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Conversations on Teaching

conversation1Conversations on Teaching focus on emergent teaching and learning issues in an informal, discussion-based format.  These sessions provide members of the Vanderbilt teaching community a chance to share their teaching experiences and learn from each other.


Leading Synchronous Online Discussions

This semester, many of you may have tried your hand at leading synchronous online discussions for the first time, most likely via Zoom. You may now be more comfortable using breakout rooms, collaborative documents, and other techniques to help your students contribute to class conversations. We want to hear about how things are going. Join us for an informal conversation about what’s working and what’s not when facilitating class discussions via Zoom. This will be a great opportunity to learn from others who have experimented with synchronous online discussions.

Date: Wednesday, October 7th
Time: 3-4pm
Location: Registrants will receive a Zoom link / invitation 24 hours prior to the event.



Testing Strategies in Hybrid and Online Classes

The move to hybrid and online teaching this year has prompted a shift in how we think about many aspects of our teaching. One area that can be particularly challenging is assessment, particularly in courses that rely on exams. In this Conversation on Teaching, four faculty will share the approaches they and their colleagues are using to test students in a fair and equitable way this fall, using these observations to kick off a larger conversation. Join us to share your experiences and to learn from other instructors about the successes, challenges, and opportunities of testing in our online and hybrid classes this fall.

Panelists are Amanda Lowery, Biomedical Engineering; John Rafter, Mathematics; Elisabeth Sandberg, Psychology; Tara Todd, Chemistry

Date: Thursday, October 15th
Time: 12-1pm
Location: Registrants will receive a Zoom link / invitation.



How to teach coding in an online or hybrid environment

While there are core principles of teaching and learning that can help us think about teaching any course, there are also specific elements that differ from discipline to discipline and subject to subject. Teaching students to code has its own set of challenges, and some of those challenges are amplified in an online environment.

Computer Science faculty members Jerry Roth, Doug Schmidt, and Jules White have extensive experience teaching coding in an online environment. They will kick off an hour of discussion about how to teach coding online by sharing their observations about what works and what doesn’t. The rest of the hour will be spent in an open discussion, with instructors sharing experiences, concerns, and potential solutions.

Date: Thursday, August 6
Time: 12-1 p.m.
Location: Registrants will receive a Zoom invitation.

Below is a recording of the August 6th Zoom conversation.