Keynote Address by Arthur Eisenkraft, PhD. Distinguished Professor of Science Education; Director of the Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC):



Session Recordings:

1.1- https://echo360.org/media/19ff101a-4a3f-41cb-becf-451fb7dada06/public

1.2- https://echo360.org/media/8982b57c-9a51-4cca-88f8-eea5ecdf6b59/public

2.1- https://echo360.org/media/1aee44ea-b758-473d-b5de-12e221676f4e/public

2.2- https://echo360.org/media/629fed01-cf10-43ee-af7f-09d9ba6d283d/public

2.3- No Audio- https://echo360.org/media/d02f877f-6a69-4f93-b6ba-6e3f68c0abc1/public

2.4- https://echo360.org/media/b9e5598d-059c-401c-84cf-198f9fd0de0d/public

3.1- No Audio- https://echo360.org/media/b58dde24-2735-45c8-8348-7d6fede344a6/public

3.2- https://echo360.org/media/b5d7bb37-f643-4277-bc21-7ee4aa95a86e/public

3.3- https://echo360.org/media/492f615e-09e9-4d4b-a8ba-d5f245d95c7a/public

3.4- https://echo360.org/media/c0885856-09c4-4a3e-94fd-8548d4b88940/public

Conference Program

8:30 – 9:00 AM Registration and Breakfast Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

9:00 – 9:25 AM Keynote Address
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

Arthur Eisenkraft, Distinguished Professor of Science Education; Professor of Physics; Director, Center of Science and Math in Context (COSMIC)


9:30 – 10:30 AM Breakout Sessions I

1.1 Game Changer: How Principles of Video Games can Transform Teaching
Room: McCormack Hall, 1st floor, Room 409

This session will introduce audience members to the process of converting face-to-face and online courses into immersive semester-long games outlined in the presenter’s book A Guide to Designing Curricular Games. Along the way, lessons learned, work arounds, and tips and tricks will be highlighted as well as demonstrations of games designed by the presenter in Blackboard, PowerPoint, Excel, Twine, and Scratch. The presentation will be followed by Q&A and then small group brainstorming sessions.  It will close with audience members sharing out their thoughts and ideas.

  • Presenter:Janna Kellinger, Curriculum & Instruction


1.2 Driving Student Metacognition through Active Learning and Real-time Feedback: Echo360 in the Classroom
Room: McCormack Hall, 2nd floor, Room 404

Active learning in the classroom is an important tool in encouraging students to reflect on their learning as a means of acquiring skills and content. Its implementation, however, is fraught with logistical issues that grow, seemingly exponentially, as class size increases. This session will present the use of the Echo360 Active Learning Platform–a cloud-based student response and learning platform–in an introductory economics large enrollment course at UMass Boston, where it has been used since Spring 2015. The presentation will demonstrate how the platform has streamlined the implementation of a wide range of active learning tasks, while providing the means by which students independently engage with the course content in- and outside the classroom. Of the Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, this session explores encouraging active learning, providing prompt feedback, and communicating high expectations.

  • Presenter:Andrew Perumal, Economics


1.3 Student Stories, Knowledge Production, and Pedagogies of Wholeness

Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Room 407

For the past fourteen years, UMass Boston students in an upper-level undergraduate course, Asian American Media Literacy, have utilized media technologies and created an archive of nearly 200 digital products that reveal important, under-researched dimensions of student experiences. This session will highlight specific aspects of the process of cultivating student identities as knowledge producers, ranging

from the architecture of the course and pedagogical structures to the principles and commitments that support co-produced student digital storytelling and student-led advocacy and research. This class employs many effective principles of undergraduate teaching by encouraging active learning, developing reciprocity and cooperation among students, communicating high expectations and respect for diverse talents and ways of learning.

  • Presenter:Shirley Tang, Asian American Studies


10:45 – 11:45 AM Breakout Sessions II

2.1 Hands On / Hands Off Education – Employing Experiential Practices to Foster Professional Identity and Life-Long Learning 

Room: McCormack Hall, 1st floor, Room 409

This session will explore how teachers can balance theory and practice to ensure that their students are equipped with the tools and skills needed to compete in the modern workplace. Proponents of theoretical education might argue that practical skills are ephemeral while finely-tuned critical thinking is an ability that is directly applicable to any situation in life beyond graduation. While it is hard to argue with this logic, it is also hard nowadays for students to get their first job out of school without 3 years of prior experience! This reality puts pressure on students to apply their theoretical knowledge via internships, research assistantships, co-ops, and volunteering opportunities in their fields so that they can be competitive in the job market once they graduate. Modern curricula should provide experiential learning opportunities to alleviate this pressure and to train the workforce of today that can adapt to the challenges of tomorrow. We will discuss ways teachers can adapt their practices and curricula to empower their students and forge them into independent thinkers and doers. This session draws on many of effective practices for undergraduate education: active learning, cooperation among students, prompt feedback, high expectations and guidance with time on task issues.

  • Presenters:Filip Cuckov & Kiersten Kerby-Patel, Engineering


2.2 Putting the Reins in their Hands: Cultivating Students’ Intellectual Identity Through Student-Led Research
Room: McCormack Hall, 2nd floor, Room 404

Students are not merely passive receivers of knowledge. They can also be producers of knowledge if given the opportunity. In the Communication in Diverse Organizations course, students are required to conduct a research project with three other classmates. The project, called Diverse Leadership Project, requires each student to interview a minority leader, transcribes the interview, and write an analysis paper based on their interviews. In the Research Methods class, students are required to conduct an experiment using knowledge they gained in class (e.g., random assignment, factorial design), analyze the results, and present the findings to the class. Through research projects like this, students gain an awareness of their identity as student-researchers and apply theories and skills acquired in class to solve real-life problems. These courses encourage active learning, reciprocity and cooperation among students, and respect for diverse talents and ways of learning.

