Faculty spoke about their experiences introducing experiential learning into their courses in the opening session.

Faculty spoke about their experiences introducing experiential learning into their courses during the opening session.

Attendees experience VR during one of the sessions.

Attendees experience VR during one of the sessions.

Attendees listen to Julia Paxton present.

Attendees listen to Julia Paxton speak about her use of experiential learning in her courses.

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2019 Spotlight on Learning Conference inspires ideas

On April 30, the Spotlight on Learning Conference featured dozens of local experts on topics related to experiential learning. Over 130 attendees from across the University enjoyed concurrent presentations, panels, roundtables, open discussions, and breakout sessions.

“This year's conference once again brought instructors together from across the University for an inspiring day of learning and sharing innovative teaching practices,” said Brad Cohen, senior vice provost for instructional innovation. “Our theme, experiential learning, highlights one of the most compelling high-impact practices, and one that OHIO is committing significant resources to expanding.”

Co-sponsored by the Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (TLA) Committee, and the Office of Instructional Innovation (OII), the conference included 12 sessions on topics from bridging the experiential learning gap to teaching struggling students.

This year’s opening session featured a panel of OHIO faculty discussing their experiences introducing experiential learning into their courses. They talked about things that went well and benefitted their students, as well as hurdles they had to overcome during the process.

“One of the wonderful things about the conference was that we learned about a wide range of ways to incorporate experiential learning in our classes,” said Aimee Edmondson, associate professor and graduate director in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. “You don’t have to create an entirely new course to use these methods—you don’t have to leave Athens. We have so much expertise at this institution; it’s so important for us to take time to teach and learn from one another.”

There also were ongoing opportunities available throughout the day, including workshops on Open Educational Resources as part of the University’s partnership with Top Hat and a post-event open house at CoLab in Alden Library.

OII and others live-tweeted throughout the day’s events. View a compiled Twitter Moment related to the conference.

After another successful conference this year, the TLA Committee and OII look forward to organizing future educational opportunities. “The conference provided opportunities to share stories about experiential learning across campus,” said Katherine Hartman, co-chair of the TLA Committee and Fox associate professor and department chair of marketing in the College of Business. “The varied types of experiential learning discussed throughout the day were remarkable. I believe the conference allowed participants to share lessons learned, identify possibilities, and discover new ideas. Personally, I was inspired by the stories I heard.”

The Office of Instructional Innovation (OII) serves as a catalyst to spark bold experimentation and sustainable discovery of innovative instructional models that fulfill the University’s promise of a transformative educational experience. OII provides a variety of services to faculty, staff, and students in support of academic units and online programs, as well as to advance initiatives to further the institution’s mission. Visit www.ohio.edu/instructional-innovation for more information.