Skip to main content

FaCE Conference 2018


Collaboration to Address 21st Century Challenges in Liberal Education through Inclusive Communities of Practice


Friday, September 21

10:15 a.m. - Welcome

Brian Williams, Vice President and Director of Faculty Development and Grant Programs, ACM

10:30 a.m. - Opening Workshop: Re-envisioning Learning through Inclusive Communities of Practice

Workshop to introduce some foundational concepts that participants can use to think about the topics and questions explored in the conference. Facilitator: Robert Williams, Associate Dean of the Faculty, Lawrence University

Noon - Lunch

1:00 p.m. - Plenary: Building a Community of Practice Across Classrooms: Refugees, Water, and Theatre

Presenters share insights on a collaborative curricular project in the context of the ACM Seminars in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning with specific references to:

Faculty risk-taking in the classroom - Teaching as novices, not experts

Developing a “liberal arts approach” to different disciplines

Faculty collaboration, team teaching, and mentoring

Facilitators: Martin St. Clair, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Coe College; Susan Wolverton, Professor of Theatre Arts, Coe College

1:45 - Cohort Discussion (Random groups representing different institutions)

Groups will reflect and discuss specific questions related to issues raised during the plenary

2:30 p.m. - Break

2:45 p.m. - Facilitated Whole Group Discussion [by Plenary Speakers]

3:15 p.m. - Plenary:  Inclusive Communities of Practice to Support Teaching and Learning in the Classroom

Presenters, who have worked together extensively around culturally responsive teaching practices will share insights on:

Using culturally responsive teaching practices to support students who bring a variety of cultural and community assets to the classroom

Tapping students’ life experiences and identities (ethnicity, gender, etc.) in constructing and delivering course content

Designing instruction for success of students from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds

Developing cultural awareness for faculty and students to strengthen inclusive communities of practice

Facilitators: Rachel Ragland, Professor of Education, Lake Forest College; Desmond Odugu, Associate Professor of Education, Lake Forest College; Jackie Popp, Assistant Professor Education, Lake Forest College

4:00 p.m. - Cohort Discussion

Groups will engage in self-reflective activities that provide specific context for issues raised during the plenary.

4:45 p.m. - Facilitated Whole Group Discussion [by Plenary Speakers]

6:00 p.m. - Dinner Keynote: Teaching and Learning:  Myths, Evidence, and Clear Paths Forward

Facilitator: C. Edward Watson, PhD, Associate Vice President, Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives, Association of American Colleges and Universities

Saturday, September 22, 2018

8:00  a.m. - Breakfast

8:45 a.m. - Reflections and Identification of Key Topics from Day One

9:30 a.m. - Breakout Groups (Organized Around Key Topics)

11:00 a.m. - Break

11:15 a.m. - Facilitated Whole Group Discussion [Conversation Leaders for Key Topics]

12:00 p.m. - Lunch

1:00 p.m. - Plenary:  How can faculty use FaCE resources to collaborate to achieve their goals?

Strategies for identifying project partners and designing collaborations across campuses or internally

Strategies for effective project management

Incorporating technology into projects

Roundtable discussions on Digital Humanities or Digital Liberal Arts, including opportunities for flipping or blending the classroom.

Facilitator: Edward Finn, Liaison for Innovation and Collaboration in Teaching and Learning, ACM

1:30 p.m. - Emerging Project Team Breakouts

2:30 p.m. - Report Back and Facilitated Discussion (Brian Williams and Ed Finn)

3:15 p.m. - Wrap Up and Conclude (Brian Williams, Vice President and Director, Faculty Development and Grant Programs)

Workshop and Keynote Session Descriptions

Workshop Title: Re-envisioning Learning through Inclusive Communities of Practice

My purpose in the opening workshop is to introduce some foundational concepts that participants can use to think about the topics and questions explored in the conference. Here are our guiding questions:

  • What is a community of practice?
  • How do people learn in communities of practice? How can we facilitate that learning?
  • How can we make communities of practice more inclusive?

This will lay the groundwork for the next two sessions, which address:

  1. What implications do these concepts have for our professional development as faculty?
  2. What implications do they have for our course structures and classroom teaching?

