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May 2013 Faculty Development Workshops

How the Brain Learns and What It Means for the Classroom
Daniel Willingham, Professor, University of Virginia

The last fifty years has seen unprecedented growth in our knowledge about how people learn. This information has been slow to affect education practice - it's no small matter to move from the laboratory to the classroom. Dan Willingham will present a summary of the most important principles of memory, as well as a summary of research investigating how those principles are best put into classroom practice. Participants will have a chance to reflect on and discuss how this information might apply to their own teaching, and also to ask wide-ranging questions about cognition and how it applies to classroom practice.

Sponsored by the Jacobson Center, Sherrerd Center and the Provost’s Office.

Bio: Daniel Willingham earned his B.A. from Duke University in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Harvard University in 1990. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, where he has taught since 1992. Until about 2000, his research focused solely on the brain basis of learning and memory. Today, all of his research concerns the application of cognitive psychology to K-16 education. He writes the “Ask the Cognitive Scientist” column for American Educator magazine, and is an Associate Editor of Mind, Brain, and Education. He is also the author of Why Don't Students Like School? (Jossey-Bass) and When Can You Trust the Experts? (Jossey-Bass). His writing on education has been translated into eleven languages.

Using Learning Catalytics to Create an Interactive Classroom
Brian Lukoff, Co-founder, Learning Catalytics

Peer instruction and other interactive teaching methods have been shown to dramatically improve conceptual understanding. While no technology is necessary to take advantage of these teaching methods, technology can enable the instructor to better understand student understanding, prompt students to engage in deeper thinking, and facilitate more productive student discussions in the classroom. In this talk, I will introduce Learning Catalytics, a cloud-based platform for interactive teaching that allows students to use web-enabled devices -- laptops, smartphones, and tablets -- to engage in rich, authentic tasks in class. With Learning Catalytics, instructors can go beyond clickers and other response systems to create a rich interactive environment that integrates assessment with learning.

Sponsored by the Sherrerd Center and Educational Technology.

Bio: Brian Lukoff is co-founder of Learning Catalytics, a company that grew out of his research work in educational technology at Harvard University. Before coming to Harvard, he was a software engineer at adap.tv, a video advertising startup in Silicon Valley. In addition to his research and technology development work, he has also taught mathematics at Harvard University and Boston University. He received a Ph.D. from the Stanford University School of Education where he studied educational measurement and technology. He also holds an M.S. in statistics from Stanford University and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.

Fall 2012 ETS Seminar

Positive Interactivity: Mobile Devices in the Classroom
Lisa Young, Ph.D., Faculty and Instructional Designer,
Scottsdale Community College


Faculty are experimenting with the use of mobile devices for purposeful interactivity in the classroom with positive results such as more active learning environments and stronger feedback.

Faculty Development Coordinator: agabriel@smith.edu

May 2012 Faculty Development Workshops

How to Tell What's Working in My Classroom
Barbara E. Walvoord, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, University of Notre Dame

Open to Smith and Mount Holyoke College faculty

Mutual Mentoring: Moving Beyond One-Size-Fits-All Mentoring
Mary Deane Sorcinelli
Associate Provost for Faculty Development
Professor of  Educational Policy, Research and Administration
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Mentoring offers a vital contribution to a successful academic career, particularly for women and faculty of color. The most common form of mentoring has been a “traditional model,” which is defined by a one-on-one relationship between an experienced faculty member who guides the career development of an early career faculty member. Recent literature, however, has indicated the emergence of new, more flexible approaches to mentoring in which faculty build a network of “multiple mentors” who can address a variety of career competencies.

Identify potential roadblocks to success in an academic career; explore both traditional and emerging models of mentoring; “map” your own mentoring networks; and discuss best practices in mentoring, including how to be your own best mentor.

Spring 2012 ETS Seminars


The Flipped Classroom
Barbara E. Walvoord, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, University of Notre Dame

Faculty Development Coordinator: agabriel@smith.edu

Virtual Ink: Collaborative Writing Tools
Richard Olivo, Professor, Biological Sciences
Al Rudnitsky, Professor, Education & Child Studies
Janie vanPee, Professor, French Studies

Collaborative writing tools can be used for student peer critique, feedback on student assignments, group project reporting, storytelling, essays or for your own research writing.

Faculty Development Coordinator: agabriel@smith.edu

Curriculum Development and Disability Studies Workshop


How to Integrate Disability Perspectives into Your Classes

Dr. Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Professor of Women's Studies, Emory University

Garland-Thomson is a founder of the interdisciplinary field of disability studies and author of Staring: How We Look (Oxford 2009) and Extraordinary Bodies (Columbia 1996).