Pre-Conference Workshops

ISETL’s Conference on Innovative Pedagogy for Higher Education is excited to offer a series of pre-conference workshops focused on increasing the efficacy of teaching for all students. These workshops are facilitated by leaders in the field of innovative pedagogy and experienced classroom practitioners.
The workshops address a broad range of topics, yet each is structured with a focus on innovative pedagogy through an interactive instructional approach. These workshops will provide participants with knowledge and skills that are applicable to the classroom immediately upon returning to one’s institution. 
Join with like-minded colleagues to share in challenging and pragmatic professional development designed by college instructors for the college classroom. All facilitators have significant experience in the classroom, as well as significant experience in guiding professional development experiences.
Timeframe:     All workshops are 2 hours in length
Cost: All workshops are $50
Format: All workshops are synchronous – real people!

The workshops are offered the week prior to the conference so that faculty, students, and administrators can relax and enjoy the professional development opportunities, rather than trying to squeeze everything into one week.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Making Critical Thinking Assignments Better for Learning and Assessment

Eddie Watson
Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice President for Curricular and Pedagogical Innovation

Association of American Colleges and Universities

A key research finding from AAC&U’s VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) project is that what faculty ask students to do in assignments strongly affects how well they do it. Indeed, assignments are not only key as an assessment of learning but also integral as a teaching strategy that can be improved and mastered. This workshop will begin by exploring the latest employer research as it relates to learning outcomes for undergraduate students and then quickly focus specifically on critical thinking. It will then examine the elements of AAC&U’s Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric as a preamble to working with a new tool from AAC&U called the “VALUE ADD (Assignment Design and Development) Tool for Critical Thinking.” This tool is intended to help faculty create or revise an assignment designed to produce student work that develops and accurately demonstrates students’ critical thinking abilities. Participants in this workshop are encouraged to bring previous versions or drafts of assignments or an idea for a critical thinking assignment they are considering for the future. In addition to having time and support to revise these course materials, attendees will have the opportunity to review their colleagues’ drafts of assignments, to collect feedback on their own assignments, and to utilize the new VALUE ADD Tool.

Learner Experience Design: A Practical Approach for Empathetic Educators

Christian Rogers
Associate Professor of Computer Graphics Technology

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis
Jerry Schnepp
Associate Professor of Visual Communication Technology

Bowling Green State University

Learner Experience Design (LX) can help you develop creative ways to meet the expectations of evolving students and learning contexts. LX incorporates techniques, mindsets, and approaches from the field of User Experience (UX) and design thinking. It focuses on empathy for students. Having a deep understanding of student perspectives enables you to create innovative, engaging, and effective learning opportunities. Participants in this workshop will learn how to integrate LX into their curriculum development workflow. They practice identifying insights from student interviews, develop student personas, ideate curricular solutions, and reflect together on how LX can help them to be more innovative and effective educators.

Participants will…

  • Learn the foundational principles of Learner Experience Design (LX).
  • Engage in activities that foster empathy toward students.
  • Collaborate on creative solutions.
  • Receive feedback from other participants to help refine their strategies.

This interactive workshop will begin with an introduction to Learner Experience Design (LX). We will proceed to collaborative exercises. The first is an empathy activity in which participants will learn to conduct effective student interviews. Participants will create student personas based on insights they learn and illustrate them using empathy diagrams. Next, small teams will engage in ideation and prototyping using their empathy diagrams to guide creative decisions. Finally, the entire group will engage in a sharing activity to evaluate and assess their solutions.

Presentation Description:

The student body on college campuses is increasingly more diverse (Cho & Forde, 2001; Deil-Amen, 2011) and students’ expectations about their education are constantly changing (Baker et al., 2012). They engage in myriad learning modalities that incorporate online and face-to-face interactions. They have access to an unprecedented body of digital resources from which they synthesize their learning. They have diverse backgrounds, schedules, learning preferences, and levels of preparedness. In short, students have varied expectations about what it means to engage in a productive learning experience. 

