Lecture Breakers Virtual Summer Conference 2021: Session Descriptions




Dr. Melissa Wehler

Judith Dutill


Date/Time: June 8, 2021  12:30-1:30 pm ET  (Session 1)

Title: Using Collaborative Spaces to Build Community

No matter what modality (or modalities) you teach, collaborative spaces can help you to design, foster, and maintain a thriving classroom community.

When teaching in the physical classroom, collaborative spaces support students creating, sharing, and working together. When teaching hybrid classes, we can use collaborative spaces to help bridge the gap between remote/in-person or synchronous/asynchronous students. And when teaching online, we can use collaborative spaces to engage our asynchronous learners and help them to connect with one another.

Join us for a session about collaborative tools and techniques that will help you to build community beyond the classroom walls.


Dr. Newton Miller


Date/Time: June 8, 2021  2:00-3:00 pm ET  (Session 2)

Title: Using Research-Proven Techniques and Methods as Motivators that Inspire

A motivator is not something that you get a lot out of, it is something that gets a lot out of you. Inspiration is an internal force (In) that drives us to reach our highest peak (Spire).

As educators, we need to ensure that both motivation and inspiration are turned all the way up to ten, so our students maximize the growth they experience in our courses.

In this session, Dr. Newt will share research-proven techniques and methods that when implemented into our instructional delivery practices serve as motivators to fuel our students’ inspirational batteries.  In turn, our student’s desire to achieve increases from the inside out, making our role in the classroom less challenging and more enjoyable.


Dr. Tracie Addy


Date/Time: June 8, 2021  3:30-4:30 pm ET  (Session 3)

Title: Small Steps for Improving Learner Outcomes through Inclusive Teaching

Inclusive teaching is critical to creating welcoming and equitable environments for diverse learners to encourage their persistence and sense of belonging in college.

During this interactive session we will discuss small steps that instructors across disciplines, course types, and modalities, can take to facilitate inclusive learning environments for their students.

Prior to the event participants are encouraged to reflect upon their individual definitions of inclusive teaching as applied to their institutional and course contexts, as well as any perceived barriers to implementation.




Dr. Luke Hobson


Date/Time: June 9, 2021  12:15-12:30 pm ET  (Session 4)

Title: Scenario-Based Learning

To create an effective and optimal learning experience for real-world applications, a course’s curriculum can be designed using a learning technique known as, “Scenario-Based Learning."

Scenario-Based Learning or SBL, uses hypothetical or real-life scenarios to support active learning strategies. These are designed with the students’ experiences in mind and having them imagining themselves in the scenario. By going through this process, students need to use critical thinking (meta-cognition) and decision-making skills throughout each part of the required problem.

The benefit of SBL is to provide students a space to practice and apply these skills in a safe environment where learning from mistakes and sharing their experiences with other students is encouraged. SBL should be utilized in a course’s design if the outcomes are for students to obtain tangible skills and know how to apply them to the real world.


Holly Owens


Date/Time: June 9, 2021  2:00-3:00 pm ET  (Session 5)

Title: Innovative EdTech Tools & Activities to Motivate Learners in the Online Space

The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges in the field of education when transitioning to online learning including learning how to navigate educational technology in this setting. Instructors had to quickly pivot to using digital resources with limited support and time.

In this session three of the top educational tech tools for online learning will be discussed and demonstrated. These technologies enhance course discussions, encourage community and community among learners, and streamline instructor processes. Best practices, samples, and other helpful resources will also be shared.

Following this session, participants will be able to:

- Discuss the impact of educational technology in the online learning
- Identify at least three educational technologies to promote student engagement and develop virtual communities
- Identify best practices and related resources for implementing ed tech tools in the digital space

All resources including the presentation will be shared with participants.


Dr. Kristi Rudenga

Dr. G. Alex Ambrose


Date/Time: June 9, 2021  3:30-4:30 pm ET  (Session 6)

Title: Strategies for Active and Collaborative Learning in the Multi-Modal Classroom: Flexible Teaching Strategies for Active and Collaborative Learning

Are you wondering how to engage students in their learning when you’re teaching remotely, or to in-person and remote students simultaneously? Wishing you could better leverage the technology you have to help both populations of students learn?

This workshop draws on cognitive science, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and our experience leading Notre Dame’s efforts to institute flexible teaching practices in 2020 and 2021 to describe and model interactive learning in this new teaching environment. You will experience a variety of active learning strategies that work in the Flexible or remote classroom, apply an active learning framework to your course, and select strategies that align with your course learning objectives.

This workshop uses the tools available in Zoom and Google’s G Suite.


Dr. Rebecca Pope-Ruark


Date/Time: June 9, 2021  5:00 - 5:45 pm ET (Bonus Session)

Title: Building Burnout Resilience

Burnout was a feature of faculty life before COVID-19 struck and has grown to endemic proportions in the last year. But you aren't alone if you are feeling burnout. In this conversation-driven mini-workshop, we'll discuss the definition of burnout and some lenses through which to approach building strategies to work through burnout.



Dr. Claire
Howell Major


Date/Time: June 10, 2021  12:30-1:30 pm ET  (Session 7)

Title: Engaging Students in Deep Learning: Promises and Potential Pitfalls

Getting students to learn, to deeply engage with concepts, ideas, and skills, can be a real challenge. It can seem like no matter what we do as teachers, some students in our courses will simply learn more than others.

It can be easy to think that these high achieving students simply put in more time and effort. The problem is not always about time on task, however. Rather, there is a fundamental difference in the way that students think about and approach the learning task which in turn influences the quality of their learning processes and their learning outcomes.

Understanding the qualitatively different ways students interpret and undertake learning tasks has implications for our work as teachers. We need to intentionally encourage and support deep approaches to learning.

In this interactive session, participants will learn about deep learning, what challenges prevent students from undertaking it, and how to encourage it.


Dr. Cate Denial


Date/Time: June 10, 2021  2:00-3:00 pm ET  (Session 8)

Title: Making the Grade: An Introduction to Ungrading

Curious about Ungrading? Wondering what's involved? This session will offer an introduction to Ungrading as an approach to assessing student work, and offer concrete examples of ways you can begin the process of weaving Ungrading into your teaching.


Dr. Thomas J. Tobin


Date/Time: June 10, 2021  3:30-4:30 pm ET  (Session 9)

Title: How to Evaluate Technology-Mediated Teaching

Now that we’ve all been teaching for a year in technology-mediated ways, let’s take a step back and figure out how to determine the extent to which our approaches have been effective. In other words, we stretched a lot outside our ordinary teaching techniques, environments, and interactions: how can we tell what’s actually working, what to keep, and what to stop doing?

This session for instructors, members of peer-review teams, and administrators prepares you to observe and evaluate your own technology-mediated teaching practices—and those of your colleagues—in a consistent and informed fashion, relying on your subject expertise as a foundation. You will take away four “secrets” of how best to observe and evaluate teaching practices in technology-supported spaces.