Instructional & Technology Resources

BC Instructional Design

Teaching & Learning Sessions


BC Book Club Kickoff

September 2022
Date and location coming soon!

Hosted by the Wade Institute, Instructional Design, and Library Services. Join us to get started on this semester’s book club focusing around Paul Hanstedt’s Creating Wicked Students.

Trauma-Informed Instruction

Wednesday October 26, 2022 – Dr. Mays Imad
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Zoom and FLC 217

Learn more about the impacts that trauma has on students and consider ways that we, as educators, can mitigate the effects of trauma to help our students learn and thrive.

The Demographic Cliff

Wednesday November 16, 2022 – Dr. Jeff Pierson, Dean for Graduate and Special Programs
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Zoom and FLC 217

Learn more about the future landscape of higher education and what we can do to attract and retain future students.

Book Club Wrap-up

Wednesday, December 7, 2022  – Dr. Paul Hanstedt
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Zoom and FLC 217

Join the author of Creating Wicked Students for a discussion of best pedagogical practices as we wrap-up the first BC Book Club of Fall 2022!


Connecting Community and Learning: Exploring the practice of effective community-based learning

Thursday, April 2, 2020 – Rolllin G. Johnson Jr., Kensington Strickland Group, LLC
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Experiential Learning, Civic Engagement, and Community-based Learning have been receiving increased attention within higher education. Tangentially, institutions of higher education are increasingly being asked: What is you public purpose? How do you impact the world around you?

Whether through refined broader impact expectations of NSF grants, more nuanced standards of accrediting bodies, or new state-wide efforts such as SCHEV’s recent civic engagement requirement for VA universities and colleges, our institutions are being ask how are they actively living out their missions.

Internally, faculty, university leaders, and students are seeking to experience deeper and more connected engaged learning opportunities at their institutions. Community-based learning and community engaged (participatory) research are positioned to be salient components to addressing these questions while fostering engaged learning mosaics within our institutions.

The purpose of the session is to engage participants who are exploring, planning, and/or seeking to deliver community-based learning opportunities as a part of their pedagogical portfolios. We also welcome those who advocate for and support faculty in delivering community-based learning on campus. During this session we will explore:
• common challenges facing community-based learning courses
• best practices for creating the framework for substantive pedagogical experiences
• creating and managing authentic reciprocal community partnerships
• crafting a compelling case for this work in your department and on campus

Rollin G. Johnson Jr. brings over 15 years of experience in community-based learning, program management, community relations, and strategic planning. His career and work have focused on deepening the impact of people, colleges and universities, and programmatic operations within communities.
Rollin holds a M.B.A. from The Scott L. Carmona College of Business at Saginaw Valley State University. He has led civic engagement efforts at Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Saginaw Valley State, Coe College and state-wide in Virginia. Currently, Rollin is Co-founder and Co-principal of the Kensington Strickland Group, LLC which focuses on enhancing university/college, nonprofit, and public-sector social impacts and organizational effectiveness.

On Being while Becoming: Mindfulness & Mental Health in the Classroom Setting

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 -Dr. Arlene McCain, McCain Whole Health Care and Bridgewater College
12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Dr. Arlene McCain, founder of McCain Whole Health Care, a family medicine and integrative health coaching practice, will be presenting:

1. an introduction to mindfulness
2. share research regarding the effects of mindfulness practices on mental health, particularly in the classroom setting, and
3. explore strategies for introducing mindfulness in the classroom setting

Dr. Arlene McCain serves as Medical Director for Bridgewater College M.S. Athletic Training program, as well as Adjunct Professor for the JMU P.A. program. She is a board-certified family physician and offers comprehensive medical care for all ages. Dr. McCain received the Resident Teacher of the Year award, and served as Chief Resident from 2009-2010.

From Snorkelers to Scuba Divers – Finding the Right Amount of Rigor for Learners

Friday, January 31, 2020 – Dr. John Almarode, James Madison Unversity (A BC Alum)
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Is this going to be on the test? Why do we have to know this? Is this for a grade? Can you tell me what I need to do to get this right? These questions haunt each and every teacher on the receiving end of such inquiry.  Over the past fifteen years, the science of learning has provided many insights into how we think and learn. Furthermore, these promising principles provide a starting point for faculty to build the capacity in learners to see themselves as their own teachers – demonstrating the persistence, engagement, and concentration to be lifelong learners. This midday conversation will look at targeted and specific strategies for finding the right level of rigor, striking the ideal balance between surface and deep learning, and identifying the perfect level of challenge for each learner.

