June 2 and 3 | Virtual Institute

The 2021 Summer Institute on Teaching was a virtual conference over two days each with a keynote session and multiple sets of concurrent sessions.

Session tracks

Diversity and Social Justice

High Impact Practices

Large Classes

Lessons from Teaching Online

Open Educational Resources

Teaching and Assessment


Some SIT 2021 facilitators used this Google Drive folder to share materials with attendees. 

9:30AM – 10:50AM | Welcome and keynote

College Student Realities in a Pandemic — and Beyond

View recording

Susan D. Blum, author and editor of three books about higher education, brings decades of research on undergraduate lives, learning, and challenges to talk about the realities that educators need to understand. Many of these became more evident during the pandemic, but these are longstanding realities. She will touch on mental health, economic challenges, inequities, conflicting motivations, contradictory goals, and the mismatch between what we know about human learning processes and conventional educational practices.

11:00AM – 11:50AM | Morning sessions

Ungrading in a Pandemic, and the Rest of the Time, Too

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Faciliator: Susan D. Blum, Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame

Description: Susan D. Blum, editor of Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead), comes to talk about this increasingly popular approach to interacting with students. With a focus on learning, educators in both K-12 and higher education, in all fields (including STEM), have developed a wide range of practices. In this workshop, Blum will discuss some of the research on motivation and learning and the reasons many educators have moved to ungrading. Then she will move to talk about the practical dimensions of moving toward ungrading whether completely or partially. Participants will workshop some revisions of their own assignments and course structures.

Building A Field-Based Environmental Justice Project

Track: High Impact Practices; Diversity and Social Justice

Facilitator: McKay Jenkins, Tilghman Professor of Environmental Humanities

Description: This session will offer participants a broad-based humanities opportunity to explore and understand both the legacies of environmental racism and locally-based steps toward community restoration and watershed protection. Learning to teach students through the direct experience of working in local forests and watersheds from White Clay Creek to urban centers like Wilmington and Baltimore, teachers will learn to employ the tools of history, journalism, literature, sociology, agriculture, and ecology to understand the myriad social and environmental challenges facing our state and our region. They will learn tools to teach students to turn field experiences into original pieces of journalism, personal essays, and documentary films.

Using Behavioral Economics to Engage Students in Large-Enrollment Courses

Track: Large Classes

Facilitator: Jens Schubert, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics

Description: Research from behaviorial economics can be applied in the classroom to improve student learning. In this session, participants will learn how to use this body of scholarship to (a) build rapport with students in large-enrollment courses and (b) engage their students on a regular basis with the course material outside of class aside from homework assignments.”

Assessing Student Learning Through Oral Exams

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitators: Sarah Trembanis, Associate Professor of History, Associate in Arts Program; Sarah Vigliotta, Assistant Professor of Math, Associate in Arts Program; Alexia Mintos, Assistant Professor of Math, Associate in Arts Program

Description: This interdisciplinary panel will discuss the facilitators’ experiences in implementing oral exams in mathematics and history courses over the last year and a half. In their courses, the faculty found that these examinations had academic benefits, especially for first and second year students adapting to remote learning during COVID-19. The facilitators will provide tips and tools that will allow faculty to employ oral examinations in their own classes, and how this model could be used when we return to in-person instruction. Participants will: (a) understand how and why oral examinations can be beneficial for student success, particularly in remote pedagogy, (b) learn how to design and implement oral examinations in their own courses, and (c) engage in a discussion of the advantages of oral exams and best practice.”

11:50PM – 1:00PM | Lunch break

1PM – 1:50PM | Afternoon sessions

Reducing Barriers Through Open and Affordable Teaching Materials

Track: Open Educational Resources

Facilitators: Meg Grotti, Assistant Head of Instructional Services, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press (moderator); Panelists: (1) Eric Greska, Assistant Professor Kinesiology and Applied Physiology; (2) Monica Sanders, Associate Professor, Sociology;(3) Christine Grogan, Assistant Professor, English; (4) Anu Sivaraman, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Lerner College of Business and Economics

Description: Open educational resources are available in many disciplines. They can increase accessibility, incorporate diverse voices, and reduce cost-related barriers for students. Participants in this session will learn how to identify an open educational resource relevant to a course they teach.”

Teaching Social Justice

Track: Diversity and Social Justice

Facilitators: Neri de Kramer, Temporary Assistant Professor, Anthropology, Associate in Arts Program; Lawrence Livingston, Temporary Assistant Professor, Africana Studies Student Support Services Coordinator, Associate in Arts Program; John Martin, Assistant Professor, Political Science & Philosophy, Associate in Arts Program; D. Chanele Moore, Associate Professor, Sociology, Associate in Arts Program

Description: Participants in this session focused on including social justice in course curricula will (a) learn about several methods for teaching social justice and (b) develop a learning activity they can implement in a course they teach.

