2016 Conference – “Learning as Social: We participate, therefore we are”

2016 University Conference on Teaching Learning, and Technology

Learning as Social: “We participate, therefore we are”
Friday May 13th, 2016

Click Here to download the conference informational PowerPoint


Welcome Message

Welcome to the 2016 University Conference on Teaching Learning, and Technology

Dear UMass Boston Community and Friends,

The conference program committee would like to welcome you to our 10th Annual Conference on Teaching, Learning and Technology. This year’s theme is: “Learning as Social: “We participate, therefore we are.” This theme, drawn from a recent article by John Seely Brown, emphasizes the need for learning to be interactive, dialogical and participatory if it is to prompt critical reflection and have an impact on one’s identity as a learner.

This year’s program offers a wide array of presentations that investigate our theme in different contexts from large and small classes to those that are technologically enhanced and those that are simply discussion-based; we’ve got sessions on gamification, simulation, assessment, group assignments, universal design to enhance every students’ learning, and community engaged work inside and outside the classroom.

To launch today’s conference we are trying something new: lightning talks of 5 minutes each by three faculty members whose impressive teaching practices demonstrate our theme in different ways. The presenters and the titles of their talks are listed on the next page
During the lunch hour, please visit the Information Tables and learn how the librarians have helped promote Information Literacy using iPads; see 3d printers in action and learn how to integrate them into your curriculum and engage in a conversation with Instructional Designers on using some of the latest tools such as VoiceThread.

The lunch hour will also feature our annual Teaching Awards Ceremony. Provost Winston Langley will present awards in three categories: Face to Face Teaching, Community Engaged Teaching, and Online Teaching. Three honorable mentions will also be recognized for their contributions.

Thank you for participating and making this event a success. We love to hear from you as we strive to make this conference more engaging and interactive. Please don’t forget to complete the survey at: http://umb.li/UCTLT2016 and leave your comments and suggestions.

Sincerely, The UCTLT Conference Program Committee,

Apurva Mehta (Chair), Associate CIO, IT Department
Prof. Ping-Ann Addo, Director, Center for Innovative Teaching
Prof. Judith Goleman, Director, Office for Faculty Development
Prof. Brian White, Biology & Provost Fellow for Teaching & Technology
Daniel Ortiz, Dean of University Libraries
Wendy Shapiro, Associate Dean of Learning, Design & Technology, CAPS
Camille Curtis Martinez, Assistant Director, Office for Faculty Development
Teresa Maceira, Reference Librarian, Healey Library
Jason Campos, Manager, Online Education, CAPS
Gene Shwalb, Manager, eLearning & Instructional Support

Schedule and Session Descriptions

8:00 – Registration and Breakfast

Ryan Lounge – McCormack 3rd Floor

8:45 – Welcome and Opening remarks

Ryan Lounge

9:00 to 9:30 – Speed Talks

S.1 The Honors College: Innovation Incubator for Curriculum and Pedagogy

Ryan Lounge, Presenter: Rajini Srikanth

S.2 Simulating Life: From Chemicals to Clownfish

Ryan Lounge, Presenter: Brian White

S.3 Making Synaptic and Social Connections: Experiencing the Life of a Neuroscientist

Ryan Lounge, Presenter: Susan Zup

9:30 to 10:30 – Session 1

Session 1.1: Building Inclusive Learning Communities

9:30 to 10:30 – McCormack 201

Session 1.1, Part 1: Assessment as Community Building: Collaborative Essays in Large Enrollment Classes

Presenter: Sarah Hamblin, English

This presentation explores the possibilities of collaborative essay assignments in large enrollment courses (LE) as a means of building inclusive learning communities. One of the common issues in LE courses is finding ways to incorporate formal writing assignments that assess students’ analytical thinking and argumentative writing abilities. Collaborative essays provide an opportunity to incorporate this kind of assessment into large classes without over-burdening faculty with grading. They also promote social interactions between students in an otherwise anonymous classroom environment, which can help foster community, positively impact participation, and deepen student engagement. This presentation will share the potential benefits of collaborative writing assignments and address the common issues and problems that students and faculty may face. In addition, it will discuss how various technologies can help improve the collaborative writing experience, and how faculty can support students with such assignments. Finally, the presentation will include a sample collaborative writing assignment, student instructions, and a grading rubric.

