Interactive Keynotes

Half-day events led by nationally-recognized speakers designed to build faculty capacity and strengthen innovation in university education.

FEB 2021 | Civic Engagement & Service Learning Across the Disciplines: A focus on Teaching, Scholarship, and Impact

Featuring: Seth Pollack, Professor and Director for the Service Learning Institute, California State University, Monterey Bay, and Victoria Soto, Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement, The LBJ School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas, at Austin.

This event brought together two nationally known experts to discuss the role of civic engagement and service learning in university education. The event helped set the stage for novel cross-disciplinary explorations among UArizona faculty about the content, form, and relevance of service learning and civic engagement in higher education teaching and learning, both now and in the years ahead.

To enable the sharing of knowledge across disciplines within the University of Arizona, a panel of faculty discussants from the University of Arizona addressed how issues highlighted by Soto and Pollack had synergies with efforts, goals, or vision on our campus.

SEP 2019 | Teaching Distracted Minds

Are our cell phones destroying our ability to pay attention? Are students these days incapable of sitting down and focusing on difficult treadings, because they are so used to scrolling continuously through their phones? Has the advent of our latest technologies changed the human brain? Do we need to re-think our education systems for our tech-saturated world? Or should we focus instead on teaching students to focus their minds using techniques like mindfulness?

Teaching Distracted Minds gave creative solutions for the problems that educators at all levels are having with distracted students in class and offered some new ideas for how careful thinking about attention and distraction can improve the education we provide.

SEP 2019 | Inspiring Better Learning: Starting the Semester Off Right

On the first day of class, your students are forming a lasting impression not just of you as a teacher but of your course, too. Their early, thin-slice judgments are powerful enough to condition their attitudes toward the entire course, the effort they are willing to put into it, and the relationship they will have with you and their peers throughout the semester.

Inspiring Better Learning: Starting the Semester Off Right covered four core principles to help shape your first day of class and beyond.

APR 2018 | Design for Learning

Featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Tom Angelo, founding Executive Director of the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Education & Research (CIPhER), and Clinical Professor of Educational Innovation and Research at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Engaging students in productive group work is critical to deep, lasting learning – but also difficult to do well. Groupwork too often breaks down due to inappropriate tasks, incompatible student goals, unequal effort, or lack of collaborative skills. Likewise, formative assessment can contribute greatly to learning by providing feedback to guide deliberate practice. Most of us also know from experience, however, just how time-consuming, difficult, and frustrating the feedback process can be – particularly when students fail to make use of (or even read) our comments. This interactive session presented useful, sometimes counter-intuitive research findings on effective collaboration, formative assessment, and feedback, along with simple, practical, time-saving strategies for improving the odds that our well-made teaching and learning plans don’t go awry.

DEC 2017 | Using Research to Improve University Science Teaching

Featuring: Carl Wieman, Ph.D., Professor of Physics and of the Graduate School of Education, Nobel Laureate

In the past few decades there has been great progress in research on teaching and learning.  When the findings from this research have been applied in university classrooms, dramatic improvements in learning have been seen compared to traditional lecture instruction, particularly on tests that capture how well the student is able to make decisions like an expert in the subject.  In this seminar, the Science Education Initiative was highlighted to show how to achieve widespread adoption of these improved teaching methods in science departments at major research universities.

MAY 2017 | Get Students to Focus on Learning Instead of Grades: Metacognition is the Key!

Featuring: Shaundra McGuire, PhD, Professor Emerita of Chemical Engineering, LSU

Over 200 UArizona faculty and staff attended to discuss 21st century students widely varying academic skills, approaches to learning and motivation levels. Faculty often lament that students are focused on achieving high grades, but are not willing to invest much time or effort in learning. This session shifted the focus on helping students acquire simple, but effective learning strategies based on cognitive science principles. Participants engaged in interactive reflection activities to experience strategies that significantly improve learning while transforming student attitudes about the meaning of learning. 

FEB 2017 | Learning Better

Featuring: Mark McDaniel, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning and Education (CIRCLE) at Washington University

The keynote speaker discussed evidence based techniques to improve instruction and student learning from his recently published, co-authored book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. McDaniel's book outlines principles that help faculty and students understand what is known about how people learn.