2012 Symposium on Teaching and Learning

Eighth Annual SUNY-Oswego Symposium on Learning and Teaching:
Writing for the New Millennium

October 19 and 20, 2012

Please register for the Symposium by clicking here.

Friday, October 19 

  • 12:30 - 2 pm - Campus Center 114 - Luncheon reception for recipients of the President's Award for Excellence in Academic Advisement. (The luncheon will cost $10 per person.)
    • Richard Metzgar, Art
    • Douglas Pippin, Anthropology
  • 2:00 - 4:00 pm - Peer-reviewed poster session in Campus Center Concourse (watch a video of these poster sessions)
  • 4:00 pm - 5 pm - 132 Campus Center (Auditorium) Keynote address by Barbara Walvoord: "Grading and Responding to Student Writing: More Learning, Less Time" (watch the video)

  • dinner off-campus. If you are interested in joining our guest speaker, contact celt@oswego.edu

 Saturday, October 20 
  • 9:00 - 9:30 am - coffee, bagels, and informal discussion (no charge for those attending from SUNY-Oswego) - CC 114

  • 9:30 am - 11:30 - workshop on "How to Work with Student Writing in any Discipline (Without Perishing under the Paper Load)"  lead by Barbara Walvoord - CC 114

  • 11:45 - 12:45 - lunch - pizza and soda/water (no charge for those attending from SUNY-Oswego) - CC 114

Sessions on Learning and Teaching  (CC 201)

1:00-1:55 - A. Contento, "Reacting to the Past"
"Reacting to the Past" (RTTP) consists of elaborate games, set in the past, in which students are assigned roles informed by classic texts in the history of ideas. Class sessions are run entirely by students; instructors advise and guide students and grade their oral and written work. It seeks to draw students into the past, promote engagement with big ideas, and improve intellectual and academic skills.
Pioneered in the late 1990s by Mark C. Carnes, Professor of History at Barnard College, RTTP has undergone considerable development and expansion. All of the games are set in the past, and thus might be regarded as history, but each game also explores multiple additional disciplines. Part of the intellectual appeal of RTTP is that it transcends disciplinary structures.

A recent NSF-funded project has moved RTTP pedagogy towards STEM-specific games. These games are designed to present STEM topics in a manner that is exciting to both science-math students, as well as students from other disciplines. This workshop will focus on presenting STEM-RTTP games to the campus community through a sample game.

2:00-2:25 - C. Hirsch, "Gateway to Heaven....or Hades?"

The paper will focus on data collected after the spring 2012 implementation of Woolvorth's Gateway Criteria in four classes at SUNY Oswego: two sections of COM 212 [Interpersonal Communication; 63 students]; one section of COM 380 [Communication Ethics; 25 students] and one section of COM 210 [Critical Thinking and Public Speaking; 16 students].

The faculty member not only implemented the Gateway Criteria [tweaked slightly to account for the SUNY Oswego student population and the author's redemptionist beliefs] but also both formal and informal writing assignments as assessment tools.

Results showed an improvement in finished writing projects across all classes. Faculty member will also discuss some of the greatest strengths - and limitations - of implementation in the SUNY Oswego student body.


2:30-2:55 - J. Pangborn,  "Thoughts from the Writing Fellow in the School of Business"
This semester, SUNY Oswego's School of Business is piloting a writing-across-the-curriculum project featuring the active presence of a Writing Fellow, whose business it is to do the following:
1) confer with faculty about writing assignment design, including ways to bring out the best in student writing, respond to it efficiently, and assess it productively;
2) work with students directly, by means of one-on-one tutoring and in-class presentations; and
3) develop and train tutors to help their students on-site. 

I am that Fellow, and it's midterm now--a good time for self assessment--so I hope to interest symposium attendees in a progress report on this program, which conceivably, if things go well, could be extended to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and/or the School of Communication, Media and the Arts. 

3:00-3:25 - V. Protsak, "Teaching Analysis A with Laboratory Approach"
MAT 347, Analysis A is a pivotal course in several degree programs (Mathematics B.A., Applied Mathematics B.S. and Adolescent Education B.S. with Mathematics Concentration). However, many students who enroll in it are still struggling with abstract mathematics based on definitions and proofs, which often results in poor outcomes when the course is taught in a traditional format. I addressed this issue in Spring 2011 by utilizing a laboratory approach. Labs have been designed to facilitate concept development by working with specific examples and guiding students to formulate conjectures. Each lab consists of carefully selected hands-on exploratory examples, followed by critical thinking questions and questions for reflection. The students work on the exploratory examples in small groups in class and complete the rest of the lab at home individually, submitting a formal lab report. The outcomes from Spring 2011 were very encouraging and I am using the same approach again this semester (Fall 2012).


1:00 - 3:45 - Michael Murphy, "Digital Stories by First -Year Writers"

Michael Murphy has created a PowerPoint presentation containing three student digital stories. This will be running continuously in CC 206 throughout the afternoon.