Session Two Roundtables: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Course-Stagram: Building Classroom Community through Instagram 

Festival Conference room 2 

Facilitator: Sarah Taylor Mayhak, College of Arts & Letters.

Discerning the potential value or hindrance social media usage presents in the college classroom is a multifaceted and somewhat divided topic. Some research suggests utilizing a course specific Twitter account may erode instructor credibility. Other research points to enhanced student engagement with the integration of some social media platforms. After having introduced and implemented a course specific Instagram account, this roundtable seeks to propose strategies for how to navigate the potential advantages and pitfalls a “Course-Stagram” may present in an effort to build classroom community.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Discussing the existing literature regarding Instruction and Social Media integration, and
    • Creating dialogue about the risks and advantages of implementing a course specific Instagram account to build classroom community. 

Departmental Mentoring: Benefits, Challenges and Best Practices 

Festival Conference room 3 

Facilitators: Adebayo Ogundipe, College of Integrated Science and Engineering and the Center for Faculty Innovation; and Micheal Deaton, College of Integrated Science and Engineering and the Center for Faculty Innovation.

Formal peer mentoring is fast becoming an integral part of departmental culture across academia due to evidence that it contributes to career satisfaction and fosters a sense of faculty empowerment. At the same time, JMU is generally a welcoming place and much departmental mentoring happens informally. In this session, a panel of JMU unit heads and departmental mentors will invite participants to discuss current models of departmental mentoring in practice, success stories, challenges, as well as validated best practices for best outcomes.  

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Exploring the pros and cons of different models of departmental mentoring, and
    • Envisioning a model for mentoring in their home departments.

Benefits and Pitfalls of Service-Learning: From Class to the Community 

Festival Allegheny room 

Facilitators: Jamie Williams, Community Service-Learning; and Steve Grande, Community Service-Learning.

Hear from fellow faculty about the challenges, risks, and rewards they encountered on the path to integrating Service-Learning into their courses. The discussion will also cover topics such as building sustainable partnerships, weaving reflection into your course tapestry, identifying (and utilizing) campus resources, and keeping students engaged along the way. Whether you are considering if Service-Learning is right for your course, or have been using Service-Learning in your courses for years, this session is a great opportunity to connect with colleagues about this high impact practice.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Understanding Service-Learning practices that promote greater student learning,
    • Learning structures and approaches that increase the likelihood of meaningful and productive integration of Service-Learning into your course, and
    • Appreciating the significance of community partnership.

Peace Corps Prep Program Arrives to JMU  

Festival Conference room 4

Facilitators: Vesna Hart, Center for Global Engagement; and Misty Newman, Community Service-Learning.

In 2017, James Madison University ranked #17 on the Peace Corps' Top Volunteer Producing Colleges and Universities list. More than 40 JMU alumni are currently volunteering.  In 2018, JMU will start a prep program to further elevate awareness of Peace Corps as an option after graduation. The program will globalize the scope of university offerings and, ultimately, increase the number of graduates with critical academic and cultural competencies, along with experiences, for impact and success in a global society.  This session will engage participants in a rich conversation about the ways the Peace Corps Prep program can strengthen service-learning and global engagement at JMU.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Understanding components of the Peace Corps Prep program and pathway to receiving a Peace Corps Prep Program Certificate, and
    • Identifying ways to increase awareness of the Peace Corps Prep program and cultivate of the service-learning culture at JMU.

Teaching in an Era of Political Polarization 

Festival Highlands room 

Facilitators: Abraham Goldberg, James Madison Center for Civil Engagement

The current political environment presents challenges for faculty attempting to address complex public issues in the classroom while maintaining a cohesive community of learners. The Higher Education Research Institute found first-year students in the Fall 2016 semester to hold the distinction of being the most polarized cohort in a 51-year history. This is compounded by a significant amount of Americans feeling frustration, anger, and even fear toward those in opposing political parties. This session provides an opportunity to reflect upon how polarization affects their approach to classroom instruction and share strategies on navigating the challenging political environment.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Learning ideas and strategies to maintaining a cohesive learning environment in an era of political polarization, and
    • Understanding how the challenging political environment can affect the classroom experience.

