Workshop Sessions

Faculty Forum on Student Learning Assessment, 2018

faculty forum

Faculty Forum on Student Learning Assessment, Fall 2018 - AGENDA

Friday, October 5, 9:00a.m. - Noon
East Lounge, Dougherty Hall
Hosted by Seth Fishman, CLAS, Stephen Sheridan, OPIR, and Gabriele Bauer, VITAL

Join us at this collegial forum that highlights faculty practices regarding assessing student learning outcomes at course and/or program levels. Faculty will host assessment-specific conversations on the following topics: student presentations, pre-and post-tests, pre-class online work, assessing laboratory reports, and curriculum mapping. Faculty will participate in two discussions: 9:15-9:55 a.m. and 10:05-10:40 a.m., leading into continued exchange over lunch.
Link to registration, please register by 10/1

Past Faculty Forums on Student Learning Assessment

Faculty Forums on Student Learning Assessment, Fall 2017, Fall 2016 and Fall 2015

Faculty members, representing all colleges, participated in these collegial forums focused on faculty practices regarding student learning outcomes assessment at the course and/or programmatic levels. Faculty hosted table conversations focused on specific means of student learning assessment. They demonstrated particular assessment tools and described the rational, implementation, and utilization for obtaining meaningful, actionable results. The forum's goal is to expand the collection of practice-based assessment methods and engage in faculty-driven assessment leadership.  

Link to 2017 Forum Agenda

Link to 2016 Forum Agenda

Link to 2015 Forum Agenda

Session Materials:

Sample alumni surveys: Link to Engineering
Sample formative student feedback: Link to Education & Counseling, Link to Chemistry 
Sample rubrics: Link to Geography & the Environment
Comprehensive exam development at the graduate program level: Link to Public Administration

National Expert on Teaching, Dr. James M. Lang

Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning & Teaching Distracted Minds
with James M. Lang, Ph.D., National Expert on Teaching, and author of Small Teaching.
September 20 and 21

Link to Registration; Register by 9/17

Keynote on Teaching Distracted Minds
As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which distracting devices can interfere with student learning.  But are students today more distracted than they were in the past?  Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued?  This lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking. 

Teaching Distracted Minds – Interactive Keynote
Thu, September 20, 2:30 - 3:45 p.m., Cinema, Connelly Center
Followed by refreshments 

Keynote and workshop on Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning
Research from the learning sciences and from a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of university course, from traditional lectures to flipped classes.  This interactive lecture and workshop will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.

Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning -  Interactive Keynote
Fri, September 21, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., Driscoll Hall, Auditorium, Room 132 

Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning – Workshop Session 
Fri, September 21, 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Dougherty Hall, East Lounge
Followed by lunch with informal, collegial conversation

James M. Lang, Ph.D.


James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA.  He is the author of five books, the most recent of which are Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016) Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard UP, 2013), and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Harvard UP, 2008).  Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education.  His book reviews and public scholarship on higher education have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Time.  He edits a new series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press; he co-edited the second book in the series, Teaching the Literature Survey Course: New Strategies for College Faculty (2018).

He has conducted workshops on teaching for faculty at more than a hundred institutions in the US and abroad. In September of 2016 he received a Fulbright Specialist grant to work with three universities in Colombia on the creation of a MOOC on teaching and learning in STEM education.  He has a BA in English and Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, an MA in English from St. Louis University, and a Ph.D. in English from Northwestern University.

Get Ready: Hone Your Syllabus, 2017

Plan Ahead: Hone Your Syllabus
January 11, 2017, 11:00a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Stop in the VITAL Office to fine-tune your course syllabus and get a head start on the spring semester. What kind of learning environment does the syllabus convey? How might the syllabus help create a sense of community? How does your syllabus connect with your students’ expectations, backgrounds? How might it suggest an engaging, inclusive perspective on your course? Revisit how learning goals align with assessments and instructional activities. Include graphics to help students visualize how the course is organized, what they will gain, and how they will be engaged.

Teaching Professor Articles:
New ideas about an old teaching tool, 12-14
Syllabus tone: It matters, 2-16
Encouraging engagement by adding job-like elements to a course, 11-16
VITALinks - Syllabus resources

Pre-registration is appreciated. Please email with “Syllabus Preparation” in the subject line. We can consult with up to three faculty members per hour.

Preparing Your Online Classes with Synchronous and Asynchronous Sessions, 2017

VITAL is collaborating with UNIT -CIT to offer two workshops. Please join us to explore more about designing your online synchronous and asynchronous sessions, as well as tools to support students' learning.

image of zoom

Teaching Synchronous Online Classes with Zoom, Fall 2017
Thursday, September 28, 12:00p.m. - 1:15p.m.
Falvey Memorial Library, Room 205

Online synchronous communication enables online students to interact with instructors and peers in real time, and research has indicated that synchronous sessions can promote online students' sense of community and social presence (Oztok, Zingaro, Brett, & Hewitt, 2013).  

We will discuss characteristics of synchronous online learning, ways to design your class synchronously, and use Zoom, one of the video conferencing tools available at Villanova. Zoom supports video conferencing, online meetings, and group messaging; it enables you to conduct virtual office hours and facilitate student collaboration. You will consider ways to effectively support students’ learning via Zoom and become familiar with how to use Zoom in your class. Please bring your laptop to the session.

Presenters: Andy-Guoqiang Cui, VITAL and Nathan Weyl, UNIT-CIT

image of yellowdig

Cultivating Students' Asynchronous Online Learning with Yellowdig, Fall 2017
Tuesday, October 3, 1:00p.m. - 2:15p.m.
Falvey Memorial Library, Room 205

The asynchronous learning environment enables students to actively participate in their own learning and gives them the opportunity to interact with peers, provide feedback, and reflect on the status of personal learning (Harris, Mishra, & Koehler, 2009; Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). 

We will discuss characteristics of asynchronous online learning and ways to promote interactions and collaborations to better engage students. You will become familiar with Yellowdig, an asynchronous social learning platform integrated with Blackboard. With Yellowdig, you can engage students with various resources including videos, news articles, blogs and more. This platform also lends itself to encouraging student collaboration, peer learning, and personal connection with the subject matter. You will test drive Yellowdig, consider ways to utilize it for your course and extend student learning. Please bring your laptop to the session.

Presenters: Andy-Guoqiang Cui, VITAL and Richard Wack, UNIT-CIT

The New Science of Learning and Implications for Learning and Teaching, 2015

The New Science of Learning and Implications for Learning and Teaching
with Todd Zakrajsek, Ph.D., UNC-Chapel Hill

Monday, September 28, 2015

Todd Zakrajsek, Executive Director, Academy of Educators in the School of Medicine and Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UNC–Chapel Hill. Todd has published and presented widely on student learning and engagement, including keynote addresses in 42 states. He has co-authored with T. Doyle, The New Science of Learning: How to Learn in Harmony With Your Brain (2013) and directs four Lilly Conferences on College and University Teaching. Dr. Z., as his students fondly call him, received his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Ohio University. He brings not only expertise but also charisma, humor, and personal stories to his work. His hands-on sessions demonstrate principles of active learning and get you to experience and apply these principles to your own disciplinary teaching context.

Supporting Your Students: Strategies from the Psychology of LearningSession Description
Audience: Advisors and Tutors

Motivating and Engaging Your Students: Strategies for Teaching from the Psychology of LearningSession Description
Audience: Faculty

The event was hosted by the Division of Student Affairs and VITAL.