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2020 Assessment and Teaching Conference logo

2020 University of Pittsburgh Assessment and Teaching Conference

All University of Pittsburgh faculty are invited to attend the 2020 Assessment and Teaching Conference on Friday, Jan. 24, at the University Club. This conference brings together faculty and staff from across the University for a day to discuss the relationship between assessment, student learning, and teaching.

Lunch will be provided. Additional information on the keynote speaker and schedule of events can be found below.

Registration for the conference has closed.

2020 University of Pittsburgh Assessment and Teaching Conference keynote speaker David Laude
Keynote Speaker David A. Laude
[ Source: UT Austin ]

Keynote Address: 

The Student-Centered Classroom

An argument is presented that the collaborative partnership between administrators, faculty and students to improve student success on a college campus should have as its starting point the expectation that every student will graduate. Efforts to create this environment at The University of Texas at Austin have employed predictive analytics, freshman-year success programs and student-centered approaches to classroom instruction. An initiative to employ pedagogical advances through technology and community building has resulted in a reduction in non-passing rates in chemistry, biology and statistics courses to below 10% at UT Austin. In turn, persistence and four year-graduation rates are at historic highs for the university and are especially pronounced for Pell-grant-eligible students. Dr. Laude has modified his own large section chemistry course to create a collaborative, competency-based approach to learning that has dramatically improved student performance.


Professor Laude has been a member of the faculty in the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin since 1987. During the first ten years of his tenure at UT Austin, he ran a large research program in mass spectrometry. From 1996 to 2012, he held various administrative positions in the Dean’s Office of the College of Natural Sciences and also served as interim dean. Professor Laude has an established reputation for teaching excellence and curriculum innovation at The University of Texas at Austin and has received many awards for his teaching. He continues to teach large section general chemistry courses.

Professor Laude has been a leader in program reform at the undergraduate level at UT Austin for the past 25 years. In 1996, he chaired the original committee that proposed the teacher preparation program known today as UTeach. In 1999, he created the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan as a way to provide a small college-learning environment for students with adversity indicators. Professor Laude was also instrumental in the creation of the Freshman Research Initiative that today enrolls 900 UT Austin freshman students in the research programs of science faculty.

From 2012 to 2017 Professor Laude joined the Provost’s Office to champion improvements in four-year graduation rates at the University of Texas at Austin. He employed predictive analytics based on the historical likelihood of college completion to direct new students into appropriate freshman year success and incentive-based scholarship programs that coupled a sense of belonging with targeted academic support. Among these programs was the University Leadership Network that was featured in a New York Times magazine article on the challenges facing economically disadvantaged students.

The 4-year graduation rate initiative significantly improved four-year graduation rates at UT Austin. Overall rates increased from 52% to 66% during his time in the Provost’s Office and are now at 70%. The greatest improvements were for Pell-grant eligible and first generation students who saw their four-year graduation rates improve from about 40% to 60%.

8:30 – 9 a.m.


Ballroom A
9 – 10:30 a.m.

Opening Remarks
• Ann E. Cudd, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Introduction of Keynote Speaker
• Ann E. Cudd, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Keynote Address
• Dr. David Laude, Professor of Chemistry, Distinguished Teaching Professor – The University of Texas at Austin
 The Student-Centered Classroom

Ballroom A
10:45 – 11:45 a.m.

Break-out Session 1

Inclusivity in Large Classrooms

Erica McGreevy, Lecturer, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Kyle Whittinghill, Lecturer, Environmental Science Undergraduate Advisor, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

April Dukes, Faculty & Future Program Director, Pitt-CIRTL Coordinator, Swanson School of Engineering

Joseph McCarthy
, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies

Conference Room A

Developing Tools & Processes to Support & Assess Teaching: Goals, Challenges, Lessons Learned

Frits Pil, Professor of Organizations & Entrepreneurship, Provost Fellow for Faculty, Katz Graduate School of Business

Renee Clark, Assistant Professor, Director of Assessment (EERC), Swanson School of Engineering

Jennifer Ganger, Lecturer, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Lindsay Onufer
, Program Manager, Assessment of Teaching Effectiveness Initiative

Ballroom B

Creativity In- and Outside of- the Classroom   

Jeanne Marie Laskas, Professor, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Gianni Downs, Lecturer II, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Kaliane Ung, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Self facilitating

Gold Room
11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Lunch & Important Updates you won’t want to miss!

Plan for Pitt 2025 – Nathan Urban

Middle States Commission on Higher Education Reaccreditation – Stephanie Hoogendoorn

Teaching Center Resources to support Assessment of Teaching – Cynthia Golden

Ballroom A
1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Break-out Session 2

To Prove or Improve: How to Foster Growth Mindset, Build Trusts, and Help Students Thrive

Kevin Binning, Assistant Professor, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Omid Fotuhi, Research Associate, Learning Research & Development Center

Julia Spears
, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Innovation

Ballroom B

Creating an Inclusive Mentoring Practice that Matters

Linda DeAngelo, Associate Professor of Higher Education, Higher Education Program Coordinator, School of Education

Nathan Urban
, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives

Gold Room

Equity in Assessment

Chandralekha Singh, Professor, Director, Discipline-based Science Education Research, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Laurel Roberts, Senior Lecturer, Provost Fellow for Faculty, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Lori Delale-O’Connor, Research Assistant Professor, Associate Director of Research & Development (CUE), School of Education

Mario C. Browne
, Office of Health Sciences Diversity & Inclusion

Conference Room A
2:15 – 3:45 p.m.