Dr. John Almarode has worked with schools, classrooms, and teachers all over the world. He has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on the application of the science of learning to the classroom, school, and home environments. He has worked with hundreds of school districts and thousands of teachers in Australia, Canada, England, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Korea, and Thailand.

In addition to devoting his time to PreK – 12 schools and classrooms, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Early, Elementary, and Reading Education and Director of the Content Teaching Academy. In 2015, John was awarded the inaugural Sarah Mill Luck Endowed Professorship. He continues to work with pre‑service teachers and actively pursues his research interests including the science of learning, the design, and measurement of classroom environments that promote student engagement and learning.
The work of John and his colleagues have been presented to the United States Congress, Virginia Senate, at the United States Department of Education as well as the Office of Science and Technology Policy at The White House.

John began his career in Augusta County, Virginia, teaching mathematics and science to a wide‑range of students. Since then, John has authored multiple articles, reports, book chapters, and nine books including Captivate, Activate, and Invigorate the Student Brain in Science and Math, Grades 6 – 12 (Corwin Press, 2013), From Snorkelers to Scuba Divers (Corwin Press, 2018), both with Ann Miller, and Visible Learning for Science, with Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie (Corwin Press, 2018). He recently finished a book focusing on clarity, Clarity for Learning, with Kara Vandas (Corwin Press, 2019), as well as Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 6 – 8, and Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 9 – 12 both with Doug Fisher, Joseph Assof, Sara Moore, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie (Corwin, 2019), all with Corwin Press. Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades K – 2 and Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 3 – 5 with the same author team plus Kateri Thunder hit the shelves in March of 2019. He is also the past co-editor of the Teacher Educator’s Journal.

Most recently, John and his colleagues have developed a new framework for developing, implementing, and sustaining professional learning communities: PLC+. Focusing on sustained change in teacher practice, the PLC+ framework builds capacity within teacher-led teams to maximize student learning. The books, PLC+ Better Decisions and Greater Impact by Design and The PLC+ Playbook, Grades K – 12, will support this work in schools and classrooms.

However, what really sustains John, and his greatest accomplishment is his family. John lives in Waynesboro, Virginia with his wife Danielle, a fellow educator, their two children, Tessa and Jackson, and Labrador retrievers, Angel, Forest, and Bella.

New Dimensions in Competency-based Education

Wednesday, January 22, 2020  – Dr. Eric Pappas, James Madison University
12:00 PM – 1:15 PM

Competency-based education is focused on students being able to demonstrate what they have learned, whether it be skills, behaviors, or personal habits.  While higher education supports the intellectual development of students, the individual habits, routines, and lifestyles that foster a behavioral foundation for effective thinking and productive living remain largely unexplored.  Many academic approaches to cognitive as well as individual behavioral change suggest a product (or goal) for intentional change, but they do not foster the intentional and directed cognitive processes and behavioral changes that foster productive thinking and well-being.  This presentation will address a variety of competency-based instructional strategies as well as competency-based assessment.  Of particular interest is Cognitive Behavioral Change (not the clinical approach of cognitive behavioral therapy), an instructional methodology supporting behavioral change.

Participants are encouraged to participate in the session, offer their own methodologies, and ask questions.

Eric Pappas is a professor in the School of Integrated Sciences at James Madison University where he teaches and conducts research in social psychology.  Prior to arriving at JMU in 2003, Dr. Pappas taught literature and then engineering at Virginia Tech since 1986.  Currently, he conducts research into behavioral change resulting from creating cognitive dissonance between students’ values and behaviors.  He received his graduate degrees at Virginia Tech.


The Current and the Future of Print and Online Scholarship: A Conversation

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 – Dr. Bill Ross, University of Richmond

This talk will be an opportunity for participants to discuss the current status and the future of scholarship — digital and print. I am not an expert on digital scholarship but I am an active participant in digital scholarship both as an author and an editor. As a print author I am also aware of the issues of print and its future. I will give a short presentation about my experiences and then invite the participants to express their opinions and experiences.

