Signature Learning Experiences
Friday, September 19, 2014
What does it mean to create “signature learning experiences”? What do they, or could they, look like for students and faculty? Faculty and graduate students from all ranks and disciplines and members of support offices are invited to share their teaching and learning insights with Mason colleagues.
We ask all full-time, part-time, and graduate student instructors and staff at Mason to join us for the day. The day will begin with a continental breakfast, includes lunch, and concludes with a happy hour at our poster session. Registration is $10 for Mason community members; some graduate student scholarships are available (see General Information below).
New! CTFE is delighted to host a special pre-conference workshop on Thursday, September 18, with this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. José Bowen. Please note that there is a separate registration process and limited availability for this free pre-conference workshop. More details can be found on our special events page.
We would like to thank our sponsors:
College of Education and Human Development; College of Health and Human Services; College of Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Science; College of Visual and Performing Arts; Division of Instructional Technology; Graduate Student Life; Higher Education Program; Office of Distance Education; Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research; School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution; School of Business; School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs; University Life; Volgenau School of Engineering; Writing Across the Curriculum; and The Writing Center.
The call for proposals is now closed.
“Flipping 101: Designing Assignments and Activities for Massively Better Classes”
with keynote speaker Dr. José Bowen
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Research Hall, Room 163
Please note that there is a separate registration process and limited availability for this free pre-conference workshop. More details can be found on our special events page.
Registration is $10 for members of the Mason community. There is a $20 registration fee for non-Mason faculty/professionals and a $10 registration fee for non-Mason students. Registration fees are payable through Eventbrite.
Pre-registration is now open and will close on Tuesday, 9/16. Once pre-registration closes, attendees will still be able to register on the day of the conference at the door. Day-of registration fees can be paid via personal checks or credit cards ONLY; please present an identification card at the registration desk. We are unable to accept cash payments – we apologize for the inconvenience.
The registration desk will open at 8:00am in the Johnson Center Cinema on the day of the conference. Registration will move to Johnson Center room G (3rd floor) after 10:00am.
For Mason employees who wish to pay via org code, please select “Show other payment options” and “Pay offline” when registering through Eventbrite, then complete the payment form. Tickets will be canceled for all attendees who choose this method of payment and forego this step.
If you are a Mason graduate student, we have a limited number of free admission scholarships. To apply, send a statement of recommendation from one of your professors to email@example.com no later than Tuesday, 9/16. Approved applicants will be given a one-time-use discount code.
To expedite registration, please bring a printed copy of your registration confirmation. An electronic version on your smart device is also acceptable.
**If you do not see the above Eventbrite registration form, please try using Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer – issues with Safari have been reported. You can visit the Eventbrite event page here.**
DIRECTIONS TO THE FAIRFAX CAMPUS (view it on Google Maps):
From I-495: Capital Beltway
Take exit 54A, Braddock Road West (Route 620). Follow Braddock Road West for approximately six miles. Take a right onto Nottoway River Lane/Sideburn Road.
From I-66E: Front Royal & Fairfax County Pkwy
From the interstate, take exit 55 for Fairfax County Parkway South (Route 286). Then exit the Parkway at Braddock Road, and turn left onto Braddock Road. Take a left onto Nottoway River Lane/Sideburn Road.
From I-66W: Washington DC & Arlington
Take exit 60 at Route 123 South, Chain Bridge Road. Follow Route 123 through the City of Fairfax, and turn left at University Drive.
Please note that all eastbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 6:30am to 9:00am and all westbound lanes of I-66 inside the Beltway are restricted to HOV-2 from 4:00pm to 6:30pm.
From I-95: North & South
From points north on I-95, take exit 27 (I-495 West), then follow the directions “From I-495: Capital Beltway.” From points south on I-95, take exit 160B (Route 123 North) at Lake Ridge/Occoquan. Follow Route 123 north for approximately 15 miles to Braddock Road. Cross over Braddock Road and make a right at the first light (University Drive).
From Vienna Metro Station
Take the Orange Line all the way to the end, Vienna station. Exit out the north side of the station. Bear to the left; the Mason to Metro shuttle stop is the last shelter. Take the Mason to Metro shuttle to campus and exit at the Shenandoah Shuttle Stop.
For those who do not hold a Mason parking pass, parking is available for a fee at campus parking decks. The Johnson Center is equally accessible from both the Mason Pond and Shenandoah parking decks. Rates start at $3.00 and increase by $3.00 every hour thereafter (4-hour max). The all-day/over 4-hour parking fee is $14.00. Parking fees are collected by ticket collectors – please keep your parking stub.
Getting to and from the Mason Pond parking deck
From Nottoway River Lane, turn left onto Patriot Circle. Before you pass the pond, make a right onto Mason Pond Drive – you will pass by the Center for the Arts on the right. Turn right into the bottom floor of the parking deck. Exit out the 3rd Floor and head towards the Mason statue. The Johnson Center is directly ahead.