Virtually Unexpected, But Essential: An Exploration of the “New Best” Practices in Engaging Students

Track: Lessons from Teaching Online

Facilitators: Heidi Lucas, Visiting Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Instrumental Methods, School of Music; Maria Purciello, Associate Professor, Music History and Literature, School of Music; Amber Moore, Teaching Assistant, School of Music; Nick Kazmierczak, Teaching Assistant, School of Music; Tyler Bouttavong, Teaching Assistant, School of Music

Description: The transition to online teaching that occurred in 2020 and 2021 forced us to reconsider many aspects of our teaching. In this session, facilitators will help participants consider 21st-century definitions for what it means to be a good teacher and mentor and create a blueprint for their actualization. Small and full group discussion in the session will center on a variety of topics, including opportunities to foster diversity in content and in approach; using technology to assist students as they transition from a consumerist mentality to active engagement in the classroom; and promoting student confidence and understanding of career-based applications of the skills, strategies, and approaches covered in class. Participants will leave with tools for engagement that inspire students to synthesize new ways of coping with the various transitions they face throughout their collegiate careers and in the ever-changing professional landscape.

Demo, Debrief and Do: Implementation and Impact

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitators: Beth Orsega-Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Health & Nutrition; Tara Leonard, Clinical Health Coaching Research and Training Center, Clinic Director, Department of Behavioral Health & Nutrition; Laurie Ruggiero, Professor, Department of Behavioral Health & Nutrition; Nicolette Amato, Candidate for MS in Health Promotion, Department of Behavioral Health & Nutrition

Description: This session will describe and demonstrate “Demo, Debrief, Do,” a method that integrates graduate students into a skill-based undergrad course to support them in experiential learning. Participants will be able to (a) describe and implement this method, (b) describe the benefits of this method from the perspectives of a faculty member and graduate student (in person), (c) summarize the value of small groups on zoom from the undergraduate student perspective, and (d) describe the benefits of this approach for undergraduate students who engaged in this teaching method.

2PM – 3:00PM | Plenary session

Spring into Fall: Lessons learned from UD pandemic classrooms

Facilitators: Erin Sicuranza, Manager, Academic Support in IT Academic Technology Services (facilitator); Robert Burnham, Classroom Technology, IT University Media Services (facilitator); Panelists: (a) Rusty Lee, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering; (b) Louis Moffa, Instructor of Business Law, Accounting and MIS; (c) Jaclyn Schwarz, Associate Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences; (d) Julianna Butler, Assistant Professor, Economics; (e) Katya Roelse, Instructor, Fashion and Apparel Studies

Description: The post-pandemic classroom is more than just masks! As you start thinking about the return to campus in Fall 2021 (and what masks might work best), come discover the holistic experiences of instructors who taught face-to-face in fall 2020 or spring 2021. Learn about their successes and challenges and let their observations inform your course planning. Attendees of this plenary session will (a) identify potential strategies (and potential pitfalls to avoid) for managing technology in multi-modality classes, (b) discuss the change in classroom culture post-pandemic, (c) brainstorm collective solutions to overcome some of the challenges that are highlighted, and (d) provide feedback on further professional development and training needs as you prepare fall courses.


Some SIT 2021 facilitators used this Google Drive folder to share materials with attendees. 

9:30AM – 10:50AM | Welcome and keynote

Remarking Upon Learning: Annotation Across Texts and Contexts

View recording

In his keynote address, Remi Kalir will present a fresh take on the centuries-old practice of annotation, explore the creative and critical qualities of this everyday reading and writing practice, and discuss the importance of social annotation for student learning. Participants are encouraged to bring a book (any book at all!), a blank piece of paper, and a pen or pencil.

11:00AM – 11:50AM | Morning sessions

Annotate Your Syllabus

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitator: Remi Kalir, Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado Denver

Description: Remi’s workshop will be a practical introduction to syllabus annotation. Annotating a syllabus is an effective way for students to gain familiarity with course assignments and policies, ask their questions, and also build community. Participants should bring a sample syllabus (either print or digital version) so as to explore technologies and strategies for syllabus annotation.

