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Wednesday, August 15, 2018 | 9am - 4pm

Logan Campus | Taggart Student Center

We are excited to announce the 5th annual Empowering Teaching Excellence Conference at Utah State University. This event will energize and inspire you as you begin the next teaching year. Presentations are faculty submitted, faculty led, and focused on teaching innovations that have worked well right here at USU. Topics and presenters span multiple disciplines and delivery formats. Invitees include all who teach at USU, regardless of role statement or campus, including graduate student instructors and teaching assistants. Here are some things you can expect:

  • Opportunities to network with other USU teachers.
  • A chance to formally share your teaching ideas and innovations with others.
  • Insightful breakout sessions.
  • Graduate Student Instructor Track.
  • Showcase examples of well-built instructional products.
  • Staff on hand to help you with questions about Canvas and other tools.
  • Updates on the latest improvements in educational technologies.
  • A free lunch!
ETE ConferenceThis conference is well attended, enjoyable, and comfortable. We look forward to seeing you there.

  Click to Register

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Tom Tobin

Conference Programming Chair | University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tom Tobin

Universal Design for Learning

To help make educational materials and practices inclusive for all learners, this interactive session radically reflects on how to motivate and inspire adoption of Universal Design for Learning: broaden the focus away from learners with disabilities and toward a larger ease-of-use/general diversity framework.

You will leave this session with use-them-tomorrow strategies for incorporating UDL into your courses, and you'll see how the UDL work you do now will save you and your students time and energy in the future. We will examine how to extend the reach of the university and the professor beyond the classroom by taking advantage of a key learning tool: students’ mobile devices.

Speaker Bio

Thomas J. Tobin is the Conference Programming Chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining UWM, Dr. Tobin served for five years as the Coordinator of Learning Technologies in the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, and recently returned from serving on a Fulbright Grant at a university in Budapest, Hungary. 

Dr. Tobin is also an independent faculty developer and professional consultant in State College, Pennsylvania. He is an internationally-recognized speaker and author on many topics related to quality in distance education and universal design for learning. His upcoming book "Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education" will be released in November 2018.

General Session

Registration and Check-In 
201 Ballroom - Taggart Student Center (view map)
9:15 – 9:30 Welcoming Remarks and Keynote Introduction
Robert Wagner
Vice President for Academic and Instructional Services
9:30 – 10:05 General Session Keynote - Universal Design for Learning
Tom Tobin
Conference Programming Chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Thanks and Conference Logistics
Travis Thurston
Faculty Development Coordinator, Academic and Instructional Services
Breakout Sessions A
10:30 – 11:05
Universal Design for Learning in the Classroom
Tom Tobin, Conference Programming Chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison
(ESLC 046

Workshop/Bring Your Own Device | Course Design Strategies | Graduate Instructor Track

This session builds on the keynote session to provide more hands-on opportunities to engage in the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for the classroom. You will leave this session with use-them-tomorrow strategies for incorporating UDL into your courses, and you'll see how the UDL work you do now will save you and your students time and energy in the future.
From Outside to Online: Unanticipated Directions for Utah Master Naturalist
Mark Larese-Casanova, Extension Assistant Professor, Natural Resources
Jennifer Perkins, Graduate Student, English
(ESLC 053)

Informational | Course Design Strategies

Utah Master Naturalist is an award-winning Utah State University Extension program that promotes stewardship of Utah's natural world through place-based, experiential field courses across the state. Although successful in eliciting positive short- and long-term impacts, Utah Master Naturalist's traditional five-day field courses were inaccessible to many students and instructors due to constraints on time and location. This case study examines Utah Master Naturalist's first hybrid course, Desert Explorations, and describes the positive results from the pilot study, how a hybrid course solves accessibility issues, and how field-based learning theories can be adapted to online education through careful design.
Designing SoTL Projects Using Logic Modeling to Connect Your Teaching Philosophy to Student Learning
David Law, 
Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Studies
(WIDT 007)

