Teaching and Faculty Support Center Holds First-Ever Virtual Teaching Camp

Samantha Robinson, 2020 Ro Di Brezzo Excellence in Service to Teaching Award Recipient
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Samantha Robinson, 2020 Ro Di Brezzo Excellence in Service to Teaching Award Recipient

The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center held the first-ever Virtual Teaching Camp via Zoom on Monday through Wednesday, Aug. 3-5, with 65 faculty participating. On Monday, Pamela Barnett, dean of arts and sciences at La Salle University delivered the keynote address on "How Good Teaching Can Change the World," with faculty members Mary Savin, Tim Kral, and Mandel Samuels serving on a reaction panel to stimulate conversation among participants. In the afternoon Barnett presented a second session on, "Social Identity and Privilege in University Teaching." Faculty members Alicia Ferguson, Greg Herman, and Mark Koch served on the reaction panel for this session.

On Tuesday, Kyle Heys, co-director of the Center for Student Success at Calvin University, presented two sessions. The morning session was on, "Teaching for Student Success: Practical Ideas for the College Classroom." Deb Korth, Samantha Robinson, and Chris Estepp served on the reaction panel for this presentation. In the afternoon, Heys presented a session on "Cognitive Science in the Classroom," with B.J. Garrett, Rachel Glade and Neil Alison serving on the reaction panel. Tuesday afternoon's activities also included the ever popular "Three Minute Teaching Tips," where faculty shared teaching ideas and techniques with colleagues.

A screenshot of 25 faculty participating in the workshop
TFSC Virtual Teaching Camp participants.

On Wednesday morning, co-director Julie Trivitt conducted a "bonus" session on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). During this session, Adnan Alrubaye, Renette McCargo, and Jim Maddox discussed opportunities in conducting SoTL research. This was followed by a large group brainstorming session on potential SoTL research projects and potential research collaborations. One of the TFSC's goals is to support faculty in conducting and publishing meaningful SoTL research.

A highlight of Teaching Camp was presentation of the 2020 Ro Di Brezzo Excellence in Service to Teaching Award to Samantha Robinson, teaching assistant professor of mathematical sciences. The award was in recognition of her exceptional contributions to TFSC faculty programming. In spring 2020, Robinson presented two "in-person" workshops for new faculty and, after the switch to remote instruction, presented one of the first TFSC virtual faculty programs. The focus of all three presentations was on strategies for connecting with students and enhancing student success.

Teaching Camp participants also recognized the outstanding contributions of out-going co-directors Lori Holyfield and Julie Trivitt. Each received an engraved crystal apple in recognition of their service to faculty as TFSC co-director. Lynn Meade, Jack Kern and Don Johnson will serve as TFSC co-directors for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Although Virtual Teaching Camp was lots of fun, the TFSC hopes to resume its normal practice of holding in-person Teaching Camp at an off-campus venue in 2021.


Lori Libbert, HEI Program coordinator
Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center
479-575-3222, tfsc@uark.edu


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