Session Three: Extended Workshops 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Should We Do Dewey? Integrating Service-Learning into Your Courses 

Festival Conference room 2

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

John Dewey is considered an educational pioneer for his work demonstrating the power of coupling experience with reflection to promote education and development. When we incorporate Service-Learning into our classrooms by involving students in meaningful service to the community paired with structured opportunities to make connections between the service and course content, we are doing Dewey. Service-Learning can be an energizing and refreshing pedagogical and epistemological approach, but it's not without challenges. This session will present some of the key considerations for thoughtfully doing Dewey as a means to achieve learning outcomes. 

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Considering key quality components of a thoughtful and effective Service-Learning course, and
    • Learning how meaningful Service-Learning can be integrated into one or more courses.

Ethics Pedagogy: What Happens in the Classroom Shouldn't Stay There 

Festival Conference room 3

Facilitator: William "Bill" Hawk, Ethical Reasoning in Action-The Madison Collaborative; and Lori Pyle, Ethical Reasoning in Action-The Madison Collaborative.

And it won't for those who follow JMU's Eight Key Question (8KQ) strategy. Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, claims that classroom ethics instruction fails to improve ethical behavior. Eugene Soltes, a Harvard white-collar crime researcher, concurs. This workshop, designed for critics, sceptics, and those genuinely interested in effective ethics pedagogy, will explore JMU's unparalleled strategy. Participants will learn how to use the 8KQ practical reasoning method and begin developing a skill that won't stay in the classroom. Our goal: better informed critical thinking practices that enrich personal, professional and civic ethics decisions.  

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Learning why traditional ethics instruction fails to improve ethical decision making, and
    • Learning how decision science research informs learning ethical reasoning.

Welcome Home: Teaching Place in the Shenandoah Valley and Beyond 

Festival Allegheny room

Facilitator: Carole Nash, College of Integrated Science and Engineering.

Place-Based Education (PBE) relies on the local environment and human community as starting points for teaching and research. Emphasizing interdisciplinary learning through hands-on, inquiry-based experiences, PBE involves direct collaboration with community partners, thereby reinforcing and expanding classroom curriculum. Through PBE, students learn how to discover the meanings and functions of a place, further developing a life-long skill set for community engagement. This active learning session introduces the PBE pedagogical approach, presents local examples, and provides the opportunity for participants to conceptualize their own projects. 

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Exploring the principles of Place-Based Education, and
    • Evaluating university-community teaching and learning partnerships.

Integrating Debate Activities 

Festival Conference room 4

Facilitators: Paul Mabrey, College of Arts and Letters; and Mike Davis, Office of the President.

Debate Across the Curriculum is an initiative at JMU to assist faculty in incorporating innovative debate techniques into the classroom and other on-campus activities. Instructors across colleges and disciplines have found debate a rewarding pedagogy for challenging students to improve advocacy skills, critical thinking, public speaking, group collaboration, confidence, and academic research skills. This workshop will promote the exciting and rigorous pedagogy of debate across all classes and spaces in higher education. Instructors will be encouraged to examine their own pedagogical goals and examine ways that debate might create opportunities to expand in course instructional options.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Identifying ways in which incorporating debate in the classroom and other learning spaces can add rigor and innovation, and
    • Creating classroom activities and assessments that engage students in debate as part of a coherent pedagogical approach. 

The Transforming Power of Story 

Festival Highlands room

Facilitator: Tim Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC) and Associate Professor of Urban Education in the College of Arts & Sciences, Rutgers University.

The work of higher education transformation in general, of necessity, harnesses the power of story not unlike transformation in the larger society. Building upon emerging models of faculty development, the power of story can reveal faculty as co-learners and may serve to strengthen approaches to publicly engaged scholarship (PES). Professor Eatman will facilitate a story circle among conference participants, (1) inviting the creation of a space for sharing revitalizing and reinvigorating stories and (2) sharing story circles as a tool that draws on powerful strategies and methodologies of the humanities and arts.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Co-creating a space for sharing revitalizing and reinvigorating stories, and
    • Learning the story circle methodology as a powerful pedagogical tactic.

A Strategy Session for Teaching Large Classes 

Festival Ballroom B

Facilitators: Eric Pappas, College of Integrated Science and Engineering; and Kiersten Sanok, College of Health and Behavioral Sciences.

There are countless tasks to address when preparing to teach a large class (over 70 students); for example: 1) How to facilitate active large class and small group discussions; 2) How to motivate students who are cynical about learning in large classes; and 3) How to select, train, and use undergraduate teaching assistants and graders. This workshop will address practical strategies on these topics, as well as provide some lively conversation. Faculty new to teaching large classes, as well as those with experience, are invited to share experiences, instructional methods, and problem solving strategies. 

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Gaining fundamental and practical instructional advice to faculty new to teaching large classes,
    • Providing a forum for faculty to exchange ideas and offer experiences for teaching large classes, and
    • Offering some new ideas for teaching large classes creatively.

Assessing Professional Skills in Student Interactions and Written Work 

Festival Ballroom C

Facilitator: Chris Mayfield, College of Integrated Science and Engineering

This workshop explores how students' professional skills (e.g., teamwork, communication) can be enhanced through faculty feedback and assessment. One way these skills are developed in active learning environments is through student-student interactions. Monitoring these interactions provides feedback to the students on the quality of the observed skill and insights to the instructor on the effectiveness of the learning environment. These skills may also be developed and assessed in written assignments. Intentional assessment of professional skills and subsequent feedback provides a means to explicitly incorporate these skills into regular classroom practice and better align the enacted curriculum with the intended learning outcomes.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Identifying professional skills within the context of student tasks, and
    • Exploring professional skills in group interactions and behaviors that provide evidence for them.

Evaluating Writing: When to Comment, What to Say, and How to Use Rubrics 

Festival Board of Visitors Dining room

Facilitators: Lucy Bryan Malenke, Learning Centers; Jared Featherstone, Learning Centers

If your classes include writing assignments, chances are, you've asked at least one of these questions: Why do students turn in papers with the same issues I've been commenting on all semester? How can I avoid getting bogged down by the need to correct every error? How do I grade writing assignments fairly and consistently? Will I let my students down if I don't have time to provide individualized feedback? Drawing upon current writing studies research, this session will help participants decide which evaluation and feedback strategies will best suit their writing assignments and learning objectives. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to practice strategies on several writing samples and to begin tailoring the JMU writing rubric for one of their assignments.

Participants will make progress towards:

    • Understanding the best practices for evaluating writing assignments, according to the literature, and
    • Selecting appropriate evaluation and feedback strategies for a variety of writing assignments.

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