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Yesterday, I attended a very informative pre-conference on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) at the Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching in Greensboro.The pre-conference was led by Scott Simkins, Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning at N.C. A&T State University and Karen Hornsby from the History Dept. at N.C. A&T State University. The presenters gave each participant a book entitled, Inquiry in the College Classroom: A Journey toward Scholarly Teaching by Paul Savory, Amy Nelson Burnett, and Amy Goodburn; I’m really looking forward to reading it!

Four core practices include the following:

  • Framing questions
  • Compiling evidence
  • Implementing and refining new insights in the classroom
  • Publicly sharing what is learned with others

Each participant applied the SoTL research model to their own course, and everyone commented on others’ ideas for projects.I also received a selected reading list on SoTL, and I’m happy to share it with those who are interested.

On Friday morning, I attended “Active Learning, Constructivism, and the Millennial Student: A Comfortable Marriage,” by Maria Yon from UNC-Charlotte. The constructivist approach provides students with experiences to build on prior knowledge. I agreed with her point that “the teacher is a facilitator and coach rather than a transmitter of knowledge.” In addition, active learning stems from constructivist learning. The rationale behind active learning is that “learning is by nature an active endeavor.” She also shared the characteristics of the Millennial generation:

  • need for relevance (e.g., Why is this lesson important?)
  • enjoy the challenge of problem-solving
  • learn by doing

Next, I attended “Classrooms as Knowledge-Building Communities: A Cross-Cultural Competence and Inquiry Approach” by Maria Stallions from Roanoke College.I agreed with a quote that she shared during her presentation: “Culturally competent educators are aware and respectful of the importance of the values, beliefs, traditions, customs, of students and…are also aware of the impact of their own culture on their interactions with others” (National Association of School Psychologists).She emphasized the need to understand cross-cultural interactions with students.

Friday afternoon, I attended “Millennial Learning: Teacher Communication and our Classroom Environments” by Kim Cuny and Erik Lytle from the University Speaking Center at UNC-Greensboro. This session was very informative and provided tips to enhance communication with students and also addressed how the classroom environment can inhibit communication. Factors that can hinder communication include inappropriately lit rooms, room temperature, classroom design/architecture, and seating arrangement.

On Friday evening, I gave my poster presentation entitled, “Teaching Scientific Scholarly Communication in the Open Access Era.” I shared my teaching approach with LIB220 last semester on Scientific Scholarly Communication, Open Access, and Zotero, and I received great feedback from others. Zotero was incorporated into the final project of LIB220 students, who created bibliographies of articles from Open Access journals as well as traditional subscription-based journals.

The Lilly Conference has been great so far, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions.