Previous Conferences

Fall 2017 Conference

Open Educational Resources, November 17, 2017, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Lead by our panelists, Tom Thibodeau (New England Institute of Technology), Sue Tashjian, (Northern Essex Community College), Patricia Richard (Middlesex Community College) & Donna Maturi (Middlesex Community College), this conference explored the many benefits and challenges of adopting Open Educational Resources. OER represents a global movement to bring quality educational materials free of cost to students everywhere. It also represents an important collaboration between instructors, librarians, and administrators at many colleges and schools. Despite its tremendous benefits, highlighted at our conference (program), OER work also brings challenges around issues such as quality control and content licensing--as well as faculty adoption, student learning and retention.

Spring 2017 Conference

Helping Students Build a Network for Lifelong Learning, June 2, 2017, Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA

Alan November, named one of the nation's fifteen most influential thinkers of the decade by Technology and Learning Magazine, delivered an inspiring keynote that highlighted the technological literacy educators should be emphasizing in the classroom. He also showcased inspiring stories of student success in transforming their lives through technology. Confernce breakout sessions (program) featured successful implementations of technologies throughout higher education.

Fall 2016 Conference

Civic Engagement & Service-Learning, November 18, 2016, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Randy Stoecker Professor of Community & Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin Madison will discuss his Journey "Toward Liberating Service Learning". Our conference (program) focused on pedagogies and initiatives that foster reciprocal campus-community partnerships that strengthen our teaching and student learning while contributing to the public good. It also featured efforts to re-invigorate the civic engagement of students and faculty in curricular and co-curricular programs. 

Spring 2016 Conference

Inclusive Excellence: Teaching and Learning in an Increasingly Interconnected Word
May 24, 2016, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Dr. L. Lee Knefelkamp keynoted a conference (program) focused on ideas, pedagogies and initiatives that create more inclusive classrooms for an increasingly diverse student population. The conference framed diversity in the broadest sense – sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, international/ global, learning disabilities, learning preferences, culture, levels of preparation, etc. We also looked at how technology affords opportunities to support learning and connection in ways previously not possible to support and expand learning for all students.

Fall 2015 Conference

Reclaiming Innovation: Promoting Student Ownership of Learning Through Social Media
Nov 13, 2015, New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich, RI

The fall conference (program) featured Justin Reich, executive director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab, where he investigates the complex, technology-rich classrooms of the future and the systems that we need to prepare teachers to thrive in. He is also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a lecturer in the Scheller Teacher Education Program at MIT. Justin is the co-founder of EdTechTeacher, a professional learning consultancy devoted to helping teachers leverage technology to create student-centered, inquiry-based learning environments. In his keynote Justin explored alternatives to learning management systems and the benefits of giving students control over the means of their intellectual production.

Spring 2015 Conference

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Collaborations for Empowerment & Learning
May 29, 2015, Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

NEFDC partnered with the Center for Academic Excellence at Fairfield University [link to
] to co-host this conference. The keynote speaker, Katie Novak, currently the Assistant Superintendent of the Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Massachusetts, is the author of a best-selling book on inclusive education: UDL Now! A Tteacher’s Monday Morning Guide to Common Core Implementation using Universal Design for Learning (2014) and the forthcoming book, UDL in the Cloud, co-authored by Tom Thibodeau (2015).  Ms. Novak’s interactive workshop and keynote featured tips on planning curricula without the presence of traditional barriers, and how to implement UDL in any learning environment, whether face-to-face or online. The conference also showcased presentations on excellence and innovations in all areas of teaching, faculty support and development, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and community-engaged teaching and scholarship.

Conference Program

Fall 2014 Conference

Challenges and Opportunities for Educators of the Future
November 21, 2014, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

The fall conference featured Dr. Donna Qualters, Director of the Center for Learning and Teaching (CELT) at Tufts University and Associate Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Education.  Dr. Qualters presented ten future factors in education that faculty can take advantage of in the face of a “perfect storm of educational change.”
A pre-conference workshop in collaboration with the National Society for Experiential Education, “Fundamentals of Experiential Education,” was held on November 20th.

Conference Program

Spring 2014 Conference

“Moving from STEM to STEAM: What Really Works”
June 6, 2014, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

At this conference, Tom Pilecki, Adjunct Professor at Roger Williams University, and Co-author of From STEM to STEAM: Using Brain-Compatible Strategies to Integrate the Arts addressed the fact and fiction surrounding the STEM to STEAM movement and discussed successful STEAM projects from the field.