Getting to and from the Shenandoah parking deck
From Nottoway River Lane, bear right to enter Patriot Circle. Pass by the Aquatic Center on the right. Turn left onto Sandy Creek Way. Enter the first parking deck entrance on the left. Exit out the 3rd Floor and proceed across the traffic circle and up the hill. Bear right – the Johnson Center is the large building on the left.
The Twitter hashtag for our conference is #MasonITL – join the conversation!
To see a table of the schedule of events, click here.
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A continental breakfast will be provided.
|Dewberry Hall Lobby|
|9:00am-10:15am||Keynote: Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning|
Dr. José Bowen (Goucher College)
Technology is changing higher education, but the greatest value of a physical university will remain its face-to-face (naked) interaction between faculty and students. The most important benefits to using technology occur outside of the classroom. New technology can increase student preparation and engagement between classes and create more time for the in-class dialogue that makes the campus experience worth the extra money it will always cost to deliver. Students already use online content but need better ways to interact with material before every class. By using online quizzes and games, rethinking our assignments and course design, we can create more class time for the activities and interactions that most spark the critical thinking and change of mental models we seek.
José Antonio Bowen is President of Goucher College. Bowen has won teaching awards at Stanford, Georgetown, Miami, and Southern Methodist University, where he was Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. He has written over 100 scholarly articles, edited the Cambridge Companion to Conducting (2003), is an editor of the 6-CD set, Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology (2011), and has appeared as a musician with Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin, and others. He has written a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), music for Hubert Laws and Jerry Garcia, and is the author of Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2012) which was the winner of the Ness Award for Best Book on Higher Education from the American Association of Colleges and Universities. He is also a Founding Board Member of the National Recording Preservation Board for the Library of Congress and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in England. Stanford honored him as a Distinguished Alumni Scholar in 2010. See his blog at teachingnaked.com or follow him on Twitter @josebowen.
Dr. José Bowen (Goucher College)
Join mentor-teachers from across the disciplines for informational conversations about teaching.
Kimberly Eby (Provost Office/Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence) will welcome participants.
ITL Teaching Hosts:
|10:30am-12:00pm||Global Complexity and Ethics in the Classroom|
Mara Schoeny (School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution) and Arthur Romano (School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution)
The purpose of this session is twofold: to provide a conversational space for exploring ethical challenges for educators and to provide resources for navigating these challenges in the globalized classroom. The session opens with a facilitated focus group, where participants can share their experiences of ethical challenges faced in the classroom in light of demographic, technological, and institutional shifts in higher education. Presenters will then share insights and best practices gathered by the Working Group on Global Complexity and Ethics in Education at Mason, from student preparation and mentoring to stimulating critical engagement with complex problems. Our focus is course-based strategies that engage and prepare learners at Mason to live ethically within an increasingly complex international context.
|10:30am-12:00pm||Research and Scholarship-Intensive Courses: A Primer and Workshop|
Bethany Usher (Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research)
One aspect of the Students as Scholars initiative is the Research and Scholarship-intensive course designation. At Mason, we approach teaching research from a developmental and scaffolded perspective, with students being introduced to scholarship in Discovery courses, acquiring disciplinary skills in Inquiry courses, and finally taking responsibility for carrying out a scholarly project in RS courses.
In this hands-on session, faculty will learn features of RS courses, including which courses are currently RS designated; the process of applying for an RS designation for their class; how to use a curriculum map to plan their course; and strategies for teaching and evaluating an RS course. Faculty at three levels are invited to participate in this session: those who are poised to apply for RS designation, instructors who are exploring the possibility, and professors who want to understand what students are doing in RS courses.
|1:00pm-2:30pm||Flipping the Cosmos: Using Active Learning Techniques in a Large-Enrollment Astronomy Class|
Rebecca Ericson (School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences), Mario Gliozzi (School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences), Katelyn Fariss (School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences), and Robyn Meier (School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences)
"We will demonstrate turning the “cosmos” of general education astronomy upside-down with a studio-style class.
Four components that matter:
• Move what students can do alone: listening, reading, and practice activities outside the classroom
• Use classroom time to address difficult concepts and techniques
• Employ learning assistants to engage with students as knowledgeable peers
• Leverage classroom energy with structured groups and activities that concentrate on examining processes through the lens of specific content
Participants will engage in activities similar to those in our active learning astronomy classrooms. They will work through several short learning activities while presenters circulate to guide and focus the work, demonstrating the flow and structure of a typical class session. Small white boards allow us to simulate “writing on the wall” activities, so we can see quickly where groups of participants are grasping concepts and where they bog down. “Mini-lectures” will highlight some of the technology in the high-tech classroom, as we discuss what worked and what didn’t work so well. At several points, we will open discussion so participants can examine how the technique or technology might work for them, regardless of discipline.
