2014 Conference Sessions



Confronting the Myths of Learning Languages Online, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Rm 214

Dr. Joanne Burnett, Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Leah Fonder-Solano, Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, The University of Southern Mississippi

 This presentation will discuss the results of a study aimed at addressing commonly-expressed concerns or myths regarding online language learning and teacher education. Because the criticisms or views expressed in the literature do not always reflect a research orientation, this study used three different data collection methods to solicit the experiences of students who were enrolled in or had completed an online Master of Arts in the Teaching of Languages degree in Spanish, French or TESOL. Interview and survey data asked participants to evaluate their experiences in each of six areas of language teaching where learning effectiveness is commonly questioned in online settings: professional development, academic rigor, classroom interaction, and participation in a learning community, cultural growth, and linguistic development. Program exit data in the form of final reflective papers were also coded and analyzed for these same themes. Our presentation will discuss trends found in these data, contextualize findings with participant comments, and provide preliminary answers from the learner's perspective to commonly-held beliefs and myths regarding language teaching and learning in an online context.


The Active Learning Ecosystem: Evidence that Space Matters, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Rm 216

Lisa Raney, Regional Education Leader, Southeast Region, Steelcase Education Solutions

Brian Clark, Strategic Account Manager, Steelcase Education Solutions

This session will explore why spaces in which learning is directed by an instructor - whether in lecture or in guided group work or discussion - are in need of fresh design thinking.  We will discuss a new active learning ecosystem where pedagogy, technology and space are carefully considered and integrated. Finally, we will overview an evaluation method connecting evidence-based spatial designs to student engagement factors and discuss some preliminary positive results proving classroom spaces matter.


Training for Transition, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Rm 218A

Christa Wilhite, eLearning Support Specialist, Meridian Community College

This presentation will focus on the development of a faculty training curriculum for the transition to teaching using a learning management system or improving faculty’s technical skills within the LMS.  The presentation will outline the creation and design of introductory trainings and Create-A-Course workshops used to introduce the system to faculty and facilitate a smooth transition to using a LMS, in addition to discussing various options for training and professional development such as group workshops, individual training, and webinar


Augmenting Education:  What is AR?  Why is it Important?  How Can I Use it? 10:15 – 11:15 a.m. Rm 218B

Dr. Gallayanee Yaoyuneyong, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing and Fashion Merchandising, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Steve Yuen, Professor Emeritus, The University of Southern Mississippi

Presenters discuss the evolving field of Augmented Reality (AR), including a brief exploration of the history of AR and some examples of current AR applications.  Topics covered include the coming of significance and impact of AR in economics, society and education.  Examples are given of presenters’ own experience integrating AR into teaching and learning within their classrooms.


Leading Students Down a Path to Success, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rm 214

Dr. Jennifer Beyer-LeFever, Solutions Consultant, Hobsons

 Abstract: During this interactive session, learn and discuss the challenges impacting student persistence, particularly in the online environment. Learn more about the trends that are impacting online student success and what strategies can be deployed to make an impact. Presenters will share case studies on how using tools such as degree planners, early alerts and enhanced communications provide students with a clear path to success while providing institutions with rich data to drive retention initiatives.


Learning by Design: Teaching Problem Solving Using a Design Thinking Model, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rm 216

Dr. Erin S. Price, Assistant Vice President for Student Success, Belhaven University

At its core, the process of learning is one of finding solutions and changing mental models. The presenter will give an overview of the course written and taught with the main goal of providing a class of interdisciplinary students with the tools needed to problem-solve and become skilled learners. The basis for this course was the design thinking process of defining the problem, researching what's known, brainstorming ideas, prototyping a solution, and testing the results. The session will include an overview of material and activities from the class.


Virtual and Physical Connections:  Innovative Teaching in an Online Program, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rm 218A

Dr. Stacy Creel, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Brenton Stewart, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Teresa C. Welsh, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science, The University of Southern Mississippi

This presentation examines the idea of an embedded learning community and looks at the technology and communication tools, class activities and assignments used to achieve community building in the student’s physical community and their online courses.  This presentation shares how others can use these activities and online tools to incorporate teaching in their own courses.


By Faculty, For Students: How Faculty at USM are Creating and Supporting a Teaching-Centered Culture, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Rm 218B

Dr. Brigitte Burgess, Associate Professor, Department of Marketing and Fashion Merchandising, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Andrew Haley, Associate Professor, Department of History, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Ken Zantow, Associate Professor, Management, The University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Park Campus

With support from the administration, faculty at The University of Southern Mississippi developed a series of faculty-led forums to spark a campus-wide discussion on teaching.  The forums bring together award-winning teachers, new teachers, and old hands in a goals-focused dialogue to improve teaching and professionalization skills at the University. During this session you will learn more about the implementation of this project including planning, implementation, and outcomes.


