Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology
Illinois State University
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Sample Session Descriptions

Thank you for your interest in submitting a proposal for the annual University-Wide Teaching & Learning Symposium!

Below are several session descriptions representing a variety of disciplines. Note that session descriptions are used in both the proposal process and, if accepted, in the final program.

You can find additional examples by browsing the session descriptions from previous symposia, organized by year on the menu to the left.

If you would like additional help in crafting your session description, contact CTLT at (309) 438-2542. We’re looking forward to receiving your proposal!

Lessons Learned about Using iPads in the Classroom

Have you noticed the number of students bringing iPads or other smart devices to your classroom? Do your students appear to interact with their devices more than they interact with you? Do you want to engage your students using this technology tool? As teachers, we all know that the more our students interact with the materials, the more they will remember. Allowing that interaction to be conducted with a tool they use daily may enhance their long-term retention of the materials. This session will offer some lessons learned about using iPads in the classroom, examine student perspectives regarding technology in the classroom, and provide an introduction to some of the best apps available from both the student and teacher perspectives. Bring your iPad and join the fun! Please download the app NEARPOD to actively engage in this session.

Developing Professional Behaviors before the Off-Campus Experience

A common requirement in many degree programs includes an off-campus student experience. While this experience may be referred to by a variety of different terms, the commonality across the disciplines is that this experience puts students into an off-campus professional setting before they graduate. It is imperative that students be prepared to meet the expectations of this experience, not only in discipline-specific content areas but in their professional behaviors as well. Often, students are required to attend informational and pre-professional practice meetings as part of the preparation for the experience outside of the classroom. Relying on the pre-professional practice meetings as the primary source of information for professional behaviors may not provide enough foundation for students to be confident in their professional behaviors and responses during the off-campus experience. This session addresses a variety of different and effective strategies used by the Medical Laboratory Science Program that can be easily implemented into most pre-professional courses to better prepare students to meet the expectations for professional behaviors in their off-campus experiences.

Action, Discussion & Blogs, Oh My! What Happened When I Flipped My Course

Considerable recent attention has been paid to the concept of the “flipped classroom” in which the traditional lecture presentation is removed from classroom time, information content is presented during non-classroom time through a variety of media (e.g., video lecture, expert talk, interactive e-text), and classroom time is devoted to engaging, active learning tasks, including project-based learning, small group discussion and debate, and even doing “homework” in class. This session will provide participants with one professor’s journey into the development and evolution of a hybrid “flipped classroom” redesign of a course in which the primary goal is to help future teachers understand the role of instructional and assistive technologies in the education of students with disabilities. It focuses on the reasons to flip the course, the design concepts used to develop the flipped content and its course delivery site, the assessment of the flipped part of the learning process, and the design of the in-class learning activities and projects. Special attention is paid to this last part of the design and implementation process to answer the question: “My gosh, now that I am not lecturing, what do I do? (And why!)”

Student and Mentor Perceptions of Undergraduate STEM Research Experiences

Undergraduate research is becoming an essential component of training in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Guidance for undergraduate researchers (URs) varies, and research experiences have lasting effects on students’ career trajectories. The purpose of this pilot study is to examine URs’ and research mentors’ perceptions of undergraduate research experiences at ISU using a validated survey. We correlate mentors’ perceptions of the research experience with their URs’ perceptions. The survey is used to identify highly effective mentors who will be asked to participate in an interview in an upcoming study. Interviews will give rise to hypothesized best practices for mentoring URs in STEM fields at ISU. This study may also give rise to other future avenues of inquiry, such as how research experiences influence students’ conceptual development of researched topics and motivation toward pursuing research-oriented careers.

The Grading Dilemma: Examining Learner-Centered Assessment in a Summative Culture

Formative assessment techniques are those activities that help the teacher uncover how well and how much the students are learning throughout the instructional phase of a course. Sometimes referred to as “classroom assessment techniques” (Angelo & Cross, 1993), they are not graded, take many forms (such as minute papers, concept maps, and application cards), and involve the student in the learning process through the identification of deficiencies while there is still time to clarify important knowledge and concepts before the graded evaluations. Through interviews with selected faculty members, I explored the connections between the use of formative assessment techniques and deeper levels of learning in students as evidenced by improved performance on summative evaluations and subsequent “adjustments” by the faculty members.

2017-09-15T15:18:23.886-05:00 2017