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The Open Classroom: Five Days of Teaching Visit Opportunities 2019 (Archived)

Would you like to watch one of your colleagues teach to see how they manage the classroom, engage students, or address challenging subjects? Do you ever feel like you toil in private to learn how to teach? You’re not alone.

Too often in higher education we instructors do not have the opportunity to watch and discuss each other’s teaching, and therefore we struggle in what Lee Shulman has called, “pedagogical solitude.” The Center for Teaching has long worked to change this isolation by creating occasions for pedagogical community. For a fourth year, we are proud to offer five intensive days of teaching visits. On September 9-13, classes taught by some of the most well-respected and awarded teachers across Vanderbilt’s many disciplines will open their classroom doors to faculty and graduate students.

This year’s focus areas:

  • Hard Conversations
  • Teaching Creativity
  • Active Learning

Each visit will conclude with a short reflection discussion immediately following the class session.


Click on a tab for details about each class and to register.

Host: Michael Vandenbergh, Professor of Law

LAW 7184-1: Environmental Law 1: Public Environmental Governance

This course provides an introduction to environmental law and policy with a focus on public environmental governance. It is the first of a two-course sequence, with the second course focusing on private environmental governance. The course is designed for second and third year law students, but graduate and professional students often take the course as well.

Date: Monday, Sept 9th
Time: 9:25 – 10:40
Location: Law School Ray Room
Discussion Time & Location: 10:40-11:10, Law School Alexander Room (105)

Register Here

Host: Carwil Bjork-James, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

ANTH 3133: States and Their Secrets

Exploring the workings of ancient and modern states with a focus on bureaucracy, diplomacy, the organization of warfare, surveillance, nationalism, and formal authority. We use case studies of atrocities, whistleblowing, and other secrets to understand how states work and how they can become dangerous.

Date: Monday, Sept 9th
Time: 9:35 – 10:50
Location: Garland Hall, Rm. 121
Discussion Time & Location: Anthropology Conference Room, 10:50-11:20

Register Here

Host: Rory Dicker, Director of the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center

WGS 3250W: Contemporary Women’s Movements

This course examines the U.S. women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s, critiques of this movement, and feminist activism from the 1980s to today.

Date: Tuesday Sept 10th
Time: 9:35 – 10:50
Location: Buttrick Hall, Rm. 312
Discussion Time & Location: 11:00 – 11:30, Buttrick Hall, Rm. 162

Register Here

Host: Brooke Ackerly, Professor of Political Science

PSCI 3265: Human Rights in Activism

This course explores the role of human rights in struggles against injustice. We identify the key problems of injustice that a human rights framework can address, debate the problems with human rights as a tool for activism, apply these concepts, and consider these problems in light of a range of issues areas in discussion in contemporary politics. Recognizing the intellectual and legal traditions that have developed around human rights, we focus on the politics and activism of human rights.

Date: Thursday, Sept 12th
Time: 9:35-10:50
Location: Cohen Hall, Rm. 324
Discussion Time & Location: 11:0 -11:30, Commons, Rm. 363

Register Here

Host: Kevin Galloway, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

ME 3890: How to Make (Almost) Anything and Make it Matter

Being able to make things with hand tools and digital fabrication tools will help you quickly test ideas, clearly communicate concepts, and solve problems in your life. This official DIVE course provides an introduction to design thinking, computer-aided design (CAD), rapid prototyping methods, electronics and the strategies to actualize your ideas.

Date: Monday, Sept 9th
Time: 3:10-5:00
Location: ESB / Wond’ry, Rm. 202
Discussion Time & Location: 2:30-3:00 (before class) ESB / Wond’ry, Rm. 202

Register Here

Host: Matthew Worsnick, Assistant Professor of the Practice, History of Art

HART 1111: New York City Architecture

Freshman seminar that uses the history of New York City’s architecture and urbanism as a platform for training students in the craft of writing.

