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AFC 2012

23rd Annual Ann Ferren Conference Session Descriptions

9:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Cohort Sessions
10:30 A.M. - 11:45 A.M. Sessions
2:00 P.M. - 3:15 P.M. Sessions
3:30 P.M. - 4:45 P.M. Sessions

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Cohort Sessions:

AU Entrée Program Networking Breakfast

(for first and second year term and tenure-line faculty) - with AU Entrée Program mentors Vikki Connaughton (CAS-BIO), Max Paul Friedman (CAS-HIST) and Cathy Schaeff (CAS-BIO)

Come discuss how your classes went and any concerns you have about the spring. Have you made changes in your syllabi, classroom style, or assignments? Meet other new faculty and chat with Cathy, Vikki, and Max about how to make this semester the best one yet.

Greenberg Seminars Technology Session

(for Greenberg students, years one, two and three) - with Meghan Foster (CTRL)

This session will complement the Greenberg Seminars taught throughout the year by adding a technology component to the program. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of adapting PowerPoint for use in your classroom as well as the pedagogical limitations of the tool.

Chairs/Directors Round-Table: Learning from One Another 

(for Department Chairs and Directors) - with Nanette Levinson (SIS)

A roundtable discussion for new and continuing chairs and directors that will consider topics such as: the priorities for the first 90 as a new chair; dealing with disgruntled faculty; where to go for answers and delegating tasks and responsibilities.

Adjunct Faculty: Hiring, Retention and Support 

(for adjunct faculty) with Rose Ann Robertson (SOC) and Meg Weekes (SPA)

This is a round table discussion about the rewards, opportunities and challenges of being an adjunct professor at AU.

Teaching as Term Faculty: Issues, Solutions, and Rewards 

(for term faculty teaching in their third year and over) - with Chris Tudge (CAS-BIO) and Lacey Wootton (CAS-LIT)

This session will involve discussion about teaching issues of particular importance to term faculty: managing teaching and student loads, SETs, professional development, and balancing teaching and service. Panelists will offer suggestions and lead discussion of these issues and of ways to manage them successfully; we will also discuss the many rewards to be found in term-faculty teaching.  

Teaching in the New General Education Program

(for faculty teaching and wanting to teach General Education courses) - with Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (Director of General Education)

General Education teaching has always been distinctive, as its audience is broader than the typical majors-only upper division course. Come learn about the revised General Education program structure and engage in a robust conversation about the implications of these changes for classroom teaching.

A First Look at the New Honors Program 

(for faculty teaching and wanting to teach Honors courses) - with Michael Manson (Interim Director, University Honors Program)

Come discuss the recommendations offered by the Honors Curriculum Task Force and help us examine the various proposals for a new Honors curriculum that will create a distinctive, vanguard program.

Washington Semester Programs (Including Mentorship and Graduate Gateway

(for faculty teaching and wanting to teach in these programs) - with Phyllis Peres (Senior Vice Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs)

Phyllis Peres will lead discussion on new directions for the Washington Semester Programs.


10:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Sessions:

101: Inspiring Students to Be Independent Thinkers

Max Paul Friedman (CAS-HIST), Walt Wood (CAS-MATH)

Our session will offer participants a guided discussion of ways to encourage students to question their understanding of things and to think for themselves. The panelists will share their ideas on how to create such an environment within classes in their fields (history and mathematics). Through participants' discussion of key questions presented by the panelists, we will aim to make the ideas shared by all participants applicable to a wide range of fields of study. Come ready to be an independent thinker and to share your thoughts.


102: Teaching for Change: The Impact of Community-Based Learning

Sophia Bernstein (Class of 2012), Noemi Enchautegui de Jesus (CAS-PSYC), Marcy Fink Campos (Dir., Center for Community Engagement & Service), Chitra Subramanian (Assistant Director of Mentoring of Minorities in Education's Total Learning Cistems), and Joshua Woodfork (CAS-AMST)

"Service-learning" practitioners on AU’s campus have applied this teaching and learning methodology across numerous disciplines. Hear directly about the outcomes and impact on four stakeholders: Students, Nonprofit Organizations, Faculty, and Institutions of Higher Education. Learn ways to incorporate this methodology into your teaching practice.


