DSU 2nd Annual Teaching & Learning Conference Announcement and Call for Proposals

banner-01The DSU Teaching and Learning Committee and the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual Teaching and Learning Conference at Dixie State University on April 8, 2016.  The 1st Annual Teaching & Learning Conference held last year was a great success with 35 presentations by DSU faculty and staff members and more than 150 people attended.  

We invite DSU faculty and staff to participate (by attending and presenting) in this exciting upcoming conference focused on the theme  “Active Learning: Expanding Student Knowledge and Understanding.”  The conference is free for all DSU faculty and staff and is being funded by the Office of Academic Services.  The conference opening session will start at 8:30 am in the Gardner Student Center Ballroom and the conference will conclude at 1:30 pm (a continental breakfast and lunch is included).

In order to encourage all faculty members (full-time, part-time, and adjunct) to take advantage of this opportunity, April 8, 2016 has been designated as a professional development day.  You may make other arrangements for your classes during the times of the conference in order to attend.  You may choose to have your students involved in such activities as collaborative group projects, computer lab projects, library research, etc. during your class time so you can attend the conference.  The keynote speakers will be chosen from our own DSU faculty.

Why should you participate?  The conference will provide a unique opportunity for DSU faculty/staff to share best practices, innovations, and lessons learned related to teaching and learning and will promote the scholarship of teaching and learning on campus.  The conference also provides an avenue for faculty and staff to share what they have presented and learned at professional conferences in relation to teaching/learning. In addition, those who present at the conference will receive a certificate of participation that can be included in a faculty member’s ePortfolio (Digital Measures) as evidence of their presentation.

For more information about the conference, please click on the link below.


Call for Proposals: We invite DSU faculty and staff to submit a proposal to share your expertise and knowledge related to teaching and learning and the theme of the conference with your peers and the DSU Community.  This half-day conference will include roundtable, concurrent, Pecha Kucha, and panel presentations.

The Proposal Deadline is February 8, 2016 at 11:59 pm. Click on the link below to submit your proposal.


Please reserve April 8, 2016 on your schedule and in your syllabi now for next semester so you can participate in this professional development opportunity.  A link to register in advance for this conference will be forthcoming.  

We look forward to seeing you on April 8, 2016.  For more information or questions, please contact a member of the Teaching & Learning Conference Steering Committee: Dee Murray (Murray@dixie.edu), Bruce Harris (bruce.harris@dixie.edu), or Scott Allen (scott.allen@dixie.edu). 


Announcing the Spring 2016 CTL Faculty Learning Community!

Dear Faculty Members,

The Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) is excited to announce the launch of a new Faculty Learning Community on the topic of “Learning and Technology!”  CTL Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) are semester-long professional development seminars that engage an interdisciplinary group of faculty members (usually 10-15 group members) in a variety of teaching, learning, and research topics.  FLCs usually meet six to eight times during a semester to explore, discuss, and implement new, innovative teaching and learning approaches.  

CTL would like to invite you (full-time, part-time, and adjunct faculty members) to participate in our first FLC on the topic of “Learning and Technology” starting next semester (Spring 2016).  The FLC will use the book “Teaching Naked” by José Antonio Bowen as the text for exploration and discussion. CTL will provide copies of the book (physical copy or kindle version) for the first 15 faculty, as well as drinks and light refreshments for learning community sessions.  

Click on the link below to complete the application form (first come, first serve).  Please respond by Dec. 14, 2015.


Participating in this FLC is a great opportunity for all faculty members (new faculty, mid-career faculty, and post-tenure faculty)—no matter how long you have been teaching at DSU or in higher education, it will be a safe space to explore and dialogue with fellow colleagues on an interesting and thought-provoking topic related to teaching and learning.  FLC members will help determine the frequency and format for meetings, the duration, and the goals and outcomes—including any projects to be carried out.

Here’s a preview of “Teaching Naked” from Amazon.com: 

41dix9tguhl-_sy344_bo1204203200_You’ve heard about “flipping your classroom”—now find out how to do it! Introducing a new way to think about higher education, learning, and technology that prioritizes the benefits of the human dimension. José Bowen recognizes that technology is profoundly changing education and that if students are going to continue to pay enormous sums for campus classes, colleges will need to provide more than what can be found online and maximize “naked” face-to-face contact with faculty. Here, he illustrates how technology is most powerfully used outside the classroom, and, when used effectively, how it can ensure that students arrive to class more prepared for meaningful interaction with faculty. Bowen offers practical advice for faculty and administrators on how to engage students with new technology while restructuring classes into more active learning environments.

The first meeting of the FLC will take place on January 20, 2016 at noon in HCC 325. The group will choose a facilitator and decide when and where to meet through the rest of the semester, along with a schedule of which chapters will be discussed at each meeting. 

To apply to be a part of the first ever CTL Faculty Learning Community in Spring 2016, please click on the link below to complete the application form.  Please respond by December 14, 2015.


CTL can accommodate up to 15 faculty for this first FLC (first-come, first-serve). For more information, click on the link below: 

CTL Faculty Learning Community Guidelines 

We look forward to exploring and sharing with you in this exciting opportunity.  Please feel free to contact Scott Allen (scott.allen@dixie.edu) or Bruce Harris (bruce.harris@dixie.edu) in the Center for Teaching & Learning if you have any questions.

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Evidence of Evidence-Based Teaching


Evidence-based teaching seems like the new buzzword in higher education. The phrase appears to mean that we’ve identified and should be using those instructional practices shown empirically to enhance learning. Sounds pretty straightforward, but there are lots of questions that haven’t yet been addressed, such as: How much evidence does there need to be to justify a particular strategy, action, or approach? Is one study enough? What about when the evidence is mixed—in some studies the results of a practice are positive and in others they aren’t? In research conducted in classrooms, instructional strategies aren’t used in isolation; they are done in combination with other things. Does that grouping influence how individual strategies function?

This post from The Teaching Professor Blog discusses a classroom observation tool (PORTAAL – Practical Observation Rubric to Asses Active Learning) that attempts to translate research-based practices into explicit and measurable teaching practices.

Below are a few of the 21 actions that are in the PORTAAL instrument:

  • Frequent practice: Observe the number of minutes students have the opportunity to talk about content during class
  • Distributed practice: Observe how often the instructor reminds students to use prior knowledge
  • Immediate feedback: Observe how often the instructor hears student logic (reasons for a particular answer) and responds
  • Time to think before discussing answers: Observe how often students are given time to think before having to talk in groups or in front of the class
  • Student confirmation: Observe how often the instructor delivers explicit positive feedback and/or encouragement
  • Error framing: Observe how often the instructor reminds students that errors are part of learning and not something to be feared

See the full post for more information about the PORTAAL instrument and research-based instructional practices to assess active learning.

Source: Evidence of Evidence-Based Teaching