About

The Center for Teaching, Research & Learning sponsors two or three conversational lunches per semester focused on topics of special interest to Faculty. Past Noontime Conversations have included Navigating Diverse Political Ideologies in the Classroom and Beyond, Addressing Students’ Stress and Mental Health Issues, Active Learning: Why It Matters, and Building a Culturally Sustaining Classroom. If you have a particular issue you would like to share with faculty in this venue, please contact Anna Olsson, at x6077.

Fall 2019

Engaging International Students In the Classroom

Wednesday, September 18 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Butler Board Room

Shari Pattillo (Associate Director of International Student Development, KSB), Joseph Mortati (Professorial Lecturer, Department of Information, Technology and Analytics, KSB), Angela Dadak (International Student Coordinator for the Department of Literature) & Polina Vinogradova (Director of the TESOL Program, Department of World Languages and Cultures)

Fostering engagement from each student is important for not only an individual’s learning, but also the experience of the whole class, as students learn from one another. At this Noontime Conversation, we will discuss with colleagues in CAS and KSB the how and why for strategies that are effective for engaging international learners in the classroom. What approaches do they take for different types of assignments or learning outcomes? What strategies have they used for classroom activities? What lessons have they learned along the way, and how have their student outcomes and classroom experiences changed with the incorporation of these strategies? During this session the audience will hear a variety of classroom strategies that they can take back to their own classrooms. Our conversation will include consideration of graduate and undergraduate classrooms.

Spring 2019

Being a Part of DC, Not Apart from DC: Working with Community Partners for Research and Student Learning

Tuesday, March 19 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Butler Board Room

Garrett Graddy-Lovelace, School of International Service
Jane Palmer, School of Public Affairs
Alicia Horton, Executive Director, Thrive DC

At this Noontime Conversation, we will discuss the opportunities and challenges of community-based learning, community-engaged teaching, and community-partnered research methodologies. In order to help forge an intellectual community of practice around this work, we focus this Noontime Conversation on “steps and missteps” for initiating and upkeeping community-university collaborations, along with best practices for mutually beneficial, meaningful partnerships with community organizations for faculty research, student community-based research, and in-class community-based learning. Experienced, novice and interested community-based learning and research faculty are invited to engage in this important discussion as AU embarks on its new “changemakers for a changing world” strategic vision. The conversation will culminate with a plan of action to propose to the Provost’s office.

Resources:

Working with Students with Disabilities and the Accommodations Process

Thursday, February 21 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Butler Board Room

Erica Gillaspy, Assistant Director, Academic Support and Access Center
Anna Whiston, Disability Access Advisor, Academic Support and Access Center
Sarah Irvine Belson, Executive Director, Institute for Innovation in Education, School of Education
Christopher Tudge, Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Tanja Aho, Professorial Lecturer, Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies Collaborative

By this point in the semester, most faculty members have received at least one Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) accommodations letter.  Knowing how to interpret and implement these accommodations can be challenging.  In this session, the panel will provide tips for engaging students in conversations about their accommodations, discuss why accommodations are necessary, and explain how the ASAC determines reasonable accommodations through an interactive process.  Finally, the panel will discuss frequently asked questions about specific accommodations, including testing arrangements, use of laptops and recording devices, and attendance and deadline accommodations.

When Things Get Heated: Navigating Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom

Wednesday, January 30 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Butler Board Room

Justin Perillo, Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel
Dan Nichols, AVP Risk, Safety & Transportation Program, Office of Finance and Treasurer
Traci Callandrillo, Assistant Vice President Campus Life, Office of Campus Life
Philip Morse, Assistant Vice President of University Police Services & Emergency Management, Office of Finance and Treasurer

Many faculty members and classroom instructors report that a significant challenge in teaching is navigating student behavior in the classroom. This session will address this area of concern and provide strategies for managing classroom behaviors, setting clear expectations for classroom engagement, and utilizing outside resources for support. The session will also offer an overview of the legal and institutional parameters that guide the university’s approach to setting and enforcing student conduct expectations. The session will also offer a review of university resources and processes for engaging in consultation and support.

