Attendees of CHS Teaching Day are checking the pulse on a high-fidelity mannequin as they take part in a workshop on simulation as a teaching strategy to improve learning outcomes.
Attendees of CHS Teaching Day participate in an afternoon workshop on simulation as a teaching strategy to improve learning outcomes. The workshop as one of several offered during the day-long professional development event.

CHS Teaching Day

November 01, 2023 Written by Amy Cherry | Photos by Ashley Barnas

Innovations in teaching on display

Dozens gathered in the Audion on STAR Campus for the inaugural College of Health Sciences (CHS) Teaching Day: Innovations in Teaching, Learning and Mentorship Monday. The day-long professional development opportunity for CHS faculty, staff, and graduate students was born from strategic planning discussions as an offshoot of CHS Research Day.

“Teaching and mentorship are critical to our mission and vision at CHS,” said Dean Bill Farquhar. “As dedicated educators and mentors, we must come together and elevate ideas that will ultimately help our students.”

Jennifer Graber, associate dean of academic affairs and practice initiatives for the School of Nursing, chaired the committee that put together the event.

“Our goal was to incorporate best practices for teaching and mentoring for all faculty,” Graber said. “Many of our faculty are also clinicians, so we wanted to explore pathways for attendees to be better teachers and clinicians.”

CHS Teaching Day keynote speaker, Alison Cook-Sather, director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, spoke about student-faculty pedagogical partnership and student voice in teacher education.

Keynote speaker Alison Cook-Sather, director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, spoke about student-faculty pedagogical partnership and student voice in teacher education.

“The definition of partnership that colleagues and I offer in Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching: A Guide for Faculty is a collaborative, reciprocal process through which all participants have the opportunity to contribute equally, although not necessarily in the same ways to curricular or pedagogical conceptualization, decision-making, implementation, investigation or analysis,” Cook-Sather said.

She challenged the audience to get beyond the idea that partnerships mean everyone needs to contribute the same things in the same way.

“Instead, differently positioned people have different contributions to make,” Cook-Sather said. “Thinking about students, staff, faculty, and community partners--everybody has something different to bring. And it is those differences that make the richness of the partnership.”

She also challenged faculty to look beyond the hierarchical model of the teacher-student relationship and rethink power as a shared ideal.

“Ask yourself – what do students, faculty, and community partners bring that enhances teaching, learning, and mentoring? So, it's a real shift from a notion of expertise and delivery that's more hierarchical to an idea that's much more reciprocal, and kind of a gift exchange, but not of commodities, rather of capacities and contributions.”

Cook-Sather said partnership is a mindset and a way of being and working.

In response to a question about whole-class partnerships, Cook-Sather encouraged faculty to consider “offering invitations to structures within which students feel they can bring their expertise, their understanding, and their learning to guide the class.”

At CHS Teaching Day, a panel discussion sought to educate faculty and graduate students about internal resources for teaching and mentoring. The panel was moderated by Rebecca Hunting Pompon, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders (left). From left to right, it also featured Rose Muravchick, associate director of UD’s Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning; Dana Veron, associate provost for faculty development; Ken Hyde, assistant registrar and International Teaching Assistant Training Program coordinator; and Erin Sicuranza, director of Academic Technology Services.

Following the keynote, a panel discussion sought to educate faculty and graduate students about internal resources for teaching and mentoring. The panel was moderated by Rebecca Hunting Pompon, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, and featured Rose Muravchick, associate director of UD’s Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning; Erin Sicuranza, director of Academic Technology Services; Dana Veron, associate provost for faculty development; and Ken Hyde, assistant registrar and International Teaching Assistant Training Program coordinator.

During the question-and-answer period, a question from faculty centered on how to encourage class attendance post-pandemic.

Sicuranza stressed the popularity of UD Capture as a teaching and learning tool.

“We have seen UD Capture usage increase by a wide margin, and it has not returned to pre-pandemic levels,” said Sicuranza. “Students expect it, and if it’s not offered, they ask for it.”

Muravchick encouraged faculty to create a more engaging learning environment. 

“If students can meet all requirements without going to class, then they’re making a value judgment that could be the right decision for them,” Muravchick said. “Make those in-person interactions more engaging and include feedback. That kind of active engagement might make them rethink attendance as critical to progress in the class.” 

Jennifer Graber, School of Nursing.
Jennifer Graber, associate dean of academic affairs and practice initiatives for the School of Nursing, chaired the committee that organized CHS Teaching Day.

The afternoon included a poster session and a series of hands-on workshops on clinical practice education focusing on Healthcare Theatre’s Master Class FreezeFrame as a new learning modality; simulation as a teaching strategy to improve learning outcomes; fostering community engagement in teaching and service-learning outcomes for students; and health equity in clinical education.

“I hope all attendees walked away from CHS Teaching Day knowing more about the resources available to them, how to obtain resources if they need help, and that they feel inspired by what they’ve heard and start incorporating some new ideas into their classrooms,” Graber said.  


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