Teaching and Learning Conference draws record attendance
Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning, and Teaching & Learning Technologies, planned the Aug. 16 program.
Hundreds of professors and program directors from colleges and universities in the Carolinas and Virginia visited campus Thursday for the ninth annual Teaching & Learning Conference sponsored by Elon University.
Ashley Finley, the senior director of assessment and research for the Association of American Colleges and University, was the plenary session's keynote speaker. Her remarks, "How to hit a moving target: Assessing engaged learning," offered examples of how some educators are using social media and other web skills to inspire student learning.
Organizers said the number of conference participants was impressive, but they were equally pleased at the number of universities or organizations represented. Forty institutions had at least one representative at the conference, and in some instances, colleges provided transportation to bring several faculty members to Elon University.
"There's a lot of experience in these rooms that make discussions all the more stimulating," said Assistant Provost Peter Felten, director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.
With more than 300 participants, Thursday's conference surpassed previous attendance marks. Sessions examined evidence of teaching effectiveness, helping first-generation college students "negotiate an unfamiliar landscape," and using Twitter and other digital media to engage students, among other topics.
Many sessions were led or co-led by Elon faculty, though Duke, Davidson, N.C. A&T and Wake Forest universities were also represented among workshop facilitators.
An afternoon exhibit in the LaRose Digital Theatre allowed conference participants to view new technologies and interact with software and social media platforms discussed in earlier sessions.
Scott Hildebrand, a member of the conference planning committee and assistant director of Teaching and Learning Technologies, described the technology exhibit as a way for faculty at some institutions to explore resources that are readily available at Elon.
"This piques their interest and gets them started," Hildebrand said.