  • Presenter: Julie Lin Zhu, Communication

2.3 ALLY as an ally for Respecting Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning

Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Room 407

Ally is a tool that allows a more diverse range of students to develop identities and skills for knowledge production. As a first step, faculty can use ALLY –an add-on tool for Blackboard that automatically runs accessibility checks on all uploaded content, such as word DOCs, PDFs, PPTs, Images and HTML—to ensure that this content is accessible.  However, Ally is more than just a tool for best practices in mitigating accessibility issues, it also helps you to offer your students a choice in how they access information and learn your content. In this session, we show you how you can be more conscious about not only content accessibility issues and how to solve them, but also how you can incorporate best practices for respecting diverse talents and ways of learning.

  • Presenter:Paula Thorsland, IT Ed Tech Learning Commons


2.4 Ideas for Designing Asynch/Synch Instruction
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Room 430

In this session, we will share ideas for designing asynchronous and synchronous learning.  We will show you what each environment looks like and best practices to use.  This will be an activity-based session highlighting the structure that is recommended for online learning environments.

  • Presenters:Carol Sharicz, Instructional Design Program; Linda Sudlesky, IT Ed Tech Learning Commons


12:00 – 1:15 PM Lunch and Innovative Teaching Awards
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Ryan Lounge

Three Innovation in Teaching awards (Face-to-Face, Online, and Community-engaged) presented by Emily McDermott, Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor, and UCTLT Committee members


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

3.1 “From Me to You”: Collaborative, Student-Centered Learning Through the Music of the Beatles

Room: McCormack Hall, 1st floor, Room 409

This session will describe faculty and student experiences in Music Collaboratory, a UMass Boston music course where everything that happens– from selecting repertoire to producing performances– is negotiated and brought to life by student participants. It’s a music ensemble with no director; rather, a faculty member serves as a “guide on the side,” not a “sage on the stage.” For spring 2018, the course centered on the music of the Beatles. Six student participants in Music Collaboratory and their faculty mentor will share their experiences. Of particular focus will be: course design, faculty aversion to “letting go,” and student perspectives on ownership of their own education, collaboration, authenticity/relevance, and learning to learn (metacognition). Those attending this session will glean valuable lessons regarding student-centered learning that can be applied to a variety of disciplinary areas. The session will also include a musical performance. The session reflects the following effective practices of undergraduate education: student/ faculty contact; cooperation among students; active learning; time on task; high expectations; respect for diverse talents

  • Presenters:Josef Hanson & Students, Performing Arts


3.2 How Embedded Research Guides Support Learning
Room: McCormack Hall, 2nd floor, Room 404

The presenters will share their experiences using Blackboard embedded research guides in their online classes ENGL 262G: The Art of Literature and ENGL 272G: The Art of Poetry. The presenters will also discuss the close collaboration between faculty and librarian in guide creation. The embedded research guides help students to engage with the literature they are writing about and get to the interesting part of the research assignment more quickly. It is so important that students use credible, peer-reviewed sources.  Using the embedded research guides makes it impossible for students, especially our online ones, to say they don’t know how to do that.  It has made a real difference in the quality of papers we receive. Since the implementation of the guides, the incidence of unacceptable secondary sources in papers has all but disappeared in our classes. The librarian will discuss the technology and the pedagogy behind embedding research guides into LMS platforms that can be integrated into online and face-to-face courses for asynchronous delivery of content. In online courses students and faculty are in constant contact via e-mail, more so than often occurs in in-person classes.  This allows for more individual contact between students and faculty, so that students feel they are receiving more individual attention…because they are!

  • Presenters: Deborah Budden & Virginia Karlis, English; Teresa Maceira, Head of Reference, Outreach, & Instruction


3.3 Teachers and Students Together in the Active Learning Classroom: Creating Identities as Knowledge Producers
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Room 407

This panel of three instructors in the humanities and social sciences will explore how the environment of UMB’s new Active Learning Center (ALC) works to create community, engage students, and influences their own pedagogy. After two semesters’ experience teaching in the ALC, the instructors will compare and contrast their experiences teaching students in traditional classrooms with the ALC and how this new environment both challenges and energizes their teaching.

  • Presenters:Victoria Kingsley, English; David Gorman, Psychology; Kathleen Raddatz, Academic Support Programs


3.4 Experiencing the MakerSpace
Room: McCormack Hall, 3rd floor, Room 430

The UMass Boston MakerSpace creates an active learning, open access, space which supports deep learning for faculty to student, and student to student collaborations. A panel will discuss their experiences in the MakerSpace and the engagement that resulted. Karla Schallies (Biology) will discuss the NTT seminar training, Michael Gilbert (Mathematics) will talk about a collaboration with a Freshmen Success Community, Aaron Devine (ESL) will discuss using the space with ESL students, and Nick Trefonides (MFA student) will talk about his firsthand experience in Digital Poetry.

  • Presenters:Karla Schallies, Biology; Michael Gilbert, Mathematics; Aaron Devine, ESL; Nick Trefonides, MFA student