|2:45pm-4:15pm||Enhancing Teaching through SIMPLE Faculty Development Groups|
Jill Nelson (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Margret Hjalmarson (Graduate School of Education), Cody Edwards (Provost Office), Laura Kosoglu (Civil, Environmental, & Infrastructure Engineering), Craig Lorie (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Mary Nelson (Mathematical Sciences), Katherine Pettigrew (Chemistry & Biochemistry), and Reid Schwebach (Governor's School @ Innovation Park)
The presenters are members of a cross-disciplinary teaching design group at Mason including faculty in science, mathematics, engineering, and education. As part of an NSF-funded project focused on improving undergraduate STEM teaching, each member is trying a new research-proven instructional technique in our classes. Most techniques were focused on formative assessment or student engagement in learning. We meet monthly to share our progress and challenges, as well as to discuss relevant literature in education and the learning sciences. In addition, we are each preparing to lead a discipline-focused team starting this fall.
In this interactive session, we will share the new techniques we are trying, how the teaching design group has affected our pedagogical efforts, and why attendees might be interested in joining (and perhaps eventually leading) a teaching design group in their discipline. We will ask attendees to consider new techniques they have considered for their courses and to brainstorm about how they might take the first step in implementing such techniques. We’ll also ask them to discuss with attendees from similar disciplines in order to form the groundwork for new teaching design teams.
|10:30am-11:10am||Building Orientation Courses for Online Programs: The GeoIntelligence Certificate Case|
Nektaria Tryfona (College of Science)
Many times, students entering online programs think that courses are easier and less time-consuming. However, this is not case: for a successful learning experience, distance education requires organization, dedication, and well-defined rules and expectations. It is even more intensive when we talk about online certificates, with lab-based courses requiring longer effort and discipline to be completed.
We present GGS 501 MOL, the orientation course to the online GeoIntelligence Certificate. Its main objective is to help students understand, evaluate, and prepare themselves in terms of courses’ expectations, time commitment, online communication, and technology requirements. In GGS 501, MOL students learn by example. All the aforementioned goals are achieved by incorporating instructional activities, readings, and five easy but graded assignments simulating the upcoming GeoIntelligence courses. At the same time, students practice the learning environment in terms of locating information and collaborating with peers and their instructor.
The benefit of introducing such a course is multifold, as it allows students to experience the learning environment and feel comfortable in it; meet courses’ expectations, rules, and communication protocol throughout the ceriticate; and feel members of the learning community which is formed early on and is there to assist them. As a result, it has a positive effect in students’ retention and satisfaction and faculty workload.
|10:30am-11:10am||Instructional Design Cycle Applied to an Online Psychology Course|
Jennifer Brielmaier (Psychology) and Ying-Ying Kuo (Learning Support Services)
Regardless of the discipline, an effective instructional design is critical for development of a high quality online course. Instructional design involves a closed cycle that includes task analysis, design, development, implement, and evaluation. This presentation will demonstrate a showcase of the development of a fully-online course, Physiological Psychology (PSYC 372), which is being taught this semester. The design team, consisting of the instructor and an instructional designer, started this project in fall 2013. The instructor delivered one of the online lessons to a face-to-face PSYC 372 class in spring 2014, when she had to attend a professional conference off-campus. This showcase will explain how the lesson was tested in a formative evaluation during the development phase as well as evaluated by the students who took it in a fully online setting. In order to understand how students had learned, a survey which included ten questions using a four-point Likert scale and three open-ended questions was delivered to collect students’ feedback on their learning. The data was analyzed and used as an input to support the design criteria and for the revision of the course design.
|10:30am-11:10am||Oral Reviews: Retaining STEM Majors|
Mary Nelson (Mathematical Sciences) and Stephen Liddle (Mathematical Sciences)
Oral reviews are 60-minute ungraded, voluntary small group sessions in which a facilitator asks scripted conceptual questions, which are the basis of the content to be covered on an upcoming written test. Students are asked to explain concepts and draw representations. The objective is to get students to negotiate meaning and make important connections. These sessions have been used in math, biology, engineering, and environmental science and have shown course grade improvements of about one letter grade for students participating in three orals over the course of the semester.
|11:20am-12:00pm||Balancing Pedagogy, Interactivity, and Accessibility: A Faculty-IT Support Partnership|
Kara Zirkle (Assistive Technology Initiative) and Shahron Williams van Rooij (Graduate School of Education)
This session will share the processes and best practices of a collaboration between faculty and IT (ATI) to create an interactive, accessible, self-paced online course to teach undergraduates to cultivate the self-discipline and self-direction required for online learning success. The session includes a live course demonstration.
