January 11, 2012 — The Teaching Resource Center at the University of Virginia will offer a day of talks and sessions on Jan. 17 to help enhance classroom teaching, on subjects from the educational goals of diversity to how to use meditative practices to boost concentration and improve cognitive and academic performance.
The January Teaching Workshop includes lectures and concurrent sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 1:45 p.m., all in Monroe Hall. Faculty members and graduate instructors can register in advance online or at the door.
J. Milton Adams, vice provost for academic programs and professor of biomedical engineering, will discuss meeting the goals of a diverse student body in the plenary session at 9 a.m. in Monroe Hall, room 130.
Guest speaker Matthew Ouellett, associate director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Development at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, will consider the most typical barriers to success for undergraduate students, especially for women and people of color. Based on recent research and best practices, this session will address how to develop and sustain learner-centered classrooms in all disciplines and will explore how such efforts benefit all students.
U.Va. faculty lead several other sessions concerning concentrated reading and the Internet; retaining students in the so-called STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; listening as a teaching tool; and avoiding "death by Powerpoint" when using the electronic format.
During lunch, a panel of students from U.Va. schools and disciplines will share their thoughts about what types of activities, class atmospheres, technologies and experiences best engage them and reduce distractions.