2023 Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment

Plenary Sessions

Opening Plenary

Thursday, February 9, 2023 /

Moving from Smoke and Mirrors to Honoring Curriculum

Faculty and administrators alike often balk at the idea of general education reform, given that it can take significant time and resources to do it successfully. But what if we flip the script and reframe our entire approach? Challenging us to check our assumptions about whom and what gen ed is for, this plenary session will highlight innovations too often reserved for the perceived select few and explore how honors programs can be used to beta test instructional innovations that benefit all students.

  • Timothy K. Eatman

    Keynote Speaker: Timothy K. Eatman

    Inaugural Dean, Honors Living-Learning Community at Rutgers University-Newark

    Timothy K. Eatman, Ph.D., an educational sociologist and publicly engaged scholar, serves as the Inaugural Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community and Professor of Urban Education at Rutgers University-Newark. Prior to this current appointment, his primary network of scholarly operation and leadership was with the national consortium Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life serving as Faculty Co-Director. He currently serves as national co-chair of the Urban Research-Based Action and chair emeritus of the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) board. Tim is in his second term on the board of directors of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) currently serving as Chair of the membership committee and as vice-chair of the board for the 2022 –2023 term. Also, with AAC&U, Tim is as a faculty member of the Institute on High Impact Practices for Student Success (HIPS). Tim is a widely sought-after speaker, workshop facilitator, and collaborator who has earned local, national, and international recognition for his leadership in advancing understandings about the multi-faceted impact of publicly engaged scholarship in the university of the 21st century.

Panel Discussion Following Opening Plenary

Going Rogue to Challenge and Change the Status Quo

  • Mary Ann Villarreal

    Mary Ann Villarreal

    Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University of Utah; Chair, AAC&U Board of Directors

  • Bryan Dewsburry

    Bryan Dewsbury

    Associate Professor of Biology, Florida International University

  • Terry Rhodes

    Terrel L. Rhodes

    Distinguished Scholar, AAC&U

  • Rick Torres

    Rick Torres

    President and CEO, National Student Clearinghouse

Friday Morning Plenary

Friday, February 10, 2023 /

Digital Equity: Concept to Delivery

Come prepared with your questions to talk about NTIA’s existing broadband grant programs, the role of digital equity efforts in reducing economic, educational, and social inequality. Ms. Bennett will share how colleges and universities can get involved in our programs and digital equity efforts across the country.

  • Angela Thi Bennett

    Angela Thi Bennett

    Digital Equity Program Director U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

    Angela Thi Bennett is the first-ever digital equity director at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) within the US Department of Commerce. NTIA is the agency responsible for advising the President of the United States on telecommunications and information policy issues. Currently, NTIA strongly focuses on expanding broadband access and adoption and advancing digital equity. This is the first-ever position in the federal government with “digital equity” in the job title. Starting this role in March 2022, Ms. Bennett has been charged to direct the allocation of $2.75 billion from the Digital Equity Act and help develop guidelines for states to equitably use these funds. Before serving in this role, Ms. Bennett was the director of advocacy at DigitalC, focused on digital inclusion in Cleveland, Ohio.

Friday Evening Plenary

Friday, February 10, 2023 /

Centering a "Pedagogy of Kindness"

As we continue to weather a global pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high rates of faculty and staff burnout, it's clear that higher ed needs to enthusiastically embrace kindness in all its operations. This session will explore what it means to center a Pedagogy of Kindness in our work: to practice justice, to believe students, and to believe in students. We'll talk about what this means in philosophical and practical terms and reflect upon our responsibility to create compassionate places of work and learning for everyone on our campuses.

Closing Plenary

Saturday, February 11, 2023 /

Creativity in Teaching: The Power of Informed Innovation

When teachers experiment with new strategies for course design and classroom practice, they can discover new ways to support students as people and learners. Such experimentation can also benefit teachers, as they are challenged and charged by new experiences. Both theories of creativity and research on learning can work together to help us develop and support productive experimentation in higher education classrooms and campuses. This plenary argues for the importance of regular innovation in everyday practice in the classroom—with the caveat that the best experiments emerge from the creative thinking of informed experts.

  • James M. Lang

    Keynote Speaker: James Lang

    Founding Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence & Former Professor of English, Assumption University

    James M. Lang, Ph.D., is a former English Professor and founding director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University. He is the author of six books, the most recent of which are Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It (Basic Books, 2020), Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2nded., 2021) and Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Harvard UP, 2008). Jim writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education; his work has been appearing in the Chronicle since 1999. His book reviews and public scholarship on higher education have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including the Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and Time. He edits a series of books on teaching and learning in higher education for West Virginia University Press.