Instructional Innovations for High-Enrollment Undergraduate Courses from Pandemic Teaching Experiences: Small Teaching for Large Classes

Track: Large Classes

Facilitators: Jay Lunden, Educational Development Specialist, Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning; Haritha Malladi, Assistant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Stefanie DeVito, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences; Lauren Genova, Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Description: Participants in a faculty learning community (FLC) focused on effective teaching strategies in high-enrollment courses will share what they have learned and what they have planned as they continue to teach these courses. Participants will (a) identify a course innovation or effective classroom practice from our shared collection of teaching strategies that you might apply to your course, (b) reflect on the impact this innovation may have on your students’ learning and sense of belonging, and (c)interact with new colleagues outside your department/unit and develop a network of collaborators.

Creating Meaningful Internship and Placement Opportunities in Online and Hybrid Courses

Tracks: Lessons from Teaching Online; High-Impact Practices

Facilitators: Dana Veron, Director of Environmental Studies, Associate Professor, Associate Chair, Geography & Spatial Sciences; Jennifer Saylor, Associate Professor, Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs, School of Nursing; Jason Hustedt, Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Sciences; Lynn Worden, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Coordinator, Human and Family Sciences; Stephanie Kotch-Jester, Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies, Assistant Professor, School of Education

Description: Panelists will discuss ways that in-person training experiences (e.g. internships, clinicals, placements, field and research experiences) were adapted for distance learning, focusing on promising innovations that will be continued post-pandemic. Participants will participate in an interactive, intersectional exercise designed to build community in the virtual classroom and make a connection to their own course material.

Practice Makes Perfect

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitator: Sheara Williamson, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology

Description: This session will focus on the practice of assigning multiple low-stakes “practice””assignments to promote deeper learning of key concepts. Participants will (a) learn about the benefits of this practice and (b) be introduced to learning strategies, sample course materials, assessment tools, and outcomes from a UD faculty member who has actively engaged in this practice in multiple courses at the 100-, 200-, and 300-level.

1PM – 1:50PM | Afternoon sessions

Developing Racial Literacy in Undergraduates

Track: Diversity and Social Justice

Facilitators: Janine de Novais, Assistant Professor, School of Education; Erica Litke, Assistant Professor, School of Education Rosalie; Rolón-Dow, Associate Professor, School of Education; Elizabeth Soslau, Associate Professor, School of Education; Jill Ewing Flynn, Professor, Department of English

Description: In this session, panel members will discuss the results of a mixed-methods study we conducted this year to examine faculty and program staff perspectives on developing racial literacy in Elementary Teacher Education undergraduate students. The goal of the study was to develop an overall sense of faculty and educational supervisors’ attitudes about their own racial literacy and that of our teacher candidates and their attempts to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their classes. The study results will inform the work of the faculty learning community that is focused on transforming the Elementary Teacher Education program into one that systematically and successfully prepares students to be effective, rigorous, and racially literate educators. As a result of this session, participants will (a) be able to define racial literacy, (b) understand the opportunities and barriers faculty face when developing curriculum and pedagogy focused on racial literacy, and (c) apply what they learn to their own teaching context.

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Clickbait: Strategies for Engaging Students in Critical Thinking Online

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitators: Meg Grotti, Assistant Head of Instructional Services, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press (moderator); Lauren Wallis, First Year Experience and Student Success Librarian, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Pre (moderator); Panelists: (1) Beth Morling, Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences, (2) Joanne Miller, Associate Professor, Political Science & International Relations, (3) Lydia Timmins, Assistant Professor, Communications

Description: Participants in this session will (a) learn about research into information-seeking behaviors of college-aged students and discuss its implications for the classroom and (b) review and discuss 2 activities/assignments that provide students with opportunities to practice and refine their evaluation and critical thinking skills.

Designing an Activity to Integrate Interdisciplinary Content in your Course

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitators: Jacqueline L. Fajardo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry; Alenka Hlousek-Radojcic, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences; Jordan Mohr, Preceptor, Interdisciplinary Sciences Learning Laboratories (ISLL)

Description: Colleagues who teach biology and chemistry courses that intentionally integrate content from the other course will share their pespectives and practices on how this can be done in other courses. Participants will (a) define “integration” and “interdisciplinary” as it applies to your course and discipline, (b) identify a relevant concept from another discipline that is meaningful towards the application of your course content, and (c) propose learning outcomes, preliminary assessment, and feedback strategies for your integrated teaching activity.

Helping Students "Learn How to Learn"

Track: Teaching and Assessment

Facilitators: Stephanie Del Tufo, Assistant Professor, School of Education; Chrystalla Mouza, Director and Distinguished Professor of Teacher Education, School of Education

Description: In this session, we will share evidence-based strategies for helping students learn how to learn. The development of skills that prepare students to respond to new and unfamiliar tasks, think critically about what they learn, and gain more control over the learning process is essential for college success. Participants will be introduced to strategies that go beyond content learning to support students become more aware of how they learn.