Bill Ross is a graduate of Fordham University and the University of Virginia and is currently the Richardson Professor of Mathematics at the University of Richmond. As both a mathematics researcher and an editor, Bill is interested in the future

Teaching, Fast and Slow

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 – Dr. Michael Kirkpatrick, James Madison University

“Enough with the lecturing,” the National Science Foundation bluntly declared in a 2014 news release on active learning. But what makes active learning so effective? Why is traditional lecture—the dominant pedagogy of higher education—now judged so harshly? And what am I supposed to do in my classes now? While there is still much that we don’t know, we have learned a lot about human cognition and the learning process in the past several decades. Researchers in several domains have shown how working memory, heuristics, biases, and retrieval practice all influence the ways we think and learn. In this talk, I will summarize important findings from the relevant literature and describe several concepts that are central to successful learning. I will then identify teaching principles and practices that leverage these concepts to increase student engagement and improve significant learning. I will close with practical strategies and suggestions based on my experience applying these ideas to my own courses.

Michael S. Kirkpatrick is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and a Faculty Associate in the Teaching Area of the Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) at James Madison University (JMU). Since arriving at JMU in 2011, Dr. Kirkpatrick’s primary research interests have focused on CS education, with an emphasis on applying insights from cognitive science and neuroscience. Dr. Kirkpatrick has published multiple peer-reviewed studies in CS education and has led several workshops on active learning. Since joining the CFI in 2017, Dr. Kirkpatrick has taken a leading role in facilitating jmUDESIGN, a week-long course design institute that is the signature program in the Teaching Area. Prior to joining the CFI, Dr. Kirkpatrick had served as a supporting facilitator for jmUDESIGN since 2013.

Multimodal learning: Discovering, Designing, and Delivering Alternative Modality Projects

Thursday, December 13, 2018 — Dr. Adam Barger and Dr. Michael Blum, College of William and Mary
Description: This workshop will be facilitated by co-creators of CASPA, Dr. Adam Barger, Acting Director of e-Learning Initiatives, and Michael Blum, e-Learning Specialist and Program Manager from the College of William & Mary.

As digital tools and resources become an integral aspect of higher education pedagogy, affordances and constraints emerge for instructors who leverage multimedia for creative projects in their courses. This workshop reports on strategies and provides an emerging framework for implementing multimodal projects in a liberal arts university setting.

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to collaborate with peers to draft a project outline using the CASPA model (attached) for multimodal assessment and share their work with the group to promote discussion about common challenges and solutions. With a particular focus on scaffolding multimodal assessments as part of course design, participants will gather specific strategies for crafting assessment stages to enable more personalized student learning and meaningful learning experiences. A final discussion on how these strategies and assessment plans may support the institutional teaching and learning context will allow participants to situate their ideas and form an implementation action plan.

Developing Student Metacognition

Friday, October 19, 2018– Dr. Adriana Streifer and Dr. Elizabeth Dickens, University of Virginia

Metacognition, or learning how to learn, helps students learn more effectively, better understand and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as learners, make connections across different types of formal and informal learning, and develop greater responsibility for their own learning. Yet often we do not intentionally teach students to learn how to learn. This interactive workshop will introduce participants to strategies for developing students’ metacognitive skills, and participants will design an activity or assignment for one of their courses that helps their students become more self-aware and self-directed learners.

Adriana Streifer is an Assistant Director and Assistant Professor in the Center for Teaching Excellence. She directs the center’s consultation services and professional development programs for graduate students. Adriana’s research focuses on learning-centered course design, writing pedagogies, and student perceptions of innovative teaching practices.

Elizabeth Dickens is an Assistant Director and Assistant Professor in the Center for Teaching Excellence. She directs the Innovations in Pedagogy Summit, the CTE’s curriculum design work, and a learning community for arts and humanities faculty. Elizabeth’s research focuses on signature pedagogies in the humanities, learning-centered curriculum design, and on the relationship between disciplinary training and approaches to teaching.