SUNY Plattsburgh 2013  CTE Conference on Teaching and Learning

Celebrating Excellence in Teaching is the theme of this year’s 5ith annual conference. We invite college and university faculty and professionals in all academic disciplines to participate in this exciting annual event, to be held on...

  • Saturday, April 27, 2013
  • from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • at the SUNY Plattsburgh Campus in Hawkins Hall.

Our conference here at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh has developed a reputation for low-cost, high yield professional development in a friendly and collegial atmosphere, and we hope to have you join our growing community of faculty and staff committed to teaching excellence in higher education.

This year we will be raffling off an iPad mini to registered attendees – though you have to be present to win, the entire day’s sessions is an enjoyable investment!

Registration and Fees

The conference fee is $100, with a discounted fee of $25 for SUNY Plattsburgh and Clinton Community College faculty. We invite you to register now for the conference, as space is limited. Registration includes entrance to all sessions with lunch provided.

CTE Conference Sessions 2013

8:30: Registration, Main Doors, Hawkins Hall

• Address, Dr. Becky Kasper, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence
• Presentation, SUNY Plattsburgh Student Committee on Teaching Excellence

Session 1, 10:15-11:15
Instructor Feedback on Student Work: Testing, Testing…One, Two…One, Two
Maureen Squires, SUNY Plattsburgh. Research indicates that effective instructor feedback has positive outcomes for students.  (Here, feedback is defined as information, regarding content and process, provided by instructors to students about student work and engagement in the course).  This session provides opportunities for participants to share “best practices” for instructor feedback.  Potential themes for discussion include individualization, being positively constructive, timeliness, and future orientation.

Open Educational Resources and MOOC’s: Shifting Trends in Higher Education
Kathleen Stone, Empire State College. Rarely a day goes by when there is not an article in the news focusing on OER’s and MOOC’s. This interactive session will provide background information on what OER and MOOC’s are and encourage and facilitate a conversation on how these two topics are affecting Higher Education. Participants should be ready to critically examine and discuss these issues. Participants can expect to leave with concrete strategies for including OERs in their courses and a better understanding of MOOCs as they relate to shifting trends in higher education.

Student Mindfulness in Online Learning
Diane Gusa, SUNY Canton. In this workshop we will investigate learning theories that apply to online learning environments, as well as, praxis that enlarges the abilities of online students to drive their learning in a deliberate way. We will examine ways to facilitate the development and enhancement of student mindfulness through the LMS tool of discussion boards, as well as, LMS alternative tools such as social bookmarking, document sharing applications, social networking sites, etc.

Reading in the Flipped Classroom: In-Class Strategies to Boost Reading, Writing, and Discussion
Michael Devine, Carol Lipszyc, SUNY Plattsburgh. Reading is the forgotten component of “Teaching 101.”  We worry about poor writing; we fret over quiet classes; but how often do we give our students strategies for becoming better readers, and make reading an integral, dynamic, even entertaining part of our classroom?  This presentation showcases ways to foreground reading as a process-oriented, collaborative in-class activity through which students begin to engage in inquiry-based group work and problem solving—the hallmarks of the flipped classroom.

Session 2, 11:30-12:30
The (Initial) Disappointment of Fabulous Teaching
Seth Marineau, Norwich University, VT. Have you ever tried a promising new teaching practice only to have it fall flat with students? This is known as the disappointment of fabulous teaching. This condition arises when the faithful implementation of a “best practice” fails to deliver the heralded results. This interactive session explores the frustration of growing one’s teaching practice with humor and humility. The discussion also includes practical advice for persevering in the face of this teaching challenge.

Clinical Case Presentation:  A Model for Experiential Learning
Jana A. Sobczak, Bambi Carkey, Upstate Medical University, NY. This presentation describes and demonstrates the use of patient case presentations as an experiential teaching method in a Family Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program. Video-taped segments of one students’ presentation of a standardized patient and student commentary regarding the effectiveness of the case presentation as a teaching method will be part of the discussion. The applicability of this method for students enrolled in other programs will be discussed with the opportunity for participants to actively apply this method to subject matter they teach.

Don’t Try to Be Cool: Three Simple Rules for Using Pop Culture in Your Classroom
Jessamyn Neuhaus, SUNY Plattsburgh. Love Buffy the Vampire Slayer?  Halo ?  Rihanna? Baffled by Bieber? Twilight?  Memes?  Whatever your own media habits, and whatever you teach, you can successfully incorporate pop culture into your curriculum.  But pedagogical planning is crucial.  I propose three easily implemented and practical rules for avoiding common pitfalls and for effectively utilizing pop culture to foster student learning. Participants will brainstorm and discuss how they might apply these rules to their own classes.

Scholarly Personal Narrative: A New Approach to Teaching First-Year Writing
Elizabeth Inness-Brown, Robert Lair, St. Michael’s College, VT. Scholarly personal narrative (SPN) allows first-year students to write essays using their own experiences to explore scholarly ideas, or to write memoirs using outside scholarship to analyze those experiences. Motivated by a personal connection to their topics, they develop stronger college-level critical thinking, writing, and discussion skills. We’ll explain SPN and have two current first-year students read from their own SPNs. Then you’ll design, with our input, a SPN assignment for your own course.

