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GTA Conference Descriptions

Teaching for Transfer and Transformation

Presenter: Kevin Pugh

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

Two major challenges faced by instructors are (1) students struggle mightily when required to transfer their learning (i.e., apply it in real-world contexts) and (2) student learning typically is not transformative (i.e., it doesn't change the way students see and experience the world). I will address these two related challenges and share instructional models that have proven effective at helping students transfer their learning and undergo transformative experiences with their learning.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Understand what it means for students to transfer their learning and undergo transformative experiences.
  • Identify strategies for fostering transfer of learning.
  • Identify strategies for fostering transformative experiences.

Tips for Forming Inquiry-Based Learning Environments

Presenter: Katherine Morrison & Gulden Karakok

Skill level:

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

Inquiry-based learning (IBL) has been argued to help students develop critical thought processes. However, developing such learning environments and curriculum materials are not easy tasks. Through our presentation, we will share some key elements of IBL, such as organizing lessons around authentic problems or questions to give students a flavor of the discipline, engaging the students in sense-making activities where they give evidence-based explanations, and giving students opportunities to communicate their ideas while the teacher facilitates the discussion. In addition, IBL activities for various disciplines together with possible ways to create IBL environments will be shared.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Understand the key aspects of inquiry-based learning environments.
  • Implement those key aspects in their classrooms to facilitate such environments.
  • Develop activities that promote inquiry-based learning goals.

Rubrics: The Key to Authentic Assessment

Presenter: Jeraldine Kraver

Skill level:

  • Beginner

Description

The only way to measure student mastery of the concepts and skills associated with a field of study is through AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENT. AUTHENTIC ASSESSMENTS are those that look to recreate meaningful, real world, contextualized tasks. Such assessments allow students to demonstrate competency with concepts and skills. Traditional pencil and paper testing does not offer opportunities for such assessments. I want to show you how, through using the assessment tool of the GRADING RUBRIC, you can measure students’ mastery of the skills they are learning in authentic—and, thus, meaningful ways.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Identify the elements of authentic assessment.
  • Define criteria and descriptors as they apply to particular assignments.
  • Craft a rubric that ensures meaningful assessment.

Engaging Students in Active Learning Through Carefully Designed Student Activities in the Classroom

Presenter: Jingzi (Ginny) Huang

Skill level:

  • Beginner

Description

Students in the college classrooms complain that classes are boring and they are not engaged. They skip classes believing that they still can learn. The presentation will provide ideas for classroom activities that will actively engage students in learning and convince the students of the need to attend classes in order to learn.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Describe three classroom activities that can actively engaged students in learning in classroom settings.
  • Explain how one engaging activity can be designed in the context of a class to be taught in the fall semester.
  • Develop a plan to implement selected classroom activities that lead the students to see the point of attending classes for learning.

An Honest Conversation about Academic Dishonesty

Presenter: Deborah Romero

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Description

This workshop invites candid conversation around the topic of academic dishonesty. In particular participants will explore reasons for student cheating and dishonesty, instructor responsibilities and general consequences. Participants will learn about traditional factors surrounding these issues and explore a revised framework to support and engage students in honest and successful academic experiences.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Critically examine their own views on academic dishonesty.
  • Understand academic (dis)honesty at UNC and one faculty’s experience.
  • Develop techniques that promote academic honesty and support student success.

Bringing Your Strengths into the Classroom

Presenter: Doug Woody

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

This talk will encourage teachers to consider the least studied set of variables in the classroom: strengths and weaknesses of their own teaching. I will present recommendations that can help emerging teachers identify and teach to their own strengths while identifying and minimizing weaknesses.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Identify tools to help them learn more about themselves.
  • Incorporate their own strengths into their classrooms.
  • Strategically fit their classroom teaching strategies to their students, their class, the course ideas, and themselves as teachers.

Keeping Classrooms Cool: Engaging Activities that Promote Meaningful Learning

Presenter: Jeri Kraver

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

When did learning become such a drag? Fun in the classroom is suddenly a four-letter word. No matter what your content area, there are a number of quality activities that encourage creative thinking and learning. And they are fun. Know this: fun activities and challenging learning are not antithetical. And, fun does not mean easy. Good instructors have a quiver filled with activities designed to surprise and delight students.

This session requires you to to bring additional materials including

  1. A short reading assignment from a class you will be teaching or with which you will be working.
  2. A mind opened to the notion that learning can, should, no, it must be, fun.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Define what we mean by meaningful learning and activities.
  • Develop an activity to use on the first class day.
  • Facilitate group work in ways that support and enhance other modes of instruction regardless of class size.

Multi What? Tips and Strategies for Understanding and Supporting Multilingual Students’ in the College Classroom

Presenter: Deborah Romero

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Description

This presentation offers participants insight into the changing demographics and linguistic diversity in our college classrooms. An initial overview of English learner characteristics and a consideration of common myths surrounding multilingual learners, will be followed with discussion and sharing of pedagogical approaches to support academic language success and classroom success for all students.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Critically examine their own views on and experiences with multilingual learners.
  • Support speaking and listening for English language learners in the classroom.
  • Apply techniques and tips to promote academic reading and writing with English language learners.