Most college faculty members have never received formal training in curricular development or pedagogy (Beyer et al., 2013). Some simply mimic the way their own instructors taught, seldom considering the potential for innovative teaching techniques. Others invest considerable effort into advancing their pedagogy but lack the foundational knowledge that informs modern instructional design. Effective educators not only provide content. They build learning experiences that are relatable and understandable to their students (Bain, 2004). They construct these experiences by combining sound pedagogy with insights into student motivation and expectations gained through empathy (Henriksen et al., 2020; IDEO, 2014).

If empathy for students is essential to effective teaching, what might faculty members do to better understand their students? A practical, learnable, and repeatable approach to gaining student insight would be invaluable to meet this end. Adopting such an approach would help prepare new teachers as they establish their personal pedagogy and empower seasoned educators to continually improve.

Learner Experience Design (LX) is an emerging field that leverages the techniques, mindsets, and approaches from the field of User Experience (UX)  and design thinking to help educators create innovative and effective learning opportunities (Ahn, 2019). It combines user-centered instructional design with educational theory, pedagogy, and psychology. Educators who use LX for curriculum development can adapt their instruction to an ever-evolving set of learners using an evidence-based approach (Soulis et al., 2017). There is a need to provide LX training for educators who might unlock the potential to engage students in more effective learning experiences by incorporating a human-centered approach to their curriculum design (Cassim, 2013). 

Participants in this presentation will learn how to apply LX principles to learn about their particular students. It will help them to improve their pedagogy by exploring innovative teaching practices. 

Ahn, J. (2019). Drawing inspiration for learning experience design (LX) from diverse perspectives. The Emerging Learning Design Journal, 6(1), 1.

Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Harvard University Press.
Baker, P. M., Bujak, K. R., & DeMillo, R. (2012). The evolving university: Disruptive change and institutional innovation. Procedia Computer Science, 14, 330-335.
Beyer, C. H., Taylor, E., & Gillmore, G. M. (2013). Inside the undergraduate teaching experience: The University of Washington’s growth in faculty teaching study. SUNY Press.
Cassim, F. (2013). Hands on, hearts on, minds on: design thinking within an education context. International Journal of Art & Design Education, 32(2), 190-202.
Cho, M., & Forde, E. (2001). Designing teaching and assessment methods for diverse student populations. Journal of Art & Design Education, 20(1), 86-95.
Deil-Amen, R. (2011). The “traditional” college student: A smaller and smaller minority and its implications for diversity and access institutions.
Henriksen, D., Gretter, S., & Richardson, C. (2020). Design thinking and the practicing teacher: addressing problems of practice in teacher education. Teaching Education, 31(2), 209-229.
IDEO (2014). Design Thinking for Educators toolkit. Retrieved March 23, 2021 from
Soulis, S., Nicolettou, A., & Seitzinger, J. (2017, February). Using Learner Experience Design (LX) for Program Enhancement. In Conference Paper presented at Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia Conference Expanding Horizons in Open & Distance Learning (pp. 5-7).

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Tech for Equity: Leveraging Technology to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom

Amy Cheney
Director of Digital Teaching and Learning, Reich College of Education

Appalachian State University

Digital technologies are important tools for creating inclusive, equitable learning environments. In this workshop, we will explore strategies for design and instruction to maximize their use in serving diverse populations in the classroom.

The rapid move to online instruction brought a host of challenges, not least of which was ensuring that learning environments be equitable for and accessible to all learners. As classrooms move back to a more traditional format, it is important to consider lessons learned in this regard, and fully utilize the myriad technologies available to support these efforts.

This interactive session will include discussion of the ways in which technology tools can support diverse students. Specific focus will be given to issues such as classroom management, engagement, resource selection, accessibility, instructional strategies, and assessment. Participants will actively consider strategies that can be applied to engage all learners in equitable and inclusive ways.

Participants will:

  • Discuss issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom, and ways to utilize technology to address them.
  • Discuss design, instruction, and assessment strategies to fully engage diverse learners.
  • Discuss implementation of specific types of technology tools to support inclusive classroom environments and practices.

