Plenary Sessions

Keynote Address • Thursday, February 20, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Promise and Peril in Higher Education: Building an Equitable, Creative, Prosperous, and Sustainable Future through Socially Directed Science and Technology

We live in an exciting era of transformation in science and technology with ever-increasing global connectedness that has the potential for tackling the enduring problems of humanity, but also is rife with ethical and social perils. Education in science and technology, rooted in equity, inclusion, sustainability, and social inquiry is more important than ever to our societal, economic and cultural survival, let alone progress. Simultaneously, university systems across the globe face both challenges and opportunities as they aim to engage a more diverse community of learners, leverage new pedagogies and technologies, and cultivate a productive relationship between academic and industrial spheres. Professor Ortiz will discuss trends and opportunities for bridging disciplinary boundaries and professional practices, to foster deep learning, personal transformation, and civic responsibility through socially-directed scientific and technological inquiry. Building on her experience as a scientist, engineer, researcher, educator, administrative leader, and social entrepreneur she will share her insights from visiting institutions across the world and facilitate discussion for envisioning and fostering change in higher education.

ortiz_0.jpgChristine Ortiz, Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering—Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Founder—Station1




Plenary • Friday, February 21, 9:00–10:00 a.m.

A Learner Centered Approach to Teaching General Education Courses

Over the past 20 years, research findings from neuroscience, biology, and cognitive science have provided extraordinary insights into how the human brain takes in, processes, and retrieves new information. These insights provide the foundation for learner-centered teaching, which puts the student at the center of the learning process. This presentation will discuss several ways to implement a learner-centered teaching practice in general education courses. The session will examine how to develop clear rationales for why general education course content is an important element of a complete college education and what lifelong learning skills it reinforces; ways to connect emotionally with learners—the key to getting and keeping their attention; checking and, when needed, fixing prior knowledge deficits; using a multisensory teaching practice to create multiple memory pathways; using familiar patterns when teaching new content; and using a questioning practice that focuses on recall to strengthen memory and long-term comprehension.

doyle.jpgTerrence J. Doyle, Professor Emeritus of Reading—Ferris State University, and CEO—Learner Centered Teaching Consultants




Plenary • Saturday, February 22, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Pedagogy: A Social Neuroscience Perspective

Diversity and inclusion are critical to maintaining excellence in our institutions. Fortunately, as the demographics of our campuses change, individuals are more likely to engage with others who are from different backgrounds. Although this increasingly inclusive atmosphere provides new opportunities, fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment has been challenging. In this session, Dr. Kubota and participants will unpack these challenges and examine factors that improve open-mindedness, understanding, compassion, and inclusiveness using evidence from both social science and neuroscience.

kubota.jpgJennifer Kubota, Director, Impression Formation Social Neuroscience Lab and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Department of Political Science and International Relations—University of Delaware