GradSTEP Provides Professional Development for Graduate and Professional Students
On January 26th, the CFT celebrated its 15th annual Graduate Student Teaching Event for Professional Development (gradSTEP). This year’s event, co-sponsored by the Graduate Student Council, focused on the theme, “Beyond Four Walls: Transcending the Classroom.” The day’s events dealt extensively with how participants could utilize an array of pedagogies and techniques to enrich the student experience, both inside the classroom and out. Ninety-seven graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from 38 departments within six Vanderbilt Schools (Arts & Science, School of Medicine, Peabody, Divinity, School of Engineering, and School of Nursing) attended the event.
GradSTEP 2013 kicked off with a plenary panel, entitled “Networks of Learning: Online, in the Community, and in Students’ Lives.” The plenary sought to engage the changing nature of the college classroom, in particular, the challenges and opportunities associated with online learning, service learning, and bringing students’ lives into the classroom experience. The plenary featured presentations by Dr. Nancy Chick (Center for Teaching/English), Dr. Sharon Shields (Human & Organizational Development), and Dr. Barbara Stengel (Teaching and Learning). The event was moderated by Graduate Teaching Fellow Katie Headrick Taylor, a PhD candidate in Peabody College’s Teaching and Learning program.
After some introductory comments by Ms. Taylor, Dr. Nancy Chick, Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching, started off the panel with a brief presentation on her experiences as an online educator. Dr. Chick provided tips and strategies for teaching online effectively, while targeting her presentation not only at those participants hoping to teach their own online courses, but also to those participants looking to enrich their traditional face-to-face classes through the integration of online tools and techniques. Ultimately, Dr. Chick concluded, many of the best and most effective learning environments are blended, in which online activities are not merely supplemental, but engrained into the classroom experience. Read the entire GradSTEP recap.
If you were not able to attend this year’s event, materials and resources from all GradSTEP sessions are now available on the GradSTEP web page.