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Teaching Effectiveness Symposium

Friday, August 19th 2016
Hughes Trigg Student Center - Lower Level
9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Featuring Keynote Speaker: Maryellen Weimer

Keynote Speaker Profile


Maryellen Weimer is professor emerita of Teaching and Learning at Penn State Berks and led instructional development at the university for more than a decade. Previously, she was the associate director of Penn State’s National Center on Postsecondary Teaching, Learning, and Assessment funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

She is a well-known writer, speaker, and proponent of effective teaching practices. Dr. Weimer has consulted with over 450 colleges and universities on instructional issues and regularly keynotes national meetings and regional conferences throughout the United States and Canada.

She has edited the acclaimedThe Teaching Professornewsletter since 1987, a monthly newsletter on college teaching with 15,000 subscribers and writes theTeaching ProfessorBlog.

The Teaching ProfessorBlogfeatures a new weekly post from Maryellen on such topics as: the scholarship of teaching and learning, classroom policies, active learning, assessment, generational differences, and student performance.

She has published several books on improving college teaching including:Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (2013),Inspired College Teaching: A Career-Long Resource for Professional Growth(2010), andEnhancing Scholarly Work on Teaching and Learning: Professional Literature that Makes a Difference(2006).



8:30 am - 9:00 am

Registration and Coffee

9:00 -  10:10 am


President Turner

Keynote -The Lecture-Active Learning Debate

Exchanges about the relative merits of lecture and active learning continue, but are becoming more acrimonious and polarized. Either you are for the lecture (and against active learning) or for active learning (and against the lecture). Active learning advocates have the evidence; those who lecture stand on tradition. Where's this debate headed? How accurately does it reflect what's actually happening in classrooms? Is there a viable place in the middle? This keynote will offer highlight from the debate and explore ways the conversation might be framed so that it move us forward productively.

Maryellen Weimer


10:20 - 11:20 am

Breakout Session 1


Fostering Inclusive Classrooms (Forum)

This session will explore and discuss how faculty develop and sustain an inclusive classroom climate for students with multiple and intersectional identities (led by the faculty learning community that explored this topic last year).

Presenters:Kiersten Ferguson - Education Policy and Leadership,Denisa Gandara - Education Policy and Leadership,Gail Hartin - Education Policy and Leadership,Alex Pavlakis - Education Policy and Leadership,Meredith Richards - Education Policy and Leadership

Distinguished Altshuler Roundtables (Promenades)

Join roundtables on important questions for improving your teaching led by the newly named Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors:Maria Dixon, Beth Thornburg, and Gabriela Vokic.

How Do We Shape World Changers? (Theater)

SMU greatly emphasizes student leadership; as teachers, we have a responsibility to lead well ourselves. Looking at texts that range from Cicero to Solzhenitsyn, this session will explore concepts such as duty, obligation, and courage as leadership qualities, finding ways to help our students both innovate and elevate society (led by the faculty learning community that explored this topic last year).

Presenters:Joan Arbery - English,Diana Blackman - English,Susan Kress - Engaged Learning,Kristen Polster - English,Ross Sloan - English

11:30 - 12:30 pm

Breakout Session 2


Back to School Readiness: Canvas, Classrooms, and Technology Services (Theater)

Jump-start your semester at SMU with news and updates relating to technology services! We will get you started using technology at SMU and we will provide you with the latest information regarding how to obtain technology services to engage your learners. This high-level technology services session will provide new and existing faculty an overview of SMU IT services and information about SMU’s Canvas course management system and other academic technology solutions and personnel. Please drop in to learn about SMU’s technology services and solutions for faculty.

Presenters: Rachel Mulry - OIT Director of Customer Services, Jason Warner - OIT Director of Academic Technology Services

Big Problems, Quick Fixes: Solutions to Common Student Research Problems (Promenades)

Participants will discuss problems students have with finding and using information with fellow instructors and librarians and walk away with concrete strategies and ideas that can be quickly implemented for improving student information literacy in the classroom.

Presenters: Kathleen Gallagher - Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship,Hollie Gardner - SMU Libraries,Sylvia George-Williams - SMU Libraries,Megan Heuer - SMU Libraries,Elizabeth Killingsworth - SMU Libraries

Engaging Students with Discussions (Forum)

Discussion strategies offer a powerful approach for engaging students with course content. This session will explore the benefits of discussions and practical tips to incorporate discussions in your teaching.

Presenter: Mickey Quinones - Management

12:30 - 2:00 pm



Keynote - Making Exams More about Learning and Less about Grades

We assess students' knowledge and skills for two reasons. We have a professional responsibility to certify their mastery of the material, and we give them exams because they promote learning. They are what get students engaged in the hard, messy work learning requires. That raises the question for faculty: how do we maximize the learning potential inherent in exams? Are there policies and practices in more and better learning from exams? We'll consider a variety of options and alternatives, each with features that can enhance learning.

Maryellen Weimer

Resource Fair available before and after lunch


TES Concludes