Past Events

The Harte Center for Teaching and Learning hosts and sponsors various events at W&L throughout the year. See below for past workshops and events.

2020

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020

Teaching Writing in the Sciences: Exploring Alternative Methods for Teaching Lab Report Writing 

Teaching students to write effective lab reports can be challenging and often tedious work: we explain our expectations over and over again, dutifully respond to drafts, and still improvement seems to arrive at a glacial pace. This presentation, by Col. Stacia K. Vargas Professor, of Physics and Astronomy at VMI, explores an alternative approach that shifts the responsibility for revision onto the students, engaging them in a series of metacognitive reflections that deepen their thinking, their learning, and their sense of agency–and improves the quality of their work! Though by no means a panacea, Vargas’s discussion provides a useful starting place for an important discussion.

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2020

POGIL Training Seminar: Strengthening Student Learning through a Proven Classroom Approach

POGIL is an acronym for Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning. Because POGIL is a student-centered instructional approach, in a typical POGIL classroom or laboratory students work in small teams with the instructor acting as a facilitator. The student teams use specially designed activities that generally follow a learning cycle paradigm. Developed in Chemistry before expanding to fields throughout the disciplines, the POGIL approach has two broad aims: to develop content mastery through student construction of their own understanding, and to develop and improve important learning skills such as information processing, communication, critical thinking, problem solving and metacognition and assessment.

Faculty from all disciplines are invited to attend this comprehensive, full-day workshop over winter break led by experienced POGIL facilitator and Professor of Chemistry Gail Webster of Guilford College.

 March 16-24, 2020

Virtual Instruction Academy

Pedagogy and Purell: Alternatives for Assignments, Activities, and Assessments
In this session, professors, librarians, and academic technologists will team up to answer your questions about your course and virtual instruction. Do you need alternatives for a face-to-face activity? Is there an assignment or end-of-term project that has you stumped? Arrive with questions, leave with options!

Liberal Arts Values in the Virtual Classroom
In a campus-based, liberal arts setting faculty and students alike value community and small group interaction. As courses and interactions move online, we need to find new ways to represent core values of personal connection and inclusive engagement despite the challenges of inter-personal distance and mid-term disruptions. Guest presenter, Jeanine Stewart will share specific suggestions and open a discussion related to techniques professors can use to maintain a sense of community and foster robust engagement in the virtual classroom. 

Putting the Personal in the Virtual
Workplaces are communities that play a larger role in our lives than filling the time from 9-5 and offering a paycheck. This session will focus on providing a common language and framework for identifying and meeting our own social needs as well as supporting community members who are temporarily working remotely. The focus will be on how we might embed small but significant connection points into our daily work. Guest presenter, Jeanine Stewart will share specific suggestions and open a discussion related to how each person can contribute to a sense of community and foster robust engagement while working virtually. 

Thursday, Apr 23, 2020

Spring Term Course Workshop


Developing Course Goals for Spring 2020 Courses
Teaching a Spring Term course in the age of COVID presents some unique challenges: how do we teach the “experiential” in a virtual way? That in mind, setting course goals that are manageable but also meet our best expectations for our students is no easy task. This one hour workshop is designed to give faculty a chance to consider these challenges and to draft and receive feedback on goals that will drive the entire course, helping us make thoughtful decisions as we prepare for Spring Term.

Structuring Our Spring Term Courses to Maximize Productivity and Decrease Stress
This session looks at ways to manage an “experiential” course in a virtual setting: how do we structure the days/weeks to ensure that students learn what they need to learn? This session will offer several initial framing ideas, then ask participants to apply these approaches to the particular challenges of their own courses.

Managing Community and Student Interaction Workshop
How do we build a virtual class from scratch? How do we ensure that the relationships that are so valuable on campus exist in a virtual realm. This workshop will explore topics ranging from managing online discussions to ensuring that group work is occurring productively. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore a range of possibilities determined by the particular goals of their course. 

Making Sure We Survive: Managing the Workload Workshop
How do we shift agency in learning over to students to ensure that: a) they learn course material more deeply; and b) we don’t die trying to facilitate our courses? Further, how do we do this in a Credit/No Credit context to ensure that students actually engage the material? This session explores these questions, seeking best-practices answers that might eventually even inform our approaches once we return to a face-to-face format.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

 

Pedagogy and (perhaps you have) Pizza #1:

Creating Classroom Joy in the Time of COVID

After an unusual and chaotic spring and summer, it’s good to return to teaching! Now that we’re back, whether it’s in an outdoor space, a virtual space, or a concert hall, how do we create a sense of community and add a spark of joy to our teaching? To start, three professors will talk about activities they’ve done to engage students, virtually and in-person. After that, we’ll transition to sharing ideas. What steps have you taken to help students feel the joy of learning, even if it’s not in a conventional classroom?

