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Statewide USU Community Gains Powerful Teaching Insights

Friday, Aug. 18, 2017

teaching workshop

Kelli Munns, keynote speaker, showing faculty how to use Canvas and other tools to target learning goals, check for understanding and evaluate their instruction.

Utah State University (USU) administrators, faculty and staff attending the fourth annual Empowering Teaching Excellence (ETE) Faculty Conference were introduced to the latest teaching techniques, classroom management tools and new perspectives on adapting content for students. More than 400 attendees from across the state participated, bringing years of innovative teaching experience to share with others in breakout sessions, open panels and workshops.

“We knew this year’s conference would be big, but it didn’t hit me until I was standing in front of everyone,” said Robert Wagner, vice president of Academic & Instructional Services (AIS). “The faculty and staff at USU are setting a high bar on improving and evolving teaching at the college level. Each presentation and breakout session provided unique looks into higher education that will positively affect teaching and learning in the upcoming school year.”

Kelli Munns, lead lecturer in the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, delivered the keynote address “Targeted Outcomes for Mastery Learning,” showing faculty how to use Canvas and other tools to target learning goals, check for understanding and evaluate their instruction.

According to Travis Thurston, ETE coordinator and instructional designer in AIS, one major reason the ETE Faculty Conference is so unique is the presenters are using research and personal experience to illustrate points. “Each presenter essentially offered their own personal case study to show their successes with research-based and innovative teaching practices.”

Between sessions, there were exhibit booths for faculty to test new technology and network within the university community. There were more than 15 exhibitors and more than 20 breakout sessions, giving attendees plenty of resources and ideas to have more success in the classroom.

“We are grateful to all who attended this year, to all those who presented, and to all who helped plan the logistics and execute such a successful ETE Faculty Conference,” said Neal Legler, director of the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI) in AIS. “Based on the conference, we are sure this will be a great year for USU faculty and students.”

The next annual ETE Faculty Conference will take place next year in August before the fall semester begins. All faculty seeking help with their courses are encouraged to contact CIDI and Teaching and Learning Technologies. Visit for more information.

Contact: Travis Thurston, 435-797-4950

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