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January Teaching Workshop to Include Study-Abroad Focus

December 4, 2009 — The University of Virginia Teaching Resource Center's annual January Teaching Workshop will feature a new collaboration with the International Studies Office.

The half-day workshop, to be held Jan. 19, will include concurrent sessions on several topics, including the challenges of teaching students in study-abroad settings, understanding students' different learning styles, assessing student learning and fostering creativity.

The center's workshops aim to give faculty and graduate students the opportunity to discuss innovative teaching methods and common concerns. They also provide participants with a chance to spend time with colleagues throughout the University.

Michael Vande Berg of the Council on International Educational Exchange – where he serves as vice president for academic affairs and chief academic officer – will lead a discussion about "Student-Centered Study Abroad: What Students Are Learning, What They're Not and What We Can Do About It." Studies indicate that if most students are to develop inter-culturally, educators need to intervene in the students' learning while they are abroad.

Another discussion will focus on students' learning through experience from study abroad and from academic community outreach. Panelists will share their ideas about how teachers might effectively integrate experiential learning into existing courses.

As another aspect of the collaboration between the center and International Studies, a new two-day Study Abroad Course/Program Design Institute will be held Feb. 5 and 12. The institute will support faculty in designing new or substantially redesigning existing study-abroad courses and programs.

Also at the Jan. 19 workshop, U.Va. psychology professor Dan Willingham will give the opening lecture, "Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom," presenting the scientific data behind several ways of characterizing how students think and learn differently.

All sessions will take place in Monroe Hall. Pre-registration is encouraged, but not required. Those who pre-register online will get a free box lunch. For details, go to trc.virginia.edu.

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