Looking for the latest episode of Speaking of Higher Ed... Check out SEASON 2!

Episode 12: MomentumU and You with Peter Berryman

December 20, 2023

Seeking a short course on course design or an active learning toolkit? Explore MomentumU, a virtual professional development platform tailored for University System of Georgia (USG) faculty and staff. Directed by Peter Berryman, the Director of Digital Instruction at the Office of Teaching and Learning Excellence for USG, this platform hosts a growing array of short courses and other resources. 

Full-time USG faculty members have access to self-enroll in courses, while part-time faculty and staff can request access. The self-paced short courses on MomentumU are regularly updated with content utilizing evidence-based pedagogies aimed at increasing engagement and enhancing student success. Many courses offer badges and certificates upon completion, valuable additions to your promotion and tenure portfolio. Beyond short courses, MomentumU also provides teaching toolkits and other valuable resources. 

Resources mentioned in this episode: 

The MomentumU for USG webpage connects you to more information about the platform and how you can log in. 




Episode 11: Grades, Growth, and Engagement with Dan Kaminstein, MD, MSED

November 15, 2023

How might a blend of Montessori and traditional grade school education influence a college professor? Dan Kaminstein, MD, MSED, serves as the Assistant Dean for Ultrasound Education and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. Kaminstein's exposure to both Montessori and traditional education shapes his teaching approach, leading him to reflect on how students learn. Higher education presents challenges for both students and faculty. Kaminstein employs an active learning approach in teaching, believing that students and faculty mutually benefit, creating a dynamic environment.

Kaminstein shares insights on the growth mindset, encouraging students to perceive failure as a productive learning experience. This emphasis allows students to approach challenges as opportunities for growth and continuous improvement.

The discussion extends to Kaminstein's challenge with grading systems. Do grades impede the development of a growth mindset? Do they genuinely reflect a student's progress? Kaminstein suggests that if our goal is to foster ongoing learning, grades may not be helpful.

This episode explores practical strategies for fostering active learning, integrating a growth mindset, and reimagining assessment without traditional grades. Kaminstein provides valuable perspectives on enhancing student engagement, promoting productive failure, and aligning teaching methods with long-term learning goals.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Mindset: The new Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck, PhD

Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz


Episode 10:  Navigating OER: Jeff Gallant and Affordable Learning Georgia

October 18, 2023

Are you exploring the possibility of incorporating low or no-cost educational materials into your course? Whether you're just curious about these resources or ready to integrate them into your teaching, this episode of Speaking of Higher Ed helps you get started.

In this month's episode, we're joined by Jeff Gallant, the program director of Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG). ALG is on a mission to support student success and promote equitable access to education by advocating for the use of affordable and open educational resources.

Jeff delves into the world of Open Educational Resources (OER) and provides guidance on how you can kickstart the process of identifying materials for your course. For faculty within the University System of Georgia, there are faculty, library, and design champions available on campus to assist you in this endeavor. Jeff also shares invaluable insights on how you can harness the advantages of OER, from enhancing your teaching materials to alleviating financial burdens for students. Discover how OER can be a game-changer for you and a catalyst for student achievement as we explore how these open resources level the academic playing field.

Additionally, Jeff provides a breakdown of the potential cost savings for students in Georgia when courses adopt free textbooks. If you're an educator in search of open textbooks, Jeff offers practical tips to navigate this transformative landscape in education.

Resources from this episode:

The Affordable Learning Georgia website provides many resources to help you get started with OER.

University System of Georgia faculty, you can locate your faculty, library, or design champion on the ALG champions webpage.

The Augusta University OER webpage has more details for faculty. AU campus champions are:

Faculty Champion: Andrew Goss angoss@augusta.edu

Library Champion: Melissa Johnson mjohns69@augusta.edu

Design Champion: Arthur Takahashi atakahashi@augusta.edu



Episode 9:  Critical Teaching Behaviors: Defining, Documenting and Discussing Good Teaching

September 20, 2023

How do we know good teaching when we see it? Whether you're a new faculty member, a seasoned educator, or an administrator, this episode offers a look at how we can
better understand and promote effective teaching practices. Lauren Barbeau, PhD, Assistant Director for Learning and Technology Initiatives at Georgia Tech, joins us to
discuss the Critical Teaching Behaviors framework (CTB). The CTB framework was developed by Barbeau and Claudia Cornejo Happel, PhD, to provide a comprehensive
system for instructors and administrators to identify and document good teaching.

The CTB categorizes effective teaching behaviors into six main areas. These categories are derived from a thorough analysis of research focused on teaching and learning. The
areas include alignment, inclusion, engagement, assessment, technology integration, and reflection. Barbeau explains the inspiration behind creating this framework centered
on behaviors and each of the six categories.

