2011 Teaching and Learning Conference Materials

Several presenters from the 2011 Teaching and Learning Conference have generously provided their materials for sharing.


Morning Plenary:  Dr. Ray Land

Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge (video of opening plenary)

Ray Land, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

Ray Land, an internationally known scholar in teaching and learning, discussed student learning and transformation, centered around the theory of  “Threshold Concepts”. Land suggested that in order to transform, or make significant leaps in awareness, a learner must go through states of uncertainty, called ‘liminal’ states, and let go of previous learning to integrate new ways of understanding.

Venturing into Strange Places: linking research and teaching to prepare graduates for the 21st Century (pdf of PPT)

Ray Land, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

In a concurrent session, Land expressed ideas about the kinds of attributes graduates will need as they enter society and employment in the 21st century. He proffered that we cannot anticipate the future but we can prepare students for it, and it is likely that in this process will involve a certain strangeness.

For more information about Dr. Land's work:

Enhancing Teaching-Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses (ETL Project) web site includes a series of conference reports, including Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge: Linkages to Ways of Thinking and Practising within the Disciplines by Jan Meyer and Rand Land, Report 4, May 2003.

Video interview between Dr. Land and Dr. Iain Mac Labhrainn at the at the NUI Galway conference on teaching and learning in June 2007.


Afternoon Plenary:  Jim Groom


Independent Domains: Thresholds to Teaching and Learning on the Open Web (video of PPT with audio)

Jim Groom, University of Mary Washington

Jim Groom, an instructional technologist and Web 2.0 guru from Mary Washington University suggests that independent domains and open web tools that can provide teaching and learning opportunities for wide participation outside of institutional rules and regulations.

Read more information about Jim Groom and DIY open web initiatives.



Concurrent Sessions

Effective Feedback and Efficient Grading (pdf of PPT)

Katie King and Peter Felten, Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Elon University

King and Felten discussed how it is possible to provide feedback that students will actually use and how to develop grading practices more closely tied to educational objectives and learning practices. They engaged participants about whether all student work has to be graded, the pros and cons of peer evaluation, and the often subtle ways we communicate our expectations.

Service Learning Definitions and Conceptualizing Service-Learning as Pedagogy (pdf)

from the session: Do Counter-Normative Pedagogies have Threshold Concepts?

Patti Clayton, PHC Ventures, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Clayton suggested that the idea of threshold concepts can also be applied to pedagogies as well as disciplines, using service-learning as an example. As co-learners, those involved in service learning fosters shifts in perspective, practice, and identity that seem to point to threshold concepts associated with learning how to teach and learn and serve.

Recommendations when teaching online (pdf)

from the session: Teaching Online: Myths and Mythbusters

Karl Sierneth, Brent Edwards (student), Cheri Crabb, Randy Piland, Ben McFadyen, Elon University

This session addressed how myths about complexities related to teaching online can be “busted” by working closely with faculty to enhance their online effectiveness by applying successful strategies and methods used at Elon.