Up-Ending the Culture of Apathy: Make Your Course Matter to Students

Please note that this session has two parts, which are thematically related but different in content. You are welcome to attend either or both, but please indicate below your intentions.

9:30AM: Meet the presenter + coffee and cookies

10:00AM – 12:00 Noon: Energizing Students' Experience through ACTION
What’s the secret to getting students to take ownership of a subject they have no native interest in but are required to take? Some students will, of course, do the work just because they need the credits. Others will do it because you ask them to—maybe because you are likeable and friendly and even funny. Or maybe because they want you to pat them on the back with a high grade. This might be flattering to your ego, but you’ve still got a problem: if the learning is going to matter for the long term, students have got to develop an authentic sense of commitment to what is being learned. Believe it or not, we, teachers have the means to foster this environment. This session will explore how you can create a dynamic, action-oriented, challenging, learning environment that will foster in your students a greater sense of ownership and personal investment.

1:30 – 3:30 PM: Rethinking Student Learning and Assignment Design
How do your students know if they are learning? This is a hard question to answer when you are using learner-centered teaching strategies. Students have their own measures of learning (e.g., number of pages of lecture notes) and often these are not at all related to your real learning objectives. In this session participants will consider the growing body of research on how students learn as a means of creating strategies for effectively designing and delivering assignments—starting with the ongoing practice and feedback students need leading up to those major assignments. Finally, you will learn how to ensure that the assignments you design are increasing student awareness of their learning en route to achieving your most important course goals.

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