Barbeau discusses how this comprehensive guide can help you plan a path to document your teaching and more. Barbeau says, “we're also showcasing these are the
behaviors that lead to improved student outcomes. So, when you're doing these things, you can know that you're an effective instructor and someone reviewing you can know
that you're effective as well.”

Resources from this episode:
The Critical Teaching Behaviors website is the place to start when you are ready to learn more.


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Episode 8:  Provost’s Insights: A Conversation with Neil MacKinnon, PhD

August 16, 2023

In episode eight we sit down with Neil MacKinnon, PhD, Augusta University provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. MacKinnon places a strong emphasis on building connections with faculty, staff, and students. He discusses the profound impact such relationships have on the college experience for students.

On the topic of mentorship, he shares personal anecdotes of how mentorship played a pivotal role in shaping his own academic journey. MacKinnon believes a good mentor can help faculty take their career to a new level and aims to facilitate meaningful mentorship opportunities for faculty members at Augusta University.

Fall semester brings the launch of Augusta University Online, which has exceeded enrollment projections. Additionally, there are new and unique degree programs, such as Biomedical Systems Engineering and a new undergraduate degree in neuroscience. MacKinnon discusses how these initiatives are part of Augusta University's ongoing efforts to attract students seeking new programs that meet workplace needs.

Additional topics of discussion include the significance of balancing teaching duties alongside research and service commitments for faculty members. MacKinnon also offers insights into the initiatives aimed at tackling the challenge of student retention and enhancing graduation rates.



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Episode 7:  Elevate Your Teaching: High-Impact Practices and 'Reacting to the Past'

July 19, 2023

Uncover the elements of high-impact practices and immerse yourself in the captivating world of 'Reacting to the Past' in this special episode of Speaking of Higher
Ed...Summer Shorts.

Looking to keep students engaged and motivated in higher education? In episode four, Quentin Davis, PhD and Hannah Bennett, PhD from Augusta University share insights
on high-impact practices that go beyond traditional teaching methods. Discover how interactive learning experiences can make a real-world impact on students and faculty alike.

We also step into history from episode five with 'Reacting to the Past,' an innovative teaching method that uses immersive role-playing games to teach complex issues. Join
Andrew Goss, PhD, and Ruth McClelland-Nugent, PhD, as they discuss the benefits, challenges, and implementation of 'Reacting to the Past' in higher education.

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Episode 6: From PowerPoint to AI: Innovation in Teaching and Learning

June 21, 2023

On this special episode of Speaking of Higher Ed...Summer Shorts we revisit episode one and some innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Rhia Moreno, PhD shares how she employs multimodal pedagogy to cultivate a dynamic learning environment that caters to diverse learning styles. Discover the transformative power of
creative reflection in both online and face-to-face courses.

In episode two, Arthur Takahashi sheds light on the use of multimedia learning principles in course design. Drawing from Mayer’s research, he shares strategies to create immersive learning experiences using high embodiment and other key principles. From PowerPoint presentations to instructional videos, discover the principles for crafting impactful and lasting learning moments.

We also chat about AI text generators and their implications in higher education in episode three. Candis Bond, PhD and James Garner, PhD from the Center for Writing Excellence at Augusta University, engage in a thought-provoking conversation about the ethics, possibilities, and limits of these AI tools.

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Episode 5: Reacting to the Past with Drs. Ruth McClelland-Nugent and Andrew Goss

May 17, 2023

In this episode we explore an innovative teaching method that has been gaining popularity in recent years: 'Reacting to the Past', also known as ‘Reacting’. This pedagogy uses immersive role-playing games to teach complex historical and contemporary issues in a highly engaging and effective way.

Our guests, Andrew Goss, PhD, and Ruth McClelland-Nugent, PhD, both experienced history educators, share their insights into the world of 'Reacting to the Past'. They discuss their experiences using this teaching method in their own courses, the benefits it provides, and the resources available to faculty interested in incorporating it into their curriculum.

Goss and McClelland-Nugent offer suggestions on how to implement 'Reacting to the Past' in a way that is both effective and enjoyable for students. They also touch on the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them in their own classrooms. ‘Reacting’ activities cover a variety of subjects including STEM topics, art, religion and more. Join us as we explore the world of 'Reacting to the Past' and discover how it can transform the way we teach and learn in higher education.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Reacting Consortium 'Start Here' page will help guide you through what Reacting is and why you might consider using it in your course.

There are over 75 games to choose from, the Reacting Consortium provides a Gamepage where you can browse available games by: subject, themes, class size and more.

Augusta University is a member of the Reacting Consortium. Faculty can request access to these resources by contacting the Reacting Consortium.

