Peter Felten is executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, assistant provost for teaching and learning, and professor of history at Elon University. He works with colleagues on institution-wide teaching and learning initiatives, and on the scholarship of teaching and learning. In his teaching, Peter aims to help students think critically and write clearly about the connections between the lives of individual people and larger themes in history. As a scholar, he has published six books about undergraduate education including most recently (with Leo Lambert), Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2016-17) and also of the POD Network (2010-2011), the U.S. professional society for educational developers. He is co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development, on the advisory board of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), and a fellow of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, a foundation that works to advance equity in higher education.
SoTL and the New Normal: Understanding and Enhancing Teaching and Learning
Over the past decade, student-centered teaching has become increasingly common in higher education as research demonstrates its efficacy. The pandemic broke the momentum toward active learning and relationship-rich pedagogies as institutions switched abruptly to fully online education. Despite the pain of that disruption, the pandemic also challenged many entrenched habits, beliefs, and practices in the academy, providing an unusual opportunity to reimagine what higher education teaching and learning could and should be in the future. In this talk, I will explore the ways the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) can support faculty to look inward at their own teaching to help them better understand both their students and the learning that is (or is not) happening in their courses. SoTL’s approach to learning-centered critical inquiry is an essential component of creating a new normal of teaching and learning that lives up to the promise of higher education to prepare students for work and life in a dynamic, complex world.
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