and they have forgotten some of the key concepts from those important courses.

To address this problem, professors from each functional discipline created a written primer designed to refresh the minds of students regarding the key teachings of their subjects. Professors then went to David Mortensen and recorded video presentations of them teaching the material written in these primers. This material and videos were then uploaded to a CANVAS course, and CANVAS discussion groups were designed to require the students to actively engage the content by submitting questions to each other to gain greater understanding of the material, and answering each other’s questions to help one another better understand the material.

Every week, a content specialist professor is scheduled to meet with students in each of the MGMT 4800 classes, to answer their questions and further stimulate student memories of the course material they were taught.

Students are then required to work in assigned groups to study the material and prepare presentations to teach the content material to their student peers, and prepare “cliff notes” type handouts to further teach and prepare their peers for this MFT test.

Students are further incentivized by making their MFT test score worth 25% of their final grade in the MGMT 4800 Business Capstone Course, a required course for graduation, which creates a definite incentive for them to prepare and perform well on the MFT Test.


Making Your Course Relevant Through Community Engagement Pedagogy: Enriching Learning and Strengthening Communities

Nancy Hauck

Nancy Hauck

Description: This presentation will help faculty members make their courses more relevant through incorporating community engagement pedagogy. DSU’s new Strategic Plan rubrics, which were designed to define and measure community engagement, will be explored and analyzed by attendees. Experiential learning, community service, service learning and mentoring will be examined as types of community engagement pedagogies.  Using the rubrics, attendees will consider ways to incorporate community engagement into their courses and will share these ideas with others.

Abstract: Community engagement has the aim of enriching learning and strengthening communities. In this way, as it extends beyond classroom confines, community engagement exemplifies authentic pedagogy. The core concept in this presentation is the combination of community engagement objectives and course learning objectives, with the intention that the engagement activity changes both the student and the community. DSU’s new Strategic Plan rubrics for defining and measuring community engagement will be explored and analyzed. Experiential learning, community service, service learning and mentoring will be examined as types of community engagement pedagogies. These rubrics were designed to help DSU incorporate community engagement as a campus-wide core theme. Furthermore, the importance of having students engage in guided reflection will be presented as a key element for effectively integrating community engagement into the university classroom curriculum. University students who participate in community engagement pedagogies have been found to demonstrate greater complexities of understanding than a non-engaged comparison group; and when this was combined with reflection they were able to effectively analyze more complex problems. Community engagement has positive effects on university students’ sense of social responsibility, enabling them to be active and involved citizens. Additionally, project-based learning, recognized by college student as related to life beyond school, can engage students who are disaffected in the school environment. When students enrolled in course that integrated community engagement and were encouraged to recognize achievements through self-monitoring reflective processes, they were more likely to find the course relevant to their educational needs and personal development.


Active Learning for an Online Composition Classroom: Blogging as an Enhancement of Online Curriculum

Olga Pilkington

Olga Pilkington

Description: Multi-part presentation that will introduce theoretical developments, a case study (example from a DSU classroom), and examples of blogging as writing assignments from other academic institutions. Discussion and questions will be welcomed.

Abstract: When it comes to Active Learning, most of the strategies outlined in recent literature (see, for example, Bean 2011; Grunert, Millis, Cohen 2008) are targeting traditional, on-site classrooms. While the separation of approaches to on-site and online learning has been questioned (Frímannsdóttir 2015), it is hard to deny that not all classroom strategies transfer seamlessly to online environment. With this in mind, my presentation will propose blogging as an active learning tool that is particularly applicable to virtual composition classrooms.

Some of the definitions of Active Learning suggest that writing is itself an active learning strategy. For example, Bean (2011 “Link Between Writing and Critical Thinking) suggests that “the most intensive and demanding tool for eliciting sustained critical thought is a well-designed writing assignment.” While encouraging, such statements might leave composition professors in a comfortable yet undesirable state of thinking that there is nothing more they can do to improve their teaching strategies. Despite simplistic definitions, Active Learning is more than having students talk to each other in groups or write essays. It is an approach that encourages learning through practical application of classroom-acquired skills.

Managing and assessing such skills outside of a traditional classroom might present more of a challenge because of the asynchronous nature of online environment. Group assignments, immediate peer response, and real-time interaction (even when facilitated by technology) can prove difficult to arrange. While various Learning Management Systems contain integrated tools for online discussions and forums, their use still confines the student to the classroom environment.

Blogging offers an alternative to the traditional virtual classroom tools available through the standard LMS. It has been shown that blogging has a number of benefits to the development of writing and critical thinking skills. In addition, it allows distance learning students an opportunity to apply their classroom-acquired skills outside the familiar platform. As Fageeh (2011) points out, blogging improves students’ attitude to writing. It also demonstrates to them that the tips they learned in the classroom are applicable to informal, non-school-related writing. Thus blogging establishes a connection between the academic institution and the skills it provides and the real (or virtual) world where such skills can be used.

Despite research that suggests online interactions are contributing to antisocial behavior, blogging in a controlled, classroom-related environment actually promotes the development of conversational and interactional skills (Aldo de Moor 2005). Blogging is also an effective tool for English Language Learners, who might not get a lot of opportunities to use their second language in informal writing. Foreign exchange students often exercise their second language writing skills exclusively through school-related assignments and reserve their first language for informal written interaction with friends and family. Blogging gives them an opportunity to practice the second language writing skills through informal prose.

