Penn Active Learning Symposium

Keynote Speaker: Sehoya Cotner, University of Minnesota
May 09 2019 : 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Stiteler Hall, Room B26

Penn Active Learning Symposium Full Description

Thursday, May 9th, 1:00 - 4:30pm, Stiteler Hall B26

 

1:00-2:00pm – Stiteler Hall B26. Keynote talk: “Low Risk, High Reward Strategies for Making Your Classes More Active” by Dr. Sehoya Cotner

I will draw from my own, sometimes disastrous, experiences exploring the impact of active learning (versus traditional pedagogies) and share evidence-based strategies for making large-enrollment courses more active and more equitable. In this interactive discussion, we will:

•             Identify and use several in-class assessment techniques

•             Discuss active-learning pedagogies that are suitable in a variety of educational settings, with a special emphasis on the unique challenges of large-lecture settings

•             Introduce, through my own experiences and those documented in the literature, the evidentiary basis behind these teaching techniques

•             Develop strategies for implementation in your own courses

 

2:00-3:00pm – Stiteler Hall B26. Lightning Round: Penn instructors will share activities for and outcomes of their active courses, providing concrete examples of strategies and approaches that work at Penn. The lightning round will conclude with a break for discussions with the presenters. 

3:00-4:30pm – Stiteler Hall, Rooms TBA. Activities Workshop: Led by CTL staff, this workshop will guide participants through developing an activity or small set of activities for their course or course that they imagine teaching in the future, based on their course goals, style, and size. Sessions will be available for both faculty/staff and graduate students/postdoctoral fellows.

 

Sehoya Cotner earned her PhD in Conservation Biology, but has turned her research focus to undergraduate biology education. She is particularly interested in evidenced-based teaching, especially as it relates to reducing or removing barriers to equity in STEM fields. Sehoya is currently focusing much of her work on performance and retention gaps that arise in introductory-level courses. Sehoya is PI of several NSF-funded initiatives emphasizing inclusive teaching, training teaching assistants to facilitate inquiry, and course-based research experiences. She has most recently published on the effect of class size on gender-biased performance gaps, participation gaps in biology and chemistry courses, the role of high-stakes tests in observed performance gaps (between men and women, and between first-generation college students and their continuing-generation counterparts), and how gender ratios impact in-class group dynamics. Current work highlights the role of hidden identities in active-learning settings. Sehoya has proposed, and continues to explore, the “Course Deficit Model,” whereby instructional choices can either increase or lower barriers to equity.

 

Following the talk, The Penn Active Learning Symposium will bring together faculty and graduate student to discuss the benefits and challenges of using active learning techniques, and how to do so, no matter our class size.  During the lightning round, we will hear from Penn instructors about the range of active learning techniques that they are deploying, while exploring the opportunities to reach large numbers of students. The symposium will culminate in hands-on workshops allowing participants to strategize about ways to incorporate active learning in their own teaching.

 

The symposium is open to all instructors at Penn, including faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students. Participants will have the opportunity to attend all or some of the sessions. To RSVP and hold your space, please register here: https://sasupenn.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_esXjr5ihf3uHixn

 

Contact: for more information.

Mentoring the Diversity of Students

Professors Zahra Fakhraai, Chemistry and CBE and Chris Murphy, Computer and Information Science
Apr 24 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
108 Towne

The Engineering Faculty Teaching Forum brings together faculty from across SEAS for informal conversations about teaching. Each discussion focuses on a different theme and is moderated by two faculty members. All faculty, from experienced to novice teachers, are invited to participate. To encourage open discussion, registration is limited twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

What is Rigor and What is the Right Level of Rigor?

Professors Cynthia Sung, Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics and LeAnn Dourte, Bioengineering
Mar 19 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
108 Towne

The Engineering Faculty Teaching Forum brings together faculty from across SEAS for informal conversations about teaching. Each discussion focuses on a different theme and is moderated by two faculty members. All faculty, from experienced to novice teachers, are invited to participate. To encourage open discussion, registration is limited twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Using Technology to Make Grading More Efficient and Transparent

Professors Kimberly Bowes, Classical Studies and Hilary Gerstein, Psychology
Feb 27 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Teaching with Technology discussions bring faculty together to discuss why and how they might use specific technologies in their teaching. Each conversation focuses on a different goal or challenge and on particular technologies faculty use to address those aims. Each session is moderated by two faculty members, who will share their experiences and guide the discussion; instructional technology support staff will also participate to help faculty consider how to implement the ideas discussed. Faculty from across Penn are welcome. To encourage interactive discussion, though, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Helping Students Understand How to Learn in Your Course

Professors Michael Gamer, English and Allyson Mackey, Psychology
Feb 21 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Faculty-to-Faculty Lunches are opportunities for small groups of faculty to get together for informal conversation about teaching. Each lunch focuses on a different theme and is moderated two faculty members, who will guide the discussion and share their experiences. To encourage interactive discussion, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Using Technology to Synthesize Materials

Drs. Lisa Mitchell, South Asia Studies and Melanie Peron, French
Apr 16 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Teaching with Technology discussions bring faculty together to discuss why and how they might use specific technologies in their teaching. Each conversation focuses on a different goal or challenge and on particular technologies faculty use to address those aims. Each session is moderated by two faculty members, who will share their experiences and guide the discussion; instructional technology support staff will also participate to help faculty consider how to implement the ideas discussed. Faculty from across Penn are welcome. To encourage interactive discussion, though, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Using Technology to Engage Students with Texts

Professors James Ker, Classical Studies and Alain Plante, Earth and Environmental Science
Mar 27 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Teaching with Technology discussions bring faculty together to discuss why and how they might use specific technologies in their teaching. Each conversation focuses on a different goal or challenge and on particular technologies faculty use to address those aims. Each session is moderated by two faculty members, who will share their experiences and guide the discussion; instructional technology support staff will also participate to help faculty consider how to implement the ideas discussed. Faculty from across Penn are welcome. To encourage interactive discussion, though, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Making the Most of Office Hours

Professors Annette Lareau, Sociology and Jo Park, English
Apr 11 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Faculty-to-Faculty Lunches are opportunities for small groups of faculty to get together for informal conversation about teaching. Each lunch focuses on a different theme and is moderated two faculty members, who will guide the discussion and share their experiences. To encourage interactive discussion, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Teaching Data Science

Professors Dan Hopkins, Political Science and Masao Sako, Physics and Astronomy
Mar 20 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Faculty-to-Faculty Lunches are opportunities for small groups of faculty to get together for informal conversation about teaching. Each lunch focuses on a different theme and is moderated two faculty members, who will guide the discussion and share their experiences. To encourage interactive discussion, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

Teaching the Research Process

Professors Susan Suave Meyer, Philosophy and Heather Sharkey, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
Feb 13 2019 : 12:00 pm to 1:15 pm
CTL/OLI Seminar Room, 134 Van Pelt Library

Faculty-to-Faculty Lunches are opportunities for small groups of faculty to get together for informal conversation about teaching. Each lunch focuses on a different theme and is moderated two faculty members, who will guide the discussion and share their experiences. To encourage interactive discussion, registration is limited to twelve faculty.

The Center for Teaching and Learning provides lunch for all those who register in advance.

Contact: for more information.

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