New England Faculty Development Consortium

Previous Conferences

NEFDC Conferences Archive

Preserved on this page is an archive of past conferences held by NEFDC.  Programs, where available, are linked under each conference.

Spring 2023 Workshop Series

Extending 2022–2023 Theme: Authentic Learning – Developing Students as Independent Thinkers

February 10, 2023 Workshops: Authentic Learning Through Ungrading, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

  • Workshop 1 on February 10
    • Title: Using Self-Reflection to Ungrade Our Classes and Develop Independent Thinking
    • Presenters: Torrey Trust and Colleen Kuusinen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    • Abstract: Far too often students associate learning with getting good grades. But what happens when you remove the focus on grading and shift it to self-reflection, instructor and peer feedback? Research shows that when students are graded they tend to think less deeply, avoid taking risks, and lose interest in the learning itself (Kohn, 2006). In this session, you will learn how to use self-reflection tools and ungrading practices to increase the quality of student thinking and learning and provide more equitable and inclusive learning experiences (Schinske & Turner, 2014). This session will showcase practical strategies for implementing ungrading and self-reflection tools (e.g., Google Slides eBooks, Google Forms, journaling, and multimodal choice boards) into college classes to develop students as independent thinkers. Appropriate for faculty across diverse disciplines and at different stages of thinking about ungrading, this workshop will also give participants the opportunity to design their own self-reflection tool and ungrading approaches for use in their classes.
  • Workshop 2 on February 10
    • Title: The Ungraded Classroom: How to Reimagine Assessment for Equity
    • Presenters: Christina Beaubien, Jess Stephens, and Eric Parness, Westfield State University
    • Abstract: This session invites participants to reconsider and reimagine both assessment practices as well as course design in order to encourage a more equitable and authentic learning experience. The ungraded classroom encourages students to participate in setting the standards within the classroom and to think independently about what they are learning, why they are learning, and how their own lived experiences outside of the classroom can help shape their journey. Students are encouraged to think more intrinsically about their motivations and engage with the course material more meaningfully. If we want to encourage our students to think independently and to develop their own interests in any given subject, then we need to shift our focus away from metrics and recenter our attention on learning. Ultimately, the ungraded classroom helps to redefine success by divesting from a capitalistic definition of worth.

March 3, 2023 Workshop, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

  • Title: Accomplices in the Classroom: Social Justice- and Anti-Racism-Informed Teaching
  • Presenters: Katie R. Place, Quinnipiac; Adrienne Wallace, Grand Valley State University; Nneka Logan, Virginia Tech; Luke Capizzo, University of Missouri
  • Abstract: Social justice in higher education has evolved to mean creating teaching and learning environments that support all students equitably and seeking to address potential gaps among students based on race-ethnicity, gender identity, religion, ability, or learning potential. Yet, to discuss social justice in higher education we first must face racism within the academy. Reflecting the theme of Authentic Learning and Developing Students as Independent Thinkers, this session explores the concept of “accompliceship” (e.g. Clemons, 2017; Edwards, 2021; Powell & Kelly, 2017) as a more robust and action-oriented alternative to allyship in the classroom. Accompliceship holds that educators cannot simply adopt a series of emancipatory or social justice minded ideas or behaviors. Instead, it calls for educators to take on anti-racist and social justice-informed teaching at the intersections of learning, reflection, self-assessment, and doing, centering perspectives, voices, needs, and goals consistent with anti-racist, inclusive pedagogy (Edwards, 2021). Accomplices and co-conspirators in the classroom are those actively engaged in doing the work to destroy forms of systemic oppression and create new spaces and solutions centered on equity and justice (Edwards, 2021; Roy, 2018). In this session, therefore, we will guide attendees through the process of a) learning foundational concepts about accompliceship, social justice, and racism, b) hearing facilitator stories of how they worked to develop a sense of accompliceship at their respective universities, c) see examples of accompliceship-informed class activities and assignments, and d) engage in personal discussion and work toward development of accompliceship-informed activities or spaces of their own.