Workshop/Bring Your Own Device | Teaching and Learning Evaluation

This workshop will teach you how to use Logic Modeling to connect your teaching philosophy with student learning. Logic modeling helps the instructor think through the steps necessary to provide evidence of student learning. By doing this effectively, instructors lay the foundation that produces the highest level of scholarly teaching and student learning.
Agent-Based Models and Vicarious Learning: Putting Learning Sciences to Work
Victor Lee, Associate Professor, Instructional Technologies and Learning Sciences
(Auditorium, TSC 227)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools

Agent-based models are a class of technologies that allow for students to explore complex and emergent phenomena when there are multiple entities interacting with one another. Vicarious learning is a model of learning that involves watching someone else being tutored and has been surprisingly effective as one instructional strategy. What happens when the two are combined? This presentation will introduce one free low-threshold agent-based modeling environment designed intentionally for education settings, NetLogo, and some of the existing research around vicarious learning. It will also report on a study to evaluate how effective vicarious learning is when coupled with agent-based modeling.
Html5- and Javascript-Based Resources as a Replacement for Textbooks in General Chemistry
Scott Ensign, Professor, Science
(Senate Chambers, TSC 336)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools 

Recent advances in instructional technology make it possible for instructors to prepare their own multimedia content for delivery via the web as a replacement for publisher textbooks and resources. Such resources must be delivered in formats that can be accessed by students using a variety of internet-connected devices. HTML5 has emerged as the standard for providing rich and interactive content that is device-independent. Several excellent software suites allow output of cross-platform HTML5 content, including Ispring Suite, Tumult Hype, and Camtasia studio. This session will highlight the rich interactive content that can be delivered to students using such technologies as a replacement for traditional publisher content.
Why Didn't I Think of That?
Daniel Holland, Associate Professor, Business
(TSC 335)

Model Effective Teaching | Student Engagement 

This session will model how to use an engaging open-market trading card activity to challenge the way students think. The activity and discussion provides participants with the opportunity to experience the frustration of missed opportunity, identify barriers to creative thinking, and learn principles of innovative problem-solving. A complete paper, titled "Why Didn't I Think of That? A Classroom Exercise for Developing Entrepreneurial Thinking," is published at the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Exchange at
Exhibit Booths
Breakout Sessions B
11:15 – 11:50
The Plague of Poor Student Writing: USU Writing Center Directors Reveal the Solution in Assignment Description
Susan B. Andersen, Senior Lecturer, English
Jasilyn Heaps, Assistant Director, USU Writing Center
(ESLC 046)

Workshop/Bring Your Own Device | Course Design Strategies | Graduate Instructor Track

Despite professors' carefully-crafted lectures, students regularly do not meet expectations in writing assignments-but it might not be all their fault. Writing assignments require students to articulately apply critical thinking skills to a content area, but this complex task becomes more challenging when instructions range from confusingly vague to overbearingly complex. Frustrated students throw up their hands and settle for a half-hearted effort, and professors become increasingly frustrated themselves. The key to breaking this cycle of frustration lies in clear, concise, goal-driven assignment descriptions. In this hands-on presentation, attendees will learn the art and science of assignment descriptions that encourage students' best writing, allowing for more accurate assessment of content knowledge.
The Art and Science of Fun in the Classroom
Rebecca Charlton, Assistance Professor of Professional Practice, Nutrition, Diatetics and Food Sciences
(ESLC 053)

Model Effective Teaching | Student Engagement

Student engagement is the holy grail of higher education. Engaged students retain more information and report higher satisfaction with courses and materials. But how do you engage students while still teaching facts and figures? In this presentation, you'll be shown techniques that integrate fun and learning through application of pop culture icons such as Shark Tank and speed dating. These techniques allow students to use project-based learning that enhances retention and gives students a wide range of skills.
Engaging Students through Issues-Based Topics
Rose Judd-Murray, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Applied Sciences, Technology and Education
Denise Stewardson, Program Director, Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
(WIDT 007)

