ALA Speaker Series


The Center for Teaching and Learning and the Active Learning Academy annually invites faculty and staff  to learn about best practices from thought leaders in active learning pedagogy.  

Dr. Robert Talbert

Spring 2023

Active learning in practice: What makes it work, and what gets in the way?

Dr. Robert Talbert | Grand Valley State University

Active learning is well-known at this point, through decades of research and practice, to be the best pedagogical platform for student success. But despite this, faculty and institutions often struggle and sometimes fail to make the benefits of active learning materialize with their students. Why is that, and why do some active learning implementations succeed while others are less successful? In this talk, we'll take a look at factors that impact the effects of active learning, ranging from student psychology to bureaucratic structures to classroom spaces, and beyond.

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Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf

Fall 2022

Exploring the pedagogical landscape of trust & fairness

Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf | Arizona State University 

The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) found in their spring 2021 survey that Trust & Fairness was identified as one of the five focus constructs in the Student Experience Project. In this webinar we will explore these terms in the literature, our own understandings and applications of the constructs, and identify ways in which these terms and concepts intersect with our pedagogical practices. Come to the webinar prepared to explore, create, and share!

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Dr. Angela Gunder

Spring 2022

Building a sustainable culture of quality & equity in digital learning environments

Dr. Angela Gunder | Online Learning Consortium

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in seismic shifts within education globally, presenting faculty, students, and administrators with significant barriers related to equity and inclusion in digital learning environments. In light of these issues of access and privilege coming to the forefront amidst the crisis, educators find themselves at the threshold of a critical opportunity for transformation, reimagining teaching and learning practices around a culture of care that demands the success of all learners and not a privileged few. This talk spotlights key characteristics of quality and equity as centered in the digital learning environment, bridging high-impact practices at the course and program level to comprehensive and sustainable institutional strategy.

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Dr. Gary Smith

Spring 2021

Discover active learning methods that transfer research to practice

Dr. Gary Smith | University of New Mexico

What active learning behaviors generate the most learning? Using the ICAP model to design instruction, monitor learners, and facilitate transfer of research to practice. Specific learner behaviors (e.g., self-explaining, solving novel problems with partners are foundational to achieving high-yield active-learning experiences. Nonetheless, one need not look far to find published examples and colleague anecdotes of active-learning failures. Not all active learning is equally effective, and despite the best intentions of the instructor’s design, it is the learner who must do the learning. Recent educational psychology research and discipline-based education research provides a new model for designing learning activities and monitoring learners’ behaviors for success. Dr. Smith will use examples during an interactive virtual presentation to demonstrate this ICAP model for UNCC faculty to transfer to their learning designs.

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Dr. Laura M. Pipe

Spring 2020

You’re coming in hot: Active learning, online and equity

Dr. Laura M. Pipe | University of North Carolina Greensboro

In a year of uncertainty, students are looking to us to help make sense of where we are and where we can go. This requires attention to inclusive teaching that gives space to active participation in the conversation and learning. This workshop assists in the development of active learning strategies that are attentive to issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the learning environment. Through an examination of critical frameworks for an inclusive classroom, how active learning practices translate to inclusive practices, and the importance of reflective strategies and facilitation to the inclusive learning process, participants will construct strategies for inclusive learning opportunities.

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Dr. Bob Beichner

Spring 2016

Active Learning Conference

Dr. Bob Beichner | North Carolina State University

Dr. Bob Beichner shares his experiences promoting the Active Learning space at NC State.  Beichner was also the chief architect of the SCALE-UP model at NC State, and will address questions of why Active Learning is such an effective means of instructional practice, how to promote Active Learning at the university level, and the value of learning for all students in such an environment.

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