College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
|Photos from Teaching Roundtables|
College of Liberal Art and Sciences Teaching Roundtables 2012
The CLAS Teaching Roundtables brings together faculty from across the college for lunch, round table discussions, and sharing of ideas about effective teaching. Faculty members will present teaching techniques in small group settings to encourage discussion. Monday, November 19, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. in the Pere Maquette (KC).
For the lunch menu, click here.
Please register for the Teaching Roundtables. By clicking here, an e-mail will pop up that contains all the prompts for your registration. If your browser does not allow e-mails to originate from webpages, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org instead with this information:
- your name
- your department/school
- your table first choice (such as "Experiencing Nonviolence: Interactive Learning" or "Challenge table"--read about all of your choices below)
- your table second choice
Rachel Anderson, English Department
"Experiencing Nonviolence: Interactive Learning"
It’s an educational truism that active classrooms or learning experiences engage more students and facilitate deeper learning than a more passive information-reception mode. Yet I’ve always been challenged to include these activities in my class without feeling like I’m sacrificing a lot of content. How to make an “activity” a genuine learning experience is the topic of this roundtable. While I do not think I’ve fully explored all aspects of this challenge, I have developed, for a theme class I often teach entitled “Literary Responses to War and Peace,” an interactive group scenario around the topic of “nonviolence” that students have consistently found engaging, thought-provoking, and, from their writing responses afterwards, a significant help to them in understanding the key concepts related to nonviolent thought and action. Using this experience as a jumping-off point, we’ll discuss the benefits and challenges associated with interactive learning in the college classroom.
Cory DiCarlo, Chemistry Department
"Flipping a Large Classroom"
The necessity of large enrollment sections in introductory level courses can lead to difficulty in preserving the frequent interaction that helps develop critical scientific reasoning and collaboration skills in students. A frequent teaching strategy is still to approach the class using the Sage on the Stage model of tradition lecturing which minimizes interaction between both the instructor and students, and between students as well. With the wide spread adoption by students of technological means of reviewing multimedia information, it has become possible to use time outside of the classroom to present material in a form very similar to a traditional lecture, thereby freeing up face to face classroom time for more interactive styles of learning. To accomplish this in a large classroom environment requires some rethinking of the interaction between outside and inside of class learning approaches. We will be discussing successes and learning opportunities faced during the past semester in a large section freshman chemistry course.
Lisa Kasmer, Mathematics Department
"Promoting Effective Student Led Discussions"
Students are accustomed to being participants in class discussions; however, most students have not had the opportunity to lead a class discussion. This can be a very intimidating experience for college students. Promoting effective (and non-intimidating) student-led discussions will be the focus of this session. Suggestions on how to help students prepare for leading discussions, initiating the discussion, sustaining the discussion, and finally reflecting on the discussion will be shared.
Kim Roberts, Film & Video Production - School of Communications
"Sleeping With the Enemy"
Learn how filmmakers elicit emotional responses from their audience by utilizing line, shape, color, and space. You will leave this roundtable with a newfound suspicion about whether these visual components are your friend or foe. Familiarity with the film Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) is encouraged but not required. This will be an interactive discussion.
Laurel Westbrook, Sociology Department
"Innovations in Pedagogy: New Ways to Teach to Multiple Learning Styles"
In this roundtable, I will present two ways of teaching to multiple learning styles that have not yet moved into mainstream pedagogy. The first is the use of music in the classroom, specifically opening each class session with a music video that illustrates a course concept. This technique appeals to both oral and visual learners and has the added advantage of often encouraging students to think about the course and its concepts any time they hear the song. The second is using video making as a form of assessment that encourages higher levels of thinking and creativity. A video project can take the place of writing a paper or doing a class presentation. Besides assessing knowledge, these projects can be used to promote learning outside the university by students uploading them to youtube for others to see. After presenting these two innovations, we will discuss as a group how to use these in various types of classrooms and what other types of innovations that participants have used in their teaching.
Based on a suggestion by a previous year’s participant, we will also have an additional “Challenge” table where faculty can bring up for discussion and brainstorming other topics related to pedagogy. You will be invited to provide your prompts and questions of interest if you sign up for the Challenge table.
- Wild Mushroom Bisque (Vegetarian & Gluten Free)
- White Chicken Chilli (Gluten Free)
- Sliced Turkey with Shaved Parmesan, Pesto, & Caramelized Onions on 6-Grain Sandwiches
- Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- Chopped Romaine & Veggie Salad with Chef’s Vinaigrette (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- Hummus & Spinach Artichoke Dips with Pita Chips and Veggie Platter
- Assorted Breads & Rolls
- Ice Water, Coffee, & Assorted Sodas
- Seasonal Fresh Fruit Tarts
- Assorted Mini Sweets
- Fresh Fruit with Chocolate Ganash
2011 Teaching Roundtables Participant
Jennifer Gross Psychology Department
Nancy Mack Mathematics Department
Kim Roberts School of Communications [unfortunately, Kim is unable to participate due to illness.]
