Saint Xavier University



Keynote Speaker

Ali Jafari HeadshotDr. Ali Jafari, Professor of Computer Information Technology and Director of the CyberLab at Indiana University -Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Dr. Ali Jafari is renowned for his research and expertise in smart learning environments, having founded and co-developed several high-profile technology solutions and systems for education, including Indiana University's Oncourse CMS (now Sakai), ANGEL Learning (acquired by Blackboard in May 2009), Epsilen Environment, and most recently CourseNetworking. He has edited three books on portals, Course Management Systems, and ePortfolio, has presented in more than one hundred national and international conferences and published in professional and scholarly journals on a variety of subjects in information technology as it relates to teaching and learning. Dr. Jafari's research interests include user interface design, agent-based learning environments, intelligent user interfaces, and distance learning.

Address Title: "Think outside of the box of old pedagogy: Let's make teaching and learning more engaging and rewarding"

This talk discusses the new pedagogical opportunities that have recently become feasible to course instructors due to the availability of new educational technology tools such as the CourseNetworking, or the CN. More specifically, how we as teachers can leverage new technology to make our courses more engaging, rewarding and enjoyable.

How can we introduce gamification in the learning activities? How can new macro certification innovation such as badges incentivize students in learning activities? What can the administration do to incentivize instructors in using information technology in classroom activities? And last but not least, what we can do to make our graduates ready to present themselves and their learning outcomes to prospective employers and competitive job market using new tools such as electronic portfolio.

Featured Speaker

Andrew Gavrin HeadshotDr. Andrew D. Gavrin, Chair of the Department of Physics at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Dr. Gavrin areas of specialization include physics education and the physics of nanostructured magnetic materials. His research is focused on Physics Education, particularly the use of communications technologies in face-to-face courses. He is co-developer of the Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) method, and co-author of Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and a member of the the Indiana University Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching. He is also a consultant on technology in education, and on the development of science standards for Indiana K12 schools. When he does get out of the office, he enjoys nature photography.

Address Title: "Social Media in a Large Physics Class: A Faculty Perspective"

I have used CourseNetworking (CN), an academically focused social media platform, in my introductory physics class for three semesters. In this talk, I will share my motivations for using CN, my experiences with it, my students' perceptions, and early-stage research on student engagement using CN as a source of data. Overall, my experience has been highly positive. CN clearly encourages many students to engage with one another outside the classroom. Students find the CN interface easy to use, and far more appealing than the discussion tools included in our course management system. CN is also a rich source of data, which we are beginning to tap to gain a deeper understanding of students' engagement with the course.