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Overcoming "Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor" for More Effective Student Learning

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Registration closes at 10:00 a.m. EDT on October 19.

Presenters: Ellen Yezierski, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence; Gregg Wentzell, Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence

According to Craig Nelson, many well-meaning instructors base their teaching practices in unrealistic or inaccurate perceptions of what makes their courses challenging. Overcoming these "dysfunctional illusions of rigor" requires instructors to re-examine their beliefs about such teaching issues as grade inflation, students' ability, content coverage, and critical thinking. In this workshop we'll review Nelson's list of illusions and explore some alternative views that lead to more effective student learning.

in his article "Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor: Lessons from the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning"

Ellen Yezierski, Center for Teaching Excellence Director. Ellen is a Professor of Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. As CTE Director, Ellen networks with faculty and programs across campus to fulfill the Center’s mission and support student learning through faculty development and innovation in teaching. She has been recognized with a Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Instruction and Mentoring (2018) and a Distinguished Teaching Award (2015) and has taught large undergraduate courses as well as graduate courses. Her research group focuses on improving conceptual understanding of chemistry by examining the dynamics of teaching and teacher change. The goal of their work is to markedly reform instruction and improve chemistry learning across a variety of grade levels (high school and college). Projects employ quasi-experimental designs as well as phenomenological methods to explore teacher beliefs and change, assessment, use of animations, and characterizing teaching and learning in chemistry outreach. Visit the  Yezierski Research Group to learn more about their activities and outcomes.

Gregg Wentzell is Assistant Director of the CTE. He earned his Ph.D. in English at Miami in 1993 and was awarded the Sinclair Fellowship. He has over 20 years of college teaching and faculty development experience and co-facilitates the New Faculty Teaching Enhancement Program (NFTEP). In addition to being Director of the Original Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Gregg does faculty consulting on teaching and coordinates the CTE's seminar programming and administration of Midcourse Assessment for the University. He is Editor-in Chief of the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching and the Learning Communities Journal. He presents faculty development seminars on-campus and at teaching and learning conferences. He has participated in and provides support for Miami's faculty learning communities.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 10:00am to 11:30am

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Information Sessions, Training & Development

Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)
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