Conference Program


Fall 2013 Conference

The Fall 2013 conference featured Dr. Eric Mazur (Balkanski Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard University and Area Dean of Applied Physics), who discussed his peer instruction method for teaching large lecture classes interactively.

Conference Program


Spring 2013 Conference

Spring 2013 Conference: “Engaged Learning: Impacts and Implications”
June 14, 2013, Westford Conference Center, Westford, MA.

At this conference, Dr. John Saltmarsh, from the Department of Leadership in Education in the College of Education and Human Development at University of Massachusetts, Boston, and co-director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE), explored the implications for faculty practice and institutional change needed to support student engagement in experiential learning in their local communities.

Conference Program

Fall 2012 Conference

“Staying on Course through College!” held November 16, 2012 at The College of Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

At NEFDC’s Fall Conference, Josipa Roksa, co-author with Richard Arum, of Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses (University of Chicago Press, 2011) spoke about the research behind the book and suggested ways to address two disturbing trends: loss of focus on academic rigor at many colleges and universities and declining academic performance of many undergraduates.
PPT slides (as a PDF)

Conference Program

Spring 2012 - “Making the Technology Transparent The Professor’s Dilemma”

The New England Faculty Development consortium held its Spring 2012 Conference on June 8, 2012 at the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. The conference theme was "Making the Technology Transparent – The Professor’s Dilemma”. The conference was technology based and technology driven and gave attendees the chance to try out the some new technology in a computer lab environment.

Conference Program

Spring 2011 Conference -"Mentoring for Good Teaching and Successful Learning"

Co-sponsored by the Colleges of Worcester Consortium; Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, May 20, 2011; Keynote: Dr. Mary Deane Sorcinelli

Fall 2010 Conference, "Better Teaching – Better Learning: Reflective Practices for Faculty and Students"

co-sponsored by the Colleges of Worcester Consortium and AAEEBL, The Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning
Hogan Center, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, November 19, 2010
Keynote speaker: Dan Willingham, University of Virginia
Session materials
Pre-Conference Workshop - "Portfolios: Evidence-Based Learning and the Challenge to Faculty Development"
Courtyard Worcester, Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spring 2010 Conference, "Teaching for Learning"

Westford Regency Inn & Conference Center, Westford, MA, May 21, 2010
Keynote Speaker: G. Christian Jernstedt, Dartmomuth College, "How Learning Changes Brains"

Fall 2009 Conference "When Questioning is the Answer: Reflective Practice for College Faculty"

DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, Friday, November 13, 2009; Keynote Speaker: Stephen Brookfield
Pre-conference workshop, "Reflecting on Your Assessment in Departments and General Education: How to be More Realistic, Effective, and Time-Efficient"
Hilton Garden Inn, Worcester, MA, Thursday, November 12, 2009; Speaker: Barbara Walvoord of the University of Notre Dame

Spring 2009 Conference "Connecting The .Edus: Using Technology To Connect With Our Students"

co-sponsored by The Ocean State Higher Education Advanced Network (OSHEAN)
5 sites in VT, NH, MA, RI, and CT, Friday, May 29, 2009
Keynote speaker: Peter Doolittle, Educational Psychology, Virginia Tech

Fall 2008 Conference "Accessing Academic Excellence: What Colleges
Can Do to Promote Student Success"

DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, Friday, November 14, 2008
Keynote speaker
: Pedro Noguera,
Steinhardt School of Education
at New York University

Spring 2008 Conference "Teaching Outside the Box: Teaching & Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls"

co-sponsored by Northeastern University Martha's Vineyard Summer Institute on Experiential Education (MVSI), the World Association for Cooperative Education (WACE) and NEFDC
University of Massachusetts Amherst, May 30, 2008
Keynote Speaker: Joseph A. Raelin, Knowles Chair of Practice-Oriented Education. Northeastern University, "Practice First: Learning from Experience"

Fall 2007 Conference "Engaged Learning: Fostering Student Success"

DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts, Friday, November 9, 2007
Keynote speaker: George Kuh, Indiana University

Spring 2007 Conference "Teaching and Information Literacy: Collaborative Efforts to Improve Teaching, Learning, and Research"
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, June 1, 2007
Keynote speaker: Carla List-Handley