5:08 p.m., April 29, 2009----For the fourth year, the University of Delaware hosted the Lilly-East Conference, a scholarly collegial forum on teaching and learning for faculty across East Coast institutions, on April 16-17 at Clayton Hall.
The conference highlighted how to design, facilitate, and assess environments that support student learning in this century -- Millennial Learning: Teaching in the 21st Century.
The event brought together 250 university professors and graduate students -- 56 of whom teach at the University of Delaware -- representing 55 institutions.
Participants discussed topics ranging from working with millennials, Just-in-Time Teaching, critical thinking, information technology literacy, and civic leadership to social media and outcomes assessment.
Also, the conference offered participants a collegial forum for networking, exchange of instructional practice, and modeling of readily implementable teaching approaches. Said one, “I've already started using new strategies I learned about working with millennial students. I told my students that I had gone to this teaching conference and that they were now the first 'victims' of the new ideas I got there.”
The event was preceded by a special academic career development plenary for graduate students focused on their successful transition from graduate education to first year as faculty.
As expressed by one participant, “The plenary opened my eyes to life as a junior faculty and made me aware of the differences among institutional types. I left the conference feeling affirmed in my faculty career and good about being part of a community of college teachers.”
More than 80 students participated in the plenary facilitated by Jonathan Malesic, assistant professor at King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and frequent contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The event was co-sponsored by the University of Maryland College Park and the Center for Teaching Effectiveness at UD.
Presenters from 48 institutions shared their scholarly teaching via 58 concurrent sessions, 15 roundtable discussions, and 18 poster presentations.
The high- quality sessions were selected via a peer review process that involved colleagues from 18 institutions who reviewed more than 100 proposals. Two sessions featuring social media were held at the Student Multimedia Design Center in the University of Delaware's Morris Library.
The Best Poster Award went to Marsha Huber, associate professor of accounting at Otterbein College, for her classroom research on the effects of to-do checklists on the procrastination levels of students.
The following University of Delaware faculty and graduate students contributed:
- Gabriele Bauer, Center for Teaching Effectiveness, How would you teach this class?;
- Lori Bielek, Bank of America Career Services Center, Your CV and resume: Preparing for jobs in academia and beyond;
- Carolyn Bitzer, Women's Studies and undergraduate students, In focus: Video documentary projects for enhancing learning;
- Joshua Hertz, mechanical engineering, with Jasmine Lellock of the University of Maryland, College Park, Using wikis to facilitate collaborative student learning;
- Julie Lloyd, chemistry and biochemistry, and Chanele Moore, sociology and criminal justice, Effective job search and interviewing strategies;
- Barbara Lutz and David Coker, English, Tutors without borders: A service-learning composition course for pre-service teachers (poster);
- Brian Miller, hotel, restaurant and institutional management, Writing effective learner outcomes to improve the assessment of student learning;
- George Miller, English, Beyond Wikipedia: Locating quality sources in a computerized world (roundtable discussion);
- Beth Morling, psychology, and Mark Serva, accounting and MIS, Preparing millennials to solve real world problems;
- Lynette Overby and Heather Silva, theatre, Integrating creative and artistic strategies into the university classroom;
- Joseph Pika, political science and international relations, The 2008 election and the first 100 days;
- Lori Pollock, Natallia Robinson and Amy Siu, computer and information sciences, Living and learning in the grant-writing experience for a semester ;
- Dorothy Ross and Dee Baer, English, Using low-stakes writing to develop and assess critical thinking;
- Sharon Watson, business administration, and Jann Sutton, UD Online, Engaging students in group discussions in an online environment; and
- Bahira Trask, Barbara Settles, Melina McConatha Rosle and Jia Zhao, human development and family studies, Papers, ethics, and the Internet: Creating stronger writing assignments for large classes
“We are delighted by the strong conference attendance in these challenging economic times as it reflects institutions' commitment to quality student learning and teaching, and their support of faculty,” according to Gabriele Bauer, assistant director, Center for Teaching Effectiveness, and conference director. “Participants were engaged in excellent sessions and inspired by the higher education leadership of nationally recognized experts such as Phyllis Blumberg, Milton Cox, Barbara Millis, Barbara Mossberg, Lawrence Ragan, James Zull, and Todd Zakrajsek. It's a unique opportunity to engage with innovative ideas and creative colleagues and share your scholarly teaching,” Bauer said.
Based on the feedback, the conference met the participants' professional development needs and in many instances exceeded their expectations. One attendee stated, “I have now concrete ideas and resources for making my courses learner-centered, and I'm eager to discuss these with my colleagues.”
Another participant indicated, “I'll pursue course portfolios with my department chair as a way to meet external assessment mandates. It'll help move our assessment committee's work forward.”
Conference planning and execution was assisted by the collective expertise and support of the Office of the Provost, the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies, Conference Services, and the Center for Teaching Effectiveness.
For further information, see this Web site.