2020 Conference Postponed

The Genteels’ Excellence in Teaching Conference scheduled for Friday, March 20, 2020 is being postponed.

We thank you for your intended participation and support of this event. It is our hope that we will be able to revisit this topic and host our keynote speaker in the near future. Please continue to watch this website for updates.   

Conference Program

8:00 a.m. | Registration Opens

Free parking will be available in the Furnas lot and signage will direct you to the Student Union entrance. Upon arrival, proceed to the registration table in the Student Union lobby.

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Keynote: Andrew McPeak

Photo of keynote speaker Andrew McPeak.

Marching Off the Map: Understanding and Equipping Generation Z

Andrew McPeak is a recognized millennial communicator who brings a unique generational perspective to audiences. McPeak is the co-author of "Marching Off the Map: Inspiring Students to Navigate a Brand New World" and has shared insights from this resource with educators, coaches and business leaders around the country.

10:40 – 11:10 a.m. | Breakout Session 1

An online learning environment for high school alternative learners

Track: Inclusive and Accessible Learning Environments

Lindsey Ann Meyers and Yunjeong Chang
PhD Students | UB Department of Learning and Instruction

Even within the iGen population, students are continuously placed in alternative learning settings, labeled as academically at-risk or alternative learners. Alternative learners require unique and tailored lessons to promote learning performance by meeting their social and emotional needs. Utilizing technology as the primary form of instructional implementation can be one way to tailor individual learning experiences. While there is an assumption that iGen students are fluent “digital natives”, alternative learners who have experienced academic and socioeconomic hardships, may have less experience with a variety of technology-enhanced learning environments. Alternative learners are also often deficient of motivation and show lower course completion rates when placed in traditional learning settings.

Considering motivation and engagement are crucial components in the success of alternative learners, the current study utilized the Schoology platform. Schoology can be utilized in blended or online courses and accessible in distance learning. By incorporating multimedia resources, digital assessments, and close monitoring of student progress. The presentation will share how Schoology has been designed and developed for high school alternative learners.

Old Dog, New Trick: Why I Flipped My Classroom After 20+ Years of Teaching

Track: Connect & Engage

Angela Samul
Clinical Assistant Professor | UB Department of Mathematics

Although the flipped classroom has been around for some time, I knew of very few instructors who used it, and, of those that did, almost none of them taught mathematics. I had never considered flipping my classroom – that is, until after a particularly horrible semester – at which time I knew I had to make changes to better serve my students. In this session, learn how after 20+ years of teaching, this “old dog” learned a “new trick” and flipped her mathematics classroom.

The Role of Feedback in Online and Seated PhD Programs

Track: Create & Cultivate Change

Ryan Rish
Assistant Professor | UB Department of Learning and Instruction

This presentation explores the role of feedback among online and seated doctoral students currently at the pre-candidacy stage of their PhD programs. The learning experiences of doctoral students is both framed by past success with formal education (that qualified them for program admission) and by present uncertainty as novices being apprenticed to become independent researchers. The advent of online PhD programs have presented challenges for doctoral course instructors and students related to feedback compared to students who are taking seated courses. A doctoral course instructor as well as both online and seated students share their experiences with feedback.

The presentation concludes with a series of considerations and recommendations for the role of feedback among today’s students. Though not heavily framed with characteristics from particular generations, the presenters will consider the extent to which their perceptions of, and needs for, particular levels of feedback are informed by their broader life experiences.

11:20 – 11:50 a.m. | Breakout Session 2

Short Videos in STEM Education: Lessons from the Field

Track: Connect & Engage

James N. Jensen
Professor | UB Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

One of the characteristics of a student-centered classroom is that instructional materials are geared to the target audience (i.e., students). A challenges in the student-centered STEM classroom is the translation of content-heavy instructional materials to formats congruent with the iGen student population. iGen-ers have been characterized as visual learners who are used to tech-enabled, self-guided, mobile-friendly, and microlearning-segmented learning materials.

To address the needs of today’s students, the author has developed over 60 short (3-6 minute) videos to complement classroom instruction. This paper will present the evolution of the videos over several iterations. The focus is on the translation of technical concepts to visual media, the use of digital tools for video production (primarily PowerPoint and Panopto), resources for Creative Commons-licensed materials, techniques for accessibility, and student responses to the videos.

An Innovation Sprint: A Novel Way to Engage Students in Problem-solving and Teamwork

Track: Create & Cultivate Change

Jessica Kruger
Clinical Assistant Professor | UB Community Health and Health Behavior

Problem-solving and teamwork are vital skills that help students to obtain employment post-graduation. A non-traditional solution to improving these skills is the use of an innovation sprint, which is traditionally used in business and by entrepreneurs for product or idea creation. An innovation sprint is a structured team-based problem-solving strategy that provides a framework for idea creation and implementation. Students used this framework to pitch a public health solution to the problems of air pollution, water pollution, and lead poisoning in Buffalo to professionals working in the field that were invited to class to hear the presentations. The application of this would not be possible without the collaboration of the business incubator on campus and support from the University at Buffalo Libraries.