Session 1.1, Part 2: Embracing risk and promise for student engagement: Incorporating experiential teaching methods in a community psychology course

Presenter: Nickki Dawes, Psychology

This presentation will share lessons learned from involvement in the Civic Engagement Scholar’s Initiative (CESI) to redesign a community psychology course to include engaged-scholarship opportunities (broadly defined to include experiential or service learning components). The presentation will highlight the process for creating opportunities for collaborative learning among students as they worked in small groups on a get-out-the-vote campaign in partnership with community partners. Additionally, the presenter will discuss the community partner perspective on various aspects of the collaboration, particularly their relationships with students. A final theme is how this project fits into the framework of “pedagogy for social justice”. For example, the author will discuss how the project promised to shift the status quo by encouraging students to find and use their voice.

Session 1.2: Engaging Millennial Students

9:30 to 10:30 – McCormack 201 C

Session 1.2, Part 1: Teaching for Millennials

Presenter: Sibi Senthilkumar, IT eLearning and Instructional Support

This presentation will discuss the importance of knowing who Millennials are, understanding them, their thought process and finally their learning process. The presenter will also discuss a few strategies on how to revise our teaching methodologies to ensure better learning and critical thinking skills that would be most applicable to the Millennial generation. The presenter will speak about ‘Adding Value’ to the courses, that would keep the Millennials focused on the class.

Session 1.2, Part 2: Incorporating Games and “Gamified” Activities In The Elementary Language Classroom

Presenter: Mark Schafer, Latin American/Iberian Studies

This presentation will show how games and “gamified” activities help to address multiple obstacles to student learning present in beginning language classes, ranging from student boredom, detachment, and lack of motivation to the difficulty of the material and the triggering nature for some of learning a new language. It also demonstrates how shifting learning from the professor to the student or student groups, through the use of games, has a panoply of beneficial effects for the student, including increased attention and motivation, immediate feedback and rewards that lead to a sense of achievement and agency, the sharpening of cognitive skills and critical thinking, and the sense of learning a language as being a fun, exciting, and productive pursuit. The presenter will describe some of the games and gamified activities he has developed, talk about the results he has seen and how it has affected his teaching.

Session 1.3: Active Learning and Transdisciplinarity: Teaching to Participate in Order to Be!

9:30 to 10:30 – McCormack 407

Moderator: Denise Patmon, Curriculum & Instruction;

Presenters: Suha Ballout, Nursing; Lorena Estrada, CPCS; Denise Khor, American Studies; Sindiso Mnisiweeks, GISD

This panel discussion will present the 2016 CIT teaching seminar projects conducted by pre-tenure faculty and will be moderated by Denise Patmon, CIT Seminar Facilitator. All projects relate to how faculty members have incorporated active learning and transdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research in the faculty member’s specific discipline. Projects include teaching large enrollment classes, research methods, and transdisiciplinary graduate education. Audience members will actively engage in each presentation where possible.

Session 1.4: Active Student Responding in Higher Education

9:30 to 10:30 – McCormack 430

Presenters: Brian V. Jadro, CAPS; Jessica Newman, Simmons College

This presentation will review specific Active Student Responding (ASR) strategies for increasing student engagement and improving student performance outcomes in higher education. Active Student Responding (ASR) is an empirically validated method of improving student performance by increasing opportunities to respond, receive feedback, and access reinforcement. When compared to traditional classroom lecture methods, ASR techniques have been shown to increase the number of student responses and to improve quiz scores. Four ASR strategies: guided notes, choral responding, interteaching, and response cards will be discussed and demonstrated, and research showing the effectiveness of these strategies will be presented. Participants will receive templates of the materials and will have the opportunity to experience these procedures in the presentation.

