CEIT Teaching Talks and Teaching Tech Talks

Professional Development Teaching Talks and Teaching Tech Talks

The Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching is pleased to offer a variety of Teaching Talks and Teaching Tech Talks, focusing on teaching and the professional development of faculty and graduate-student teachers.  Teaching Talks will focus primarily on pedagogy, while Teaching Tech Talks will dive deeper into the use of technology to enhance teaching. All Talks are scheduled for one hour and 15 minutes and are held in the Kenmore Conference Room located on the 9th floor of 1 Silber Way.

Please reserve your space by clicking here.

CEIT Teaching Talks and Teaching Tech Talks                                                                                                                              

 FALL 2014 Teaching Talks and Teaching Tech Talks Schedule:


Monday, September 15; 10:00 am

Piazza Support:  Tony Luckett; Piazza

In this session you’ll see a demonstration of the online collaboration tool Piazza and hear about specific user cases. The focus will be on how to use Piazza in your courses. Bring your questions about the tool and how you can apply it in your class.


Monday, September 22; 10:00 am

Linking to Academic Support Resources: Cecilia Lalama; Educational Resource Center

Ever wonder how you can empower your students to be better learners? Come join the members of the Educational Resource Center and Information Services and Technology to hear about teaching and learning tools available online to students and faculty through Boston University.  You’ll learn about the newest materials developed and designed for BU students that faculty can use to supplement their teaching toolbox.


Monday, September 29; noon

Being the guide on the side: Using Blackboard Learn to get your students working together; Kacie Cleary; IS&T

Have you ever wanted to engage your students more, both in and out of the classroom? Step away from being the sage on the stage and empower your students to take responsibility for their learning by becoming a guide on the side.  This session will show you simple tools you can use in Blackboard to help get your students working together and thinking about your course content in a different way.



Friday, October 10; 10:00 am

Strategies for Facilitating Students’ Interaction, Collaboration, and Motivation to Learn;  Donna Pincus; CAS

We all want to enhance our students’ motivation to learn and actively engage students in learning course material.  But accomplishing this can be challenging. This talk will focus on concrete strategies faculty could adopt to actively engage both small and large classes in course material.  The major objectives of this presentation are: 1) to present several concrete strategies for promoting students’ interactive and collaborative learning, including ways to use breakout groups and exercises to stimulate peer discussion, 2) to describe how to bring course material “to life” using digital media, 3) to introduce specific examples of how course content can be transformed into active and engaging experiential class exercises and 4) to describe a strategy for helping students become more involved in thinking about their own learning process.  Attendees will learn specific ways to engage undergraduate and graduate students that could be adaptable to a variety of courses or disciplines to foster experiential and collaborative learning.



Wednesday, October 15; 3:00 pm

Closed Captions Enhance Searching, Listening and Learning; Chris Robinson; Disability Services

Closed Captions and Subtitles in video media have been shown to make otherwise static content more engaging. Adding Closed Captions to BUniverse YouTube videos helps them to appear in Google search queries more readily and make the content accessible to individuals who are English Language Learners or Hearing Impaired. The process to insert captions and subtitles into video media has been somewhat cumbersome – until now. Attend this session and learn how to make your instructional and informational content more accessible through Closed Captions and Subtitles.



Thursday, October 16; 10:00 am

The Science Behind Art: Teaching Critical Thinking Through Art Observation; Neal Fleisher, John Mcmanama and Ana Zea; SDM

Co-Sponsored by the BU Arts Initiative

Critical thinking is a term often heard in education presentations, but often is difficult to define. Once understood, educators have even a more difficult time explaining how they teach it. By using various works of art, in a neutral environment, students are challenged to make observations, and discuss their thoughts, assumptions, and inferences based on these observations, with their peers. All are components of critical thinking. Visual Thinking Strategies, is a specific technique developed in the 1970′s, and has been used to engage thoughtful discussion among students from elementary school age, to over 20 leading medical schools throughout the country. Attendees of this session will learn what VTS is, and how it is incorporated in the education process of first year dental students, as an early exercise in critical thinking.