Lunch, 12:30-1:20, Warren Ballroom, Angell College Center

Session 3, 1:30-2:30
Design, Delivery, and Dynamics of an Interdisciplinary Course
David Salomon, Deborah Lawrence, Russell Sage College, NY. In this session the presenters will discuss how they developed an interdisciplinary course in literature and mathematics and provide a glimpse of how that played out in the classroom.  The following themes will be addressed:  team teaching, collaborative learning, active learning strategies, and interdisciplinary content.  Session participants will engage in evaluation of student work, collaborate to construct their own mathematical poem, and develop a preliminary design of an interdisciplinary course of interest to them.

Working Backwards to Move Forward…from Student Learning Outcomes to Engaging Learning Activities
Tracey Caponera, SUNY Delhi; Paula Reardon, SUNY Delhi. This interactive workshop will focus on student learning and how to work backwards from the Student Learning Outcomes on your syllabus to create new and creative classroom activities and assignments that will best assess student learning. Using some common upper level student learning outcomes, we will actual practice creating some ideal teaching activities and assignments and how to measure that student learning is definitely taking place in your classroom! Participants will walk away from this session with multiple teaching method and material ideas as well as proven measurement techniques to help them better focus on student learning.

Pedagogical Theories for Dummies
Elin O’Hara-Gonya, SUNY Plattsburgh. Classroom practices are informed by the instructor’s beliefs about ideal delivery methods for information, student-teacher relationships, learning environments, student responsibilities, teacher responsibilities, etc.  When one reflects upon one’s pedagogical beliefs, one can start to link those beliefs to the theories that best fit those beliefs.  When one understands the pedagogical theory underlying one’s teaching, one can thereby use that pedagogy to inform future instructional practices, thereby creating a cohesive pedagogical foundation for one’s teaching.  This session will provide participants with an overview of foundational pedagogical theory, interactive discussion about and application of the theories discussed, as well as a bibliography of additional readings and resources. 

MOOCS: Friend or Foe?
Jan Plaza, SUNY PlattsburghMassive open online courses are all in the news and they are serving thousands students. Some argue that MOOC’s are of higher quality than an average online college course, and the completed courses are being accepted by employers instead of college diplomas. Do these courses pose a threat to the traditional model of teaching? Perhaps, or it could be a challenge to us to develop new models of hybrid teaching that capture the best of both worlds whereby students engage in online activities that are appropriate for that venue and be part of a face to face classroom that offers its own unique strengths and opportunities.

Session 4, 2:45-3:45
Let the Students Teach: Illustrations in a Cross-discipline Collaborative Learning Environment
William Pfaff, SUNY Plattsburgh. The workshop will demonstrate a variety of student-centered approaches that can be used to achieve all levels of learning outcomes in a dynamic, participant-created cross-discipline collaborative environment. We will work from the premise that every moment of every class offers the opportunity for students to learn from each other and for the teacher to learn from the students. By modeling that environment in the seminar, participants will discover the value of opening up the classroom instruction process to include opportunities for student-to-student teaching.

Carlin in College: The Use of Stand-Up Comedy in the Classroom
Douglas C. MacLeod, Jr., SUNY Cobleskill. Although learning about sentence fragments, dangling modifiers, past participles, a weak thesis, and paragraph formation (amongst other things) is informative and helpful to our students, it is certainly not entertaining or sexy.  So, it is up to us, as instructors or professors (whether in English or otherwise), to find alternate ways to teach the subject matter.  One way that I found particularly helpful is to incorporate stand-up comedy into the classroom: Brian Regan, Bill Cosby, Dennis Miller, Steven Wright, and (my personal go-to) George Carlin has all found their way into my courses—why?  Because you need good writing to have good comedy; so, by exposing good writing to our students in a more unconventional (and entertaining) way, we will find that they will be more receptive to learning about the process and using that process to write more detailed and specific content within their papers.  My presentation, and our discussion, will focus on how one can successfully incorporate this unique art-form into a writing course, as well as throughout the disciplines. 

Acting like a Teacher: Performance in the Classroom Setting
Wendy Gordon, Shawna Mefferd-Carroll, SUNY Plattsburgh. Classroom teachers don’t frequently identify themselves as performers, but incorporating actors’ tools into teaching can greatly enhance an instructor’s effectiveness in communication and supporting a productive classroom dynamic. This interactive discussion will aid participants in identifying the performance techniques they already use and suggest ways to augment their teaching personas with elements they perhaps haven’t been aware of using.

Practice Makes Perfect:  Using Simulations as a Teaching Tool
Sandra Malcolm, SUNY Cobleskill. In this session participants will define experiential learning, determine appropriate simulation experiences for their students, discuss the pros and cons of utilizing simulations in various disciplines, and examine methods of assessing student learning outcomes through the use of simulations.  The presenter will share the trials and tribulations of planning and presenting a simulation to students as they are guided to explore and discover techniques that can be applied to the situation.

4:00 Conference wrap-up and iPad Mini raffle. Krinovitz

Contact Information

For more information about the Center for Teaching Excellence, please contact:

Becky Kasper, Ph.D., Director
SUNY Plattsburgh
301 Feinberg Library, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
Phone: (518) 564-3043
Fax: (518) 564-5100