T4L Conference

Overcoming Distance, Disruption, and Distraction

Thursday, February 25, 2021 | 9am - 4:45pm

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The 5th annual Teaching for Learning (T4L) Conference co-hosted by Utah State University, Southern Utah University and Brigham Young University. This year's conference outlines the many factors that are distracting our students and offers both practical and theoretical approaches to overcoming those obstacles. During this one-day conference, participants will have the opportunity to make connections with other instructors, take home great ideas for teaching, and stay current on research in teaching and learning.

Keynote Speaker

James Lang
James Lang
Professor & Director, D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence
Assumption College
Presenter Profile

James M. Lang is a Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University in Worcester, MA. He is the author of five books, the most recent of which are Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It (Basic Books, 2020), Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016).


Presentation Formats

Interactive Round Table Discussions (50 minutes): These sessions are designed to allow maximum interaction in informal, small-group discussions focused on a single topic. Typically, the presenter will be showcasing materials or information with a group of about 8-10 participants.

Research Discussion (25 minutes): These sessions are intended to feature original research, work in progress, or evaluations of pedagogical practices, instructional projects, or use of technology. Theoretical proposals that show promise of enhancing participants’ understanding and practice of effective teaching and learning principles will also be considered. The nature of the research or evaluation may be qualitative or quantitative, but the emphasis should be on evidence of quality enhancement. Preference will be given to proposals that show promise of providing practical, actionable information for conference participants.

Interactive Session (50 minutes): These sessions usually include a single presentation or panel discussion combined with engaging methods to involve participants in an active learning process.

Great Ideas for Teaching (10 minutes): These “lightning round” sessions feature quick engaged teaching strategies that participants can bring back to their classrooms on Monday.

Conference Tracks

  • Teaching through COVID
  • Inclusive Teaching
  • Teaching with Technology
  • Assessment
  • General Pedagogy
  • Faculty Development