Cultural Dimensions: Working with International Students

Presenter: Elaine Steneck

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Description

The presentation will cover cultural dimensions from Hofstede's Cultures and Organizations research. Topics covered include "Power Distance," "Uncertainty Avoidance," "Collective vs Individualistic," and "Gender Roles." These topics help to explain how international students might act in a classroom setting.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Identify cultural dimension that affect international students.
  • Develop understanding of differences in power distance regarding education.
  • Demonstrate understanding of cultural competence.

Using Instructor Created Videos to Enhance Your Instruction

Presenter: Jerry Overmyer

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

I will show students how they can easily create and post instructional videos on their course BlackBoard site. This helps to enhance their course and creates a permanent archive of their difficult lessons and topics. Instructors do not have to explain the same topics over and over!

Task prior to session: Make sure your login for BB is functional prior to Workshop If you need help with your log info for BB contact IT Help Desk

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Apply best practices for choosing what topics best lend themselves to video.
  • Create basic instructional videos.
  • Visualize how instructional videos integrate with BlackBoard

Effective Communication Strategies for Working with International Students

Presenter: Heidi Holycross-Lui

Skill level:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Description

In this session, graduate teaching assistants will learn about our international student population at UNC, with particular focus paid to our largest international, degree-seeking populations (Saudi, Thai, and Chinese). Although many graduate teaching assistants fear working with these students, there are ways to facilitate communication between diverse student populations that ensure effective understanding. This session seeks to reassure graduate teaching assistants that they will be able to teach international students well and to assist in brainstorming possible solutions to communication difficulties before they arise.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Develop understanding of common misconceptions that international students have in regards to studying in US universities.
  • Develop understanding of typical international student concerns and brainstorm ways to address these issues.
  • Apply more effective intercultural communication strategies when resolving conflict with international students.

Balancing politics while embracing your creativity in your New TA role

Presenter: Kris Heintz-Nelson

Skill Level

  • Beginner

Description

The TA assignment is an important position at UNC, one that impacts students, the cooperating professor, and you.   Defining your responsibilities, clarifying goals, and understanding unfamiliar expectations can be challenging terrain to navigate.  This presentation will provide you with tools to help to utilize your ingenuity and creativity in order to “get the most” out of your TA experience. Students will explore the dynamics of their TA role, build short and long term goals, clarify attributes that will help them succeed in their role, as well as track the progress of their own professional development.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Develop understanding of TA role in the classroom, with the instructor of record and one’s own personal interest.
  • Apply professional development goals in and outside of the classroom that fosters mutual benefit.
  • Identify effective verbal and written communication that positively shapes student learning and mentor relationships. 

Dealing with Difficult Students

Presenter: Susan Hutchinson

Skill Level

  • Beginner

Description

This workshop addresses various types of situations in which instructors might encounter "difficult" students. Behaviors of difficult students include (but are not limited to) monopolizing class time, engaging in rude or uncivil behavior toward the instructor or classmates, demonstrating academic dishonesty, and displaying inappropriate classroom (and/or out of classroom) behavior in general.  During the workshop, case studies of various student situations will be shared and strategies offered that instructors might use when confronted with these types of student behaviors.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Describe common types of problematic student behaviors and the potential consequences of those behaviors.
  • Identify strategies for preventing problematic behaviors.
  • Discuss approaches for addressing problematic behaviors if they do occur.

Teaching Learning to Learn

Presenter: Angela Vaughan

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

Many college students, beginning or otherwise, tend to rely on learning strategies that only promote rote, surface-level learning.  The problem is further magnified as students move into unfamiliar and more complex disciplines.  As educators, it is our responsibility to teach content and how to learn the content effectively. This session will share strategies on incorporating “how to learn” into the curriculum.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Provide examples of student learning strategies that promote both short- and long-term memory processing.
  • Describe teaching strategies that will promote students' short- and long-term memory processing.
  • Create at least two specific examples of how they will incorporate "how to learn" in their classroom.

Developing Strategic Partnerships Across Campus to improve Student Experience

Presenter: Jenna Finley

Skill Level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Description

This presentation will help students explore the concept of the holistic student and scope of Student Affairs as it relates to the student experience. As well as discuss how Student Affairs might be useful to faculty/TA’s in the classroom. Participants will learn about the various roles of student affairs services and potential strategic partnerships across campus that may be able to aid TA’s in improving the experience for all involved.

Upon completion of this workshop participants should be able to…

  • Define what “the student experience” is and discuss application of the holistic student approach in the classroom.
  • Identify areas of opportunity where they could logically partner to support their work with students in the classroom and enhance student experience.
  • Describe UNC Student Services across campus that aid in quality undergraduate student experiences overall.

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