Kent State professors will join to share new ideas on teaching in a two-day event

Megan Wilkinson


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Busy faculty members can relax a little from teaching courses Thursday and Friday by attending the 18th annual Celebrating College Teaching Conference at Kent State, hosted by the University Teaching Council, or the UTC.

“The conference is attended by hundreds of faculty from virtually all colleges, departments and schools,” wrote David Dalton, associate professor of lifespan development and educational services and head of the UTC, in an email. “Many KSU faculty are engaged in significant efforts to explore new teaching methods and bring new approaches and activities into the classroom.”

Kimberly Peer, associate professor of health sciences and chair of the UTC Conference Committee, said the conference allows professors to learn from one another and take back this knowledge to their classrooms.

“It’s the one day out of the year the university comes together to really focus on college teaching,” Peer said.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. with a pre-conference discussion led by Jeffrey Pellegrino, assistant director of the Faculty Professional Development Center, on distance learning in the Moulton Hall Ballroom. Peer said teachers will talk about how to teach online, designing online courses with good outcomes and making good decisions regarding online and distance learning.

“There’s been a push to develop more classes to reach more people competitively,” Peer said. “I think (distance learning) is in response to national movements.”

David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University, will share his knowledge on how obesity is an epidemic affecting mankind on a global level later Thursday evening at 7 p.m. in the Kiva.

Linda Robertson, outreach program director with the Center for International and Intercultural Education, said though Katz’s speech does not directly influence teaching initiatives, this is something she feels would have broad appeal to members of the Kent community, while also focusing on a global issue.

“President Lefton said global education is a priority at Kent State University, and having a global perspective on any issue is part of what teachers have to do at the university,” Robertson said.

Peer said the event will close Friday with the Provost’s Breakfast and round-table discussions on educational topics in the Student Center Ballroom from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and a presentation of teaching awards at 12:30 p.m. Dalton wrote in an email professors being awarded have been identified as faculty members with outstanding commitments to their students.

Peer said the UTC welcomes all of the Kent community to attend portions of the conference.

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].