Time Session A Session B Session C Session D Session E Session F Session G
8:30-8:45 MST
Welcome Welcome Welcome Welcome Welcome Welcome Welcome
8:50-9:25 MST
Interactive Roundtables
Adapting Traditional In-Person Professional Learning Activities to Effectively Lead a Great Online Teaching Seminar During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Thomas H. Cunningham
Great Basin College
Successfully Flipping Class with No Book or Lectures Using the Statistics Video Textbook
Bryan Koenig
Southern Utah University
Rose by any other name: Reducing distance by using students’ names
Karin deJonge-Kannan
Utah State University
Teaching Through COVID-19 with Empathy and Compassion
Courtney K. Clausen
Utah State University
Backward Design, Quality Matters Rubric and Gagné's 9 Events: What Do They Have to Do with Effective and Efficient Course Design?
Joachim Jack Agamba
Nevada State College
9:35-10:10 MST
Interactive Roundtables
"Can I Really Do What I Want?": Creating a "Choose Your Own Grading Adventure" in an Introductory Survey
Chris Babits
Utah State University
Bold in the Pursuit of Knowledge”: Implementing Common-place Books in Multidisciplinary Classrooms
S. Spencer Wells, Samuel A Wells, Laura Walker
Southern Utah University
UTAs as a Means to Leverage Inclusive Teaching
Ellen Carpenter
Virginia Commonwealth University
4 Ways to Increase Participation and Build an Online Learning Community
Marlene Graf
Utah State University
A Faculty Learning Community About Disconnecting from Technology and Self-Care Amid the COVID Lockdown
Zarah Borines and Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa api
Nevada State College
The effect of The Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique (IF-AT) on Undergraduate Students Learning
Al Balushi, Z. and Nikolaou, P.
Sultan Qaboos University
10:20-10:55 MST
Interactive Sessions
Grading Practices That Measure and Support Learning
Serena Hicks
Boise State University
Student-centered Learning Approach in Online Discussion via Digital PowerUps
Mehmet Soyer, Travis Thurston, Samantha Clem, Rachel Tom
Utah State University
Don't Let Them Struggle in Silence: Redefining Rigor to Support Student Success
Elizabeth Ramsey, Sara Fry
Boise State University
Thinking Outside of the In-Person Box: How Virtual Learning Can Work for You
Maria Givler; Nikki Kendrick
Utah State University
From Silence to Synergy: Strategies to Enhance Engagement and Group Productivity in Virtual Settings
Colleen Packer
Weber State University
An Interactive Open-resource Model for Historical Disciplines
Richard Saunders
Southern Utah University
11:05-11:40 MST
Interactive Sessions
I Can't Grade Another Paper!
Becky Cash
Nevada State College
Compassionate Communication (Online)
Yvonne Houy & Julian Kilker
Tips, Tools, and Tricks for Inclusive and flexible teaching
Elizabeth Barnes, Allison King
Boise State University
Taking Stock of Your Pandemic Course Redesign
Bridget Arend
University of Denver
Escape the Online Humdrum: Escape Rooms Made Easy with Canvas Tools
Sierra Adare-Tasiwoopa api
Nevada State College
Making Moves Towards a More Anti-racist Curriculum
Cree Taylor
Utah State University
Developing Transparent Course Outcomes to Improve Student Assessments
Rose Judd-Murray
Utah State University
12:00-1:00 MST James Lang Keynote James Lang Keynote James Lang Keynote James Lang Keynote James Lang Keynote James Lang Keynote James Lang Keynote
1:10-1:45 MST
Interactive Sessions
Toxic Testing? A New Approach to Learning and Assessment in the Modern Era
Lynn White
Southern Utah University
Collaboration and Belonging Under COVID: The Difference that Sustained Small-Group Learning Makes for Virtual First Year Learners
Molly Appel and Laura Decker
Nevada State College
The answer is in the syllabus: improving syllabi to be student-centered, inclusive and effective.
Jennifer Grewe, Marlene Graf, Rose Judd-Murray, Meredith Wang, Lauren Hunt, Sarah Tulane and Rachel Robison
Utah State University
Encouraging Advanced Language Development in Online Courses Using Table-top Role Playing Games (TTRPGs)
Robb McCollum
Southern Utah University
Numbers and Narratives: Using Project Outcome to Assess Teaching Effectiveness in One-Shots, Courses, and Programs
Scott Lanning, Rosie Liljenquist, Chris Younkin
Southern Utah University
1:55-2:30 MST
Interactive Sessions
Life is Open-Book
Jason Twede
Utah State University
Shifting Mindset of Teaching Through a Pandemic
Maria Esterline
University of Florida
Designing Equitable and Inclusive Courses: A Practical Framework for Change
Joanne Baird Giordano; Kristin Morley; Nancy Barrickman
Salt Lake Community College
Transforming Online Learning Through the Arts
Yvonne Houy & Julian Kilker
Kristina Oldroyd
Utah Valley University
2:40-3:00 MST
Research Discussions
Including students in the evaluation of online discussion tools
Jayci Hacker
Southern Utah University
Using Wikis to Teach an Online Undergraduate Course
John Fisher, Steve Allred
Utah Valley University
Moving Beyond the Danger of a Single Story: Evidence-based Inclusive Teaching Strategies
Sarah Allen, Clint Broadbent, Karina Nay
Southern Utah University
Teaching Large Art History Courses with iClicker Application.
Joanna Matuszak
Southern Utah University
3:10-3:30 MST
Research Discussions
“Actually, you can have a lot of fun with it!”: Examining the development of attitudes in behavioral science research methods students.
Rachel Arocho
Utah Valley University
Building community and self-monitoring through informal “accountability groups”
Elizabeth Cox and Michael DuBon
Southern Utah University
Integrative and inclusive teaching in support of student success for all: English Language Learning and Information Literacy
Maralee Carlin, Anne Diekema, Silvia Kozlovska
Southern Utah University
Remote Laboratory for Engineering, Computer and Technology Students
Oscar Rodriguez
Southern Utah University
3:45-4:45 MST James Lang Workshop James Lang Workshop James Lang Workshop James Lang Workshop James Lang Workshop James Lang Workshop James Lang Workshop


Registration Fees

*Registration will open January 2021
/ Individual Registration Rate
/ Graduate Student Rate

Fees Include:

  • Access to all conference presentations
  • Synchronous sessions include Q&A
  • A copy of James Lang's Distracted: Why Students Can't Focus and What You Can Do About It ($30 list price) for the first 125 participants to register!

What to Expect

  • Opportunities to network with other teachers.
  • A chance to formally share your teaching ideas and innovations with others.
  • Insightful breakout sessions.
  • Additional updates on technologies for teaching.


Please direct any questions or concerns to:

Matthew Weeg, Director, Center of Excellence for Teaching & Learning, Southern Utah University, matthewweeg@suu.edu
Travis Thurston,
Assistant Director, Office of Empower Teaching Excellence, Utah State University, travis.thurston@usu.edu