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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.

Teaching Science Lunch Series

This fall, we are offering three “teaching lunches” targeted toward science faculty. Each lunch will offer faculty an opportunity to learn about approaches from the literature and to discuss their own successes and challenges with colleagues. Contact Cynthia Brame with questions.



Fostering inclusive classrooms

We all want our classrooms to be inclusive, welcoming all of our students and helping them to become part of a science-literate and science-supportive community. It can be challenging to know how to make this happen, however. In this lunch, we’ll explore several research-based practices that foster inclusive environments and examine a framework for understanding how they work.

Date: Thursday, September 21
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: Stevenson Center 6333

No Registration Required

Strategies to promote self-regulated learning

Most instructors want their students to develop into self-regulated learners. Many students, however, don’t know the most effective approaches for studying and don’t have the tools they need to evaluate their own performance. In this lunch, we’ll discuss ways that faculty can help their students become more aware of effective study techniques and more reflective about their test preparation and performance.

Date: Thursday, October 19
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: Stevenson Center 6333

No Registration Required

Peer mentoring in the classroom

Instructors and graduate TAs are valuable commodities that are critical to undergraduates’ success in the classroom, but they are also limited resources. In this lunch, we’ll explore ways in which undergraduates can act as classroom-based course assistants. We’ll discuss two approaches from other institutions, termed peer-led team learning and the learning assistant model, and the potential usefulness of classroom-based undergraduate course assistants at Vanderbilt.

Date: Thursday, November 16
Time: 12pm – 1pm
Location: Stevenson Center 6333

No Registration Required

Student-Produced Podcasts

 Podcasts have been around since the early 2000s, but the medium has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, thanks to increasing smart phone adoption and to very popular podcasts like Serial and Radiolab. Educational uses of podcasts are growing, as well. Some instructors create podcasts for use in their courses, others assign podcasts as “texts” for students to listen and respond do. But with the ready availability of podcast creation tools, it’s easier than ever for instructors to ask students to produce podcasts, connecting students with authentic audiences for their academic work.

In this conversation, we’ll hear from three instructors about their experiences with podcasts as course assignments. Panelists include John Sloop, professor of communication studies and associate provost for digital learning; Larisa DeSantis, assistant professor of earth and environmental studies; and Stacey M. Johnson, assistant director for educational technology at the Center for Teaching and senior lecturer of Spanish.

The conversation will be moderated by Derek Bruff, director of the Center for Teaching. The conversation is co-sponsored by the Center for Teaching, the Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning, and the Center for Digital Humanities.

Date: Tuesday, November 7th
Time: 2:30pm-4:00pm

Location: Heard Central Library Community Room