10:30 to 10:45 – Coffee Break

10:45 to 11:45 – Session 2

Session 2.1: Success by Design: Active Learning Approaches in Large Enrollment Classroom

10:45 to 11:45 – McCormack 201

Presenters: Irene Yukhananov, IT eLearning and Instructional Support; Suha Ballout, Nursing; and Leslie Schneider, Visual Classrooms

This interactive session demonstrates how active learning techniques and Visual Classrooms, a collaborative learning platform, promote social interaction, student engagement and active learning strategies in large enrollment classes. Presenters will share Visual Classrooms activities on topics related to their course and invite attendees to participate in those activities as their students would. The available tools combine the social learning pedagogies needed to transform teaching and learning with technologies that support a student-centered focus and an emphasis on peer interactivity and collaboration. The presenters demonstrate how Visual Classrooms provide continuous feedback and embedded analytics that help educators personalize learning and ensure that no one falls through the cracks.

Session 2.2: Game-based Teaching

10:45 to 11:45 – McCormack 201 C

Presenters: Kristin Murphy, Curriculum & Instruction

Think Choose your Own Adventure meets Encyclopedia Brown and turn you course into a game! Participants in this workshop use systems-thinking to turn a class into a semester-length curricular game by diagramming the course topic as a simple, intermediate, and complex system which then become the levels of a curricular game. After determining which element in the system students will play, participants then decide on gateway assessments that allow students to move from one level to the next as well as the “boss-level” assessment to determine if students met the game goals. Finally, participants will be introduced to tools in Blackboard (such as adaptive release, hot spots, and test item pools) and PowerPoint (such as action buttons, animation triggers, and motion paths) that will enable participants to implement their newly designed curricular games.

Session 2.3: Maintaining Writer Agency and Engagement amid Disparate Feedback: How We Respond to 🙂 :/ :))) 😉 and 🙁

10:45 to 11:45 – McCormack 407

Presenters: Meesh McCarthy, Alyssa Mazzarella, Ian Drinkwater, Kathleen Raddatz, Academic Support Programs

This session examines and generates best practices for keeping writers engaged—despite the stressors of assessment. When “assessment [is] a social process” (CIT, 2016), writers learn from multiple collaborations and receive peer, faculty, and advisor feedback, in blended, virtual, in-person, classroom, and paper-conference settings. We show that writers’ success therefore depends on their ability to synthesize potentially conflicting assessments. To recognize how writers develop this ability, this workshop draws on scenarios in which varied feedback threatens to derail the writing process. We ask participants to help us explore the ways in which educators’ contributions to sustained writer-agency depend on the roles in which we collaborate and on the particular pedagogical considerations of that role. As we explore this essential aspect of writing support we will also draw from our multiple roles—student, faculty, tutor—to share strategies for managing both rejection and praise.

Session 2.4: Inclusive Syllabus Design: Drawing on Universal Design to Harness your Students’ Best Work

10:45 to 11:45 – McCormack 430

Join Ross Center staff to work interactively to design course syllabi. This working session is designed to motivate faculty to consider ways to incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles into their course syllabi. The syllabus works to highlight what students can expect from a course, course materials that they can draw from, and course accessibility. Participants are encouraged to bring course outlines and drafts of syllabi for next semester’s courses to this session. During the workshop, we will have conversations about what makes a course and a syllabus accessible, discuss prior successes and provide recommendations to improve syllabus accessibility, and brainstorm specific changes to course syllabi, which faculty can implement in the following semester. Participants are encouraged to bring current syllabi, in order to discuss current design and share ideas about ways to incorporate universal design principles into syllabi.

12:00 to 1:30 – Lunch, Information Tables, and Innovative Teaching Awards: Welcoming Remarks by Provost Winston Langley

Information Table Sessions

Information Tables run concurrently in the Ryan Lounge during Lunch

Table 1: Create, Interact, Analyze: Use of Visual Classrooms to Engage Students in STEM Class

Irene Yukhananov, IT eLearning and Instructional Support; Wendy Shapiro, CAPS; Leslie Schneider, Visual Classrooms

This interactive demonstration table will showcase Visual Classrooms, a cloud-based discussion and collaboration platform designed to improve student engagement and support interactive learning and adaptive instruction in blended and online environments. Web-based digital whiteboards encourage students to quickly capture, share, analyze, and improve their ideas. The visually driven environment engages students of all learning styles, developing critical problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

Table 2: iPad Apps to Enhance Your Students’ Research Skills

Teresa Maceira, Healey Library; Tina Mullins, Healey Library

This table will demonstrate the potential uses of apps for academic research by featuring apps that enhance and augment the attendees’ research skill set. The apps covered are primarily free and platform neutral. Visit our table and we will demonstrate apps that can help your students’ research note taking, file sharing, productivity, accessibility, writing, citing and collaboration.

