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3rd Annual Excellence in Teaching and Learning Summit

February 15, 2024CETL, the Teaching and Learning Council, and Academic Affairs are pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Excellence in Teaching and Learning Summit, taking place on the TCNJ campus on Thursday, February 15, 2024. The Summit provides opportunities for all TCNJ faculty members and instructional staff to explore and share pedagogical strategies being implemented by colleagues across the campus community. No day classes are scheduled as we gather together on campus and learn from each other. Register by January 31, 2024!

Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ruha Benjamin Professor Department of African American Studies Princeton University



02/15 9:00 am

Breakfast and Welcome
Judi Cook, Executive Director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Join us for registration and a light breakfast at 9 am. Opening remarks begin at 9:20 am.

02/15 9:30 am

Ruha Benjamin, Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, Founding Director of the Ida B. Wells Just Data Lab

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, technology has the potential to hide, speed, and even deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racist practices of a previous era. In this talk, Ruha presents the concept of the “New Jim Code” to explore a range of discriminatory designs that encode inequity: by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies, by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions, or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Ruha will help the audience consider how race itself is a kind of tool designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice and discuss how technology is and can be used toward liberatory ends. This presentation takes us into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements, and provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

02/15 11:00 am

Adopt, Adapt, Author: Three Pathways to Getting Started with Open Educational Resources
Mark Russo, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science; Wendy Clement, Professor, Biology; Gary Dickinson, Professor, Biology; Luke Butler, Associate Professor, Biology; Terrence Bennett, Librarian, Gitenstein Library; Zachary D. Kline, Visiting Assistant Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

Open Educational Resource (OER) course materials can contribute to affordability, inclusivity, and student success. During this session, you’ll gain insight from TCNJ faculty who launched Open Educational Resource (OER) projects in the Fall 2023 semester. Panelists will discuss opportunities and challenges in the process. Whether you’re considering adopting existing resources, adapting materials to fit your curriculum, or even venturing into authoring your own content, this session will equip you with the knowledge and inspiration to embark on your OER journey.

02/15 11:00 am

Advancing Global Learning in Partnership with the Center for Global Engagement
Solange A. Lopes-Murphy, Professor, Special Education, Language, and Literacy; Cecilia Colbeth, Assistant Director, Women In Learning & Leadership; Ann Liberona, Assistant Director and Christa Olson, Executive Director, Center for Global Engagement

Following an introduction to the mission of The Arlotto Family Center for Global Engagement (CGE) and the opportunities available for faculty through CGE, this workshop will invite participants into dialogue about their global interests and how they might partner with CGE to advance global learning and research interests.

02/15 11:00 am

Coaching Excellence: Exciting Students to Reach Professional Writing Levels
John Pollock, Professor, Communication Studies and Public Health; David Murray, Librarian, Gitenstein Library; Shannon Allen, Roman Fabbricatore, Communication Studies majors; Brielle LoBello, Chandler Storcella, Public Health majors

Many faculty ask students to meet undergraduate classroom writing expectations, but few urge students to reach beyond to attain professional levels of writing excellence.  In my classes, I tell students immediately that I, the instructor, am not the target audience for their papers.  Rather, they are expected to write for academic professionals in communication studies and public health.  Instead of playing the role of “sage on the stage”, I act as a “coach”, encouraging students to do their best to meet professional expectations.  Critical to that effort is the help of “assistant coaches”, highly motivated librarians like Erin Ackerman and David Murray, who know how to help students navigate their journey effectively through database searches in a variety of disciplines.  Without the help of these resourceful colleagues, I would not be able to do what all coaches love, fielding winning teams, submitting student papers for peer review and successful presentation at state, national, and international conferences, in particular in health communication and public health. Working together, our coaching has helped students set national records for paper acceptance, motivating many to attend the very best graduate and professional schools.  This session will unpack our strategies for working together to evoke levels of student performance that few students themselves knew they were capable of achieving. 

02/15 11:00 am

Community Engaged Learning: Preparing Students for Equitable Partnerships
Brittany Aydelotte, Director, CEL Institute; He Len Chung, Professor, Psychology

TCNJ’s Strategic Plan has multiple priority areas that include the high impact practice of Community Engaged Learning (CEL). To advance our institutional goals, this session shares CEL opportunities and resources with a focus on preparing students to engage in equitable community partnerships. Session topics will address essential concepts of community engagement preparation (e.g., student motivation, awareness of identity and socialization, cultural and intellectual humility, skills for community engagement), as well as activities that build a critical classroom. Participants will be encouraged to share current and future CEL ideas for courses and co-curricular activities. Session ideas and interests will be used to create targeted spring and summer workshops for faculty, staff, and community partners to further develop CEL projects and access relevant resources.