Presenters: Lynny Chin, Sociology; Mikki Brock, History; and Diego Millan, English

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Pedagogy and (perhaps you have) Pizza #2:

“There is work to be done”: Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom

Join Dr. Chanelle Wilson as she facilitates a journey toward deconstructing colonization and racism in the classroom. The session series will provide background information about the intersections of colonization and race, specifically in the context of classrooms and social interactions, at small liberal arts institutions. We will further our exploration with the opportunity to engage in subsequent interactive small group sessions to deepen engagement, skill exploration, and strategy building. The follow-up sessions will focus on locating ourselves in oppressive structures with the analysis of current syllabi and classroom practices and working collaboratively to implement principles and practices of decolonization and anti-racism to disrupt and dismantle institutionalized systems. Participants will leave this series with products ready to implement, immediately, or at minimum, in Spring 2020. There is work to be done, and you are invited into the movement.

Dr. Chanelle Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Africana Studies, at Bryn Mawr College. With over ten years of experience, and a lifelong commitment to revolutionizing education for justice, Dr. Wilson supports self-introspection for outer transformation and guides with the steady underlying premise of love, joy, and hope.

This event is co-sponsored by Academic Technologies, Africana Studies, CARPE, and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Pedagogy and (perhaps you have) Pizza #3:

Student Voices: Finding the Bright Spots

The idea for this session is very simple. Several students will talk about approaches to virtual/blended instruction that have been working for them. This is an opportunity to take our thinking beyond the stress and pressure of the summer and get a clear sense of how our efforts are landing: in the chaos of this crazy fall, what’s actually working?

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Small Contemplative Teaching for Focus, De-Stressing, and Building Community

We’re teaching college in some of the most demanding conditions most of us have ever seen. How can we reclaim scattered attention, or help ourselves and our students manage our stress, or nurture classroom relationships when there’s no classroom? This workshop offers an introduction to the field of contemplative pedagogy, an approach that combines contemplative and mindful practices with academic inquiry across all fields that offers ways to turn our problems into occasions for new possibilities. In the spirit of James Lang’s and Flower Darby’s Small Teaching books, this workshop will focus on simple, easily incorporated practices that you can start using right away, whether in chemistry or creative writing.

Dr. Chris Phillips is Professor of English at Lafayette College, where he specializes in early American literature, book history, and spiritual writing. He is the author of The Hymnal: A Reading History (Johns Hopkins, 2018) and the editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Renaissance (Cambridge, 2018).

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Work Continues: Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom

Session 2 in the series on Deconstructing Colonization and Racism in the Classroom will focus on exploring our positionality and locating ourselves in oppressive structures with the analysis of current syllabi and classroom practices. Dr. Chanelle Wilson will guide us through her evolving process for decolonization and implementing anti-racist practice. And, together, we will use principles of decolonization, Critical Race Theory, and Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture to analyze our contexts and professional documents as we continue deconstructing to rebuild. The work continues.

Dr. Chanelle Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Africana Studies, at Bryn Mawr College. With over ten years of experience, and a lifelong commitment to revolutionizing education for justice, Dr. Wilson supports self-introspection for outer transformation and guides with the steady underlying premise of love, joy, and hope.

This event is co-sponsored by Academic Technologies, Africana Studies, the Houston H. Harte Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Office of Inclusion and Engagement.

 

Thursday, November 18, 2020

Ungrading in a Pandemic…and the Rest of the Time, Too

In this workshop we discuss some of the research on motivation and learning and the reasons many educators have moved to ungrading—the WHY. Then we move to talk about the practical dimensions of moving toward ungrading, whether completely or partially—the HOW. Participants will workshop some revisions of their own assignments and course structures.

Susan D Blum is a professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, currently fixated on education and pedagogical praxis. She is the author of “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College (Cornell, 2016) and the editor of the forthcoming volume Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (West Virginia University Press, 2002).

 

2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

There Is Work to be Done: Disrupting Systems in Academia 

 

In the final session of our decolonization and anti-racism series, we will discuss strategies to disrupt systems of educational oppression and mobilize against the status quo. Undergraduate students, involved in decolonizing anti-racist work, will join us to share their experiences and support our process. Please bring any work/notes that you have on your process, along with questions for student participants that will inform/guide small group sessions. Students will facilitate these gatherings, providing consultative feedback to participants from the student perspective. Our hope is that you will leave the space energized and inspired to continue in your transformational journey.

Dr. Chanelle Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Africana Studies, at Bryn Mawr College. With over ten years of experience, and a lifelong commitment to revolutionizing education for justice, Dr. Wilson supports self-introspection for outer transformation and guides with the steady underlying premise of love, joy, and hope.

 

 

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Teaching Distracted Minds

 

As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning. But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? This lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016). Lang also writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education and edits a series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press.

 

 

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning

 

Research from the learning sciences and from a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of college or university course, from traditional lectures to flipped classrooms. This workshop will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which is Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016). Lang also writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education and edits a series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press.

 

 

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