Table 3: Achievements in Blackboard for Alternative Credentialing

Rrezarta Hyseni, IT eLearning and Instructional Support; Olga Lauterbach, CAPS; Anamarija Frankic, CAPS; Kishore Pochampally, CAPS

Stop by to learn about the value of digital badges as indicators of achievement. We have the expertise and tools to help you design and implement your own digital badge program. We will provide examples from recent projects such as the online badge program in Project Risk Management, a self-paced program that enables flexible and convenient learning for students through the Blackboard platform, and where learners are awarded a digital badge publishable on the Mozilla Backpack platform to showcase the skills earned via social media and on their resumes. the School for the Environment, our team has successfully implemented badges using Blackboard’s Achievements tool in one of UMass Boston’s first MOOCs, Coasts and Communities. The free online course is used by several organizations as an introduction to coastal environmental science and the digital badge serves as proof of skills gained.

Table 4: Makerspaces at UMass Boston

Filip Cuckov, Engineering; Ebru Korbek-Erdogmus, CSM; Apurva Mehta, IT Educational Technology; Helenmary Hotz, School for the Environment

This table will demonstrate the usefulness of creating makerspaces to support different student populations and needs. Different methods for defining funding sources, building, operating, and drawing students to UMass Boston makerspaces will be demonstrated.

Table 5: #Online #Mutimedia #Social #Interactive #Exciting! #VoiceThread!

Ellen Foust, IT eLearning and Instructional Support

This table will host a demo of VoiceThread, a multimedia software tool used to create interactive, social learning activities, including two-way engagement. We will provide a software demo and engage in conversation about pedagogy. You will also leave with an account and a Quick Start Guide.

Table 6: Save Class Time By Using Online Tools To Teach Research Skills

Danitta Wong, Tina Mullins, and Iris Jahng, Healey Library

This interactive table will explore customizable online instructional tools that can be incorporated into courses. Stop by and learn how you can customize Imagine Easy Academy information literacy tutorials, library research guides, and Kahoot game-based learning platform, for your courses and your particular students’ needs. Explore these tools and experiment with them at the table and we will share the students’ perspective and ideas about using them in the classroom or as asynchronous instruction.

Table 7: Echo360 Classroom Capture System

John Jessoe, Lauren Nogueira, IT Communications and Infrastructure

Learn how to use the Echo360 Classroom Capture System to easily record lectures, speeches, meetings or special events. The system allows you to record a presentation with audio. Once recorded, lecture videos can be published online and accessed by a web link. For instructors using Blackboard, these web links can be updated automatically within Blackboard course sections. The sessions are viewed using streaming media and are available on all platforms as well as mobile devices.

Table 8: Blackboard Mobile App

Gene Shwalb, IT eLearning and Instructional Support

Learn how your students can use the Bb Student app with their phone or tablet to access and participate in their Blackboard course. Blackboard’s mobile app makes it easier than ever to encourage interaction your students by engaging them whenever and wherever they’re ready, on the devices of their choosing.

Table 9: Dell Info Table

Dell Representatives

Meet with representatives from Dell to learn about their exciting offerings for the world of higher education!

1:30 to 2:30 – Session 3

3.1: Transitions in the Discipline of Nursing

1:30 to 2:30, McCormack 201

Presenters: Ashley Waddell, Nursing; Jacqueline Fawcett, Nursing

This presentation will focus on the participatory teaching-learning experiences that are part of a new First Year Seminar (FYS) designed for students who are declared majors in nursing or are especially interested in nursing. The presenters will demonstrate how the participatory teaching-learning experiences of FYS enhances students’ capabilities in the areas of clear reading and writing, critical thinking, information technology and information literacy, team work, speaking and listening, and self-assessment within the context of understanding transitions in the who of nurses and the what and where of nursing practice across the millennia.

