As the spring semester began, over 30 faculty members attended the Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence at Temple University and West Chester University’s Scholarship of Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference.
The Center for Teaching Innovation and Nexus Learning (CTiNL) at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) provides a suite of on-campus opportunities to hone teaching, learning and assessment practices; however, these regional conferences allow faculty to further refine their skills, said Jeffrey Ashley, who directs the CTiNL, which covered the faculty’s registration costs.
“They heard presentations by nationally known thought leaders and authors in education, such as James Lang and Jesse Stommel, and interacted with fellow educators from many other institutions in the tri-state area who equally value excellence in teaching,” Ashley says.
These regional conferences highlighting innovative teaching and learning practices make such a difference from early career educators to more seasoned faculty, he says. “A day of professional educational development, especially right at the start of a new semester, is so motivating, catalyzing them to reflect on their current teaching methods and prompting them to make instant changes.”
For example, Monique Chabot, assistant professor of occupational therapy, said she understood why one of her rubrics didn’t work well after attending the Temple conference.
“It’s clumsily weighted. Now, I can fix it,” she said. “I also took the advice of the plenary speaker and used some of what he tells his students about our mutual responsibilities toward learning as part of my intro to the semester. I felt the tone of the class was much lighter afterward.”
Chabot was among the Jefferson faculty members presenting at the meetings as well. At the Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence, she shared her Nexus Learning Grant-funded research “Comparing Student Success Using Metacognitive Software to Traditional Note-Taking Strategies,” along with Anne Bower, professor of biology, and students Amritpal Jagra and Adeyinka Adedeji.
Fashion merchandising and management faculty Nioka Wyatt, Juliana Guglielmi and Camille Avent presented their research “Merging Pop-Up Retail and Educational Experiences: PVH Career Shop,” which won first place in the poster competition voted by attendees of the Faculty Conference on Teaching Excellence.
And Gulbin Ozcan-Deniz, assistant professor of construction management, described her Nexus Online Grant research “Implementing Virtual Reality (VR) in Education: A Guideline for Faculty” at the Scholarship of Teaching, Learning and Assessment Conference.