Emergent Challenges to Teaching and Learning Fostering Inclusion, Accessibility, Collegiality and Community
9:30 am – 9:40 am
Welcome & Opening Remarks
9:40 AM – 10:40 AM
It is crucial that educational institutions deliberately include and integrate student feedback within continuous improvement processes. Identifying the best ways to capture student perspectives, challenges, and needs require thinking outside the box and trying different approaches. This activity brings the voices of three Hostos students and presents different scenarios that they have had or are facing in their academic journey at Hostos. The objectives of this activity are to prompt faculty and staff to recommend strategies and possible solutions to address the challenges shared by our students in these scenarios; and activate a dialogue to connect and strengthen our support structures to foster student success.
Dealing with Social Anxiety: How Group Assignments and Student Presentations affect students facing these challenges?
The thought of public speaking was something that immediately increased my stress levels as I wasn’t inclined to make friends or socialize, or share my personal mobile number with others. I didn’t realize the level of impact the anxiety was having on my academic and personal life. Some group tasks required me to share my personal information with others and I didn’t feel comfortable doing it as it seemed like extra work. When I had to take the course, luckily it was online, but I still had a lot of questions: Was recording an option to deal with my anxiety? Was it okay to use cue cards when giving a presentation? Was there an alternative option available for presentations in a class? How do instructors define the benefits/roles/objectives of group work? Was there an alternative to group work?
Moderator: Joseph Caravalho, Assistant Professor, Humanities
How does the Content of the Class Connect to my Job/Professional/Career Needs/Goals?
One of the challenges I faced in taking courses that are not part of my major, especially science courses, was that these courses were designed as if students wanted to pursue a career in science. What options are available for those students who do not intend to become scientists? How can instructors make this content connect to external career goals and make it relevant to other specializations? For example, how would you create a biology class for students who plan to be digital designers, psychologists, or lawyers?
Moderator: Eunice Flemister, Lecturer, Education Department
How is the School Adapting/Rethinking its Approaches to Support Students (Who have been Working for a Long Time) Returning to School?
Students feel that most of the activities are geared towards the fresh out of high school student population. Language used in and out of the classroom sometimes appears or is perceived as patronizing to older (non-traditional) students. How can teachers and the university in general adapt their language and approaches to integrate all age levels inside and outside the classroom?
Moderator: Linda Miles, Assistant Professor, Library
How to create more opportunities for Individual Meetings with Students, Casual Conversations, Building Connections with the Instructor/Students?
We believe it is important for teachers to show they care and create safe environments to build trust. We also feel that it is important that there is an awareness that we are all human beings and that we all face difficult challenges. How can Hostos promote a sensible approach to promoting student engagement and motivation?
Mayra Mojica, Adjunct Lecturer, Business
Chanh Van Phan, Assistant Professor, Natural Sciences
Are Faculty Using Technology Effectively to Enable Effective Communication/Collaboration so Students are Engaged/Motivated/Safe?
Some students may prefer to use technology as a first step in seeking help. Colleges and universities should be ready to offer or recommend reputable and safe sites for students to learn about mental health. What is Hostos doing to ensure the message gets through to students, knowing that email is not a tool students use or rely on for information?
Moderator: Asrat Amnie, Assistant Professor, Education
10:40 AM – 11:10 AM
In this short interactive workshop, we will explore and share ways in which we implement Experiential Learning and interdisciplinary approaches at Hostos. This exercise will allow faculty and staff to learn about each other’s methods/practices and alternative Experiential Learning teaching techniques, and identify potential opportunities for collaboration.
11:10 AM – 11:50 AM
This conversation builds on the simple SoTL question What works? It is also illuminated by the legacy of the conversations sparked during the Middle States on-site visit revolving around the reviewer’s
question How do you know what students know? Rooted in the evaluators’ interest to foster an inquiry approach to our teaching and learning, the SoTL group wants to discuss the following questions as
we imagine pedagogy for the next academic year:
1. What represents evidence of student learning in your course?
2. Are we able to dissect what students are learning in our courses?
3. Do they learn what we proposed in the syllabus?
Ground rule: Rather than engaging in a philosophical definition of learning, we define learning for the context of this presentation as the specific disciplinary knowledge and skills stated in our syllabus,
delineated through stated expectations (such as anticipated course, Pathways, or program-learning outcomes).
11:50 AM – 12:50 PM
This year’s SPA Day theme seeks to stimulate conversations that include perspectives from the lens of students, faculty, and staff. A crucial perspective to include is that of the chairs of academic departments. Their role in maintaining a healthy and collegial environment has become more complex in times of constant change and emerging challenges. This panel will explore the experiences and approaches of department heads and provide an opportunity to learn about their challenges and successes as they strive to foster inclusion, accessibility, collegiality, and community.
Moderator: Cynthia Jones, Lecturer, English, CTL Co-Director