This presentation will discuss how the innovation sprint framework can be implemented in a classroom setting. Additionally, student feedback on the sprint and lessons learned will be presented. ​

Sensitivity in the Teaching of Multicultural Competencies

Track: Inclusive & Accessible Learning Environments

Vanessa Patrone and Kellie Kotwicki
Assistant Professors | Daemen College

In higher education, we are continually expanding our educational reach through new and innovative instructional modalities. As demand for these new programs grow, we can expect to see increased diversity among the students we serve. We must consider the best methods for teaching students from different cultural backgrounds within these new modalities while at the same time, teaching students the cultural competencies they require to be effective in an increasingly global environment. This case study describes a potential framework for a parallel process of accommodating the needs of non-traditional students through the development of an asynchronous, online course while at the same time helping these students understand the cultural needs of others.

11:50 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. | "Not Just Lunch" Break

Conference attendees will be treated to a lunch session, which is also intended to provide them with an opportunity to mingle with other attendees, talk shop, and interact off-script with the conference presenters. We hope that lunch will ultimately afford attendees with the chance to better get to know, and network with, colleagues within their conference tracks of interest.

1:00 – 1:30 p.m. | Breakout Session 3

Entertainment-Education: A way to Connect and Engage with iGen Students

Track: Create & Cultivate Change

Meagan J. Meehan
PhD Student–Fully Online CISL Program | University at Buffalo

Entertainment-Education (EE) is a learning style that involves amusing a person while educating them at the same time. Entertainment-Education led to the development of Games-Based Learning, an instructional strategy that enables students to learn through playing games. Such “fun” learning processes have proven to have a beneficial effect on people of all ages-- across the globe--from various cultural and economic backgrounds.

Moreover, learning through fun increases learners’ intrinsic motivation so they readily engage with educational media due to desire, not obligation. This presentation explores the relationship that Entertainment-Education and Games-Based Learning can have when it comes to engaging, inspiring and connecting with iGen students. How delivering content through these methods better motivates students’ behavioral engagement towards educational resources and how much they learn is also discussed. Furthermore, a review of the existing literature pertaining to these topics leads to considerations regarding how Entertainment-Education and Games-Based Learning can be evolved and advanced.

Responding to 10 Common Counterproductive Behaviors of iGen Students

Track: Connect & Engage

Robert D. Baker
Interim Director, Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
SUNY Brockport CELT — Edwards

We all get frustrated when students check their cell phones, chat with classmates during a lecture, or come to class without doing the assigned reading. These kinds of behaviors have a negative impact on student learning, and we have a tendency to take them personally. While our feelings of annoyance may be justified, they don’t necessarily provide us with the guidance we need to respond productively. However, if we recognize the sources of these student behaviors, we are less likely to feel angry. We can then convey expectations with clarity, enforce these expectations with consistency, and reduce the frequency of students’ counterproductive behaviors. In this session, we will explore the social and cultural context from which ten counterproductive behaviors emerge, and then discuss specific strategies for reducing them in the classroom.

The overview of applications of AI in education

Track: Connect & Engage

Sunha Kim
Assistant Professor | UB Graduate School of Education

This session provides an overview of Applications of AI in Education. These applications include Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS), Predicative Models: Early Warning Systems (EWS), and Automated Essay Evaluation, Natural Language Processing, and games.

1:40 – 2:10 p.m. | Breakout Session 4

Innovative Item Types for Math Assessments and Cognitive Load

Track: Inclusive and Accessible Learning Environments

Joseph Polat and Jason Aydar
PhD Candidates | UB Graduate School of Education

Improvements in computer technologies during the last decade provided a nurtured field for instructional technologies. Assessment items have also evolved along with the improvements in computer technologies. Now, we have flexibility in the design of items that include multimodality and interactivity allowing the design of more authentic assessments. The new item types often referred to as Innovative Items (II) or Technology Enhanced Items (TEI), make use of multimodal and interactive features of computing devices. They depart from traditional Multiple Choice Items (MCI) to deliver the assessments that are more authentic. In this research, it is investigated how TEIs impact performance and engagement of middle school students in state tests. 338 middle school students participated by taking an online test that included both multiple-choice and technology-enhanced items. The findings are discussed in the context of performance, engagement, students’ demographics and backgrounds as well as with regard to the item’s content and style.

"I've Got It Now!": Mastery Based Learning in High School and Beyond

Track: Connect & Engage

Stephanie Schaefer
Math Teacher | PhD Student
Seton Catholic Central | University at Buffalo

As an educator, I have been able to use mastery-based learning in my high school mathematics classroom, college level English classroom, and graduate level Educational Technology classroom. By supporting my own practices with established research, you will be able to learn about best practices of how mastery-based learning can be used in each setting.

2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Panel Discussion

Presented by the Center for Educational Innovation, in partnership with the Department of Learning and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education

New Technologies and the Centrality of Pedagogy in the Age of iGen

To close out our conference, the Center for Educational Innovation and the Department of Learning and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education are excited to jointly host a panel discussion. The panelists include secondary and higher education-level instructors who will speak to questions ranging from: how can we connect, engage, and inspire the next generation of students, to what are our students, and the next generation of students, looking for in their educational experiences?