TechTalks 2021

Wednesday May 5

9:00-11:45 am

CETL will again be sponsoring the university-wide teaching and learning symposium, "TechTalks," on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. This symposium features presentations from faculty about teaching and learning strategies.

This year the symposium will be virtual. Links for the presentations will be provided.


Schedule of Events

9:00-10:00 am - Plenary Session: Dr. Danielle Brooks, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Arkansas Tech University and Ashlee Leavell, Assistant Dean of Student Wellness, Arkansas Tech University -

10:10-11:45 am - ATU Faculty Presentations

10:10-10:30 am - Session 1 - See session choices and abstracts below. The same choices will be repeated at 11:00 am.

10:35-10:55 am - Session 2 - See session choices and abstracts below. The same choices will be repeated at 11:25 am.

11:00-11:20 am - Session 3 - See session choices and abstracts below.

11:25-11:45 am - Session 4 - See session choices and abstracts below.

The university update will occur in the afternoon on this same day.


presentation Abstracts

10:10 am and 11:00 am - Sessions 1 and 3

5 Simple Ways to be Inclusive with your LGBTQ+ Students – Robert Stevens

This presentation will give some tips on how to make your classroom/office more inclusive to students who identify as LGBTQ+.  You do not have to change your personal values to respect someone that identifies differently then you.  Knowledge is key when it comes to working with LGBTQ+ individuals.  These 5 tips will be presented to help you make your classroom, syllabus, and even email more inclusive to our LGBTQ+ students. Questions are highly encouraged, and resources will be provided for you to have for further review. -


Creating Interdisciplinary Experiences Across Classrooms – Julie Mikles-Schluterman, Rebecca Goldstein, Jasmine Greer, Matthew Young

We describe a high-impact, interdisciplinary activity that we piloted in the fall 2020 semester. Four faculty members from various departments created an assignment encouraging interdisciplinary student teams to solve a themed problem. Each team was comprised of students from sociology, psychology, art, and engineering. Students were tasked with proposing a solution to a common problem that had connections to students' lives outside of the classroom. This talk will cover the logistics of how to conduct such an assignment as well as the pros and cons experienced during our pilot. -


Jeopardy or Shark Tank? An Introduction to DOK – Bill Morelan

Depth of Knowledge (Webb, 1997) is “one of the most misinterpreted and misrepresented concepts in education” (Francis, 2017). Using easy-to-understand analogies, this session will clarify what DOK is and is not, and will show you how to effectively use DOK to increase instructional rigor in classrooms. -


Puzzles and Escape Rooms in the Classroom – Laura Jobe, Lisa DuBose, Shellie Maggard

Escape rooms have become part of the current social culture our students experience. Bringing escape room and puzzle tactics to the classroom can foster teamwork, collaboration, logic/critical thinking, and fun to a topic. Many options exist to create this puzzle like environment ranging from simple tools to complex technology. Come join us for current examples being used and to spark ideas you could implement. -


Streaming Films During Covid and Beyond – Angela Black

This presentation will cover just about everything you wanted to know about showing a film for classroom instruction.  In addition to demonstrating how to access licensed streaming content from the library, it will cover copyright concerns as well as technical concerns about showing streaming content at a distance.  It will also include tutorials for creating clips, embedding video into blackboard, and getting good film recommendations from your friendly neighborhood librarian. -


Using Nearpod to Present Instruction in a Variety of Class Formats – Heather Stefanski

Making sure that all students are consistently engaged and accountable for their own learning is difficult in a face-to-face setting let alone in a virtual environment. Nearpod can help in all class formats: face-to-face, synchronous, and asynchronous. I will share how I have used Nearpod to maximize student engagement and accountability in each format. -


10:35 am and 11:25 am - SEssions 2 and 4

Building a Universally Designed Course: Ensuring Inclusion for All Students – Erica Wondolowski

