Professors, students to showcase work at fifth CETL Instructional Fair

Katie Valley, Campus Editor

Faculty and students of all disciplines will come together to share teaching ideas at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s (CETL) fifth Instructional Fair on April 3 from 2-4 p.m. in the Oakland Center’s Banquet Room B.

Through poster presentations, faculty will share instructional strategies, active learning techniques, discussion structures, writing assignments and other activities to help others incorporate better techniques into their learning disciplines.

Student engagement is one of the main components of the fair. Christina Moore, CETL virtual faculty developer, is coordinating the event, which is also cosponsored by the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee. Moore said the best professors are often the ones who connect with their students, so the Instructional Fair will also include students as presenters.

“Student engagement is a ‘high impact practice,’ or a learning practice that has a lasting influence on students,” she said. “By encouraging faculty to invite their students to present teaching strategies with them, we not only expect students to get presentation experience but see firsthand how valuable their perspective is to faculty. Also, inviting student participation emphasizes that effective teaching puts students first.”

Presenters will speak about a variety of topics. Previous topics have included students’ emotional health, technology in the classroom, Moodle and active learning.

Dr. Helena Riha, professor of linguistics and international studies and OU Excellence in Teaching Award recipient of 2016, will be presenting at the fair for the third time.

“Each year, I’ve learned unique and useful teaching tips when I interact with other presenters at the Instructional Fair,” Riha said. “As a past winner of the Teaching Award, I also enjoy sharing my ideas with others. It’s very interesting to hear how instructors plan to adapt my methods in their own classrooms based on their teaching styles. I learn a lot from my discussions with both presenters and attendees.”

Journalism professor Adina Schneeweis will present about diversity storytelling, spotlighting a digital archive that will be a “rich mosaic of the OU community.” Her students created project instructions for other professors to apply the work to their own classes by sharing their diversity-related digital stories.

Red Douglas, graduate student and writing consultant and mentor at the OU Writing Center, will be presenting at the fair for the first time. Her group’s presentation will focus on the impacts of publishing student work.

CETL’s mission is to enhance “student success and learning by supporting the overall success of the faculty and the university community through pedagogical, professional and leadership development opportunities,” according to founding director Dr. Judith Ableser on the CETL website.

Moore said the Instructional Fair is a great place for professors to see the work of faculty members and embody CETL’s drive toward improved classroom success.

“It’s easy for professors to be isolated in their own classrooms and never know what the colleague next door or in the next building over are doing,” she said. “This is the one annual event that allows all OU faculty to get a glimpse into one another’s classrooms.”