Session 3.2: Mixed-Reality Simulations: Immerse your students in their future profession

1:30 to 2:30, Wheatley 209

Presenters: Janna Kellinger and Kristin Murphy, Curriculum & Instruction

Similar to flight simulators used to train future airplane pilots, a growing body of research supports simulation activities for the preparation of professionals including teachers, counselors, nurses, school administrators, and other professions. Mixed-reality simulations provide a unique opportunity for pre-service practitioners to have hands-on practice of strategies they learn under a variety of conditions without the risk of harming real students, clients, or patients. Additionally, pre-service practitioners can practice strategies while their peers and professor engage in live observation and provide immediate feedback. This presentation will allow participants to try out Mursion, a mixed-reality simulation, followed by a discussion of the pros, cons, and possible applications in coursework and professional learning opportunities at UMass Boston and in the community.

Session 3.3: Engaging with Community: Experiences in and beyond the classroom

1:30 to 2:30, McCormack 407

Presenters: Chris Fung, Anthropology; Nada Ali, Women and Gender studies, Joe Ramsey, American Studies, Tracy Wallach, Management & Marketing, and Alexander Jerred, UMass Boston student

This panel arises from five faculty members common interest in the importance of community engagement as a social issue – that is, as an experience that is embedded in relationships with others, in teaching.

Ali presents “Treating the World as my Classroom, and bringing the World into my Classroom,” providing a reflection upon experiential learning and pedagogical strategies on- and-off-Line.

Fung presents “Dorchester and Columbia Point: fieldwalks as disrupting narratives”, which explores fieldwalks as a pedagogical tool particularly for breaking through student perceptions of places in and around UMass Boston.

Jerred presents “Activism and fieldtrips as learning at UMB”, providing reflections on a student’s trip to New York to participate in the UN Commission on the Status of Women with four other classmates during Spring break.

Ramsey presents “UMB, Humanities, and the City: Reflections on two years of (re)connecting the classroom & community,” explaining how the English Department transformed the First Year Writing track to provide opportunities for students to engage with artists, writers, scholars, activists and organizers who are putting the skills of critical reading and writing into practice in the city of Boston.

Wallach presents, “Engaging the UMB Community in Group Projects”, which describes and analyzes a group project assigned to undergraduate management students to “provide a product or service of benefit to the UMB community or beyond” and the results of their efforts.

Session 3.4: The Social and Engaging Practices in Developing Research Skills

1:30 to 2:30, McCormack 430

Presenters: Carol Sharicz, CAPS; Linda Sudlesky, IT eLearning and Instructional support; Apostolos Koutropoulos, CAPS

Often our students think research is going on Google and grabbing whatever info sounds intriguing. In our session, we will be sharing how to engage students in three key research skills through social interaction and by harnessing the power of technology. These three skills will be presented in an engaging and fun way to elicit the social aspect of doing research. We will also be sharing examples of how students supported each other in the research process in an online environment. Sharing these practices will also show how we can develop a research mindset in all of our students. Come prepared to have fun, learn, and share best practices in doing research!

Join the Conversation on Twitter

Read: See what other conference participants are learning and writing about. Search for the hashtag #umbTLT

Write: Share inspirational quotes, photos, and comment on other’s posts. Tag your post with the hashtag #umbTLT

Guest Wi-Fi Access Instructions

  1. Select the Wi-Fi network named “UMB-Guest”
  2. Enter the username and password written below, and click “Accept”
  3. If not prompted to log in, open a web browser and refresh

Username: Spring2016

Password: Flowers9

Both the username and password are case sensitive.

Special Thanks

Committee Members

Apurva Mehta (Chair)
Brian White
Camille Curtis Martinez
Daniel Ortiz
Gene Shwalb
Jason Campos
Judith Goleman
Ping-Ann Addo
Teresa Maceira
Wendy Shapiro



College of Advancing and Professional Studies
Office for Faculty Development
Center for Innovative Technology
Healey Library
Information Technology Services Department

Print Design Services

John Mazzarella
Tsengunn Enkhtur

Logistics & Registration

Salina Allen-Sharpp
Angela Carretta
Christine Boseman

Technical Support

Rosa Oculto
Ananta Sinha
Henry Lay
David Ford

AV Services

John Jessoe
Lauren Nogueira
Jeff Wade

Network Support

Jamie Soule
Johnny Luk