02/15 11:00 am

First-Generation College Experiences at TCNJ
Nadya Pancsofar, Professor, Special Education, Language, and Literacy; Keren Gouin, SLP/AUD major, Class of 2024

We will present findings from our qualitative research study on the experiences of first-generation college students majoring in education. Our findings apply a community cultural wealth lens and have implications for fostering more equitable experiences for first-generation college students in higher education. The facilitators will discuss implications from their findings for spaces for teaching and learning at TCNJ.

02/15 11:00 am

Integrating Open Science into the Curriculum
Jarret Crawford, Professor, Psychology

Learn how to introduce students to Open Science Framework (OSF) principles and practices to support research reproducibility, transparency, and collaboration. OSF is a free, open-source project management website that enables researchers to share research materials, datasets, pre-prints, and other resources. By modeling the importance of this framework, educators can help students adopt valuable skills to support their own research and help further the sharing of knowledge on how research is produced.

02/15 11:00 am

Strategies for Building Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Principles into Class Projects
Yifeng Hu, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

Are you interested in designing student projects that infuse content learning goals with principles of inclusion and justice? In this session you will hear Communications Studies Professor Yifeng Hu describe the process of building an AAPI advocacy campaign into several courses to help raise awareness about AAPI history, promote representation, combat stereotypes, and increase belonging. Dr. Hu will explain how the project evolved over the span of two years and also present attendees with some strategies for organizing their own equity-centered course projects.

02/15 11:00 am

Teaching Accessibility and Teaching Accessibly: Strategies for Bridging the Accessibility Skills Gap
Judi Cook, Executive Director, Ellen Farr, Assistant Director, and Mel Katz, Accommodations Support Specialist, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; Andrea Salgian, Professor, Computer Science

In this presentation, we will explore what it means to teach accessibility and how accessibility concepts can be integrated into the curriculum. We will also examine how advocacy groups, industry partners, and academic institutions can collaborate to bridge the accessibility skills gap. Last, we will highlight how TCNJ’s work with the non-profit organization Teach Access can contribute to progress on our own campus through student and faculty initiatives.

02/15 11:00 am

The College Reading-Writing Connection
Emily S. Meixner, Professor, English

This session will explore strategies for building college students’ reading and writing skills. We will talk specifically about developing students as readers, the need for on-going low stakes writing opportunities, building a vocabulary for helping students “read as writers,” and approaching feedback as a form of problem-solving.

02/15 11:00 am

Translating Course Outcomes to Career Development
Shannon Conklin, Director, Career and Leadership Development; Constance Kartoz, Professor, Nursing and Director, First Year Seminar Program; Stuart Carroll, Associate Professor, Elementary & Early Childhood Education; Tracy Kress, Professor, Biology; Melissa Zrada, Associate Professor, Integrative STEM Education

Learn about the current career reflection assignment pilot in FYS from the Directors of FYS and Career Center, as well as three faculty who implemented the activity and reflection into their courses. You will learn why the pilot launched through FYS courses, how career competency development is at the core of the learning activity, and the experience of faculty in Biology, iSTEM, and Education who have participated to date.

02/15 1:30 pm

Creating Identity-Affirming Counterspaces in the Classroom and Advising
Glenn A. Steinberg, English

Micere Keels in Campus Counterspaces (2019) documents the importance of identity-affirming spaces to the academic success of Black and Latinx college students. This session examines some strategies for making our classrooms and our advising more like such spaces. How do we make our classrooms and our offices welcoming to students from underrepresented groups? What are some strategies that Keels recommends? When Black and Latinx students experience a predominantly white institution like TCNJ, how do they commonly react and how can we support and empower them? Participants in the session are also encouraged to share best practices that they have discovered and used.

02/15 1:30 pm

Enhancing the Accessibility of Data Literacy Through Deep Description and Active Learning
Zachary Kline, Visiting Professor, Sociology and Anthropology; Natasha Ishaq, class of '23

The quantitative classroom requires students to understand data regardless of how it is displayed. However, not all portrayals of data are accessible to all students. For instance, students with vision or print impairments may find visual depictions of data challenging to interpret and analyze alone. Without adequate resources, instructors often feel pressed to deal with issues individually, indirectly contributing to an inherently unequal learning environment. Approaching the subject from a universal design perspective, we explore how visual depictions alone may negatively affect the learning experience of many students. We argue that the practice of deep description and descriptive language, combined with the implementation of hands-on active learning activities, are straightforward tools that will contribute to a more inclusive, accessible, and engaging learning environment. This session provides instructors with a template for designing activities combining deep description principles and active learning techniques to promote data literacy and improve accessibility.

02/15 1:30 pm

Improve Student Note-Taking Skills with Glean: An Accessible, Digital Solution
Mel Katz, Accommodations Support Specialist, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Join us for a workshop tailored for faculty members interested in optimizing the learning experience for all students. This session will delve into the features of Glean, a cutting-edge note-taking platform specifically designed to support students during class. Discover the range of built-in tools Glean offers, including slide uploads, text labeling, and audio recordings, empowering students to create meaningful and comprehensive notes effortlessly. We will explore how Glean serves as an accessible note-taking solution, particularly beneficial for students with accommodation plans, aiding them in reviewing and retaining course content. In addition to showcasing the advantages of Glean, this workshop will cover various note-taking methodologies. From collaborative note-taking to guided notes, we will discuss versatile approaches applicable across disciplines that benefit all students, irrespective of their accommodation status.