103: Connected Classes: How to Integrate Social Media and Not Lose Your Mind

Erin Nixon (CAS-Dean's Office), Scott Talan (SOC)

Get an interactive look at the world of social possibilities for your classroom with a hands-on look at Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for your classes. Ever been interested in how the social networks could help you interact and connect with your students? If you've thought about tapping into the impact of the social networks for your classes, jump on Facebook, grab a Twitter handle and join us for a session about connecting your class.


104: The New Hybrid Spanish Language Program at AU

Lilian Baeza-Mendoza (CAS-LFS), Luis Cerezo (CAS-LFS), Gorky Cruz (Director, Center for Language Learning), Esther Ibáñez-Holtermann (CAS-LFS) Ana Martínez (CAS-LFS), and Ariadna Pichs (CAS-LFS)

This panel discusses how technology can be used to develop and implement hybrid learning courseware in any area of study, using the Spanish Language Program at AU as an illustration. Presenters will demonstrate the use of the following tools: e-tutors, to help students come prepared to class; promotional videos, to instill a hybrid learning philosophy that requires proactive participation on the part of the students; Blackboard, for information dissemination-, resource sharing-, and testing purposes; and Dropbox, for collaborative work among course developers and instructors. Students’ and instructors’ attitudes and challenges, including catering to students with special needs, will be discussed.


105: Using the Principles of Gaming in the Classroom

Meghan Foster (CTRL)

The average young person will spend 10,000 hours gaming by the age of 21.Your students are already expert problem solvers and collaborators when they arrive in your classroom. Come learn more about gamification and how to use game design to increase student engagement, improve outcomes, and make your courses genuinely fun.


106: Ways of Encouraging All Students to Participate in Discussion

Fanta Aw (Student Life), Katherine Farquhar (SPA), Keith Leonard (CAS-LIT), and Chris Palmer (SOC)

Come talk about classroom discussions. How do YOU fuel this powerful, inclusive learning? In a broadly engaged classroom, students listen and value diverse perspectives. Four professors from various corners of AU invite you to raise adrenalin using 8 ways to involve all students in classroom discussions.


107: Digital Literacy Across Disciplines, Campus, and Society

Sarah Irvine Belson (SETH), Peter Jaszi (WCL), Jill Klein (KSB), and Chris Simpson (SOC)

Digital Literacy (DL) begins with basic digital skills, includes digital citizenship, and extends to fundamental questions involving technology and society, human behavior, research methods, and how people teach and learn. This panel provides a concise overview of digital literacy projects and courses at AU; explores DL and research methods in disciplines not usually viewed as being 'about computers;' and considers prospects for emerging means of teaching, learning, and fun at AU.


108: Writing Across Disciplines: Managing Differing Expectations

Bonnie Auslander (KSB), Donna Bain Butler (WCL), and Lacey Wootton (CAS-LIT)

We'll explore expectations for academic and disciplinary writing across the university. Panel members will help professors make expectations explicit through effective assignment design and techniques for structuring feedback and evaluative comments on student papers. A list of common expectations and conventions will be disseminated to participants.


109: Using Campus Sustainability to Advance Learning

Adelle Crowe (SOC), Emily Curley (Office of Sustainability) and Kiho Kim (CAS-ENVS)

Sustainability is a hot topic on campus and one that need not be the sole purview of facilities staff. Learn how faculty can get involved in greening the curriculum and making a difference on campus. The Office of Sustainability will present examples of how faculty members across various departments at AU have used real-world and service-based sustainability projects to teach subjects from environmental studies, film, journalism, and business. Attendees will participate in guided brainstorming with AU's Office of Sustainability at concrete ways to create real sustainability projects within which their students can learn and make a difference.


110: Introduction to Blackboard

Library Staff

Need to learn Blackboard? Start with our course on basic features such as sending email, posting announcements and adding and managing content. Set up Discussion Boards, Blogs and Journals. Get some good tips for effectively managing your Blackboard site as a classroom resource for you and your students.


2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Sessions:

201: Integrating Inclusiveness in the Classroom

Fanta Aw (Student Life), Maria de Jesus (SIS), Celine Marie Pascale (CAS), and Jonathan Tubman (Office of the Provost)

The changing demographic of the student body at the graduate and undergraduate levels calls for innovative pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning. This session will discuss faculty approaches to integrating inclusive teaching and learning in the classroom.