Supporting Student Success and Wellbeing with Trauma-Informed Practices

Kisha G. Tracy
Associate Professor, English Studies

Fitchburg State University
Kai Fay
Collections Digitization Assistant, Imaging Services

Harvard University
Olivia Sederlund
Technical Services, Head

Goodnow Library

The effects of trauma can profoundly impact our students’ motivation, cognition, and engagement.  Especially in the context of the current global climate and events, it is critically important that we understand how trauma can influence our students’ ability to engage with course content and how we can create more effective learning environments. This workshop will engage participants in exploring and crafting trauma-informed strategies to foster successful engagement in a classroom community.

The workshop will open with establishing a working definition of trauma and the impact that it has on cognition and brain function. We will also discuss the principles of trauma-informed instruction before moving on to practical applications. The majority of the workshop will be spent in hands-on activities designed to help participants gain a deeper understanding of the concepts covered in the introduction.  Topics will include communication strategies, developing a sense of belonging in the classroom and the library, and syllabus creation.  The workshop will conclude with time for further discussion and questions.

Participants will:

  • be able to define trauma-informed pedagogy and how it applies to their courses.
  • be able to articulate general definitions of trauma and likely effects on student engagement and learning (in classrooms and academic libraries).
  • be able to craft strategies to employ trauma-informed teaching approaches in their courses.
  • be able to develop a draft of a syllabus following trauma-informed teaching principles

Friday, October 1, 2021

Emotions and Learning: Strategies for Facilitating Deep and Durable Learning

Krista Terry
Associate Professor, Higher Education

Appalachian State University

Do emotions impede or support learning? Are emotions processed in completely different parts of the brain, or is emotional and cognitive processing connected and interdependent? This session will explore these questions and more as we consider emergent definitions of emotions, the relationship of emotions to cognition and learning, and strategies to develop robust courses that engage the whole student.

Although we often think that students’ emotions distract from learning, emerging evidence from the affective and emotional sciences provides us with ways to leverage students’ emotions as powerful tools for facilitating meaning making, motivation, and self-regulation.  Possessing a deeper understanding of how emotions are constructed and how they influence motivation and learning can assist with designing courses that facilitate learning that ‘sticks’.

This session will engage participants with discussing emergent definitions and findings that speak to the supportive and integral role that emotions can play in the classroom.  Strategies for designing courses that provide emotional and cognitive engagement in order to facilitate engagement, self-regulation and self-efficacy will also be discussed. Participants will actively consider strategies that can be applied to a variety of learning situations and modalities.

Participants will:

  1. Discuss definitions and theories related to what emotions are, and how they are manifest in learning situations.
  2. Analyze principles and theories of emotional cognition and develop strategies for enhancing deep and durable learning.
  3. Discuss the ways in which knowledge of emotional learning strategies can lead to facilitating inclusive, trauma-informed courses.

Innovative Pedagogy for Deep and Flexible Learning

Peter Doolittle
Professor, Educational Psychology

Virginia Tech

Innovation makes things better. Innovation involves the creation of something new that is also useful. Innovative pedagogy is the creation of new instructional approaches that benefit student learning and development. This presentation, drawn from cognitive, affective, and neuropsychological research, lays out the tenets of pedagogy and combines them with principles of innovation to create a practical approach to developing instruction that benefits deep and flexible students learning.

Innovation makes things better. Innovation involves the creation of something new that is also useful. Innovative pedagogy is the creation of new instructional approaches that benefit student learning and development. This presentation, drawn from cognitive, affective, and neuropsychological research, lays out the tenets of pedagogy and combines them with the principles of innovation to create a practical approach to developing instruction that benefits deep and flexible students learning.

Based in research, this presentation is designed to be practical, from the beginning. Participants will engage in actively developing an understanding and skill set for creating new and useful pedagogies. This workshop is not a simple presentation of the five latest and greatest pedagogical strategies, but rather, the development of the skills necessary for you to create new and useful instructional strategies for your class, your students, and your outcomes.

Participants will:

  1. be able to explain the five principles that underly human learning.
  2. be able to explain the eight essentials of innovation.
  3. be able to apply the principles of human learning, through the essentials of innovation, to create new and beneficial instructional strategies.
  4. be able to apply new and beneficial instructional strategies within a proactive instructional design model.