|11:20am-12:00pm||Engaging Students Online: Designing Case-Based Online Courses|
Larisa Olesova (Learning Support Services) and Rodger Smith (Communication)
Students’ engagement in asynchronous online courses has been widely discussed and studied. Researchers and educators have investigated practical implications and effectiveness of variety of approaches to increase students’ engagement in asynchronous online courses. One of the most effective approaches considers a case-study design where students engage in solving the real-world problems. This design allows students to engage in collaborative learning with their peers. On one hand, they need to collaborate in active, ongoing discussions to find the most effective solution. On the other hand, they need to get involved in role-based activity to solve the problems. This presentation will overview design, development, and implementation of a case-based online course for students majoring in communication. The presenters will discuss how they designed activities for the case-based online course and will share their tips and recommendations for those interested in using this design to increase online engagement. By the end of this presentation, both presenters will review assessment results of what students liked and didn’t like when engaged in solving real-world problems.
|11:20am-12:00pm||Choosing Your Own Adventure: Attitudes and Outcomes When Students Pick the Content of an Upper-Level Economics Course|
Jason Dunick (Economics)
This session will present results from a pedagogical study looking at the impact of an inquiry-based structure on an upper-level course in economics. In the course, students had to find, summarize, and evaluate sources that would then become the reading assignments and main content for the course. The goal of this structure was to promote both an understanding of complex economic concepts and to develop research and communication skills to effectively find, summarize, and present the material to the class. This session will provide an overview of the results from the study, which includes both pre- and post-measures of the learning outcomes in the class, as well as pre- and post-survey results on attitudes towards this type of course structure. This session will also be an opportunity to have a short discussion of the benefits and pitfalls of allowing students to find and shape the content for an entire course.
|11:20am-12:00pm||Running the Intellectual Marathon at Mason: Coaching Our Graduate Student Writers Across the Finish Line|
Paul Rogers (English), Sarah Baker (English/INTO Mason), Karyn Mallett (Linguistics/INTO Mason), and Anna Habib (English/INTO Mason)
Research on graduate-level writing highlights the many demands on today’s graduate students, including the obstacles they face and the supports they need to move through the dissertation phase and towards full participation in the professions. This panel presents results from two separate mixed methods studies of Mason graduate-level writers (at the master's and doctoral levels) across the disciplines. The first study is an evaluation of dissertation writing, writers, and supervision. The second study investigates a course-based intervention aimed at supporting first-year, international, multilingual graduate students. The studies surface the most critical challenges faculty and students face in negotiating graduate level curricula, instruction, and writing and point towards data-driven interventions designed to support the successful completion of degree programs. Results are relevant to graduate faculty, advisor, and student populations.
|1:00pm-1:40pm||Creating Interactive and Engaging Online AT Degree Programs: Lessons Learned|
Yoosun Chung (Graduate School of Education), Anya Evmenova (Graduate School of Education), Emily Fallings (Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities), Cindy George (Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities), Marci Kinas Jerome (Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities), Kristine Neuber (Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities), and Larisa Olesova (Learning Support Services)
The showcase will consist of four parts: the AT Online Program overview, development of online media, best practices of designing and implementing online activities and assignments to engage students, and evaluation of the online program.
In the overview, presenters will share with participants the availability of online university-based AT training options. Presenters will highlight the newly redesigned online AT certificate and masters programs at Mason. Presenters will share their experiences and challenges in designing a high-quality online program. Then, presenters will show how they planned, designed, and developed online multimedia to increase teaching and social presence in asynchronous online environment. Next, presenters will discuss their best practices. They will share several strategies and tools that they utilize within the programs at Mason to maximize student engagement. Presenters will also discuss strategies for maintaining the human connection within an online program. Finally, presenters will discuss evaluation results and share what strategies they have found successful. Presenters will share student perspectives related to participation and satisfaction.
|1:00pm-1:40pm||Teaching Online: The Basics|
Steve Nodine (Distance Education)
Are you interested in teaching online but are uncertain of what that means? Have you wondered about how online teaching is different from traditional classroom teaching? Do you have trouble imagining how you can get to know your students from a distance? This session will focus on delivery rather than the design of online courses. It will break down the basics of teaching online and will offer examples of best practices and practical strategies for adapting your teaching to fit the online environment. This information is primarily targeted to new-to-online instructors and administrators, but experienced faculty are welcome!
|1:00pm-1:40pm||High-Impact Practices: Signature Learning Experiences for Social Action and Integrative Learning |
Kelly Dalton (Social Action & Integrative Learning), Patty Mathison (Social Action & Integrative Learning), Julie Owen (New Century College), and Wendy Wagner (Social Action & Integrative Learning)
The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Liberal Education for America's Promise (LEAP) has identified teaching and learning practices that research has shown to be beneficial for college student learning and retention. These High Impact Practices (HIPS) include common intellectual experiences, learning communities, collaborative projects, undergraduate research, service learning/community based learning, internships, global experiences, and capstone courses. This session will show how HIPS can be leveraged to:
• Build on emerging scholarship of teaching and learning;
• Connect to shifting university general education requirements;
• Honor connections with student affairs and the co-curriculum;
• Promote and assess transformative learning in students and faculty.
