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The University of Wisconsin System
Office of Professional and Instructional Development (OPID) 2014 Spring Conference:
"Mindful Teaching: Inquiry, Connection, Sustainability, and Creativity"
April 17-18, 2014 - Heidel House, Green Lake, WI
Proposals due Monday, January 6, 2014 11:59 pm, Central Standard Time
UW System faculty and staff are invited to submit proposals for OPID's Spring Conference: Mindful Teaching: Inquiry, Connection, Sustainability, and Creativity, April 17-18, 2014. The Conference is being co-sponsored by OPID and the UW System Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

The 2014 OPID Spring Conference will bring together approximately 200 faculty, staff, and students across varied disciplines to demonstrate the UW Systemís commitment to excellence in teaching and student learning. The conference will provide a forum to recognize, acknowledge, and share the expertise of faculty and academic staff who excel at teaching, value learning, and are committed to sharing their experience, knowledge, practice, and scholarship with colleagues. The intentional relationships among mindful teaching, systematic assessment of student learning, and healthy and sustainable learning environments will be a foundation of this event.

The OPID Spring conference will feature two plenary sessions.

We will open our conference with a keynote by Dr. Richard Davidson, Director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at UW Madison, a research center dedicated to rigorous study of how healthy qualities of mind can positively impact the well-being of individuals and their communities. Dr. Davidson is a neuroscientist who has spent his career in affective neuroscience, researching the brain mechanisms that underlie emotions.

Our second keynote presenter is Dr. Sherry Linkon from Georgetown University. Dr. Linkon is a Professor of English and Faculty Director of Georgetownís Writing Curriculum Initiatives. Her scholarship on teaching and learning focuses on student struggles with an interdisciplinary analysis. Over the course of her career, much of Dr. Linkonís work has linked the cultural meaning and social costs of deindustrialization on working-class, people, and their communities. Her research and writing include the topics of teaching about social class and supporting working-class students in higher education.

We are inviting proposals for workshops, panels, roundtable discussions and poster sessions. We strongly encourage collaborative proposals from students with faculty/staff sponsorship, especially in the undergraduate research category. All sessions must be designed to be interactive and should include a description of how the presenter intends to engage participants.

Panel sessions are particularly appropriate for topics that benefit from multiple perspectives, including disciplinary, institutional, and national perspectives. The goal for panel presentations is to provide panelists and audience members the opportunity to exchange insights, engage in discussion, and learn from each otherís research and experiences.

Concurrent session workshops offer an opportunity for hands-on work on a SoTL question, topic, or research method. A limited number of these 90-minute workshop slots are available during the conference, and we hope these will provide a highly interactive alternative to presentations and papers, demonstrating effective practices in pedagogy.

Poster presentations will be a central component of this conference and the 2014 conference will showcase posters in a space that allows a large number of participants to engage with each poster presenter. We therefore especially invite proposals for posters that take up important and timely topics related to the conference tracks.

Poster presentations are particularly useful for presenting emerging work and preliminary attempts at SoTL, but may also be an excellent means of engaging in detailed dialogue about completed projects. OPID will provide the backing boards and other materials for displaying the posters.

Roundtable discussions are an opportunity to have an in-depth discussion about a topic you are passionate about or newly interested in. Roundables are 45-minute mini-presentations with discussion (seated around a table). Roundtable presentations typically include 10 minutes of presentation, followed by 35 minutes of discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others. Roundtables are an ideal format for networking and in-depth discussion on a particular topic.

Proposal categories include:

  • Scholarly Inquiry into Student Learning: perspectives, practices, and results
    • Possible topics may include:
      • Inquiry into teaching practices
      • Inquiry into student learning
      • Theories and practices of SOTL
      • Student roles with and perspectives on SOTL
      • Disciplinary approaches to teaching, learning and SOTL
      • New and diverse contexts for SOTL
      • Leadership, academic development and SOTL
  • Innovation and Pedagogy in Online Teaching Environments
    • Possible topics may include studies about:
      • Community-building in online courses
      • Effective strategies to engage online learners
      • Inquiry into student learning in online environments
      • Navigation in online courses
      • Blended learning environments
  • Sustainability
    • Possible topics may include:
      • Sustainability across the disciplines
      • Integration of sustainability in the curriculum
      • Assessment of impact of sustainability studies on student learning
      • Civic engagement through sustainability studies
  • Inclusive Pedagogy:
    • Possible topics may include studies about mindful teaching and student learning in:
      • Gender and sexuality studies
      • Studies on the impact of socioeconomic status on learning
      • Indigenous population studies
      • Race and ethnic studies
      • Womenís studies
      • Working class studies
  • Undergraduate Research: scholarship, pedagogy and creative activity
    • Possible topics may include studies about:
      • Undergraduate student-faculty research across the disciplines
      • Effective pedagogy and faculty mentoring in undergraduate research
      • Assessing the impact of undergraduate research on student success
      • Supporting institutional strategies through undergraduate research
  • Leadership, Academic Development, and Teaching & Learning
    • Possible topics may include studies about:
      • Deepening connections between classroom and institutional assessment
      • Development and assessment of academic/faculty development programs
      • Scholarship of leadership in higher education

Proposal Submissions
  • Proposals will be accepted online through Monday, January 6, 2014 11:59 pm, Central Standard Time
  • Proposal notifications: January 15, 2014
  • Participation confirmation due from all presenters: February 10, 2014
The Planning Committee for the 2014 OPID Spring Conference looks forward to an exciting statewide conference focusing attention on the outstanding accomplishments and commitment of faculty, academic staff, and students throughout the University of Wisconsin System.

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