May 23, 2023 Workshop, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

  • Title: Unsettling Assumptive Worlds Through Shifting Perspectives: Approaches to Reflective Practice in Teaching and Learning
  • Presenter: Dana Grossman Leeman, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Reflection can lead to the shifting of one’s assumptive world and the adoption of new perspectives and ways of knowing. If we facilitate authentic learning activities in our classrooms and faculty development sessions, but do not take time to reflect, we are far less able to evolve knowledge, skill, self-awareness, and attunement to our learners and colleagues.

    In this session, we will participate in two reflective activities that ask us to consider some phenomenon from multiple perspectives. By transcending our own point of view, in community with others, we can gain insight into the narratives and meaning making systems that we have constructed to order and apprehend our lives and the world, and our concomitant actions and feelings. As we share two teachable moments, we share stories and consider these images from multiple perspectives while elucidating the ways in which are own world views, positionalities and social identities shape the way we see, interact with, and make sense of the phenomena we encounter and how this applies to the teaching and learning we facilitate in, professional contexts, and our lives as human beings.

    Participants will leave this workshop with the knowledge of why reflection is important, how to integrate it into classroom teaching and educational development endeavors, and the impact that this deep internal work can have on classroom cultures and interpersonal relationships.

Fall 2022 Conference

Authentic Learning – Developing Students as Independent Thinkers

Friday, October 21, 2022, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

Dr. José Antonio Bowen presented a keynote and plenary workshop on the topic of Teaching Change with the New 3Rs. Learning something new—particularly something that might change your mind—is more difficult than teachers think. A new 3Rs of relationships, resilience and reflection can help us lead better discussions and reach more students. Without sacrificing content, we can design courses to increase effort and motivation, provide more and better feedback, help students learn on their own and be better able to integrate new information now and after they graduate. The case for a liberal (or liberating) education has never been stronger, but it needs to be redesigned to take into account how human thinking, behaviors, bias, and change really work. Recent and wide-ranging research from biology, economics, psychology, education, and neuroscience on the difficulty of change can guide us to redesign an education of transformation and change.

Dr. José Antonio Bowen, author of Teaching Change: How to Develop Independent Thinkers Using Relationships, Resilience, and Reflection and Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of Your College Classroom will Improve Student Learning. He is also the 2018 recipient of the Ernest L Boyer Award (for significant contributions to American higher education) from the New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U); and is a Senior Fellow at AAC&U.

Read the full 2022 Fall Conference program.

Spring 2022 Conference

Learning Assessment, Evaluation and Grading: Are We Doing Justice?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dr. Susan Blum is Professor of Anthropology at Notre Dame University and author of “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College (Cornell University Press, 2016) and editor of Ungrading: Why Rating Students Undermines Learning (and What to Do Instead) (West Virginia University Press, 2020).

Her keynote was titled Assessing for Learning, Learning for Assessing: How to Foster Authentic and Meaningful Learning. She presented some of the reasons why increasing numbers of faculty at all levels are questioning conventional grading practices and instead implementing practices that fall under the larger umbrella of “ungrading.” Ungrading – moving the focus from grades to learning – contributes to authentic, joyful, learning and to the equitable practices that many faculty wish to see in our institutions.

This was a joint conference with Tufts University. 340 people registered, and 280 people attended some or all of the conference. Read the full program. 

Fall 2021 Conference

Students as Partners in Learning Design

Friday, November 19th, NEFDC Virtual Conference

This conference featured Dr. Alison Cook-Sather, a Professor of Education, and Director of the Peace, Conflict and Social Justice Studies concentration at Bryn Mawr College and Director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges.

Dr. Cook-Sather’s current research focuses on how various metaphors and the classical anthropological concept of liminality can be used to analyze how education is and might be conceptualized and practiced and on how differently positioned participants in education can work together toward deeper learning. She is also one of the leading scholars on student voice work, particularly student voice in teacher education and professional development. Alison has published over 70 articles and book chapters and five books, including Engaging Students as Partners in Learning and Teaching: A Guide for Faculty.

