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On August 15th, I attended the Teaching and Learning Conference at Elon University. This is an excellent, free conference that I have attended for 3 years. I attended many concurrent sessions including strategies for collaboration, which emphasized the importance of respect among group members. I also attended a concurrent session on data in the classroom and the presentation slides are here.

The session on flipping the classroom was very informative. Flipping is an instructional strategy where lessons become homework and homework becomes classwork. As a result, higher-order thinking can occur where students can receive more feedback from the instructor.

Elements of flipped instruction:
1. skill to be successful in the course
2. first exposure outside of class
3. incentive outside of class work (e.g., low stakes assessment)
4. application activities in class so students can receive immediate feedback

The keynote session focus on the “Intercultural Dimensions to Teaching and Learning” was excellent and resonated with me on many levels since I encounter intercultural communication every day. Here are some highlights of his inspiring talk:

  • Individuals have differences in perspectives, behaviors, and communication styles
  • Monocultural mindset –> Intercultural mindset
  • Intercultural competency is the shift of one’s frame of reference to understanding the meaning and importance of culture in people’s lives
  • Intercultural communication is the interaction between persons and groups from different cultural communities
  • Intercultural perspective incorporates culture into our analyses of how people interact, communicate, make meaning, and exercise power with other persons and groups
  • Notably, the keynote speaker challenges his students to explore new relationships across cultural boundaries