Fall 2018

Classroom Observations and the Evaluation of Teaching

Tuesday, September 25 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | MGC 3-5

Sarah Irvine Belson, School of Education, CTRL Faculty Fellow

In spite of the well-documented short-comings and biases of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET), the SET remains as the mainstay of how faculty are reviewed for merit, re-appointment, tenure, and promotion. Given that student evaluations are comparatively easy and inexpensive to collect, they are unlikely to be discarded anytime soon. As a counterweight to SETs, there is growing interest in employing classroom observation as a component of a broader approach to evaluating teaching. In this Noontime Conversation, we will discuss what this approach entails, what the best practices are, and when and how they should be deployed as part of a larger narrative of teaching by a faculty member.

Reducing Unconscious Bias in Teaching and Learning: Strategies for Inclusive Pedagogy

Wednesday, October 10 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | MGC 1st Floor, Rooms 3-4

Amanda Taylor, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Traci Dennis, School of Education
Lilian Baeza-Mendoza, CAS-World Languages & Cultures
Gorky Cruz, Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition & Research (CLEAR)

Despite our best intentions, our unconscious biases—and those of our students—often play a key role in shaping the quality of the learning environment in our classrooms.  This session will include but go beyond describing common manifestations of unconscious bias in teaching and learning, and will explore tools for inclusive pedagogy to recognize and address the impact of bias.

All Due Respect: Speech, Inclusion and Academic Freedom in a Diverse & Politicized Environment

Wednesday, October 24 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | McDowell Formal Lounge

Lara Schwartz, School of Public Affairs, CTRL Faculty Fellow
Rose Shinko, School of International Service
Maya Vizvary, Health Promotion & Advocacy Center

Hardly a day goes by in which we don’t read about professors indoctrinating students, students protesting guest speakers, students demanding trigger warnings or safe spaces, or students being hostile to free speech.  This narrative persists in spite of the fact that data shows college students are more supportive of free speech than the general population; students who spend time with professors moderate their views.  This hostility, a polarized political environment, proliferation of opinion media, and student evaluation-driven contingent employment present challenges for faculty. At the same time, increasingly diverse student bodies require us to visit whether our learning spaces are truly inclusive. At American, we are engaged in efforts to address the fact that students of color report feeling less welcome and included. In this noontime conversation, we will talk about building learning environments that are equally respectful of intellectual and personal diversity. We will introduce concepts civil discourse, inclusively-designed curricula,  universal design for learning, trauma-informed discourse, and pedagogical strategies for balancing political neutrality with respect and inclusion.

Collaborative Research: Understanding Benefits & Avoiding Pitfalls

Wednesday, November 28 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Butler Board Room

Sarah Irvine Belson, School of Education, CTRL Faculty Fellow
Simon Nicholson, School of International Service
Maria Floro, CAS-Economics

Collaborative research is now de rigueur in many fields, reflecting the known benefits of multidisciplinary approaches to scholarship. Indeed, funding agencies and foundations have also embraced this trend and are favoring requests for proposals from multidisciplinary teams. However, collaborative research can present a set of challenges and costs related to finding and assessing potential collaborators, managing group dynamics, dilution of effort in multi-authored articles, among others. In this Noontime Conversation, we will reflect on several successful multidisciplinary research projects carried out at AU to highlight and offer insights into factors and approaches for ensuring that benefits of collaborative research projects outweigh their potential costs.