Model Effective Teaching | Student Engagement | Graduate Instructor Track

This session presents teaching strategies for student engagement that increase understanding and help students broaden their personal perspectives when addressing issues in agriculture. Designed to include all styles of learners, these hands-on strategies give students ownership of their learning. Issues-Based Topics can be taught using creative techniques: readers' theater, futures wheel, concept maps, infographics, social media positions, decision matrices (and many more) that give students opportunities to share their voices and think critically. These strategies will also help students who may feel vulnerable expressing their opinions or openly changing their opinions. Session will discuss options for instructors with large and small class sizes. This session is a great connecting piece to the Facticity conversation and seminars that occurred during fall and spring semester.
Wikipedia, Media Law, and the Art and Science of the Open Educational Resources Revolution
Thomas C. Terry, Professor, Journalism and Communications
(Auditorium, TSC 227)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools

Nationwide, many, perhaps most, professors structure their media law courses as if training lawyers. They use textbooks filled with legal jargon that frustrate students, who spend upwards of $200 for the privilege of not reading it. I believe I'm training journalists first and foremost and arm them with the legal tools they need. No textbook follows this approach, so I wrote one, funded by a USU AIS Teaching with Technology Innovation grant. It's based on freely available Open Educational Resources (OER), anchored by something students already consult . . . Wikipedia. I'll tell you how I did it and why.
How to Rapidly Build a Canvas Course Shell
Kenneth Larsen, Programmer Analyst, Teaching and Learning Technologies
Senate Chambers, TSC 336)

Workshop/Bring Your Own Device | Content, Resources, and Tools

Design Tools for Canvas allows you to rapidly stylize and build out your Canvas course, allowing you to focus more time on planning engaging content and learning activities in your course.

Designing a Flipped Classroom
Neal Legler, Director, Center for Innovative Design and Instruction
(Classroom, TSC 335)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools

Flipped learning is a model of teaching in which the more passive learning activities such as watching lectures, happen outside of the classroom, saving more face-to-face class time for interactive activities. This session will explore different flipped design models and the educational benefits of the flipped design. You will gain a deeper understanding of how to implement this strategy into your own teaching.
Using Art in Science Teaching
Amy Hochberg, Instructor, Science
(TSC 225B)

Model Effective Teaching | Student Engagement

In this session participants will see examples of how student drawings can be used as formative assessments to gauge how well students understand a concept. Participants will discuss how this strategy can be implemented into science courses and courses in other disciplines as well.
Exhibit Booths
12:00 – 1:00   Networking Lunch
Breakout Sessions C
1:00 – 1:35
Designing Online Courses for Student Engagement
Travis Thurston, Senior Instructional Designer and Faculty Development Coordinator, Center for Innovative Design and Instruction
Erin Wadsworth-Anderson, Instructional Designer, Center for Innovative Design and Instruction
(ESLC 046)

Workshop/Bring Your Own Device | Course Design Strategies | Graduate Instructor Track

Considering student experience when designing the appearance and flow of your course can improve student satisfaction and reduce cognitive load allowing for students to focus on the content of your course rather than the design. Using CidiLabs Design Tools and other teaching strategies, you can simplify your navigation and improve autonomy-supportive activities in your course that create an architecture of engagement for students.
Facilitating English Language Learners' Success at the University
Elena Shvidko, Assistant Professor, Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies
Ekaterina Arshavskaya, 
Assistant Professor, Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies
(ESLC 053)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools

English language learners (ELL) students are common on USU campus, and the university offers various resources to facilitate their academic success. However, the lack of awareness of these resources, both on the faculty and the student part, can undermine their value. This session discusses how these resources can be used to promote ELLs’ success at the university. The first presenter shares an example of how these resources can be implemented in course projects and activities. The second presenter describes resources that support graduate-level ELLs, particularly in terms of their adaptation to U.S. classrooms both as students and teaching assistants.