Practical examples and resources for implementation with be provided.
|1:00pm-1:40pm||Flipping a Large Lecture Class|
Joanna Boyette (Mathematical Sciences)
Flipped and active learning classrooms are becoming more common as technology has allowed us to move traditional lecture outside the class and onto students’ phones, tablets and computers. But many of us are still assigned to teach large courses which assume a traditional lecture model. The presenter describes her experience flipping a large (90 person) lecture course in mathematics and discusses some tips, tricks, and methods for classroom management in the flipped setting. Some structured brainstorming time will be allocated to allow participants to think through pre-semester planning, outlining class time, managing student expectations, assigning groups, organizing work, and grading.
|1:00pm-1:40pm||Telling Stories, Making Arguments: Responding to Personal Experience in Classroom Discussions of Social Justice Issues|
Lynne Scott Constantine (School of Art) and Suzanne Scott Constantine (New Century College)
Storytelling is among the most powerful tools in a university professor’s pedagogy. Students, too, tell stories—but while the professor’s story is usually an example meant to introduce or support an argument based on other forms of evidence, students often deploy their personal stories as arguments, conflating pathos and logos and presenting personal experience as the ultimate evidence. These stories/arguments typically make their appearance in highly-charged classroom encounters around subjects like race, gender, sexuality, religion, money, and social justice; their appearance often signals that students are experiencing their core beliefs as running counter to the narrative of the course. This session examines the complex dynamics of this common classroom situation and explores a variety of ways to use such moments positively to deepen the classroom encounter.
|1:50pm-2:30pm||Authentic Learning Experiences in an Online Capstone Course|
Robin Ericson (School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution) and Susan Campbell (Learning Support Services)
Since 2011, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution has offered our MS capstone course online, CONF 642, Integration of Theory and Practice. Learning activities meet integration objectives, including employment-related skills and artifacts and modular-based processes to apply theory to practice. Other disciplines could apply similar techniques to capstone courses, synthesizing learning and creating with a view toward a profession.
In collaboration with a course designer, we ensured equivalency with the traditional course, while leveraging widely-available technological tools tailored to students with a broad background in conflict theory. During this session, we will demonstrate the value of a variety of delivery methods in learning activities, explain the focus on higher-level learning objectives for weekly exercises, and show how we integrated the synthesis of ideas in the field of conflict analysis and resolution through major student deliverables. By the end of the course, students expand and synthesize theories learned during their program to better align with their chosen practice. They also create a paper of publishable quality and an e-portfolio, including artifacts demonstrating their preparation for work in the field. The DL approach is an ideal delivery method for integrating theory with practice, tailored to individual needs.
|1:50pm-2:30pm||Writing á la Carte: The Use of Blackboard Tools and Social Media to Provide Individualized Feedback in an Online Writing Course|
Esperanza Román-Mendoza (Modern & Classical Languages)
This presentation describes a series of strategies used to provide individualized feedback in an online course in Advanced Spanish Writing taught at Mason in spring 2014. These strategies include several types of microcontent, such as mini video clips and audio clips recorded with Kaltura, tweets and Twitter hashtags, color coding in Wikis, tracked edit changes in MS Word, and comments in the discussion forums. The different online course components will be presented so that the strategies used to provide feedback can be discussed and evaluated in their pedagogical context.
|1:50pm-2:30pm||Are They Getting It?: Teaching and Assessing Content in Multilingual Classrooms|
Melissa Ferro (New Century College/INTO Mason), Anna Habib (English/INTO Mason), Karyn Mallett (Linguistics/INTO Mason), and Joel Phillips (Graduate School of Education/INTO Mason)
George Mason University is pleased to have growing international enrollments, offering all students the opportunity to engage with a more global environment on a daily basis. Yet with such opportunities for engagement come new questions with regard to teaching and learning. One major concern faculty frequently voice has to do with international/multilingual students’ comprehension of lectures and course readings. Specifically, faculty often feel that they have a hard time gauging students’ understanding of texts/discussions/lectures on the basis of students’ oral contribution and written assignments. In this panel, faculty and support staff with extensive experience working with international and multilingual students will share teaching and tutoring strategies for supporting Mason’s growing population of diverse learners. The presenters will discuss overall internationalization trends in US institutions of higher education generally and at Mason specifically, contextualizing the needs of both faculty and students as they adjust to the changing landscape; describe the challenges and opportunities of transitioning to teaching a growing multilingual student body, focusing specifically on how universal design can help faculty assess student comprehension of oral course content; offer strategies for checking students’ comprehension of course readings; and discuss approaches to evaluating student writing and identifying gaps in student comprehension.
