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Center for Teaching hosts annual Institute

Albert Tricomi, a distinguished teaching professor of English, participates during one of the conference’s many discussions in which participants shared examples of student-centered learning in order to work better with students.
Bringing together faculty from all colleges across the campus, the Institute for Student Centered Learning (ISCL) last month held its 6th annual conference dedicated to improving learning and teaching.

The two-day conference, titled “Bridging Conceptual and Applied Learning,” provided hands-on opportunities for participants to learn from other faculty about new productive ways to become effective in their teaching. Presenters and facilitators shared examples of student-centered learning, which will help participants work better with their own students.

“The ISCL is a great example of how Binghamton faculty expand the community of educators involved in improving the learning experience across the campus,” said Wayne Jones, executive director of the Center for Learning and Teaching. “This dialogue on teaching strategies and techniques is really an extension of the communication that faculty do in their research and scholarship communities to their activities in the classroom.”

The extension of communication efforts this year included a group of students who participated on a panel to discuss large lecture strategies that are most effective in support of learning.

The ISCL was started six years ago with a grant from the Department of Education coordinated through the Center for Learning and Teaching. In addition to the annual conference, the center offers programs and other forms of assistance for faculty in teaching, classroom management, grant writing and TA training. The annual ISCL conference is held each academic year following Commencement.

Plans are also being made for a September 8 faculty workshop, which will allow both current and new ISCL members to meet and discuss teaching practices while also providing an opportunity for participants to reconnect and brainstorm ideas.

“Some faculty may have already participated and been active for years but have not attended an ISCL conference in five years,” said Hilton Baxter, ISCL project coordinator. “This way they can come back and tell everyone what teaching processes they have tried and what has or hasn’t worked.

“This is going to allow the new members to learn from them,” he said. “They will also be able to share the ideas they have come up with and what has been useful to them. We are hoping to keep a nurturing community of participants who are willing to take the extra step to help one another.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08