Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lilly Conference 2010

I attended my first Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching on February 5 & 6 (while you all were enjoying a "snow" day friday). The Lilly Conference was held at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro and this year's theme was Evidence Based Learning and Teaching. I believe it benefits librarians tremendously to attend non library conferences: not just for learning about topics from another discipline's perspective, but to chat with others in different disciplines, network, and build relationships to benefit libraries and those we teach and serve.

Summaries of sessions I attended - eventually the presentations and handouts will all be on the Lilly Conference web site:
  • Service & Experiential Learning Plenary Session by marin burton and emily janke of UNCG - They led an interactive plenary session about these 2 concepts: Experiential education - a philosophy and methodology in which educators purposefully engage learners in direct experiences w/ focused reflection in order to increase knowledge and develop skills and clarify values; includes reflection, critical analysis, and synthesis; learner is actively engaged; its not a dichotomy - need to keep traditional learning/reading/reflecting as well as experiential learning. Service learning: service (in non profits, schools, agencies, business etc) w/in academic course materials with critical reflections areas. Advantage in final course grade/retention, helps w/ career exploration, chance to apply theory to real situations, increases critical thinking/problem solving/prosocial reasoning, see others perspectives; show them how to construct new knowledge (co-construct). The library is a natural place for experiential (& even service) learning but how can we do more in this growing, important area?

  • Just in Time Teaching (JITT) by Scott Simkins NC A&T - Scott had the attendee fill out a survey in advance and used the responses in his session to demonstrate JITT - the idea is to gather info outside of class like a survey or post a question that might define learning gaps or engage students more effectively and use that in your teaching the next time you meet. Not only then do student know what to expect in class, they are connected better to material/readings from outside of class, and allows them a little reflection in the process. Scott handed out some great resources and examples that should be online soon.

  • Who's reading What and Why (in teaching and learning) by Donna Baily of UNC - some good suggestions and discussions on the best professional literature for various aspect of teaching. Some interesting books I want to check out:
    • Why don't students like school? : a cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for your classroom by Daniel T. Willingham (library record).
    • Brain Rules by John Medina (web site).
    • Building online learning communities : effective strategies for the virtual classroom by Rena M. Palloff, Keith Pratt (library record)

  • Howard Gardner Theory of Multiple Intelligences and Higher Education by Susan Autry of CPCC - always good to remember we all learn differently; understand how to reach more than one learning style is important and so is expanding your idea of what is "smart." Need to integrate other ideas and effective instruction to reach more students more effectively. Some interesting statistics (from meyers and jones 1993):
    • students only pay attend 40% of time
    • students take in 70% in first 10min and only 20% in rest of class
    • if you lecture more than 15min - student can take notes but not process info
    • 4 months after taking college survey course students only know 8% more than those never taking the class

  • Criteria Driven Approach to Instructional Technology by Jane Harris and Bonnie Canziani of UNCG - an excellent, interactive, sharing session on tools we have retained or dropped and a useful chart to evaluate instructional technology tools. All info and forms on their googlesite.

  • Civic Engagement: The Process of Learning by Doing - Prof Darlene Rodriguez and her PSC300 @ UNCG planned and moderated an open discussion for the campus community in Fall 09 called Democracy’s Challenge: Reclaiming the Public’s Role. what a wonderful example of civic engagement, experiential and service learning, giving students a chance to move beyond justtheory and apply knowledge first hand and reflect. Details.

  • Virtual Executive: Digital Problem Base Learning Object by Wade Maki of UNCG and Karen Hornsby of NC A&T - They demoed a few learning objects they created using Quandry - an open source tool to create case study type mazes (a choose your own adventure style). These tools are both digital and portable; offers multiple learning styles; its interactive and students can do it more than one time; its an example of formative assessment.

  • Evidenced Based Exploration and Discovery by Pam Carter of NC A&T -an example of engaged pedagogy, active co-learning evidence based exploration and discovery. Used the process model of curriculum design - facilitative teaching. The process of learning is central - not the content. For this class, students engaged in a Green IT project of their choosing. They created a website to educate students on campus, went around and looked at computer labs, researched and made recommendations to lower energy consumption to the campus.

  • What Research Tells Us: Principals for Making Feedback More Hearable
    By Kate Brinko of ASU - a very engaged interactive session where the attendees discussed in small groups stories of feedback - both positive and negative. From this we determined principals for hearable feedback: credible/knowledgeable/well-intentioned source; feedback told soon after event; sandwich negative btw positives; and give accurate, performance based (not personal), descriptive, and concrete feedback - and limit how much (people can only take in so much info at one time)

  • Feedback Session by Kim Cuny and Hema Yarragunta of UNCG Speaking Center - Discussed how feedback can be used in work environment, peer to peer, and subordinates to supervisor - basically create a more liner not hierarchical approach to feedback as they have done at the speaking center. How often as a supervisor/teacher do you ask you your students to give you feedback? In a diverse workplace today, feedback impt for all levels: helps newcomers learn the ropes in workplace, improves student performance, allows for consideration of opportunities of further development for all, maintains desired productivity which lead to students having a better chance to adjust their experiences; supervisors/teachers can learn from students as well and become better facilitators of knowledge.