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2017 Annual University Conference on Teaching, Learning, and Technology

Office for Faculty Development

Friday, May 12, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM (EDT)

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Event Details

Reaching 21st Century Students: "Teaching Values, Teaching Practices"

Date: Friday, May 12, 2017
Time: 8 AM – 2:30 PM

Sponsored by the Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT), Healey Library, Office for Faculty Development, CAPS. and IT-Educational Technology

Program (Please see the app or website for final room numbers)

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.

Welcome – Opening remarks
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

9:00 – 9:30 a.m.

4 Speed Talks
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions I

1.1 Teaching Research in the Composition Classroom in a Post Truth Age

Room: McCormack Hall


The presenters will share their current experience creating a composition course that addresses the issues and challenges associated with teaching and doing research in a so-called Post Truth Age. What does this mean in the context of the composition classroom where we expect our students to think critically, ask questions, and examine multiple perspectives on issues as they arrive at their own well-reasoned understanding of truth? The presenters will share both conceptual and practical methods including readings, classroom activities, and assignments they have developed in response to Professor Rodgers’ (emeritus professor of history at Princeton University), call to commit ourselves to teaching our students “…truth’s complexity and the processes by which one searches for it.” 


  • Presenters: Victoria Kingsley, English; Teresa Maceira, Healey Library 


1.2 Student Voice vs. Academic Voice: I Don't Speak (Academic) English, Only

This workshop is designed to explore issues surrounding the connection between students' "academic voice" and their "student voice," how they think about this distinction, and how they incorporate both voices into their writing and academic lives. We will explore topics such as academic language as shorthand for Whiteness or Americanness and how students feel the need to change their speech and writing patterns to fit into the academic paradigm. The workshop is designed so that participants leave contemplating broader strategies for moving beyond the standard thinking about Standard Academic English.  

  • Workshop Facilitators: Kurt Klopmeier, Kathleen Raddatz, Timothy Connors, Meesh McCarthy, Krysten Hill, and Ian Drinkwater, Academic Support Programs 

1.3 An Interprofessional Seminar to Improve Post-Hospital Medication Safety. 
This session will review the design and implementation of an interprofessional seminar to address post-hospital medication management, which is a common and complex patient safety concern. Interactive teaching strategies and preliminary seminar feedback will be shared.  

  • Presenter: Janice Foust, Nursing 

1.4 A "Clicker" Toolkit 
Classroom Personal Response Systems, aka “clickers” are being used in a wide and growing range of classes at UMass Boston. “Clickers” facilitate active learning by allowing instructors to rapidly collect students’ responses to questions and other activities in real time during class. This interactive presentation (we will use iClickers) is intended as a “clicker toolkit” – a set of ideas that should apply in a wide range of classes. Brian will discuss and demonstrate the different learning goals that clicker questions can address and the different types of questions to meet different learning goals. He will also explore the role of the right answer in effective clicker use – when to give a hint; how to address wrong answers; when to explain the right answer; etc. In addition, he will demonstrate innovative uses of clickers in simulations. Although this session will use iClickers – the principles explored are technology-independent. 

  • Presenter: Brian White, Biology 

10:55 – 11:55 a.m. Breakout Sessions II

2.1 CIT Roundtable 
Presenters: Michael Johnson, Public Policy & Public Affairs; and Bonnie Miller, American Studies 


2.2 Reaching Students By Bringing Theory and Practice Together  

P1: Real World Math 
This presentation focuses on making the topic of learning math relevant to students’ current and future lives outside the classroom. Using the topic of compound interest, Ann shows how students learn about its effects on wealth building by comparing the different returns on a Roth IRA based on principal, rate and time of their investment. They also explore the present and future value of money, including the value of taking a lump sum versus a yearly payout if one wins the lottery.  
  • Presenter: Ann Evans, Mathematics
P2: Bringing Theory to Life: Introducing Engineering Design and Experiments into a Theoretical Lower-Level Engineering Course ​

This presentation shows how student engagement was introduced in a theory-based sophomore engineering class that is traditionally lecture-based with no experiments. Using dynamics concepts taught in the course, student teams brought robotic applications to life with an egg-catching robot and 3D modeling and printing. Through semester-long ‘eggbot’ team design projects, high-level engineering topics that are traditionally a part of upper-level courses (teamwork, design, 3D printing, analysis of experimental data and comparison to theoretical predictions, technical writing) are introduced early in the engineering curriculum. 

  • Presenter: Joanna Dahl, Engineering 

2.3 Reaching online learners: Strategies and Affect 

P1: The Affective Dimension in an Online Class

This presentation identifies and proposes methods of incorporating socio-affective strategies which are effective in compensating for the lack of direct human interaction in an online class. Using socio-affective strategies enriches the acquisition of skills and improves the effectiveness of instruction.  

  • Presenter: Diego Mansilla, Latin American/Iberian Studies 
P2: Integrating In-class Teaching with Online Learning 

This presentation focuses on the teaching approaches adopted by a new interdisciplinary program which offers its curriculum in face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses. Aroon introduces the various strategies developed by program course instructors to provide similar learning experiences to both in-class and online students. These included discussion boards, and Voicethread among others. He also shows how in-class lectures were captured by the Echo 360 active learning platform, and live-streamed to online students. The presentation will also discuss general perspectives and trends in online teaching and learning, as well as some of the challenges faced by both students and faculty. 

