College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Pres. Haas speaks with Prof. Austin and Prof. Menon Prof. Anderson & Prof. Libman Prof. Penning & Prof. Wagendorp
Prof. Aboufadel Prof. Barrows, J Jellema, Prof. Carlson  Photos from Teaching Roundtables


College of Liberal Art and Sciences Teaching Roundtables 2015

CLAS Teaching Roundtables November 23, 2015

The CLAS Teaching Roundtables bring 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 23, 2015

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Pere Marquette Room (2204 KC)

To register, e-mail your two preferred topics by clicking here.  The deadlines for registrations is Friday, Nov.13.  

Your topic choices: 

Choices will be posted closer to the event





2014 tables were

Challenge Table (Brad Ambrose, Physics Department)

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. Challenge table participants are asked to provide prompts and questions of interest along with their sign up information.

“Find Your Weaknesses, Build on Your Strengths: Online Teaching and Learning” (Peter Anderson, Classics Department)

The Department of Classics has continuously sought out new audiences for our courses while also trying to integrate students who encounter Latin or Ancient Greek  after they come to Grand Valley into a scheduling system that (for a small department) works against scheduling innovation and change for 4 day/week classes. I saw the potential for a fully online Elementary Latin sequence, and worked for instructor and course approval, finally running the sequence last Winter and Spring semester. I shall discuss my experiences in preparing for online instruction, in designing online content and in the success and failure of the effort. 

Experiences of Teaching MTH 110 as a Hybrid Course” (Marcia Frobish, Mathematics Department and Kim Kenward, Instructional Design for eLearning [iDel])

This roundtable discussion will center on teaching a math class in the hybrid format.  We will discuss the training that is helpful to go through before teaching a hybrid class, the important details of converting a traditional class to a hybrid class, as well as some tips to remember as you are teaching in the hybrid format.  This will be an interactive discussion that includes an iDeL expert, so please bring your questions!

“Incorporating International Perspectives in the Classroom” (Laurence José, Writing Department)

The main goal of this roundtable will be to foster a discussion that explores the affordances of international perspectives in the classroom to enhance students’ learning. Specifically, I will discuss strategies for incorporating international and cross-cultural perspectives in the classroom. Drawing from my work in 200, 300, and 400-level writing courses, I will provide examples of assignments and activities that invite students to consider their practices beyond national and cultural borders to help them develop an awareness of the contextual dimension of writing conventions.

“Cross-Cultural Learning in a Capstone Course” (Lisa Kasmer, Mathematics Department)

Learn how GVSU students engage in cross-cultural learning, personal and professional growth through interactions with teachers, students, and locals in Tanzania during a month long study abroad experience. Our students begin to develop cultural competencies as they gain knowledge through experiences that reflect a different cultural frame of reference, and stimulate their interest in cross-cultural and international learning. Students become aware of how teaching is practiced in a cultural context different from their own as they develop self-confidence and self-reliance, while stimulating a desire for exploration and trying new things, and expanding their ability to interact in unfamiliar situations.

You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of two of our graduates that have accepted full-time teaching positions, where they will teach mathematics and science in a secondary school in Tanzania.


“Lessons Learning on Flipping College Algebra” (Lynne Mannard, Mathematics Department)

Several years ago I was inspired to change my college algebra class.  My time in class was spent talking and demonstrating techniques and problems on the board. Little time was spent observing student work and fielding questions.  Moreover, few questions came from students after they had attempted the material because there wasn’t any class time. Minimal time was devoted to questions the following class period because we had to dive right into a new lesson. Clearly, a new approach was needed.

I spent considerable time researching the new trend of flipping the classroom and implemented my own version of it several years ago. Student response was divided; loved it or didn’t. What was not divided were results: improved exam scores and final grades.

In this roundtable discussion I will present my original concept of the flipped classroom, discuss positive and negative outcomes, many changes I have implemented, and future direction.

“When a Course Serves Multiple Masters: Building Syllabi (and Programs) through Backwards Design” (Carolyn Shapiro-Shapin, History Department)

Courses that serve as electives for majors and also as options for General Education and SWS attract students from across the university. Such courses pose two challenges: first, they must meet the content and skills goals for multiple programs; and second, students enter these courses with widely varying levels of content exposure and writing skills. Backwards Design offers a strategy for intentionally and organically structuring a series of assignments and classroom exercises to facilitate the acquisition of the desired knowledge base and skill set. Backwards Design is also useful in program design. I will share Backwards Design strategies used in my HST 370: History of Medicine and Health class and in the formation of the Certificate in Medical and Health Humanities, and welcome input from roundtable participants.


Lunch menu [

Roasted Sweet Corn Bisque (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Sliced Turkey Breast and Ham with Swiss Cheese, Red Onions, Romaine, Tomato and Green Olive Pesto Spread on Ciabatta
Veggie Wraps
Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers, Red Onions, Pepper, Celery and Lemon Seasoning (Vegan, Gluten Free)
Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free)
Ice Water, Coffee, Tea


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 instead with this information:

  • your name
  • your department/school
  • your table first choice (such as "The Undergraduate Student Thesis"--read about all of your choices below)
  • your table second choice





Page last modified June 30, 2015