After attending this session, participants will have a greater understanding of the context, challenges and opportunities of internationalizing our classrooms. Specifically, participants will learn a variety of inclusive teaching strategies, ranging from pre-planning, in-class content delivery and learning assessments, to support multilingual student comprehension and engagement.
|1:50pm-2:30pm||Weatherproofing Your Course|
Joseph Balducci (Learning Support Services), Lynne Scott Constantine (School of Art), Jonathan Goldman (Volgenau School of Engineering), Katrina Joseph (Learning Support Services), and Bethany Usher (Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research)
Snowmageddon! Derecho! Campus power failures! School closings and canceled classes can wreak havoc on that perfectly-planned semester syllabus, and even if you get a make-up day, the rhythm of your class learning cycle has been disrupted. A panel of Mason faculty and instructional designers will discuss their own experiences in recent storms and methods for overcoming the disruptions. The panelists will discuss how to use technology in various ways to assist student learning and engagement when Mason is closed, ideas on creatively continuing the learning process outside of your class sessions, preparing your students for those changes, and resources for more tips. Attendees will be encouraged to participate by contributing their own experiences and through a Q&A session.
|1:50pm-2:30pm||Teaching in Circles: Making the Most of the Active Learning Classroom|
Cheryl Druehl (Information Systems & Operations Management), Anne Magro (Accounting), and Paige Wolf (Management)
With the pervasiveness of online learning, traditional institutions of higher education with significant investments in brick and mortar learning spaces are adapting by experimenting with more engaging forms of classroom instruction. For example, innovative learning strategies, such as the “flipped classroom,” optimize how physical spaces are used on campus. In spring 2014, Mason launched two “sandbox” classrooms in Robinson Hall to experiment with active learning and teaching. The purpose of this session is to share lessons learned from three faculty who each taught in one of these classrooms.
The classrooms facilitate multiple modes of teaching and learning with distinctive features such as flexible seating and tables, movable/numerous whiteboards, and multiple screens. Presenters will describe strategies that promote active learning rather than only lecture-style instruction. In addition, they will address opportunities and challenges they found from their teaching experience in terms of planning, classroom management, assessment, and student involvement. Each presenter will share an overview of how they designed one class period, highlighting applicability to both “softer” and technically/quantitatively-oriented topics in their respective disciplines. They will summarize key lessons learned and takeaways for other faculty who are using or adopting this approach.
|2:45pm-3:25pm||Video Recording Made Easy: Applications for Gateway Library’s OneButton Studio|
Jason Byrd (University Libraries), Todd Stafford (University Libraries), Royce Gildersleeve (University Libraries), Christal Ferrance (University Libraries), and Kara Kiblinger (University Libraries)
Learn how easy video recording can be with the new OneButton Studio, located in Gateway Library. Attendees will observe how this studio drastically reduces the amount of knowledge necessary to make professional video recordings. In addition, the presenters will lead a discussion on applications in courses, including flipping the classroom, adding media literacy components to course objectives, and incorporating video recordings into assignments.
|2:45pm-3:25pm||Leveraging Technology to Provide Signature Academic Advising Experiences|
Jeannie Brown Leonard (Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions)
Academic advising is a strategic priority that must be improved to help Mason reach its retention and degree completion goals (100,000 degrees in ten years). Through our partnership with the Education Advisory Board’s Student Success Collaborative (SSC), academic programs have access to an analysis of Mason’s degree progress data from 1999 to 2009. The analysis of our own institutional data increases its relevance and provides insights on how students who have graduated in a given major progressed through their curriculum. Academic programs consult this analysis to identify success marker courses and determine a grade threshold and a preferred semester when each course should be taken to improve chances for success. The promise of the SSC is that it offers a proactive approach to reach students who are off track for degree completion but otherwise are in good standing at the university. In this session, faculty will learn more about the SSC, see a demonstration of the academic advising platform, and discuss how to integrate this new technology into academic advising workflow via case studies.
|2:45pm-3:25pm||Using the Active Learning Model in a Senior Capstone Course: Customizing the Learning Experience|
Catherine Tompkins (Social Work) and Emily Ihara (Social Work)
Active and engaged learning that has real-world implications is an ideal learning environment for students. In our senior social work capstone Research Scholarship (RS) course, two faculty team-taught this class of 58 students and attempted to achieve this goal. Our students worked with a community partner (Campus Kitchens) to engage in original research for three different projects to answer questions that were critical for the community partner’s future success. Students met twice a week, one session in their project teams (generally without faculty present), and one session with all students and faculty present. The final results were presented at an event organized by the students, as well as at other university events geared toward showcasing undergraduate research. In this interactive presentation, we will share pedagogical innovations, challenges, and successes from our experience of teaching in an active learning classroom for the first time, designing the course specifically for engaged learning, and working with multiple stakeholders throughout the process. The perspectives from the students, the community partner, and faculty will be shared. We view the course as a “work-in-progress,” and therefore encourage participants to share strategies that may be helpful for designing and implementing these types of courses.
