News, Events, Annual Report

Lilly Teaching Conference Travel Fellowship Awarded to Dr. Yoon-Na Cho, Marketing and Dr. David Jamison, Mechanical Engineering

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 VITAL Minigrant Award Recipients (PDF listing of grant recipients).      

Villanova's Dr. Immerwahr, Philosophy, uses IF-AT in his courses as a fun, interactive way to gauge students' understanding, March 2014

The Teaching Professor, February 2014 — “Getting Students to Talk about Those Diappointing Grades
by Francesca Cocchi, Honors Interdisciplinary Scholar and VITAL Student Intern

What factors discourage students from initiating conversations with instructors when they receive lower grades than they feel they deserve?
A study by Wright (2013) reveals the top six reasons why students choose not to discuss their disappointing grades with their teachers. The most popular response related to the utility of the conversation, or the students’ perception that the conversation would not benefit them or improve the grade. In addition, students expressed that they did not initiate the conversation because they understood the reason for the grade, felt they could not approach the instructor, considered the grade not that important to them, were uncomfortable having a conversation about grades, or simply had other priorities, such as completing assignments for other courses. 

How might this strategy inform our teaching? Students who choose not to talk with their instructors about disappointing grades close the door on opportunities to get additional feedback and avoid similar mistakes on subsequent assignments. Instructors miss out on the opportunity to learn how students understood a certain assignment and why they approached it the way they did. While students may have different reasons for not discussing disappointing grades, instructors can provide different venues of engaging students in such conversations throughout the course.  According to Wright, “By giving greater attention to facilitating grade conversations instead of regulating grade disputes, instructors can enhance students’ understandings of the diverse benefits of discussing disappointing grades and their legitimate right to initiate them.” Your thoughts . . . 

The February 2014 issue also features:

  • What Fitness Bands Can Teach Us about Classroom Assessment
  • Cooperative Learning Structures and Deep Learning
  • What Happens When Students Repeat Courses?
  • Book Review: Applying Science of Learning: Infusing Psychological Science into the Curriculum
  • The Boring Syllabus

Villanova University New Faculty Program  Information/AGENDA
August 18-19, 2014

Please note program location: Garey Hall Events Room 10A (lower level)

Villanova University Adjunct Faculty Orientation -  AGENDA (pdf)
August 19, 2014
6:00-9:00p.m., Bartley Hall, Room 1001

Video resource: Adjunct Faculty Panel, Spring 2014


Food for Thought - What teaching topics would you like to discuss in the Fall? Share your suggestions for topics:    

2014 AAEEBL Annual Conference 
July 28-31, 2014

Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA

Annual Report 2013-2014 (PDF File)

This Annual Report details the services that VITAL provided to the Villanova academic community to support quality pedagogical and learning environments during the programming year of August 2013 – July 2014. The core goal of all VITAL services is to facilitate dialogue and interaction among faculty who share common curricular and/or pedagogical interests.

VITAL continues to utilize various means to ensure that services are aligned with Villanova’s mission, academic priorities, interests and needs of the academic community: e.g., University and Colleges’ strategic plans, formal feedback data, and conversations with the faculty advisory board. We welcome your suggestions and program ideas; please stop by the VITAL office at 106 Vasey Hall or send e-mail to:

VITAL Services
VITAL Programs
library and materials
Food for Thought Discussions
VITALINKS Online Resources
VITAL Minigrants
Teaching and Learning Strategies