In today's society, students with disabilities are sometimes seen as an afterthought for whom professors make accommodations only as they are needed. But what if, beginning at the very creation of a course and related materials, accessibility was the basis on which we build? Rather than students needing to self-disclose their disability status, they would already have the materials they need in the format required, allowing them to remain anonymous, protecting their privacy, and not being made to feel self-conscious. This presentation focuses on resources and steps that can be taken to help achieve this aim. -


Civic Engagement in the Classroom: What? Why? and How? – Julie Mikles-Schluterman, Cheryl Chaney, Randall Colvin, Jennifer Saxton

“Practice civic engagement” is one of the six general education goals of ATU. In preparation to fully integrate civic engagement into the general education curriculum, the general education committee aims to help faculty understand the different shapes civic engagement can take and how to easily incorporate it into their courses. This Tech Talk will cover: What does civic engagement mean and advice for how to incorporate it into the classroom. As a reminder, the University has been charged with integrating civic engagement to address concerns expressed in the recent Arkansas Department of Higher Education review of ATU's General Education program, as well as better align the program with current Higher Learning Commission standards, national best practices, and ATU's mission and vision. -


Empathic Communication and Listening – Alexis Johnson

In this talk we will discuss different approaches and styles to utilize empathic communication and listening in a variety of contexts. Participants will gain a better understanding of verbal person-centered communication and how to provide effective social support and compassionate communication. Additionally, participants will become more familiar with effective listening and how to integrate these skills into their pragmatic lives. -


Faculty-Led Study Abroad – Make the World Your Classroom – Gabriele Haulmark, Bryan Rank

Study Abroad is a high impact practice that engages students in active learning, As part of the internationalization efforts of the university, we strive to offer more diverse faculty-led programs in terms of fields and destination. Over 90% of students at ATU are from Arkansas and many  have never travelled abroad. Faculty-led programs offer students the opportunity to explore other countries in a safe environment with a faculty leader they know and trust. Ms. Haulmark will focus on ATU study abroad procedures and policies, while Dr. Rank will share educational practices from the study abroad program he led to Costa Rica in 2019. The goal of this Tech Talk is to introduce faculty members to the study abroad process at ATU and educational practices they may employ for their program, as well as to learn about the impact study abroad programs can have on students. -


Incorporating Human Subjects Research in the Classroom – Sarah Gordon

This presentation will provide an overview of how to incorporate human subjects research in the classroom. The presenter will explore the following topics: Why include a practice research project in your class?  What are the Institutional Review Board (IRB) procedures for including research projects in class? When do you need to complete a full IRB application? When is the IRB class project form appropriate? Why is the distinction between these two forms important? -


Remembering how to speak for the face-to-face teaching setting – Jacob Grosskopf

One semester I had three back-to-back lectures and a sinus infection that lasted multiple weeks. In this time I unlearned how to speak properly in front of crowds to cope with the speaking demand. After a year of becoming hoarse after only one lecture, I decided to take speech therapy to relearn how to properly speak when delivering lecture. We are approaching a time in teaching transitioning back to in-person lectures, some behind masks, some not. Did some of us lose the lecture voice in this year away from the full classroom? I will teach methods to find voice for lecturing for the duration of the day that can be used at the beginning of the day, during the day, and in a pinch if voice is slipping. All in hopes to prepare us as we go back to face-to-face teaching. -


Using Kaltura Video Quizzes – Becky Cunningham

Are you frustrated that your students aren't watching your online video lectures? Can you even tell who is watching and who isn't? Do you want to make your students accountable and track views? Kaltura has an awesome feature that allows you to turn a video into a quiz with embedded multiple choice and true/false questions. The quiz can then be embedded into your Blackboard course and will integrate with your gradebook. In addition to you being able to track, this makes the learning interactive for the students. This session will provide a quick overview for how to make a quiz and embed it into Blackboard. Prior knowledge of Kaltura would be helpful, but not required. -