Poster Session

Ballroom A
  1. Andrea Hergenroeder, Physical Therapy
    The Use of a Hybrid Simulation Workshop in the DPT Program
    Pittsburgh Campus
  2. Victoria Hornyak, Physical Therapy
    Debriefing a Standardized Patient Encounter in Physical Therapy: A Method of Formative Feedback
    Pittsburgh Campus
  3. Karthik Hariharan, Physical Therapy
    A Hybrid Approach to Human Anatomy Instruction using 3D Applications, Videos, Cadavers and Social Media Engagement
    Pittsburgh Campus
  4. Ryan Teeter, Accounting
    Accounting in the Age of Data
    Pittsburgh Campus
  5. Elizabeth Felter, Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
    Developing and Implementing a Course to Teach Video as a Health Promotion Tool
    Pittsburgh Campus
  6. Zuzana Swigonova, Biological Sciences
    Learning in the context of current research practices and building STEM communities through a flipped classroom
    Pittsburgh Campus
  7. Shivkumar Bale, Chemical Engineering
    Enhancing Students’ Research Interest through Research-Based Project and Grading in a Course
    Johnstown Campus
  8. Ramesh Singh, Chemical Engineering
    Integrating Virtual Plant Operation Software in Chemical Engineering Curriculum to Enhance Learning and Provide Hands-on Skills
    Johnstown Campus
  9. Laura Giovannelli, Chemistry
    Practical and Pedagogical Considerations in Transitioning to an Electronic Lab Notebook in the General Chemistry Lab
    Greensburg Campus
  10. Matthew Tracey, Chemistry
    PRECHI: A New Way to Teach Electron Stabilizing Forces and Acid-Base Reactions
    Johnstown Campus
  11. Diane Nicodemus & Paul Lucas, Communication
    Teach for Diversity in Public Speaking
    Johnstown Campus
  12. Bethany McConnell, Education Division; Christine Dahlin, Biology & Dawn Drahnak, Nursing
    Classroom in the community, learning together; A city-university collaborative
    Johnstown Campus
  13. Tuangtip Klinbubpa-Neff, English
    Writing Love, not Hate! Teaching Diversity and Inclusion in Composition Classrooms
    Johnstown Campus
  14. Brenda Cassidy, Health Promotion and Development
    Learning Module to Promote Culturally-competent Communication in Nursing Students when caring for LGBTQIA+ Individuals
    Pittsburgh Campus
  15. Sheila Conway, Instruction and Learning
    Teacher Learning through Simulated Practice Opportunities
    Pittsburgh Campus
  16. Barry Mitnick, Katz Graduate School of Business
    Using Historical Narratives in Teaching Social Science
    Pittsburgh Campus
  17. Betty Braxter, Nursing
    Promoting Clinical Judgment via a Student Engagement Platform, TopHat
    Pittsburgh Campus
  18. Dawn Drahnak, Elizabeth Katrancha & Mallory Ferguson, Nursing
    MIND – Meditative Individualized Nursing-student De-stress
    Johnstown Campus
  19. David Beck, Jamie Hammond, Rosa Fannie, & Christine Rodgers, Physician Assistant Studies
    Interprofessional, Case-Based Instruction of Doctor of Physical Therapy Students
    Pittsburgh Campus
  20. Rajendra Khanal, Physics
    Students Retrospective of Physics Hybrid-Model Classes at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ)
    Johnstown Campus
  21. James Alexander, Political Science
    A Research Team Model for Undergraduate Thesis Projects
    Johnstown Campus
  22. Jennifer Cousins, Psychology
    Academic Outcomes of an Individualized Concept Map Intervention in Large Introductory Courses
    Pittsburgh Campus
  23. Robin Leaf, Public Health/MPH
    Utilizing NACE Framework of Best Practices: Practica and Internships IRL
    Pittsburgh Campus
  24. Christopher Cook, Social Science/Political Science
    Film and African Politics
    Johnstown Campus
  25. Missy Casses, Special Education
    Beyond Role Play: Creating Collaboration, Compassion, and Connections in the Classroom and Beyond
    Johnstown Campus

The annual Assessment and Teaching Conference will be held on Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. We invite faculty to submit proposals for poster sessions that focus on any aspect of teaching, learning, and/or assessment in their teaching practice. We are interested in topics that provide examples of innovative teaching. Examples could include, but are not limited to: classroom strategies, technologies to enhance pedagogy, diversity in the curriculum, or innovative approaches to teaching.

Proposal submissions are due by Dec. 20, 2019. Acceptance letters will be sent around Jan. 6. To submit a proposal, please complete the form below.

Faculty poster sessions will be held on Friday, Jan. 24 between 2:15 and 3:45 pm. You will be expected to answer questions about your work, and to engage with other faculty to discuss what you have learned. Faculty are responsible for printing, transporting, placing, and removing their posters. Posters should be 36″ x 48″. An easel will be provided for your poster. You are responsible for providing any additional handouts for your poster.

All instructors (full-time and part -time) are encouraged to submit a proposal.

NOTE: The deadline for proposals has passed. We’ll see you at the conference!

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