Resources:

Previous Session Topics

AY 17-18

Canons Under Fire: Struggles in Decolonizing University Curriculum
(4/25/18) (watch the video-recording)

Faculty Development Leadership Cohort: Creating Inclusive Classrooms
(3/28/18)

Enhancing Community-Engaged Scholarship and Teaching
(3/22/18)

Navigating Diverse Political Ideologies in the Classroom and Beyond
(3/6/18) (watch the video-recording)

Financial Challenges Faced By Many of Our Students
(2/19/18) (watch the video-recording)

Racial Literacy in the Wake of Charlottesville
(10/4/17)

Building a Culturally Sustaining Classroom
(9/19/17) (watch the video-recording)

AY 16-17

Judging the Veracity of Sources of Information
(2/28/2017) (watch the video-recording)

Bringing DC to Your Classroom
(2/2/2017)

Strengthening Our Interactional Competence with Students
(11/15/2016)

Free Speech and the Classroom: What to Consider
(10/20/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Examining Classroom Dynamics: Responding to Students
(9/21/2016) (watch the video-recording)

AY 15-16

Teaching First Year Students: Challenges and Opportunities
(3/31/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Transforming Courses through Open Educational Resources
(3/22/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Dealing with Conflicting Political Ideologies in the Classroom
(2/23/2016)

Addressing Students’ Stress and Mental Health Issues: Strategies for Faculty
(1/28/2016) (watch the video-recording)

Internships as a Pathway from Liberal Arts to Careers
(10/21/2015)

Active Learning: Why It Matters
(9/24/2015)

Navigating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom
(8/26/15) (watch the video-recording)

AY 14-15

Reacting to the Past
(3/30/2015)

Problem Based Learning
(2/26/2015)

Combine Your iPad and iPhone To Teach, Present, Write, and Conduct Research
(1/27/2015)

Doing the Reading: Is the Cost of Textbooks a Factor?
(11/13/2014)

Student Voices: AU Undergraduate Curriculum
(10/15/2014)

Ways To Help Students Improve Their Writing Skills
(9/16/2014)

AY 13-14

eBooks in Higher Education: Reading Between the Lines
(3/27/2014)

Learning and the Brain: Cognitive Processes that Underlie Learning (with Daniel Willingham)
(2/25/2014)

“Out of Print” Film by Vivienne Roumani
(2/5/2014)

Where’s Professor Waldo in the Lands of MOOCs
(10/16/2013)

Connecting the Dots: Aligning Course Content in Undergraduate Curriculum
(9/17/2013)

AY 12-13

Teaching with Research
(3/25/2013)

Student Voices: Lessons from Student Survey Data
(2/27/2013)

Another Student Recommendation?
(1/28/2013)

Beyond SETs: Continuing the Conversation
(10/17/2012)

The Art of Teaching – Perils and Pleasures of Pedagogical Interdisciplinarity
(9/18/2012)

AY 11-12

Beyond SETs: Brainstorming the Possibilities
(3/21/2012)

Teaching with Research
(2/27/2012)

Can’t Get to Campus? How to Keep Your Class Going Anyway
(1/24/2012)

Food for Thought – Using Gastronomy as an Incentive to Learn
(10/19/2011)

Face time with the Teaching Coach: Tips and Tricks for Better Teaching
(9/20/2011)

AY 10-11

Measures of Good Teaching
(4/6/2011)

How to Quantify Great Ideas
(3/24/2011)

Facebook Startup – New Classroom Tools
(3/16/2011)

Valentine’s Luncheon: Researching Teaching and Teaching Research
(2/14/2011)

Learning from Our Students: How Research on Our Teaching Informs Practice and Policy
(11/18/2010)

Hybrid Courses: The Best of Both Worlds
(9/21/2010)

AY 09-10

Mobility Learning in Education: The Future is Now
(4/12/2010)

Reflections on What We Learned from the February Snow and Class Continuity
(3/18/2010)

Evaluating Capstones, Comps and Significant Research Papers
(3/3/2010)

Teaching with Research
(2/17/2010)

Reflections on “Inspired Teaching”
(10/21/2009)

Making Your Own Film As a Learning Tool
(9/23/2009)