The first annual Scholarship of Teaching and Engagement Conference was held on Monday April 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday April 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.
The conference, sponsored by the Faculty Center, Faculty Senate and Center for Engaged Learning was themed “Learning as a Community: UVU’s Engaged Teaching Strategies.”
“The purpose of this conference was to really have an opportunity for faculty to come together and share ideas about what they’re doing in their teaching and engagement activities and to share scholarly work.” said Anton Tolman the Director of the Faculty Center.
With the participation of professors, administrators and students through mediums such as individual presentations, panel discussions, roundtables and poster displays, a range of concepts were presented due to their various expertise.
Although each presentation maintained a unique approach, the overarching premise of each remained the improvement of teaching strategies in order to dynamically engage students.
“Engaged learning focuses on shifting passive learners into active participants,” said Jingdong Liang, the Faculty Committee Chair. “In the process, students will acquire real knowledge, not just abstract theories and principles, but actual skills and life experience which will allow them to become marketable in the real world.”
Professors across the UVU campus are beginning to incorporate alternative teaching methods into their course curricula.
“Teachers are beginning to adopt non-traditional roles,” Tolman said. “We have a lot of faculty who are doing a great job with it, but we are still in a process of transition and so are still encouraging this shift.”
Students interested in facilitating this transition can apply to work as a SCOT, which is a Student Consultant on Teaching.
SCOTs are specifically trained to give faculty members constructive feedback regarding their teaching methods in order to promote student engagement in the classroom.
“The best thing about the SCOT program is that it allows students to get involved in improving the overall education at their own school,” said Kristie Binks, the SCOT Coordinator. “I think it is a really unique opportunity that not many universities offer.”