02/15 1:30 pm

Interest Session: Teaching TCNJ’s Campus as Living Lab & Teaching Sustainability Across the Curriculum
Miriam Shakow, Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

Are you hoping to help students learn skills to meet the challenges of climate change and promote environmental justice? Amplify the impact of hands-on sustainability projects you already do with students? Work with students to make TCNJ’s campus more environmentally sustainable? Find other faculty interested in environmental justice and climate action? You are not alone! Many TCNJ faculty have expressed interest in joining a community of practice centered on teaching sustainability. We invite faculty from all disciplines to join the new Campus as a Living Lab effort at TCNJ. A “Campus as Living Lab” is a conceptual and institutional framework for using a college campus as a core space for student learning about environmental sustainability and social justice. Through interdisciplinary coordination on long-term sustainability initiatives, faculty, staff, and students use class assignments and faculty-student research to shape campus policies and practices.

02/15 1:30 pm

Managing Teamwork in Course-Based Interdisciplinary Projects
Monisha Pulimood, Professor, Computer Science; Kim Pearson, Professor, Journalism and Professional Writing; Diane C. Bates, Professor, Sociology and Anthropology

Effective solutions to today’s increasingly complex problems require thoughtful integration of knowledge from a variety of domains. To better prepare undergraduates to tackle such problems, they must learn to collaborate with people with domain expertise in a variety of disciplines and from different backgrounds. Students have opportunities to work on team projects in courses where, typically, all students have similar expertise in the course content. Some research groups include interdisciplinary projects, but such experiences are limited to a small number of students. The vast majority of undergraduates do not gain much experience in working on projects where team members are required to apply domain knowledge from different disciplinary backgrounds to effectively address complex societal problems. In evaluating their experience, students who have participated in course-based interdisciplinary collaborations, appreciated these opportunities, despite the challenges and frustrations that come from perceptions of inequality in workload, and inconsistencies in team dynamics. Additionally, they consistently rated their own learning of course content higher at the end of the semester on multiple quantitative measures; this is corroborated by the students’ grades on course assignments. In this session, we will collectively engage with pedagogy and strategies that will help faculty provide explicit guidance to students in their courses, to prepare them for interdisciplinary collaborations and the problem-solving challenges they will encounter in the workplace. Faculty who have experience working with interdisciplinary teams in their classes will discuss the advantages and pitfalls.

02/15 1:30 pm

The College Core: Why?
Kit Murphy, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Liberal Learning

The College Core, TCNJ’s general education program, is the common academic experience for TCNJ undergraduates and is central to TCNJ’s mission “to develop critical thinkers, responsible citizens, and lifelong learners and leaders.” In this interactive session, we will explore what makes the College Core essential to a TCNJ education, how it prepares students for college and beyond, and advising strategies that faculty can employ to maximize the benefits students gain from their College Core courses.

02/15 1:30 pm

The T.I.L.T. Model: Transparency and Clarity in Course Development
Jennifer Ortiz, Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

This presentation will explore the Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT) model, including an overview of the TILT model, examples of TILT strategies and assignments, and instructions for developing course materials that align with the TILT model. TILT is an evidence-based pedagogical approach that advocates for developing clear assignment instructions that illustrate the overall purpose of the assignment, the specific components of the task, and the criteria for success. Studies consistently indicate that this method increases retention among underrepresented populations and first-generation college students, two groups that have traditionally high college dropout rates. In addition to increasing retention, T.I.L.T. methods increase students’ sense of belonging in college. When students’ sense of belonging increases, their persistence increases, as do their grades.

02/15 1:30 pm

Thinking Outside the (Text) Box on AI: Visuals, Code, and Simulations
John Oliver, Information Literacy Librarian, Gitenstein Library (moderator); John DeGood, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science; Abhishek Tripathi, Associate Professor, Accounting and Information Systems; Eddie Villanueva, Associate Professor, Art and Art History

Staying informed about the latest AI tools is necessary to prepare ourselves—and our students—to navigate the existence of computer generated content. While conversations about Artificial Intelligence often center around text-based tools, there are a host of other forms of content to be considered. In this workshop, we will focus on generative AI tools for visuals, code, and simulations. Join a panel of campus experts in the fields of Information Literacy, Computer Science, Information Systems, and Art as they discuss what educators need to know about visual and interactive elements.

02/15 2:45 pm

Academic Innovation Address
Benny Chan, Professor, Chemistry

02/15 3:45 pm

Faculty Senate Faculty Awards
Faculty Senate