Thursday, October 16; 4:15 pm

Disability Awareness & Cognitive Supportive Technology (CST); Karen Jacobs; SAR

Note:  This Teaching Talk will be presented in the SAR Lobby

Assistive technology (AT) is generally defined as: Any item, piece of equipment or product systems, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Cognitive Support Technologies (CST) is a class of AT designed to help with memory, attention, concentration, time management and organization among other skills. iPads are one example of a CST device. This hands-on session will provide the opportunity to use iPad Apps such as Notability and 30/30. In addition, through the use of guided disability-related simulations created by occupational therapy graduate students, attendees will experience the relationships between the environment and individuals with a variety of characteristics, and will learn how appropriate accommodations can enable and empower people with disabilities to live life to its fullest.



Monday, October 20; 10:00 am

What’s New in Blackboard Learn?  Kacie Cleary; IS&T

You’ve been using Blackboard for a few years and know the basics pretty well. Does this sound like you? Then come hear how you can enhance your Blackboard course with some simple tricks. In this session, participants can expect to see some advanced features in Blackboard and learn some basic instructional design tips to take your course to the next level.



Monday, October 20; noon

Why Define Learning Objectives?  Janelle Heineke; CEIT

A learning objective defines what knowledge, skills and attitudes learners should be able to demonstrate following instruction. Learning objectives help instructors plan for and integrate learning elements across a class, a module and a course; connect content and assessment; guide the selection of learning activities that will best achieve the objectives; and provide the learner with a clear picture of what to expect and what’s expected of them. This session will focus on how to develop useful learning objectives and to use those objectives to design and evaluate a program of learning.



Wednesday, October 29; noon

Fostering Science Communication and STEM Learning Through Improvisational Techniques; Nicholas Gross; SED

Very often instructors teaching introductory courses have been successful in traditional lecture/demonstration courses, both as undergraduate and graduate students, and as teaching assistance and lecturers. Such “direct instruction” is instructor focused – the instructor is predominantly the center of attention and univocal: the instructor is delivering exactly what he wants to say without any deviation due to student interaction. The new modes of delivery require a different approach to teaching that may be outside the comfort zone of the instructors.  The goal of this talk is to introduce instructors to the practice of novel delivery modes. Improvisation exercises and the ethos behind them can be valuable in providing instructors with a framework for these new approaches.  The talk will outline some of the challenges of these new approaches, give active examples of improvisational exercises (with some opportunity for participants to play), and discuss the relationship between the improvisational approaches and student centered learning.



Monday, November 3; noon

Taking Your Blackboard course to the next level; Kacie Cleary; IS&T

You’ve been using Blackboard for a few years and know the basics pretty well. Does this sound like you? Then come hear how you can enhance your Blackboard course with some simple tricks. In this session, you can expect to see some advanced features in Blackboard and learn some basic instructional design tips to take your course to the next level.



Monday, November 3; 2:00

Using ePortfolio in the Classroom: Myths and Realities;  John Regan; CGS

This presentation will explore common misconceptions about ePortfolio and its strengths and limitations as a pedagogical tool. While some faculty may suspect that working with ePortfolios requires wholesale restructuring of their courses — and in fact many proponents of ePortfolio do sell it that way – one of the strengths of ePortfolio  is that it can complement, not override, existing course methodologies and structures. As we consider the value of ePortfolio as a pedagogical tool, we will look at examples of the innovative ways many BU faculty and students are using it in their classrooms.