202: How Internships Support Student Learning

Melissa Becher (Library), Francine Blume (Career Center), Karen Froslid Jones (Dir.,Office of Institutional Research and Assessment), Ross Herosian (SiriusXM Radio), Sarah Menke-Fish (SOC), and Stacey Snelling (CAS-SETH)

Departments campus-wide encourage internships as valuable learning experiences for students. How do we know that these experiences are helping students gain the specific skills and abilities stated in our program learning outcomes? Have we thought of internships as a way to assess student preparedness for future jobs? This panel will discuss how to enhance student learning by aligning internships with program learning outcomes. Speakers will illustrate how the internship evaluation form can become a potent tool for data collection, promoting our students and graduates to potential employers, and underscoring the importance of quality in a substantive internship.


203: Online Best Practices: Let's Talk!

Mieke Meurs (CAS-ECON), Ghiyath Nakshbendi (KSB) and Meg Weekes (SPA)

Online Teaching: How to make the most out of online opportunities. This workshop will providean overview of best practices including designing online syllabi, developing assignments, encouraging class discussion and maintaining engagement.


204: Teaching Applications for Data Visualization

Alan Ford (CAS-CSC), Carole Gallaher (SIS), Jim Lee (CTRL), and Lynne Perri (SOC)

This panel will cover some basic principles, good and bad practices, for data visualization. This will include approaches to statistical figures and maps in teaching and research. The panel will also include discussion of best visualization practices in effectively presenting and making use of statistical figures and maps.


205: Best Practices for Multimedia Assignments

Todd Chappell (New Media Center), John Doolittle (SOC) and Nanette Levinson (SIS)

Are multimedia assignments effective pedagogical tools? Absolutely. In this session you will learn strategies for creating multimedia assignments which will extend your students' understanding of class material and reinforce persuasive presentation techniques. This session will also provide an understanding of the workflows and time-frames necessary to complete various multimedia projects (audio, video, websites, etc…), reasonable expectations for student assignments and the resources available on campus to assist your students with multimedia projects.


206: Inspiring Students to be Enthusiastic and Motivated

Chris Palmer (SOC)

This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn various techniques and ideas for inspiring students to become enthusiastic and motivated, including how to create an atmosphere of warmth and trust in the classroom


207: To Allow or Not to Allow (Computers, Smart Phones)

Bonnie Auslander (KSB), Naomi Baron (CAS-LFS), Joanne Benica (Dir., Disability Support Services), Erik Dussere (CAS-LIT), Meredith Persily Lamel (KSB), and Brian Yates (CAS-PSYC)

A ban on laptops and smart phones in the classroom: draconian, short-sighted, technophobic, and infantilizing or thoughtful, well-meaning, and evidence-based? What does the research say about the benefits vs. harm equation of digital devices in the classroom? And what about equal access for students with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act? We’ll debate the positions, consider half-measures (if any), and invite your thoughts..


208: Ways of Evaluating Creative Work

Kylos Brannon (SOC), Jon Malis (SOC)

Drawing upon the experiences of professors specializing in the creative arts, we hope to demystify the balances between creativity and content. How do we encourage a professional-level of creative production without penalizing those students who take risks to explore a new form of communication?


209: Teaching Required Classes

John Hyman (CAS-LIT), Michael Keynes (CAS-MATH) and Chris Tudge (CAS-BIO)

In the lingua franca of students, “required course” might translate as: “Why do I have to take this?”, “How am I ever going to use this?”, or “Is there any way to waive this?” In this workshop, the panelists will discuss ways to anticipate, address – perhaps even exploit – this challenging point of view.


210: Advanced Blackboard

Library Staff

Take an in-depth tour of Assignment Creation, and the Grade Center. If time allows, we demonstrate McGraw-Hill Connect, a portal from the publisher offering digital content associated with textbooks, including assessments that can connect back to Blackboard’s Grade Center.


3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Sessions:

301: Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Joanne Benica (Dir., Disability Support Services), Jeanne Piette (Counseling Center) and Kathy Schwartz (Dir., Academic Support Center)

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders represent a quickly growing population in higher education classrooms. This presentation will focus on providing information about the unique strengths, challenges and needs of students with ASD as well as resources for students and faculty. We will also provide a forum for discussion by faculty so that we too can learn to best respond to campus needs. Representatives from the Academic Support Center, Counseling Center and Disability Support Services will provide information about ASD, including issues commonly addressed in each of these settings and suggestions about classroom and campus issues.


