BOW Teaching & Learning Workshop


Over 50 BOW Faculty and Staff came together for BOW's Annual Teaching & Learning Workshop on January 11th at Babson College.

Keynote speaker James Stigler kicked off the event with his talk, "Teaching for Understanding: What Will it Take?".  A Professor of Psychology at UCLA, Stigler is co-author of The Teaching Gap (1999) and The Learning Gap (1992) and founder of LessonLab, Inc., a company whose mission was to study and improve classroom teaching.  He is best known for his observational work in classrooms, and has pioneered the use of multimedia technology for the study of classroom instruction.

Workshop attendees then participated in different workshops offered by BOW Faculty and staff.  At total of six presentations were offered; participants got to choose three.  Presenters included Alex Diesl (Wellesley College), Joe Hunter (Olin College), Eric Palson (Babson College), Rehana Patel (Olin College), Sal Parise (Babson College), Rob Martello (Olin College) and Jean Huang (Olin College).  Full descriptions of the sessions are available below.

Faculty and Staff remarked that they "found the speakers engaging" and "enjoyed interacting with faculty and staff from [the three schools]."  One attendee wrote this plea on our feedback form: "Keep doing this!"  We plan to...every year!

Have an interesting idea for future workshop sessions?  Please contact Jessica McCarthy.

Workshop Sessions:

"Knotty Problems - Informal Discussions About Teaching"
    Alex Diesl, Wellesley College
 The Knotty Problems Roundtables are designed to encourage informal conversations about teaching.  Each participant brings a teaching dilemma, and everyone takes turns asking, and offering advice.  These informal conversations have been quite popular at Wellesley since we started running them a few years ago.  I will show you how it works, give you an opportunity to practice and suggest other ways that the Knotty Problems format can be used to bring colleagues together.

"Video production basics"
    Joe Hunter, Olin College
 In this overview of making a video, you will learn key general principles about video production, and have an opportunity for some hands-on training in shooting and interviewing. Participants will also be pointed to resources for learning more.

"The Lesson Study Framework: Fostering Collaboration, Observation and Reflection"
    Rehana Patel, Olin College
 Lesson study is a practice, prominent in Japanese schools, in which teachers work in a group over several months to collaboratively design, implement and observe a single classroom lesson, and then revise and reflect on it.  In this workshop I will introduce the lesson study process and describe a lesson study seminar that I conducted in 2009-2010 with groups of pre- and in-service math teachers from the Boston area.  We will then explore ways in which lesson study may be adapted and applied to our own individual professional contexts.

 "It’s Snow Problem! Don’t Miss a Beat when Classes are Cancelled"
   Eric Palson, Babson College
 Be ready for this year’s Nor'easters and prepare to hold class from the comfort of your living room. Last winter’s record snowfall resulted in several days of canceled classes, but this didn’t deter many Babson faculty who successfully held classes online using online technologies. WebEx is a widely-known virtual classroom, but isn’t the only option for engaging students when everyone is snowed in. You might consider “flipping” your classroom instruction by uploading  an interactive presentation and having students post comments to a discussion board. The tools you choose aren’t nearly as important as how effectively you engage your students. This session will give you strategies for effectively communicating with your students and facilitating robust discussions from anywhere. Join us for this interactive workshop to prepare for those homebound days ahead!


 “Gamification in the Classroom”
    Sal Parise, Babson College
 Digital games are increasingly being used in higher education to motivate students, encourage engagement when discussing course concepts, and ultimately improve learning outcomes. In this session, I will illustrate the benefits of students using a mobile-based “Scavenger Hunt” type game. Feedback from students indicates increased collaborative learning and teamwork. The discussion for this session will focus on the advantages, challenges, and opportunities for using various digital-based games in the classroom.

"6 Microbes That Changed the World: Design and Implementation of an Interdisciplinary Team Taught Course"
     Rob Martello & Jean Huang, Olin College
 We will discuss our process of course development, implementation, and outcomes from our integrated History/Biology course: "6 Microbes That Changed the World".  We will then collectively discuss cross-field pedagogical approaches and generalizable principles for interdisciplinary course design.