The Empowering Teaching Excellence Seminar Series features speakers selected from USU's faculty and occasional visiting guest speakers. Topics pertain to various aspects of effective teaching and primarily focus on practical application, learned through experience, by seasoned teachers.
Propose a Seminar
If you're interested in presenting on a topic in the ETE Seminar Series, you can now propose a session. We are accepting proposals for a limited time for seminars to be held in Fall 2018 and Spring 2019. Please access the survey to propose an ETE Seminar by clicking the button below.
Please contact Travis Thurston at email@example.com or 435-797-4950 with questions.
Helping Students Learn in an Age of Digital Distraction
Thursday, April 5, 2018, 4:00 - 5:00 PM
(Price Campus) and broadcast to Logan Campus
Dr. Kathryn Linder
Research Director, Oregon State Ecampus
Our students are inundated with an overwhelming amount of information each day as they navigate social media, peruse various websites, listen to the radio, read print media, and flip through innumerable television channels. Unfortunately, very little of this information is directly connected by our students to their interactions with us in the classroom. In this session, we will explore how to break through the cognitive overload that our students experience on a daily basis and discuss how we can help our students develop effective strategies for learning in the midst of this Age of Digital Distraction.
Broadcast to Logan - DE 012 - RSVP Now
Controversy in the Classroom: Opportunity or Catastrophe
Tuesday, February 27, 2018, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Library 154 (Logan Campus) and broadcast statewide on IVC
Faculty Panel, featuring:
Roslynn Brain, Associate Professor, ENVS/Moab
Colin Flint, Professor, Political Science
Chris Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, ENGL
Ravi Gupta, Associate Professor, HIST
Teaching is not without its risks. Education exposes students to new concepts and challenges existing assumptions, so controversy and confrontation can be inevitable. When it happens, how should a teacher to respond? This seminar addresses that question. A panel of experienced faculty will facilitate discussion around true-to-life case scenarios, share how they responded, and what the results were. Bring your insights and leave better prepared.
Helping English Language Learners Succeed in the Classroom and Beyond
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
BNR 314 (Logan Campus) and broadcast statewide on IVC
Faculty Panel, featuring:
Ekaterina Arshavskaya, Assistant Professor
Marta Halaczkiewicz, Lecturer
Taira Nieves, Lecturer
Jim Rogers, Professor and Director of the Intensive English Language Institute
Elena Shvidko, Assistant Professor
Nolan Weil, Associate Professor
Students for whom English is not a first language are no longer an uncommon phenomenon for many institutions of higher education in the U.S. The types of support that a university offers to help English language learners is crucial to their academic and social success. Faculty members across campus should also understand what challenges these students have and what kind of support they need in order to succeed at the university. A panel of faculty members from the Intensive English Language Institute will share their experiences working with language learners and offer suggestions on how to facilitate their success in the classroom and beyond.
The following topics will be discussed:
-Understanding language learners' challenges related to classroom participation;
-Working with international graduate students;
-Helping language learners integrate in the university environment through university resources and services;
-Providing interpersonal support to language learners beyond the classroom;
-Making use of faculty resources, tools, and materials to facilitate student success at USU.
Related resources can be accessed here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OLliUdWnqOnyNaJiPG96E22sNuitbyNI
Connecting with Your Students: Student Retention through Mentoring & Caring
Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 3:30 - 5:00 PM
Huntsman Hall 326 (Logan Campus) and broadcast statewide on IVC
Faculty Panel, featuring:
Don Busenbark, Lecturer, USU-UB/MATH
Jennifer Grewe, Lecturer, PSY
David Law, Professor, USU-UB/FCHD
Crescencio Lopez Gonzales, Assistant Professor, LPCS
Derrik Tollefson, Professor and Department Head, SSWA
March 30, 2017, 3:30 - 4:30 PM, LIB 154 (Logan Campus)
Competency Based Education: Separating Fact from Fiction
Matthew Pellish, Senior Director of Strategic Research and Education, Education Advisory Board
MOOCs are a thing of the past, and many parties within and outside of higher education (media, government entities, foundations) have turned their attention to competency-based education (CBE). As with MOOCs, the hope is that CBE will lower costs, increase access, and improve outcomes—and the fear is that those who don't adopt it will lose relevance and market share if new programs scale quickly.
Feeling beset by "disruption" fatigue—but fearful of dismissing a model with the potential to spur gains in enrollment and student success—higher education leaders are struggling with how fast and how far their institutions should venture into CBE.
Based on interviews with over 100 experts and practitioners, this presentation aims to separate the hype from what's really working. We examine CBE's primary objectives, the most prevalent myths in the field, and which factors are likely to accelerate CBE's competitive threat to current higher education programs.
In This Session, Members Will Learn…
- What lessons have CBE's early adopters learned from their experiences?
- Under what circumstances, and for what institutions, is personalized learning the right fit for an institution?
- What pedagogical elements of competency-based education can be replicated within traditional program structures?
Tuesday, September 19, 2017, Seminar 2 - 3:30 PM, Workshop 4 - 5 PM, LIB 154 (Logan Campus)
The Future is Open - Open Educational Practices Seminar & Workshop
Rajiv Jhangiani, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Higher education promises to be a vehicle for economic and social mobility; however, this promise increasingly goes begging as our institutions are structured to reinforce existing inequalities, with engagement, persistence, and achievement still closely tied to affordability. The oft-heard institutional claim to be student-centered is similarly hypocritical, as it is usually faculty, accreditation requirements, and budgetary constraints that dictate both the structure and content of the learning experience. It is against the backdrop of such paradoxes that open education practices have emerged as a transformational force in higher education.
Open educational practices (OEP) encompass the creation, adaptation, and adoption of open educational resources, open course development, and even the design of renewable assignments where students are empowered as co-creators of knowledge. OEP represents a truly learner-centered approach to education that radically enhances both agency and access. This presentation will draw on a diverse set of examples to make a case for why the shift away from traditional (closed) practices is not only desirable but also inevitable, and how OEP support the modern university’s mission by serving both social justice and pedagogical innovation.
OER Creation/Adaptation Workshop
This hand-on workshop is designed to help you locate relevant and high quality open educational resources (OER) for adoption in your classes. Attendees will become familiar with large, curated repositories for OER (including open textbooks, images, and videos) and will learn how to use Pressbooks, a popular open-source platform, to create, revise, or remix OER.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 3:30 - 5:00 PM, LIB 154 (Logan Campus)
Objective and Subjective Truth in the Classroom
Norm Jones, Professor, History
Rose Judd-Murray, STEM Educator, School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education
Peter Crosby, Instructor, Political Science
Moises Diaz, Clinical Assistant Professor, Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology
Idalis Villanueva, Assistant Professor, Engineering Education
The panel will address the curriculum and processes used to help students make informed judgments in areas of objective and subjective truth in the classroom. The panel will explore ways we build on the skills students develop in general education as they continue into their major. General topics will include instructional methods at the curriculum and teaching level that help students think critically and incorporate multiple viewpoints, “in-the-trenches” experience dealing with classroom issues and challenges relating to the nature of objective and subjective truth, and how to identify and address the hidden curriculum in our courses.
Infographic on "Engaging Students through Issues-Based Topics"
Several past Empowering events have been recorded and are available for viewing. Click the links below to see what has already been shared.
Faculty Seminar Series
Empowering Teaching Excellence Conference
The Empowering Teaching Excellence Conference occurs every August as teachers from the regional campuses, Eastern campuses, and Logan campus gather for departmental retreats. All instructors at USU are invited.