  • Presenter: Aroon Manoharan, Performing Arts 

2.4 Reaching Students through Experiential Learning 

P1: Arranger-In Residence: Bridging Traditional Coursework with Practical Applications

This session shows how a course was created to go beyond having students read about a subject (orchestration), and then complete worksheets. Instead, the newly designed course provided a space where students could connect their understanding of the course materials, and interact with middle school students in the community that are deemed “struggling” by the district. On campus, students were introduced to software and orchestration techniques, while engaging in philosophical discussions about access and equity, and urban music education. This hands-on presentation will feature practical examples of the curricular initiative including unit design, teaching strategies, and samples of students’ final podcasts. The presenter will engage attendees in a discussion about how curricular strategies can bridge the theory practice divide, while examining urban education in practical and meaningful ways. 

  • Presenter: Sommer Forrester, Performing Arts 
P2: The Art of Poetry in the Real World of the Classroom
There is much talk in academia now about “bringing the class to the students,” making their own experiences relevant to what they learn in the classroom. This presentation shows how it was made an essential component of a general education course, the art of poetry intermediate seminar, by sharing some of the methods used to do so. Deb will explain the tools she used in the classroom, and in the online version of the class, to bring the students together, but, even more importantly, to bring the study of poetry TO THEM.  
  • Presenter: Deb Budden, English 

12:00 – 1:20 p.m.

Lunch and Innovative Teaching Awards
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

Information Tables
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions III

3.1 Team-Based Learning: What Is It? Can You Apply It To Your Classroom? 
Three instructors of biology courses, for majors and non-majors, will discuss their experiences transforming their classrooms from lecture to team-based learning – an approach applicable to all disciplines. Team-based learning (TBL) is a ‘flipped classroom’ approach, which requires students come to class prepared to engage with the material.  Student preparation is assessed, in class, by quizzes that are taken first individually, then within Teams, which consist of 3-7 students and remain in place across the semester.  Working as a Team, during class, is central to this student-focused type of learning.  Teams solve oral application questions, which can be graded or not graded, and complete written assignments together during the class period. Three instructors have transformed their traditionally taught, lecture–based biology courses, for majors and non-majors, to ones that use TBL – either entirely or in part.  Each instructor will provide specific details about this transformation and offer advice to those considering adopting this approach. 

  • Presenters: Alexia Pollack, Stefanie Gazda, Stephanie Wood, Biology

3.2 Developing Our Teaching Practices as Non-tenure track (NTT) Faculty 
Room: McCormack Hall

Non-tenure track faculty (NTT) provide a crucial capacity in supporting the university as a center of learning that is based on diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives, connections to the local and global community, and bridging theory and practice. In this panel discussion, we will explore ways that NTT faculty (including other staff with teaching roles) can continue to strengthen their teaching practices, engage students, and build community and collaboration within the wider university. The panel consists of NTT faculty who will share some of the approaches and outcomes of participating in the UMass Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT) NTT Faculty Seminar during spring 2017. This will be followed with a discussion among all about areas where we are finding successes and those with room for development in meeting the challenges of teaching as an NTT faculty. We will also consider how we can keep supporting our own growth as we continue to support the students. 

  • Presenters: Jeremy Szteiter, Critical and Creative Thinking; Tracey Rogers, Susanna Gallor, Psychology; Abigail Machson-Carter, Academic Support Programs; Kathryn Archard, Management; Kristen Callahan, Accouting & Finance; Chinelo Ejueyitchie, Women's & Gender Studies

3.3  Mixed Reality Simulations: Exploring the Possibilities of Learning with Avatars at UMass Boston
Room: McCormack Hall

Similar to flight simulators used to train airline pilots prior to flying an actual airplane, mixed-reality environments can serve as an intermediary step for students to practice newly learned skills on avatars playing various roles. The avatars provide students with the opportunity to practice problem solving in challenging scenarios while being observed by teachers who can provide feedback. In this interactive presentation, Kristin reflects on lessons learned from implementation of mixed-reality simulations as part of special education graduate coursework over the past two years, present an interactive opportunity to engage with the avatars, invite participants to envision how this learning tool could benefit students in their own programs, and speak about how other faculty members can become involved and utilize this technology in their programs.  

  • Presenter: Kristin Murphy, Curriculum & Instruction 

3.4 Expanding and Eploring Writing Transfer

Room: McCormack Hall

This session expands and explores research on transfer of writing knowledge and practice, including transfer’s role in the developing of writerly identities, new findings from Teaching for Transfer research, and examinations of the confluences and divergences between teaching for transfer and critical pedagogies.  

  • Presenters: Matthew Davis, English; Lauren Marshall Bowen, English

For questions or comments please email Camille Martinez at

For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.

Have questions about 2017 Annual University Conference on Teaching, Learning, and Technology? Contact Office for Faculty Development

When & Where

McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Ryan Lounge
UMass Boston
Boston, MA 02125

Friday, May 12, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 2:30 PM (EDT)

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