Merritt Taylor Biomedical Sciences Department
Richard Vallery Physics Department
Abstracts. CLICK HERE
Menu (may be subject to slight changes):
- Autumn Vegetable Bisque (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)
- White Chicken Chili (Gluten Free)
- Sliced Turkey with Shaved Parmesan, Pesto and Caramelized Onions on 6 Grain
- Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan and Gluten Free)
- Chopped Romaine and Veggie Salad with Chef’s Vinaigrette (Vegan and Gluten Free)
- Hummus and Spinach Artichoke Dips with Pita Chips and Vegetable Platter
- Assorted Breads and Rolls
- Homemade Trail Mix Bars and Granola Bars, Caramel Apple Dessert Bars, Chocolate Ganache Cookie Sandwiches
- Ice Water, Coffee, Assorted Sodas
2010 Teaching Roundtables Participants
|David Eick & Janel Pettes Guikema||Modern Languages & Literatures|
|Karen Libman||School of Communications|
|Gisella Licari||Modern Languages and Literatures|
|Tim Penning||School of Communications|
Monday, November 22, 2010
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Butternut Squash Soup (Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Has Dairy)
Wild Rice & Chicken Soup (Gluten Free, Has Dairy)
Turkey with Mixed Greens, Caramelize Onions & Cranberry mayo on Ciabatta Bread
Ham & Swiss with Apple Cider Aioli and Greens on Sourdough
Sweet Potato Salad (Vegetarian, Gluten Free)
Chilled Green Bean and Cranberry Salad (Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Mixed Green Salad with Ranch & Chef's Vinaigrette
Dessert: Caramel Apple Dessert Bites & Pumpkin Bars
Grand River Room (2250 KC)
Audience: This event is open to all CLAS instructors (including TT, AFF, VIS, ADJ and APs)
Contact: Keesha Hardiman (CLAS College Office, ph 1-2495)
Edward Aboufadel, Mathematics Department
“Writing Assignments in Mathematics”
MTH 210 (Communicating in Mathematics) is a key course in all three mathematics majors, as it is an important pre-requisite for most of our upper-level courses. In the course, students learn to write mathematical proofs and to understand the importance of proper mathematical reasoning. It is also an SWS course, so at least 3,000 words of writing is required, revision is expected to be taught as part of the writing process, and writing is expected to be taught. At the CLAS Teaching Showcase, I will indicate how our department teaches writing in MTH 210 through our Proof Portfolio Project and various other writing assignments.
Bradley Ambrose, Physics Department
“Using Inquiry Methods to Improve Learning in Upper Division Science Courses: An Example in Advanced Mechanics”
Over thirty years of research in physics education has demonstrated that introductory courses delivered in a traditional lecture format (“teaching by telling”) do very little to develop conceptual understanding, problem solving skills, and scientific reasoning ability in students. More recent research has shown that even physics majors—who comprise a small percentage of students who take first-year physics—are not immune to the conceptual and reasoning difficulties identified among introductory students. In fact, many difficulties identified in the context of advanced physics classes seem to have their roots in basic concepts. This presentation will provide an example of how research has been used toward the development and refinement of guided-inquiry teaching methods in upper-level courses for majors. Participants will learn about how such methods have been used in advanced mechanics courses in a variety of institutions nationwide, with those results suggesting how this approach can be adapted for a wide range of courses and science disciplines.
Peter Anderson, Classics Department
“Contemplative Pedagogy at
“The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will ... An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.” William James (1890). *The Principles of Psychology*. A growing body of research shows that the deliberate use of mindfulness and other contemplative practices in higher education can increase student engagement, focus in the classroom, and academic performance. Indeed, contemplative components or courses of study have been adopted into many programs at many institutions, from the Contemplative Studies Initiative at
Nathan Barrows, Chemistry Department
“Promoting Student Engagement in an Asynchronous Culture”
As educators we are usually cognizant of shifts in student subculture; unfortunately, our application of “conventional wisdom” may lead us to an incomplete understanding of the impact of a shift on the efficacy of our pedagogical techniques. Although students have access to many modes of instantaneous communication (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, text messaging) in their “always on” culture, many use these services to slow and control the rate of communication. In this presentation, I will critique several techniques I use to engage students asynchronously (e.g. screencasts, online office hours, and website). In the subsequent discussion, I would like to learn about your perceptions of the impacts of the “always on” cultural shift on your classes.