Date: Tuesday, Sept 10th
Time: 9:35-10:50
Location: Cohen Hall, Rm. 308
Discussion Time & Location: 11:00-11:30, Cohen Hall, 207B

Register Here

Host: Victor Judge, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Lecturer in Literature and Religion

DIV 5410: Writing Creatively About Religion

Upon enrolling in the course, Writing Creatively About Religion, each student assumes four roles—author, reader, listener, and respondent. Students will compose five chapters of their religious autobiographies which will be read by their peers and discussed in a writers’ workshop.

Date: Tuesday, Sept 10th
Time: 10:00 -12:40
Location: Divinity, Rm. 128
Discussion Time & Location: 12:50-1:20, Divinity, Rm. 128

Register Here

Host: Lori Troxel, Professor of the Practice in Civil Engineering

CE 2120: Sustainable Design in Civil Engineering

This course introduces students to the concepts of sustainable design in civil engineering. This class will cover topics related to sustainability of the hydrologic cycle.

Date: Tuesday, Sept 10th
Time: 11:00-12:15
Location: Featheringill Hall, 244
Discussion Time & Location: 12:15-1:45, Featheringill Hall, 244

Register Here

Host: Jesse Blocher, Assistant Professor of Finance

MGT 6431: Corporate Valuation

Students learn how to use publicly traded firm’s financial statements to determine what a firm is worth for stock valuation, private equity, or a merger transaction.

Date: Wednesday, Sept 11th
Time: 11:20-12:50
Location: Management Hall, Rm. 220
Discussion Time & Location: 1:00-1:30, Management Hall, Rm. 220

Register Here

Host: Stacey Johnson, Senior Lecturer of Spanish

SPAN 1101: Elementary Spanish I

Basic listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. Communicative approach and exposure to aspects of Spanish-speaking cultures. Conducted entirely in Spanish.

Date: Thursday Sept 12th
Time: 2:10-3:00
Location: Buttrick Hall, Rm. 309
Discussion Time & Location: 3:00-3:30, Buttrick Hall, Rm. 123

Register Here

Host: Leigh Gilchrist, Assistant Professor in Human and Organizational Development

HODH 3221: Health Service Delivery to Diverse Populations

This service-learning course will focus on the complexities of health service delivery to diverse populations. Social-ecological models are applied to provide a deeper understanding of the impacts of health policy, social justice, structural inequities, and the value systems of diverse groups. We will also consider variables related to gender, age, lifestyle, religion, culture, social class, race, geography, and developmental level and how this relates to health status and health service needs. This course will provide students with a basic knowledge and deeper understanding of the connection between health issues, health delivery strategies, compassion, diversity, advocacy, and social justice so that they may be more effective in serving the needs of all people.

Date: Thursday Sept 12th
Time: 1:10-2:25
Location: Sony Building, Rm. 2058 (leave extra time to get there. Bldg off campus)
Discussion Time & Location: 2:30-3:00, Sony Building, Rm. 2058

Register Here

Host: Lily Claiborne, Senior Lecturer of Earth & Environmental Sciences

EES 1510: Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Physical Geology

This is a large (~100 student) introductory survey of geology. The students are mostly non-majors, though this is also the entry point for the EES major, and range from freshmen (~50%) through seniors.

Date: Friday, Sept 13th
Time: 12:10-1:00
Location: Stevenson Center, Rm. 4327
Discussion Time & Location: 1:00-1:30, SC, Rm. 5737 (The Jewell Room)

Register Here



Past teaching visits

2018 Fall Open Classroom Teaching Visits See the full descriptions
2017 Fall Open Classroom Teaching Visits See the full descriptions
2016 Fall Open Classroom Teaching Visits See the full descriptions
2016 Spring Teaching Visits
2015 Spring Teaching Visits
2014 Fall Teaching Visits

2013 Fall Teaching Visits

2012 Fall Teaching Visits