This session will be recorded.

2PM – 2:50PM | More afternoon sessions

Teaching Hands-on, Graduate-level Seminars Remotely

Track: Lessons from Teaching Online

Facilitators: William Donnelly, Associate Preventive Conservator and Affiliated Assistant Professor, WUDPAC; Kathy Z. Gillis, Elizabeth Terry Seaks Senior Furniture Conservator and Affiliated Assistant Professor, WUDPAC; Melissa Tedone, Lab Head for Book & Library Materials Conservation and Affiliated Associate Professor, WUDPAC; Joelle D.J. Wickens, Assistant Professor of Preventive Conservation and Associate Director, WUDPAC

Description: The Winterthur University Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) is a three-year interdisciplinary graduate program, connecting art, humanities and sciences with a strong emphasis on hands-on, objects-based teaching and learning. This intensive, hands-on program successfully transitioned to online teaching during the pandemic. During this session, participants will (a) learn how a graduate program of active, hands-on learning transitioned to online teaching, (b) briefly experience specific ways in which graduate seminars in WUDPAC were taught online, and (c) collaborate with presenters and others to generalize from this program to other programs.

Engaging Undergraduate Students in Research Through Peer Mentoring

Track: High-Impact Practices

Facilitators: Jennifer Graber, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Practice Initiatives; Jennifer Saylor, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty and Student Affairs; Anna Cauchy, UD BSN alumna (Class of 2021)

Description: UD’s School of Nursing has a peer mentoring program among various levels of nursing students from Freshman to PhD students that fosters inclusivity and breaks down silos through research driven honors projects. Peer mentoring can be used for any student to generate resilient and inclusive teaching environments through a nonpunitive, interactive, immersive research learning experience. Participants will (a) review the benefits of students collaborating in learning groups across all levels and (b) explore ways to engage students in the research process through a peer mentoring program.

Improving First-Year Students’ Transition for the Student and the Parent: From the Residence Halls, to the Classroom, to all Available Resources

Track: High-Impact Practices

Facilitators: Julia Bayuk, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Coordinator of the BUAD110 Basics of Business Course, Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics; Meghan Biery, Program Manager of the First Year Seminar; Christina Stauffer, Associate Director, Residence Life & Housing; Christine Yang Schultz, Associate Director, Honors College; Emily Thayer, Academic Advocate Specialist, Office of Academic Enrichment

Description: The session will bring together a community of faculty and staff who work closely with first-year students as they transition from high school to college. We invite anyone who is working on or interested in developing or improving academic, residential, support, or other programs for first-year students. Facilitators of this session will share their many and varied experiences working with students and their families as they navigate this transition, including situations/concerns that may need escalation and appropriate ways to encourage (or, at times, discourage) parental involvement in their student’s transition. Participants will (a) discuss challenges they have faced when working with first-year students (live and virtually) and (b) share strategies they have found to be successful in overcoming these challenges.

Our goal is for participants to walk away feeling better prepared to address first-year student issues in and out of the classroom, with enhanced knowledge of academic and support resources (including referral tools), and newly energized knowing their impact on their first-year students.

The Need for Instructor Awareness and Inclusive Pedagogy in the STEM Classroom

Track: Diversity and Social Justice

Facilitators: Adam Foley, Director, Diversity Education, Assessment, & Outreach; Nike Olabisi, Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Description: In this session focused on diversity in STEM courses, participants will (a) discuss the myth that science is a meritocracy and the role that plays in the classroom, (b) discuss the need for culturally competent pedagogy in STEM education, (c) begin to think about best practices for engaging diverse students in the STEM classroom, (d) consider the importance of advocacy and activism among STEM educators, and (e) explore student demographics at UD and related student outcomes in STEM graduation rates.”

sit 2021 FAQs

Will sessions be recorded?

We will record the keynote addresses in the morning and the plenary panel on Wednesday afternoon. To encourage open dialogue between participants and presenters, we will not record concurrent sessions. If circumstances require us to record a session, we will prominently note that (a) here in the program and (b) before and during the session(s).

How do I join these sessions?

The URL for each Zoom session is available in the program on the SIT website. For each session, click on the title or the “plus” sign on the far right to view the Zoom URL, track, facilitators, and description. Participants will need to sign in to the Zoom application using their UD credentials to access the session.

Who can join these sessions?

SIT is open to all educators at UD including faculty, staff, and graduate students.

Will I get a certifying letter as I have in the past?

Yes! Participants who attend the majority of the institute over both days as recorded by the Zoom logs will receive a letter from the Provost certifying their attendance and commitment to teaching and learning.

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