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On Saturday, I attended three helpful sessions at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching.First, I attended “Active Learning: Shared Experiences across Science Classrooms and Strategies for Matching Tools and Techniques to Courses and Course Objectives.” There were six presenters from Furman University: Dennis Haney, Mike Winiski, Min-Ken Liao, Brian Goess, Wes Dripps, and Brannon Andersen.I learned about the latest teaching strategies used by these faculty members at Furman University, including concept maps, low-stakes writing, case studies, clickers, and wikis.We also discussed other factors to consider when designing activities in our classes, such as students’ previous background knowledge, multiple learning styles, and how to foster higher levels of learning.

Next, I attended “Expanding the Use of Case Studies to Encourage Collaborative Learning and Integrate Classroom Theory with Clinical Practice” presented by Alfreda Harper-Harrison and Debra Benbow from Winston-Salem State University.Dr. Harper-Harrison and Dr. Benbow incorporated case studies into their courses.Students were assigned a case study, compared and contrasted the information gathered from the client with research literature, and presented their findings at the end of the course.I think that their teaching approach of using case studies combined with finding research literature and incorporating discussion is very interesting.

Third, I attended “Teaching Who We Are or Who We Want to Be: Creating a Teaching Philosophy through Personal Narrative” presented by Vicki McCready, Louise Raleigh, and Jane Harris from UNC-Greensboro.This was a very helpful session on how to develop your own teaching philosophy through self-reflection.They also covered the components of a teaching philosophy, which should include the following:

  • your view of teaching and learning
  • a description of your teaching approach
  • justification for your teaching approach

They also shared three books with different perspectives: The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer, How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, MD, and A Life in School by Jane Tompkins.

On Sunday, I attended the Closing Session led by Louis Schmier from Valdosta State University and Todd Zakrajsek from UNC-Chapel Hill.Dr. Schmier reminded us that it is important for teachers to connect with their students.He also asked the participants to think about what we want our students to remember from our teaching five years later.I am still pondering his question as I am thinking about my next LIB220 course.

Overall, the Lilly Conference was great and has encouraged me to think and reflect on my own teaching approach.I feel that I have gained deeper insight into teaching, and I plan to apply what I’ve learned into my own teaching strategies. If you would like to discuss any of the sessions that I attended, just let me know!