ELL Handout
ELL Additional Resources

Back to Basics: Principles of Teaching That Will Never Expire
Mike Christiansen, Associate Professor, Chemistry
(WIDT 007)

Informational | Student Engagement | Graduate Instructor Track

The modern internet represents a likely source of disruptive competition to historically-insulated universities and colleges. Some consequently wonder: in the future, will the traditional tenured professor eventually become a statistical anomaly? While we cannot predict the future, to stay competitive in an ever-shifting age of information, postsecondary educators would do well to prepare ourselves to adapt to new conditions and improve our teaching prowess. Regardless of what the future holds, our edge of efficiency and effectiveness will likely hinge on properly implementing fundamental teaching principles. To that end, the presenter in this session draws from 14 years of postsecondary chemistry teaching experience to summarize four key teaching principles.
RPGs (Role-Playing Games) in the Classroom
Julia M. Gossard, Assistant Professor, History
(Senate Chambers, TSC 336)

Informational | Student Engagement

This session will examine the use of a role-playing 'game' or simulation (provided through the Reacting to the Past series) to teach a first-year honors course. Learn how role-play games can engage students by having them adopt the identity of a historical character and conduct research, deliver speeches, and write articles. Students become active learners, each personally invested in research, debate, and discussion. Through this format instructors can teach important research skills as well as interpersonal communication skills, teamwork, and organization. This session will introduce professors from a wide variety of disciplines (everything from history to biology and human evolution) to what is available through the Reacting to the Past series and how this format can be applied to many different courses.
The Writing Center: What We've Learned About Student Attitudes Toward Writing and How Professors Use Writing in the Classroom
Michaelann Nelson, Assistant Professor, English
Classroom, TSC 335)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools

In this presentation, participants will be presented with data from USU students and faculty about the types of writing projects USU faculty are using in the classroom and their perceptions and experiences of USU student writing skills. Additionally, USU student perception of their own writing abilities and assessment of the role writing plays in their academic and occupational careers will be explored. This sessionI will also include experience, data, and observations from USU Writing Center tutors to further highlight the role that writing plays on USU campuses.
The Science of Mentoring Undergraduate Students
Kelli Barker, Lecturer, Human Development and Family Studies
(TSC 225B)

Informational | Student Engagement

How do we become better mentors to our undergraduate students? How do we help students after graduation? How do we document good mentorship? How mentoring undergraduate students is distinctly different than how we mentor graduate students. The most effective way to generate excitement, expertise, and engagement for your students. But most important to create a sense of student responsibility that will lead to quality work.
Making Community Engaged Learning the Focus of an Online Course
Mark Brunson, Professor, Environment and Society
(Auditorium, TSC 227)

Informational | Course Design Strategies

Two recent trends in university teaching are online learning and service learning. These options may not often be offered together, as service learning courses tend to require group participation in organized activities that are difficult to manage when students are dispersed across a wide geographic region. This presentation describes one approach to making service learning the central theme of an online course, in which students learn about managing nonprofit organizations and volunteer efforts by embedding themselves in a nonprofit. Participants will be able to brainstorm about novel ways to bring service learning into their own online or classroom-based courses.
Exhibit Booths
Breakout Sessions D
1:45 – 2:20
The Art of Evaluating Blended Courses
Mateja R. Savoie Roskos, Assistant Professor
Stacy Bevan, Professional Practice Associate Professor
Marlene Israelson Graf, Professional Practice Assistant Professor
Rebecca Charlton
Professional Practice Assistant Professor
Nutrition, Diatetics, and Food Sciences
(ESLC 046)

