Dr. James M. Lang


SAVE-THE-DATE: Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning

Wednesday August 23, 2023
8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Eberhard Center

Teaching Distracted Minds: Old Challenges, New Contexts
Keynote presentation: James M. Lang

Faculty frequently express concerns about the distractions and distractibility of our students, but our real focus should be on how we help students achieve attention. These sessions draw upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to argue that distractions are endemic to the human condition and can’t be walled out of the physical classroom or online course. Instead, we should focus on creating educational experiences that cultivate and sustain attention. Participants will learn about a variety of potential pathways to developing such experiences for their students.

James M. Lang, Ph.D. is the author of six books, the most recent of which are Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About ItSmall Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning, and Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching. A former Professor of English and Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University, he stepped down from full-time academic work in 2021 to concentrate more fully on his writing and teaching. Jim writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education; his work has been appearing in the Chronicle since 1999.  He founded and co-edits a book series on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press. 

The conference will take place in-person with several options for virtual breakout sessions. The keynote will be recorded and posted for later viewing.


2023 Blackboard Ultra Working Groups

Blackboard Ultra is coming and we are here to support you during that transition!

Students are more engaged, learn more, persist in their studies, and graduate in stronger numbers when we use evidence-based teaching practices. A focus on pedagogy/andragogy first, in combination with the content expertise and research methods must drive our response to technology and platform upgrades.

Each Blackboard Ultra Working Group will be facilitated by an expert graduate of the ACUE course on effective teaching strategies, who is also an early adopter of Bb Ultra. The group will work together in making the move to Bb Ultra align with those best and most effective teaching practices.

We are offering multiple groups so faculty are able to select a group that meets during a time (and in a format) that works best with your schedule: register online today!


View on Facebook

The Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center serves as a catalyst for promoting a culture of teaching excellence at Grand Valley State University.  Rooted in a liberal education tradition and informed by the scholarship of teaching and learning, we advocate innovative teaching and student-centered pedagogies.  We partner with faculty as they prepare students to contribute meaningfully to their professions and societies.

Page last modified May 24, 2023