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2015 Keynote Speakers

Dr. Trent Maurer – Professor of Child and Family Development, Director of the School of Human Ecology Undergraduate Research Program, Georgia Southern University

Trent W. Maurer holds a Ph.D. in Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He is a Professor of Child & Family Development and Director of the School of Human Ecology Undergraduate Research Program at Georgia Southern University.  He teaches courses in Family Economics, Family Development, and Child Development, and the University Honors Program.  His primary research interests are in SoTL and he has produced nearly 100 pieces of peer-reviewed scholarship on a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary SoTL topics.  In 2011, he was named a Governor’s Teaching Fellow by the University of Georgia Institute of Higher Education.  He has received awards for his teaching and scholarship at the departmental, college, and institutional level, as well as the 2011 University System of Georgia Regents’ SoTL Award.  In 2015, he was named a Most Awarded Professor in Georgia by  He currently chairs the ISSOTL Advancing Undergraduate Research Interest Group and serves on the ISSOTL Advocacy and Outreach Committee, in addition to serving as a reviewer or on the editorial board of numerous disciplinary and interdisciplinary SoTL journals.

Keynote Presentation:

Title: Giving Voice to SoTL

Abstract: SoTL scholars know well the value of SoTL–to student learning, to faculty teaching, to institutions specifically, and to higher education generally.  However, outside the small circle of SoTL scholars, it seems that attitudes toward SoTL range from obliviousness to hostility.  As educators, it would seem to be an easy task to “educate” others about SoTL, yet these efforts have met with limited success for decades.  For SoTL to survive, we must move beyond attempts to educate others about its value; we must advocate for SoTL, vigorously and unapologetically.  We must give voice to SoTL, to tell its story and show the myriad ways SoTL can help achieve faculty, administrative, institutional, and public goals for higher education.

Dr. Sarah Leupen – Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences and Honors College, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)

Sarah Leupen is a senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Honors College at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where she teaches physiology, anatomy, nutrition, and seminars on such topics as reproductive physiology and circadian biology. She also co-coordinates the Biology Teaching Circle, and is active in faculty development at UMBC. Sarah is a certified trainer-consultant in Team-Based Learning (TBL), and uses that pedagogical strategy for all of her large classes. She consults and trains faculty to use TBL in their courses, both regionally and nationally, and is active in the international Team-Based Learning Collaborative. One of Sarah’s passions is increasing the amount and level of quantitative thinking in undergraduate biology education. To this end, she is part of UMBC’s team of the HHMI-funded NEXUS (National Experiment in Undergraduate Science Education) collaboration, through which the team has designed many modules used to integrate quantitative concepts into introductory biology courses.  Another UMBC team she’s a part of is developing computer simulations of biological processes to improve conceptual understanding in undergraduate biology labs. 

Sarah is the recipient of the 2014 Carl Weber Excellence in Teaching Award at UMBC. She also received the 2013 award for the Honors College Faculty Fellow of the Year, as chosen by graduating seniors in the Honors College.

Keynote Presentation:

Title: Beyond Navel Gazing: The Evidence Base for Employing Reflective and Metacognitive Practices in our Teaching

Abstract: Most of us work hard to build our students’ discipline-specific skills, content knowledge, and even that elusive goal, critical thinking. Rarely, though, do we train our students in how to reflect on their learning practices and current level of understanding, or how to change their practices to deepen understanding. Lacking such skills, they often exhibit shocking (to us!) failures to make connections among what they have learned, improve ineffective study behaviors, or see what they’re learning in a broader context. The research in cognitive science now demonstrates the importance and value of metacognition and reflection in formal learning, and fortunately for us, our fellow educators have developed and tested many specific techniques that we can use to teach our students how to effectively reflect on their learning and understanding. I’ll describe several techniques, applicable to a variety of disciplines, that you can apply right away in your classroom, ranging from simple to complex, and provide the evidence base for each. By choosing approaches that help out students become both more self-aware and self-regulating learners, we can achieve the deeper understandings that we, and many of our students, yearn for.

Dr. Lendol Calder – Professor of History Augustana College

Lendol Calder is a cultural historian who has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Washington, Colby-Sawyer College, and Augustana College, IL, which he considers “the finest liberal arts college south of the Mississippi River.” Calder’s pioneering studies of the origins of consumer indebtedness initiated a new subfield of scholarship on the financial arts required of households in consumer societies and, according to Calder, “almost” made him a famous, glamorous historian. But in 1999 Calder’s career took a turn when he was selected to be part of the second class of Fellows at the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Since then, Calder has worked tirelessly (“tirelessly–make sure you say tirelessly”) with others in the expanding SoTL movement to advance the profession of teaching and deepen student learning. As part of a larger effort to forge a “signature pedagogy” for the discipline of history, Calder’s research on innovative course designs encourages history teachers to replace “coverage” of historical periods with “uncoverage” of historical mindedness. In addition, Calder has contributed to numerous large-scale efforts to improve student learning, including the Quality in Education Project (QUE), the Teaching American History Grant Program, Australia’s “After Standards” Project, the American Historical Association’s Tuning Project, and the AHA/Cal-Berkeley Graduate Education Project. In 2010 the CASE/Carnegie Foundation Teacher of the Year Program named Calder the Illinois Professor of the Year. In 2013, his article “The Stories We Tell” won the American Historical Association’s Gilbert Prize for best article of the year on the teaching of history.

Keynote Presentation:

Title: Measuring College Learning

Abstract: What are college students learning? Informed by SoTL, instructors can use a variety of assessment techniques to answer this question. But as questions about learning move into governance and policy circles, challenges of scale, expense, and public intelligibility make academic leaders chiefly open to the idea of standardized assessment. While faculty tend to view standardized assessment tools with distaste, college professors will not turn back the tide of demands for accountability armed only with brooms. A better response to the coming of standardized assessment would view the design of such tools as an intellectual problem to be tackled with the spirit of inquiry that animates SoTL research. One way to bring SoTL into the quality conversation is by engaging faculty in consensus-driven discussions about learning outcomes and assessment. I will report on my experiences with the Measuring College Learning Project (MCL), an initiative of the Social Science Research Council that has been bringing panels of faculty together from six fields of study (biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociology) to identify the essential 21st Century competencies, concepts, and practices that students in their fields should develop in college. 


Last updated: 2/22/2016

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