Informational | Teaching and Learning Evaluation

Blended learning is becoming increasingly common in higher education. Unfortunately, many faculty receive limited training on how to effectively evaluate blended courses. This presentation includes a variety of evidence-based approaches for evaluating blended courses based on feedback from students, peers, and instructional designers. This combination of formalized feedback can help ensure instructors achieve course learning objectives and meet student learning needs. Most importantly, feedback gathered through these various evaluation methods can be used for continued course improvement.
Creating Usable and Accessible Canvas Content
Christopher Phillips, EIT Accessibility Coordinator, Academic and Intructional Services
Kimberly Snow, Clinical Instructor, Special Education and Rehabilitation
(ESLC 053)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools | Graduate Instructor Track

Your Canvas course already has great content, but have you considered how usable and accessible that content is? There are a number of resources available to help you manage your content and make it available in student-friendly formats. This session will review several easy-to-use tools and examples of how they have been used to increase the usability and learnability of course content.
Matching Learning Outcomes to Assessments
Karl Hoopes, Extension Assistant Professor
Kelli Munns, Lecturer
Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences
(WIDT 007)

Model Effective Teaching | Teaching and Learning Evaluation

Learning outcomes describe the measurable skills, abilities, knowledge and values that students should be able to demonstrate as a result of a taking a class. Often our courses are designed in ways that make it difficult, if not impossible, to allow students to physically demonstrate mastery of their skills and abilities. Instructors often have to rely on exams to assess knowledge a student has gained and to demonstrate their mastery of a subject. Writing effective learning outcomes and connecting our learning outcomes to specific assessment questions allow instructors to track a student's mastery. Also, designing an assessment with multiple types of questions allow student the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge in different ways.
Using Canvas Data for Documenting Teaching
Robert Wagner, Vice President
Kevin Reeve, Director, Teaching and Learning Technology
Academic and Instructional Services
(Auditorium, TSC 227)

Informational | Teaching and Learning Evaluation

Canvas Data can provide faculty a wide range of information regarding their course design, rigor, and teaching. This presentation will show how one faculty member is using Canvas data and visualizations to document teaching and instructor-student interactions.
Training Students to Evaluate Themselves
Timothy Chenette, Assistant Professor, Music
(Senate Chambers, TSC 336)

Informational | Teaching and Learning Evaluation

Self-evaluation is a crucial life skill. Yet formal education, with its deadlines, course policies, and teacher-student hierarchy may not teach this skill in students and may even actively undermine it. At the same time, aspects of human nature keep us from accurately evaluating our own performance: among other factors, it is well documented that humans often believe that a task that felt difficult reflects poor learning when in fact that difficulty can contribute to better long-term comprehension. I will outline barriers to accurate self-evaluation and suggest best practices for overcoming these barriers and using student self-evaluation in teaching.
Reflective Writing in the Disciplines
Alan Blackstock, Professor, English
(Classroom, TSC 335)

Model Effective Teaching | Student Engagement | Graduate Instructor Track

Reflective writing is a common practice in the English classroom, but increasingly it is being used in a variety of disciplines to enhance student engagement and understanding. This session will provide models of reflective writing activities from various disciplines and invite participants to engage in their own reflective writing about how their students might benefit from similar activities inside and outside the classroom.

Trauma 101: I Can't Understand What You Say Because I'm Too Stressed to Hear
Vonda Jump Norman, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Social Work
(TSC 225B)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools Track

Almost 2/3 of students have experienced some sort of traumatic event before leaving home for college. In this session participants will discuss what trauma is and how it impacts student functioning (learning, social interactions with peer group, persons of authority) at the university level. Participants will also discuss how to recognize trauma in the classroom and how to respond when students disclose trauma.
 Exhibit Booths
Breakout Sessions E

Using Videoconferencing to Engage Students in IVC Courses
Amy Piotrowski, Assistant Professor
Marla Robertson
Assistant Professor
Teacher, Education and Leadership
(ESLC 046)

