Breakout Session3

3.1 Team-Based Learning: What Is It? Can You Apply It to Your Classroom? 
Room: McCormack Hall, 2nd floor, Room 116

Video of Session 3.1

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, 3rd floor, Room 407

Video of Session 3.2

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, Accounting & 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, 3rd floor, Room 430

Video of Session 3.3

Like 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 Exploring Writing Transfer
Room: McCormack Hall, 2nd floor, Room 404

Video of Session 3.4

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.