302: Developing Practitioner Skills in Graduate Programs

Lewis Faulk (SPA, Stephanie Fischer (SIS), Ben Leff (WCL), Nancy Sachs (KSB), Carrie Garber Siegrist (WCL), and Robert Tomasko (SIS)

The session is aimed at faculty and administrators interested in exploring learning techniques appropriate in graduate-level practitioner degree programs. It will use the just launched SIS Masters Program in Social Enterprise as a case study to explore methods to help students acquire skills in applying knowledge to solving real world problems, including its 3-semester Professional Competences course. The session will be highly interactive and designed as a forum for the audience to share their experiences.


303: Hybrids: Blending Face-to-Face and Online Courses

Jim Lee (CTRL), Paul Prokop (CTRL)

Has your department asked you to create a hybrid course? What is it? Where and how do I start? Attend to see why hybrid learning (combining elements of face-to-face and online teaching) has been shown to have equal to or higher achievement rates than traditional learning in various studies.


304: Everything iPad: Teaching, Writing, and Everything Else (Even Blackboard)

Luis Cerezo (CAS-LFS), Patrick Thaddeus Jackson (Dir. of General Education), Brian Yates (CAS-PSYC)

See how three faculty use their iPads to teach, do research, be scholars, and serve our University -- and have other forms of fun! Demonstrations focus on the iPad 2, the new operating system, and cloud-based computing, plus accessories: keyboards, speakers, solar chargers, and more.


305: Teaching with YouTube: Using Video in the Classroom

Caty Chattoo (SOC) and Scott Talan (SOC)

In the still-early stages of the digital age, with a cohort of so-called “Millennial Age” students who spent their formative years immersed in the image- and multimedia-focused world of gaming, YouTube and social media, the ability to teach with the storytelling and visual tools that define the age is important. Given a reality in which You Tube is the second-most searched website after Google and the third most popular website by U.S. Web users -- the ability for educators to integrate video into the classroom is crucial. This session will examine ideas, strategies, tactics and sources for incorporating video into the classroom – both as a teaching mechanism and as an opportunity for graded deliverables for students.


306: Classroom Collaborations That Work

Marilyn Goldhammer (SETH)

Group projects and activities within and outside of class provide students with opportunities to brainstorm ideas, widen their perspectives and maximize their talents. This session will focus on ways to create and grade successful group assignments that connect to your course learning outcomes.


307: Plenary Follow Up: Challenges and Realities of Social Networked Learning

George Siemens (Athabasca University)

This discussion session will explore the barriers and potential of social networked learning within the American University context. Topics, in addition to those raised by participants, will include: how to get started on your own, institutional challenges, ethics and privacy of learning in networks, and the roles of educators.


308: Discipline and Flourish: The Function of Faculty Workgroups

Kate Haulman (CAS-HIST), Adrea Lawrence (CAS-SETH), Rachel Sullivan Robinson (SIS), Susan Shepler (SIS), Brenda Werth (CAS-LFS), and Elizabeth Anderson Worden (CAS-SETH)

This roundtable explores the role of interdisciplinary reading and writing groups through the prism of one such group, formed in 2007 when its members were in their first and second years on the tenure track at American University. Ranging from establishing deadlines and commenting on each other's pre-circulated work-from conference papers and grant proposals to articles and book chapters-to discussing pedagogy and ways to navigate academic environments, regularly-meeting workgroups support scholar-teachers in the various areas of professional lives and serve as important tools to help both individuals and institutions flourish.


309: Helping AU Faculty Jump-Start Their Research Agenda

Ken Conca (SIS), Mary Hansen (CAS-ECON), Sarah Irvine Belson (CAS-SETH) and Jon Gould (SPA)

This panel features a collection of experienced AU scholars who will share their experiences in initiating – and successfully completing – significant research projects.  Among the topics covered will be conceptualizing and operationalizing the project, collaborating with other researchers, securing external funding, and building one’s reputation.  The panel is organized by the Washington Institute for Public and International Affairs Research (WIPAR), a relatively new collaboration between the Schools of Public Affairs and International Service.


310: Introduction to Wimba

Library Staff

"Wimba Live Classroom" is a live online classroom that works within Blackboard and offers a real-time method for interacting with students. This workshop will walk you through the steps to launch your own "Live Classroom" in Blackboard, and provide an overview of its uses and hands-on practice.