Overall, blogging as a writing assignment offers a number of benefits to a diverse student body that may include native and non-native speakers. It embodies the principles of Active Learning strategies and is particularly suitable for online students as an opportunity to practice outside the LMS platform.

My presentation will address the theoretical points outlined above and will also discuss an example of a blogging assignment implemented in an online composition course (English 2010). The data for the practical part of the presentation is not available at this point, as the students are yet to complete the assignment.


What Does Active Learning Mean?

David Wade

David Wade

Description: What does the active learning in “Active Learning, Active Living” mean? David Wade, Director of Academic Programs & Curriculum, presents a generally accepted definition.


Active Learning, Active Life: The Space Between

John Wolfe

John Wolfe

Description: This session attempts to express the importance of silence and ‘open space’ as part of the active learning/active life goal of the university. The presenter argues that without adequate attention given to such activities, learning opportunities will be lost.

Abstract: Augustine of Hippo in his moving Autobiography the Confessions states, “Men go forth to marvel at the mountain heights, at the huge waves in the sea, at the broad expanse of flowing rivers, at the wide reaches of the ocean, and at the circuits of the stars, but themselves they pass by.” This presentation explores the essential need of silence and stillness in the active learning process. To do this, I will examine great texts from a number of traditions that emphasize the need of ‘learning space’.


Maximizing Continuity in Blended Courses

Amanda Scott

Amanda Scott

Description: I will present my experience and findings about creating maximum continuity between the online and face-to-face segments of a blended course.

Abstract: Online and flipped curriculum is the way of the future in higher education, but teaching in these modes can cause some pedagogic problems. One pedagogic mode that is becoming increasingly popular is the blended classroom where roughly half of the curriculum is in an online environment and the other half of the curriculum is in a traditional face-to-face environment. This mode can be very useful as it combines an asynchronic aspect to the class, but the course doesn’t suffer from a lack of face-to-face interaction like a completely online class does. However, one problem with this mode is that the online and face-to-face segments often feel disconnected, like two different classes. In this presentation I will share some strategies for creating continuity between the two platforms and maximizing student retention of information and improving their level of analysis on the subject matter. The main strategies I will share will be tiering discussion questions from lower-level ones in the online forums with corresponding higher-level questions in the face-to-face segment, using flipped quizzes to prep for reading, and using multimedia in Canvas to enhance learning.


Learning as the Building of Human Association

Xi Cui

Xi Cui

Description: In this presentation, I would like to share my teaching philosophy of seeing participatory learning as a means of building human associations and social capital for students. Class assignments such as “Social Media Engagement” and “War on Errors” that are specifically designed to use course content for this purpose will be introduced.The results of these assignments will be presented and the implications for course learning objectives will be discussed.

Abstract: In this presentation, I would like to share my teaching philosophy of seeing participatory learning as a means of building human associations and social capital for students. I see students’ learning/sharing/communicating about knowledge, in addition to the instrumental purposes, as the building and maintenance of social capital which motivate students’ autonomous learning and benefit their life-opportunities long after they graduate.

Two assignments will be discussed that are designed based on this understanding of learning experience. The assignment of Social Media Engagement is specifically designed to encourage people to critically think and share what they learn in the classroom. Students are credited only when their tweets are shared or commented by fellow classmates. This forces students to think about and post quality content that are relevant to the class and gives validation to successful attempts from their peers. A social network analysis is performed by the instructor at the end of the semester to show how are the influencers in the class and helps students understand their role in the class community.

“War on Errors” is a competitive activity where a group of students write a Wikipedia-style entry and embed erroneous information in it and other students compete to correct them to win credits. The group-identity-based competition motivates students to read the textbook, hide/find the errors, and fight for their group pride, which ultimately promotes learning and group cohesion. This assignment also makes the flipped classroom more effective since students are motivated to read the course content and debate about it in class.

Canvas implementations and caveats of these assignments will be discussed.


Setting DSU Apart: Integrating 21st Century Skills into the Classroom

Chip Campbell

Charles “Chip” Campbell Jr.

Description: A proposal of campus-wide cultural buy-in regarding the integration of the predominant four 21st century skills contemporary employers are seeking into all courses in each field of study across campus.

Abstract: Creating a culture of aligning classroom pedagogy with the predominant 21st century skills that employers across all labor sectors are seeking can assist students find and retain gainful employment in the contemporary workplace. Obtaining the effective organizational commitment of all stakeholders toward this goal can increase enrollment, retention, graduation and hire rates – and set DSU apart as a premier university of choice.


Experiential Learning, Interdisciplinary Collaboration, and Forming Community Partnerships

Lisa WelchJohn RasmussenCurt Walker

Lisa Welch, John Rassmusen, Curt Walker

Description: Expert panel of Faculty who utilize experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration and community partnerships to facilitate student learning.

Abstract: Panel of faculty who utilize experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration, and/or community partnerships in  their courses will discuss their experiences and ways to incorporate experiential learning, interdisciplinary collaboration and establish community partnerships into your courses to enhance student learning.  Additional panel members to be determined.