Faculty to Share Innovations in Teaching and Learning at Conference

Posted: September 20, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: September 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

By Aisha Jamil

Mason will hold its second annual Innovations in Teaching and Learning (IT&L) conference in the Research I Building on the Fairfax Campus on Monday, Oct. 4, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The IT&L conference features more than 60 Mason faculty member speakers from a variety of disciplines who will share their work and innovative ideas with their colleagues.

In addition to the faculty speakers, keynote speaker Michael Wesch, an anthropologist from Kansas State University known for his YouTube videos about how undergraduates learn in a high-tech world, will present “The World Remixed: How New Media Mediate Our World.”

This year’s conference focuses on topics such as critical thinking, everyday science, designing writing assignments and using new technologies in the classroom, among others.

Following is a sample of presenters and speech topics at this year’s IT&L.

  • “Building an Online Course at George Mason from Start to Finish” − Keith Renshaw, assistant professor of psychology, will provide an overview of all the steps an instructor needs to take to design, pilot and implement an online course at Mason. The procedure will be illustrated with the example of Psychology 100, which was administered online for the first time this past summer.
  • “Encouraging Students to Participate in the Cyber Dialogue” − Esperanza Roman-Mendoza, associate professor of Spanish and modern and classical languages, will focus on several case studies of social media integration in Mason’s Spanish curriculum and analyze to what extent students got involved in the projects, as well as the circumstances that promoted or hindered the use of social media as a learning tool.
  • “Teaching Undergraduate Students to be Scholars” − James Willis and Linda Merola, assistant professors of criminology, law and society, will present on teaching honors students to be scholars in criminology, law and society. Their honors course provides a small group of undergraduate students with the challenging and rewarding experience of doing original scholarly research.
  • “Turning Your Course Upside Down: An Example from General Education Science” − Rebecca Ericson, instructor of physics and astronomy, will present a roadmap for course design and discuss the result, “Everyday Science,” a class where student interest and questions shape course content. She will discuss the course and some of the history behind it, as well as the process of collaboration that led to “Everyday Science.”

Registration is free for all Mason faculty members and graduate teaching assistants and includes lunch.

For the complete schedule and to register, see the website.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu