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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.

Video recordings of some past conversations can be found here.


Archived video: Teaching with Games and Simulations in a Pandemic

Games and simulations, both digital and analog, can immerse players in other worlds and give them experiences that help them see their own worlds in new ways. During this pandemic year, our world looks and feels very different. How can instructors use games and simulations to help students understand the world we find ourselves in? And how can we adapt games and simulations to teach in online and physically distanced environments to engage students in deep learning?

In this conversation, we continue explorations started at the 2019 Learning at Play symposium and hear from three instructors who are teaching with games and simulations during this challenging fall semester.

Panelists are Holly Tucker, Mellon Foundation chair in the humanities; Shaul Kelner, associate professor of sociology and Jewish studies; and Cait Kirby, Ph.D. candidate in biological sciences

Below is a recording of the November 19th discussion.

Archived video: 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

Below is a recording of the October 15th Zoom conversation.


Archived video: 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.

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