Making Headlines: Getting Your Scholarship in the News  

Festival Ballroom B

Facilitators: Eric Gorton, University Advancement; and Caitlyn Read, University Advancement.

In Making Headlines, staff from University Communications will explain the types of scholarship that make the news, both national and local, discuss efforts to place JMU scholarship in the news, and describe how media attention benefits faculty, their departments, and the university as a whole. The session will draw on what journalists advise about pitching to them as well as examples of what has and has not worked at JMU. 

Participants will makes progress towards:

    • Gaining an understanding of the kinds of scholarship that resonate with the media as well as effective ways to frame it, and
    • Learning about the strategies and tools university communications uses to pitch scholarship news to the media and to gauge its effectiveness.

Ethical Reasoning Questions: Guides for an Inclusive Syllabus & Course  

Festival Ballroom C

Facilitators: Lori Pyle, Ethical Reasoning in Action-The Madison Collaborative; and Daisy Breneman, College of Arts & Letters.

Have you ever thought about syllabus and course design as a process of ethical decision making? When faculty design with an eye for an inclusive classroom experience for their students, they are making choices, balancing sometimes competing factors and interests, and asking, hopefully, how to be ethical teachers. The Eight Key Questions for ethical reasoning can help establish classroom community guidelines and a climate of raising questions respectfully, with consideration of the outcomes and care for others. This session will explore faculty responsibility to be inclusive in their design and how establishing classroom community guidelines may enhance students' learning.  

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Exploring faculty responsibility to be inclusive in syllabus and course design, and
    • Understanding how ethical reasoning (Eight Key Questions) can aid in establishing a constructive classroom community.

Using Photovoice to Enhance Student Learning  

Festival Board of Visitors Dining room

Facilitator: Dayna Henry, College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

This session will explore the photovoice methodology and how it can be applied to help students learn and demonstrate understanding of course concepts. Learn about how to implement this project in your courses to help students apply course material in their everyday lives. This type of project can be used in a wide variety of courses that meet face-to-face or online. Photovoice projects are fun for students to complete and enjoyable for instructors to evaluate. 

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Describing the photovoice methodology,
    • Understanding how it can be applied as a learning and assessment tool, and
    • Developing an idea for using photovoice in their own courses.

Student Perception of General Education: Do They Value It? 

Rose Library room 3311

Facilitators: Kathy Clarke, Libraries & Educational Technologies; Jeanne Horst, Center for Assessment and Research; Gretchen Hazard, General Education; and Kenn Barron, Psychology.

A review of assessment day data and follow-up focus groups indicate that students are de-valuing their general education experiences between first year and second year A-Days. With this session, we will share our findings and discuss what faculty might consider is happening to lead to these results.  We encourage participants to dream big and help us work to transform our students’ experiences.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Becoming familiar with assessment data indicating that student decrease their value of general education in the first and second year,
    • Seeing student reactions to this data and hear in the student’s words what they are experiencing in GenEd, and
    • Engaging in conversations regarding institutional changes that could be implemented to improve student perceptions of GenEd.

Building Scholarship Networks, 

Rose Library room 3313

Facilitator: Edward Brantmeier, the Center for Faculty Innovation, and College of Education.

Looking for organizations, conferences, outlets, and people who can actively help advance scholarly work? Building scholarship networks, defined as a system of interconnected people, opportunities, and resources to advance scholarship, is possible at the local, regional, and national level. Strategies such as managing on-line presence, service work to organizations, service on journal editorial boards, and conference attendance will be discussed as effective means to create scholarship opportunities.  Join a group of participants to discuss strategies.  

Progressing will make progress towards:

    • Identifying needs related to connecting with other scholars and their work, and
    • Strategizing how to build a network of scholarly collaborators, locally and globally.

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