Dinner Keynote: Teaching and Learning:  Myths, Evidence, and Clear Paths Forward

There is a surprising amount of misinformation regarding how people learn in the higher education ecosphere; however, we are also experiencing something of a renaissance regarding what we know about effective teaching and human learning. Through an interactive game exploring the most popular conceptions and misconceptions about learning and cognition, those who attend this session will discover surprising truths about how students learn that are based on the findings of recent educational research.  These truths provide concrete guidance for classroom practice as well as university wide initiatives and student support services, and these will be explored.  The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ LEAP Initiative is built upon this knowledge.  This session will conclude by discussing the key elements of the LEAP Initiative, including high impact educational practices and signature work, and discuss companion initiatives that set current and future higher education pedagogical practices on a firm, empirical foundation.

Speaker Bios

Edward Watson, Ph.D. is Associate Vice President for Quality, Advocacy, and LEAP Initiatives with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and formerly director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Georgia.  He is the founding executive editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio, the executive editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and has published on teaching and learning in a number of journals, including Change, Educational TechnologyEDUCAUSE Review, the Journal for Effective Teaching, and To Improve the Academy, among others. He is also on the board of directors for the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning, the Association for Authentic, Experiential, and Evidenced-based Learning, and the Reacting to the Past Consortium. He has recently been quoted in the New York Times, Campus Technology, EdSurge, and University Business Magazine and on CNN and NPR regarding current teaching and learning issues and trends in higher education.  He is also the author of two new books, Teaching Naked Techniques:  A Practical Guide to Designing Better Classes(Jossey-Bass) and Playing to Learn with Reacting to the Past - Research on High Impact, Active Learning Practices (Palgrave MacMillan), both published in 2017.


Robert F. Williams, Ph.D. is Associate Dean of the Faculty & Professor of Education at Lawrence University. Since 2004 he has been teaching courses in teacher education and education studies, supervising student teachers, and coordinating teacher performance assessments. He also chairs the cognitive science program (his Ph.D. field) and teaches courses in cognitive science and linguistics. In his research, he studies how people construct meaning in instructional situations, collaborative problem-solving, and creative activity, focusing on the role of gesture in building shared understandings.


Rachel G. Ragland, Ed.D. is Professor of Education at Lake Forest College. She teaches secondary curriculum and instructional design, social studies methods, instructional communication, fieldwork and student teaching seminars, and supervises interns and student teachers in a variety of school districts. She serves as Licensure Officer for the teacher preparation program, coordinates teacher performance assessments, and has served as chair of the Center for Success in High Needs Schools’ Project LEAD (Leaders in Education Advocating for Diversity). Her research studies the improvement of teaching and learning with a focus on history/social studies curriculum and instructional strategies.


Desmond Ikenna Odugu, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and chair of Education at Lake Forest College. He directs the MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) program and teaches courses in educational foundations and advanced themes in the teacher licensure and Educational Studies programs as well as the research methods course sequence and supervision for MAT candidates. His research on the historiography of race, public policy, and education in the U.S. explores the links between historical experiences of minoritized communities and their schooling experiences. He also has active research projects on linguistic practices, education, and social change in Africa.


Jacquelynn S. Popp, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Education at Lake Forest College. She teaches a range of undergraduate and master’s level pre-service teacher courses, from introductory to advanced; supports teacher candidates’ preparation for student teaching and state licensure, including the Illinois teacher performance assessment (edTPA); and supervises student teacher and teacher candidate intern fieldwork. Through her teaching and research, she helps educators iteratively develop and implement curriculum that supports K-12th grade students’ authentic inquiry and literacy practices across grade levels and content areas (such as history, math, and language arts).


Marty St. Clair, Ph.D. is Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at Coe College.  His primary teaching responsibilities are in analytical chemistry, but he also teaches general chemistry and environmental studies courses.  He and his students collaborate with a wide range of partners to study water quality and remediation techniques in eastern Iowa.


Susan Wolverton.  Coe College Professor of Theatre Arts Susan Wolverton serves as resident costume and scene designer for main stage productions and teaches courses is design for the stage, dress and gender, and the history of dress.  She is currently department chair, faculty advisor for Environmental Club, interim director of the First Year Experience and a long-time member of the Sustainability Council at Coe.