Spring 2021 Conference

Supporting and Sustaining our Collective Well-Being

Friday, June 4th, NEFDC Virtual Conference

This conference featured Dr. Mays Imad, a neuroscientist and professor of pathophysiology and biomedical ethics at Pima Community College, the founding coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Center, and a Gardner Institute Fellow. She delivered an interactive keynote regarding the importance of compassion, connection, integration, and enacting the pedagogy of the heart. Dr. Imad’s current research focuses on stress, self-awareness, advocacy, and classroom community, and how these relate to cognition, metacognition, and, ultimately, student learning and success.

Slides can be found here – Slides

A video of the presentation can be found here – Video

Fall 2020 Conference

Relationship Rich Experiences in Person and Online
Friday, October 30, 2020 NEFDC’s First Virtual Conference

This conference featured Dr. Peter Felton: “Relationships Matter: Moving relationship-rich experiences to the center of teaching and learning”. The first part of this interactive two-part keynote/workshop, drawing on nearly four hundred interviews with students and faculty at U.S. universities and colleges, explored personal stories of — and the general factors that support — deep, relational learning. He challenged us to consider how pedagogical practices and ‘mentoring moments’ can nurture curiosity, creativity, and belonging for all of our students, both on campus and in remote learning situations. In the second part, we dove more deeply into research-informed practices that enhance learning and educational relationships for all students.

The was NEFDC’s first virtual conference.

Fall 2019 Conference

Constructing our Students, Constructing Ourselves
Friday, November 8, 2019, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

This conference featured Dr. Paul Hanstedt: “The Architecture of Wickedness: Constructing Students Who Can Change the World”.  During his keynote workshop, we explored how our assumptions about our students enable or inhibit their potential. He shared pedagogical approaches that convey to students a powerful sense of their capabilities. Dr. Hanstedt has authored several books, including General Education Essentials: A Guide for College Faculty (2012), and Creating Wicked Students: Designing Courses for a Complex World (2018). The conference interactive and poster sessions (see program) featured a number of innovative teaching strategies.

Spring 2019 Conference

Education in the Age of Anxiety
Friday, June 7, 2019, Landmark College, Putney, VT

This conference featured Dr. Jerome Schultz, Clinical Neuropsychologist & Lecturer on Psychology Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Schultz delivered the keynote on “Rescuing the Canary in the Coal Mine: Anxiety and Stress Go to College. What to Know, What to Do.” The conference interactive and poster sessions (see program) featured a number of innovative teaching strategies to help students move from stress to de-stress within the college classroom-without sacrificing academic standards.

Fall 2018 Conference

The Challenges of 21st Century Education
November 9, 2018, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA

This conference featured the author, innovator, and global education leader, Charles Fadel, the founder and chairman of the Center for Curriculum Redesign, visiting scholar at Harvard Graduate School of Education, and chair of the Education Committee of the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Mr. Fadel’s delivered the keynote on “Four-Dimensional Education for the Age of Artificial Intelligence.”  Interactive and poster sessions program featured a number of innovative teaching strategies as well as technology tips to enhance student engagement.

Spring 2018 Conference

The Role of the Affective Domain in Teaching and Learning
June 8, 2018, Lasell College, Newton, MA

The keynote speaker for the conference, Sarah Rose Cavanagh, spoke of her research interests in the interaction between psychological and biological processes in healthy as well as disrupted emotion regulation.  In particular, she highlighted the role of attention in emotion regulation, cognitive biases in mood and anxiety disorders, and the relationships among emotion regulation, well-being, and positive mood states.  Dr. Cavanagh is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Director for Grants and Research for the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption Collage.  She is also the author of the best-selling book, The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion  (2016).  Conference interactive and poster sessions program engaged participants in many facets of the affective domain as applied to the classroom.

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 (see 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. The confernce breakout sessions (see 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 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.

Conference Program

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 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

NEFDC partnered with the Center for Academic Excellence at Fairfield University 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 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!”
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.

Conference Program

Spring 2012 Conference

“Making the Technology Transparent The Professor’s Dilemma”
June 8, 2012

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 Treaching – 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 2010 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