Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Georgia Southern University

SoTL Commons – Keynote Speakers

Jennifer Meta Robinson

Jennifer Meta Robinson, Ph.D., is Professor of Practice in Indiana University’s Anthropology Department. She co-directs IU’s Graduate Certificate on College Pedagogy and maintains research programs on higher education pedagogy and on the anthropology of food. She has received numerous teaching awards and was president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

She coordinated three international initiatives in the Carnegie Foundation’s Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and led the Collegium on Inquiry in Action, funded by the Teagle Foundation. Recent pedagogical research focuses on learning analytics and on preparing new college teachers. Recent anthropological research focuses on sustainable food systems science and local food movements.

Scaling Up the SoTL Commons: Context, Comparison, & Potential with Learning Analytics

The age of “big data” offers tantalizing possibilities for working at intersections of disciplinary knowledge, institutional capabilities, faculty teaching, and student learning—what we know as scholarship of teaching and learning. Although a SOTL approach to using big data has been proposed (Baepler and Murdoch 2010), faculty are now exploring its potential to focus digital analysis of student trends and patterns on the roles, goals, and ethics of learning analytics. 

This talk explores the transformative possibilities of using learning analytics to inform disciplinary instructors about how students move through their courses. It describes an interdisciplinary, collaborative research project involving seven faculty members from the social, biological, physical, computer, and information sciences, plus mathematics and the humanities–teaching 7 courses and 7000+ students each year.

The project’s big data approach helps uncover drivers of student success in college.  However, its real innovation is keeping that data situated within the “small places” of individual courses, where learning is activated and where faculty can intervene. Moreover, the team’s focus on “grade surprise,” the gap between the grade expected and the grade received, brings scholarship of teaching and learning to the scale of the individual student’s embodied experience. Extrapolated beyond any particular institution, course, or individual, this project models how SoTL scholars can scale up their collaborations to transform the college experience in unprecedented ways. 

Adam Persky

Adam Persky received his BS in biology from Purdue University and a MS in exercise science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He completed his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Florida and did an industry-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship in pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and GlaxoSmithKline.

Persky was named an Atlantic Coast Conference Teaching Scholar during the program’s inaugural year and has been named a Distinguished Teaching Scholar by the American Associations of College of Pharmacy. He and his colleagues have been recognized with the AACP Excellence in Assessment Awards 2017. He is the associate editor for the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and on the editorial board for College Teaching. He has given numerous workshops across the country and has published extensively on a variety of topics related to teaching and learning.

From Laboratory to Classroom: Using Evidence to Support Classroom Instruction

In health science, we transition between bench-top research and clinical research and practice and vice-versa; we ask ourselves and our students to practice evidence-based medicine. We are asking ourselves to do the same for education – to translate what we know from cognitive psychology, education, and physiology into our classrooms. There is a great deal of research pertaining to what works and what does not work with respect to student learning. In this session, the facilitator will translate research from a variety of areas into practical application. At the conclusion of this session, you will have a better understanding of why things like the flipped classroom work and to design courses with key elements, and have a bit of fun in the process.

By the end of this session, you can expect to have:

  1. Identified at least three (3) “lessons learned” (key concepts) that can inform your teaching practice
  2. Identified at least three (3) specific teaching strategies, techniques, or tools that you can adopt and apply
  3. Identified at least two (2) useful resources and references for follow-up

Last updated: 1/3/2020

Center for Teaching Excellence • PO Box 8143 • (912) 478-0049