Using i>clicker to Enhance Performance and Promote Peer-Assisted Learning Communities, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m., Rm 214

Mandy Gunnell, Regional Technology Specialist, i>Clicker

Dr. Gallayanee Yaoyuneyong, Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing and Fashion Merchandising, The University of Southern Mississippi

During this session, presenters will present research, pedagogy and best practices on using i>clicker student response systems in the classroom.  They will focus on how the combination of peer instruction and clickers can promote active learning as well as improve student performance, participation and attendance thus affecting student success and retention.


Thinking Outside the Box:  An Approach to Teaching Online, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Rm 216

Kelly Ferris Lester, Assistant Professor, Department of Dance, The University of Southern Mississippi

This session focuses on transposing assignments and experiences from face-to-face classes into the online learning environment.  The presenter will use examples from her online course, Dance Appreciation, as inspiration for brainstorming sessions.  Questions to be considered include the following:  What and why is this assignment/experience in your course?  How does it translate into the online learning environment?  How do you assess this in the online learning environment?  Online learner characteristics, expectations of the assignments and learners, and ways to continually improve your online course will also be discussed.


Ensuring Academic Integrity with Online Proctoring, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Rm 218A

Jason Rupert, Partnership Coordinator, ProctorU

This presentation will demonstrate how educators can prevent or catch cheating and ensure the academic integrity of online programs.  This session will include examples of how educators can advance policies designed to reduce incidents of dishonesty online using a number of strategies.  The presenter will also share industry research and best practices.


Raising the “Bar” on Presentations: Adding Animoto to the Mix, 2:15 – 3:15 p.m. Rm 218B

Dr. Krista M. LeBrun, Director of eLearning, Meridian Community College

J. Marie Roberts, M. Ed., Director of Student Recruiting and Campus Life, Meridian Community College

Ready to shake it up in and out of the class room? Mix one part graphics, two parts videos, add some spicy music and a pinch of smooth transitions and you've created a professional quality video worthy of its own little umbrella. This professional development session is geared towards individuals looking for creative communications and engaging presentations. Participants will learn how to register for and utilize the Animoto for Educators software to create professional videos.


Power in a Name, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Rm 214

Dr. Mark Waymire, Assistant Professor, Music Education, The University of Southern Mississippi

Research in areas of classroom management, teacher magnitude, and student motivation often look to the fields of psychology and sociology for informing best practice in the classroom. Engaging students by saying their names often, intently, and with meaningful purpose has been shown to be an effective tool for increasing student engagement, improving classroom management, improving classroom dynamics, and subsequently, student success. Application to online teaching has shown to be viable.


Anybody Can Be a Techie:  Using Smartphone Apps to Engage Your Students, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Rm 216

Dr. David R. Davies, Professor & Dean, The Honors College, University of Southern Mississippi

Faculty are often intimidated by introducing technology into their coursework because learning new software can be so daunting.  This workshop will argue that easily used application available on the widespread iPhone and Android platforms offer professors easy-to-use tools to engage students through technology.  YouTube, Google Voice, Twitter, Slice and Garage Band are just a few such applications.  The presenter will argue that professors can not only use these apps to deliver content to students, but professors can also ask students to use these apps to complete engaging homework and assignments.  The presenter will offer examples of effective use of cell phone apps both from his own teaching and that of his colleagues.


Innovative Teaching Strategies to Enhance Student Success, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Rm 218A

Dr. Marjorie A. Geisz-Everson, Asst. Clinical Professor and Asst. Director of Nurse Anesthesia Program, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Vickie Stuart, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of Nurse Anesthesia Program, The University of Southern Mississippi

Many nurse anesthesia programs are taught using the traditional lecture style.  Student retention of lecture material is poor, and lecturing alone is ineffective.  Faculty members of the new Southern Miss Nurse Anesthesia Program will implement scientific teaching to enhance student engagement and retention of information.  Various teaching methods will be employed (i.e. group work, individual work, lecture and other activities to capture varied individual learning styles.  Groups will be diverse, and during each activity, the instructor will assess student understanding of the material and clarify misconceptions, thereby engaging students in the learning process and encouraging critical thinking skills.


 Just-in-Time Teaching and Student-Centered Learning, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Rm 218B

Laurel Abreu, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, The University of Southern Mississippi

Just-in-Time-Teaching (JiTT) is a technique that involves having students complete brief out-of-class assessments based on course readings "just in time" for instructors to access the results on a learning managmement system and adjust their lesson plans for class accordingly (Novak, 1999). JiTT has been implemented more often in the sciences, so this presentation will focus on an overview of its applications in the humanities. In addiction, specific examples of JiTT promps and recommendations for best practices will be provided for foreign languages, though this presentation will be relevant to anyone who teaches at the college level and seeks to create a more learner-centered classroom.


Download Link: educators_connect_sessions_2014.pdf