What happens when professors want to hear about their peers' tried teaching methods without committing to listen for too long? Speed teaching.

Sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, Kevin O’Mara, professor of management, David Copeland, professor of communications, Linda Niedziela, associate professor of biology and Terry Tomasek, assistant professor of education discussed practical teaching techniques while faculty participants rotated during 15-minute sessions.

Mary Jo Festle, professor of history, served as timekeeper for the speed teaching event, which was the first of its kind at Elon.

The short sessions were designed to allow participating faculty members to briefly hear about methods the four award-winning professors implement in their classrooms.

“When you go to conferences where the sessions are an hour or an hour and a half, you may realize halfway through that you chose badly,” Festle said. “This way, you can have a short seminar and make contact with that person leading.”

Participating faculty members heard brief presentations that involved disciplines other than their own, from Niedziela’s talk on team learning to Copeland’s presentation on how oral history plays into the instruction of his communications students.

O’Mara discussed “corporate autopsy” — case studies students perform on failed corporations — and Tomasek’s “assessment is sexy” session focused on the benefit of formative assessments.

Though participants represented a range of departments, Festle said most of the techniques could be applicable in any field.

“There’s a lot expertise on campus,” Festle said. “We don’t have to bring in experts from other places all the time.”

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