Three CATL-affiliated faculty present at annual faculty development conference

Three Elon faculty members affiliated with the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning presented at the 42nd annual conference of the POD Network in Higher Education held Oct 26-29 in Montreal, Canada

Three Elon faculty members presented at the 42nd annual conference of the POD Network in Higher Education held October 26-29 in Montreal, Canada. The POD Network in Higher Education is devoted to improving teaching and learning in U.S. higher education and is the scholarly organization for faculty developers. The organization also fulfills an advocacy role nationally, seeking to inform and persuade educational leaders of the value of educational development in institutions of higher education.

Director of CATL and Associate Professor of English Deandra Little co-presented three sessions. One, “Getting Started or Going Further in the Scholarship of Educational Development,” focused on developing a scholarly agenda in the field, and was co-presented with current or former journal editors of To Improve the Academy and the Journal of Academic Development, including Gary Hawkins of Warren Wilson College, Brian Smentkowski  of the University of Idaho, Katie Linder of Oregon State University and David A. Green of Seattle University.

Little also co-presented “Educational Developers: Knowing Ourselves so we can Enhance Our Impact” with Laurie Grupp of Providence College. This session shared and applied a framework being used in their study of characteristics, dispositions and meta-competencies that educational developers employ when facilitating change with individuals, groups, and campus cultures.

Associate Director of CATL and Associate Professor of Psychology and the Neuroscience Program Amy Overman co-presented two sessions. Overman and Little co-presented, “Practicing What We Preach: A Process for Planning Evidence-Based Programming.” The session focused on designing evidence-based programming for faculty by combining transparency (Winklemes, et al., 2015, 2016), Felten, Little, Orquist-Ahrens, & Reder’s (2013) heuristic for program planning, and backward design (Fink, 2013).  Overman and Little shared examples of their planning process at Elon, asked participants to apply the process to planning a program at their own campus, and encouraged participants to identify next steps for implementing the programming, such as potential partners, resources needed, and a timeline.

Overman also presented, “The Science of Teaching and Learning: What We Know, What We Don’t Know, What We Might Know,” with, Michael Palmer, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of Virginia. This session shared current research on the science of learning and resources on how learning works. Evidence from the learning sciences has demonstrated many promising findings with regard to teaching and learning, but caution is warranted against the over-extension of neuroscience findings to applied settings. The session explored how to use scientific evidence to improve teaching and learning, how to determine what sources of evidence are trustworthy, and considered what limitations do, or should, exist when applying these findings to actual classroom settings.

Assistant Provost, Executive Director of CEL, and Professor of History Peter Felten co-presented two sessions. He facilitated a day-long, pre-conference workshop with 80 participants focused on “Getting Started in Educational Development” with Isis Artze-Vega of Florida International University, Tershia Pinder-Grover of the University of Michigan, Suzanne Tapp of Texas Tech University, Jason Craig of Loyola, Donna Ellis of the University of Waterloo, Debie Lohe of St. Louis University, Anna Donnell of the University of Cincinnati, and Amber Bryce-Young of Marquette University.

Felten also co-presented “What Matters Most in Gateway Courses” with Susannah McGowan of King’s College London, Isis Artze-Vega of Florida International University, and Drew Koch and Stephanie Foote of the John N. Gardner Institute. Drawing on a study of more than 350 faculty members who teach foundational courses, this workshop explored themes linked to effective educational development for these important courses.

The 2017 POD Network conference brought together more than 960 faculty and educational developers, stimulating growth and innovation in educational development, and offering invaluable opportunities for the exchange of evidence-based ideas and practices in higher education. 

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