Wednesday, November 5; noon

Three Tiers: A Flexible Path to Online Media Content; Rob Haley; ODE; Andrew Abrahamson; MET

From MOOCs to traditional On-Campus courses media is becoming a key part of the way students learn.  It’s easier than it ever has been to produce effective media for your classes, but the first step can seem daunting.  You may be looking for quick easy recording to address your student’s immediate needs. Other times you may want a planned and polished piece that will become a lasting part of the course content.  Where do you start? And how do you make sure the time you invest is well spent? The Office of Distance Education (ODE) and the Department of Educational Technology and Innovation (ETI) at Metropolitan College have collaborated to provide a structured way to think about planning and producing media for your classes.  Examples and practical resources will be provided to help get you started. If you are interested in enriching the content in your courses but are not sure where to begin, how to plan, or what resources are available to you please join us for our presentation.


Wednesday, November 5; 2:00 pm




Monday, November 10; 10:00 am

Implementing a Peer Review of Teaching Program in Your Department; Taryn Vian, Frank G. Feeley, SPH

Peer review can widen the conversation around teaching effectiveness and help improve teaching. This session describes the experience of the Global Health Department at the School of Public Health in implementing a formative peer review of teaching program, including policy goals, program components, faculty perceptions, and program effectiveness. Participants attending this talk will have a chance to discuss how peer review goals might be adapted to their own department, and to anticipate implementation challenges.



Thursday, November 13; noon

Active Learning: Leveraging Eportfolios & iPads; Michael Oshins; SHA

Boston is a living laboratory for the hospitality industry.  We use the ePortfolio tool to highlight industry knowledge through experience and research and share our lessons with each other. Examples of field work, such as visits to hotels and writing restaurant reviews are presented.  You will also “play” with a BU-developed restaurant app for iPads (we will supply iPads or bring your own).  Successes and lessons learned are highlighted.



Tuesday, November 18; 10:00

Educating for Personal Transformation: Exploratory Curriculum as Innovative Practice; Emily Howe, Andre de Quadros, Jamie Hillman; CFA

This session is located at the interdisciplinary convergence of performing arts, literature, sociology, and critical theory. The presenters will describe a teaching approach they have developed called Empowering Song. Rooted in improvised song, poetry, bodywork, and imagery, this approach is designed to enable individual and community transformation. The uniqueness of this approach lies in its use of the arts as a platform for self-discovery and empowerment. The presenters argue that these tools of empowerment are central to higher education and that participatory and creative work can help students find personal meaning and form identity. The tools and concepts that will be discussed can be used by instructors in a variety of disciplines and classroom settings. Although the presenters are educators and professional musicians, the session will focus less on the musical content and more on overarching philosophical constructs and teaching process. Additionally, Hillman, Howe, and de Quadros will provide curriculum justification, and lead a discussion on exploratory curriculum as an innovative practice.



Tuesday, November 18; noon

Simple Tools to Flip a Classroom; Kacie Cleary, IS&T; Gerry Fine, ENG

Ever wanted to flip an activity, class session or a whole course but don’t know where to start? This session will walk you through the basics of flipping your course so that you can leave class time open for activities or discussion. You will also get to see a live, flipped course and hear what works, what doesn’t and what you need to consider when flipping.



Friday, December 5; noon

Using Technology to Support Traditional Humanistic Learning; Amod Lele, IS&T

Much has been said about how new digital technologies can contribute to teaching in natural science and professional disciplines. Do these technologies have anything to offer a traditional humanities class, aiming at close reading, careful argument and deep interpretation? This talk will explore how a philosophy class at BU used a variety of digital tools, including WordPress blogs, Google Drive and Turnitin, in ways that promoted student engagement with the course and its goals.


Interested in hosting a Teaching Talk or event? Email ceit@bu.edu.

The School of Public Health’s Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology also offers workshops each semester at the Medical Campus. A free shuttle bus travels between the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus every half hour.

Information Services & Technology (IS&T) also offers tutorials on topics of interest to faculty, such as Blackboard and WordPress. See course descriptions and registration information at www.bu.edu/tech/training. Click here to register for upcoming Blackboard training.