|2:45pm-3:25pm||The Undergraduate Research Lab: Research Experience for Real Life|
Danielle Rudes (Criminology, Law & Society) and Jill Viglione (Criminology, Law & Society)
For many undergraduate students, locating opportunities to build a research skill set is challenging. Framed by Mason’s Students as Scholars initiative, the Center for Advancing Correctional Excellence (ACE!) runs an Undergraduate Research Lab. The Lab works using a nested mentoring model where faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students learn from each other.
In the Lab, UGRAs often participate in:
• Coding qualitative data using Atlas.ti
• Analyzing qualitative data
• Validating program fidelity (adherence to program)
• Conducting literature searches and assembling literature reviews
• Assisting faculty and students build presentations for academic conferences
• Recruiting and interviewing research subjects
• Beta testing for an online training modules
Besides building student resumes and invigorating a love for research, the Lab improves student research skills, knowledge of the discipline, and critical thinking through daily exposure to a research environment and a hands-on approach to learning. Through participation in the lab, students learn to apply their undergraduate classroom experiences to real-world research settings, creating a signature learning experience.
|2:45pm-3:25pm||The Math Skills Workshop: A Unit-Wide Collaboration to Fill Gaps in Student Learning|
Shannon Williams (School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs), Silva Pecini (School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs), Amit Patel (Krasnow/School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs), Lokesh Dani (School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs), and Lisardo Bolanos Fletes (School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs)
This interactive session will describe the creation of a successful remedial academic skills workshop for students and will discuss collaborative approaches to implementing similar workshops across disciplines. “Math Camp” was first created as a single-session, non-credit class free and open to all School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs (formerly School of Public Policy) students. The presenters will describe a department-wide venture between faculty mentors, Student Services, and PhD students to transform the program into a student-taught math skills workshop comprised of diagnostic components, classroom instruction, and asynchronous online modules. Ongoing assessment and frequent updates have contributed to an adaptive program that meets three needs of the school: 1) improving students’ quantitative skills by making targeted instruction available across multiple platforms; 2) providing doctoral students with expanded pedagogical, technological, and tiered mentorship opportunities; and 3) allowing faculty to concentrate on developing courses that meet substantive learning objectives. The presenters will describe the design of the collaboration, explore novel uses of instruction and technology that have improved outcomes, and discuss implications for students, faculty, and administrators. Broader applications will be explored as SPGIA is launching a similar program to provide doctoral-student-led remedial writing instruction in a hybrid class format.
|3:35pm-4:15pm||Designing and Implementing Experiential Learning through Multimedia-Based Activities and Blogging in Asynchronous Online Courses|
Larisa Olesova (Learning Support Services) and David Miller (Communication)
This presentation will discuss the design and implementation of experiential learning for students who are enrolled in asynchronous online course in summer 2014. Presenters, an instructor of the course, and an instructional designer will share how they designed experiential learning in this course through Blackboard Learn and WordPress. Presenters will show how students got actively involved in the experience of writing critical reviews for a real audience. Then, presenters will describe how students reflected on their own experiences of writing critical reviews through active online discussions and peer reviews and show examples of how students in this course were involved in decision-making activities while using new ideas gained from going to art exhibits, live performances, or watching movies/TV shows. Benefits and challenges of designing experiential learning in asynchronous online environment will be discussed. Participants will also have an opportunity to be involved in active discussions of their own experiences in designing and teaching online courses.
|3:35pm-4:15pm||Learner Analysis in Web-Based Instructional Design|
Ying-Ying Kuo (Learning Support Services)
Most learner analysis focuses on students’ demographics and previous knowledge and experiences, but how those factors are associated with instructional considerations are still inconclusive. Instructors need effective instructional guidance to design and manage online courses, so that learners who have diverse backgrounds can be supported.
This study presents an approach of analyzing learning characteristics with the development and validation of the Learning Traits Questionnaire (LTQ). The LTQ includes 20 questions using a six-point Likert scale and was administrated in spring 2013; about 500 students at Mason voluntarily took it. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted, and five learning characteristics were identified with about 55% of variance explained. The five learning characteristics—Group Preference, Instructional Support, Procrastination, Computer Competency, and Learning Confidence—could be critical factors for instructors to consider when they analyze the targeted learners. With these five characteristics, instructors might design learning activities and manage online courses with supportive instructional designs, such as group interactions, content in multiple formats, and timely learning and technical support. This study initialized a new angle of learner analysis for web-based instructional design. Furthermore, validation of the LTQ will be conducted to contribute toward distance teaching and learning.