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Episode 4: Improve Learning Success with Drs. Quentin Davis and Hannah Bennett

April 19, 2023

In the world of higher education, the goal is to create lifelong learners who can become successful practitioners, clinicians, teachers, and more. However, it can be challenging to keep students engaged and motivated in their academic journey. This is where high-impact practices come in.

High-impact practices go beyond test memorization and traditional lecture-style teaching. They focus on creating interactive learning experiences that help students engage with the material and apply it to real-world scenarios. These practices not only benefit students but also faculty who can experience the joy of teaching and make a lasting impact on their students.

Dr. Quentin Davis and Dr. Hannah Bennett from Augusta University share their insights on the key elements that make learning activities and assessments high-impact.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The American Association of Colleges & Universities provides information and resources on high-impact practices.

University System of Georgia faculty & staff can learn more about the key elements of high-impact practices and develop a plan to implement the practices in their own courses using MomentumU.

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Episode 3: Chatting about AI in Higher Ed with Drs. Bond and Garner

March 15, 2023

AI has created a conundrum for higher education. AI text generators, computer programs capable of efficiently producing quality written content, have raised questions about the possibilities, ethics and limits of the use of programs such as ChatGPT in higher education. While artificial intelligence (AI) has been a part of our lives for a while — hello Siri, chatbots, and real-time autocorrect and predictive texts — increasingly sophisticated AI text generators have educators worried about how students might use or misuse these programs to write papers.

In this episode, Dr. Candis Bond, director of the Center for Writing Excellence at Augusta University, and Dr. James Garner, associate director of the Center for Writing Excellence, chat about why we teach writing in college and how these text generators might be used in the classroom. They note that one of the main advantages of AI text generators is their ability to produce large amounts of content quickly and effectively to summarize information. Additionally, GPT-3 can be used to edit and structure text. However, there are limitations, including the fact that the model can generate biased or incorrect information and struggles to draw conclusions or insights the same way humans can. Additionally, the AI model may attribute authorship incorrectly, leading to perpetuating authorship gaps by gender or race. Dr. Bond and Dr. Garner note that while AI text generators can be helpful for generating ideas and pushing oneself as a critical thinker, they should not be used as a substitute for the valuable skills and habits of mind developed through the act of writing. Ultimately, the purpose of writing is not just to produce polished final products, but to teach people valuable skills that will be with them for life.

Wondering what AI text generators are capable of? You’ve just experienced it. The second paragraph of this episode description was largely written by ChatGPT.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Center for Writing Excellence has compiled links that can help you navigate AI text generators like ChatGPT.

Connect with the Center for Writing Excellence on LinkedIn, Facebook or on YouTube.

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Episode 2: Using Multimedia Learning Principles with Arthur Takahashi, MPA, MA

February 15, 2023

How are the words and pictures you use in your course content helping to improve learning for your students? Arthur Takahashi, adjunct faculty member and instructional designer at Augusta University, discusses how he uses multimedia learning principles in his course design and delivery to do just that. Mayer and Moreno’s (1999) study of the cognitive principles of multimedia learning continues to inform the creation of learning materials. Before discussing how he uses Mayer’s principles, Arthur touches on the three goals of multimedia instructional design which each of the principles will help support. Arthur shares how he uses Mayer’s principle of high embodiment and others to provide students with an experience that helps improve learning and retention. From creating a PowerPoint to making instructional videos, these principles can help you craft an impactful and lasting learning experience for your students. 

You can read more about Moreno and Mayer’s (1999) research on cognitive principles of multimedia learning or pick up Mayer’s latest edition of his book, Multimedia Learning, from Cambridge University Press. 

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Episode 1: Creating Engaging and Interactive Courses with Rhia Moreno, PhD

January 18th, 2023

Dr. Rhia Moreno from the College of Education and Human Development discusses how she uses multimodal pedagogy in her undergraduate and graduate courses. Her intentional approach to innovation includes incorporating AU approved tech such as Flip, Padlet and VoiceThread to encourage creative reflection across modalities. By combining technology, an inter-disciplinary approach and a focus on inclusivity, Dr. Moreno is championing a dynamic approach to learning. In this episode of Speaking of Higher Ed, Dr. Moreno shares practical strategies and tips on how to encourage creativity and engagement in your classroom. 

More about resources mentioned in this episode:

Link to, searchable, Augusta University approved software. You will need to login with your NetID.

Padlet and VoiceThread are approved by AU for use, but there are no institutional licenses for them. Padlet is free up to a certain level to use.

Flip (formerly Flipgrid), is AU approved software. Flip is available to Augusta University faculty and students using their NetID login. Once logged in, you can create groups and topics. A bonus, Flip can be integrated into D2L.

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