David Eick and Janel Pettes Guikema, Modern Languages and Literatures Department
"The iPod Project"
Thanks to generous support from the Pew Faculty Teaching and
Deborah Herrington, Chemistry Department
“Using Clickers to Enhance Classroom Instruction”
If you are interested in learning about how clickers can be used to engage and assess students, thinking about using clickers in your class and wanting to know more about them, or are already using clickers in your class but are want to talk about issues you are having or other ways they can be used, then this session is for you! This session will be an interactive discussion so bring your questions, comments, and ideas. Having used clickers for several years at GVSU to engage and assess students in my larger section chemistry classes, and having read a lot of the research literature on the use of clickers to try maximize their impact on my teaching, I look forward to answering questions that people have about using clickers in their class or facilitating discussions about any issues of interest surrounding the use of clickers in the classroom.
“Teaching as Performance: Exploring Performance Techniques for more Effective Teaching Description”
Do teachers need to be performers? How can “performance techniques” enhance teaching? How much of teaching is performative? Can actor training help you to involve and engage students more successfully? Tips from actor training to inform your teaching style.
Gisella Licari, Modern Languages and Literatures Department
“Enhancing Team Skills through Collaborative Projects”
Collaborative projects are powerful tools to strengthen linguistic and cultural skills in second language education. Student group work emphasizes collaboration with individual and team role participation. Digital teaching through iMovie videos, storytelling through Photoshop, and the use of selected iTunes lyrics are just a few of the various collaborative projects that I have implemented. Students from introductory through higher intermediate levels are required to create presentations or narrate short stories in order to strengthen linguistic and cultural tips. The incorporation of music into curricula is the ultimate core of my research because it enhances second language vocabulary and challenges in cultural acquisition.
Students have a chance to organize knowledge in steps and manage time within their group. They are able to share their individual gifts, sometimes hidden, when asked to produce individual projects. Students are able to engage in a small community further developing life-long learning and liberal education skills. The combination of graphics and text narration help them to work on content presentation through visuals.
Charles Pazdernik, Classics Department
“Ready to work: A Quick and Dirty Approach to Holding Students Accountable for Course Content through Blackboard”
After much trial and error, I've found success in integrating automated assessment of student preparation, in the form of content-based online quizzes administered through the Blackboard system, into the design both of the large-ish (50+ student) GenEd classical civilization courses offered by the Department of Classics and the Honors Classical World sequence. What had been one of the most frequent grounds of complaint in student evaluations (too many quizzes/too hard/too much weight in the final grade) became accepted and even celebrated.
The solution, I found, was to hold students responsible for a moderate percentage of quizzes offered much more frequently than in the past (roughly, 60% of quizzes offered biweekly, on average, throughout the semester) while developing a routine and a set of tools that enabled me to administer the process with a minimum of difficulty.
This approach diminishes the stakes of any particular quiz, enables those who are well motivated and prepared anyway to discharge their obligation relatively early in the semester and to focus upon other things, and encourages those who have more difficulty in mastering the material to keep after it. My impression is that the quality of preparation and retention of the material is improved as a result, and class time is available for more productive uses.
“Using Social Media in Teaching”
Social media has been an explosive phenomenon in the past year, with millions of individuals and organizations using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other tools regularly. These same tools have exciting pedagogical uses that can extend the classroom by enhancing the relationships students have with their professors, peers, professionals in their field, and current relevant literature. The use of blogs, social networks, social bookmarking, aggregators, and topical networks will be discussed, as well as some of the cautions and concerns related to using social media for education.
Stephen Rowe, Philosophy Department
“The Problem-Inquiry Method”
A brief description of the Problem-Inquiry Method: its orientation to problems, questions, and issues which we share in common as human beings/citizens, its assumption that we (along with our students) already have some “answer” to the question/problem which is under inquiry at any moment in a course, and that development of that answer can occur most effectively when our answer is put into dialogue with the answers of others to the same problem/question – others present both physically and bibliographically. Description will illuminate the Problem-Inquiry Method by contrast with the “traditional” method of dictation on one hand, and the “alternative” method of free discussion on the other (as reflective of the tension in Western culture and liberal education between Aristotle and Plato). And the case will be made, with reference to the “examined life” of Socrates, for engagement of the Problem-Inquiry Method as the most direct developmental practice through which the art of critical thinking emerges.
Stephanie Schaertel, Chemistry Department
“A Mastery Approach to Grading Writing in an Upper Level SWS Course in the Sciences”
As professionals, when we submit an article to a journal we are evaluated in a pass-fail manner that corresponds to a "mastery" method of grading. The article is either accepted or rejected. Along with notice of acceptance/rejection, there is usually some feedback. I am seeking to make my grading process in an upper-level, writing-intensive laboratory course mimic this process. My goals are: to create an authentic writing experience, to improve student writing, to increase students' ownership of their own progress and learning, and to prepare students for the types of writing experiences they will have as graduates. I will share the methods and techniques that I have used in our course to achieve these goals and I will invite from participants their own ideas on this topic.
This event was held Monday, November 22, 2010
Page last modified November 8, 2012