|3:35pm-4:15pm||Writing a Proposal for the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program: A Model for Scholarly Communication in and Beyond the Classroom|
Rebecca Jones (Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research)
The Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) is a competitive internal grant at Mason that funds student-mentor teams to engage in scholarly and creative activity. The application for URSP is a narrative proposal that requires the student to articulate the value of the scholarly project and clearly outline the process by which s/he plans to complete it. The process of writing a grant proposal reaches several key learning outcomes and may be modified to suit a classroom setting. In this presentation, the required components of the application will be presented. Successful proposals will be available, and examples will be given of how this proposal has been included in English 302 and other Mason courses to reach their objectives. Participants will have the opportunity to brainstorm about how they may include similar proposal writing in their classes.
|3:35pm-4:15pm||The Whip and the Chair: Taming Lions in the Classroom Using Improv and Storytelling Techniques|
Ann Cavazos Chen (English)
Being a subject matter expert is only part of successful classroom management. Classrooms filled with students are just like audiences at a stage performance. Increasingly, they have an expectation that they will be entertained and not just taught. Techniques from the stage transfer well into the classroom and can improve student's attention, participation, and attendance. This session is geared toward new adjunct faculty and first-year teaching assistants.
Strategies covered include:
• Taking command of the "stage"
• Using stories to illustrate your points
• Using the rules of improv to engage students and encourage class discussion
• How to handle hecklers
• Breaking the time period into small bits with bursts of "off track" or "asides" that seem not to be related to the class
• How to change your inflection and avoid death by monotone
• Prizes, props, and other assorted silliness
|3:35pm-4:15pm||Calculus I in the ALT Classroom: The First Week Sets the Tone for the Term|
Bob Sachs (Mathematical Sciences)
The presentation will focus on the successful strategies pursued in the first week of fall 2013, in which student inhibition for writing on the boards and speaking with each other was overcome. These issues are not unique to mathematics. Time permitting, results on student performance in calculus II and other aspects may be discussed.
Note to Presenters: Our poster boards are 48″x36″ and can be oriented either vertically or horizontally. See http://oscar.gmu.edu/students/student-toolbox.cfm for tips on creating a presentation poster. The Johnson Center location of Print Services can accommodate wide format printing.
|4:15pm-5:30pm||A Strategy to Enhance Student Learning in Biostatistics|
Kevin Chavers (Undergraduate Biology Program) and Mariam Waqar (Undergraduate Biology Program)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Advancing the Mentorship of Academic-Year Governor’s School (AYGS) Student Research Across VA: Teacher Professional Development for the 19 VA AYGS at Front Royal|
Padmanabhan Seshaiyer (Mathematical Sciences), Reid Schwebach (Governor's School @ Innovation Park), Karen Dalfrey (Governor's School @ Innovation Park), and Alonso Aguirre (Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Bringing History into the Lab: Innovations in Presentation of Experimental Concepts|
Mary Ewell (School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Charting Your Online Course Plan by Following a Systematic Design Framework|
Rick Reo (Learning Support Services), Katrina Joseph (Learning Support Services), and Susan Campbell (Learning Support Services)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Converting a Traditional Lecture Course to Active Learning with Technology Course in Chemistry|
Katherine Pettigrew (Chemistry & Biochemistry) and Angeline Palmer (Chemistry & Biochemistry)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Exploring Visioning as a Tool for Instruction|
Seth Parsons (Graduate School of Education), Sydney Merz (Graduate School of Education), and Leila Nuland (Graduate School of Education)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Reading, Writing, and Research for Undergraduates: Introducing Scholarly Inquiry by Writing a Grant Proposal|
Ann Cavazos Chen (English)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||STEM Boot Camp: Improving Access by Engaging Incoming STEM Majors|
Padmanabhan Seshaiyer (Mathematical Sciences) and Claudette Davis (Undergraduate Biology Program)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Teaching Research Data Management|
Wendy Mann (University Libraries)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||The Mason Water Forum|
Paul Houser (Geography & Geoinformation Science), Lisa LaCivita (Geography & Geoinformation Science), and Bernadette Lemasters (Environmental Science & Policy)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Universal Design: Strategies and Examples to Assist Educators in the Classroom|
Linn Jorgenson (Office of Disability Services), Korey Singleton (Assistive Technology Initiative), and Deborah Mitchell (Office of Disability Services)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||Video Recording Made Easy: Applications for Gateway Library’s OneButton Studio|
Jason Byrd (University Libraries), Todd Stafford (University Libraries), Royce Gildersleeve (University Libraries), Christal Ferrance (University Libraries), and Kara Kiblinger (University Libraries)
|4:15pm-5:30pm||What’s the Problem?: Student-Centered Learning in Social Sciences Library Instruction|
Janna Mattson (University Libraries), Mary Oberlies (University Libraries), and Doug Hernandez (University Libraries)