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2013 Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Academy

The 5th Annual Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Academy

Eberhard Conference Center

Grand Valley State University

Grand Rapids, Michigan

May 19-21, 2013

Making Student Learning Visible

While "Making Student Learning Visible" is not a new idea, it is a call to action that first inspired the scholarship of teaching and learning movement and remains relevant today.

While calls for such visibility have come from both within and outside the academy, many of you may also remember Dr. Dan Butin's similar call to action at the 2012 SoTL Academy.   You may remember Dan asking, "If not faculty, who else then is going to provide for the public and others evidence of the work we do to positively impact student learning and development?"

As Jeff Bernstein, Eastern Michigan University political scientist and co-founder of the SoTL Academy, wrote in his introduction to the book, Making Learning Visible: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at EMU, "If a central goal of the scholarship of teaching and learning becomes making learning visible, the next question that arises is, 'Visible to whom?'"  And to this question, we would add, "And why?"

We invite you to join us for the 2013 SoTL Academy to examine these questions.  We also invite you to make visible the work you do that impacts student learning and development, and to learn from others who will showcase their work.  We hope to see you at the 2013 SoTL Academy!






Keynote Presentations

Using SoTL to Make Student Learning Visible 

Cathy Bishop-Clark & Beth Dietz-Uhler, Miami University 

"Though SoTL serves many positive functions in the academy, the most important is having an impact on student learning..."

A goal of SoTL is to improve student learning.  But until we make student learning visible to ourselves, our colleagues, higher education, and those outside of higher education, the power of SoTL remains underutilized.   In this presentation, we will provide examples of SoTL projects and share how they have helped make student learning visible to us (the instructors), our faculty colleagues, members of the administration, and others.  We will give special attention to how SoTL can help make learning visible to students.  We will invite conference attendees to identify and discuss the ways they have made student learning visible and how SoTL can facilitate this process. 

Keynote Speaker Biographies 

Cathy Bishop-Clark is Professor and Chair of the Computer and Information Technology Department at Miami University in Ohio.  She teaches a variety of software development courses as well as Health Information Technology courses.  Her research has always had a SoTL thread and has ranged from studying Novice programmers to teaching in a mixed-age classroom.   The scholarship of Teaching and Learning has not only informed Cathy's teaching but has also more recently informed her work as an administrator in higher education.

Beth Dietz-Uhler is Professor of Psychology at Miami University.  She teaches a variety of courses in psychology, including introductory psychology, social psychology, research design and analysis, and a graduate teaching practicum.  She has strong interests in teaching online and using technology to enhance student learning.  Her SoTL research interests include small groups, computer-supported interaction, and most recently, learning analytics. 

Beth and Cathy began working together for about 15 years.  They have published and presented on SoTL projects involving computer mediated communication, team teaching, and online learning.  Together they have led multiple faculty learning communities in SoTL.  Most recently Cathy and Beth have published a book (August 2012) Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:  A Guide to the Process and How to Develop a Project from Start to Finish (Stylus Publishing).


We Can't X-Ray Their Brains

Derek Bruff, Vanderbilt University 

"A lot of meaningful activity-struggling, processing, sense-making-is going on in the intermediate space between novice and expert," wrote Randall Bass in his 2012 article " Disrupting Ourselves: The Problem of Learning in Higher Education."  That "intermediate space" is often invisible space-the dark matter of student learning.  We know it's there, we know it has an effect, but we have trouble actually seeing it.  Bass asks, "How can we better understand these intermediate processes? How might we design to foster and capture them?"  In this talk, we'll explore two approaches to answering these questions: using visual engagement techniques to make visible students' knowledge organizations, and leveraging social media to make visible "thin slices" of student learning.  Conference participants will be inspired to find creative ways to shine a light on student learning.