Workshop Schedule

Attendees who register for workshops will participate in a joint morning session facilitated by Barb Oakley and will then have the choice between two workshop streams

Stream 1 (50 Particpants - split into two groups)

Social Media as a teaching and learning tool in the university classroom

Note taking: How research can better inform practice

Concept Mapping 

Stream 2 (25 participants)

(Re)thinking about your academic purpose: A values-based approach to career development

Writing multiple choice questions to create effective tests 

Presentation by Design

Please have your stream selection made before you begin registration. If you select Stream 1 and would like specific people in your workshop group (e.g. people you are attending the conference with), please leave a note in the comments section during your registration. 


Workshop Details

Barb Oakley (joint morning session): Lessons from a basement studio: How creating the world's largest MOOC changed my approach to teaching 

This practical workshop walks learners through the key steps to creating a top quality MOOC, including scripting, being “authentic” during videotaping, creating an overall process flow for the MOOC’s construction, working with mentors, launching, and promoting your MOOC. This practical talk provides insights from the creator of Learning How to Learn, the world’s most popular MOOC, with nearly two million students from over 200 countries. It is surprising to learn that despite its immense global reach and popularity, Learning How to Learn was put together for less than $5,000 dollars in an amateur basement studio. The easy-to-grasp and inexpensive techniques described in this talk are available to all instructors and course developers who are looking to create high quality online experiences for students.

Stream 1

Liam Stockdale: Social Media as a teaching and learning tool in the university classroom 

Social media is an integral part of almost every student’s life outside the classroom. It’s how they make plans for the weekend, start new relationships, follow the news—and almost everything in between. While some educators still struggle in vain to consign these tools to the realm of leisure alone, many are exploring innovative and rewarding ways to integrate social media into the engaging pedagogical environments they create. This workshop will offer participants a practical introduction to the productive use of social media as a teaching and learning tool. It will consider the myriad benefits, some potential pitfalls, and a variety of strategies for leveraging student enthusiasm for social media to enhance the student learning experience in any discipline or subject area. Attendees should bring a digital device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) to the workshop to fully participate in the interactive components.

Irina Ghilic: Note taking: How research can better inform practice 

In today’s university setting, initial learning happens during lectures. Students attend a class and try to encode as much of the new information as possible. Most students keep a record of the lecture information via notes. However, not all notes are created equal. Written notes, for example, could promote better memory of written information at the time of encoding, while typed notes might elicit lower levels of encoding. Taking good notes is really important, since students cite “notes” as their main source of study material. During the workshop, we will discuss various types of notes and their success (based on note taking literature), tips and tactics for taking notes, and various strategies to aid students become aware of their own note taking proficiency.

Ellen MacLellan: Concept Mapping 

Instruction at all levels of education ought to take into account basic principles of human learning and memory to optimize long-term knowledge retention. For example, it is well established that: (1) new information is acquired more readily when it can be assimilated into an existing knowledge structure; (2) new information is stored according to its meaning and its relationship to other information in memory; and (3) generating or retrieving information already in memory increases the probability that it will be successfully retrieved in the future (deWinstanely & Bjork, 2002). Concept mapping is a task that evokes all of these processes. Here we propose that concept mapping may be superior to current practice testing methods, as it has the potential to help students organize and synthesize information, thus promoting deeper understanding, improved learning, and longer-term retention of conceptual themes, the targets of instruction in a university setting.

Stream 2

Jennifer Askey: (Re)thinking about your academic purpose: A values-based approach to career development

What tools do mindfulness and coaching offer scholars and teachers for creating a more meaningful career path? Jennifer Askey, PhD and Coach at Energized Academic, will provide a brief presentation on mindfulness and purpose in the context of career performance and planning. Participants will then take part in small group activities involving storytelling and visualizations that lead them to developing a draft of career and personal values, as well as a mission statement for their (professional) life. With these tools in hand, we can look at opportunities and challenges from new perspectives and inject vigor and meaning into established academic interactions

Amy Pachai: Writing multiple choice questions to create effective tests

The primary goal of testing is to measure the extent to which students have learned the facts, concepts, procedures and skills that have been taught in the course. In many university courses, instructors use multiple choice questions (MCQs) for some or all of the student assessment. However, many of the questions used by instructors contain critical flaws and most will do no more than test factual recall. Fortunately, writing high-quality MCQs is a learnable skill. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore theory, practice and challenges of writing measurably effective MCQs.

Barbara Fenesi: Presenation by Design

You have likely sat through many uninteresting meetings, classes and presentations dominated by PowerPoint. While the details may be covered, the message is often lost. You have also likely been on the other side – looking out to an audience who struggles to pay attention. Does it have to be this way? In this hands-on workshop, we will explore design strategies based on scientific principles of memory and attention to improve your presentations. Please bring a 2-5 slide PowerPoint presentation that illustrates an idea or concept that you have tried presenting with mixed success. In small groups you will use the design principles explored throughout the workshop to improve your presentation. Participants will leave with a working foundation of how to design effective presentations.