Panel/Discussion | Student Engagement | Graduate Instructor Track

The presenters will share how they have used videoconferencing in IVC courses to engage students in small group discussion and in group work. Discussion will focus on ways to use videoconferencing tools to bring students together at different campuses during class meetings.
Ascend Toward Student Engagement and Survive Online Combat
Andreas K. Wesemann, Assistant Professor, Applied Sciences, Technology and Education
(ESLC 053)

Model Effective Teaching | Student Engagement

This workshop will introduce participants to a 12-step process to engage learners in online courses. Using the analogy of flight, Professor Baron will demonstrate creating a flight plan, going through pre-flight to take-off, enjoying the time on cruise before the descent and landing with your students. Each phase of flight requires different strategies to keep students engaged and taking control of their own training. Examples and discussions will help the novice and seasoned instructor refine and polish their techniques to reflect on their own journey with online courses to soar to success!
Creative Learning Evaluations
Sara BakkerAssistant Professor, Music
(WIDT 007)

Workshop/Bring Your Own Device | Teaching and Learning Evaluation | Graduate Instructor Track

This workshop will explore best practice on appropriate methods of evaluating student learning at the college level. The first portion of the workshop will be a lecture-based introduction to current research on the evaluation of student learning covering foundational distinctions in assessments, including: summative vs. formative, objective vs. subjective, graded vs. ungraded, and with or without feedback. The second portion will engage participants in small-group discussions that match up sample learning goals with sample assignments. Participants will engage in assessment-literacy and practice creating appropriate evaluations using learning goals gaining skills that can be implemented immediately into the classroom.
Yes, You Can! Improving Student Outcomes by Providing an Authentic Research Experience in the Classroom
Jessica Habashi, Senior Lecturer, Science
Austyn Markham, Undergraduate Student, Languages, Philosophy, and Communication Studies
(Auditorium, TSC 227)

Informational | Course Design Strategies

Have you wanted to provide an authentic research experience to your students but shied away from the idea because you don't have the money, time, or lab space? Then this session is for you. This presentation will focus on a lower-division biology course at USU-Brigham City in which students surveyed bird-window collisions on campus and then analyzed the data using their own questions. The students engaged in a literature search, data collection and analysis, grant proposal writing, abstract preparation, and poster presentation at a departmental symposium. Outcomes included strong student satisfaction and increased research interest. Come create a plan for your own courses!
Facilitating Group Presentations in an Online Course
Stephen VanGeem, Lecturer, Sociology and Social Work
Elisa Taylor, Instructional Designer, Center for Innovative Design and Instruction
(Senate Chambers, TSC 336)

Informational | Course Design Strategies

Law and Society (SOC-4420) is traditionally taught as a face-to-face course built around weekly, in-class, small group debates. This presentation will explain what we did to maintain this core element when transitioning to an online course despite the fact that students were spread across the state.

Foul Play in Academics: Academic Integrity Policies, Procedures, and Resources
John Brooksby, Assistant  to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Academic and Instructional Services
(Classroom, TSC 335)

Informational | Content, Resources, and Tools Track | Graduate Instructor Track

Students sometimes have the mentality that success comes “By any means necessary,” even if it means they have to cheat. This session outlines the proper university reporting practices needed to file academic integrity violations and will introduce resources and other university professionals who are available to help encourage students not to cheat through their academic journey.
The Politics and Research Behind an Interdisciplinary Course Design
John Ferguson, Senior Lecturer, Management
(TSC 225B)

Informational | Course Design Strategies

This session will examine the process involved in creation of the Proscholium: Foundations of Business Leadership course. Special attention will be paid to college political realities, data supported curriculum development, and measurement criteria for such courses. This session will be strategy focussed with real world examples in a discussion style format.
 Exhibit Booths
3:05 – 3:30 Closing Dessert Social
Networking, Exhibit Booths

Past Conferences

Recorded sessions from past conferences are available. Rewatch some of your favorites or find some you may have missed.